Bush "Welcomed" by Protest and Rebellion in Latin America

Revolution #022, November 13, 2005, posted at revcom.us

While protesters in the U.S. demanded "The World Cant Wait, Drive out the Bush Regime," Bush traveled to another place were hes not wanted either, Mar del Plata, Argentina. This year that city is host to the Free Trade Area of the Americas summit, where 34 heads of state will be meeting.

Even before Bush left for the summit, people began to mobilize and to let the world know that this butcher was not welcomed. On October 30 the capital city of Buenos Aires awoke covered with posters saying "Stop Bush." At press conferences, labor and student organizations called for a one-day general strike on the 4th, the first day of the summit.

A couple of weeks before the summit, Diego Armando Maradona, the soccer star, announced on his TV show that he would head up the protest in Mar del Plata, saying:

"Bush looks down on us, he steps on us, and were supposed to be at his mercy. This is not the history we were made forhe is a murderer, we have to oppose this trip to our country."

On November 4 there were tens of thousands of people in the streets, and Mar del Plata was a city under siege. The day before, one of several "Anti-Bush" trains arrived from Buenos Aires full of protesters chanting slogans against Bush and the FTAA. At a press conference announcing the opening of the Summit of the Peoples--a coalition of various protest groups--Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, the 1980 Nobel Peace laureate, said that Bush has committed "crimes against humanity" and that the FTAA represented "the re-colonization of the Americas."

In Buenos Aires, thousands protested in Plaza de Mayo, the demonstrators attacked symbols of imperialism, like Boston Bank, a French bank, a McDonalds and a Burger King. Dozens were arrested by cops dressed in civilian clothes, while riot cops battled the demonstrators.

In Recife, Brazil, students, landless peasants, trade unionists, representatives of various social movements protest against Bush's visit to Brazil, in front of the offices of a Bankers Association. From there they went to the U.S. Consulate.

As we go to press, large protests are planned in Panama, where Bush is expected on the 6th and 7th. Protest began in Panama one month ago, as soon as it was announced that he was traveling there. The Professors Association of the University of Panama (La Asociación de Profesores de la Universidad de Panamá), said it would form a "human chain" on the 7th at Parque Porras to protest Bush's visit. One of the organizers said, "We will give a fitting welcome to the biggest butcher on the planet." And the people of El Chorrillo, the neighborhood bombed by the U.S. on November 20, 1989 (see Revolution No. 17, "The U.S. Invasion of Panama 1989: The Injustice of Operation Just Cause ") have also organized a march in protest.

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