Thursday, November 03, 2005

Thousands rally across US against Bush policies

By Christine Kearney

Wednesday, November 2, 2005; 10:51 PM

Thousands rally across US against Bush policies

By Christine Kearney
Wednesday, November 2, 2005; 10:51 PM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Thousands of protesters staged rallies on Wednesday across the United States against the policies of President George W. Bush, including the war in Iraq and response to Hurricane Katrina.

The World Can't Wait organization, a coalition of groups formed recently to stage the rallies, used the anniversary of Bush's re-election to call for his resignation in protests that took place in cities including New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco and Chicago.

In New York, students walked out of schools and colleges and joined other supporters as thousands rallied in Union Square before marching nearly 2 miles to Times Square along avenues lined with police on motorbikes.

"The Bush regime is out to remake the world with its policies," said organizer Sunsara Taylor. "From the war in Iraq to environmental policies to the remaking of the Supreme Court ... we are staring down the barrel of fascism in this country."

Demonstrators chanted and carried banners in a mainly peaceful protest. Police said three people were arrested.

Olivier Martineau, 16, walked out of his high school with 17 others to join the march. "I am strongly against the war in Iraq," he said. "We are always sticking our noses into other people's business when we don't even realize our battles at home."

Student Tuarian Wolfe, 19, carried a sign reading "No Iraqi ever left me on my rooftop to die," to protest the slow response to help poor people stranded in New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina.

Organizers said they planned to interrupt Bush's next State of the Union address in January.

In Chicago, organizers estimated more than 500 people attended a downtown rally amid police dressed in riot gear. A few masked protesters waved Iraq flags and vandalized American flags.

James Crimmins, 59, said he objected to "a war based on lies," while Gloria Rosenzweig, 60, said she protested Bush's record on the environment and believed young people were becoming more politicized.

"This war is now resonating with youth with the military recruiting in their high schools and they know they are not far away from danger," she said.

(Additional reporting by Michael Conlon in Chicago)

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