Wednesday, November 12, 2003

I was curious how the president's handlers were going to handle his scheduled state visit to the UK, and the planned demonstrations that have been widely reported in the British, as well as the American media. As any readers I may have well know, our president never sees any protesters thanx to the "free speech zones", i.e. "protester pens" that dissenters are shuffled off to during his visits to, well, everywhere. A few days ago, Tony Blair addressed the issue the way the leader of a free country should, by saying, "Protest if you will, that is your democratic right,''. However, it looks like the long standing policy of keeping president bush away from dissent is going to be recognized after all.
Using the threat of possible terrorist attacks the UK has banned all peace protests during Bush's visit. The threat may be real enough, but considering the fact that there have been pleas and attempts to quell or ban the protests by the American administration for some time, it is a bit suspect. I mean, isn't every large gathering a possible terrorist threat? Aren't these the same people who told us not to live in fear, and carry out our regular activities? Isn't the president properly protected to handle state visits? And, really, isn't it a seriously chickenshit statement about our leader that he can't drive through some protesters, especially while he sends regular citizens into harms way with cowboy reteric like, "Bring em' on!"? It just sounds more and more like another abuse of a very real global threat to quell dissent, and strip american, and now international, citizens, of their civil liberties.

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