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News ::
THOUSANDS IN L.A. AND S.F. TELL BUSH: "END THE OCCUPATION--BRING THE TROOPS HOME (english)
06 Jul 2003
THOUSANDS IN L.A. AND S.F. TELL BUSH:
"END THE OCCUPATION--BRING THE TROOPS HOME!"

Special to Workers World
-------------------------
Via Workers World News Service
Reprinted from the July 10, 2003
issue of Workers World newspaper
-------------------------

THOUSANDS IN L.A. AND S.F. TELL BUSH:
"END THE OCCUPATION--BRING THE TROOPS HOME!"

Special to Workers World

George W. Bush flew into California on June 27 to raise millions of
dollars from wealthy Republicans. He got the money, but he also got
booed by thousands of protesters in Los Angeles and in Burlingame, near San Francisco.

In L.A., some 10,000 angry demonstrators massed right in front of the
Century Plaza Hotel where Bush was milking the crowd at a campaign fund-raising dinner. On a stage flanked with Palestinian flags and banners that read "Palestine will be free," "U.S. out Of Iraq" and "Jobs not war," the International ANSWER coalition held a militant, three-hour rally punctuated by thunderous chants of "Impeach Bush" and "Hey-hey, ho-ho, the occupation's got to go!"

It was anti-imperialist all the way. Speakers included John Parker of
ANSWER, Tomeka Webb of the Filipino group BAYAN International-USA, and
Mazen of the Free Palestine Alliance. Joe Delaplaine of Workers World
Party declared: "I am proud to be a gay man. I am proud to be a union
member. I am proud to be a communist. And I am proud to be in Workers
World Party because we stand with the people of Palestine and Iraq. With the immigrant community. With the LGBT community and all who are
struggling against the injustices of imperialism, racism, and bigotry."

This was a pro-worker rally that supported self-determination for
oppressed peoples.

It was endorsed by a wide range of organizations.

For $2,000 a plate, Bush's rich Republican buddies had the opportunity
to thank their benefactor for huge tax cuts, the attempted racist
colonization of Iraq, and his war on social spending and on unions.

It's not surprising that so many turned out in Los Angeles to shame
Bush. Angelenos have many reasons to be sickened by the current
expansionist phase of U.S. imperialism.

Bush can find the money for a ruthless occupation. He can find billions for a few mega-corporations to "rebuild" Iraq. He can give billions in military aid to vicious regimes in Israel, Colombia and elsewhere. But the wealthiest nation in the history of the world cannot provide for the most basic needs of its people.

Because of Bush's war on the public sector, Los Angeles can't find the
money to keep hospitals open, pay its teachers decent wages or fund
education. California's 2004 budget will result in hospital and clinic
closures in the poorest neighborhoods. Public School teachers are taking pay cuts and giving back part of last year's pay in order to keep their jobs.

Unemployment is soaring for the general population. And in a city with
an enormous immigrant population, immigrant poverty is at 23 percent.

But the people of Los Angeles are fighting back. The immigrant rights
community is gearing up for a huge protest against immigrant bashing,
deportations and the Patriot Act on July 19.

SAN FRANCISCO: PROTEST WON'T BE MOVED

It took Bush an hour to land at San Francisco International Airport, be whisked to the closest hotel, and shake down corporate fat cats and
Republican Party loyalists for $2,000 apiece. Then he was back in the
air like a thief in the night.

Bush made no mention of the mounting list of U.S soldiers killed in
Iraq, or of the national crisis in education, housing, and health and
human services. This stopover was all about money.

Across the street from the hotel, the ANSWER coalition, armed with
banners and a sound system, held its ground even as Secret Service
agents said they would have to move down the street out of "security
concerns."

As buses from San Jose, Oakland and San Francisco began to arrive, the
protest grew to 2,000 people, even though police had closed down freeway exits and not allowed hundreds of people coming from the new Millbrae BART station to cross the overpass to the site of the protest.

Chants of "Bush lied, Iraqi people and GIs die" could be heard inside
where Bush was speaking.

The protest, initiated by ANSWER, was endorsed by the San Francisco and San Mateo Central Labor Councils and the California Labor Federation, plus many other groups.

[John Beacham in Los Angeles and Bill Hackwell in San Francisco
contributed to this article.]

- END -

(Copyright Workers World Service: Everyone is permitted to copy and
distribute verbatim copies of this document, but changing it is not
allowed. For more information contact Workers World, 55 W. 17 St., NY,
NY 10011; via e-mail: ww (at) wwpublish.com. Subscribe wwnews-
on (at) wwpublish.com. Unsubscribe wwnews-off (at) wwpublish.com. Support the
voice of resistance http://www.workers.org/orders/donate.php)
See also:
www.workers.org
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