Activists “shoe” Bush out the White House door

January 19, 2009

Critics of outgoing President George W. Bush turned a stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue outside the White House into a  rowdy street theater on the eve of his handover of power to Barack Obama.

An activist coalition calling itself ShoeBush.org piled a motley collection of dozens of old shoes, including tan combat boots said to have been worn by U.S. troops in Iraq and children’s bright yellow flip-flops, at what amounted to Bush’s doorstep.

“We wanted to shoo and boo Bush on his last day in office,” said Ann Wilcox of Washington D.C., who marched with the group of about 500 peace activists.

The footwear was tossed between Inaugural parade reviewing stands under watchful eyes of uniformed Secret Service officers. It was a reminder of an Iraqi journalist, Muntazer al-Zaidi, who hurled his two shoes at Bush during a news conference marking the outgoing president’s farewell visit to Iraq.

A hooded, black-clad man posing as the Grim Reaper stood nearby with a sign saying “Death thanks Bush and Cheney.” The reaper, in an interview, added: “They’ve been very good for business.” A giant Bush bobblehead in prisoner’s stripes paraded nearby, his hands in chains as if being led away under arrest.USA-OBAMA/

Others handed out black and white postcard-sized signs urging “Arrest Bush” to the hundreds of onlookers, many who had come from afar to celebrate Obama’s swearing-in at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue at noon on Tuesday.

“You voted for change now use your voice to demand justice,” the group’s handout urged. “Tell the new U.S. attorney general to appoint an independent special prosecutor to investigate the crimes of the Bush administration.”

Elsewhere on the street, about two dozens dancers from a group called DanceMetroDC staged an improvised dance fest. One of the dancers, pivoting to the four points of the compass, intoned “Change,  Change,  Change,  Change” as fellow dancers gyrated in turn.

Photo credit: REUTERS/Mike Segar (Bush bobblehead at Inaugural protest, Jan. 19)

Click here for more Reuters political coverage.

42 comments

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How shameless of the left! Even to the last day you treated this president like no other has been treated.The funn thing is if the right does that to Lord Obama, you will say give him a chance. Or He is going to fix everything.The left has gone to far! you act like the other countries burning flags, calling Bush names. I cant wait for the first person to start calling Lord Obama names and se what kind of reaction they get.

Posted by Jason | Report as abusive

“Peace Activists” Wow. If they represent peace, I am very worried for our country.Once again, the progressive, liberal and radical democratic left show how much hate in in their hearts.What they don’t understand is they are free to hate because our country is still free for them to do so. Thanks to Bush they have also been safe from another attack on our soil.At the same time, these haters want the rest of us to love and come together. What a bunch of confused souls they are. I know I don’t want anything to do with them. Everyone should be afraid of what is about to be thrust upon us.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

TC I agree with you 100%!!!

Posted by Jason | Report as abusive

Still Blaming Bush for Katrina when It was A liberal mayor and Governor in the state? for What? The left is shameless and vindictive. Charge Bush? For what? I wish they would so he could be cleared and hopefully the Liberals could be litigated legal costs and be liable in civil damages.Crazy Left Dogma of the week: Pundits on TV blaming Bush for an irrisponsibly low inflation rate. Seriously! I really Saw THAT!

Posted by DB | Report as abusive

Wake up America and investigate 9/11.

So the “left” is being mean to Bush. Big deal. He deserves every last bit of it. Why don’t you got to this website:http://projects.washingtonpost.c om/fallen/iraq/and look at the faces of the fallen soldiers who died to bring you that freedom. Look at them and think about it. Bush gets a shoe thrown at him, but they are dead and gone forever. What the shoe throwers represent is not hate. They represent the feeling MANY of us share. Relief that the Bush Era is FINALLY, THANKFULLY over.p.s. I lived through the 2001 Cincinnati Riots, and this quiet protest of 500 people in no way screams “HATE MOVEMENT”

Posted by Melissa | Report as abusive

Isn’t free speech wonderful? These people have the freedom to protest and you guys have the freedom to defend Bush, truly we live in the greatest country on Earth.Sorry TC to busy working to comment first.

Posted by Eric H | Report as abusive

All the pro Bush writers must be paid shills. I voted for the idiot and it was the biggest mistake I have ever made. He is a criminal: he trashed the Constitution,started two wars based on lies, killed more Iraqis than Saddam Hussein, committed torture thereby subjecting our soldiers to reprisals, destroyed the economy and made trillions for his oil buddies and defense contractors, and, reduced our international standing to rubble. Hung as a traitor–that’s what he deserves. They should have hung a “Mission Accomplished ” banner over all the shoes left in his way.

Posted by JW | Report as abusive

I have to agree that this is rather tacky of us Americans. Does not show intelligence or leadership. And I too put this on par with flagburning. Better ways to utilize time, energy, money than such a spetacle which will soon be forgotten.

Posted by realPpl | Report as abusive

The extreme left by this demonstration shows it is not the place to look for healing for the American nation, and that it does not have the minimum respect for fellow-human beings.

Its not just the left that hates Bush, his approval is 22%. So how shameless of the Left, Center, and non-far Right.

Posted by Ray | Report as abusive

Expressing your feeling in PEACEFUL protest is an ancient way of expressing deep feeling. It is democratic and necessary. Bush’s and Cheney’s crimes against the human beings that are Americans in the last eight years must be remembered. And a bit of Mockery, political theatre will serve any politician. I am sure that Obama will get his share; if he doesn’t, he hasn’t made any hard choices. The worst part of the Bush-Cheney mentality is that they dont get it, they don’t see their anti-humane actions that undermined the real American Way.Welcome Obama!

Posted by Paul Willis | Report as abusive

Melissa, you just don’t get it do you? Every country has a military and like it or not the world is ugly in places. Keep your head in the sand long enough and someone comes along to kick you in the ass. The soldiers indeed are weary but they volunteered to protect YOU and the rest of us. Something I doubt YOU would ever do. At some point these brave men and women will be called upon to do what they volunteered to do. If it happens when Obama (or any President) is in office will you expect that person to do what it takes to defend the country even if it isn’t the “popular” thing to do? Or will you turn your back and “wish it away”? Sometimes you have to take a stand or your life (if you still have one) will be totally NOT what you wish it to be. Grow up.

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive

Even to the last day we remembered how the world was treated by this shameless president and his crime syndicate who plundered this country like few other thugs have.Many of us have suffered greatly for the past eight years and now the right wing radicals can feel that for a while as they whimper about getting stuck with a centrist president who will have the near universal goodwill that Bush never had.

Posted by Floyd | Report as abusive

Considering that Bush is, was,and will be the worst president in United States history as long as this country is in existence, and has done more damage to this country than any president, past or future, I thought the shoe response was relatively mild.

Posted by Richard Bentley | Report as abusive

While I’m not a fan of George Bush, I believe our new government should focus on improving our economy, our relationships with other countries, and focus on rebuilding our energy program. Chasing ghosts (such as trying to investigate George) is a waste of precious time. It will not help our country, or improve living standards for all US citizens.

Posted by Mike Nichols | Report as abusive

Now that he is out of office maybe they will prosecute him for lying to the American people and the world, False evidence to start a war for revenge of his dad’s misdoings.Go anybody else but Bush!!

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive

in response to Jason and TC . . .Yes, you should be afraid, if what you are afraid of is truth and justice and peace. Aaaand, where have you been?? These voices have been crying out for years – sometimes falling on deaf ears, sometimes over-shouted by Rove (errr, I mean FOX, Limbaugh, etc {how shameless of the right}) and sometimes suppressed by the administration. Great the day that this mess is straightened with PRESIDENT Obama taking the lead!

Posted by eloise | Report as abusive

There is a lot to be said for protesting – in that it is a basic right of our free nation. It is important that everyone gets a chance to express themselves politically, and not be subject to being marked as a traiter or what ever else those that disagree would want to label them – even as our new president is about to take the oath of office, he is being labeled – how shallow are those to label someone before they even take office!!! NOW, my turn! I believe that when contries all over the world express their support for Obama and rejoice in his election, it says a lot about what the world thinks of the Bush administration and the horrible things it has done. Countries all over the world are throwing shoes at the outgoing Bush administration, and all the wrong it has done to the world.

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive

This president (Bush) has done more to wreck this country than any other president in history. In my opinion, he deserves to be shamed. There’s no way to compare with Obama yet, but if Obama had lied about his reasons and started an unneccessary war, he would also be (rightly) shamed.Any decent person would express regret at this, but Bush and Cheney don’t. They may feel regret privately, but I think that’s not enough. This is coming from someone who took Bush at his word and supported the Iraq war, a decision I regret more deeply than any other mistake in my life.

Posted by Brian | Report as abusive

Karma.

Posted by M. | Report as abusive

A monkey could have done a better job than Bush. Any successes he racked up can be attributed to our dedicated troops, police, and other public servants. There are a vast number of mistakes he should be held accountable for though. I’d like to see him brought before the Hague and let him prove his innocence. They would probably hang him.Yeah,….let the people protest,..it’s the least we can do after what Bush did for his 8 years.

Posted by Olddog | Report as abusive

The moment Bush is surrendered for trial is the moment the US is no longer a sovereign nation.

Shame on all of you! Shame!

Posted by shame | Report as abusive

You people that are bashing President Bush and VP Cheney are so uninformed. What person can say that President Bush started a war in Iraq to get retribution for his Father or to make money??? ARE YOU SERIOUS??? Get a real provider of news besides ABC or NBC or CNN…. Duh….

Posted by Ginnie | Report as abusive

Shoe Bush comment ,As the women in high heels kicked the dead head of Mussolini so shall they do to him that leads his country into an unnecessary war .

if bush lied about the weapons in iraq ,then so did every one else,any one trying to seperate bush from congress,senate ,bill clinton.harry reed ,perlose etc,on this subject can not stand the truth.is there no moderation?is it possible that all this madness started at woodstock?or is the fumes waffing down from san francisco,

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

In the inaugural words of Gerald Ford in 1974, “the long national nightmare is over.” Of course, it will take years to clean it up. Just to make sure that G.W Bush clearly understood the depths of our esteem, my wife and I sent him a shoe two weeks ago. Perhaps we’ll mail its mate to Crawford.

Posted by Billy Luber | Report as abusive

Wow you people on the left forget that it takes an act of congress to go to war!! But some how you forgot the day your own party stood there on camera declaring Iraq has WMD’s and demanding action be taken. So action was taken and now you and your party blame Bush! Your new Secretary of State was on camera stating Iraq had WMD’s.To the person who said to look into 911. Wow really? It has been 7 years and no one can say it was Bush’s fault. Or that we did this to our selves. Get a clue you UFO watcher.Yes thank GOD for our soldiers! I feel sad that some died and were wounded!

Posted by J | Report as abusive

I get so tired of people attacking Bush because he may have a few weaknesses. We need to honor him as a man that served his country at a time of great trial. I was asked what he accomplished in his eight years I will list a few:1. He led us through the worst attack on our country since Pearl Harbor.2. Keep the economy from tanking from the effects of the attacks on our financial center.3. Made a hard decision to go to war even though he knew that it would be used against him by his many enemies.4. Stopped subsequent attacks on our soil, perhaps the very people that hate him owe him their lives.5. Reestablished auditing in the IRS and subsequently in the financial world. Tax cheats went to jail; a true picture of the federal deficient was brought into view and a true picture of the weakness of Wall Street was finally brought to the knowledge of the people.6. Was the reason the leader of Libya and others peacefully give up their nuclear arms projects.7. I think his greatest accomplishment of his entire eight years is the fact that he accepted his many accomplishments as a matter of the course of doing his job rather than crowing to the news cameras every time something may reflect well on his administration.I see Bush as being like an American president should be: Come to Washington with dignity, do the job as the Constitution describes it and leave the office to the next president with dignity. The president is meant to be honored but never worshipped.I for one am thankful for the service of Mr. Bush I probably disagreed with him more than I agreed with him. I want to thank him for his service to our country and wish him good health and happiness in all of his future endeavors. Good Luck President Bush.

Posted by Craig Coal | Report as abusive

All Hail the God-Emperor of the West, who will lead his people into salvation, change, change, and peace.Bow before him and worship His Holiness, President of the United States of America, Barack Obama.The pretentious lunatics who presume to have any idea of the responsibilities of a president should read the Constitution again. In my recollection, this is something required of all those who vote? “Do you understand the Consitution?” Shame that nowadays people forget that the people *they* elect for an office are *their* chosen representatives. No one *forced* you to vote for Bush. Do not degrade yourselves now by claiming he was never *your* president.All this holds true. Face it. Obama is not going to be America’s Saviour. Obama is *not* going to change the world. The pretentious arrogance that leads any man to claim such miracles will be the downfall of the New Regime.Long live the President. God bless the Authorities, and God bless America.

Everyone that is putting Pres. Bush down should really be thanking him for all he has done for our country. I thank God that he chose to go to war on foreign soil. If he hadn’t, we could very well have had the war here on US soil! and many MORE American lives be lost. He did what any of us would do if we truly love America! I praise Pres. Bush for standing for what he believes is right for our country. May the Lord bless him abundantly for his efforts!

Posted by Teresa | Report as abusive

It is very heartening to see objective thinkers respond to the diatribes against Bush. He served our country well and we are safe and free today because of it. Craig Coal pointed out just a few of the positive results of the Bush presidency. Thank you and to all who see the good Bush has done for our country. Even Obama thanked Bush for his “service”.It was also heartening to see the two leaders embrace several times during the inaguration, the last time when the Obama’s escorted the Bush’s to the helicopter. I do not remember any time in history where two presidents did this. It is obvious the two men and their wives respect and like each other.Bush was so at ease. In the end, it doesn’t matter what his detractors think of him. He has a strong Christian faith and he knows he will answer to a higher power than to the people he governed. I know God will say, “Well done, true and faithful servant!”It showed a lack of class when Obama supporters outwardly booed, called him names and sang chants about good riddance. As I have stated before, I am worried for our country because those haters also profess we should all love and come together. What hypocrites. Love is love and comes from the heart. It has no political boundaries. It shows how irrational the liberal progressive left really is. They are not people who practice what they preach and are morally bankrupt.There is a frenzy going on, but remember this one thing. This is only the third election in over 50 years where a democrat received over 50 percent of the vote (in this case 52 percent). The other times were 1964 (Johnson) and 1976 (Carter). In both instances big ideas were at the forefront. But in both instances they did not serve past their one term. Johnson was wildly unpopular when the Great Society program bloated the federal government and the Vietnam war was raging. Carter entered the presidency with a 75 percent approval (Obama has 80 percent), but lost in disgrace for years later.Big ideas don’t mean success. I wish President Obama well and I truly hope this “hope and change” he talks about will amount to something positive, but we will see.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

Sakuraba forever, BUSH Never.

Posted by rip | Report as abusive

oh my god, what world have these bush supporters been living in? afraid that the anti-bush sentiment will carry over to conservative policy ideas?? toooo freakin’ late.honestly, it’s like we’ve been living in a cave these last 8 years. so glad he’s gone, hurrah!and btw, if you wonder why the republicans are still such a mess 4 years from now, it will be because of the unrepentant foolishness of those conservatives who think this country is in better shape than it was 8 years ago. milton friedman is dead, let his stupid ideas die with him.

Posted by kenshin | Report as abusive

You have to love a good lynch mob. All the hate is truly facinating, but I just can’t help but take note of the hypocrisy among those who would hold themselves out as Obama supporters. In all honesty, I was beginning to think that maybe things have changed. Perhaps this whole Obama movement was really based on higher global values like reconciliation and unification. But, alas, I have to admit that I have seen more hatred and regressive negativity in Tuesdays spectacle, than in any other other inauguration in modern history. All politics aside, the venom dripping from the mouths of some Obama supporters is, for lack of a better word, enlightening. Oh well, I guess this isn’t really about change after all. Just the same old hate politics all over again.

Posted by Tom | Report as abusive

whats obama going to do about the dems greatest creation freddie and fanny?now that bush is not around.perhaps they can run GM.with franks as ceo.it is going to be exciting to see them perform with out a fall guy to blame.ps try to impeach bush if you dare,going to be glued to the tv to watch the antics,thanks for the entertainment.

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