Activists “shoe” Bush out the White House door
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.
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)