Bush poster pelted with shoes in Canada

May 30th, 2009 - 11:21 am ICT by IANS  

Toronto, May 30 (IANS) Former US President George W. Bush, who appeared at a joint “conversation” with former president Bill Clinton here Friday, was greeted with angry protests by hundreds of Canadians.
In scenes reminiscent of those witnessed in Calgary two months ago when Bush appeared there for a luncheon speech, protesters Friday threw shoes at his posters outside the venue at the Toronto Metro Convention Centre venue.

Depicted in an orange prison jumpsuit with his jail number 03202003 - in reference to March 20, 2003, when he ordered the invasion of Iraq, Bush’s posters were showered with shoes by protesters, including many Muslim Canadians.

The protesters also shouted slogans demanding that Bush be arrested as a war criminal.

“Jail George Bush,” they shouted. “George Bush out, war resisters in.”

They also protested Canada’s decision to allow entry to the former US president.

Inside the convention centre, it was all bonhomie between Bush and Clinton as more than 6,000 people - who had paid between $200 and $2,000 - heard the two former presidents speak on the Afghan and Iraq wars, their years in office and post-retirement life.

Despite the past frictions, the two leaders enjoyed their first post-retirement get-together.

Bush, whose father (former president George H. Bush) worked with Clinton on many humanitarian issues, including the 2004 tsunami, termed the get-together a kind of family reunion.

He said his mother (Barbara Bush) would often say that “president Clinton and (my) father share the stage so much, he (Clinton) is like a son to her”.

Turning to Clinton, Bush said: “So brother, it is good to see you.”

In his opening remarks, Bush joked about his post-presidential life, saying that kitchen dishes are “my new domestic policy”.

He had the audience in splits when he told them how on his first post-retirement walk with his dog Barney he ended up carrying its poo in a plastic bag.

“Retirement is not that bad… I don’t miss the spotlight,” he said.

Bush said he is writing a book on his office years.

“I’m writing a book. I frankly have to have something to do…some people think I cannot even read a book. Well, I will prove them wrong,” he said.

There were a couple tense moments for Clinton when Bush said of Obama: “Anything I say is not to be critical of my successor. I didn’t appreciate it when my predecessor (Clinton) criticised me in public.”

An annoyed Clinton replied, “I tried to do it in a very respectful way.”

In his speech, Clinton touched on the two wars, and thanked his hosts Canada for supporting the mission in Afghanistan.

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