The entire visit of President Bush was tightly orchestrated with few protestors even getting a chance to see his limousine whisk by on the way to The Hill.
The march through the streets of the nation’s capital attracted anti-war coalitions, gay rights activists, pro-marijuana political parties and staunch unionists. A melee – near Prime Minister Paul Martin’s office – occurred about an hour after a peaceful, two-hour march from Ottawa City Hall to Parliament Hill.
Anti-Bush protesters clashed with police in riot gear yesterday, marring a peace march involving as many as 20,000 people. Cops were doused with red paint while about 10 protesters were arrested. It’s believed a few officers were injured as protesters threw their wooden placard-handles at police.
Meanwhile, in Edmonton a crowd of about 200 gathered to watch a man dressed as a Mountie arrest a Bush impersonator for “crimes against humanity.” Chanting “Bush go home,” Edmonton demonstrators then let the air out of a giant inflatable man meant to symbolize U.S. imperialism.
George later noted to television reporters that he was pleased to see all of those Canadians lined up to wave at his motorcade. “And most of them were using all five fingers,” smiled the president.
But George quite likely missed the Puff In on Parliament Hill. Reports are the marijuana smokers were making a statement by lighting up 500 joints to symbolically express themselves. A big water pipe was even lit for any and all to partake, and although the cops didn’t inhale; they did not bust the later-day hippies either. It appears Americans will never win their war on drugs, no matter how much herbicide they spray in Colombia or Afghanistan or Canada.
As the large crowd dispersed into specific groups on the lawn of Parliament Hill, one of the more popular speakers holding court was Marc Emery, president of the B.C. Marijuana Party and dubed Prince of Pot by the Media.
He spoke in favour of Canada ending a legal prohibition of pot – not merely de-criminalizing it.
“Give them hemp,” Emery said, prior to lighting a joint about the size of a banana and passing it around.
James McNaulty of the Vancouver Province Newspaper points out “Marijuana is a great source of fuss for the Bush administration, with his ambassador to Canada, Paul Celliucci, warning that the proposed Liberal bill to ‘decriminalize’ pot could lead to longer line-ups at the boarder. But when asked about it, Bush laughed and suggested the law will likely affect people who smoke marijuana more than it will affect the border…
The Liberal proposal for fines of $100.00 or more for anyone possessing up to 15 grams of pot is tougher than pot laws in at least four states. California, Colorado, New York and Nebraska, which all carry the same $100.00 fine for up to at least 25 grams.”
No wonder Bush couldn’t help but laugh. Neither Decrim nor Legalization bill, ‘The drug law ‘Reform’ bill C17′ was dictated to us by the US Drug Enforcement Agency and Border Patrol and US Drug Czar John Walters in meetings between our Canadian Justice Minister and US authorities just weeks before its predecessor bill C38 was scuttled before the Federal election.
Canadian Justice Minister Martin Cauchon traveled to the US to make sure the Liberal Pot Plan was OK with their American Masters… it was a no-go the bill had to be reworked before tabling it in front of Canadian politicians.
Instead Parliament is listened to the Americans and, then Alliance Party now Neo-Conservative party, MP Randy white choosing to ignore again the recommendations of the Hon. Senators report on illegal drugs and the findings of its own committee on illegal drugs which Randy dominated with his scientology/right-wing fundamentalist Christian and A.A. based beliefs and now famous phrase: “Legalizations just ‘Not gonna happen’ so give me something else…”
“The Liberals Marijuana bill will prove expensive. It will increase policing and jailing costs and the human cost will be staggering. Justice Minister Irwin Cotler laid an egg by resurrecting the old Liberal government’s marijuana decriminalization bill. This legislation will do the opposite of what Cotler says it will do. It will increase enforcement by bringing in a ticketing regime for small amounts of marijuana akin to the current collection racket run by traffic cops It will increase policing and jailing costs and the human cost will be staggering. Imagine — 14 years in prison if you are caught growing more than four plants. That’s on par with our murder laws and if that doesn’t constitute cruel and unusual punishment for the crime of horticulture, I don’t know what does. Worse than Cotler’s laziness in not dealing with these issues (they were pointed out the last time around) is that the government continues to ignore the real issue of medical marijuana and court orders to get its house in order. The Office of Cannabis Medical Access, which coordinates initiatives related to providing a reliable Canadian source of medical pot, is a monumental failure by any measurable standard save futility…” wrote Ian Mulgrew of the Vancouver Sun
Flash had a hard time in Vancouver getting Orion to put down the game cube get showered and ready to go join the march. From what information he had Flash Believed the march started at the art gallery at 2pm then went on to march on the embassy. When he and Orion arrived at BC marijuana party headquarters there was nobody to be found in pot TV studios so they thought they were early. It was suggested they make a poster size copy of a satirical cartoon that was up on wall of seed office of George Bush as a rapper in his Oilers jersey and ‘bling bling’ gold chains backed up by his goon squad of police storm troupers the ‘Bushwacker Dancers’ singing:
“Gonna Bust Yer Chops Kill Yo Crops… Grow Sho No Mo … Kick’N Down Yo Door. War On My Own … Lean On Yer Home… All About a Plant. It’s My Job to Rant.
Pills Fer Kids And Seniors Too, See What Pharmacy Can Do Fo You”
Flash and Orion were just finishing off a toke for the road and were mighty proud of their sign when David Malmo Levine and Chris Bennett burst into the office all hyped and excited.
“Hey Chris! There you are, you see our sign”
“WHooo! You’re too late now it’s over!”
“Over?” questioned Flash.
“All the windows in the embassy are broken and we just escaped the riots!” Chris and David joked and chided Flash for ‘slackin.’ Flash had to go next door talk to the wise old white Rasta in grey beard and Rasta coloured Tam to get the inside skinny. At noon they had gathered outside the famous Trade and Convention center where ‘the sails’ are. So happened the unions were having a convention there and joined the crowd swelling the numbers as they marched at 1pm to the US consulate on Pender Street and raised their heckles condemning ‘War’ as a solution to anything.
Undaunted by his lack of participation in the earlier afternoon event Flash readied himself for the evening protest.
Flash had witnessed the tearing down of the statue of Saddam Hussein, on the news like everyone else that day when Bush was already lying about victory. Flash was overjoyed when he saw erected on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery protest site a similar effigy of Bush Jr..
Flash Knew exactly what he would do once it came down. Flash wanted to pounce on it and hit it with his shoe like the Muslims had done to their version of Satan. Had not Christ himself said to “Knock the dust off your sandals” when faced with someone so stubborn in their evilness and waste no more time on them?
Flash was well aware that every TV station in town was there and that the time was exactly 6pm and they would want something LIVE to show as their broadcasts began.
It was excruciatingly painful for Flash to sit through the happy dance of the Korean students that seemed to be running long as he witnessed the film crews begin to pack up.
Finally with very little more delay, except for some speeches by school boys, the Bush/Hussein-like effigy was toppled and Flash with great excitement and joy in his heart leapt upon it plummeting it on the head with his shoe.
Be he ‘without sin’ himself or not, Flash, leapt back into the crowd but could not resist throwing his shoe back at the laying effigy.
A security guard was on hand at this point that picked up Flash’s shoe and waved it menacingly at the crowd. The guard did not want the crowd to savagely descend upon the statue or begin stoning it and threw Flash’s shoe to the side.
Flash, remembering he had paid $25.00 at ‘Army and Navy’ for his runners, scooted around the guard and retrieved his shoe but went as far again as to drop his cartoon placard on the head of the downed tyrant effigy then escaped the crowd, with Fran and her entourage in tow, to the relative safety and quietude of the New Amsterdam Cafe for a well deserved toke.
As March organizer Joe Cressy said although Bush – on his first official visit to Canada – was not seen by protesters, he hopes the president gets a message that he was not welcome in Canada due to his actions over the past four years.
“He will hear our message,” Cressy told reporters.