George Bush to visit Ottawa

Canadian marijuana activists are planning a Parliament Hill smoke-in to protest a visit from George W Bush. The US President recently announced that he is planning a two-day trip to Canada’s capital of Ottawa on Tuesday November 30 and Wednesday December 1.
“I think Bush will arrive on the Tuesday evening for an official dinner hosted by the Prime Minister, not the Governor General,” said Parliamentary CTV news reporter Mike Duffy. “And then I expect the next day they will hold a series of bilateral meetings.”

The visit is intended to be somewhat low-key, with Bush skipping some of the traditional formalities associated with a visiting head of state. Bush will be meeting directly with Prime Minister Paul Martin and other senior officials, but he will not be making an official speech to MPs and Senators in a joint session of Parliament.

“The buzz here is that the Bush White House does not want to have demonstrators or any kind of an outburst in a joint session,” Duffy said.

Although Bush will seek to avoid protests and demonstrations, activists across Canada from a variety of causes will likely be converging upon Ottawa to protest the US President’s visit. Marijuana activists intend on getting their people out to have a protest on Parliament Hill during Bush’s visit.

“We will be holding a mass smoke-in during Bush’s visit,” said Marc Emery, publisher of Cannabis Culture and President of the BC Marijuana Party. “I want to get busloads of people from across Canada to converge upon Parliament Hill. I will be speaking from 3:30 to 4:20pm on both days, and we will smoke out the hill. We want to show that Canadians love marijuana, and that we will no longer stand for the American war against our people, our plant and our culture.”

Emery urged pot-people to make plans to travel to Ottawa and join in the protest. “This is a unique opportunity for us to make our point directly to President Bush. US media will pick up our protest, and we need to show our American neighbours that Canadians are resolute in our opposition to the drug war. We are the light at the end of their dark drug war tunnel.”

The Presidential visit was only announced today, two weeks before it is scheduled. “They waited until the last minute to announce this visit because they don’t want us to have time to organize a substantial protest,” added Emery. “So we have to get onto this quickly and get moving. Anyone who wants to volunteer to help get people to this protest should contact me by email.”

* Marc Emery: [email protected]