Bush demonstration Paris

On 26 May 2002 George W. Bush paid a presidential visit to Paris. Kilometer Zero took a leading role in organising a mass demonstration of dissatisfaction with Bush's foreign policy and hopelessly ill-fated war in Iraq.

Estimates of numbers at demonstrations are notoriously elastic. We saw quoted figures of 3,000 to 10,000 people taking part. There was no violence and no injuries.

Writing this now I am curiously reminded of an environmental protest my cousin recently took part in. Subsequent to the event, under pressure to legitimise the heavy police presence - and heavy governemental spending on such a presence - the government declared 70 officers were injured in the course of the operation. Well and good - with 70 injuries, if anything one would think the police presence should have been boosted. Until, under the freedom of information act, opponents demanded to see a list of the injuries sustained. These ranged from 'Hurt back descending from van' to 'Stung on finger, possibly by bee.' Not one injuy was related to the protest. Ho hum.

Pride and joy of our Bush demonstration was Daniel Crowley's magnificent Bush puppet: Bush sits naked astride the globe with an aeroplane in one hand, and a gas pump hooked up to his navel. He looks ... curiously vulnerable up there.

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