Protesting Bush's Visit to Pittsburgh, December 2, 2003

My synopsis: Bush came to Pittsburgh for a $2000-a-plate campaign fundraising lunch on December 2, 2003, and there were about 250 protestors there to "greet" him, me among them. He reportedly collected $850,000 at the event. About 40 people protested in favor of tariffs on imported steel, and about 10 were pro-Bush, but the majority were there protesting Bush's handling of the Iraq war, his handling of the environment, the Patriot act, the economy, and his "war on terrorism". The consensus opinion of the crowd was summed up by one of the signs: Vote out Bush/Cheney.

Me and my sign:

War for WMD (prev. word crossed out) whatever.
Tax cuts for the rich.
Let them pollute.
Mission Accomplished.

Who Would Jesus Bomb?
The press, cops, and (curiously) a couple of steelworker leaders were on the right side of the barricade, and all protestors were kept on the left. In the distance is the knot of 10 pro-Bush college students in their crew cuts and nice clothes. When they chanted "Four More Years" I stood with them, with my "Idiots for Bush" sign, and chanted "We are Idiots" in unison. They turned around and scowled at me.

A view of the protest crowd in front of the Westin Convention Center Hotel, at its peak around noon. The bright orange object behind the police car is a guy in a Marlin (Finding Nemo) suit. He was there to speak for all the fish that have been polluted by Bush, he said.

STOP Faith-Based Compassionate Corporate Warmongering

Rick Santorum: Bush's Monica Lewinsky
(Pennsylvania's senators Rick Santorum and Arlen Specter were both expected to be at the lunch; Santorum didn't make it)

T-shirt: Bush: the new world Hitler. Sign: Bush lies and people die.

Other signs seen:

My 8 year old daughter says:
I want to dig up that shrubby shrub shrub out of our rose garden and dump him in somebody else's yard!

After the event, I had another sign idea:

I didn't bring $2000,
but I do have a leftover turkey sandwich

Note: They day before his visit, the Washington Post reported that the Bush administration had decided to rescind the tariffs, but during his visit Bush avoided the subject, and when asked he claimed he had not made up his mind. Two days after his visit, the decision to rescind the tariffs was announced. (I personally think the tariffs were a bad idea in the first place, and if Bush had been principled and honest, he would have explained his plans and his reasons. He was neither of these. Instead, as when he imposed the tariffs in the first place, he was political, doing whatever he felt was necessary to win elections.)

Paul's Politics Page.
Paul Heckbert