The Murderous Thug Tour or
History’s Most Reviled President

Revolutionary Worker #1261, December 12, 2004, posted at

George Bush II recently took what some of his advisers called a "friendship tour" to Canada and Latin America. Everywhere he went, he was greeted by protests large and small, and by determined and creative ways in which the people showed their hatred for this global gangster.


Before Bush even set foot in Chile, major protests broke out in Santiago, Chile’s capital—against the Iraq war, Bush, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit which was held there. For four days Santiago was the site of protests and battles between police and youth.

The protests started on November 17, before APEC even began and two days before Bush arrived. An unauthorized march was met with 4,000 police, who began attacking protesters with clubs, tear gas, and water cannons before they could reach the summit site. The youth regrouped, pulled out banners from their bags, blocked traffic, built flaming barricades, and defended themselves with rocks and other debris.

On November 21, the last day of the summit,a mass march of 70,000 people, according to the Chilean Social Forum, was met with more police attacks and arrests. But this time, some 800 masked and hooded youth were said to be more prepared for street fighting. Arrests came to a total of almost 700 over the five days of protests.

(information from the A World to Win News Service contributed to this section.)


When Bush came to spend less than four hours in Colombia, a country the U.S. wants to uphold as a "model" for exploitation and plunder, 15,000 U.S. and Colombian troops, and a mini-arsenal of military equipment were deployed to protect Bush. Snipers were deployed on the roof of the airport, and helicopters and combat planes flew over the airport, which was closed for the day. All this was supposedly because the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) were accused of having issued a death threat on Bush—a charge that the government was later forced to admit they had flat-out invented. Despite this, protests were held in the capital of Bogotá, and in Medellín, Cali, and Cartagena, where Bush touched down before being whisked off to a tiny island in the Caribbean. Signs read "Yankees out of Iraq," "Bush out of Colombia." In Bogotá and Cartagena protesters burned U.S. flags.


In what Indymedia dubbed the "Murderous Thug Tour `04", Bush couldn’t even visit the small towns of Fredericton and Charlottetown (population 46,000 and 15,000, respectively) without being greeted by protests. In Halifax, Nova Scotia, Bush expected to be warmly greeted as he "thanked" the city for having sheltered 33,000 stranded air travelers (mostly American) in the days after 9/11. Instead hewas greeted by as many as 8,000 protesters (a record for this city of just over 100,000 people.) One group of 800 or so protesters tried Bush for crimes against humanity and led "Bush" away in handcuffs.

In the Canadian capital of Ottawa, 15,000 to 20,000 people marched and burned an effigy of Bush. Groups ranged from Lawyers Against War (who filed torture charges against Bush for the abuse of prisoners at the U.S. Guantánamo Bay facility) to Bellydancers Against Bush.

In Toronto, protesters dumped red paint at a busy intersection in the middle of rush hour. Protests were also held in Vancouver and Calgary—as many as 25 separate actions broke out across the country.