Rome takes on Bush
George Bush came to Rome on Saturday last week as a guest of the centre left government and was greeted by a huge demonstration.
The protest was proof that the Italian anti-war movement has not been dissipated.
This is despite the confusion created in its midst by the actions of a government that many hoped would be anti-war, but which has sent troops to Afghanistan.
Press reports estimated the size of the protest at 150,000. Unsurprisingly, Bush was forced to abandon a planned walkabout for security reasons.
The leaders of the main trade unions and left political parties supported a sit-in planned to rival the demonstration, but it only attracted a few hundred people.
The demonstration is an important milestone in the struggle for a new leadership in the Italian anti-war movement.
Phil Rushton, Sinistra Critica, Naples
‘Go to Hel’, say Poles
Hundreds of people managed to protest against George Bush’s visit to Poland last week, despite the fact that police blocked all roads and transport to the protest.
Appropriately the place Bush met his Polish counterpart is called Hel, a peninsula just north of Gdansk.
Poland, which has 1,200 troops in Afghanistan, and almost 1,000 in Iraq, is a proposed site of Bush’s so-called anti-missile shield.
The protest against the visit shows just how much has changed in the 18 years since George Bush senior was greeted by cheering crowds.
Kasia Puzon, Inicjatywa Stop Wojnie