An unwanted visitor

There’s an old saying that time heals all wounds. While that may be the case in cases of heartbreak where both parties are friends to begin with, it’s not the case when the wounds in question are physical, numerous and in many cases fatal.

For eight years, George W. Bush was public enemy number one for people in the anti-war movement worldwide and pretty much anyone somewhat left-of-centre politically, not to mention those languishing in secret and not-so-secret US prisons around the world and let’s not forget the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Montreal, some would say, has probably been the most vocal against Dubya among North American cities since the start of the invasion of Iraq. Remember, this is where the American national anthem got booed at a hockey game and it was the Montreal contingent that made the most noise when then Prime Minister Paul Martin invited Bush to Ottawa in 2006

That was then and this is now. The promise of “hope and change” (remember Obama, a promise is a promise, time is ticking) has swept through the United States reducing the Republican Party to a bunch of lame Fox News-backed pseudo protesters, there are plenty of new political issues on people’s minds and I even saw George W. Bush, International Terrorist t-shirts sold for a discount at an activist event a few months ago.

Maybe he thought the time was right to attempt a trip to Montreal. Apparently, the Montreal Board of Trade agreed and invited him to speak at a $400 a plate luncheon at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel (yes, the same spot where John Lennon and Yoko Ono held their bed-in).

Why a board of trade would want to hear from someone who wrecked the global economy in the first place is another story, but the main story here is the fact that Bush and tinePUBLIC, the group who booked him for the Board of Trade luncheon were wrong people in Montreal haven’t forgotten about George W. Bush and what he did.

Those wars he started are still going on, just under new management. Those secret prisons he created are still open, too. There is talk of charges being laid against him and Dick Cheney, true, there has been this talk for years and nothing’s come of it, but it won’t go away. There are many who feel that George Bush should do time instead of do lunch and get roughly $100 000 for it. Today they came out to let him know just that.

According to mainstream media reports, which tend to downplay the numbers at these rallies, hundreds or in one report over a thousand came out in the cold in the middle of a workday to be part of a protest organized by the Échec à la guerre collective. They brought their shoes, too and started hurling them at the doors of the Queen E at around 11:30am. Shoes are fast becoming the most common way to greet Bush on his post-presidential travels and one can only imagine the anticipation that Montreal shoe retailers had upon hearing of the visit.

There were a few arrests for disturbing the peace, but one arrest didn’t happen at the Queen E, that of the speaker. If starting two wars, spying on your own citizens and throwing people away and throwing away the key without charges isn’t disturbing the peace, then I don’t know what is.

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