Bush Visits Rome Amid Protests
President Bush can look forward to a hearty welcome from his old friend, the charismatic Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, and Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to Rome. That's not what he should expect in the streets, however, where anti-Bush sentiment over the war in Iraq still lingers.
ABOUT 1000 people marched on the US embassy in Rome today to protest against visiting US President George W. Bush's foreign policy, it was reported today.
The march was accompanied by a heavy police presence.
"Bush Terrorist," "Warlord Bush", "Italy out of NATO" were some of the slogans shouted by the protesters, who were mainly Italian but also included Americans of the Rome-based US Citizens for Peace and Justice near the front of the march.
The group's Stephanie Westbrook saidit was "denouncing Bush's war crimes - we don't mean that as a slogan, it's a well-documented case by now ... (including) the criminal war against Iraq, torture and threats against Iran".
She said: "We'll also be calling for impeachment because it's extremely important ... to establish a precedent for this crime to prevent future abuses of power."
Banners called for the withdrawal of Western troops from Afghanistan and Lebanon.
Bush will meet with the pope on Friday before departing to Paris to continue his farewell European tour. It will be Bush's third meeting with Benedict. The two last met in April at the White House in Washington.