Thursday, June 28, 2007

Bush Protest in Newport

It was a hardy group that gathered on a hot, steamy day outside the base to protest the Iraqi War (among other things). Surrounding areas in Middletown & Newport saw an onslaught of police and military personnel - some here for Bush, others for the Tall Ships, & still more for a Governor's luncheon on the base. Plenty of National Guardsmen were out - I'm surprised that there are any still left here. Bush was speaking at the War College Commencement.
Slightly before 11 the skies were buzzing with helicopters. A Coast Guard helicopter circled the base 3 x and then landed - I assume it was the Prez. Other helicopters followed with a continued circling - anywhere from 2 - 6.
The group started assembling slightly before 11 a.m. in the Walmart's parking lot. They then moved to a public area by the rotary. The lively crowd of varying ages numbered about two hundred. There were signs, flags, petitions, and chants.
News coverage was out in full force. Watch this p.m. Meaghan Wims for Projo was there. I was happy to see her curly hair enjoying the muggies just like mine. See her article tomorrow. Joe Baker with his photographer was there for the "Daily News." See their article tomorrow.
There were a number of speakers - some with children in the military. Rod Driver spoke along with members of other groups. Tom Kalinowski of "Newport 9" was there. Alas, his blog is history.
Other speakers mentioned how the Prez on his first visit here was in hiding - on federal property only. Plenty of security. As my youngest reminded me, "Guess he doesn't prefer to leave it in God's hands like the Pope."
Gracious Audette was present along with Mrs. Sears from the Little Compton group. The latter have been demonstrating in their Common for years. Their attendance can range from 7 (bad weather) to 70. Quite an accomplishment in a Republican bastion.
I have pics & will try to get them up later.
The group marched from the Rotary up to the base gate (Officers' Club) where there were cordons of police. They planned to leave a signed petition there to pull out of Iraq, etc. There was much support enjoyed by the crowd of drivers who shouted/honked their horns. Fortunately, while traffic was noontime heavy, it kept on moving.
There were no politicans there, although I expected none. There were signs critical of Sen. Reed.
Ah, "deja vue all over again." The only difference is that there is no draft, so there weren't swams of angry young people & draft card burnings.
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