However, coordinator Jose Rodriguez insists, “It’s not a protest; it’s a celebratory event.”
Calls for Bush’s arrest began last March, when two Vermont towns approved a measure “that would instruct police to arrest President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for ‘crimes against our Constitution.'” In September, a large “Arrest Bush/Cheney” banner was hung on a ledge at the National Archives by members of Veterans for Peace.
According to the press release from Arrest Bush 2009, “We call for the arrest of George W. Bush for instigating war against a sovereign nation that posed no threat, wanton attacks on civilian populations, use of torture, and violations of the U.N. Charter. We call for the arrest of George W. Bush for lying to Congress and the American people about the reasons for invading Iraq, for the deaths of US service members and Iraqi civilians, and for the abuse of the United States Constitution.”
Shoes for Bush also plans a separate “shoe hurling action” on January 19 to protest what they anticipate will be Bush’s “unprecedented pardoning of crimes he authorized.” Veterans are encouraged to bring their combat boots to hurl.
During Bush’s second inauguration in January 2005, an estimated 10,000 antiwar protesters showed up in Washington, and there were protests in other cities as well. However, it is not clear how much attention anti-Bush protests will garner on a day when most Americans may simply be glad to see him leaving town.