A growing coalition of groups and individuals plans to protest President George W. Bush’s Fourth of July visit to Charlottesville on Friday. Participating organizations include the Augusta Center for Peace and Justice, CODE PINK Women for Peace both National and Charlottesville, AfterDowningStreet, Democrats.com, and Charlottesville MoveOn.org. Many other people expected to participate are not members of any of these groups.
The protest will take place at Route 20, outside and a ways removed from the grounds of Monticello. Participants will gather at 7 a.m. at Quarry Park, the entrance to which is on the west side of Rt. 20 just north of Interstate 64.
Organizers of the protest are drawing a connection between the charges found in the Declaration of Independence and the abuses of power in which the current president has engaged.
CoFounder of CODE PINK nationally, and Virginia resident Gael Murphy remarked, “The only spirit George W. Bush can evoke on Independence Day at Monticello is that of King George, III.”
Allen Layman, President of the UE 160-Virginia Public Service Workers Union and member of the Augusta Coalition for Peace and Justice, said “If anything is apparent over the last 7 years of this President and his administration, it is their arrogance and utter disregard for the Constitutional rights of every American and their disrespect of other nations.”
Organizers made clear they are not protesting the naturalization of new citizens at Monticello, but rather the policies, crimes, and impeachable offenses of the guest speaker.
Local Charlottesville MoveOn.Org member Marianne Votaw wondered, “Why would Bush even WANT to speak at a naturalization ceremony, since he is outspokenly against immigration anyway?”
Sarah Lanzman, a local concerned citizen added her personal perspective: “My parents are naturalized citizens, and therefore I feel a responsibility to speak out against a criminal president and know that my parents would be proud.”
David Swanson, CoFounder of AfterDowningStreet and Washington Director of Democrats.com said, “It is important for future presidents to know that a president who routinely violates the law and our basic rights is not welcome in our towns and cities. It is important for the world to see that the American people do not approve of the war crimes committed by this president.”
Linda Lisanti of Charlottesville CODE PINK said, “Sister Unite to Give Bush the Pink Slip!”