WCW Home Take Action Videos & Reports of Demonstrations 5-28-09 Benton Harbor, MI Protests Bush Visit
5-28-09 Benton Harbor, MI Protests Bush Visit PDF Print E-mail

From Fox28.com, South Bend Indiana

Some 2,500 people, including protestors, greeted former President Bush at Lake Michigan College Thursday night. President Bush created an unprecedented amount of interest and anticipation.

The Economic Club is known for having high profile speakers most recently former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. But the 2,500 people that lined up outside to get seats to see Bush breaks all attendance records as enthusiasm and anticipation increased before his address. “I've been a fan of George Bush's for many years and I thought it was a nice opportunity to hear what he had to say,” said Bush supporter Michael Harmon. “I would hope that he would comment somewhat on the new administration and his views of how it's all going to turnout,” said Bush supporter Richard Pfiel.

Not everyone at Lake Michigan College was there in support of the former president. A handful of protesters from “World Can't Wait dot org” held signs and demanded that President Obama release torture photos and documents. They also say they want President Bush and his administration prosecuted for war crimes.

“These people are war criminals and we're allowing him to speak at Michigan college and get paid $150,000. How does that make us feel in Michigan where we're losing all of our jobs and he's getting paid $150,000 for a war criminal to speak?” asked Bush protester Bruce Fealk. Protesters say they came today to face President Bush and hold him accountable for his actions. Their efforts are part of a group of protests happening this week across the nation. President Bush did address his dissenters by defending his decisions as president.

Recording devices were not allowed inside of the auditorium, but here are some still photos of the president's address. He started by telling a few jokes about being retired and then quickly stated this about current President Barack Obama.

“I am not going to criticize my successor. I wish him all the best.” The president said he did not appreciate when other presidents criticized him so he would only discuss his term in office and the future of the country.He told the crowd, “Our future depends on if people are free.” The next stop for President Bush is Friday in Toronto, Canada where he'll meet up with former President Bill Clinton for a joint address.

Reporter: Nadia Crow

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