Speaking of green trees - Bush's visit to Senegal
gdunkel at mindspring.com
gdunkel at mindspring.com
Sun Jul 20 09:48:52 MDT 2003
On 20 Jul 03, at 2:34, Jurriaan Bendien wrote:
> Here's a report from Senegal on Bush's visit. The report has been
> circulating among folk music forums.
Here is an article that I wrote for Workers World on Bush's Senegal visit.
It is based on articles appearing in Le Sud and Le Quotidien, which are
available online in French.
There were also significant demonstrations in South Africa.
Bush's visit to Senegal
by G. Dunkel
Dakar July 8 was shut down: No traffic on major streets, no parking
many places, road blocks, public transportation perturbed, markets
closed. Many people had a lot of trouble getting to work. Under
pressure from U.S. security, the city of Dakar and the Senegalese
government took extraordinary measures for the visit of U.S.
President George W. Bush.
So the demonstration against his visit took place July 7. It was small
even though the intellectuals, activists and militants who called it had
been able to organize much larger demonstrations against the war in
Iraq. The heat was torrid. The cops were numerous.
But people on the streets and passing by in public transportation were
glad to see the demonstration and made their solidarity known. The
demonstrators chanted "Bush is a killer" and "Abdoulaye Wade is his
accomplis." (Abdoulaye Wade is the president of Senegal.) Banners
read "Yes to the extradition of American war criminals to the World
Criminal Court, No to the Senegalese-Americain agreement." (This
agreement prohibits Senegal from extraditing U.S. citizens to the
World Court,) Another banner read "Americain-English troops out of
Iraq, Bush-Blair to the World Criminal Court."
Malick Ndiaye, a leader of the Coalition of Senegalese Intellectuals,
speaking at the wrap-up rally, raised the three big priorities of the
struggle against Bush's visit. George Bush must "compensate the
diaspora," "annul Africa's debt" and "publicly and officially apologize
at Gorée" for "all the evil that the traffic in African slaves caused Black
people." After Ndiaye spoke, trade union and political leaders spoke
to denounce the "dangers" that Senegal was running in welcoming
Bush had a meet-and-greet at the airport with the presidents of Sierra
Leone, Bénin, The Gambia, Mali, Niger and Ghana. The president of
Cape Verde, was also announced as a visitor. This was not just
protocol; it was a notice to France that the United States intends to
be much more active in West Africa, both Francophone and
Anglophone, where France has previously felt it had a free rein.
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