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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