Activists Plan Protests During President Bush′s Germany Visit | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 03.07.2006
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Activists Plan Protests During President Bush's Germany Visit

Peace activists are preparing to greet the US leader with protests when he comes to Stralsund in northeastern Germany on July 12-14. War and human rights issues will be at the center of the demonstrations.

This isn't be the first time Bush is unwelcome in Germany

This isn't be the first time Bush is "unwelcome" in Germany

Some 30 peace organizations are preparing to demonstrate during US President George Bush's visit next week. The demonstrators' motto, also used during a February 2005 demonstration in Mainz, is "Not welcome, Mr. President".

"We're not against Bush personally, or against the US in general, but against the American war policy," Peter Strutynski from the National Committee of the Peace Council Organization in Stralsund told reporters on Sunday. "The president needs to be held accountable for carrying out a policy that contradicts human rights."

George Bush - Rede zum Irak

Thousands will be waiting for Bush in Stralsund to question US foreign policy

"End wars -- stop war plans"

Protestors are planning to begin from two sites in downtown Stralsund on July 13 and march toward a central location where a concluding rally is to be held. American bishop Thomas J. Gumbelton from the Catholic peace movement Pax Christi and Sabine Leidig, director of the anti-globalization group Attac, are among the planned speakers at the rally.

Monty Schaedel from the German Peace Society told reporters Sunday that participants -- expected from as far away as Hamburg, Berlin and the Ruhr region -- will demand that Bush and Merkel "end wars" and "stop war plans."

A trans-Atlantic summer

During her trip to Washington in early May, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel invited President Bush to visit her electoral district in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

Angela Merkel bei George Bush in Washington

Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Bush at the White House in May

The American president has recently spent some time in Europe. He attended a US-EU summit in Vienna at the end of June and followed it up with a visit to Budapest to commemorate the 1956 protest that was violently put down by by communist forces.

Costly security preparations

Around 12,000 police officers from around Germany will be called to duty for the state visit. Gottfried Timm, Minister of the Interior for Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, told the German news agency dpa that he expects "considerably higher costs than the twelve million euros ($15.4 million) mentioned so far in public discussions."

It is not yet clear who will foot the bill for Bush's visit.

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