College Republicans counter-protest anti-Bush demonstration at White House

Twelve members of the GW College Republicans organized a counter-rally to an anti-Bush protest outside the White House Thursday.

The students gathered in front of the Marvin Center at 11 a.m. and walked to Farragut Square, where they had a per11 a.m. and walked to Farragut Square, where they had a permit to protest, said College Republicans President Gary Livacari. They then walked to the White House to continue their demonstration.

“Our organization has a responsibility to defend the president’s policies whenever these liberal protests take place,” Livacari said.

Members of the College Republicans carried signs saying “We support Bush” and paced back and forth on the sidewalk. They left at around 3 p.m. when the anti-Bush protesters came.

The anti-Bush protest was organized by The World Can’t Wait, a national organization working toward removing Bush from office and changing the landscape of national politics, according to its Web site.

“We want to wake people up to what is going on in their name,” said event organizer Travis Morales.

Protesters carried signs in Lafayette Square with pictures of the earth ablaze. At least 600 protesters rallied for over two hours before crossing Pennsylvania Avenue at 5:15 p.m. to the White House where they attempted to encircle the fence around the building with Crime Scene tape.

Chants of “Jail Bush” were interspersed with Morales’ speech, which was followed by instructions on crossing to the White House.

“Bring your resources and political connections because together we can work together to rid the White House of the Bush regime.”

Organizers said they were protesting in response the Military Commissions Act of 2006 passed in the Senate on Sept. 28.

The bill would, among other things, prohibit a combatant under trial from invoking the Geneva Conventions as a source of rights, according to the Congressional Research Service. The Geneva Conventions are a source of internationally recognized standards about the treatment of captured members of another nation’s military.

Morales instructed protesters to leave their signs on the stage in Lafayette Square because they would be confiscated if taken closer to the White House. They marched across Pennsylvania Avenue to reggae music and then attempted to encircle the White House in yellow police tape. “We’re creating a crime scene,” said protester Rick Posner. “They’ve committed war crimes.”

World Can’t Wait member Richard Monly, 17, came straight from school to attend the protest.

“The atrocities lately have just been bothering me,” Monly said. “I mean, especially the new legislation legalizing torture.”

-Robert Parker contributed to this report.

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