Published on Wednesday, June 13, 2001 by the Associated Press
Protesters Try to Block Bush Motorcade
by Robert Weilaard
BRUSSELS, Belgium - Police detained 30 people Wednesday in
a day of protests against President Bush's visit that included a
parachutist with a ''Stop Star Wars'' banner and activists trying
to block his motorcade from entering an airport.
People on either end were chained to traffic lights and held a banner reading ''George W. Bush -- Wanted for crimes against the planet,'' as a loud siren wailed. Dozens of protesters were handcuffed and taken away.
Several hundred protesters also gathered close NATO headquarters decrying Bush's plans for a missile defense shield and his rejection of the Kyoto global warming agreement. Police estimated the group at 400 and detained at least two more people there.
The demonstrators booed and blew whistles as the delegations arrived for the summit with Bush, with some carrying banners such as ''Save the climate,'' ''Stop Star Wars'' and ''Death penalty equals murder.''
A German Greenpeace activist tried to steer his motor driven parachute over NATO headquarters and was arrested when he landed nearby.
Dan Hindsgaul, a spokesman for the Greenpeace demonstrators, said they wanted to make their opposition to the Bush policies heard. ''It's a symbolic action showing he's not welcome,'' he said, adding that it was the first in a series of protests planned during Bush's weeklong European trip.
Hindsgaul said activists from across Europe hoped to pressure the European leaders not to allow the United States to use key radar facilities in Britain and Greenland for the missile defense project.
In Norway, Greenpeace activists on Wednesday ended an eight-hour occupation of a U.S.-bound oil tanker rather than face police action, according to media reports.
About 10 activists had boarded the Greek-registered supertanker Cosmic at a Norwegian refinery to protest Bush's environmental policies.
Police had ordered the activists to leave for safety reasons and the group reportedly withdrew because they feared their boats and other equipment might be seized.About two dozen environmental activists chained themselves together to block a side exit at the military airfield where President Bush arrived for a NATO summit Wednesday.
Bush's motorcade left Melsbroek Airport by the main exit half a mile away, out of sight of the demonstration.
One demonstrator was detained by police when he tried to chain himself to an airport fence.
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press