Anti-war activists and demonstrators with a bone to pick with George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are being treated to a rare visit of both former U.S. presidents today when the two men speak to a private audience at the Metro Convention Centre.
Hundreds of protesters expressing their displeasure with, well, pretty much everything the two men accomplished while in office are expected to clog downtown streets this afternoon in a gathering that is expected to illustrate the vast range of issues these two polarizing former leaders evoke. A Coalition of the Against, if you will.
“We don’t think Bush should be able to come to Toronto and be treated in such a way that he’s seen as a respected statesperson,” said James Clark of the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War, an organization representing more than 70 labour, student, community and faith-based organizations in the GTA.
The coalition plans to erect a three-metre tall image of Bush dressed as a prison inmate, at which protesters will throw shoes. Rubber gloves painted red will be worn to illustrate what demonstrators call “blood on Bush’s hands.”
The former presidents, both 62, will spend 90 minutes discussing global and domestic challenges facing Canada. Canada’s former ambassador to the U.S., Frank McKenna, will moderate the event including a question-and-answer session with the audience. Seats start at $200.