Posted by Sadie from ? (220.127.116.11) on Tuesday, September 09, 2003 at 2:40PM :
Estimated 600 people attended Bush's fundraiser at $2,000/head = $ 1.2 million
Probably people from all over Tennessee were there, & those weren't all people from Nashville, though this city has TONS of money (music industry & medical profession).
Protesters want Bush to focus on problems at home, spend less in Iraq
By JOHN GEROME, Associated Press
September 9, 2003
NASHVILLE - About 200 protesters gathered Monday near a hotel where President Bush was to speak at a $2,000-a-ticket fund-raiser.
"We have a government that is not only waging a war on Iraq, but is also waging a war on America's children," demonstrator Rasheedat Fetuga said.
"Until every American child can be brought out of poverty, we should be out here."
The early childhood education program Head Start, affordable housing and help for the homeless are examples of domestic initiatives suffering while Bush spends millions on the war in Iraq, said Matt Leber, director of the Nashville Peace and Justice Center.
Bush was in Nashville to discuss his No Child Left Behind education program and attend the fund-raiser for his re-election campaign.
Among the half-dozen scheduled speakers at the protest were singer-songwriter Steve Earle and Naomi Tutu, an activist and daughter of former South African Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Earle says the Bush administration is dismantling social services on the federal level and turning them over to the private sector, which he says is a "lousy way for people to take care of each other."
"I'm not naive enough to believe we would necessarily be spending the money on those programs if we were not spending it in Iraq," Earle said. "But at least we would have the money and those that believe the money should be spent differently would be in the game."
Earle was opposed to the war in Iraq, saying there was no proof the country had weapons of mass destruction or a link to terrorist attacks on America.
"There is no proof that there is a connection between Iraq and anything except for the second largest petroleum reserves in the world," he said.
Tutu said the economic and political challenges facing the United States are an opportunity to do things a new way.
"I believe that it is possible to build peace and justice here and abroad, but clearly the strategies employed by the present administration are designed to do neither," Tutu said.
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