Peace activists throughout Colorado have called for a statewide demonstration against George W. Bush when the president comes to Colorado Springs on June 2 to deliver the graduation speech at the Air Force Academy.
Activists at the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission have already begun to plan the details of the demonstration, said Dennis Apuan, one of the event's lead organizers.
The protest's theme, "Protect America and the World from Bush," is meant to encompass a broad range of concerns about the Bush administration, from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the administration's policies on healthcare, the environment and civil liberties, Apuan said.
An estimated 3,000 people attended the last statewide peace demonstration in the Springs, which took place in Palmer Park on Feb. 15, 2003, as U.S. forces were preparing to invade Iraq. Springs police tear-gassed protesters at that event, claiming the protesters were blocking a road.
Apuan said he expects fewer people to attend the upcoming demonstration, in part because it's on a weekday; the previous event was on a Saturday.
Protesters will meet at Interstate 25 and Academy Boulevard, near the Academy's south gate. The rally is scheduled to take place as people attending the graduation ceremony arrive at the Academy, between 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.
Apuan said organizers would likely discuss their plans with local law enforcement in advance.
The Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission is holding several nonviolence trainings and peacekeeper trainings in preparation for the event. For details, visit www.pikespeakjusticeandpeace.org.
-- Terje Langeland
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