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Last Updated: Friday, 31 March 2006, 13:40 GMT 14:40 UK
In pictures: Rice visits Blackburn

Condoleezza Rice and Jack Straw in Blackburn on Friday

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Foreign Secretary Jack Straw's Blackburn constituency on Friday.

Protesters outside Pleckgate High School in Blackburn before Condoleezza Rice's visit

Her presence in the Lancashire town was not popular with everyone - anti-war protesters, including children, gathered outside Pleckgate High School, one of the places she visited.

Anti-war banners displayed during Condoleezza Rice's visit to Blackburn

Ms Rice said she was used to protests and had encountered many before, all over the world. "People have the right to protest. That's what democracy is all about," she said.

Condoleezza Rice is greeted by pupils from Pleckgate High School in Blackburn

Demonstrators shouted "Condoleezza Rice go home" as Ms Rice entered the school through a side entrance, but she received a warmer welcome inside the school grounds.

Condoleezza Rice and Jack Straw at Pleckgate High School in Blackburn

Ms Rice and Mr Straw met children and teachers at the school, which has about 1,200 pupils.

Jack Straw and Condoleezza Rice at the home of defence group BAE Systems, near Blackburn

The Foreign Secretary also took his US counterpart to the premises of defence group BAE Systems in nearby Salmesbury.

Condoleezza Rice is presented with a Blackburn Rovers football shirt by team manager Mark Hughes

At Ewood Park, home of Blackburn Rovers Football Club, Ms Rice was presented with a shirt bearing her name by the Premiership team's manager Mark Hughes.

Condoleezza Rice with Blackburn's American goalkeeper Brad Friedel

Ms Rice also chatted to her compatriot, Blackburn's American international goalkeeper Brad Friedel.

Jack Straw, Condoleezza Rice and Brad Friedel at Ewood Park, home of Blackburn Rovers

When Mr Straw visited Ms Rice's home city she took him to an American football match. He seemed to enjoy showing Ms Rice round the home of his favourite football team.

citizens and the Government of Great Britain for the willingness to share in the

Ms Rice delivered a lecture on liberal democracy in which she thanked "the citizens and the government of Great Britain for the willingness to share in the sacrifices for freedom".




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