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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 November, 2003, 12:20 GMT
Bush state visit: Do you support protests?

President Bush is back home after finishing his state visit to Britain with a trip to Tony Blair's constituency of Sedgefield.

The two leaders jointly condemned Thursday's bomb attacks in Turkey and reiterated their war on terror.

Tens of thousands of people protested in London against the president's visit and the war on Iraq.

What do you think about Bush's state visit? Do you agree with the protests? Did you take part in the demonstrations?

On Sunday 23 November we will be discussing the role of the US in the world in our global phone-in programme Talking Point. If you would like to take a part please include your phone number. It will not be published online.

If you've attended a protest or demonstration, you can send us your photos to yourpics@bbc.co.uk.

Click here to watch a forum on the Bush state visit with our panel of experts.


This debate is now closed. Thank you for your e-mails. The following comments reflect the balance of views we have received:

Of course I support protests. It doesn't really matter whether you agree with the protestors or not, it's the fact that we live in a free country where everyone is allowed to express their opinions and that means all opinions, not just the ones that we agree with. It's just too bad that Bush was manoeuvred around the protestors thereby controlling their freedom of speech.
Kelly S, UK

I think it was very important that George Bush came to UK to influence public opinion and win support
Olga Griffiths, UK
I think it was very important that George Bush came to UK to influence public opinion and win support .I am sure they are hiding the weapons in Iraq and people are being forced to do this for fear of their families and their own lives. Living in a democracy means protestors have the right to demonstrate, but not aggressively.
Olga Griffiths, U.K.

On reflection I think the visit was rather a success, no progress on climate change, Guantanamo bay, rebuilding Iraq, finding Saddam, Bin Laden or WMD's but on the plus side only 1 in 500 of the British Populace came out to protest, which for Bush is quite good going.
Daniel, UK

Most of the protests are about the lies over the reasons for invading Iraq and the fact that it was not done within the international rules of the UN. Both of those blunders could still be corrected and then the whole international community could work together to rebuild Iraq, restore peace to Israel-Palestine and remove the threats of terrorism which touch us all.
John M, LyneMeads, UK

The protesters are very naive! Their actions not only show a complete lack of respect but also a lack of understanding. The terrorists that we're currently dealing with don't want to sit down to talk things over and come to some civil agreement. I'm quite sure that if we let them develop the ways and means they will be more than happy to destroy our country for good.
Jill, Manchester, England

Instead of protesting against Bush and Blair we should all be united in the ongoing 'war against terrorism'. The threat to civilised society is not Mr. Bush and it is certainly not Mr. Blair. It's the fanatics of al-Qaeda and the Prime Minister and US President are the ones standing up against the huge number of terror extremists.
Jack, London

It was a PR disaster. Despite all the odds against him, he had no choice but to put up a face in London. This has widened the gap between the Americans and the rest of the world.
Ismail Saadiq, Maldives

What I did mind was the fact that the tax payers paid for his trip
Helen, England
I didn't mind Bush coming here for a state visit, what I did mind was the fact that the tax payers paid for his trip, when the money could have been used for more useful things here in this country or to help the people from Iraq.
Helen, England

NO! Why not protest against terrorism. At least George W is doing, "something" than just letting it happen. I feel sickened to see the pathetic idiots of my country support Terrorism, which is all there protests are actually achieving.
Steve, U

Some commentators keep making issue of the 'silent majority', as if they have the 'right to the truth' of public opinion. Perhaps they should consider the fact that only a small minority of the population turned out to celebrate the Queen's jubilee celebrations in London. No doubt though, it was a huge crowd - but a minority one all the same. Are we to take it this means 'the silent majority' are all republicans in that case? Of course not. So stop claiming that the majority hold your opinion, how do you know this? I took it that the marchers were expressing their own opinions.
John, UK

As an Englishman living in the US for may years I have to say that I'm ashamed at the antics of the thoroughly naive protestors in London. It's great that they and everyone else should have their say. But how quickly - how quickly they (and Britain's so-called allies in Europe) forget - about 9/11, Munich in 1938 and a host of other situations when the bullies were successful by shedding blood, promulgating terror, and intimidating the rest of the world into inaction. The time for talking is long past. My hat goes off to Tony Blair for doing the right thing and staying the course.
Phil Alsopp, Dallas, TX, USA

I believe history will be kinder to Bush than current media commentary allows
Tony, UK
I support the right to protest (as would Mr Bush no doubt), but I welcome the President as the leader of our staunchest and most natural ally and I believe history will be kinder to Bush than current media commentary allows (as per Reagan). He has led the USA creditably in its most difficult times since the beginning of the cold war.
Tony, UK

George W Bush is totally out of touch with reality, as witnessed in his insulated trip to London. He and many other members of his administration are causing destruction wherever they go...the world has become a much more dangerous, sinister place since George Bush took office! Bravo London protesters! I wish I were there to join you!
Kathleen, USA

If the protestors feel that the coalition's cause is not just, what are they doing to help the Iraqi people? If they feel that standing in the cold shouting against current defence policy will help millions of Iraqis, they are wrong. Democracy is a pivotal structure for the Western world and protests are a means to be an active part in a democracy, but what about focusing their energy on something that will make an actual difference? Say, Bush and Blair pull the troops out, will the protestors move to Baghdad to help with the cause in a way they see fit? Or, would they have cared in the first place?
Brian T, Germany

Look, we all know Dubya's not the brightest, but he and Blair know that 9/11 was the opening shot in a very real long-term campaign to bring capitalism/democracy/The West to its knees. If they'd had a nuke on 9/11 they would have used it! Blair and Bush know that this is the real thing and that there can be no half-measures in countering the aims of these maniacs. However, they should have been honest in making a case for invading Iraq. They knew there were no WMDs I'm sure, but we need a base right in the heart of the Middle East from which to monitor and track down the terrorists.
Cliff, UK

If to protest is your right than be civilised in your actions. Don't degrade a leader and his country's flag just because you don't agree with him. You are not only bringing shame to your leader and country but shows how uncivilised you are in voicing out your views. Please learn the trade of hospitality.
Nathan, Malaysia

The "silent majority" are those people who just don't care either way. If the entire "silent majority" were in favour of Bush's state visit/ war on Iraq, how come they don't organise some kind of protest in favour of these two issues? Answer: Because they just can't be bothered because they just don't care. And yes, I do have a job to go to: I marched during my lunchbreak.
Femke, London, UK

The majority favour Bush and Blair
David, Houston, USA
I support Bush, but believe that people can have different opinions. The problem is that the media does not report about the "silent majority", but only the radical/vocal minority. In all the polls I have seen, in the USA and UK, the majority favour Bush and Blair. The problem is the media focuses on the few, not the many. God bless the USA and UK.
David, Houston, USA

Regarding the protesters: Never have so many been so mistaken about so much.
Craig C, UK in USA

Bush is correct in his approach to the terrorists. Bush and Blair should be supported by all the governments and peoples that are aware of global events. The protesters are very naive and should disband in shame
Osuagwu, Kuwait

I hope the protestors don't lose heart
Pauleen, England
I wholeheartedly support the demonstrators against Bush and Blair. Neither of these two men care about the opinions of their countrymen. The whole visit was to thumb the nose at the public. I hope the protestors don't lose heart - I hope they continue the pressure. Good luck to them in the future.
Pauleen, England

When will people realise that the US president is a mere sham. The real strings are pulled by the neo-con hawks in Washington. It seems absurd to believe that ONE man can cause so much havoc.
Martin Anderton, USA

I feel strongly that Prime Minister Blair and President Bush are courageous in standing firm against elements of terror who try to intimidate because they fear the individual freedoms that are the hallmark of the U.S. and Britain and other free nations. These demonstrations simply give aid to those who would do our countries harm.
Homer Richardson, USA

Blair and Bush are trying to protect their land and people from these terrorists and they are steadfast in their mission
Maureen, USA
I was very saddened to see the British people protesting President Bush and burning our flag. I ask the protesters "What do you think would happen if the British and American troops pulled out now? There would be terrorist attacks all over both countries and the Iraqi people would be let down again. Blair and Bush are trying to protect their land and people from these terrorists and they are steadfast in their mission. I commend them both.
Maureen, USA

I had hoped that you might find our President so charming that you might keep him.
R. Lugg, USA

The protests are a part of free speech that the President supports. Everyone in the world should have that ability. What I don't understand is the law that doesn't allow American news to show the coffins of the service men coming back into our country. That seems to be LESS free speech.
Tom, USA

The protests were completely pointless, as Bush is doing everything he can now to repair the damage he has caused. For example it has been agreed Iraq will be handed back next year. Although that's not to say he isn't to blame, but there is no war to stop now.
What did the protests achieve at all apart from bringing other civilians to a standstill? They also have views, that doesn't mean they are ready to cause problems to others to express them?
Jonathan Miller, Bristol, UK

Forget the media, forget the hype, forget the slick political policies - what George Bush and Tony Blair have done in Iraq - is RIGHT for everyone who wants a chance in this world for themselves and their families
Alistair Watson, UK

I think the protesters are letting our country down
Jamie Caulfield, UK
I think the protesters are letting our country down. We should be giving Mr Bush a warm welcome to our nation!
Jamie Caulfield, UK

It is amazing to see how people respond to a politician who is actually sincere.
Rex, USA

If the visit (by the President) to Blair's constituency is deemed private, (as reported in the news) does this mean that they (the Blairs) and not the taxpayer will be paying for the extra security?
Phil Kay, UK

What is wrong with the British public? We are so easily fooled by people in power. Last week the majority of people in this country were against the war NOW that Bush is here all smiling and shaking hands they are for the war!! Get a spine Britain and don't be sheep, I'm sick of it!
Mark, London

I was ashamed to see the protestors imply a link between Saddam and George Bush through the toppling of the statue. What an irresponsible and childish act. Saddam is an evil mass murderer. At the very worst, George Bush could be accused of naivety or stupidity. These protestors should be ashamed of themselves for dragging the British name into disrepute, and for making a mockery of the original event in Iraq. Have some respect!
Paul Sinclair, UK

He should not be welcomed to our country. He has in under four years, wrought more political and ecological damage than the rest of the world can cope with; simply put, there has been no more disruptive regime ever and it seems that he has made the world a permanently more polarised and dangerous place to live in.
Joel Mitchell, England

Thank God for countries like America and Britain. While NO country is perfect and flawless in their actions, terrorism is a MAJOR problem in the modern world and it seems we are the only countries willing to do anything about it. The marchers seem to forget the terrorists would have gladly blown them up for their cause. Where is the march against the terrorists?
James Rosen, London, UK

The Bush administration continues to pursue policies which I and millions of others around the world do not agree with
Philip Haines, United Kingdom
I went on the protest yesterday because I believe that Bush and Blair should not be allowed to get away with the wrong decisions they have made in the recent past simply by using the pathetic excuse that it is time to "move on".

The Bush administration continues to pursue policies which I and millions of others around the world do not agree with. Although the war in Iraq is now over the thinking of the American and British administrations is still in the same mould that drove us to war in the first place. This is something which I find very worrying indeed
Philip Haines, United Kingdom

The Bush Administration is introducing The Patriot Act, which will allow the State unparalleled power into the lives of US Citizens, eg. The State will enforce Librarians to inform on people who maybe reading radical or subversive literature. In this Country we will have the imposition of ID cards. All this legislation to subvert and diminish our freedoms from politicians who claim to be defending it. Yet they are actually allowing the terrorists a significant victory. Well done to the demonstrators. Some of whom are being placed in a cell right now, defending our freedom.
Rob, UK

In my opinion Bush should move his troops out of Iraq. I strongly support protests and I've been organizing some of them in my country.
Olis, Poland

I think that the whole us nation should come out of this terrible state of darkness and stop leading wars all around. We are not talking only about bush we are talking about the politics of the whole last century and the beginning of this new era! Please, Europe continue to support those few Americans who know the whole truth about their government!
Ivana, Serbia

Lets hope no one will be committing crimes in Durham today since there will be no police available to arrest them
Jackie, Northampton, England

We must challenge his and Tony Blair's lies if we are to build a safer and more peaceful world
Neal Curtis, England
I support the protests absolutely. This man is a great danger. He has taken us into an illegal invasion of a country with no proven links to the perpetrators of the acts of terror seen yesterday in Istanbul. Why wasn't all the time, money, resources and effort spent destroying Iraq spent on fighting terror. We must challenge his and Tony Blair's lies if we are to build a safer and more peaceful world.
Neal Curtis, England

I felt sick to see British protesters burning the American Flag yesterday. What ever they think about George Bush personally, this was an insult to most Americans. Even Americans who were against the War in Iraq would be appalled at this. It just goes to show how ignorant the protesters are.
Steven Smith, UK

We need to stand together with our American friends. In our hours of need, they have always been together with the UK. The State Visit I believe is supported in the UK by the silent majority that just get on with their lives.
Ted Hill, UK

While I am not a fan of George W Bush, I find the protesters reactions ludicrously over the top. The UK has been visited by leaders of countries such as China, which have records against human rights that are far worse than the USA. Where were the mass of protesters then? The burning of flags and pulling down of Effigies are actions that are immature, and drag down the reputation of the UK in the rest of the world.
Dr Who's Sidekick, UK

President Bush has certainly behaved better than some of the protestors whom we saw battering policemen with eggs, water and fists.
Gerry, Scotland

The protesters are merely showing their support for the terrorists and despotic rulers who line their own pockets at the expense of their populations. They are saying carry on, we will prevent any action against you being taken by our governments. If the UN had been unanimous in its dealing with Saddam there wouldn't have been a war.
John, France

Iraq needed help and all Bush has done is bring it more misery
Daniel Howells, Manchester
George Bush and other leaders like him (Tony Blair) have got to stop thinking that they can dictate other people lives on other sides of the world. Iraq needed help and all Bush has done is bring it more misery. I support the protests and I hope there are many more to come.
Daniel Howells, Manchester

I believe the British people should welcome the visit of President Bush. America is our greatest friend and our alliance should be strengthened in the war against terrorism. I do not understand why people are so anti America? It may be jealousy?
Leon, Coventry, England

I think people should be allowed to protest peacefully. Why did they import people from other countries to participate in the protests? If they couldn't get enough people from England to do it, then I assume most of the people from your country are okay with the war on terrorism. Also, why aren't they instead protesting Saddam, Arafat, or Bin Laden? I don't understand.
Janet, Porter, USA

You bet I support protests. As George bush has said "he loves democracy and free speech". When is he going to stop being afraid of it and eliminate the "first Amendment" areas in the US when he appears? He is afraid of free speech that is why!
Lorraine Krofchok, Elk Grove, CA USA

Without the Americans we may well have lost the war
Jack Cohen, London
The Americans no doubt have made mistakes, but one must remember the good side. Americans lost many thousands of their lives in the two world wars defending our right to demonstrate as so many are today. Without the Americans we may well have lost the war, then Hitler and his followers would not decide whether we could demonstrate and march, but whether we would live. HOORAY FOR THE AMERICANS.
Jack Cohen, London

I find most protestors ignorant of any historical background to this or any other related conflicts and can usually be relied upon to wipe the floor with them in rational argument as i tend to read books for information and do not rely solely on the media which is more interested in opinions rather than facts. Many of the demonstrators can be relied upon to display their total naivety and ignorance after a little gentle probing on their background knowledge.
Barry Conway, London, England

As an American who is FAR less than enamoured with our current administration, I wholeheartedly support those that take time away from their jobs, schooling, and families to join in this protest. I feel strongly that the way our country "manufactured" evidence to send us to war. A war we can't afford, a war that is doing nothing more than killing and wounding our soldiers, and a war that is creating MORE anti-American sentiment and MORE terrorism. Was Saddam a good person? No. Did we go about removing correctly - absolutely not! Stand up - let your opinions be heard!
Franzine Gies, Wisconsin, USA

People have the right to voice their opinions in a public forum. This is the perfect opportunity for Mr. Bush to see that his actions in Iraq are not supported by the world community. We have tried to send him that message here in the States, but he just doesn't seem to get it. I have protested Mr. Bush several times here, and if I could be in the UK I would be out on the streets right now letting him know what the people really think of his fake war.
Kevin M. Hatgas, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

I voted for President Bush; I will vote for him again in 2004. I fully support him and the decisions he and his administration have made. He is leading the world in the fight on terrorism. He may have said some things that he wishes he could take back but he is doing what is best for the US and her allies. Do not forget that through his continued support so is Mr. Tony Blair. I do not agree with the protests. There are men and women fighting and dying far, far from home for the freedom of a people who spent far too long oppressed. Our soldiers deserve our support, not our protests.
Jo, Nashville, USA

The bombings today in Istanbul are surely forcing the world to recognise that George Bush and Tony Blair are having little impact on global terrorism, despite their rhetoric to the contrary. I support the demonstrators wholeheartedly, and hope that their message is broadcast across a world that appears to be more dangerous to live in by the day, largely due to the repercussions of wealthy nations who feel that they have a right to the spoils of victory. If you need an illustration, look at the money America is set to make re-building the infrastructure of Iraq. Shameless.
Wendy, UK

I applaud Tony Blair for his steadfastness of purpose and foreign policy
John, Colchester UK
America is our most important ally by far. This is a country that has come to our aid on too many occasions to recount most notably during both World Wars. It is a wonderful country and I applaud Tony Blair for his steadfastness of purpose and foreign policy. I still find it hard to believe this is the first American President to receive a full Royal reception as the visit gets my full support. I have been on operations with the US military on a number of occasions - they are the only people out there we can truly trust.
John, Colchester UK

Many people would have enjoyed the chance to welcome Mr Bush. My children aged 8 and 10 deserved the chance to go to London and witness this historic occasion. Thanks once again to the "minging moaning minority" - law abiding citizens were deterred from attending. The polls clearly show a MAJORITY in favour of the President's visit.
Steady, Leeds

I realise that most marchers are protesting against the war - which is absolutely right. But before we lay all the blame on the US government, let's remember our Labour government that the majority were happy to vote in. I find it sickening when some (few) protesters use Bush's visit as an excuse to display anti-American views. What Americans should realise it that it is the silent majority who are very happy to have the US as such close allies.
Glen, Cambridge

All those against the war should go and live in Iraq. We should then just wait for when they ask Bush/Blair to come and get them out. You don't see these people protesting in Iraq!
Kevin, England

These protests are meaningless. Even if 100k people do participate - that is less than 1% of the UK population. Take away those from overseas and those protesting about ban the bomb, save the whale, free the street and any other minority issue, it makes the volumes statistically insignificant. I cannot believe the media are giving so much time to this non-event!
David, Durham - UK

I have only one statement on all this protesting.... Silent Majority. That is to say, the small groups of people who would disagree with anything a western leader said always shout the loudest.
Paul Sealey, Cannock, England

After watching the protests yesterday, I was appalled and embarrassed to be British when some mindless morons started burning the US flag. No alternatives are being offered to the current occupation in Iraq. If the coalition just move out then we will be left with the same situation as after the first Gulf War - no change.
Tom, Nottingham, England

It is all very well being free to express opposition to war but Blair ignores public opinion and does what Bush wants. I was protesting Tuesday night and most of Wednesday but am back at work now.
Ian Gregory, Hatfield Herts

Protest peacefully by all means. But never think the protesters speak for the silent majority
Jake, London, UK
Whilst I do not support everything Bush and Blair have done, the fact is that a terrible dictator has been toppled, and the Iraqi people need our support in re-establishing their country. Protests will not help them, and give the terrorists cheer. The protesters often are not "normal" people, and wish in some cases to simply disrupt the lives of ordinary Londoners. Protest peacefully by all means. But never think the protesters speak for the silent majority.
Jake, London, UK

As an American, I'm ashamed of Bush and his policies. He's destroying the wonderful relationship we had with Europeans.
Shana Hammaker, Nashville Tennessee

As a Canadian living in London, I am taking to the streets today, by leaving work half a day early. I am participating in this protest because I don't agree with American foreign policy. It saddens me that Mr. Blair couldn't put 5 millions towards a better cause, than to spend it on the biggest known threat that exists on our planet today. May God bless us all in striving for a peaceful co-existence.
Bala, London, England

Protesters (who obviously have no jobs to go to) claim that they are not anti-American. At the same time they burn American flags. Explain that!
Merlin, Washington DC, USA

America quite rightly aspires to the moral high ground, and does so loudly. It is quite rightly proud of its Constitution, which to my mind is more fundamentally valuable than anybody's standard of living. It is constantly asserting its right to moral leadership, which it certainly has the ability to display, and it should be as loudly disappointed as the rest of us when our high hopes and expectations are betrayed.
Scott, Surbiton

No, I do not support the protests. This tour was scheduled 18 months ago when the world was a different place. One thing I can't understand is these protesters moan about the war etc but offer no viable solution to the growing problem in the Middle East.
Stephen, UK

I have taken a day's leave in order to demonstrate today because I fear for the future of the world while Bush and the neo conservatives set the agenda. I don't just have concerns about the Iraq war, I am appalled by the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay; I am concerned about the disproportionate amount of money spent on defence whilst millions starve; the 'War on Terror' is being used as an excuse to attack basic human rights. I fear for the future of the environment, in addition to other issues too numerous to include here. I am not anti American, I am anti Bush. Can anyone explain why Blair doesn't get it?
Pam, London

I strongly support the right of protest against Bush, provided it is exercised within proper limits
Hussein Khalifa, London England
I strongly support the right of protest against Bush, provided it is exercised within proper limits. It must be remembered that he is a guest in our country and however much one may disagree with his foreign policy or his watering down of the Constitution that the United States stands for, respect must be maintained for the office of the President and for the great nation that is our closest ally despite strong differences in opinion
Hussein Khalifa, London England

As a British person living in the US I can tell you that the protests in England are having an impressive effect on people here in the US. The fact that the American press has felt obliged on this occasion to actually include coverage of the demonstrations (as opposed to their usual tactic of ignoring such unsavoury events) is a strong indication of how America is being forced to sit up and see how unpopular their head of state, and their politics really are around the rest of the world. With the 2004 elections looming I would urge all the protesters to exert and maintain the maximum amount of force. Their power is real and is capable of affecting the decisions of the American people as they go to vote next year.
George, New York, USA

In my opinion Mr Bush is very welcome here. I'm lucky that I live in a country where I can express that opinion. The irony is that it is due to the fact that the US stood with us in two world wars - that is true friendship. I know there will be a large demos in London, but ask yourself if you recognise these people from the other demos - anti-hunting, CND, various road protests, poll tax, etc. Any excuse for a scrap and a chance to get on the telly. Don't these people have jobs - or am I paying their dole too.
Dave Towers, Fleet UK

Seeing the formidable security measures taken for this visit, I have further proof of the enormous gap existing between the 'great of the earth' and 'their' people - they simply live in two different worlds !
Rudolf, Belgium

Yes, I support the peaceful protesters. Though the moving finger has moved on as others have said, it is our duty as friends to keep unilateralism off the table. Not only the UK but Europe too needs to make this clear.
Brian Hope, U.K.

I certainly support the protests but the sad truth is that the ruling republicans and democrats in America and both the Labour party and the conservatives in Britain will continue to act against the people's wishes until some sort of "smart" democratic reform takes place.
Chris K Ralph, Auckland, New Zealand

Protesting seems to be the only way the people can get their voice heard these days
Toby, London
As with most of those I have discussed this issue with I would like to point out that our dislike/distrust of Bush and his policies are a separate issue from whether we are America-friendly or otherwise. We are well aware that there are many Americans who disagreed with the war (seemingly carried out in the name of two men) and protesting seems to be the only way the people can get their voice heard these days. Protests or otherwise, living in London is going to be very difficult over the next week, that is a fact not appreciated by those looking in from outside.
Toby, London

I believe that many of these protesters are out to make trouble and any cost and the television companies should not be giving them so much publicity. Many people I know have a high regard for the Americans as a nation and for George Bush in particular. He is certainly an improvement on Clinton and a man who has strong moral beliefs.
Charles N. Rogers, Glasgow. Scotlanmd

I am amazed that President Bush is going to meet with British soldier's families. This is an act he has chosen to not perform for the families of American casualties. Also worth noting is that in America the protesters are kept at minimum a half-mile away from the President at all times. It's anyone's guess as to whether he knows the protests are actually going on. He has failed to acknowledge them. Possibly he believes his actions are unpopular only in Britain? Obviously you are enjoying more freedoms than we are here in "America, land of the free."
Toni, Randleman, NC, USA

I will be protesting today not because I believe the US should leave Iraq (in chaos) ASAP, but because George W Bush, as leader of the most powerful democracy in the world, should be using his position to genuinely further diplomacy and understanding between nations, rather than enforcing his neo-imperialistic notion of freedom on less powerful nations solely for America's own ends.
Louise, London, UK

How come the protesters say they are not anti-American and then next you see them burning a US flag?
Daniel Fleetwood, Barnsley, UK

I am very anti-Bush given his ecological and foreign policies. I work for Local Government so cannot show my displeasure - our IT staff have even banned anti-Bush websites and those that give 'negative' views of his visit. Great to know we live in a democratic country of free speech!
Anonymous (sorry), North UK

By marching tomorrow, I shall be exercising my rights to protest against a world leader whose actions and policies I strongly disagree with. This does not mean that I am anti-American, pro-terrorist or unpatriotic. Nor does it mean that I have forgotten the servicemen who have died or the Iraqi people themselves. Advocates of freedom and democracy should not criticise those who choose to exercise it.
Catherine, London, UK

Seeing news pictures of protestors fighting, swearing at the cameras and deliberately trying to cause chaos simply makes them hypocritical. I don't support them and I think many of them are just protesting for the sheer hell of it.
Ross, UK

I firmly support the right to protest. These are peaceful protests there is no need for the kind of security that the US and Britain is going to have. There should be no immunity against prosecution in Britain for the American armed forces and security personnel that will be present. I will not be taking part in the protests myself but my heart will be with the mission of the protesters.
Sabena Westreich, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA

I'd like to take this time to thank the British citizens who have supported America's effort during this war. Most of us realize that the protestors are only a small minority of the British public. God bless you all.
Ryan, Las Vegas, USA

I'd be in the protests if I could. I hope you cover them fully -- it's irritating that the news in the USA is giving only brief clips of demonstrations but lots of room to the pomp and speeches -- which if you ask me is a publicity ploy to boost Bush's ratings in the USA!
Cathy Lester, Grayling, Michigan, USA

President Bush is here on behalf of the American people, show him good British hospitality
Ben Hill-Anderson, Barry, S, Wales
Why do we allow the vocal minority to belittle us on the world stage? President Bush is here on behalf of the American people, show him good British hospitality, civility and respect. We did not get where we are today by whinging, our leaders took us to War, so what, we voted them in didn't we? Lets get on with our lives in a dignified manner.
Ben Hill-Anderson, Barry, S, Wales

I don't care how much Bush may be disliked or how unwelcome he would be in my home, the truth is that the queen did invite him and he (as the representative of the American people) should be as welcome to our country as any other visitor. My mother always taught me that if you have nothing good to say about a person you should say nothing at all. The protestors should simply turn their backs and ignore him.
Kenneth Jessett, Norwich, UK

If the people who oppose George Bush's visit are doing so because they oppose the turmoil in Iraq then they must be senseless. Surely the best way to resolve the situation is to let George and Tony speak face to face?! Protesting his visit will only hold up the effort to rebuild Iraq if anything! Welcome to the UK Sir.
Phil Lewin, Loughborough, UK

I agree with the protestors. It's time the world quit playing games with this so-called leader. He's taking world leaders down the path of certain destruction. The US could play a much better role in world diplomacy than this president seems determined to be going.
Larry Danos, San Francisco, USA

I support the right of those who want to demonstrate against the War on Terror to do so, but that is not the same as agreeing with them. The impression given is that they think the war on terror is wrong, the Iraqis do not deserve to choose their own ruler, and that terrorists should be appeased, George Galloway-style. Where were the demonstrations against Saddam Hussein, Slobodan Milosevich etc? I think most of this is Anti-Americanism. As George Bush said, you are either with us or against us, it really is that simple.
Daniel, UK

I think it's a disgrace that Pres Bush has been invited to our country at this time, Men and Women from both the US and Great Britain are dying every day in Iraq and our great leaders would have us believe this has been a victory. I will be marching on the 20th.
Corin Bennett, Bromley, Kent

Let us all support he who supports us and our civil liberties
Trevor Northan, Warwick, England
No I do not. Bush is the Maggie Thatcher of America, a leader in every respect who will never suffer fools or terrorists. Let us all support he who supports us and our civil liberties.
Trevor Northan, Warwick, England

I can only quote my father, a veteran serviceman, who always replied to those who were anti-military with the same sentiment. "I don't agree with your point of view, but I am ready to fight to the death to defend your right to express it." If we prevent these protests then all the servicemen who have died over the years have done so for nothing.
Iain Howe, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Being an American in a British family, I tip my hat off to the protestors. I've never felt more proud as an American when I express my constitutional right to protest this Iraq war. To not express the right to protest would be otherwise anti-American.
Peter, Charlotte, N.C. USA

I think we should be proud of the special relationship with America, they have stood shoulder to shoulder with us at our time of need and we should do the same now, at a time when the US is under attack from terrorists across the globe.
Gareth Curtis, Manchester, UK

I was about to say I was having trouble nowadays distinguishing the British from the French, but after reading so many posts in support of the war on terror, I am once again getting the warm fuzzies for the UK.
Jim Shelton, Henderson, TN, USA

The only value of protests in democracies is to serve as an indicator that everyone has a political voice, but those who protest seldom deserve praise or support. Why would anyone ever protest in a democracy? They protest either because they are in a political minority and are disrespectful of the democratic process or they protest because they are too cowardly to take responsibility for the decisions of governments they elected.
James, Dallas, TX USA

I support their right to protest but I cannot agree on their point of view. While Iraq is in turmoil I see it as only temporary. The world will be a much safer and pleasant place to live without your Saddam's.
Matt, UK

I wish I were in London right now so that I could join the protests against George Bush's visit
C. A. Warner, Silver Spring, MD
I wish I were in London right now so that I could join the protests against George Bush's visit. Many of us in the US believe that Bush is taking our country, and by extension the world, in absolutely the wrong direction. Bush may have lots of boyish charm, but he's the political equivalent of cyanide. I'm glad that there are courageous and motivated people who are willing to march in the streets and tell the truth. Thanks, British demonstrators!
C. A. Warner, Silver Spring, MD

America is a force for good in our world. They need to be kept engaged, as all too often in the past there has been an isolationist tendency in the US. Britain's role must be to support the US strongly, to keep them engaged, to maximise our influence on US policy, and to moderate their views where appropriate.
Dr Mark Barrowclough, Northampton UK

If Bush decided to make his Sate visit a day after 9'11 how many would have protested? Why do people forget easily? Welcome to the UK Mr President.
Raymond, Sunderland, UK

Regarding a protestor outside Buckingham Palace... "His lyrics included one that said: "If you think the war is for oil shout no war". He stopped after a warning from police he would be arrested if he carried on." Would any of those who support Bush and Blair because they "defend our freedoms" care to tell me why the Police would arrest someone for exercising their right to free speech?
Richard, UK

I think President Bush is doing a wonderful job he is not scared to move forward and work on world peace. This war in Iraq is to help the Iraqi people get free from their awful president. I am glad President Bush is taking the initiative that Clinton never took. Clinton was too scared and too busy with romantic relationships to bother with world peace. I think President Bush is doing a wonderful job! I will continue to support him.
Jessica, Oregon City, USA

Protesting is an important aspect of a democratic nation and should be taken and carried out seriously
Jill, Siegelbach, Germany
I believe in democracy and value the freedoms it allows, especially free speech and the right to protest. I encourage the British opposed the war in Iraq to speak their mind. I am disappointed though in the venues the protesters have chosen to convey their message. Sarcasm rarely achieves anything and I am unimpressed with the drama that is planned in London. The fake parade and fake toppling of a Bush statue will only fuel the opinion that these protests are a ridiculous joke. Protesting is an important aspect of a democratic nation and should be taken and carried out seriously.
Jill, Siegelbach, Germany

I understand that the majority of people in the UK support the visit yet the emphasis of news coverage seems to be on protesters and not a welcoming crowd. Is this biased news coverage? Is it that the protesters are far more vocal? Or is it that hardly anyone can be bothered to go and wave? Either way - power to the pretzels.
al, UK

People should always exercise their democratic rights but be clear about what they are protesting. These demonstrations will draw out diverse anti-American opinions and so are likely to muddy the main issue: Iraq. If people stick to one issue that will be more effective and will have a knock on effect on to other issues such as the environment and international arms treaties, etc.
Peter Stead, London, UK

I am about to go to the local anti Bush protest with two placards. One says "Welcome to Britain Mr. Bush" and the other "Continue the fight against terror". It is my democratic right to express my opinions in public, something millions around the world cannot do. It is a right which Bush and Blair want to give to the people of Iraq, and which is conveniently not mentioned by the protesters.
P Fatania, England

Where were these protesters when Saddam was committing atrocities?
Jonathan Pringle, Sunderland
It will be the same old tired protesters gathering in London, determined to have a dig at Blair and Bush. Where were these protesters when Saddam was committing atrocities, where were they when the Serbs were ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, where were they when the Chinese dictator came to the UK. The whole stop the war movement is a front for far leftist groups - the types of people who believed the USSR to be a model of Liberalism. Instead of protesting, get back to work...
Jonathan Pringle, Sunderland

As I sit at my desk on the Euston road, I can see a few protestors on their bicycles, accompanied by a heavily armed team of policemen outnumbering them by about 2 to 1. Bush seems so concerned for his safety that it brings to mind the behaviour of bullies constantly needing over the top protection. Go home Bush, you're too expensive to keep over here.
Norman, London

George Bush did the right thing in Iraq and I do not support the protests. It was just wrong for us to get involved when we have refused to get involved in other places, such as Zimbabwe, where our responsibilities are greater. As for spending 3.5 billion of our taxes on the war and another 5 million on security for the visit, this is outrageous and a flagrant abuse of power by the failing Blair government.
Graham Shelton, Oxford England

I can't be bothered to take part in any demonstrations. They will achieve nothing. Most people in London see demonstrations as a fun day out. That's the 'vibe' I got from the Stop the War demonstrations a while back. People are sheep and the only thing they're interested in is to have a good time. Pity for the world.
Chris, City of London, UK

I am at a loss to see why this man has been allowed to take over our capital
Vince Garwood, London
I support the protests. I am at a loss to see why this man has been allowed to take over our capital for a visit that is really a short Christmas holiday for the president. I believe that people should protest not only at his policies but how much money is being spent on this worthless visit. Everyone including school children have the right to protest and should do so without fear of reprisal from schools.
Vince Garwood, London

I am very pleased that President Bush has been able to come. Apart from all the other issues, it would have been the height of discourtesy to withdraw an invitation that was issued 18 months ago.
Jeremy Eyre, Birkenhead, England

State visits concur an immense recognition of our political partners. While the United States may deserve this recognition, I do not believe that Bush is a worthy representative. Blair should use this with better judgement and not discredit the institution
Marsden, Paris, France

Why do protestors always believe they are speaking for all of us? Welcome, George!
Simon B, Southampton

I would like to ask everyone who plans to take part in the protest to remember that until recently, the Iraqi people did not have the right to protest AT ALL.
Guy Hammond, London, England

I lived in London for 12 years. G. Bush should experience the strength of feeling of British people who see in him not a great statesman, but an anomalous extrusion symptomatic of extremely dangerous times.
Anthony Nelson, Dublin, Ireland

These protests are wholly unrepresentative of British popular feeling.
name here
I do not support these protests against George Bush. They are wholly unrepresentative of British popular feeling. They are promoted by a group of disaffected, ant-globalisation, self hating Neanderthals who moan about everything. They forget who the real problem leaders of the world are - such as Mugabe, Gaddaffi, Arafat and the N.Korean's. Three cheers for Bush, the best of American!
Richard Fothergill, Cape Town, S.Africa

I run a popular mobile phone ringtone website. We decided to offer a free "Stop Bush" logo on Monday to coincide with the State visit. Already almost 2000 free "Stop Bush" mobile phone pictures have been downloaded by teenagers in the UK. The interest has been incredible - already it is the most popular logo that we have ever offered from our website. This indicates to me that there are hundreds of thousands of teenagers out there who are interested in politics and who object to the way that George Bush has orchestrated himself recently.
James Winsoar, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

At least Bush had the courage to do more than protest at the daily atrocities committed by Saddam against his own people in Iraq. If Bush hadn't acted, how many more innocent people would have suffered under his regime. These so-called 'peace' protestors cause more distress and suffering by preventing countries taking action against criminals like Saddam.
Iain McMenemy, Stirling, Scotland

I am glad that President Bush is visiting. It gives us the chance to voice our anger at his unforgivable actions.
David Baker, Bromley, UK

Certainly. This man is not elected by the British people, but has an enormous amount of power over our daily lives. Go home George!
Neil, Wales





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