Rifle pointed at protesters in Florida during Bush visit


by Susan S Fri May 12, 2006 at 05:00:12 AM PDT

Unfortunately, I was out-of-town on Tuesday when Bush visited with senior citizens in Sun City, Florida, but several of my friends arranged a protest. Forgive me if I missed a previous diary on this. I am just now catching up and I’m appalled. Below the fold are some first-hand (and very scary) reports from the event:

Narrative re: Bush’s visit to SCC on May 9, 2006 from Barbara Nicholson

We stood with about 50 others on rte 674 and when the motorcade came by there was assault rifle OUT the window pointing at ALL of us and the cars all looked like I remember seeing in the Hitler motorcades in the movies when I was a child, all boxy and black and one had the Pres seal and American flag on the sides. It was absolutely chilling! I worked the inner city for 15 years with gangs and even with kids and families of the Bloods and Crips and have never had an assault rifle pointed my way. In my 75 years I have seen many Pres motorcades and shook many pres hands and seen many pres elects and their entourage but never anything like this with the motorcycles, big black cars and rifles were just the very last straw. It wasn’t the rifle that was scary it was knowing that this madman is so insecure and scared and psychotic that this is how he must travel. AARRRRRGH! USA, Banana Republic for sure. Then to know our tax money paid for this photo op and for the fundraising luncheon at the Renaissance Club is truly the icing on the cake which will kill us all. Very depressing to say the least.

From an intern for Congressional candidate John Russell (FL-5):
Here is my full story, with everything correct. As you know I am interning with John Russell, a candidate in District 5 running against Ginny Brown-Waite. We went to the protest to make sure bush heard about the problems with Medicare Part D. As the President drove by John was delivering his message to the President, who was looking at us out the window. I don’t remember if it was before or after the President’s car, but inside on of the black suv’s was a man holding, what looked to be, an automatic rifle out the window. It was pointed at the protesters. I am glad to hear that the people on the other side of the street saw this too. Those of us on the corner I was on couldn’t believe that this had occurred, and John proceeded to tell President Bush as he got out of the motorcade, ‘how dare you point a weapon at civil protesters’ among other things. It was a very interesting day for me, being the first time I have ever seen the President, and the first time I have been directly threatened by the President. hopefully this helps in lining up the stories. Please send this out to everyone, and keep the talk growing. I want to know if this is standard operating procedure for the Bush motorcade, or a one time thing.

~Nic Zateslo
Intern for John Russell, Candidate for Congress District 5

And from Kossack boofdah:
Mary, Nic, and I were there as well; and yes, it went down exactly as Barbara and John have said below. I don’t think I’ve ever felt such a sense of foreboding in my life as when I saw that automatic rifle pointed at us, peaceful protesters.

At the time September 11th happened, I worked at a military base near where I used to live before we moved to FL. Immediately after 9/11, our base was at Threatcon D, meaning that the military personnel guarding our base had to be armed. Yeah, I saw sharp-shooters and automatic rifles; but I took some kind of comfort in the notion that these measures were meant for the “bad guys.”

On Tuesday, the message that the sniper hanging out the window with his automatic weapon had for us was that we peacefully-protesting Americans were the “bad guys.” And that thought alone gave me the chills. More details from another protester attending the event on Tuesday Please,please,please get this right. The weapon was not fully sticking out the window in a pointed position towards any of us. It was how ever raised up and the person holding it had right hand in trigger position it was in the direction of our group. It was indeed an assault rifle and the man in the car was dressed full swat. I covered television news so I have seen these SWAT members before. I was the first in our group to see it so I want to make sure this is clear. It still was an amazing sight and scarey too! Thanks, Mary

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