About 12,000 protesters, many carrying banners reading "Bush go home," "No. 1 Terrorist" and "Warmonger," marched through the German city of Mainz Feb. 23, during President Bush’s official visit. The rally, which was twice as big as expected, never got within earshot of Bush, but a small group of protestors rushed toward his car as he left to visit a US military base in nearby Wiesbaden. Police wrestled several demonstrators to the ground and led them away in handcuffs.
Bush was visiting Germany for the first time since the 2003 Iraq invasion, which Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and most Germans opposed. "When John F. Kennedy came to Germany he drove through cheering crowds," said Mark Reichelt, 20, a student. "Now Bush is here and will drive through empty streets." (Reuters, Feb. 23)