Protesters Fibrillate Bush

by

Fifth Estate # 337, Late Summer, 1991

It rarely happens that the king comes in contact with rabble, but he did here in Michigan on May 4, the 21st anniversary of the state murders at Kent State Univ.

Presidente Bush was the honored guest at the University of Michigan graduation ceremonies in nearby Ann Arbor, so we at the Fifth Estate joined with hundreds of others to meet the leader in his limo.

Stadium passes were everywhere, so many folks went inside to flash placards and walk out in protest when Bush hit the podium. Others remained outside the gates chanting, drumming and heckling. A widely reprinted poster of George with “LIAR” emblazoned under it in bold, black letters, was everywhere.

Another popular item was stalks of broccoli held to the end of a stick by a rubber band. We thought this somewhat tame compared to the blood-drenched caricatures and accusations of “Murderer” and “War Criminal” that leapt from many signs, but later found out how handy these vegetables were.

As the rally in the stadium drew to a close, word spread of Bush’s impending departure and the protesters converged along a driveway leading out of the parking lot.

Howling demonstrators milled in the drive and lined both sides, becoming more spirited as it became apparent the cops were unprepared or unwilling to move us away. They succeeded in pushing those in the drive to one side, but sparked a melee of flying fists and the arrest of one man when a Secret Service agent pushed too hard on one demonstrator. The angered crowd responded b” shouting expletives at the cops and, at that moment in the disorganized affair, police motorcycles followed by several limos roared down the drive.

The timing was perfect. The cops and feds had lost control of the crowd and people were leaning over the yellow police tape thrusting signs, shaking fists, and flipping the finger no more than 25 feet from the official entourage.

Then came the Leader’s Car, with its tinted back window and presidential flag flapping on the hood. As if on signal, the vegetable carriers converted their protest symbols to broccoli launchers. A quick, forward snap of the stick sent dozens of the hated stalks sailing toward the limousine, hitting its roof and splattering onto the pavement.

Some of the broccoli brigade were chased by the cops, while others slung their greens with impunity. None were arrested. Bush waved a wooden “fuck-you” from behind the tinted glass as his driver pulled onto the main road and sped away. The crowd, happier now from their Marx Brothers-like release, surged past the police lines demanding the release of the arrestee, making an enormous ruckus to the astonishment of the gawking parents of the U-M graduates.

Later that evening, back home in Detroit, we were amused to hear on the news that King George’s ticker almost vapor-locked on him after a jog at Kennebunkport. We can only take so much of the credit for this meat eater’s heart troubles, but we’re glad we could help in our small way to the demise of this oxygen wasting automaton.

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