Protestors gather for First Lady’s visit to Vermont

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(Protestors) “What do we want? Troops out.”

(Host) Outside the Inn at Essex, protesters began gathering at about 10 this morning. By the time the first lady’s motorcade arrived, about 75 people were chanting and holding up signs, many protesting the war in Iraq.

Barbara McGrew is from Burlington. She expressed disappointment with Martha Rainville for not distancing herself from the Bush Administration.

(McGrew) “When she chose to run as a Republican she’s tied herself to all the policies of this administration, and I think the people of Vermont are opposed to them, and will be opposed to her.”

(Host) Other protesters, like John McDonald of Burlington, expressed their frustration with Laura Bush. Mcdonald argued that Washington policymakers are out of touch with their constituents.

(McDonald) “When you look at the poll numbers, more and more people actually opposed to the war now than ever before, and yet Laura Bush says that she doesn’t believe the polls. And so there’s a disconnect between what people are thinking on the ground, and what Bush and his fellow neo-cons in the White House are actually doing. And so I think that that disconnect is what people are looking for in terms of actually demonstrating, and this helps to actually bridge the gap between where people are and what they want to do.”

(Host) As the first lady’s motorcade passed, one protester was in the road and Essex Police restrained him. Brendan O’Neill of Burlington was pushed away from the road and to the ground.

O’Neill hit his head on the concrete sidewalk, but after several minutes said he was OK and urged onlookers to refocus on the protest.

Police said an ambulance was summoned and that O’Neill refused treatment.

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