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by via Parmendes
Friday, Aug. 22, 2003 at 2:13 PM
He lost Afghansitan. He is losing Iraq. Even in America Bush can't get the people on his side.
Protesters Greet Bush in Northwest
Thu Aug 21, 4:41 PM ET
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By Randall Mikkelsen
PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) - About 2,000 protesters, some shouting "shame on Bush," met President Bush (news - web sites) in the Pacific Northwest on Thursday as he sought to promote his environmental agenda and raise campaign money.
Slideshow: President Bush
Outside a University of Portland arena where Bush spoke at a million fundraiser for his re-election campaign, about 2,000 demonstrators waved signs that denounced the president's environmental and economic policies and the U.S. occupation of Iraq (news - web sites).
Riot police kept the crowds apart from the president and guarded intersections in the residential neighborhood Bush's motorcade passed.
At one neighborhood intersection dozens of protesters greeted the motorcade with their fingers raised in an obscene gesture, and a lawn sign along the way read, "This tree is anti-Bush."
Oregon's unemployment rate at 8.1 percent was the highest of any state in July but Bush's political team regards the state as competitive in the 2004 election.
Bush told his audience of 500 that their financial contributions reflected "the depth of support here in Oregon" and urged backers to energize grass-roots support.
In Portland last year, anti-war protesters clashed with police near Bush's hotel, in what was then one of the biggest demonstrations against his administration. Thursday's protests appeared non-violent.
Bush's fundraiser came before two days of events aimed at wooing the region's environmentally sensitive voters by highlighting the president's policies for preventing forest fires and protecting salmon habitat.
Later on Thursday Bush was to visit Oregon's Deschutes National Forest to promote what he told the fund-raising audience would be "a common sense policy," aimed at making it easier to thin trees and prevent the summer wildfires that often strike the western United States.
But two wildfires now raging in the area forced Bush to change his plans.
He had planned a walking tour of the area, but will now take a helicopter tour of forest areas affected by the fires.
Also, a key local activist, Toni Foster, president of a non-profit conservation group known as Friends of the Metolius, canceled plans to meet Bush so she could protect her home from the blazes, White House officials said.
Bush's forest plan would ease requirements for removing small underbrush and trees on 20 million acres of forest susceptible to wildfires.
Major blazes swept parts of Colorado, Arizona, Montana, Idaho, California, Oregon and Washington this summer, burning about 2.4 million acres.
The legislation passed the House of Representatives in May and the Senate is expected to take it up in the fall.
Opponents, including Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Joseph Lieberman (news, bio, voting record), argue Bush's "Healthy Forest Initiative" will erode environmental checks and allow timber companies easieraccess to forests.
"Healthy Forests should be called the No Tree Left Behind plan," Lieberman said in a statement. "If the logging industry cut down a thousand trees in the forest, George Bush would deny they made a sound."
In Washington on Friday, Bush will visit Ice Harbor Lock and Dam on Lake Sacajawea and the Snake River to tout how the endangered Pacific salmon population is rebounding even as the dam's power plant continues to generate power for the area.
Activists, however, say the change in wild fish stocks is small and has little to do with the implementation of policies to help the salmon get around the dam on their spawning migrations up and down the Snake River.
Bush will also shave a fundraiser in Seattle on Friday.
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