Thanking for participation in Afghanistan mission Bush omits Poland

20 12 2007

Source: Onet.pl & PAP Polish Press Agency; 20 Dec 2007
Translation from Polish: MoPoPressReview

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On a press conference the American President George W. Bush said, he’s not satisfied with the political progress in Iraq. He also thanked the allied countries for their participation in Afghanistan mission, expressing his fears over their possible withdrawal from this country.

Mr Bush expressed his concern for some allied countries’ intention to withdraw from this country before the situation in Afghanistan stabilises. – ‘I’m most concerned that some people say <<We’re tiered with Afghanistan, we’re thinking about backing out>> – he said.

‘My aim is to help the allies in finding a task they will be able to realise, and to convince them that we need time before the experience of democracy in Afghanistan works‘ – declared Mr Bush thanking the British, the Canadian, the Danish, the Australian and “other allies” for their effort.

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Antiglobalists blocked by the police ahead of Bush’s arrival in Hel

8 06 2007

Source: gazeta.pl portal
Authors: Sławomir Sowula, met, Polish Press Agency
Translation: MoPoPressReview

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The blockade awaited demonstrators since early morning today. It has been situated, by the police, at the place of previous checkpoint, that used to guard access to what in the old days used to be restricted area between Hel and Jurata on the narrow Hel peninsula.

Antiglobalists were first blocking the road to Hel – and they had been removed by the police. Currently there are circa 200 security officers in the area making sure that the road through the peninsula is passable. Demonstrators had been separated into two groups and now occupy the pavements on sides of the road. Demonstrators have hooted a column of American cars passing earlier today, that was heading to the president’s residence. Currently the situation is calm and peaceful, and there are no incidents.

Demonstrations in Hel‘We have sent a notice to the Jastarnia and Hel local councils, where the president’s residence is located. Our demonstration is therefore legal and peaceful’ – says Filip Ilkowski of Inicjatywy Stop Wojnie (No Wars Initiative). – ‘We want to voice or protest against situating anti-missile base in our country, and Poland’s participation in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.’

Mayor of Jastarnia Tyberiusz Narkowicz, who appeared at the antiglobalists’ demonstration on Friday, confirms its legality.

Narkowicz said, that antiglobalists were also granted permission to march in the direction of president’s residence. He added however, that he didn’t know whether at that moment there were any occurences, that could prevent manifestation from moving in the planned direction. (…)

However the blockade is situated not in Jastarnia commune, but in the area of Hel commune, the same where presidents’ meeting is planned to take place. Only two kilometeres away are the gates, guarded by the army. Blockade consists of several hundred policemen, an armoured car, water-pumping car, dogs and an armoured police squad.

Each car approaching the checkpoint is stopped and thoroughly checked. A queue of cars has already formed at 9 in the morning.

In the nearby resort of Jurata, there weren’t many signs of Bush-Kaczynski summit at midday. For some tourists it is an additional attraction to hot weather, for local residents a nuisance.

‘They’re making more fuss then there was during the martial law – complained the locals. – ‘It scares tourists off. Many have cancelled their reservations, when they found out what could be happening here’.

Train services suspended

Train service Reda-Hel was unexpectedly suspended today at 10 am by BOR (Government Security Office). President Bush will be visiting Hel in the afternoon.

‘We received such an order from BOR, it wasn’t our decition’ – said Danuta Kaminska, PKP Polish Railroads spokeswoman. – ‘I don’t know why the train service has been suspended 6 hours ahead of US president’s arrival’.

Two days ago The Pomeranian Police and Pomeranian Voivod’s services assured journalists, that during Mr Bush’s visit, train services will operate like everyday, with the difference that it would be patrolled by the security. Sudden decision to withheld the service is probably due to concerns regarding antiglobalist demonstration. They were supposed to arrive in Jurata by train, and than march from the train station up to president’s residence in Hel. As we were informed, train services wil be suspended until 8 pm.

Commuters are advised to use the substitute bus services, matching the train timetable, which will operate on the Reda-Hel route. Buses will depart from Reda Train Station.

Sławomir Sorula interviews one of the protesters

Sławomir Sowula: Why did you come to Jurata?

Filip Ilkowski: We came to protest againt George Bush’s visit in Poland, against the policy he represents. Moreover against the construction of American installations perversely called “shield”, and also against Polish government’s participation in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both disgraceful, cruel and bloody. Bush himself is a politician, who is the head of the biggest military organisation in the world, and has more blood on his hands than any other politician. So when he comes too a country, there always are protests against him. Poland is no different.

How do you want to protest?

In the place, where Bush will meet his Polish fan Kaczynski, we want to protest loudly and visibly. Our demonstration is legal, it will march from Jurata Train Station to Polish President’s residence.

Do you think you will have some guest-demonstrators from the G8 summit?

We don;t check people’s passports, but this is an international protest and maybe someone will show up.

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See also:
‘Bush in Poland’ by the Beatroot
President Bush to visit Hel


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President Bush to visit Hel

5 06 2007

Source: Gazeta Wyborcza Trójmiasto
Authors: Krzysztof Katka, Michał Tusk
Translation: MoPoPressReview

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Protests and extra security measures will accompany president of The United States of America in his visit in Hel. George W. Bush will talk with president Lech Kaczyński abouts the plans to situate elements of missile defence system in Poland.

American president will arrive in Gdansk from the German town of Rostock. After the press conference on Lech Walesa Airport, he will go to Hel, located on the tip of the Hel peninsula, some 33 kilometres from the Polish mainland. Mr and Mrs Bush will spend three hours at the Polish coast, while two thousand police officers and hundreds of other officers will guard their safety. These will include Government Security Services, Border Guard, National Guard, the Navy and at least several hundred American agents. For the last week American embassy employees and their guests have taken the Hotel Nadmorski in Gdynia for their exclusive use, and it has been turned into the operational centre for the visit organisers. The area around the Hotel has been closed.

President Bush will fly to the town of Hel by the Marine One, which is the helicopter version of the Air Force One airplane. Two of these helicopters are already on standby at the Gdansk Airport. For the last few days the traffic above the city has been increased. The servicing equipment for president’s plane has already been shipped. (…)

It is president Bush’s third visit to Poland. His father has visited Poland during his presidency in 1989 to meet Lech Walesa. “Dziennik” daily, citing unofficial information, wrote that although the guests requested to include a meeting with Lech Walesa, the Polish president’s office did not agree for it. Nor Polish government nor American administration would confirm that such request had been made.

Mr Walesa himself told us on Tuesday, that he heard about such requests. – ‘There have been signals, and then I found out that the Polish president’s office did not approve. However I will be home on Friday, should American president desire to meet me, I am ready’ – said Walesa.

This isn’t the only diplomatic trouble. The mayor of Hel Miroslaw Wadolowski will write a letter to the White House, which in its press release misinformed the public, that President Bush will visit neighbouring Jurata, instead of his commune.

‘They should know where they send their president’ – says Wadolowski outraged. ‘I suspect that they have been misinformed themselves by our president’s office, which constantly claims that the president’s residence is in Jurata, although I have sent them several letters on that matter’.

Antiglobalists announced they will protest during the president’s visit near the residence. They plan to bring signs saying “Welcome to hell” in English. – ‘Over a hundred, maybe even 500 antiwar activists will manifest outside the residence’ – declared Filip Ilkowski from Inicjatywa Stop Wojnie (No Wars Initiative). – ‘We want to demonstrate peacefully against the situating of antimissile defence system, however if there will be any difficulties, then all sorts of things can happen’.

‘We are ready for antiglobalists’ manifestations, and we hope it will be peaceful – said Jan Kosciuk, spokesman for the Pomeranian Police. – ‘Should public order be disturbed, our reaction will be firm’.

The police in Tricity metropolis are advising drivers not to use their cars on Friday after midday. Privileged vehicles columns driving through the city, will cause many road closures. Drivers in Hel and Rebiechow will be most affected.

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