Sunday, August 17, 2003

Progressive Gold
A letter from Senegal:
"As you probably know, this week George Bush is visiting Africa. Starting with Senegal, he arrived this morning at 7.20 PM and left at 1.30 PM. Let me share with you what we have been through since last week: More than 1,500 persons have been arrested and put in jail between Thursday and Monday. Hopefully they will be released now that the Big Man is gone; The US Army's planes flying day and night over Dakar; The noise they make is so loud that one hardly sleeps at night; About 700 security people from the US for Bush's security in Senegal, with their dogs, and their cars. Senegalese security forces were not allowed to come near the US president; All trees in places where Bush will pass have been cut. Some of them have been there for more than 100 years; All roads going down town (were hospitals, businesses, schools are located) were closed from Monday night to Tuesday at 3 PM. This means that we could not go to our offices or schools. Sick people were also obliged to stay at home; National exams for high schools that started on Monday are postponed until Wednesday...

Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton, and before them, Nelson Mandela, the Pope, and many other distinguished guests or ordinary tourists visited [Ile de Gorée] without bothering the islanders. But for "security reasons" this time, the local population was chased out of their houses from 5 to 12 AM. They were forced by American security to leave their houses and leave everything open, including their wardrobes, to be searched by special dogs brought from the US. The ferry that links the island to Dakar was stopped and offices and businesses closed for the day."

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