Bush Protest Draws Anti-War Activists

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During the President's speech, there were around 75 people gathered outside the Convention Center. The demonstration was put together by the Americans Against Escalation in Iraq, a group protesting not only our Commander in Chief, but also some of Nevada's major Washington players.

"We are here to tell Dean Heller it's time to stop his allegiance with Bush when it comes to Iraq, and to listen to 52% plus of Nevadans who agree with us that it's time to end the war," said Jacob Roberts, one of the protest organizers.

Demonstrators say the most passionate peace-makers of Nevada's anti-war population gathered on the corner of Peckham and South Virginia, with a message that was hard to miss.

"I don't know where to begin. It's been a disaster since the 2000 election," said a protester dressed as Uncle Sam.

Protesters included war veterans, like former Marine, Doug Smith, who criticized the president for contributing to the death toll in Iraq.

"I surely can't believe in a commander in chief that runs around acting brave and doing these photo ops. This is just another photo op for him. This is a friendly audience. Why doesn't he come out here and talk to us, the real people and the real veterans?" said Smith.

While Police and Highway Patrol controlled traffic delays, drivers expressed mixed reactions to the protest.

"A lot of positive reaction. There were a few sour faces and one finger. But other than that, very positive," said Linda Gomez.

"Ah, a few, but they don't know what they are talking about," added another protester, Barbara LaForge.

In one corner, there were even protesters, protesting the protest. This trio of legionnaires from Vermont skipped the president's speech, and opted for a closer view of the anti-war demonstration.

"I think it's a useless cause. They aren't helping Bush by doing this and they aren't helping the troops. We certainly don't want them back over here. We want them to stay there. If we take these troops out, we are going to have serious problems in America I am afraid," said one American Legion Member, Tootie McDermott of Montpelier, VT.

Bush finished up his speech around 11 'o clock, and that's when the crowd of protesters grew to a little over 100 people.

Although the protest was mostly peaceful, police say there was one small scuffle. A delegate headed toward the Convention Center yelled at protesters and allegedly shoved a woman. Law enforcement quickly intervened and there were no arrests made.