Spaniards protest over Bush visit
MADRID, Spain -- Thousands of Spaniards have marched through Madrid to protest against the upcoming visit of U.S. President George W. Bush.
Nearly 3,000 protesters blocked the streets in the city centre, waving banners reading "Bush Go Home" and chanting slogans, police told Reuters.
Bush is scheduled to arrive in Madrid on Tuesday to kick off a six-day tour of Europe.
The demonstrators were angry over U.S. embargoes against Cuba and Iraq, U.S. missile defence plans, the death penalty and Bush's decision to reject the Kyoto global warming pact.
Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh is scheduled to die by lethal injection on Monday, just a few hours before Bush embarks on his European trip.
Bush assembled a Cabinet-level working group on global warming in March, about two weeks after he backed away from a campaign pledge to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
He then rejected an international pact negotiated in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, requiring industrial nations to reduce greenhouse gases by specified amounts.
Carlo Acero, Spanish environmentalist, said: "I am here because of this imperialist president who thinks the world is his garden... the world is bigger than the U.S."
On Tuesday night protesters are set to hold a second demonstration in front of the U.S. embassy.
Organisers say they will do everything possible to keep the protest peaceful.
The World Bank recently cancelled a conference on poverty in Barcelona fearing confrontation from anti-globalisation groups.
Spanish officials said security would be tight during Bush's visit but that no "extraordinary" measures were being taken.
Meanwhile, a car bomb blamed on the Basque separatist group ETA exploded on Sunday 250 kilometres (160 miles) north of Madrid in the capital of Spain's Rioja wine-producing region.
Several residents were injured by broken glass.
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