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Shots fired near Bush protesters
The Daily Telegraph (Australia)
August 15, 2005
A FRUSTRATED local farmer fired shots into the air today near hundreds of protesters who began their second week of demonstrations against the Iraq war outside US President George W Bush's ranch.
Larry Mattlage, who lives next to the Bush ranch where the president is spending a five week vacation, complained about the 200 protesters, media and government security officials occupying the road outside his own residence after firing a rifle into the air several times.
"Five weeks of this is too much. We live here, this is our community," Mattlage said in footage shown by CNN television, while insisting the gunshots were just him "getting ready for dove season".
"I shot at a bird, and missed it a while ago," he said.
Asked if the gunshots had another message, Mattlage told reporters: "Figure it out for yourself".
An anti-war protest outside Bush's Prairie Chapel ranch, launched a week ago by Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq, has garnered heavy media attention as public opinion polls show a sharp decline in support for the Iraq war.
The demonstrators have planted some 500 white wooden crosses on the road to the Bush ranch, each with the name of a US soldier killed in Iraq, including Sheehan's son Casey.