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Protests against Bush held across US
Thousands of people across the United States on Wednesday staged protests against President Goerge W. Bush's policies.
They used the anniversary of Bush's re-election to express their discontent with his policies including the war in Iraq and response to Hurricane Katrina and call for his resignation.
More than 800 Los Angeles high school students walked out of their campuses as part of a nationwide protest against Bush.
Adults accompanied groups of students "in all cases" as they left 10 high schools across the sprawling city, according to Dan Isaacs, chief operating officer of the Los Angeles Unified School District.
"Our issue ... was safety, and I think we fulfilled our mission, frankly," Isaacs said.
However, Edith Lagos, of the New York-based World Can't Wait, an organization formed recently to stage the rallies, claimed that police prevented students at two high schools from joining the event.
The group asked adults and children to walk out of office and class Wednesday and gather along Wilshire Boulevard in downtown Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, several hundred protestors gathered Wednesday in downtown Seattle to protest the Iraq war and the Bush administration's stance on everything from Supreme Court nomination to reproductive rights, a report said. High school and college students walked out of class to join the rally.
Organizers said a candlelight rally and march planned for Wednesday night at Seattle Central Community College would go on despite the lack of a city permit.
Hundreds of high school students in New York City on Wednesday staged a walkout in Union Square, midtown Manhattan, as part of a national day of resistance against the policy of the Bush administration.
Some students, though not even old enough to vote, started walking out of class late Wednesday morning to protest against Bush.
Many students said they were very much concerned about the war in Iraq.
"I'm here because my country is more important than my report card," said one student who came all the way to join his fellow students in a show of support to the event organizers.
Many students said there is not much about the Bush administration that they approve of, with the war in Iraq being the most upsetting.
Some younger students said that since they cannot exercise their right to vote yet, they came here to exercise their voices.
"I'm underage so I can't vote, and this is how I see fit to get my voice out there and my opinion out there," said an underage student.
Protests were also held in other major US cities. In Chicago, some 500 people attended a downtown rally as a few protesters waved Iraqi flags and vandalized American flags.
Wednesday was another violent day in Iraq.
The US military said on Wednesday that four US soldiers have been killed in the restive western Iraqi town of Ramadi since Tuesday.
Two US crew members were killed when a US helicopter crashed on Wednesday outside the western Iraqi city of Ramadi. The other two service members were also killed in Ramadi the day before by a roadside bomb, according to the military.
US forces launched an air strike near the crash site and a local doctor said there were dozens of casualties.
Also on Wednesday, a car bomb outside a mosque in the southern Iraqi town of Musayyib, a mainly Shiite town, killed at least 20 people and wounded more than 60 others.
The bomb attack occurred on the eve of the beginning of a Muslim festival to celebrate the end of Ramadan.
Earlier, several roadside bombs and shootings killed at least a dozen people, mostly in Baghdad.
The Iraqi government issued a recruitment call on Wednesday to former junior officers in Saddam Hussein's military to return to service two years after they were fired by the US occupiers.
The US decision to disband Saddam's 400,000-member army soon after he was ousted had been widely seen as a major reason for the increase of violence, which is fuelled by Sunni ex-soldiers.