Danes to spoil Bush’s birthday

As U.S. President George W. Bush is going to have a short stay in Denmark on the way to G8 summit in Scotland, Danes express their discontent with U.S. policies on poverty and AIDS. It is a no good present for the 58th birthday George Bush is going to celebrate in Denmark.

According to the AP, thousands of people were preparing to stage rallies Tuesday across Denmark to protest a brief visit by U.S. President George W. Bush on his way to the G8 summit in Scotland.

More than 2,000 police officers were deployed to block off streets and keep an eye on demonstrators in one of the biggest security operations the Scandinavian country has ever seen.

A 30-year-old Dane was arrested Monday in Copenhagen for allegedly making threats against Bush in an e-mail, criminal police chief Ove Dahl said. He did not provide details on the e-mail or the suspect, who has been ordered held for six days.

Protests started even before the U.S. president had arrived, with about 150 people turning up for a peaceful anti-Bush rally in the northwestern city of Aarhus.

In Copenhagen, organizers said about 5,000 people came to a downtown park for a rock concert staged to urge Bush to do more to fight poverty and HIV/AIDS.

Protesters also have planned a peaceful torch vigil outside the Fredensborg Palace where Bush will stay, organizers said. "Bush is not welcome here," organizer Arne Lund said before the vigil.

The palace north of Copenhagen is usually open to the public, but because of the Bush visit, scores of police officers have set up concrete road blocks and barbed wire, turning the castle, built in 1722, into a fortress.

Police will keep close watch on a rally late Tuesday by anti-capitalist activists who in flyers urged demonstrators to "come angry," police spokesman Flemming Steen Munch said.

On Wednesday, several anti-Bush rallies are expected to converge outside the U.S. Embassy and organizers expect to gather about 20,000 people.

George Bush is set to hold talks with Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen before heading to the three-day G-8 summit, which begins Wednesday.

The visit is seen as a nod to the Danish government, which is a staunch U.S. supporter. Denmark has more than 500 troops stationed in Iraq, and Bush said of Anders Fogh Rasmussen last week: "He's a good man. He's got a good, strong backbone," notices Reuters.

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