Bush celebrates his inauguration despite protests

 

President George W. Bush celebrated his inauguration in last night as thousands of demonstrators booed.

"Now is not the time for speeches. It's the time for dancing," the new president told a crowd at the first of inaugural balls he attended.

However, amid the tightest-ever security measures for a presidential swearing-in, police said they had arrested nine protesters and charged them with disorderly conduct. Some protesters said they were clubbed although this was denied by police.

One group taunted supporters of President Bush, shouting, "You're racist, you're sexist, you must be from Texas" and "No to President Death," a reference to Bush's governorship of Texas which executes more people than any other state. The Bush supporters shot back: "George W. Bush, George W. Bush" and "Sore Losers".

President Bush gave brief speeches at each of the balls, thanking the supporters who were grouped according to their states and spoke of the incredible events of the day and praised the democratic process in the United States.

Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris was canonized as the Joan of Arc of the Republican Party on Saturday night, in a triumphant onstage appearance at her home state's inaugural ball.

Reuters/AFP