A few hundred protesters gather outside the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel

A few hundred protesters gather outside the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel

Crowd of a few hundred gathers outside Surrey economic summit

Sign-carrying protesters in Guildford oppose the appearance of George W. Bush.

Carrying signs with slogans such as “Complicit in Torture,” “Arrest George Bush,” and “Shame, Shame, Shame,” a growing crowd of protesters are facing a line of police in Guildford, as the Surrey Regional Economic Summit continues.

At least four RCMP helicopters are circling above the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel, along with an unmarked black helicopter and those belonging to local news outlets.

So far, security personnel outnumber the protesters.

Speakers at the summit have included economics journalists and Craig and Mark Kielburger, co-founders of Free the Children, but the most contentious guest is former U.S. president George W. Bush, who is appearing with Bill Clinton, also a former American president.

Bush and Clinton’s talk began at 12:45 p.m. today.

The presence of Bush has created a firestorm of controversy among critics who accuse him of war crimes, specifically allowing torture.

Last week, Amnesty International called for the arrest of Bush when he touches down in Canada.

“Canada is required by its ipolice linenternational obligations to arrest and prosecute former President Bush given his responsibility for crimes under international law including torture,” Amnesty International sent out in a release.

Police are lined up out front of the hotel and have shut down 104 Avenue between 152  and 154 Streets to accommodate the crowd.

“We’ve had to develop a robust and very structured operational plan,” Surrey RCMP Cpl. Drew Grainger said.

He said police will be taking a meet-and-greet approach to the crowd, as was done at Scott Road and 72 Avenue during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Leader has a reporter and photographer at the scene and will be updating this story as the events unfold.

If you have images or stories from the summit you’d like to share, email us at newsroom@surreyleader.com or share on http://www.facebook.com/surreyleader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey council has awarded a contract for the design of the Nicomekl Bridge replacement. (Google Streetview image)
Surrey approves $1M design contract for Nicomekl Bridge replacement

Construction anticipated to get underway in fall 2021

(Black Press Media files)
Snowfall expected for Lower Mainland on Saturday night, Sunday morning

2 to 5 cm of snow predicted Metro Vancouver, according to Environment Canada

Court of Appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man convicted of assault, unlawfully confining woman pregnant with his child loses court appeal

Victim tells court he drove her to Guildford parking lot after he’d ‘grabbed’ her neck and she fainted

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

Fire on Yale Road north of the overpass Friday morning. (Progress file)
Early morning blaze guts Chilliwack restaurant

The fire erupted north of the overpass closing one lane of Yale Road

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Most Read