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Hundreds of demonstrators have protested in Brussels on the arrival of US President George Bush in Brussels on a five-day trip to Europe.
With thousands of protestors expected on the streets of Brussel's on Monday to greet the US president - his first trip since re-election - both the far left and far right had already gained a head start.
Hundreds of skinheads and communists demonstrated on Sunday, with the right wanting Bush to pull US troops out of Europe and the left criticising what they saw as the US president's disdain for international law.
BRUSSELS, Belgium — Hundreds of demonstrators protested George W. Bush's (search) visit Sunday, hours before the U.S. president was to arrive in Belgium (search) at the start of a conciliatory swing through Europe.
Bush will meet with more than two dozen European leaders during a tour aimed at healing the trans-Atlantic rift that opened during his first term, notably over the Iraq war (search).
"He is coming to persuade and influence the European leaders. We are afraid the European leaders will distance themselves from their people," said Pol de Vos, one of about 700 anti-Bush protesters marching peacefully in downtown Brussels.
Police have mounted an unprecedented security operation for the visit, deploying 2,500 officers — 1,000 more than usually deployed for the three or four summits that bring European Union leaders to the Belgian capital each year.
An alliance of 88 environmental, human rights, peace and other groups have planned protests near the U.S. Embassy for Monday and near the EU headquarters on Tuesday.