Source AP ©

Demonstrators protest near site of summit between George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin

Hundreds of demonstrators protested on Sunday near the site of the summit between President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin, criticizing Putin's hard line against the breakaway Chechnya region and calling for Bush's impeachment.

Protesters chanting "impeach, impeach, impeach" pulled a wagon with a 7-foot (2.13-meter) replica of the Statue of Liberty in a coffin, representing what they say is the loss of civil liberties under the Bush administration.

The crowd of about 1,700 was largely peaceful, but two demonstrators who insisted on crossing a police line were arrested.

The demonstration was organized by two groups, the Kennebunk Peace Department and the Maine Campaign to Impeach. But demonstrators represented a wide variety of causes and sought to focus attention on issues that included corporate greed and global warming.

Before the march, event organizer Jamilla El-Shafei said Bush and Putin have inflamed tensions that are already running high in the Muslim world.

Victoria Poupko, who moved from Moscow to Boston 17 years ago, said Bush and Putin are "both criminals" for torture, war crimes and abuse of power, among other things.

She carried a sign that said, "Stop imperialism. Bush out of Iraq. Putin out of Chechnya."

"Withdraw from Chechnya, let them have their independence," she said.

Bush arrived in Kennebunkport on Thursday at the seaside home that has been in the Bush family for a century. His father, former President George H.W. Bush, has spent at least part of every summer since childhood here except when he served in the Navy during World War II.

Putin planned to spend the night at the home before both leaders' departure on Monday, less than 24 hours later.

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