APEC protesters show Bush a bit of cheek

( Reuters ) - Bottoms up, Mr Bush.

In a protest against the Iraq war and global warming, dozens of people bared their buttocks on Friday in a Sydney park not far from where world leaders were gathered for a regional summit.

But the "Bums for Bush" gathering in Hyde Park was not quite as cheeky as organisers had hoped.

Only about 50 people turned up to brave the unseasonably cool and rainy spring weather to drop their pants instead of the hoped-for record-breaking 4,000.

"Bush has been showing his arse to the world for many years on everything from Kyoto (Protocol on climate change) to the war on terror and this is a chance for the people to show it back," said event organiser Will Saunders.

One protester dressed in costume shaped like a bomb, while others held a large sign reading "Australia welcomes war criminal Bush" while they mooned.

Bush, though, also had his fans.

About eight supporters staged a protest earlier in the day in the same park in which a U.S. student dropped his pants to reveal the words "pro Bush" on his buttocks.

Thousands of protesters plan to rally in Sydney on Saturday when 21 leaders attend this weekend's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum summit.

Australia is staging its biggest ever security operation for APEC, saying they expect violent protests on Saturday. So far, though, heavy security and bad weather has dampened most demonstrations.

Most have been small, colourful affairs.

On Sydney's Bondi Beach on Friday, a group unfurled a huge banner calling on APEC leaders to commit to binding climate targets.

Back in Hyde Park, about 100 people gathered wearing T-shirts saying "Cage Bush, not Sydney", a reference to the vast security fence closing off large parts of the city centre.

"Bush is not welcome in our city," said Rob Cunningham.

Police arrested one man after he squirted tomato sauce over police officers and other people in Hyde park after a scuffle broke out between protesters, Australian Associated Press reported.

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