US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was greeted by protesters carrying anti-war banners, along with cries of 'war criminal' and 'human rights abuser' as she joined British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw on a tour of northern England on Friday.
Rice's planned visit to a Blackburn mosque was canceled Thursday after anti-war protesters planned to heckle her during prayer time, a mosque leader said. A prominent poet and actress pulled out of planned appearances at a Liverpool Philharmonic concert Rice was to attend Friday in protest of US policies.
But Rice said she wasn't surprised by the protests, calling it an essential element of a healthy democracy.
"People have the right to protest. That's what democracy is all about," she said in Blackburn, with Straw at her side