Despite the wind, rain, and cold in Dallas, dedicated peace and justice activists rallied to hold Karl Rove accountable on Monday [May 3, 2010] for his part in crimes committed by the Bush administration.
Without accountability, what will prevent the same things from happening over and over again?
CODEPINK showed up early to greet attendees of the exclusive (expensive) pre-show reception. At first, we stood right next to the doors, with our companion banners that read, "WE SEE A WAR CRIMINAL" and "ARREST HIM!", and we wore big pink bug-sunglasses to go along with that theme. Codepink uses farce to point out farce...and what is more farcical than a war criminal trying to legitimize his acts?
After most attendees were inside, we turned around and lined up in front of the glass-fronted lobby where the attendees were milling around, waiting to get into the reception. Noses-to-the-glass, we peered in with our bug-glasses and messages. They took lots of pictures, which we hope will be shown to their friends & family so that eventually someone - maybe several someones - will have a light-bulb moment.
Then the police came out and informed us that we'd have to move to public property, which, happily, just happened to be right where people were pulling in for valet parking and couldn't miss our messaging.
A man from an adjacent apartment building came over and shook all our hands and said, "Thank you so much for what you are doing! This needs to be done and I'm so glad to see that someone is doing it!" Later, he returned with hot tea and coffee for us!
We stayed until it was time for Rove's talk to begin and then un-donned our glasses & boas, picked up our tickets, and went into the auditorium. We sat quietly during the whole talk, waiting for the opportunity to ask questions during the "Q&A period," but it turned out that the moderator, Mike Gallagher, a conservative talk-show host and frequent FOX News contributor, was the only one slated to ask questions.
As soon as he mentioned CODEPINK by name, made fun of our lovely outfits, and said that a little rain must have scared us off, we took that as our cue. Two of us dropped a big banner that read, "MR. ROVE - PLEASE TURN YOURSELF IN," and waved handcuffs at him. We called out, "Mr. Rove - Waterboarding is torture; torture is illegal! Would you please turn yourself in...or at least agree to be waterboarded?" and "Karl Rove - How can you in all good conscience say that water-boarding is moral?" We were "escorted" out and rejoined the protest outside, which was now being held down by some awesome students from the U of N TX Campus Antiwar Network.
Moments later, two more dropped a second banner that read, "PROUD OF WATERBOARDING? REALLY??" Who wouldn't love the clip of Intrepid Nel being escorted out, with the banner still unfurled, in this video by Josh Smith.
Two people who weren't "banned" yet went inside, got into the book-signing line, and waited for the opportunity to point out, directly to Karl Rove, that he is, indeed a war criminal. More escorting-out.
Outside, we regrouped and rejoined the student activists. As the crowd poured out, we all lined up facing the auditorium, right next to where the valets were pulling up. As people got into their cars, they blurted out their own messages for us. Most lacked originality. There was the age-old, "Get a Job!" of course.
One woman said, as she was giving us quite a bit of attention, "If you didn't look so ridiculous people would pay more attention to you!" As for attention, Mr. Gallagher was nice enough to put us on his website. Thanks, Mike!
Another said, "I suppose you're all pro-abortion!" To which some of us replied, "No!" She ignored our explanations about a woman's choice, and yelled, "Killing is killing!" She scurried into her car, ignoring the irony of her own words.
Brandishing Rove's book, Courage and Consequence, a woman said, "You should read this book!" Some of us replied that we had. She had a Ron Paul bumper sticker, so we pointed out that Ron Paul was vehemently against many of the misdeeds of Karl Rove. She jumped in her car as fast as she could and sped away.
We invited commenters to stay and dialogue with us, but it seemed they all just wanted to call out their one-liners and run away.
The piece-de-resistance remark came from a woman who walked right up close to us, and, responding to our sign that said "PROUD OF TORTURE? REALLY??" she exclaimed, "The answer is, YES! I'm proud of torture. I'm very proud of torture! It's the American way!!"
Wow. The American way?! What can you say about that?