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Arrest Karl RoveMarch 17, 2010
CODEPINK Fort Worth
Fort Worth, TX
Not willing to let Karl Rove's World Affairs Council appearance go unprotested, especially in view of his recent "proud of torture" comments, a contingent of Code Pink women was waiting for him at the Fort Worth Club on Tuesday in downtown Fort Worth, Texas. Rove is on tour, hawking his new book; or, shall we say, trying to rewrite history?
As soon as we arrived, the building's security guard approached us and said authoritatively, "Do you have a permit?" We answered, even more authoritatively, "Yes, we do! The US Constitution is our permit, and it's our First Amendment right to stand here," and stood our ground. He seemed a little surprised the we didn't cower, and said, "Uh. Okay. I'll check on that." He disappeared inside for a while; then returned to his post, and left us alone.
We stood on the outer edge of the sidewalk, right where the line of cars (including a dark SUV with tinted windows) going into the venue had to slow down or stop, as they filed in for the pre-presentation VIP reception. Our youngest cohort commented to her mom, "Hey, Mama ~ all these people much be rich, 'cause all the cars are really fancy!" Many windows were rolled down, and we got many comments, pro and con, including one "Go to Hell!," one "Get a job!," and three "Who's Rove?" queries. Several thumbs-up, but no birds today!
Several people walking by stopped to talk and ask questions, and most were sympathetic, some emphatically. Those who seemed to think we were nuts just walked away, except for one man who, after we told him Rove was inside, said, "Good. I love him! I love that whole administration." We asked what he loved about them. He couldn't think of anything, and scurried away. One passer-by was a reporter for the Fort Worth Star Telegram who stopped to interview us on the way in to the event.
After we'd been there for quite a while, and the flow of traffic had died down, the security guard approached us again and said, "Let me ask you something. Why don't you protest ALL torture?" We said we do, and that our sign saying, "Torture is Illegal" meant all torture. He continued, "What about all those people from those other countries who've tortured US soldiers, huh? Shouldn't they be held accountable?" We said that, yes, we were against all torture of anyone, civilian or military, and that torturers should be prosecuted. We reminded him that that's what the Nuremberg Trials, for example, were all about...and thanked him for bringing up that point.
A nice young man came out of the parking garage and we asked him if he would take our picture. He obliged and we conversed a bit about why we were there. After a short time, he said, "Well, I'd better not let Mr. Rove see me talking to you." We asked if he was Rove's driver, and he just smiled and went back into the parking garage.
After the traffic died down at the main entrance, we decided to stroll around the building (which took up the whole block), doing a little mini-march with our signs (and our canine Mascot, Maddie) and singing a song about Rove, to the tune of "We Shall Not Be Moved." Our favorite verse was:
Tell Karl Rove that torture is a crime
Not just for the lower-level guys
But for all those
Who planned and authorized it
Torture is a crime!
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