WCW Home Take Action Videos & Reports of Demonstrations 5-28-09 Karl Rove Protested at the Chicago Theater
5-28-09 Karl Rove Protested at the Chicago Theater PDF Print E-mail

"Unjust, Immoral, Criminally Insane: Stop the Torture, Stop the War, Let’s Just Make it Plain” This chant, along with banners that read “No Torture” and “Release the Torture Photos, Prosecute” and good agitation by members of World Can't Wait, and an actor switching from wearing a Cheney mask to a Rove mask, and those dressed in orange jumpsuits wearing black hoods, made for a highly energizing and polarizing evening in downtown Chicago.

Karl Rove appeared with James Carville as a part of speakers series called "The Minds that Move the World" and moderated by Charlie Rose at the Chicago Theater the evening of May 28. Today was supposed to be the day that the Pentagon was to release 2000 more photos of torture, but Obama has since decided to block the release. World Can't Wait chose today to be a National Day of Resistance to U.S. torture even as those in the ruling class fight each other as to how they're going to get the people to go along with the torture program. The presence of World Can't Wait and other activists made it difficult for the crowds of people streaming into the theater to ignore the message that those responsible for torture must be prosecuted and that we all have the responsibility of demanding this so that the torture state will be dismantled. Many people stopped and took fliers and photographed the scene. Some engaged in a dialogue with activists about what is needed to stop these crimes being committed in our names. Others shied away and tried to shield themselves from the truth. Few others defended U.S. war crimes and war criminals.

What topped the evening was seeing two World Can't Wait activists who had gone inside the theater come around the corner with a banner which read “Torture =War Crime, Prosecute” The “O” in torture was actually a skull painted in white. They had taken this banner inside and about ten minutes into the event they moved to the aisle and unfurled the banner and yelled “Torture is a War Crime!” “Prosecute War Criminals” and “Rove is a War Criminal.” Security moved in quickly to remove them and they were escorted out. A few moments later when Rove began to talk about water boarding two other activists stood up and yelled “Water boarding is torture!” “You're a War Criminal” Some people not associated with World Can't Wait who were going to the event told an activist that they had planned on heckling Rove as well.

The energy produced by the protesters and the visual displays made one thing clear. While war criminals like Rove go unprosecuted by the government courts that he and others like him will be prosecuted in the court of public opinion so long as many keep coming forward in a loud and visible way to say “Torture is a War Crime, Prosecute!” The Roves, the Yoos, the Addingtons, the Bybees, the Cheneys, the Bushes, etc. will have no sanctuary from people of conscience until they are prosecuted.

World Can't Wait Chicago was joined by Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Eighth Day Center for Justice, Veterans for Peace, Revolutionary Communist Party, Code Pink, and 9/11 Truth.

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