The Mock Trial of Karl Rove yesterday at the Virginia Beach Town Center Fountain was a success! The news reported between 30 and 40 people having been there. Rove said he was coming out for an interview, and to my knowledge he never ended up doing so. They snuck him in and out of the Sally Port of the Restaurant. Thelma Drake was reported as being none too pleased over the days events and neither were the supporters of Rove and Drake who had to walk through us to attend the $2300 dollar a plate lunch.
We got good coverage on all three news channels and in the Pilot. I haven't checked the Daily Press yet. Here is what I found on Channel 3. By 11PM all of the news channels and the paper had us linked on their home page. We all had a great time! Thanks to everyone who made it out! Here is the News coverage:
From Channel 10:
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY.com) -- The shouts of protesters turned an area of Town Center in Virginia Beach into an outdoor courtroom.
"Arrest Karl Rove! Arrest Karl Rove!" they yelled.
A man wearing devil's horns and a Karl Rove mask made of paper stood as the accused in a mock trial. The jury of protesters charge him with several crimes including exposing a CIA operative... and most recently refusing to testify before Congress after being subpoenaed. Each accusation received the same verdict.
"What is your verdict? Guilty!"
The demonstration near the fountain was to counter, an event inside the Ruth's Criss Steak House. President Bush's former adviser, Karl Rove spoke to a crowd of Republicans on behalf of 2nd District Congresswoman Thelma Drake. After the fundraiser, Rove explained to reporters why he did not testify.
"A President has a right to counsel and advice from senior aids without being called up to Congress on the whim of Congress."
Rove says his attorneys offered 5 times to meet with the House Judiciary Committee and answer questions. As for how his controversies might impact Drake's campaign...
"I am a controversial figure. James Carville is a controversial figure. That's just the way politics is today."
But the protesters and some 2nd District voters disagree. Donna Digati of Virginia Beach told Virginiapolitics.tv, "It's shocking that Thelma Drake would have him as her honored guest at a 25-hundred dollar plate luncheon and the man is in contempt of Congress." Digati held a sign accusing Rove and Drake of being liars.
Drake's Democratic opponent Glenn Nye was not available for comment - but his supporters like Democratic State Delegate Ward Armstrong spoke with Virginiapolitics.tv "Why not say, I disagree with what he's done, she may very well have to vote on it in a few weeks in a contempt of Congress. Why in the world would you say that and continue to associate yourself with his administration," Armstrong said.
The Virginia House Minority leader also said re-electing Drake was "to elect a 3rd term of George Bush."
Drake responded to such comments with, "Karl Rove and I, George Bush and I, are republicans. Our philosophy of life is very similar. So it's not unusual to agree in a lot of areas. But there are a lot of areas where I disagree with President Bush."
From the Pilot:
By Aaron Applegate
© July 18, 2008
How do you react to 40 protesters waving signs and screaming "Shame on you!" while you walk into a steakhouse?
That was the question faced by almost everyone who attended the sold-out Thelma Drake fundraiser Friday with former White House adviser Karl Rove.
Edie Wombolt of Virginia Beach decided to shout "Freedom of speech!" back at protesters.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion," she explained before entering Ruth's Chris Steak House in Town Center to see Rove.
Less understanding were two men who extended obscene gestures at protesters.
When protester Lisa Petry yelled "Shame on you!" at a woman entering the restaurant, she set off this exchange:
The woman: "Get a life!"
Petry: "I have a life! This is it!"
The woman: "What a shame!"
Petry: "It's a shame Karl Rove is your hero!"
The woman: "I feel sorry for you!"
Petry: "I feel sorry for you!
And so went the clash between about 100 Drake supporters who paid $500 to $1,000 for lunch and a photo with Rove, and a loose-knit group of chanting protesters toting signs such as, "How is it that you have time to eat steak but not to testify?"
Drake is seeking her third term representing the 2nd District, which covers Virginia Beach and parts of Norfolk, Hampton and the Eastern Shore. She faces Democratic challenger Glenn Nye on Nov. 4.
While Drake supporters dined, protesters put on a mock trial in which Rove was found "guilty" of a variety of crimes, from treason to helping expose the identity of a CIA agent to defying a congressional subpoena to testify last week.
Speaking to reporters after the function, which was closed to the press, Rove said he didn't appear before Congress because White House lawyers advised him that executive privilege bars Congress from compelling staffers to testify under oath.
Asked about the protest, Rove called it "anemic."
"I was sort of upset," he said. "There should have been more people."
Drake said the protest was "misguided" and that it didn't bother her.
"It's not unusual," she said. "I've been protested all over the place."
Sharon Bivens, a public school art teacher who played the role of exposed CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson during the mock trial, said of Rove's dismissal: "Even if he didn't find us large in numbers, he still won't answer to the people. If we were subpoenaed, we'd have to testify. He's not above the law."
Aaron Applegate, (757) 222-5122, email@example.com
From Channel 3:
(Separated so it fits in Blogger. Just cut and paste all four lines in order.)
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Karl Rove's appearance at a fundraiser for Congresswoman Thelma Drake drew protesters to the Virginia Beach event.
The former White House adviser attended the fundraiser Friday at a local steakhouse while about 40 people gathered outside. Some carried signs reading "Arrest Karl Rove" and "Shame on Thelma Drake."
Earlier this week Democrats called on Drake to cancel the sold-out fund-raiser. They cited Rove's defiance of a congressional subpoena last week.
Drake is a Republican who represents Virginia Beach and parts of Norfolk, Hampton and the Eastern Shore.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
From Channel 13:
I am making a Flickr for our CODEPINK today and will add pics. Any one who was there and has good pictures, please send them to me firstname.lastname@example.org I will add them to the new flickr account and if anyone has video I will add it to our YouTube Channel.
Summary from DemocraticUndergroud.com:
Concerned citizens from across Eastern Virginia rallied today at Town Center in Virginia Beach to object to criminal, Karl Rove, and his fund raiser for Bushbot congresswoman, Thelma Drake.
In addition to representatives from across the political spectrum turning out in protest, Sharon Bivens and Chris Jaramillo, long-time local activists, staged a Mock Trial of Karl Rove (see the text below).
After the mock trial ended, many of the activists stayed with our signs and anger to await the exit of Karl Rove and Thelma Drake. Standing with about 15 other activists at the back door from Ruth's Chris Steak House (where the $200-$2300 a plate luncheon was served), I was positioned so that as Rove's car passed, he was within inches of my large sign noting that he was a criminal and a traitor and my right hand which was giving him the "bird." I am also sure that he heard me yelling "criminal" at the top of my lungs as I can not hear out of either ear at the moment!
Rove's reaction: Turdblossom sat in the passenger seat, smiling smugly and waving at us through the darkened glass (was the glass naturally dark or did it darken in the presence of Rove???)
My reaction: How can a criminal who ignores a Congressional subpoena--Karl Rove--not be under arrest???!!!! Can we the people arrest our congressional representatives for NOT upholding their oaths of office? Why is no one in political life held accountable any more?
Fellow activists' reactions: Perhaps I should not have given Rove the "bird."
My reaction: But wasn't he giving it to us with his smug, I-am-above-the-law smile and wave? Wasn't he giving the finger to Congress and the American people by ignoring the subpoena?
After Rove drove off in a cloud of sulfur, we went back to the front near the fountain at Town Center where we were able to catch Thelma Drake leaving. She was not too happy as we ran after her with our large signs, calling her a criminal and a traitor.
Thelma's reaction: A look that said, "Oh, shit, I think that even trying to steal the election by having one machine at each precinct way off in my favor is not going to work this time."
Reaction of some guy "guarding" Thelma: Snapping our pictures.
Our reaction: "Thelma is a criminal and a traitor." Big smile for the camera.
Yes, it was a great day for over 40 political activists: Nader people, Code Pink, MoveOn.org, Obama people, Ron Paul people, Iraq Veterans against the War, 9-11 Truthers, Veterans against the War, etc., etc., etc. We may not agree on who is the best candidate, but we sure agree on who IS NOT!!!!!
We plan to post the video of the "trial" on YouTube. There was great press coverage for a change for our event!
And the Actual Trial: