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What Happened in Dallas TX?
By Leslie Harris
We met up at Ferris Plaza for a rally, before heading over to the Hyatt Regency, where Cheney was to speak at the World Affairs Council.
Several people got tickets to the luncheon, including Fort Worth Code Pinker Doreen Geiger, who interrupted and was escorted out, wearing her Texans for Peace "Out of Iraq" t-shirt.
This article was AP, so it should go out to lots of other venues.
Nadine also got into the luncheon, and took off her jacket to display her Code Pink T-shirt. A couple others got into the luncheon, too. Anyone know their names?
They weren't letting people with signs in the front of the hotel, but I went in through an underground tunnel & took an elevator up to the middle of the hotel where people were in line, registering to go in. I was just walking around in my "Arrest Cheney First" t-shirt, holding my big, hot-pink-trimmed sign that said, "DON'T IRAQ IRAN!" at my side, until they asked me to leave for just having it...at which point, I started flailing my sign up in the air, and was then "escorted" (flailing all the way through the packed lobby) to the main entrance by three hotel security guys. They got me out the door & I kept waving my sign. The rest of our group was across the street & saw the sign waving and started a raucous chorus of "Don't Iraq Iran! Don't Iraq Iran!" that went on for quite a while before I was kicked out of there, too. I stalled a little more on the way, until a police officer insisted I leave. I did put a parting bug in her ear about how "free speech zones aren't really free...are they?"
Hadi Jawad led most of the chanting, and Rick Burnley got on the loudspeaker a couple times to send his poetic message. Jim Goodnow kept circling the hotel in his Yellow Rose bus with "IRAQ VETERANS AGAINST THE WAR" and "DON'T ATTACK IRAN" written on the sides & "IMPEACH!" on the back, always to the enthusiastic cheers of the crowd. At one point, he pulled the huge bus into the hotel's circular drive, right in front of the doors where the valet people and tons of security were waiting, causing quite a stir! ;o)
Barbara Cummings' "I Have a Dream" sign (w/Bush/Cheney behind bars) made the rounds and was a media-magnet, as always.
Later on, to the hotel employee's and the cops' credit, they did let Carol, Stephanie, Sher & me inside without our signs, but wearing "Arrest Cheney First" & t-shirts. We told them we were going to the coffee shop, and we did. Then we walked around the hotel, and gave out the 800 number for Congress to a bunch of the hotel employees, who, of course, loved our message, and were delighted to have a toll-free number they could call to make their voices heard.
The report above says 50 protesters, but that video was made at the very end. There were lots more people there for the "arrival time." We marched around downtown for a bit while the luncheon was "in session," and then came back for the exodus. At one point, there were (in addition to the scads of police & hotel employees) a couple hundred Cheney supporters standing opposite us ~ a captive audience, waiting for the valets to bring their cars & shuttles. We entertained them the whole time with chants, educational speeches, and songs...including "We Defend the Constitution" (find the lyrics on the Code Pink main website) and one Sher remembered from years past, "We Have Got to Get It Together." A gaggle of plaid-kilted, private school girls stood on the nearby sidewalk, watching. Hope they were listening.
From the Dallas Morning News.
We got to see the reactions of individuals as they drove right past us to leave. Some laughed at us. More (possibly hotel guests who were just leaving the hotel, but I'm sure some who were in the luncheon) gave us thumbs up, peace signs & honks.
There was lots of local press. Keith Olbermann mentioned on his show that Cheney was heckled, but said no one got a shot of the hecklers. (Maybe he only got the FOX video?)
There were lots of Dallas Police who also heard our message. They were very professional, and we thanked them. All in all, a good protest day, where we raised awareness about the urgent Iran issue. The "hecklers" who were filmed both mentioned Iran, and many from the DFW Iranian community joined us. There were two little kids with a sign asking Cheney to please not bomb their grandma's house. Hope that pops up all over in the press. Please post anything you find.
Peace & love ~