Karl Rove recently gave a speech at American University which made the news because of the antics of some of the protestors. A former student of mine who now attends American and who helped organize the speech, writes to give us his eyewitness account:
I was at the Karl Rove event, and actually, as the treasurer of our chapter of the AU College Republicans, helped to organize it. We found out about two weeks ago that Mr. Rove was able to make it to AU to speak, which is something our VP had worked tirelessly on for a long time. We sent an email out over the College Republicans listserv telling them about the event, because we had limited seating. Of course, afterwards, the protesters et al. tried to claim that we had "not publicized the event." It was on our listserv, which goes out to hundreds of students, and it was on our website. But obviously, we wanted our members [to have] first crack at seats for this event.
Rove's speech ... was extremely entertaining. He had only about 15 minutes of prepared remarks, and then took about an hour of Q and A. He talked about his experiences in College Republicans (he was the national director at one point), campaigning, etc. All in all, it was a good event. The protesters, however, are another story.
Before the event, a group of about 20-30 kids from CASJ (Community Action and Social Justice), which is a loose affiliation of many "progressive" groups, linked arms outside the doors to our event, with signs calling for Rove to be arrested via a citizen's arrest (apparently because of the whole GWB43.com email accounts). Although annoying, they didn't really do anything to disrupt us.
[The GWB43.com accounts were an April Fool's day hoax that many left-wing bloggers fell for, and went ballistic over, until they found out that they'd been, uh, punked, I think is the current expression: RLC]
Afterwards, we went with Rove out the back door of the room we had the event in, which led outside. We heard chanting, which, let's just say, I am sure Rove is used to [from] protesters. He got into his car, but not too far away, separated by a barricade, was a large group (at least 50) students chanting "Go to jail Karl," the f-word, and other things. Then, a bunch of protesters broke through the barricade and laid down in front of Rove's car. Public safety (our campus "police") and Secret Service tried to get the kids up, but the kids didn't move (they went limp, which I guess is what a protester is told to do, because if they touch an officer in any way, that gives the police the right to do what they want to them).
Then, one of the protesters tried to tackle a secret service agent. The protesters deny this, but I saw it less than 10 feet from where I stood. That gave public safety and the secret service the right, then, to start carrying/throwing the protesters out of the way. Rove was able to then drive away.
To be honest, I did not see anyone throw anything at Rove's car, so I don't know how that idea started. Apparently, someone threw a shoe at his car and missed, but I didn't see that.
I was glad we were on national tv last night (O'Reilly and Hannity, of which I only saw the former), but not b/c of something that terrible. I can understand if the liberals hate Karl Rove, but they acted completely childish and immature. Even worse is that several members of the College Democrats executive board, including their President, helped organize the protesting.
A little side story: due to not submitting fund-raised funds from t-shirts and the like properly, the College Dems were temporarily suspended and lost half their school funding that they receive from the University. They have held many fewer events than we have, even though they are larger in numbers, and we are considered the most liberal school in DC. So the joke amongst the College Republicans is that our event drew more College Democrats to it than anything the Democrats have thrown this year.
Sounds like a good time was had by all.RLC