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Demonstrators Swarm Around Rove's Home


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Demonstrators Swarm Around Rove's Home

By Steven Ginsberg

Washington Post Staff Writer

Monday, March 29, 2004; Page B01

Several hundred people stormed the small yard of President Bush's chief political strategist, Karl Rove, yesterday afternoon, pounding on his windows, shoving signs at others and challenging Rove to talk to them about a bill that deals with educational opportunities for immigrants.

Protesters poured out of one school bus after another, piercing an otherwise quiet, peaceful Sunday in Rove's Palisades neighborhood in Northwest, chanting, "Karl, Karl, come on out! See what the DREAM Act is all about!"

Rove obliged their first request and opened his door long enough to say, "Get off my property."

"Seems like he doesn't want to invite us in for tea," Emira Palacios quipped to the crowd.

Others chanted, "Karl Rove ain't got no soul."

The crowd then grew more aggressive, fanning around the three accessible sides of Rove's house, tracking him through the many windows, waving signs that read "Say Yes to DREAM" and pounding on the glass. At one point, Rove rushed to a window, pointed a finger and yelled something inaudible.

Shortly thereafter, sirens shot through the neighborhood and Secret Service agents and D.C. police joined the crowd on the lawn. Rove opened his door long enough to talk to an officer, and the crowd serenaded them with a stanza of "America the Beautiful."

The protest was organized by National People's Action, a coalition of neighborhood advocacy groups based in Chicago.

Leaders said they want Bush to advocate for the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, a bill that would permit immigrants who have lived in the United States for at least five years to apply for legal resident status once they graduate from high school. The measure would eliminate provisions of current federal law that discourage states from providing in-state tuition to undocumented student immigrants.

Immigrant activists say that 50,000 to 65,000 undocumented students graduate from U.S. high school each year and that many students can afford college only at the reduced, in-state rates given to legal residents.

The bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in the fall but has not been brought before the full Senate for a vote.

Asked for Bush's position on the bill, spokesman Jim Morrell said, "The president has laid out the principles he believes should guide immigration discussion, and he is willing to work with Congress."

When pressed to state Bush's specific position on the DREAM legislation, Morrell repeated his statement.

The coalition's leaders, who converge on Washington each year to advocate for various issues, said they targeted Rove because they could not get as close to the White House as they could to his house. Rove also is one of Bush's main advisers, and he did not reply to their requests for a meeting, leaders said.

"We want the DREAM Act, and Karl Rove is sitting on it," said Brenda LaBlanc, a member of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement.

Coalition leaders said the demonstrators were to protest other policies at the houses of two Cabinet secretaries, Elaine L. Chao of Labor and Ann M. Veneman of Agriculture.

But what the group really wanted was a conversation with Rove, who declined to comment to a reporter through a Secret Service agent.

And after about 30 minutes of goading by protesters in English and Spanish, Rove agreed to meet with two members of the coalition on the condition that the rest of the protesters board their buses and leave his street. The group obliged.

Rove opened his garage door and allowed Palacios and Inez Killingsworth to enter. The meeting lasted two minutes and ended with Rove closing the garage door on Palacios while she was still talking.

Palacios said that Rove was "very upset" and was "yelling in our faces" and that Rove told them "he hoped we were proud to make his 14-year-old and 10-year-old cry."

A White House spokesman said one of the children was a neighbor.

Palacios, trembling and in tears herself, said, "He is very offended because we dared to come here. We dared to come here because he dared to ignore us. I'm sorry we disturbed his children, but our children are disturbed every day.

"He also said, 'Don't ever dare to come back,' " Palacios said. "We will, if he continues to ignore us."

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Originally posted by siceone

you want me to come on your lawn with a hundred people harrassing your family?

I really don't give a fuck about Karl Rove... so fuck him and his family. As for hundreds of people harrassing my family... I'm not a fucking evil cocksucker that would warrent that hundreds of people wouldn't be protesting on my lawn harrasing my family.

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Originally posted by bigpoppanils

question for siceone & mr mahs:

if protests like these were being done in front of the homes of Kerry, Clarke, or the Clintons....would you have the same reaction that you are having now?

NO

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Originally posted by bigpoppanils

question for siceone & mr mahs:

if protests like these were being done in front of the homes of Kerry, Clarke, or the Clintons....would you have the same reaction that you are having now?

yes

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