The People’s Response to Bush Library & Policy Institute

Contact: Hadi Jawad, , 214.392.2939 (Dallas Peace Center)
Sylvia Benini,, 512. 579.9114 (Austin)

November 8th, 2010

As the first shovels of soil are being turned to build the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the SMU campus, a diverse group of people will come from across the nation to alert the public that this does not necessarily mark the end of the Bush Administration's damage to this country and the world.

The coalition, called The People's Response, offers two prophetic observations: that unless members of the last administration are held accountable for war crimes, then those crimes will be repeated by future administrations; and unless the public is vigilant, the un-American policies of the Bush Administration will become part of our national fabric through the influence of the Bush Policy Institute – policies such as pre-emptive war, environmental disaster, torture, unprecedented presidential power, economic stratification and diminished civil and human rights.

“When truth has fallen in the public squares (Isaiah 59), falsehood becomes the memory norm of a people unless someone provides a truthful narrative befitting democracy at its best,” said Rev. William K. McElvaney, SMU Distinguished Alumnus and Professor Emeritus of Perkins School of Theology. “Truth telling calls for transparency and accountability from all parties, offering judgment, self-examination, and the hope of restoration.”

A press conference will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, November 15, at the NW corner of Mockingbird Lane and Airport Road at the Gerald J. Ford Stadium, SMU. An exhibit of boots, “Eyes Wide Open,” symbolizing the loss of life in Iraq, will be on display.

The schedule of events sponsored by The People's Response begins on Sunday, November 14, with a Service of Lamentation and Hope, and continues through Wednesday, November 17. It includes a “Symposium on Truth and Democracy,” a “Truth-brary” book-signing party,  The People's Response demonstration during the Bush Presidential Center groundbreaking ceremony, a “Forum on Torture, Human Rights and the Law,” and a “Truth & Democracy Teach-In.” For times, places and details, please refer to the attached “The People's Response” schedule of events. All events are free and open to the public.

The impressive list of speakers at the forums includes Coleen Rowley, whistleblower and 2002  Time Person of the Year; Marjorie Cohn, immediate past president of the National Lawyers Guild; Ray McGovern, former US Army Intelligence Officer and Directorate of Intelligence, CIA; Col. Ann Wright, Ret., former Foreign Service Officer, Department of State; David Swanson, author and co-founder of; Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Global Exchange and Code Pink Women for Peace; Diane Wilson, author and shrimp boat captain; Elliott Adams, past president of Veterans For Peace; Debra Sweet, director of The World Can't Wait; and Texas House Representative Lon Burnam. 

Speakers at The People's Response events are available for interview. Please contact Trish Major or Hadi Jawad to get in touch with them.