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Protesting War Criminal Donald Rumsfeld

March 16, 2011
Los Angeles, CA
Protesting Donald Rumsfeld at the talk and book signing promoting his memoir, Four Seasons in Beverly Hills, California (3/16/11) by Sanaa Bengholam

I attended the Rumsfeld book signing event along with three CODEPINK LA volunteers. We had three tickets to attend the event and our plan was to get as close as we could to Rumsfeld and citizen’s arrest him. So three of us went inside while the fourth pinker protested outside wearing an “Arrest War Criminals” banner and handing out flyers for the Stop the War protest on Saturday 19th as well as informational bookmarks outlining Rumsfeld’s war crimes and calling for his arrest. We took our seats at our assigned table and waited for him to get there. We were made instantly and weren’t able to carry out the arrest.

Outside, we protested the event holding two banners, one reading “Rumsfeld is a War Criminal” and the other “Was Criminal”. We also handed out flyers for the Saturday protest and bookmarks to passersby and to supporters who honked for us. A few people who attended the event became extremely confrontational and were defending Rumsfeld and the actions of the Bush administration as a whole. We attempted to engage in a discussion with them but it soon became obvious that they weren’t interested in a dialogue; they just wanted to shout in our faces.

Sharon, one of the CODEPINK LA volunteers, decided to proceed with the citizen’s arrest outside as a symbolic act and read the arrest complaint while holding the “War Criminal” banner. Cindy-Roy, another fellow CODEPINKER, had a constructive in-depth conversation with a conservative woman who attended the event and who wanted to understand our side of the debate.

It was an overall productive day for CODEPINK as we brought light to the horrific abuses enacted by the Bush administration and informed people about the importance of joining us in protesting the ongoing occupation of Iraq as well as the endless funding of war and militarism in the world.

Written by Sanaa Bengholam