Yesterday George W. Bush made a guest appearance as the keynote speaker at the 2011 MAILCOM conference held at the Washington Hilton Hotel, and we had totally forgotten about it.
It’s been a wild week for the CODEPINK DC office; Hillary was around the last few days, and yesterday morning we went to a House Appropriations Committee on Defense hearing with Robert Gates (Defense Secretary) and Mike Mullen (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff), and then we dropped by a panel discussion about democracy in Egypt hosted by the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee.
Bailing on the panel discussion, at the last minute Medea and I drove over to the Hilton Hotel, and I scoped out the situation while she parked the car. We had our signs folded up and hidden in our purses, they read BUSH: WAR CRIMINAL and BUSH LIED, THOUSANDS DIED.
Inside the hotel, there were two young guys standing outside of the conference room door checking for staff badges. Since I obviously didn’t have one, they wouldn’t let me in. Medea and I walked around for a bit looking for floating badges, but with no luck we decided to just go for it. I talked up a storm with the two security guys until a staff woman opened the door and told me I had to leave. Medea seized this opportunity and, from out of no where, quickly walked by the two guys and wedged herself into the open door where the lady was standing.
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Although the woman forcefully tried to prevent her entry, Medea said some bogus stuff to her like she “had to go inside to give her boss a message” because “she really needed to contact him,” and even though the woman wasn’t buying it, Medea pushed her way right past her. The security guys were so suprised by Medea’s swift entry and distracted by my talking they did nothing to stop her; two seconds later when she got into the conference room, one of the guys look at me and said, “Oh shit!”
For a minute they let me watch through a peephole in the door what was going on inside, and I could Bush babbling away at the podium. Only a couple feet away I could see the lady threatening to call security on Medea, and Medea was ignoring her. The two young security guys finally had enough of me hanging around, and they told me I really had to leave.
As I was walking up the stairs, I suddenly heard Medea’s voice shouting “HISTORY WILL RECORD YOU AS A WAR CRIMINAL!! HISTORY WILL RECORD YOU AS A WAR CRIMINAL!! HISTORY WILL RECORD YOU AS A WAR CRIMINAL!!” She told me that Bush was talking about his book, and he said that history would ultimately judge his presidency. Recognizing this as an appropriate moment, Medea pulled out her sign, held it up for everyone in the conference room to see, and delivered her message loud and clear. Bush was forced to stop his speech and he said, “Isn’t democracy great? Freedom of speech!” The crowd applauded, and Medea waltzed out of the room untouched.
It was amazing.