By Contributor on April 26, 2013

DALLAS, TEXAS -- Two activists wearing large paper mache masks resembling former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney were arrested Thursday for stepping into a street during a protest of the George W. Bush presidential library.

The arrests, mere blocks away from the library on the Southern Methodist University campus, were the high-water mark of a protest that drew about 200 people, many of them wearing black clothing and white masks, carrying cards with the names of soldiers and civilians who died in Iraq, Afghanistan, and from suicide here in the U.S.

As all five surviving presidents were parading before cameras to celebrate the controversial legacy of the younger Bush, activist Dennis Trainor Jr. and Iraq veteran Gary Egelston plodded down a walk alongside Interstate-75, wrapped in chains drawn by members of Code Pink.

Photo by Stephen C. Webster
Photo by Stephen C. Webster

Police confronted the duo after protesters stepped into a street, seemingly under the impression that they could since one lane had already been blocked off to vehicle traffic. Officers formed a line in front of them and would not allow the march to proceed. Seconds later, apparently realizing they were about to be arrested, Code Pink members tried to pull Trainor and Egelston back from police, sparking a brief tug-of-war as the arrests ensued.

The men’s masks were torn off as they were thrown to the ground, cuffed and taken away. A third man, photographer Bill Perry, walked into the same street several moments later, attempting to use a crosswalk a little further down at the corner. When police moved to block him, he objected to what he believed to be an arbitrary rule -- “When did the rules change?” he bellowed -- and was quickly put in the back of a police car.

On the opposite side of the street, throngs of Bush administration alumni wearing their Sunday best walked past unimpeded as demonstrators shouted, “Shame! Shame! Shame!” banging on drums and accusing them of supporting a war criminal. At one point, police appeared to be selectively trying to determine who looked like a likely Bush library supporter and who did not, allowing well dressed-individuals to pass but turning away people in jeans and t-shirts.

“It was an appalling use of brutal force immediately,” Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin said in an advisory. “What happened to a warning or a request, ‘Sir, hands behind your back?’”

All three men have since been released.

This video of the arrests was captured by an activist with The Backbone Campaign on April 25, 2013.

This video of “The March of the Dead” was filmed by Stephen C. Webster on April 25, 2013.

This video of “The People’s Response to the Bush Library” protest was filmed by Stephen C. Webster on April 25, 2013.

Stephen C. Webster is an Austin-based journalist and senior editor of The Raw Story, one of America's top progressive news websites. His work has previously appeared in publications such as The Dallas Business Journal, Fort Worth Weekly, Austin Monthly and The Lone Star Iconoclast, among others.

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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