PHOTOS: Protesters, including Phil Donahue, descend on Bush library

Bobbleheaded villains

Our writer Sarah Denise Morgan lives close to SMU, so she was able to get easy access to all the goings-on at the Bush Library. She files this report.

The inaugural events at the Bush Library brought out peaceful protesters including a protest advocate, Phil Donahue, who commented, “We’re fighting the last war.”

Donahue was onsite across from the Bush library, where space was allocated for the demonstration amidst threats to sue the city if the protest was not allowed. “Millions are told they are not patriotic [for protesting] and no one gets elected class president for doing this.” Donahue felt it was important to take this stand.

Another particularly peaceful warrior, CNN’s openly gay  iReporter Joey Daniel Retana, who lives in Fort Worth, was in full protest regalia wearing an orange prison jump suit with a black hood and a sign reading “Torture” in protest of the Abu Ghraib incidents and recent findings. “The idea that we can vote someone in as commander and chief and then prove that they were torturing, we are vindicated in our stand,” he said.

Retana stood for freedom and human rights, saying, “Being here is the right thing to do. We are all entitled to some kind of freedom. As a gay man, it empowers me in every way. I feel empowered to speak out for equality for every community.”

Retana was particularly happy to see celebrity support from Donahue and made sure to let Donahue know his mother was a big fan.

More photos below.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Dallas Voice’s Chance Browning and his Hillary shoes urge Clinton to run

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Chance Browning, left, Travis Pelham and CJ Vandyke

165461_10152778184545637_2120029370_nDallas Voice/Digital Seltzer’s Chance Browning said his moment of fame at a rally in Irving for Hillary Clinton last night came because of his shoes.

Browning was one of more than 40 people who gathered across the street from the Four Seasons Hotel in Irving at about 6 p.m. last night to urge the former Secretary of State to run for president. The rally was organized by the Ready For Hillary PAC.

“We saw her motorcade, but couldn’t see her come in,” Browning said.

Clinton, in Dallas for the opening of the George Bush Library today, delivered her first paid speech since leaving the Cabinet. She spoke to the National Multi-Housing Council’s board of directors. According to the Washington Post, she spoke about international affairs, the economy and the role of rental housing in the U.S.

But what impressed us most about the Post’s article was its closing line:

“It’s never too early to start rallying support. I think she’s perfectly poised to run in 2016,” Browning said.

Oh, and the shoes. Browning said he got them online about two years ago but the link to them is gone.

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—  David Taffet

Anti-war activist and LGBT ally Cindy Sheehan takes controversial position on DADT repeal

Cindy Sheehan

Activist Cindy Sheehan came out against the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Sort of.

Ever since I first met Cindy Sheehan in 2004, she has been controversial. She was the first Gold Star Mom — the mother of a fallen soldier — to come out publicly against the war in Iraq. When I interviewed her then, I asked what her goal was. At the time, her main focus was that what happened to her shouldn’t happen to another mother.

She rapidly became the center of the small anti-war movement. For her efforts, she was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

After she demanded a meeting with President George Bush, who refused to meet with her or any other Gold Star Mom, she camped out in a ditch off Prairie Chapel Road outside the Bush “ranch” in Crawford, about 19 miles from Waco.

“Camp Casey,” named after her son who was killed, moved from the ditch to Bush’s backdoor neighbor’s property. That neighbor couldn’t stand the president or his policies either.

In today’s Al Jezeera, Sheehan wrote, “Don’t go, don’t kill.” She makes the interesting argument that the gay rights movement, which is a human rights movement, shouldn’t measure progress based on anything related to the military. She emphasizes that she is as much a marriage-equality advocate as she is a peace activist.

She reasonably asks whether enacting the bill “is going to stop the current systemic harassment of gays in the military?”

Her choice of forum is as controversial as she is. Her opinion is interesting and worth debating. She’s really saying — of course gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve. And now that you have the right, don’t do it.

When Sheehan was in Dallas for the protest against the groundbreaking of the Bush Library, she told me she’s thinking of a run for president. She promised we’d be among the first to know when she makes her decision.

—  David Taffet