Donald Rumsfeld Targeted by Protesters in Nashville
Well, it isn’t often when one finds themselves in the center of action like this.
On November 17, I happened to be in Nashville… and I happened to be present at an event hosted by the Heritage Foundation. This event happened to have former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld as the guest of honor, and I happened to have met the man personally.
Also present at the event were a slew of protesters, reportedly representing Occupy Nashville.
Before I continue, I want to add that for privacy reasons, I cannot divulge exactly why I was at this event, but I’ll say that I was NOT part of the protest, nor was I there in support of Mr. Rumsfeld. I was there perfectly legally, but that’s all you get.
Initially, all seemed to be as was expected; wealthy Republicans rubbing shoulders with other wealthy Republicans. I decided to step outside for some air, when I realized that there was a large group of protestors outside the Hilton hotel where we were located. Amid shouts of “Rumsfeld go home!” and a flurry of picket signs (none of which I could read), I also spotted large contingents of police, hotel security, and most likely secret service agents.
After going back inside, you would never know that such a spectacle was taking place yards away from the front door. Very few of the attendees seemed to have any clue that anything was amiss. Then, there was shouting in the lobby. Someone had broken past security and yelled, “Donald Rumsfeld! You’re under arrest for crimes against humanity! We’ve got the building surrounded! Come out with your hands up!” This gentleman was quickly escorted away by police.
Outside, chants could be heard saying, “Hey Donald, you can’t hide. We charge you with Genocide!”
When the dinner ended and Mr. Rumsfeld took the stage for his speech, more commotion began. Covertly, protestors had infiltrated this upscale event and were shouting loudly at the former Secretary. Again, security and police quickly drug these hecklers out of the venue. They did not go easily. They continued to shout things like “Murderer!!” as they were ushered out of the room. The invited attendees chanted “USA! USA!” to drown out the yelling.
A press release on the Occupy Nashville web site http://broadwaybathrooms.com/dating-shows-on-netflix/:
Several minutes into Rumsfeld’s speech, an Occupy Nashville protester stood up and shouted that one of the primary architects of the Iraq war misled the American public and said, “Citizens are waiting outside to receive you and render you to the custody of the authorities.”
Rumsfeld was accused of authorizing torture, causing the deaths of more than 6,000 American servicemen and woman and lying about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
The event ended without much else happening. None that I could see, anyway. However, I did overhear one agent say that Mr. Rumsfeld’s car was to be cancelled. Likely he either stayed at the Hilton for the night, or was helicoptered out of the hotel.
A few mainstream outlets picked up the story, but it was pretty thrilling to actually be there to witness events as they unfolded. At the end of the evening I met Mr. Rumsfeld, exchanged a few banal pleasantries, and left for the night. It was quite strange.
Here are some of the sites that reported on the event: