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Karl Rove party nearly gate crashed by protestors

Demonstrators keep it calm outside while one group of protestors lead a submarine assault at the front gates accusing the President's advisor of being a criminal

TIGARD - Demonstrators began arriving outside the Embassy Suites Hotel in Tigard at about 5:30 p.m. Friday afternoon anticipating the arrival of Presidential Advisor Karl Rove, who was scheduled to give a one-hour speech at a meeting of the Washington County Republican Party.

In all about 60 demonstrators were seen walking along Hall Boulevard until after dark while the Republicans were inside one of the hotel's meeting rooms and while hotel guests came and went throughout the evening.

Drivers in cars on Hall Boulevard honked and waved either in encouragement, or with disgust, at the mostly anti-administration marchers. A group of local high school students arrived at about 7 p.m. to show their support for President Bush and his advisor Rove.

Teresa Teater from Oregon City walked back and forth along the sidewalk where police asked the demonstrators stay, along with her friends to demonstrate their feelings about the administration.

Asked why she was here this evening she said, 'I have issues with Karl Rove.'

But she said that she was sure that nothing they did would have any impression with Mr. Rove.

'I don't think anyone could impress anything on Karl Rove, he's got his own agenda, he doesn't care about nobody else's agenda. His agenda is lies and more lies, and more lies.'

She had heard about the event from sources on the Internet and knew that it was a fundraiser for the Republican Party.

She held a sign demanding President Bush's impeachment.

'Instead of having fundraisers for the Republican Party we should be having fundraisers for the VA hospitals and for veterans who are back from Iraq for the third time around but haven't gotten there PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder) medicine for their first time around.'

A group of women that go by the name The Surge Protection Brigade, and who are allied with Code Pink, another women's anti-war protest group that became well known for surprise demonstrations at the Republican Convention in New York during the last election cycle, executed their own surprise demonstration deep in the Republican's territory staked out in the Embassy Suites Hotel.

The Tigard Police and the staff at the Embassy Suites Hotel had asked that demonstrators stay off private property, the Embassy Suites grounds, and to stay on the public sidewalks. Demonstrations were allowed across the street from the Embassy Suites driveway entrance, as long as they stayed on the side walk there. A Tigard Police sergeant said that permission was granted by Target stores for the demonstrators to be in their parking lot.

People who were staying at Embassy Suites and customers for the Hotel's restaurant and bar, as well as other groups that were meeting there, were allowed into the hotel.

Noting a week ago that there was a hotel restaurant, a women in The Surge Protection Brigade reserved a table for a birthday party at the restaurant. All the women arrived carrying colorfully wrapped presents, were sat down and they ordered dinner. Another four people joined them after they arrived, making 16 in all.

After enjoying their meal and just after Karl Rove began speaking to the Republican Party members, the women unwrapped their presents, really protest signs and a costume to be worn by one of them.

They got as far as the doors to the meeting room where Rove was speaking before the police moved in and escorted them out to the sidewalk along Hall Boulevard where the rest of the demonstrators were marching.

Cristy Murray from Oregon City, a member of The Surge Protection Brigade, said they were there to 'let Karl Rove know that he is not welcome in our town.'

She said, 'We had a very nice dinner and then we went over to let our feelings be known.'

One of the group while at the doorway read a list of 'charges' in which they were indicting Karl Rove and held up a sign that read 'Karl, you've got mail. Hand it over.'

However, Terri Graham from Southeast Portland said, 'They wouldn't let us far enough in where we could actually see inside.'

Murray said that after being escorted out of the hotel, 'they (the police) got a little pushy with some of us. One women said that her car was parked (in the parking lot of the Embassy Suites Hotel) and they wouldn't let her go get her car.'

Murray was dressed in a black and white stripped costume resembling a prisoner's outfit and wearing a Karl Rove mask while demonstrating in front of the doors where the Republicans were meeting. The doors were open at the time so that the attendees could see the demonstration, but the doors were closed after they were escorted away.

The group of women began using the name The Surge Protection Brigade since the January announcement of the Pentagon's surge deployment in Iraq, but they have been protesting the war in Iraq as 'The Pissed Off Grannies' and as members of Code Pink for a number of years.

At about 7 p.m., when it also started to sprinkle rain from the dark clouds overhead, six teenage boys dressed in basketball type shorts or denim jeans and white t-shirts came up quickly from the direction of the Washington Square Mall holding up signs supporting the Bush administration and shouting in support of the troops and the war. They ended up demonstrating along the same sidewalk on Hall Boulevard as the demonstrators who were protesting the appearance of Rove.

Steve Calvert, a student from Southridge High School spoke for the group of six students, who all said they were from the same school.

The group was boisterous and when asked if they were serious about being there today they all said they were.

'We are tired of hearing everyone at our school diss Bush or diss our troops and we wanted to come out here and do something about it and show our support.'

They came out, he said, to show their support because the meeting with Rove was near where they lived and near their school, and they knew there would be demonstrations protesting the administration and war.

Calvert said that he has been talking to military recruiters. 'I've talked to a number of recruiters at this point. Many in my family have been in the Marines and I'm joining the Marine Corps.'

After Rove left the building the demonstrations went on until well after dark, and by 9 p.m. everyone for the most part had gone home.