Activists charged with trespassing after attempt to arrest Karl Rove
Four peace activists were arrested on Friday as they attempted to make a "citizens arrest" of Karl Rove, Reuters reported.
Protesters let police know of their intentions to arrest Rove while he was in Des Moines for a private fundraiser for the Republican Party of Iowa. Police arrested the protesters after they stepped through the gate at the entrance of the private club where Rove was speaking.
"It should be Karl Rove in that van. War criminal!" one demonstrator shouted as police rounded up the four men.
Chet Guinn, a retired Methodist Minister, was among those led away.
"To be silent when major crimes are being committed against all humanity makes us accomplices," Gwinn said.
The other three activists were Des Moines Catholic Workers, Edward Bloomer, 61, Kirk Brown, 25, and Mona Shaw, 57. All four were cited for trespassing and released, according to IowaPolitics.com.
Shortly before police intercepted their march towards Rove, they cited Iowa code provisions for making citizens arrests and the federal statutes they claimed Rove had broken.
All four maintained that Iowa Code obligated them to make an arrest if they believed a felony had been committed and turn Rove over to police so he could be brought to a judge for formal indictment.
Brown and Shaw made a similar attempt to arrest Rove when he spoke at the University of Iowa in March. They were arrested and released without charges.
About 12 activists showed up to protest, Radio Iowa reported, including Daniella Bermeo of Ecuador.
"Karl Rove is a war criminal and war criminals cannot just be running around like that, like they haven't done anything," Bermeo said. "I'm supporting the cause and supporting the people that he's committed war crimes against."
Reporters were not allowed to hear Rove speak in the club, where Republicans paid either $100 to see him speak during lunch or $1,000 to meet him and have their picture taken with him at a separate reception, according to Radio Iowa.
Recently, Karl Rove has refused demands from congressional Democrats to testify about allegations of political pressure at the Justice Department and his alleged role in the prosecution of a former governor of Alabama.
Rove flaunted his absence from hearings he called a "circus" on The O'Reilly Factor last week.