Calgary resident Jason Devine has a message for Condoleezza Rice — she’s not welcome in this city.
“Calgary is not, and should not be, a haven for war criminals,” he says. “These people are demeaning the concept of democracy.”
Rice, a former U.S. secretary of state, was in Calgary last night to speak at the launch event for the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy.
Rice was former president George W. Bush’s national security adviser at the start of the Iraq war and was made secretary of state in his second term, after the resignation of Colin Powell.
“Obviously, just looking at her CV is very impressive,” says Jack Mintz, director and chair of the School of Public Policy. “She made significant contributions to U.S. public policy.”
Devine and his fellow protesters argue it is exactly these contributions that they are denouncing. Rice, they say, ignored warnings about the attack on the World Trade Center, built false evidence for an illegal war and approved the use of torture in contravention of the Geneva Convention.
“She’s representative of a system that has caused death and destruction around the world,” says Devine.
“This is not anti-American at all. It’s anti-Condoleezza Rice and the forces she represents.”
The protest yesterday evening attracted a small group of angry demonstrators that chanted loudly and waved signs condemning the former secretary of state.
Devine said the demonstration has helped provide the space to question the actions and policies of the Bush administration, for which Rice was a mouth-piece.