Protesters kept far from Bush Center dedication

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on April 25, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 24 at 3:34 AM

DALLAS — Wearing black clothes and white masks, protesters stood across Central Expressway from the George W. Bush Presidential Center on Thursday morning.

They were kept far away from the invitation-only ceremony on the SMU campus.

Three people were arrested for trying to cross a bridge over Central Expressway in the direction of the Bush library.

Many of the peaceful demonstrators said they were protesting U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"There was an abuse of power under the Bush administration, said protest organizer  Lauri Arbeiter. "He committed war crimes; that's a serious accusation, not just something extremist. He actually committed torture under his command."

Talk show host Phil Donahue was one the protesters, who held signs reading "Deconstruct the Lies," "Arrest Bush" and "Do Not Torture."

"They are doing what they are allowed to do under the terms of the United States Constitution," Donahue said. "They believe in the framers. These are the patriots right here, and I'm proud to join them."

Protesters gathered at a makeshift stage that was set up for a series of speeches.

One participant referred to the "free speech zone" that was set up on the east side of Central Expresswy as the "no-seen zone." She told News 8 that she felt the protest area should have been closer to the Bush library in a more public area.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

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