I'm in downtown Boise, where disgraced U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales refused to appear at a scheduled press conference when
about 75 more than 100 protesters (including Jean Boyles of Boise, at right) showed up on the east side of the Fort Boise Community Center, where he was supposed to meet the media.
About a half-hour after Gonzales' scheduled 2:30 arrival, someone came out to announce the press conference would instead be held at 4 p.m. at the U.S. Attorney General's office
a few blocks away - indoors, away from protesters. A chorus of chicken calls erupted from the gathered throng, who minutes earlier had sung "The Star-Spangled Banner" in defiance of Gonzales' advocacy of politically motivated firings, torture, and domestic spying. But many said they planned to demonstrate outside the Federal Building anyway, and within minutes, several people holding a large "Shame, Shame On You" sign had moved to the new location. (Update 4:30 p.m. Who knew? The U.S. Attorney General's office is not in the Federal Building, as most everyone at Fort Boise assumed, but in the Washington Group International office plaza along Park Boulevard.)
Former 1st District congressional candidate Larry Grant, who plans to run again in 2008, took the podium and told the crowd, "I think he heard you when he didn't come out," adding that "we need a new attorney general" who will stand up to an administration when it advocates for torture.
"We're deeply concerned about America's standing in the world," 2nd District congressional candidate Jim Hansen told the group earlier, as people gathered for Gonzales' arrival. "To start the healing process, we'd welcome him to announce his resignation today."
"I think it's a snub on the people of Idaho," said Bob Nicholas, who arrived at the protest riding a Segway.
Gonzales was in town to discuss anti-gang initiatives and tour the Fort Boise Community Center, which has extensive teen activities to give youth alternatives to gangs. Earlier in the day, Hansen, Grant, and Dan Williams held a press conference to ask for Gonzales' resignation. Greg Hahn wrote on the Idaho Statesman website, "'I applaud him for being here to talk about gangs,' Grant said, but he added that these good intentions don't shroud the bad influence Gonzales has had on America's image around the world."
There's more on the day's events at Fort Boise and New West. The Idaho Democratic Party and Ada County Democrats also released statements protesting of Gonzales' visit to Boise. A special atta-boy to Jim Hansen for organizing today's protest.
Update 8 p.m. I've just posted a diary at Daily Kos, too.