Karl Rove, a documented war criminal and outspoken opponent of gay rights, is speaking in Campbell Hall this Thursday. The UCSB College Republicans persuaded A.S. to help fund the visit with $12,933 of student money. A.S. was sold on the notion that Rove was merely a “controversial figure” that would “draw a large crowd.” Some members of A.S. did not even know who Rove was.

SB Anti-War is a vocal critic of the decision, shocked that A.S. would naively fund a war criminal instead of using the money for an ethical cause, such as Haiti relief. The decision is now a major source of unrest among the student body as a whole. The Facebook page UCSB Coalition: No Student Funds for Karl Rove gained about 500 fans in less than a week. We call on A.S., the Campus Republicans, and Rove himself to dedicate the student-sponsored portion of his speaker fee to humanitarian relief in Haiti, a dire human need our campus has proudly supported in recent weeks.

During his time as chair of the White House Iraq Group, Rove deliberately conspired to spread lies about Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction.” When former Ambassador to Iraq Joe Wilson came out publicly and tried to warn Americans that the threats of WMDs were exaggerated, Rove waged a smear campaign to discredit him.

Rove assures the world that the U.S. government had no involvement in torture. But official memos, leaked photos, and high-level testimony have confirmed that our government relied on torture techniques like raping people with broken bottles, boiling people alive, genital abuse, prolonged psychological and sensory abuse, sleep deprivation, and water boarding, to name a few. Rove spins these as “enhanced interrogation techniques” to “keep America safe.”

Rove is chiefly responsible for the outlawing of gay marriage in at least eleven states, including California. Many know Rove as a mastermind behind Prop 8. Claiming diversity with those who make handsome careers out of persecuting gays and lesbians is a farce.

No UCSB students will be allowed to ask Rove questions during the event, at any time, even though we’re funding his appearance. A small selection of questions — filtered by the leader of the college republicans and a “democrat” whose name has been kept secret — will be read by a moderator.

Many people are expected to protest outside Campbell Hall, showing support for those of us inside. This is not a “left vs. right” issue, but a massive, united stand against government crime. Students and the community will hold the university accountable if anybody is denied the right to resist war crimes, or is threatened, harassed, or abused by police.

This article was written and endorsed by members of SB Anti-War, Students for Justice in Palestine, Students for a Voluntary Society, Campus Left, Conservative Libertarian Alliance, and the UCSB Coalition: No Student Funds for Karl Rove.