'A Tragic Mistake'

Stop the War Coalition Press Release - London, England

Yesterday a man was walking from his home to Stockwell tube. Police in plain clothes followed him and just before he entered the underground station they shouted at him. Scared, he ran into the station with the police following him. They caught him, held him down and shot him in the head five times. He had nothing to do with the London bombing campaign. He was unlucky enough to be wearing the wrong clothes and his skin was the wrong colour. Subsequently it has been revealed that the police have been operating a secret shoot-to-kill policy. Armed officers have been undergoing training with the Israeli defence forces. This is the result. Police now regret this 'tragic mistake'. The real tragic mistake has been the illegal, immoral and barbaric invasion of Iraq. The killing of tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians. Londoners are now really paying the price of this war, both in the suicide bombings and in this public killing. We send our heartfelt condolences to this man's family.

DSM Day in Louisville Ky.

Greetings from Louisvile, 7/23, 4:00pm
On this blistering hot day, the Louisville Peace Action Community (LPAC) held its DSM event at a busy intersection in a working class neighborhood in Louisville's southend.
We had about 40 people with signs & petitions and we had great visibility--thousands of cars saw us and many, many pedestrians talked to us. In our group we had an 82-year-old nun & several babies.
We also had a visit from "George Bush" on a megaphone telling people NOT to read the Memo, because he didn't want them to know the truth. He sounded as stupid as ever.
We had an overwhelmingly positive response and were glad to find a good new intersection for future actions. After two hours in the blazing heat, we hit a local watering hole for a round of congratulations and good laughs. The truth will prevail.

Final Detroit Speaker: Robert Sedler

From PDA blogger Michael Short in Detroit:

Last speaker....John Conyers summed up quickly and then asked for people's questions.

Then he introduced Robert Sedler.
He is speaking about the constitutional process of impeachment.

He said that the power to impeach had been twisted by the Republicans when they worked to impeach Bill Clinton.

The basis was that the framers of the nation rejected at judicial process. Impeachment means questioning.

The process is to have the President, Vice President, and other federal officers questioned by the House of representatives. The Senate tries the case if evidence warrants it. If the offending

Michigan Newspaper Editor

From PDA blogger Michael Short in Detroit:

From the local press...The editor of the Michigan Citizen Newspaper (Bankel Thompson)addressed the meeting next.

I love this quote, "The price of having honest men keep quiet is having dishonest men rule over them!"

He spoke out against the way our news organizations have been co opted (willingly or not) by the administration. This includes both domestic and foreign organizations(like the BBC).

He also says that he doesn't think the Democratic party did enough to avoid or oppose the war in Iraq. He thinks they (we) still aren't doing enough.

Detroit Update

From PDA ( http://pdamerica.org ) blogger Michael Short in Michigan:

Our Next speaker is... John Conyers introduced a former CIA case officer (Jim Marcinkowski) who told us how concerned he is by the people who have -- or at least are attempting to get -- a lock on the media. Who try hard to make dissent unpatriotic.

He explained that having undercover CIA agents is necessary because they help to protect us. They are the ones who get us the info we need to make plans and spoil the efforts of those who'd hurt us. We can't get this info any other way -- they won't just give it too us!

Exposing an agent not only costs us the "asset" it puts people's lives at risk.

Report from Warrenton, Virginia

In the outer suburbs of Washington, DC in Virginia's piedmont region, a group of at least two dozen very concerned citizens will meet this evening in a private home to listen to the re-enactment of the July 23, 2002 meeting, view a DVD containing highlights of the events of June 16 (Conyers
hearing, delivery of signatures to the White House, and rally in Lafayette Square Park), and discuss how we can keep this issue in front of our Congress persons and our neighbors.

Rep. Frank Wolf was invited to attend but he declined and was also unable to provide a position statement on the issues raised by the Downing Street Memo. We will create a delegation to go to his office to meet with him, as he suggested as an alternative to his attending our event.

Report from Montgomery County, Maryland

Earlier today I drove over and spoke to a DFA gathering in Montgomery County, Md. They had a good crowd of activists gathered to picnic but eager to act. Mostly they asked me questions along the lines of "Why in the hell can't a Democrat in a solidly Democratic district introduce articles of impeachment?" It's a good question. Maybe a Democrat somewhere will answer it today. Until it's answered, it's our job to make the case to Democrats that they can only lose by failing to oppose the Republicans. TURN UP THE HEAT! Photo 1 Photo 2

Congresswoman Lee Town Hall: Imploring

Lieutenant Tharp, with over 9 years in the military, and a dozen awards, gave a relatively brief speech. "There are a hundred and forty thousand men and women in Iraq, and I want to thank you for being here for them." He said that he didn't even resign when he got sent into the disaster that this administration has made in Iraq, and [thought] 'Who the hell screwed me?.'"

Tharp said that he resigned and joined Iraq Veterans Against the War after he got home. "From what I saw in Iraq, I was one of the most fortunate people in Iraq. I got to see the compassion of the Iraqi people...I got to work with two dozen diverse Iraqis. When I got home, I was asked by the national security agency to dehumanize them...and that is what I would not do."

Report from Ohio

Twelve peacemakers from NE Ohio gathered at the Community Center of Newton Falls (zipcode 44444) to hear a dramatic reading of the Downing Street memo and engage in a lively discussion of local peace events and social justice issues. The entrance to the Community Center is prominently marked by a memorial to four young men from this small town who lost their lives in the War in Vietnam. We felt their spirit among us crying out to a new generation: the politicians lied and we died! Honor the dead - reveal the truth and stop the war!

Action in Birmingham, Alabama

July 23, 2005 Downing Street Memo Party Tonight

The combined Birmingham chapters of Democracy For America and Progressive Democrats of America will host a gathering in recognition of the 3rd Anniversary of the now infamous #10 Downing Street meeting. More than 300 similar gatherings are planned throughout the country, thanks to AfterDowningStreet.org and Representative John Conyers of Michigan.

"This will be an evening of discussion of the issues surrounding the Bush Administration's actions and intentions for going to war in Iraq, as well as 'Rovegate' plus the John Roberts Supreme Court nomination," the press release says. "We will have information for developing letter-writing campaigns to our elected leaders on all levels, plus input from all on how we can make a difference in Birmingham and the state of Alabama. (We are already getting close to just one year to significant elections!)"

Congresswoman Lee Town Hall: Incredible Success, 700+ People

This was an incredibly successful town hall, sponsored by Congresswoman Barbara Lee. I want to thank Robert Klein for blogging with me today, theater tech Stephan Shelley for his help allowing us to set up a wifi network here, David Swanson and Jon Schwartz from afterdowningstreet.org, and Miguel Bustos from Congresswoman Lee's office for including us in this crtical gathering.

We were supposed to be out of here by 12:30 p.m. but the town hall kept going. A line of about two dozen people were in line waiting to ask a question at the audience mic. The event kept going to 1 p.m. but I had to exit.

Congresswoman Lee Town Hall: Daniel Ellsberg

Although these posts are all showing my ID, every other post is actually being submitted by Robert Klein, sitting right next to me. We're alternating posts as the program moves one. Each speaker was only given three minutes each so that there's time for the audience to ask questions.

Following Bill Mitchell is Berkeley's Daniel Ellsberg, the former government worker who leaked the "Pentagon Papers" on U.S. decision-making in Vietnam in 1971. Ellsberg received a standing ovation from the crowd after being introduced.

Ellsberg started by recalling a call from one of Congreswoman Lee's staffer reminding him that today's event was a "Congressional town hall" and not a rally. He took his jacket off and said, "Aw, hell," indicating that he would speak his mind regardless. Ellsberg is energetic and animated as he transitions to comments about Karl Rove. "After Rove is convicted, [he] deserves a fair and honest trial," says Ellsberg. "They really do give the President a benefit of the doubt that no President deserves," he continued on.

Congresswoman Lee Town Hall: Bill Mitchell, Parent

The founder of Gold Star Families for Peace (http://www.commondreams.org/news2005/0614-27.htm), a group of military families began the next speech, one without the need for commentary:

"I'd rather not be up here speaking to you. What I have to say is not pleasant, not pleasant at all. But just try to imagine waking up every morning that your child is still dead. It's better when it's your first thought, because when you're five minutes into it, it's like a two-by-four...I was one of eight guests that John Conyers was allowed to bring in, and I [went to the White House] to deliver the letter signed by [90] Members of Congress and the 500,000 petitions collected by afterdowningstreet.org...The stories I'm about to tell you should not have happened, if this war hadn't been manufactured...for the legal occupation of a soverign country."

From a California Activist...

Just got back from the Oakland CA event - was turned away at the door!!!

They had filled all of the seats in the movie theater, packed the aisles, pushed people in behind the theeater seats at the back, and still about 200 people, who had driven in from all over, got turned away at the door.
I am SO PROUD of my fellow Californians for this turnout! I only wish I'd gotten in sooner!!!

Local radio braodcast of the event is available on KPFA 89.5.

The Rockin' Joint in New York City

I hope many of you are watching this amazing event online. This is a both a rowdy and a mature crowd! Liz Holtzman was awarded--and she deserved--a standing ovation for her tales of the Nixon Impeachment and her sane cautions about the difficulty of getting Congress to act.

It will only happen, she reminded us, via the WILL OF THE PEOPLE.

And now Rep. Hinchey is on fire--clear and direct and comprehensive in his exposition of the various crimes that the Bush Administration has, provably, committed.

It is incredible to be in this hot hall and to feel the energy of the overflow crowd.

Downing Street Memo Party Tonight - Birmingham PDA & DFA

The combined Birmingham chapters of Democracy For America and Progressive Democrats of America will host a gathering in recognition of the 3rd Anniversary of the now infamous #10 Downing Street meeting. More than 300 similar gatherings are planned throughout the country, thanks to AfterDowningStreet.org and Representative John Conyers of Michigan.

"This will be an evening of discussion of the issues surrounding the Bush Administration's actions and intentions for going to war in Iraq, as well as 'Rovegate' plus the John Roberts Supreme Court nomination," the press release says. "We will have information for developing letter-writing campaigns to our elected leaders on all levels, plus input from all on how we can make a difference in Birmingham and the state of Alabama. (We are already getting close to just one year to significant elections!)"

Meanwhile, back in Detroit...

Reposted from: http://blog.pdamerica.org

I just noticed from the floor that there's a second gallery.

We must have 200 people here!

Cong. Conyers is addressing the group and thanking us all for attending. I'd be remiss in not mentioning that the meeting was opened by Robert Sedler from here in the Law School.

I also must mentioned that this BLOG is being hosted by Michigan's Justice Caucus, an affiliate of the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA).

Tony Tripiano (SP?) will be hosting the meeting and calling up the speakers. He is speaking persuasively ; calling upon all of us to act on our feelings and call out those who have lied to us all.

Congresswoman Lee Town Hall: Steve Cobble, a founder of afterdowningstreet.org

Steve Cobble, a founder of afterdowningstreet.org, took the stage at 11:15 a.m.

Steve read from the Downing Street Memo, highlighting a few key phrases from that document. "The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell this week. It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force. The Attorney-General said that the desire for regime change was not a legal base for military action."

PDA Activist Live Audio-Blogs at Conyers event in Detroit...

Downing Street Memo Town Hall Meeting in Detroit:
First post here: http://files.livejournal.com/michigandem/phonepost/594.mp3

Original audio posts at: http://www.livejournal.com/users/michigandem/

Congresswoman Lee Town Hall: The Action Begins

Flyers literally flew toward the illustrious bloggers when Medea Bengamin of Global Exchange and Code Pink introduced Barbara Lee to a firey crowd (anyone who's ever been to a rally when President Clinton finally showed up after his minimum hour and a half delay knows what I'm talking about).

Lee spoke of beginning a movement to get the administration to come up with a plan to "withdraw [from Iraq] as soon as possible, like now!" After a little more crowd pumping ("We know what's right...internationally and domestically"), Lee cited the recent CBS poll that said only 17% of Americans believe the war in Iraq has actually reduced terrorism.

Congresswoman Lee Town Hall: Full House Chants "Impeach Bush"

As a standing-room only house awaits the beginning of the program, a section of the crowd started chanting "Impeach Bush!" -- and more people are still streaming in.

As Robert mentioned, Lee will be joined by Berkeley's Daniel Ellsberg, a former government worker famed for leaking the "Pentagon Papers" on U.S. decision-making in Vietnam in 1971. Also on the panel in the front of the theater is Steve Cobble, an activist and co-founder of afterdowningstreet.org and Bill Mitchell of Atascadero, a Gold Star Families for Peace co-founder whose son, U.S. Army Sgt. Michael Mitchell, 25, was killed in Baghdad.

Congresswoman Lee Town Hall: Welcome

By 10:45, Alan Michaan's movie palace was already half full, with activists of all stripes wide awake despite the early hour for a Saturday morning, destributing flyers, looking for friends, and some even tried to carry out their morning routines (reading the paper, drinking coffee), despite the hubub. The Congresswoman herself welcomed many of the attendees, who poured in with casual/political attire in sharp contrast to Lee's staff and security (who watched over with sharp eyes and suits). In fact, by this time the blue-ribbon panel, including Daniel Ellsberg (who published the Pentagon Papers) was already assembled on stage.

Downing Street Minutes Anniversary Town Hall Webcast

You will be able to access the audio feed, live from The Society of Ethical Culture, in New York City, by cutting and pasting the following URL in your web browser.


The Town Meeting is scheduled to begin at 2:00 pm.

Pre-Event Welcome: Congresswoman Barbara Lee's Town Hall

Good morning. My name is Keith Kamisugi and I'll be covering Congresswoman Barbara Lee's town hall meeting highlighting the Bush administration’s failure to address the questions raised by the Downing Street Memo and other documents. Today, July 23, marks the third anniversary of the Downing Street meeting between U.S and British officials whose minutes have prompted questions that intelligence was "fixed" to justify invasion.

We're here at the historic Grand Lake Theatre in Oakland. Opened in 1926, the theatre was designed by Reid Brothers, the same firm that designed the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco and the Oaks Theater in Berkeley. It was also here that I saw the premiere of Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" in a packed house.

Mad Hatters in the UK

Given the fact that the Mad Hatter's Teaparty planned for Downing Street had to be postponed due to the security situation in London; activists from Bedford Stop the War took the party to Bedford town centre. As well as recreating the Downing Street meeting, we were able to express our view that Bush and Blair are part of the problem, NOT part of the solution, and for the future stability of the world they must both go.

We had some quizzical interest, and were delighted to recruit a new member.

Bedford is 50 miles north of London and at one time was the most culturally diverse town in the country. We are home to over 100 different people groups, and 60 different languages are spoken here.

"America is very alive right now"

Ann is 86 and a veteran of almost 70 years of activism. Stephen is younger, but has white hair and a twinkle in his eye. Sarah is younger still, and has been protesting for only a few years; but she just came back from London, where, she says "Everyone knows about the Downing Street Minutes."

All are in front of Rockefeller Plaza, and the NBC Studios, to remind passersby about the mideia's silence on the reasons we went to war in Iraq.

You can see photos and read more here.

It is a lovely day here in NYC.

Today's Plans in Houston

Former Diplomat speaks on the Downing St. Memo SAT

Sat. July 23 The Downing Street Minutes - Teach in and film with former diplomat Ann Wright

When: 7-9:30 p.m., Saturday, July 23 Where: 5200 Fannin Street at Southmore, First Unitarian Universalist Church, Houston, TX 77004, 713.526.5200

Background: The Downing Street Minutes (DSM) are the minutes of a meeting between Prime Minister Tony Blair and his advisers, which were leaked to a London newspaper. They show conclusively that Bush deceived the American people and the world by saying he would try to avoid war when he had in fact already decided to invade Iraq.

Waxman: 11 Security Breaches in Plame Case

By Rep. Henry Waxman

The disclosure of the covert identity of Valerie Plame Wilson in a July 14, 2003, column by Robert Novak has triggered a criminal investigation and led to calls for congressional investigations. The Novak column, however, appears to be only one of multiple leaks of Ms. Wilson's identity. A new fact sheet released today by Rep. Waxman documents that there appear to be at least 11 separate instances in which Administration officials disclosed information about Ms. Wilson's identity and association with the CIA.

New Fact Sheet Details Multiple Administration Security Breaches Involving Valerie Plame Wilson

Bob Fertik's Remarks at New York City Town Hall

Here are the prepared remarks of AfterDowningStreet.org Co-Founder and Democrats.com President Bob Fertik for today's Town Hall Forum with Congressman Maurice Hinchey in New York City.

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