We had an overflow crowd in Inglewood, at least a thousand -- Covenant Church had to close the doors due to fire regulations that limit the sanctuary to 800. John Seeley will file a report tomorrow -- In short, it was a phenomenal success organized by a rainbow coalition of diverse organizations, from the NAACP to Rock the Vote to Iraq Vets Against the War and various Democratic Clubs (first time I've ever seen such a Democratic Club presence ... yippee). Waters moderated the whole four-hour affair -- talk about hands on! We called journalists all across the country on our cell phones, requesting coverage of the Downing Street memo. Willie B. led a hip hop rap "Stop the war -- no, we don't want to go to war, we've seen this before, it's going to wind up in a third world war." (Let's hope not.) When Waters mentioned impeachment, the crowd echoed -- "Impeach, impeach, impeach" -- Plenty of standing ovations for Waters, and for Barbara Lee, whom Waters honored as the only congress member courageous and intelligent enough to oppose the Afghanistan war resolution. She told us CA Assemblyman Jerome Horton, on hand, would soon introduce a resolution in the state legislature, calling on Pres Bush to bring the troops home. Same for Mae Thomas, a trustee with the Compton School Board. Waters -- "You are going to have to help the scared members of Congress. You are going to take them by the hand and lead them out of Iraq." At one point she called all the veterans against the war who were seated in the audience to come up to the podium. Waters thanked the veterans of Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, WWII for their service, and for speaking out against the occupation of Iraq. The crowd roared. At another juncture she asked all the children to come up to remind the crowd that the military wants to recruit them for an illegal war. A boy came up to me at the press table, asking, "When will I be drafted?" Often on their feet, waving, cheering, members of the audience held up photographs of Martin Luther King and signs that shouted, "Liberty without Lies" -- "No more Lies" -- The front of the church wore huge "Out of Iraq Now" banners. For the first hour of the teach-in, the cost of war figures -- $182,628, 817 and changing were projected onto a screen. At one point I heard a man say to his friend, "We've already spent $7,000,000 since we got here." C-SPAN covered it all, as did Truth Out, KPFK, and the Washington Report.
Lee pushes for truth on 'downing street' memo
By Michele R. Marcucci, STAFF WRITER
Congresswoman Barbara Lee worked an overflow crowd Saturday at the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland in an effort to gain support for an inquiry into pre-Iraq War intelligence.
"We're letting the president and the administration know that we want answers to the questions we asked in our letter," said Lee, referring to a previous letter on the so-called "Downing Street" memo.
"We're going to force them to answer the questions by any means necessary," she said.
Lee introduced a bill Thursday asking the Bush administration to release communications with British officials on Iraq in the months leading up to the war. The bill's 27 co-sponsors, all Democrats, include Rep. Fortney "Pete" Stark, D-Fremont, and Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma.
East Bay town halls discuss Iraq war
By Sara Steffens
CONTRA COSTA TIMES
Two East Bay congressional representatives criticized U. S. policy in Iraq during separate town hall meetings Saturday.
At city hall in Martinez, Rep. George Miller met with about 100 constituents to talk about issues ranging from the No Child Left Behind standards to Social Security. The Martinez Democrat told the crowd it is time for lawmakers to focus on ending the war in Iraq.
"It's become increasingly clear that no matter how long we stay, this is not going to be a military victory," he said. "We have to start thinking about ... how do we get out of Iraq?"
Liberals gather to 'demand answers'
Venues include parties, town hall meeting, convention
- Kelly St. John, Chronicle Staff Writer
Sunday, July 24, 2005
The political left came out in full force across the Bay Area on Saturday.
In Berkeley, they explored the spiritual side of being liberal. In Oakland, they blasted the Bush administration over the war in Iraq at a town hall meeting with Rep. Barbara Lee. And all over the region, Bush bashers heard former Ambassador Joseph Wilson rip into Karl Rove via conference call.
Such a harmonic convergence of activism could almost be dubbed "liberal bliss" day -- if everyone weren't so fighting mad.
Blog: Editor's Cut
By Katrina Vanden Heuvel
Congressman Maurice Hinchey had the crowd of more than 900--packed into New York's Ethical Culture Society's sweltering auditorium this beautiful summer Saturday--on their feet.
Hinchey was the second of three speakers at a Town Hall event this afternoon co-sponsored by The Nation and Democrats.com. (He joined former Congresswoman Liz Holtzman--who was brilliant in laying out the legal process available to hold administration officials responsible for torture at Abu Ghraib, as she wrote about in her recent Nation article--and Air America's Randi Rhodes--who alternately made the crowd laugh and wince with her scathing and funny debunking of Administration spin and lies. Bob Fertik, president of Democrats.Com skillfully moderated.)
By Political Desk
Congresswoman Barbara Lee hosted a Town Hall meeting at the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland on Saturday to address the manipulation of pre-war intelligence, the unclassified minutes of the Downing Street meeting, and the war in Iraq.
"There is no more solemn or important decision that a President or a nation can make than that of putting troops in harm's way and going to war," said Lee. "The Downing Street memo and other classified documents have raised grave and serious questions about the circumstances under which our troops were sent to war, and the American people deserve to know the truth."
Today the Labor Temple of Seattle resounded with the voice of democracy. Nearly 500 commited citizens gave up their sunny Saturday afternoon for a sweltering packed hall in order to be witness to the birth of a movement. A movement to draft a resolution of inquiry in order to expose the lies and finally get to the truth about George Bush and his dirty little war. It was a true privilege to have been there among them.
Organized by Vashon Island-based Backbone Coalition, the Seattle event was headlined by Rep Jim McDermott, who also happens to be the sole congressional recipient of the Backbone Award given to "courageous community leaders, elected officials, and others in the public spotlight in recognition of their willingness to take principled progressive stands at politically lonely moments". If anyone in congress has earned this distinction, then McDermott has to be on anybody's A list if for nothing else then his telling it like it was on air from downtown Baghdad prior to the invasion. After being welcomed by a raucous standing ovation, the Congressmen's speech provided some color on that and other of his activities leading up to the war, activities now legendary among progressives and infamous among reactionaries.
No matter how hard the majority party and the Bush administration has tried to prevent it, today John Conyers and the Downing Street Minutes OFFICIALLY made it OUT of the basement and into the Law Auditorium at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan where they were greated by a packed room and the local press too.
When I first walked into the law auditorium, I was disappointed in its small size and said so. A young woman who had followed me into the room said, "Hey, this room is bigger than the closet in Washington!" Perspective, I guess! It's all about perspective.
And despite the bigger room than Washington, DC, the crowd in this room grew until the Panel was pressed back against the front wall and people were seated in the jury box and around the room and filling the balcony.
A reliable source in Los Angeles tells me that C-Span taped Congresswoman Waters' event and will air it on Monday.
A caller to the Laura Flanders Show on Air America while I was on it said that there were Downing Street Minutes events today in the Czech Republic and Germany. We already know about England.
We're just warming up!
On the way into the town hall meeting held at the New York Society for Ethical Culture center in Manhattan today, four members of Billionaires For Bush were there to greet attendees decked out in top hats, pass out invites for a "yacht party", and chant slogans from the signs they carried such as "Sure The War Was Just - For The Rich!"
Bob Fertik, the founder of Democrats.com moderated the event called "Torture, Lies and Treason: Who Is Accountable?" to a standing room only crowd on a hot summer day in the city. Former Congresswoman Liz Holtzman and upstate New York Congressman Maurice Hinchey were two of the speakers, but Air America's Randi Rhodes received the biggest cheers and a number of "We love you, Randis" from the mixed age, multicultural audience.
How the United States Marked the 3rd Anniversary of the Downing Street Memo
By David Swanson
Hundreds of people were turned away today as capacity crowds packed public forums in U.S. cities to discuss the Downing Street Memo and related evidence that President Bush lied about the reasons for war. Halls were filled to capacity and beyond in LA, Oakland, Seattle, Detroit, Northampton, New York, and elsewhere, for events led by Congress Members, including Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee, Jim McDermott, John Conyers, and Maurice Hinchey.
For the second time in the two months since we launched the www.AfterDowningStreet.org campaign, I've been overwhelmed by what we've tapped into. The first time was when we put up a website about the Downing Street minutes and a demand for an investigation into grounds for impeachment. I'd never seen a coalition grow so quickly or a website receive so much traffic. Today we saw crowds of people in red and blue states chant "Impeach Bush!" at events with leaders not yet ready to use the I word. The much maligned American Public is way out ahead of us – I'm telling you.
Making The Sacrifice For Our Country, Its Around The Block, Just A Half Mile Down Classen Street, Its Happening In Oklahoma City
Today, Terra, Randy and myself (the Okcitykid) showed up at the Backdoor Coffee Shop for our third anniversary of the Downing Street Minutes get together. And to our surprise, Archive Video and Audio, AVA was there putting together an anti religious right skit. We found that to be interesting and they of course were interested in what we where doing, about that time Lisa showed up. We then watched a clip AVA was producing and they had shown some interest in clips we were playing on a Laptop Terra and Randy brought, during this time Amanda and her friend showed up.
Greetings from Raleigh, North Carolina.
A motivated and committed group has gathered at a house party in Raleigh, NC to watch the DVD of the Conyers' hearing and to continue the lively discussion we've already started. We have twice the expected turnout, with participants from all over the Triangle area. We're excited about building on this momentum and adding even more voices to this movement.
Published on Saturday, July 23, 2005 by David Corn
A CIA Vet's Messge for the Save-Rove Spinners:
"A True Patriot Would Shut Up"
by David Corn
I've wasted too many hours of my life going on talking head shoutfests with conservatives who pooh-pooh the Plame/CIA leak matter (now known as the Rove scandal), who claim there was little damage done, who say that Valerie Wilson was only a desk jockey and dismiss her undercover status as "light" or "flimsy," who argue that no crime was broken and no wrongdoing occurred, and who are lightning quick to depict the controversy as nothing but a game of politics. These folks are spinning to save Rove and to protect the White House, and they distort, disinform, and dissemble for the team.
Tony Trupiano spoke after Rep. Conyers:
"The President is a liar. He had hired crafty liars who will stop at nothing to get their way. Their arrogance has created the largest terror ring the world has ever known.
We don't need to be Democrats, we don't need to be Republicans, we need to be MESSENGERS.
We need to spread the word "NOT IN MY HOUSE".
The White House is my house. It is your house. Today is the beginning of the end of the Bush administration." - Tony Trupiano
Mr. James Marcinkowski, former Case Officer, CIA, also spoke today at the rally for the Downing Street Memo anniversary.
He said he trained with Valerie Plame, and worked with her for twenty years. Their identity was kept secret for twenty years:
"This whole incident was about politics and power. We need to be empowered, and the media needs to take their responsibility seriously and each day that goes by without an investigation, without accountability, damages our national security.
"Everything that a CIA agent does is built on trust. They have to have a high level of trust with those they work with - their lives and the lives of countless others depends on it....This administration breeched that trust. This is absolutely unprecendented - the White House, people at the very top level of power here, breeched the trust, and they did it out of revenge, thinking nothing of it.
LIVE FROM RALLY IN DETROIT TODAY ON ANNIVERSARY OF THE DSM:
Lila Lipscomb from "Farenheit 9-11" spoke earlier today as well. She said:
"We've been sound asleep since Vietnam. We need to start connecting the dots.
"I had to learn to connect the dots after losing my son. Part of the strategy of those in power has been to strip us (the citizens - the population) of resources. They made it much harder for the people to have power. The result was more poverty and despair, a lack of hope. That's how they built their new military. (More poor kids volunteer for service in the armed forces for economic reasons - a job, help paying for college later, etc.)
Rep. John Coyers spoke at the rally in Detroit today. John Conyer's said "ALL this ties in together..
ALL of it...TREASONGATE, the leaking of Valerie Plame's identity.....the DOWNING ST. MEMO......
This is NOT a few rogues that are coming forward with information, it is coming out of The WHITE HOUSE."
Just got off the phone with Tim Carpenter, Executive Director of Progressive Democrats of America, who participated in the event in Northampton, Mass., which -- like many others today -- was filled to capacity and had to turn people away.
"Bonifaz was on fire!" Tim says.
The event was filmed for Access TV and recorded for Alternative Radio. It also made the front page of the Northampton Gazette.
This website will display this article for $2:
Activists aim to keep focus on pre-war meeting
I was unable to blog directly from the Labor Temple but kept my eyes and ears open & rushed home via the first bus possible, to upload my photos & get on-line! (I'll also be posting at http://www.democracycellproject.net, http://www.backbonecampaign.org & http://www.silencedmajority.blogs.com)
I had always intended to read the Downing Street Memo in full but hadn't completed the task, so the skit - sponsored by the Backbone Campaign - was stunning in its overt plotting behind the backs of the British & American people. The readers wore the costumes and nametags of Jack Straw, Geoff Hoon and other British dignitaries/neocons & Tony Blair was played by a puppet that looked like something between a poodle and a lamb.
On July 23rd, beginning at 9 p.m. ET, Jim Marcinkowski, and then at 10 p.m. ET Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Tony Trupiano, will be on the Brad Show to discuss the day's events in Los Angeles and Detroit.
I just got off the phone with Bill Moyer of the Backbone Campaign in Seattle. They, like the organizers today in New York, Oakland, Los Angeles, and Northampton, had to turn people away because the space was filled beyond capacity.
Congressman Jim McDermott, I'm told, gave a tremendous speech, as did spokespeople from Military Families Speak Out, and as I'm sure Bill did himself.
They also performed a humurous reenactment of the Downing Street Meeting.
Then they organized groups to write letters to the media, to Congress, and to the Governor of Washington State.
When I told Bill about the events eleswhere today, he said "It's the beginning of the end for the Bush Administration."
Bob Reuschlein, Madison, Wisconsin
About 200 - 250 people showed up to march around the capitol square in Madison, Wisconsin, and we only got "rained on" a little bit, so the clouds kept us in the mild seventies. We were to start at 10am but it took another fifteen minutes to put together the LIES posters supported on bamboo poles, about eight of them connected together, white letters on black sheets. We filled up an entire city block as we moved the one block to the capitol square, which was filled with farmers market buyers. Many of them cheered us on, grinned or gave us the thumbs up, as WORT radio interviewed some of us and some of them. We stopped at each of the four corners of the square and I explained to the crowd that it was the 3rd Anniversary of the Downing Street Minutes, which proved that our government had lied us into war.
The event in Northampton is overflowing! Someone from the building just came in and asked if we could move to a different room because there's an overflow of people in the hallway; a "wonderful problem", mused Tim Carpenter from the Progressive Democrats of America, who are cosponsering this event. He would later speak after the showing of an 8 minute film, "Hijacking Catastrophe", produced by the Media Education Foundation. This film ties together events before 9/11 to point out the Bush administration's intention to invade Iraq, such as the letter from the Project for the New American Century sent to then President Clinton. This letter advocated taking action military action in Iraq, and of those neoconservative who signed it, Bush hand picked many of them to be in his cabinet.
Patriots for Al Gore calls upon the U.S. House of Representatives to issue a Resolution of Inquiry regarding information contained in the Downing Street memo. We also call upon our representatives to put partisanship aside and to do what is right for the American people.
Auburn Ill. (PRWEB) July 8, 2005 -- The Downing Street Memo which was published in The London Times on May 1, 2005, gives us an insight into how the propaganda and policy was settled on in what we believe was a deliberate attempt by the U.S and British governments to mislead America and Britain into the war in Iraq.
It's a lovely breezy afternoon in Virginia and we're enjoying blackberry pie (and blackberry cobbler and dumplings and ice cream).
We're having a small DSM Day house party in the backyard. We've been reading the DS minutes and Conyer's timeline, watching the DVD from Take Back the Media and using the neighborhood wifi to watch the C-SPAN coverage of the Hearing on Security Implications of Revealing Covert Agent's Identity that took place yesterday morning. (http://www.c-span.org/)
We had about 40 people to watch 'Rove's War', and the 'Downing street Basement Tapes'. Afterwards, we broke into informal groups to discuss the vileness of Bush administration lies. Then about half of us went to join a rally run by Amnesty International and 3 November. They had live art and some very good speakers. Professor Alan Gilbert (who was Conde Rice's PHD supervisor) spoke about the Bush Administration and current US torture and imperialism, and how it follows the examples set by Nazi Germany and the British Empire. He didn't quite seem to know why Conde turned out like she did. Anyway
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.
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.