Here's a video from Truthout.org of the July 23rd DSM Day Event in Los Angeles. Watch it. Share it.
By David Swanson, PDA Board Member, Co-Founder AfterDowningStreet.org
Overflow crowds packed public forums today at more than 300 events organized by Progressive Democrats of America and other members of the AfterDowningStreet coalition to mark the three-year anniversary of the Downing Street Memo.
Hundreds of people were turned away at some of the larger events as capacity crowds sought to discuss the Downing Street Memo and related evidence that the Bush Administration fixed intelligence to systematically mislead the nation to go to war in Iraq. Distinguished members of Congress such as John Conyers (D-MI), Maurice Hinchley (D- NY), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Maxine Waters (D-CA) hosted standing-room-only town hall meetings in their home districts of Detroit, New York City, Oakland, Seattle, and Los Angeles. PDA co-sponsored the events, and PDA chapters played a key role in organizing people for these and hundreds of smaller forums around the nation.
By Rita A. Weinstein, PDA
Bill Moyer, Director of The Backbone Campaign
Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA)
Rory Steel, from Congressman Jay Inslee's office
Bear Dyson and Lisa Gill of Military Families Speak Out
Paul Rogat Loeb, author of The Impossible will Take a Little While and The Soul of a Citizen
The event took place in the Labor Temple in downtown Seattle. The auditorium audience of over 300 was standing room only. Congressman Jim ("Baghdad Jim") McDermott was the featured speaker. Bill Moyer ("Without the 's', but it helps to get calls returned."), Director of the Backbone Campaign (www.backbonecampaign.org) organized and hosted the event. His opening message to the full spectrum of Seattle's progressive community opened with the immortal lines of Robert Burns: "O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." He explained that part the agenda of the Backbone Campaign, a member of the Afterdowningstreet.org coalition, is to provide creative accountability tools for our leaders, such as The Backbone Award and the Spineless Citation.
By Carl Doerner
Each time I encounter youthful Conway native and constitutional attorney John Bonifaz I am more impressed with his grasp of contemporary political problems, historical analysis and with his ability to crisply articulate the issues before us. On Saturday afternoon he addressed 160 of us packed tightly into the meeting room of the Media Education Foundation in Northampton. This was one of 350 such July 23 meetings throughout the country, marking the third anniversary of preparation of what is referred to in infrequent media accounts as the Downing Street Memo.
More than 300 people packed the main meeting room at the Seattle Labor Temple today to mark the third anniversary of the Downing Street Minutes.
The event was organized nationally by AfterDowningStreet.org and locally by the Backbone Campaign and Congressman Jim McDermott's office. Bill Moyer, the Executive Director of the Backbone Campaign opened the event, welcoming the overflowing crowd and winding us up. Next came a dramatic reading of the original Downing Street Minutes, with parts being read by Joshua Okrent, Bert Sacks and several others.
Jim McDermott gave a great speech, connecting the Downing Street Minutes/Memo with Karl Rove's current problems explaining his criminal behavior in the White House. He said we were in a DIRE emergency, where D stands for Downing Street, I stands for Iraq, R stands for Rove and E stands for everything else. Many times the audience joined in, asking about things like the Iraqi people. McDermott was always about to get right to that subject, and did so very well.
Hello This is Harriet Lerman 1340 WPBR, AM you will here the real story. Listen in on July 28th at 11AM to Dave Swanson from DSM. Hear all about the events that happened all around the country. We had several events Saturday, July 23, 2005, in Palm Beach County Florida yesterday which was one of the hottest days of the year. Still loyal people show up to support the Democrats who had a Rally in West Palm Beach. So far at this point I have not seen anything in the news about our Rally. We know that OUT2.com, Boca News and Sun Sentinel were there, but I have not seen anything yet in the press about the Rally.
Remarks at Yesterday's Event in Seattle by Bill Moyer:
Welcome & Intros: “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when we practice to deceive
Here's a great report from the Detroit Event by Joel Wendland of PoliticalAffairs.net:
"We Need to Know the Truth": Downing Street Anniversary
Sparks Demand for Investigation
"Our nation's sons and daughters are dying and killing in Iraq out of loyalty to their country but in the name of lies from the Bush throne," charged Al Fishman, head of the Detroit Area Peace and Justice Network, in his statement as part of a panel convened yesterday in Detroit by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) to highlight the 3rd anniversary of the Downing Street Memo.
The photos from the NBC protest are on my blog:
There are none from the afternoon rally at Ethical Culture, because I couldn't get in.
So congratulations are in order I expect.
With all those people there are probably lots of photos of the rally, so you don't need me and my little blog for that.
Let me know what else is happening and what I can do.
Saturday evening, July 23, an overflow crowd of approximately 225 people packed the largest room and spilled into the lobby at the 1st Unitarian Universalist Church in Houston Texas, for a teach-in on the third anniversary of the Downing Street Minutes (DSM).
Planning for the event started only 9 days ago, and there was minimal time for publicity, but news of the event spread like wildfire through the progressive community in Houston, the largest city in one of the reddest states in the country, and generated a very enthusiastic response. Event organizers were hoping for and expecting a crowd of about 100 people. However, the crowd quickly filled every chair, and additional chairs had to be brought into the room several times and filled every available place. Other people stood through the event and even in the lobby because there was no room for more chairs.
Downing Street Memo Unites Progressives Against Bush
By Glynn Wilson
Locust Fork News
BIRMINGHAM, Ala., July 23 - Is it possible that the corrupt Bush administration will lose its focus and run the trains off the track so violently that the Democratic Party will have a chance to elect some smarter, more progressive candidates in 2006 and 2008 and move the country in a different direction?
That is the hope of a group of frustrated liberals, Democrats and progressives who gathered at the 22nd Street Jazz Cafe on the Southside of Birmingham, Alabama, Saturday night to debate the Downing Street Memos and the Bush administration's crazed policies, which took the U.S. to war in Iraq based on a rumor that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.
LOS ANGELES -- U-S Rep. Maxine Waters led a rally today calling for the United States to withdraw from Iraq.
Attendees sought to raise awareness about Britain's so-called "Downing Street memos" documents they say raise questions about President Bush's decision to go to war.
The document include leaked minutes of a July 23rd, 2002, meeting between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and top government officials.
The rally was held to coincide with the third anniversary of the meeting.
According to the meeting minutes, top British officials said the White House viewed military action against Saddam Hussein as inevitable following the September 11th attacks. One memo states the U-S government -QUOTE- "scrambling to establish a link between Iraq and Al Qaida is so far frankly unconvincing."
New York Times
By RICHARD W. STEVENSON
WASHINGTON, July 23 - His former secretary of state, most of his closest aides and a parade of other senior officials have testified to a grand jury. His political strategist has emerged as a central figure in the case, as has his vice president's chief of staff. His spokesman has taken a pounding for making public statements about the matter that now appear not to be accurate.
For all that, it is still not clear what the investigation into the leak of a C.I.A. operative's identity will mean for President Bush. So far the disclosures about the involvement of Karl Rove, among others, have not exacted any substantial political price from the administration. And nobody has suggested that the investigation directly implicates the president.
An overflow crowd, at least 1,000, packed the Covenant Church in Inglewood, where church employees had to shut the doors due to fire regs that limit the sanctuary to 800. In short, the Out of Iraq! teach-in 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).
Waters moderated the whole four-hour affair -- talk about hands on! We called journalists across the country on our cell phones, requesting coverage of the Downing Street memo. "Hello ... I'm calling from one of 300 town meetings across the nation and I am sitting here with members of Gold Star Familles for Peace and Military Families Speak Out. We want you to tell the American public the truth about the Downing Street memo ... " Others were less polite. "Why the hell aren't you reporting the truth about the massacres in Iraq?!"
Hey David, it's Heather with CODEPINK. Just wanted to report back on the Oakland event, in case you wanted to post something on ADS.org--it was a huge success, the Grand Lake theater was standing room only, and the owner estimated around 4-500 people were turned away. While I wasn't able to watch the panel myself (no room in the theater), tabling for CODEPINK was a huge success outside, with people lining up to buy slices of "Impeachment Cobbler" and sign up to participate in the September 26th day of action in DC and at the federal building in San Francisco. KRON 4 News, the local NBC affiliate, showed up to tape the crowd after the panel had ended (it probably went an hour later than scheduled), and I heard the local Pacifica station had reporters there as well.
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.