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Report from Birmingham, AL

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.

We now know that the administration "fixed" the intelligence to support the policy dreamed up by the neo-con think tanks - thanks to the leaked Downing Street memos.

The only good news to come out of it in retrospect, according to Ben Mazzara, one of the local event organizers, is that, "When Bush runs the train off the rails, we'll be there to put it back on the track."

Kathy Day, another organizer, told a group of about 15 that it is time to be
"objective" and "honest" for a change and help the public get acquainted
with the facts, move forward in action against the lies and pressure the
media to be more responsible.

The situation reminded her of the cartoon which shows President George W.
Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney with a line of flag-draped coffins. Bush
says to Cheney, "I guess they didn't know the right people."


David Gespass, an attorney an activist and the featured speaker, criticized
the "lapdog press" for not reporting the truth about the situation in Iraq
in the run-up to war. He echoed the point made by Noam Chomsky in the book
Manufacturing Consent, which says that the American press only
reports views in a narrow range of mainstream opinion, what he called "safe

We should "go where the silence is," he said, "not where the power is," to
find balance.

"It's time for the truth to be the news," he said. He suggested that the
lies exposed by the Downing Street Memos show that "the Bush administration
lies, which should be their unraveling."

A member of the Over the
Mountain Democrats
said it is time for liberals, progressives and
Democrats to come out of the closet and admit who they are in the schools,
churches and the work place.

"We must change and adapt or die," he said of the entrenched Alabama
Democratic Party, controlled by special interests, including the trial
lawyers, the teacher's lobby and the African-American community.

He said the group from the moneyed part of town will host a series events
focusing on issues and causes people can agree on, such as the fact that
"poverty exists in Alabama."

Sharron Williams, one of the organizers from the Progressive Democrats of
America and Democracy for America said it is time to get the word out that a
lot of people disagree with the president, "not just a bunch of liberals."

"It's time for some grassroots action," she said. "It's time for



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