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Thousands Across the U.S. Mark DSM Day at 300+ Public Forums
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.
For the second time in the two months since PDA helped to launch the www.AfterDowningStreet.org campaign, we have been overwhelmed by what we've tapped into. From the first time we put up a website about the Downing Street minutes, demanding an investigation into grounds for impeachment, PDA has been gratified to see such a strong a coalition grow so quickly. The website consistently receives a high volume of traffic.
PDA has collected the interesting details from various events around the country to share with you, but first, acknowledgements are in order for a few folks who really pulled out the stops. This is by no means the entire list of folks who deserve credit. There are literally hundreds who made today's forums a success. The larger town halls, however, required some extraordinary organizational efforts: Marcy Winograd, Lora O'Connor, and Michael Jay in Los Angeles; our new friends in Birmingham, Sharron Williams and Ben Mazzara; in Seattle, Judith Shattuck and Jim Mullins; in Detroit, many thanks to Paul Stevenson, Mike Short, and Tony Trupiano (PDA advisory board member); in Vermont, Bruce Taub and Nicoli Bailey; and in Northampton, Massachusetts, Les and Susie Patlove and Kathleen Bridgewater. We'd also like to acknowledge the speakers from PDA and thank them for the eloquent speeches they made: Tony Trupiano in Detroit, Steve Cobble in Oakland, John Bonifaz and PDA national director Tim Carpenter in Northampton, David Swanson in Maryland, and William Rivers Pitt in Vermont.
Now to the report:
Throughout the nation today, we saw crowds of people in red and blue states chant "Impeach Bush!" at events with political leaders not yet ready to use the "I-word." It would seem that the much-maligned American Public is way out ahead of many political insiders.
Crowds at the event in Montgomery County, Maryland asked, "Why is it so hard to get a Democrat from a solidly Democratic district to introduce articles of impeachment? What are they waiting for?"
In fact, since the Downing Street Memo was leaked to the British press in early May, PDA has stood side-by-side with Congressman John Conyers and other key members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus to put the wheels of impeachment in motion. PDA was the first progressive organization in the nation to support the letter Conyers authored and co-signed by 133 members of Congress demanding that the President address the troubling issues revealed in the Downing Street Memo. PDA generated the first 100,000 citizen signatures on the petition supporting the Conyers letter and enjoined its allies and partners across the progressive political spectrum to create a coalition of support. Just this week, Congresswoman Barbara Lee submitted a "Resolution of Inquiry