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Daily Protest of the Corrupt Bush Administration


This is a repost of an essay I wrote a few months ago (updated) on my effort to raise some political awareness/consciousness here in Portland, OR. My personal protest efforts led to my alliance with the Impeachment Movement here, and has enabled me to provide a street-level perspective in our meetings with local politicians to urge them to adopt a Resolution of Impeachment of Bush and Cheney.
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http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2006/06/340890.shtml

Call City Council to demand Impeachment!! - "One Man Parade"

author: Styve

One man's answer to the question, 'What can I do to slow BushCo's dismantling of our Democracy for his Imperialistic fantasy?' How one guy calls hundreds of Portlanders to action each day, as part of his regular routine. Portland needs to lead in the Impeachment of these despots!!
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First, a little update on the successes I am having...

I have teamed up with a DFA group that is pressing Portland City Council to consider, debate, and adopt a Resolution of Impeachment against Bush and Cheney, using Jefferson's Manual, Sec. LIII, sec. 603. The Commissioners seem reluctant to get involved with such a "National" political issue, despite the fact that the local budgets are being slashed as result of BushCo's disastrous tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

Please call any or all commissioners (Adams, Leonard, Salzman and Sten) to demand that Portland take this step to protect our city, our economy, our clean air and our natural resources from the mounting predatory recklessness of the Bush Administration.

We gave all the commissioners the following articles and links, on how damaging BushCo's policies have been to state and city budgets throughout the country. Please read some or all of them, and call to urge City Council to have Portland join the nine States and countless cities and counties across the country currently joining the Jefferson Impeachment Movement ( http://impeachpac.org/resolutions-list)!!

http://www.ctj.org/html/statefx.htm

http://www.tompaine.com/Archive/scontent/8608.html

http://www.cbpp.org/5-12-04sfp.htm

link to denistn.mine.nu

http://budgetblog.americanprogress.org/category/state-and-local/

http://database.nationalpriorities.org/tradeoff

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"One Man Parade"

About 16 weeks ago, I decided that I'd had enough!! I had grown tired of feeling voiceless in the face of the GOP scandals surfacing weekly, the threat of nuclear war with Iran looming, the undermining of the integrity of our elections, our government's moral bankruptcy on the various human rights issues facing the world, and the utter dismantling of the civil rights guaranteed to Americans through the Constitution. I felt the need to try to stimulate more political consciousness, and more ACTION, among fellow progressives, and even conservatives, who believe that NOW is the time to ACT.

I decided to carry a sign wherever I go in Portland, essentially becoming, as one passerby dubbed me, a "one man parade." My aim is to try to make people think... "Wow, if this guy is so committed and so passionate that the Bush Administration (hereafter BushCo) is destroying the USA, he is carrying a sign and waving a peace sign on the way to and from work each day, maybe I should be doing more, or at least something... because I, too, am disgusted with the stuff that is happening to this country, under the leadership of a cadre that doesn't believe in Government!"

My signs say, "NO MORE BUSH WAR / IMPEACH," "OUSTING BUSH IS PATRIOTIC", "BUSH IS A FRAUD", "NOTHING TO FEAR BUT BUSH HIMSELF", "BUSH HATES THE CONSTITUTION", "WOULD YOU DIE FOR BUSH'S LIES?!"etc. Not overly creative, but perhaps enough to motivate people to take some initiative, to stand up for our country and start fighting back against the Neocon and Far Right extremists that have overtaken the US Government, to remind people that this is our Democracy, and to thereby shake them from the brink of despair and resignation.

Each day, I walk, or take the bus to one of the many bridges into Portland, pull my sign from my bag... and either hang for a half-hour, or walk across the bridge. I stop short of my office, throw the signs in my bag and go to work. At the end of the day, if it is still dry, I will walk home, over the same bridge, sign brandished, and hopefully expose another thousand people to my idealism and optimism for a turnaround, and an eradication of the BushCo Culture of Corruption.

As noted, this all started a few months ago, in earnest. However, I have been carrying a two-sided sign in my bag for several months, for use whenever the opportunity arises. It is such a rush to see the amazing support I get from drivers, pedestrians, bike-commuters and even more serious cyclists. It is very encouraging, yet simultaneously heart-rending to hear the honks and the shouts of encouragement, to see the peace signs waved with enthusiasm, and to see the fists raised high amid shouts of thanks, and "Rock on, Dude!!"

Equally cool is when I stop to face the traffic, holding the sign(s) and and waving a peace sign with the other hand... and I see the people's eyes and their smiles, as they ride, run, walk and drive by... and what really strikes me is what seems to be a joyful gratitude that I am saying what they are thinking.

I had some free time several Saturdays back, so I hit the bridge with the NO MORE BUSH WAR / IMPEACH BUSHCO sign for an hour plus. A couple in their 50's stopped to talk as they were crossing the bridge, and after reading both sides of the sign, the man said he has a son serving in Iraq. I explained that I support the troops, and that I am outraged that they are risking young lives and limbs in Iraq solely because of BushCo's lies. He smiled, nodded and thanked me, and as he and his wife turned to continue across the bridge, he too, flashed a peace sign. That made me want to hit the bridges on weekends, too!

The supportive reactions, as well as the negative ones, that I get each day make me think the extra 20 - 60 minutes to and from work is well worth it. I am see in Portland commuters the same hope and optimism I feel every day, that we will correct the wrong that has been inflicted on the country! Until that flicker of hope is extinguished, and I decide that it is indeed time to leave the United States of Fascistic Theocracy, I will continue my "One Man Parade"!

No one has joined me, but many have said that they see me frequently, often asking what group I am with, or if I am getting paid to do this. My deepest hope is that I will have inspired people who support the concept that BushCo must be held accountable, to develop their own, more creative ways to incite other citizens to loudly reject the fraud that is being perpetrated on America!

Either way, let's each strive to make Portland a leader in the movement to stop the madness of King George and his imperialist, corporatist, torturing, dishonest and deceptive ways, and send him back to Texas before 2008!

Peace~~
Styve

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I will just leave the post as is and do another one, which I believe I can tweak at will, unless you have to do some work on the forums.

Styve

Thom Hartmann does a radio show on Air America from KPOJ here in Portland, and our DFA group is trying to spread the word on that medium. He is a Portland resident and actually walked by one of our "flashmobs' the previous week, so he is a good ally to have, we figure!!

One thing we have heard from the public is that people are not aware of the Jefferson's Manual route for local impeachment initiatives. I thought I would give him a handy document.

~~S
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Hey Thom,

Glad Russ got through this morning about our Impeachment rally flashmob this eve!! As you may recall, I do weekday individual protests at the eastern mouth of the Hawthorne Bridge, usually between 9a and 10a. The enthusiastic response to my signs about Bush's wrongdoings and the need to impeach the Bush Administration has grown steadily in the four months that I have been doing this.

I am proud to be part of the Democracy for America group pushing for a local Resolution of Impeachment against Bush and Cheney. We have lobbied City Council to urge the adoption of a Resolution of Impeachment since late spring, and we gave the commissioners and the Mayor a draft resolution during our first presentation to the Council, as a whole, on Wednesday, May 10.

Here is some background information on the details of such local impeachment initiatives under Jefferson's Manual of Parliamentary Practice. People have to understand that this is a way to get the issue to the floor of the GOP-run House. Numerous cities and states are adopting, and/or putting resolutions of impeachment on the November ballot, to empower their House representatives to support John Conyers' HR 635.

Legal Basis for City and State Impeachment Resolutions

A number of cities in Vermont, New York, California and other states have passed
resolutions calling for impeachment. Resolutions have been introduced in the Illinois
state legislatures by Karen Yarbrough, and in the California state legislature by Paul
Koretz. An up-to-date list of resolutions passed or in progress can be found at:
"www.impeachpac.org/resolutions".

4.2. Why States can Initiate Impeachment

The Jefferson Manual is considered part of the House Rules. In Section 603 of the
Jefferson Manual it says "In the House there are various methods of setting an
impeachment in motion: ...[including] by charges transmitted from the legislature of a
State (III, 2469) or territory (III, 2487)..." The (III, 2469) refers to a legal precedent
described in a document called Hinds' Precedents that lists many important prior
decisions and actions by the House. It tells of how in 1903 the Florida legislature
passed a bill to impeach a corrupt US District Judge named Charles Swayne. This bill
was sent to the House and Representative William Lamar rose and introduced the bill
on behalf of Florida, resulting in Swayne's eventual impeachment. This established a
precedent whereby a state can "initiate impeachment." A state could always send a
petition to the House under Clause 3, Rule XII. But this adds weight to the argument
that the petition should be considered a valid means of initiating an actual
impeachment because it has been allowed in the past.

5.1. Cities and States Affected by Bush

The crimes that Bush has committed have a profound impact on the residents of cities
and states.

* Men and women from cities and states are being sent to Iraq where they may
be killed or wounded.

* Tax money that could have been spent locally is being been diverted to Iraq.

* Bush has weakened the security of cities and states by depriving them of their
National Guard troops. Look at the mess in New Orleans. Unfortunately,
there will be more Katrinas, and we need our troops here now to protect us.

* Bush promised that he could keep the price of oil down. We were told that
there was no conceivable scenario in which gas prices would go up after
invading Iraq. Bush's supply-side policies have failed. Continued tensions in
Iraq and Iran are a big part of why prices are up at the pump.

5.2. Little Action at the Federal Level

House Resolution 635 by John Conyers calls for the creation of a Select Committee to
write articles of impeachment. It has 33 cosponsors. It is stagnant in the Judiciary
Committee.

We expect that these acts by state legislators will give courage to Members of
Congress to step forward and introduce impeachment on the floor of the House. We
unfortunately must impeach the President to protect the Constitution. If there are
some in Congress who prefer to be part of the cover-up of these crimes by blocking
hearings on impeachment, we must fight to throw them out and bring in a Congress
that is not just a rubber-stamp for a unitary executive. Let impeachment go to a floor
vote, so the voters can see who is willing to protect the Constitution.

If a Member of the House, or a Committee, will introduce impeachment, it will be a
privileged motion that will force a floor vote, even if it is a vote to table.

5.3. Politics of Impeachment

Impeachment is not about politics. It is about protecting the Constitution.
Nevertheless, it is often asked how impeachment will affect the 2006 elections.

Attempting impeachment will help Democrats win in 2006.

All politics is local. Democrats are flying high in the polls due to Bush's low ratings,
but it is hard to turn those low national ratings into local election victories.
Impeachment will change that.

If an impeachment or censure vote comes to the floor of Congress, Members will have
to vote for protecting the Constitution or for continuing the cover-up. A national issue
now becomes a matter of an individual Member's vote. We can't fight Republican
Representatives for just being in the same party as Bush, but we can fight them for
voting to cover-up crimes and undermining the Constitution. We can win a local
battle that focuses on a candidate's voting record.
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We believe that we have two of the three votes necessary for Portland City Council to do its duty to support the US Constitution, and the third should be in hand shortly. Portland, along with San Francisco, will lead the country on the path to correct the injustices of the Bush era(s). Help us urge City council to do its duty, and stop the frivolous PR stunts like the speedily processed "Children's Bill of Rights"!!

On the Impeachpac site noted above, there is a page about talking points about City-initiated Resolutions of Impeachment, in which it is explained that even local elected representatives take oaths of office, and those usually have language about "upholding/defending" the US Constitution, and the state Constitution. Well, I checked a secondary source and sure enough, Portland fits the mold, using the term "support" with regard to the US Constitution.

Impeach Bush, City Council Talking Points

http://www.portlandonline.com/auditor/index.cfm?&c=cicdi&cce_28238_print=1

Please start talking about this issue daily to give Portlanders hope that we can end the reign of King George. That is what we try to do each week with our flashmobs!! Encourage people to join us!! We had about a dozen people last week, our biggest showing!! Help us grow the Impeachment movement here in Portland!!

Thanks,
Styve

I ocassionally join Styve in his One Man Parade - making it a one man and one old woman parade. Even before I get to the bridge, while I stand at the bus stop waiting for a bus to take me to the bridge passing motarists who see my sign start honking, giving me the peace sign or a thumbs up, and sometimes yelling "Right on!" or other words of encouragement.
I also post IMPEACH FLIERS around Portland and my own posterS ie, "Act as IF you are PRO life - Vote Democratic to IMPEACH." or "The Deficit? inGOPetence or premeditated Greed? Vote Democratic to IMPEACH" and other signs. While posting my signs, I meet people all around Portland, and Portlanders are thoroughly disgusted with BushCo. I often find the most enthusiastic support from the younger generation [20's and early 30's] which I'd heard is supposed to be indifferent to politics - NOT TRUE! Weekly, the ocassional right winger who would take exception to my signs has become an ever more rare event. It appears than even the most loyal Bushie has begun to see the light of reason OR they are cowed because they recognize the fact that they are now a member of a dwindling minority.
Two of my favorite signs: "Just say "no" to no-bid crony contracts and the deficit" and "Support the troops. Impeach the warmongers: the deserter and the draft dodger"

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