You are herecontent / Videos from Thursday's Impeachment Forum at the National Press Club and Rally at the Capitol

Videos from Thursday's Impeachment Forum at the National Press Club and Rally at the Capitol


We're adding new videos as they come in. Open this article to see the videos.

Gore Vidal Lets Loose:

John Nichols puts current movement for impeachment into historical context:

Cindy Sheehan:

Daniel Ellsberg on How Campaigns to Cut off War Funds and Impeach Criminal Presidents Help Each Other and Can Best Succeed in Tandem (Introduced by David Swanson):

Daniel Ellsberg on Bush and Hitler Seizing Right to Read Anyone's Mail:

Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights:

David Swanson and Sunsara Taylor:

ImpeachMobile Video:

Cindy Sheehan at Opening of Congress 01-04-07:

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

David, I warned you before. Be careful with these folks. Yes, they can turn out a crowd and yes they had some good speakers the other evening. But their literature is hysterical and really doesn't help the movement. WCW is an admitted front (I had a very direct conversation with Travis about this once) for Bob Avakian's Revolutionary Communist Party -- a proud Maoist organization which does advocate some violence and is very authoritarian.

From Wikipedia:
The Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (RCP, USA), known originally as the Revolutionary Union, is a communist party formed in 1975 in the United States. The RCP states that U.S. imperialism will never peacefully change and that the only way for the oppressed masses to ever liberate themselves is through waging a people's war and building a new socialist society on the ashes of capitalism.
Formed out of the Bay Area Revolutionary Union (BARU) and collectives that had been rooted in the Revolutionary Youth Movement II (RYM II) faction of the Students for a Democratic Society after the latter fell apart in 1969.There were also discussions with several other Marxist-Leninist formations in the short-lived National Liaison Committee. The party is led by its elected National Chairman and primary theoretical spokesperson, Bob Avakian. It is one of the few surviving direct descendants of the New Left of the 1960s and 70s. It is by far the biggest, most active, and most widely-recognized group in the U.S. that identifies itself as Maoist...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolutionary_Communist_Party%2C_USA

I don't believe anyone has to fear a Communist revolution in this country. People stage revolutions because they're starving, they're oppressed, they live in dirt-poor conditions, they're ruled by tyrants who raid their houses and take people out of their beds and execute them ...

We might feel we are oppressed by this current regime, and it is a scary, dangerous bunch of thugs at the top right now, but imagine people in this country getting up off the couch and putting their bodies in harm's way to overthrow our democratic (well, so-called democratic) government and replace it with Communism -- ? You can't even get people off the couch to call their representative, or write a letter!

So, even assuming the WCW people are hysterical, let's not ourselves get hysterical and fearful of something outside reality's realm. If WCW does help wake up the citizenry, it will have served a worthwhile purpose.

teedee

The first WCW protest event I went to was over a year ago, here in Seattle. Their message is powerful... "Drive out the Bush Regime."

The organization leader that I talked to about how I could volunteer etc. was very receptive to my helping hand. I then asked her what political party are they associated with and support. She informed me, in a round about way, the "Independent Party" which to me is code for some other idealism that which they don't want to be outwardly associated with.

So I pressed... Are you aligned with the Green Party? Libertarian Party? etc. I got No's at all my inquiries. Until I read in one of the pamphlets, in the fine print, associated with the Socialist Party.

I laughed out right then, and she asked me why. I had to admit to her, that even though their movement seems to generate a good turn out and public support, the very fact that their political disassociation to their Socialistic causes and views will eventually be seen by the public as a disingenuous gesture.

If they have a Political cause then they should own it and not(!) distance themselves from it just to gain a larger, sympathetic audience. Since then, I have not attended but one other event hosted by them. I do not support hiden or contrived agendas.

I happen to believe that no matter who is in the White House, the group of World Can't Wait would be calling to remove that party until their own is established in residence.

"Drive out the Bush regime..."
And replace it with what? We need to be asking them this.

My name is Elaine Brower and I am a military mother. My son was in Fallajah for a year and just returned. I am also on the Steering Committee of World Can't Wait. I am a middle-class civil servant, not a communist. 3 years ago I wandered around looking for an organization that would represent my feelings around what was happening in this Country. UFPJ, CodePink and MFSO, even though I joined all of them. I went to demonstrations, wrote letters and went to meetings, but their methods did not even touch the problems we are facing. Don't forget with their leadership we are still at war, now have the Military Commissions Act, the Patriot Act, Illegal wiretaping, rendition of people to foreign countries; and war profiteering. Is it better to have the neo-cons running this country, or the Evangelical right? Why is everyone so afraid of the "isms". Get over it. Any good revolution, and we need one, will organically right itself by the will of the people in the end. Beware of political affiliations, because this country and its elected officials lost site of what our Constitution truly stands for and our Declaration of Independence. Do you think our Founding Fathers were Communists? I do. They were radical, loud, contrary individuals who wanted to give the "people" freedom to do what they wished. I am not affiliated with the Communist Party, but I am not afraid of joining forces with people who are.

I (at this point) really don't CARE who WCW is a front for. They are looking in the same direction as me and if they also then represent all the things that I abhor behind their curtain then it's true what they say: Politics make strange bedfellows.
I'm behind WCW all the way on this.

I'm with the people of WCW. For the record, the ones I have met are organized and friendly and driven to get Bush out of our WhiteHouse!! What else do we need?

I think this attack on WCW is very timely to coincide with the NEOCON fear of being toppled. FEAR, NEOCONS, FEAR !!! The reckoning is here.

When they attack us, it shows their fear.

I've got tons of WCW paperwork and I'll be checking it for relationship to the socialist party and I'll comment on that next time. I'd hold hands with Fidel Castro and Newt Gingrich if they'd walk up to the WhiteHouse with me and help me convince George that it's time to go before we have to force him out with impeachment.
His deddy won't let him resign gracefully because he believes he can scare off and attack those who will bring his son to justice.

Resign, George !!!!

I also made the above (or below) comment anonymously because I thought I had registered here long ago but apparently not. At any rate, I agree.
However, I think it's a very good sign that someone is attempting to attack the people who are most driven to get George out of our WhiteHouse with the popular support he has never enjoyed as Resident.
Just resign, George!!

Resign and save yourself the embarrassment. You can probably be governor of Florida afterwards. This state is beyond redemption thanks to your brother and you so come on down and finish the job.

Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.

I am an organizer with quite a bit of experience in the peace and justice movement. WCW is a front for RCP. Fact. RCP advocates some violence in overthrowing the existing power structure. Fact. World Can't Wait will most likely go away at the end of Bush's term, and then another front campaign will be started by Chairman Bob Avakian.

I am a nonviolent peace activist. My criticism I posted earlier, and my urging of David to keep his safe distance still holds. I strongly recommend everyone read the Wikipedia entry I posted. Thank you.

I am for protesting bad government. I was a member of WCW until I realized the deceptive nature of the core group which invented WCW as a front group for RCP goals. They use it to recruit and raise money for the RCP to achieve its goal of overthrowing our government and replacing it with a Maoist type socialism. If that is your goal go ahead and work with WCW(RCP)...If you want to fix our government and not overthrow it, find another group to protest with...Most offensive to me is the way WCW recruits young people, including high schoolers...it is rank deception and fraud....

I am the coordinator for WCW in Tampa, FL, and have therefore spoken with the administrative workers in the National WCW office in New York many times. I have never heard anything spoken about other than how to get the Bush regime out of power as quickly as possible, given that the Democrats seem to have their own agenda at this moment. I'm sure that there may be some Maoist communist proponents involved in the movement, however, those are individual not organizational characteristics of the WCW.

We all come to our activism from a variety of inspirational sources: I consider myself a Buddhist and peace activist after the Gandhian tradition, but the Tampa WCW organization is only dedicated to driving out the Bush administration using nonviolent methods. No one has to sign a statement of faith or political allegiance. Our members all have their own reasons for wanting Bush gone as quickly as possible. We are banded together toward a common goal, not necessarily for the same reasons. Once Bush is gone, we may have nothing in common. Why is that a problem?

When the levees break, we don't ask the credentials of those with whom we are sandbagging. Let's get the big job done first, then we can discuss the finer political issues over coffee and a bagel or croissant or muffin. Right now, the waters continue to rise, and I welcome anyone who recognizes the danger and pitches in to help stop the madness!

In response to the posting that “warns” David Swanson that the World Can’t Wait “is an admitted front (I had a very direct conversation with Travis about this once) for Bob Avakian's Revolutionary Communist Party”, I want to make several points. The implication is that I somehow admitted this as I am undoubtedly the Travis to which the post is referring. This is totally false. I never made such a statement. These are hysterical, Cold War, Joseph McCarthy fabrications that were used to label liberal and progressive organizations so as to divide and destroy them.

Several people have responded to this post, already, from their perspectives. As a revolutionary communist, I wish to speak to why we are involved. First, look at what is said in the “Your government” points of the World Can’t Wait Call. Whether you think the principles on which this country was established are principles of freedom, democracy and hope for humanity, or, as I do, these are principles of genocide, slavery, and oppression, the Bush regime is setting out to shred all the rights people have and reorganize this country on a fascist basis with horrific consequences for people around the world and in this country. Just ask the Iraqi people. This must be stopped. This is the common goal that we share in the World Can’t Wait. Is it good or is it bad that people of so many different viewpoints have come together to stop this horrible program? Again, ask the Iraqi people.

If we do not drive out his regime, none of us will have a future worth living. We will not even be able to have a conversation about a better world. People in World Can’t Wait and many beyond us recognize and are acting on this understanding. Coming from many viewpoints, whether Democrats, disgruntled Republicans, Catholics, Muslims, revolutionary communists, anarchists, Protestants, Jews, Greens, feminists, pacifists or Libertarians, people in World Can’t Wait see driving out the Bush regime as vitally necessary to stop the horrors being inflicted on the world. This is a good thing. Now, we have some work to do. The people of the world are counting on us.

This comment is arbitrarily judgmental and divisive. You can discredit anybody anytime by sticking some sort of label on them. Take the words Terrorist, Commie, Pinko, Black Panther, manipulator, in denial, moron, whatever. Even nationalities and religions have been used to isolate an opinion. WCW is doing the work I believe needs to be done, I don't care whether or not they're hysterical. I believe the writer of this comment is also in agreement with them. So why 'be careful' ?

try to learn at least what they really mean in history, and I mean by that get past and beyond the type of crap you have been injected with by the system's subtle indoctrinations against "communism" and other supposedly terrible doctrines. First of all, disabuse yourselves of the notion that capitalist "democracy" stands at one end, all pretty and clean, while the two ogrish systems, fascism and communism bookend the other side. That's pure propaganda. First, because communism and fascism have little if anything in common, and second because capitalism is the mother of fascism itself, a fact carefully hidden from our history books. Ask yourself what capitalist democracy stands for, who runs it, who it benefits primarily, and what it delivers in proportion to its potential...and then go getting upset about what the RCP or any other group or faction is doing in such an "underhanded" way, after so many years of anticommunist brainwash. Get some down payment on historical knowledge with this article I recently found that tells it like it is:

http://www.cjonline.org/sGowans.HistoryEyesOpen.htm

And by the way, I am for the record, an independent leftie. I carry no card and obey no party of any kind. I call my own shots. This type of hyperindividualism is not good if we are to change this country, but at this point it may make some sense at least for some.

Anticommunism is a powerful ideology that has prevented popular organizations from attaining the kind of legitimacy and success they deserve to deepen democracy in America. As a result we have ended up with a "democracy" that is more a democracy in theory than in practice, and that is now unravelling fast before our eyes. The problem is that anticommunism, unlike anti-fascism, is a fraudulent ideology, an ideology that at the end of the day only serves the interests of the plutocracies and reactionaries (like the theistic zealots) that propagate it. Don't be taken in by it. Beware, therefore of posters like this fellow "anonymous" who's so concerned about the RCP or the WCW being "a front" for the RCP. If so, so what? Look what the RCP stands for, and what we have today in the White House—why is the RCP worse than this rotten criminal gang? This guy doesn;t say, he just wants us to sta,mpede away at the mention of the word "communism." Well, I got news for you and everyone else here and everywhere. Communist ideology has never meant any harm to anyone anywhere, and, surprise! aligns itself with the teachings of Christ, for example, a lot better than the utterly selfish ideology spoused by capitalism. In any case, I found this article that kind of clarified the issues being debated here, and therefore I recommend it for your inspection. It ain't easy going, and I sure hope it was shorter, but it's damn worth a read. This mess we're in is not going to be fixed by continuing to swallow the toxic fearmongering bullshit implied in Cold War anticommunism. Just use your mind for what it was made for: THINK.

So without further eloquence, as they say in Dublin, here's the segment of this blog:

Few people openly talk about socialism anymore, at least not to advocate it. And I don’t mean socialism as capitalism with a smiley face, or imperialism as a civilizing mission, or socialism as a vague utopian society, but really (or previously) existing socialism -- socialism as it actually developed in post-Tsarist Russia, spread to Eastern and Central Europe, sprang up in China, and hangs on tenaciously in Cuba.

Nowadays, it’s utopian socialists who are more apt to champion anti-capitalist alternatives. They envisage a society of robust liberal democratic freedoms where economic rights are guaranteed and where capital willingly and meekly submits to its expropriation.

It’s an attractive scenario, but the attraction rests on assuming away the problem of the resistance of capital. For how do you provide maximal freedom, when your opponents are hell bent on seeing to it your efforts to build a better world are crushed, and a few bullets are placed squarely between your eyes, to keep it that way?

Easy. Construct a fantasy world where innocent and benevolent expressions of pious hope never come face to face with reality, in which you have plenty of space to roam about on a moral high horse. At the same time, heap dollops of scorn on anyone who’s led a real revolution, denouncing their authoritarianism as a corruption born of a perverse lust for power rather than as a necessary condition of bringing a revolution to fruition, consolidating its gains, and providing against its reversal.

And so, for these reasons, the universe of the utopian socialists consists of three options

• Really existing socialism

• Capitalism

• Utopia

ordered from least to most desirable.

Utopia is, of course, unattainable, so capitalism is settled for, even celebrated, as the immeasurably superior realistic option. Meanwhile, anyone who thinks a publicly owned, centrally planned economy is a good idea, and would willingly allow the coercive powers of the state to be used to repress the resistance of capital, is understood either to be detached from reality, a brutal monster, or hopelessly out of date.

Really existing socialism, in this view, is a grim, even monstrous, corruption that no one in his right mind would willingly accept, let alone advocate.

To anyone steeped in decades of Cold War propaganda, this sounds fine, even obvious, especially in the United States, where years of social engineering has turned Communism into the secular equivalent of Satanism, and Stalinism into the equivalent of Hitlerism. But scratch the surface and the view totters precariously, before collapsing into a heap of fantasies, wild exaggerations and fear mongering.

Why wouldn’t one advocate free health care, free education through university (with living expenses fully covered), free child care, free legal services, guaranteed employment, subsidized rents and dirt cheap public transportation -- all of which existed in the Soviet Union?

Why wouldn’t one advocate the end of gross inequalities in wealth, income, education and opportunity, the surcease of racial and national discrimination, and the abolition of homelessness and economic insecurity…boils really-existing socialism lanced under the most trying and difficult of circumstances, and with fewer resources to do it with than available in the advanced countries of the industrialized West?

“No, no, no, you don’t understand. Socialism accomplished some remarkable things. But so did Fascism. And Fascism worked. Just because socialism’s an alternative to capitalism doesn’t mean it’s desirable.” [1]

Well, that depends on whether you think an end to ignorance, disease, poverty, gross inequality, homelessness and economic insecurity – achievements of really-existing socialism -- is desirable. If not, then capitalism is better. But when did left-wing politics become the defense of capitalism as preferable to free healthcare, free education and guaranteed employment?

As to the supposed equivalence of Communism and Fascism, we might begin by asking in what way – and for whom -- did Fascism work?

Did it abolish racial and national discrimination? Did it eliminate extremes of wealth, income, opportunity and education?

Fascism, pioneered by Mussolini to wage war on socialism, and taken up by Hitler who saw the destruction of Bolshevism as his life’s mission, didn’t elevate the living standards of the majority. On the contrary, it crushed trade unions and left-wing political parties, slashed wages and lengthened the working day and embarked on a program of territorial expansion, all to the benefit of industrialists and financiers. Fascism worked for them.

Still, capitalist democracy is often counterposed against Fascism (Dictatorship from the Right) and Communism (Dictatorship from the Left). According to this view, Communism and Fascism occupy one end of the spectrum while capitalist democracy occupies the other.

The problem is, for this to work, you have to accept the deception that capitalist democracy is a democracy of all, rather than a democracy for the few, and therefore also a dictatorship, viz., of capital, or the parties that represent capital, and therefore of a minority. Which is to say, any pre-communist society (and that includes socialist societies moving toward communism) are necessarily dictatorships of some class, or, if you prefer, democracies of some class, but only that class.

(And yes, the Soviet Union was tyrannical and despotic, for a time, toward the enemies of socialism, i.e., those who had a material interest in capitalist, even feudal, restoration. Had it not been, the USSR wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did. That it collapsed has much to do with the failure to recognize that class struggle continues long after capitalism is overthrown.)

Treating capitalist democracy as a system in which the majority runs society in its own interests through elections and parliaments is to misunderstand its true nature, and to miss some obvious realities. The United States is often supposed (in the United States anyway) to be the highest expression of democracy and the furthest thing from dictatorship possible, but it hasn’t a public healthcare insurance system, despite elections and despite the trappings of democracy and contrary to the wishes – indeed, the interests – of the majority.

Yet, public healthcare, of the sort unimaginable in the US, and more far reaching than what’s offered in, say, Canada, were typical features of Soviet-style socialism, and is a proud achievement of revolutionary Cuba, and yet these countries are understood in the US to be light years away from democracy.

That’s because democracy is often equated with its trappings (elections for nominally opposing parties), rather than its outcomes. A country with elections and parliaments, run in the interests of those who own and control its productive assets, is a democracy of sorts – for those who own and control its productive assets – but not a democracy in the original understanding of the word as rule by and in the interests of the mass of people.

Given this reality, it makes more sense to speak of a continuum of class democracies, with Fascism at the far right, capitalist democracy a few degrees to the left, and Communism much further to the left. That’s certainly the way Mussolini, who declared war on socialism, and Hitler, who set out to crush it, understood it.

Look at it another way: The Communist view of democracy is very different from that of liberals or social democrats. It says democracy is no more elections and nominally opposing parties that map a territory. In other words, elections themselves don’t make democracy, because it’s possible, indeed even invariable, for capitalist democracies to be organized in the interests of shareholders and investors, despite elections.

What makes democracy is the question of whether a society is organized in the interests of the majority. A society which fails to deliver free health care, free education through university, and guaranteed employment, though it could deliver all these things readily; refuses to abolish homelessness and economic insecurity, and which tolerates gross inequalities, though eliminating all these scourges is well within its grasp, is hardly democratic.

On the other hand, a society which achieves these gains in the interests of the majority is democratic, even if it doesn’t adopt all the charades and forms of capitalist democracy.

Those who regard capitalist democracy as imperfect, but superior to that practiced in the socialist states, are like Pepe le Pew, ardently pursuing female black cats because they look like skunks.

But maybe there’s a material basis for this. If you’re engaged in politics in a dissident direction and live a fairly comfortable life, with sufficient to eat, warm clothing, pleasant accommodations and interesting work, what’s likely to strike you as more important: civil and political liberties or economic rights?

I think the answer, in nine cases of 10, will be civil and political liberties, which may explain, in part, why Leftist politics in the West tends to lean heavily toward the defense and extension of these rights, while relegating the pursuit of economic rights to a subsidiary position.

What’s more, that rights aren’t absolute, but, under the most realistic conditions, are likely to clash, is largely assumed away. In utopia, there are no clashes.

But in the real world, there are, and when rights clash, a lot of Western Leftists can be expected to come down on the side of political and civil liberties. This is evident in discussion of really-existing socialism, whose economic achievements are quickly acknowledged, and just as quickly dismissed as hardly compensation for failing to adopt the charades and window-dressing of capitalist democracy.

Lastly, we might deal with the claim that socialism is just not on, because almost no one in the West – let’s single out Americans and Canadians – would ever choose to live in a socialist state.

This hardly seems credible.

Do Americans and Canadians have an aversion to free health care, free education, free childcare, free legal services, subsidized rents and dirt-cheap public transportation?

Are they committed to slums, homelessness, unemployment, and living without health insurance?

Do they shudder at the thought of anyone putting an end to gross inequalities in wealth, income, education and opportunity?

Do they think it’s desirable that 100,000 in the US die every year because they can’t afford adequate medical care, and that millions of able young people never get a higher education because they haven’t enough money?

Do they revel in economic insecurity and sneer at guaranteed employment, hoping their lives will be continually punctuated by the disruptions of unemployment and the unceasing threat of joblessness?

The answer is obvious, and to say Americans and Canadians – that is, most Americans and Canadians -- are averse to the traditional achievements of socialism is absurd.

But that’s not to say some aren’t implacably opposed, namely, those who own and control the economy, and stand to profit from providing private health care, private education, private social security, and require widespread economic insecurity, unemployment, low wages, meager or no benefits, and a war economy to thrive.

So, when it’s said that no American or Canadian is going to choose to live in a socialist state, what’s really being said is that no American or Canadian is going to choose to live in the spooky Communism = Fascism version of socialism that has its roots in Cold War propaganda -- not facts -- and continues unchallenged.

The reality is that really-existing socialist societies weren’t horrible monstrosities, but the best history could achieve, indeed, has achieved.

That’s not to say the USSR was perfect – far from it. But had we “a world of nations like the USSR,” remarked Kenneth Neill Cameron, “there would be neither war nor imperialism, neither exploitation nor mass oppression.” [2] Could the same be said about a world of capitalist nations -- even one filled with utopian dreamers?

If you care to read the whole thing, it's found here: http://www.cjonline.org/sGowans.HistoryEyesOpen.htm

I have sent your URL to just about everyone I'm in touch with.

One slight criticism: you say the Democratic Congress will not act without public pressure, but you do not say why. I think it might be the danger that the Republicans could later say the impeachment process prevented Bush from 'winning' (whatever they are trying to win). But if we who want our country to be law-abiding and not destructive, and want to protect our children from the barbarism our nation is sinking into, put heavy pressure on them -- they can reply that they had no choice. It is up to the people, in a democracy, to give them no choice. Goebbels said of course the people never want war. Why then do we go to war?

The Demoncraps are consistently worthless on this and most every other issue of importance. So when I read, "Watch for the ___ group/party," I'm thinking - you better watch out for the Demoncraps who have supported Bush. Rep. Rahm Emmanuel actually ruined the races of anti-war Democrats with fist-fulls of Wall Street and union cash.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Speaking Events

David Swanson at St. Michael’s College, Colchester, VT, October 5, 2016.

David Swanson in Fairbanks, Alaska, October 22, 2016.

Find Events Here.

CHOOSE LANGUAGE

Support This Site

Donate.

Get free books and gear when you become a supporter.

 

Sponsors:

Speaking Truth to Empire

***

Families United

***

Ray McGovern

***

Financial supporters of this site can choose to be listed here.

Buy Books

Get Gear

The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.