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Impeachment in the News in Mel Watt's District, But Where's Mel Watt?

Anti-war activist likely to face opposition
By EMILY S. ACHENBAUM, Charlotte Observer

Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan will be in Charlotte today for two rallies calling for the impeachment of President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. A counter-rally has also been scheduled.

Sheehan, one of the best-known opponents of the war in Iraq, ended a self-imposed retirement earlier this month after Bush commuted the prison sentence of former White House aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Libby had been convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in the CIA leak case.

Calling the president's decision a "flagrant abuse of power," Sheehan is now heading rallies calling for impeachment. She had previously held protests at "Camp Casey" outside the president's Texas ranch. The camp was named for Sheehan's son, who was killed in Baghdad in 2004.

Sheehan and activists will gather at noon at the Morehead Street offices of Rep. Mel Watt, D-Charlotte. They will be asking Watt, a who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, to introduce articles of impeachment or to support a House resolution to impeach Cheney. A second rally will be held at 5 p.m. at Bryant Park off West Morehead Street.

At Bryant Park, Sheehan's supporters can expect counter-protesters from a national pro-Bush group called Gathering of Eagles.

Gathering of Eagles -- which proclaims support of military personnel, veterans and national defense -- will be "countering her (Sheehan) loudly," said George Samek, a local organizer for the group. Samek is a Vietnam veteran and former Huntersville police officer who was shot in the line of duty in 1988.

Rally Times

• Cindy Sheehan: Noon, Rep. Mel Watt's office, 1230 W. Morehead St., Charlotte.

• Cindy Sheehan: 5 p.m., Bryant Park, 1701 W. Morehead St., Charlotte.

• Gathering of Eagles: 5 p.m., Bryant Park, 1701 W. Morehead St., Charlotte. Set-up beginning at 3 p.m.

• Rain location: Charlotte Energy Solutions, 337 Baldwin Ave, Charlotte.

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