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Cindy Sheehan Hands Nancy Pelosi Letters from 8,000 People Asking for Impeachment
By Donna Norton, Sonoma County PDA
This Is What Happened--And It's Disturbing
The event was very low-key and "normal." On Monday, January 14th, Cindy Sheehan brought the impeachment letters (over 8,000) she had collected in 8 or 9 large bins and displayed them symbolically on a table in front of the Federal Building in San Francisco. There wasn't much going on, only a few people entering the building. Cindy's table was to the side and away from the door, nothing was blocked or being disturbed. There were a few people with signs, some non-MSM media, and I don't know, maybe 30 people had come for presenting the letters and petitions. It was a week-day morning, so most people were at work. Cindy, Cynthia McKinney, and a few other local officials and figures spoke. (Let me emphasize, it was NOT rowdy, disruptive, or disorderly IN ANY WAY. Could have been a Chamber of Commerce group holding a press conference to announce their presentation of an award to a government official.)
I don't know the details concerning the arrangements with Pelosi's office, as I just got a call the evening before to see if our Sonoma County PDA impeachment group would like to join Cindy and bring our petitions (3,000) for presentation. The arrangement seemed to be that a staff member from Pelosi's office would either come out to officially accept the documents, or would accept them in the lobby. This was fine-- citizens (over 11,000) presenting their wishes to their representatives. No one planned or expected to "storm" the building, take over anyone's office, or make a scene. Just formally transfer the citizens' documents. The call came that a staff member was on the way down to accept the letters and petitions in the lobby.
We picked up the bins and began to enter the building. Other people were entering with no problem. (It was the normal security routine--take off your shoes, remove all metal objects, and present your ID.) When our group began to enter, we were barred. We could load the bins onto the conveyer, but that was it. We were told "demonstrators" and "protesters" were not allowed in the building. Of course we questioned this. I questioned it! Nothing loud or disruptive, just trying to grasp the message. No further or more detailed explanation was forthcoming. I noticed that almost immediately a few police or security officers appeared. So we were forced to abandon the bins, now just sitting there on the other side of the glass, and walk away. (As I say, the intent was NOT to create a distruptive "demonstration"--which almost certainly would have been negatively exploited by the MSM.)
It left me with some extremely disturbing thoughts as a citizen. Basically, citizens who DISAGREE are excluded from the process of THIS government. It's no longer OUR government, as we've been excluded. If we DISSENT (offer an opposing view), we're labeled and perceived as DANGEROUS. You can see where this framing leads.
It's time those who haven't been paying attention realize how deep this framing goes in remaking America.
How healthy is a government that suppresses dissent--that labels it as dangerous? As a nation we've always considered governments that suppress dissent as dangerous and anti-democratic. Our perceptions have been correct--suppressing dissent is a threat to democracy. It makes no difference if it's practiced "over there" or here. So what's led us to embrace the policies we've opposed and defined as anti-democratic? The phrase, "9/11 changed everything," comes to mind. Dramatic changes in government policies and laws have indeed taken place since we adopted this phrase as the frame for those changes. It's provided a vehicle of fear to steer us away from our inherent democratic moorings. 9/11 is our new historical anchor-point. It's used as a reference to remake us into what we've steadfastly rejected as a people. But 9/ll is simply a point in the longer history of this nation. This nation's much deeper roots go back to our Constitution and the principles it embodies. Dissent and open debate are not suppressed in that document, they're protected as critical elements of a democracy.
The citizens gathered at the Federal Building in San Francisco were "dissenters" in resisting the new framing of 9/11 that's remaking their government. They were presenting documents demonstrating support for our Constitutional anchor--urging support for impeachment of those who have undermined it.
It's interesting that supporting the Constitution is considered unwelcome and threatening to our post-9/11 government; that those supporting the Constitution have become the "dissenters"; and, that dissent is being suppressed as a matter of policy. Is this the new America we've bought into?