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.
Call City Council to demand Impeachment!! - "One Man Parade"
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!!
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 )!!
link to denistn.mine.nu
"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!