OpEdNews Op Eds

Dancing With Conyers

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Become a Fan
  (8 fans)

The People's March for Peace, Equality, Jobs, and Justice on Saturday, August 25 in Newark, New Jersey brought thousands of impassioned pleas for the impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. It also brought Congressman John Conyers to the stage to promote the very popular National Health Insurance Bill, H.R. 676.

                                               

While the discussion of health insurance for all and the great congressman from Michigan were well-received with cheers and applause, the cries for impeachment took center stage. In what has become routine now, Conyers fed into the momentum asking "What should we do?" "IMPEACH!" cried the crowd. "What should we do?" "IMPEACH!" and so it was repeated. The congressman went on to declare that we needed to bring back Rumsfeld and put him on trial and the big question was to decide who ought to go first. "Cheney!" shouted the crowd enthusiastically.

                                            
Cries for impeachment of the President and Vice President

Some knowing impeach activists in the crowd called the bluff asking "When are you going to act on this?" He replied that he was going to meet with impeachment activists. "When?!" they called. "Right after this march. Right here!" and he pointed back stage.

NJ impeachment activists, Stuart Hutchison (North), Cheryl Biren-Wright and Joanne O'Neill (South) as well as a representative from Central NJ positioned themselves behind stage to avoid getting the slip. After a few condescending and sarcastic assurances from the legislative aide that "Sure, sure, the congressman will meet you right here," they slowly maneuvered their way towards Rep. Conyers. By then, word had spread through the crowd that Conyers, not only was going to meet with impeachment supporters, but was going to sign onto H. Res. 333 on Monday. As the activists greeted the congressman, a warm exchange and introductions were made. "We're very pleased to hear that you've agreed to sign on to H. Res. 333 on Monday," announced Hutchison despite his doubt that this would actually be carried out. Conyers did not deny he said that, but replied "Well, you know I can't do it Monday, we're not in session." Biren-Wright interjected by pulling out a cell phone and suggested they could call Kucinich right there. Conyers proceeded, "...and, I can't do it on the 6th or the 13th...but I'll be back here in November." The NJ Impeach Group persisted and Conyers prepared to setup his next "deal." "Listen," he said, "You keep working here in New Jersey. You get one representative from New Jersey..." The members precipitously jumped in declaring, "We've got one!" Conyers was taken aback and shot a look at assistant, Joel Segal. "Who?" inquired Conyers. "Congressman Donald Payne who is on his way here right now," they replied.



Payne, New Jersey's only member of both the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Congressional Black Caucus signed on to H. Res. 333 after a strong campaign by the NJ Impeach Groups and a sealing of the deal by David Swanson of afterdowningstreet.com last month. The congressman, who represents the city of Newark, was on his way to join Conyers in leading the march and addressing the crowd. Rep. Conyers struggled to respond to this unexpected news and suddenly his approach was less amicable and more direct. He searched each activist intently asking "Do you know what will happen if this moves forward and doesn't succeed? Do you have any idea?" as if the mere thought was too much to bear.

                                              

The representatives replied that they understood the consequences of not moving on it and that is where the real danger was. Despite the contentions of some critics, Conyers readily acknowledged that as chair of the judiciary, he holds the power to propel the impeachment process forward. However, he insisted that a campaign to impeach that was not successful would have dire consequences - presumably politically. The NJ Impeach Group explained that the success would be acquired through defending the Constitution and standing up to an administration that has committed a felony and grave abuses of power. They reiterated that this was the will of the people and that a growing number of democratic constituents are positioned to walk away from the party if the dems do not hold this administration accountable. Conyers stood firm in his position which begs the question of why he continues to urge crowds to support taking out Bush and Cheney before their term expires. The discussion was stuck in a stalemate when the South Jersey impeach leader asked what Conyers was going to suggest would happen if they were able to get a NJ congressman to sign on to impeach Cheney. Suddenly, Conyers looked longingly back at the stage and said he had to "get back up there." In the aftermath of Conyers telling a group of Progressive Democrats in July that if they could get just 3 more to sign on he would move on it and then failing to do so and now the suggestion that something would come to fruition if this group could get a NJ representative on board, they pressed the issue. Conyers began to move away from the group while pointing to the stage at an unseen force beckoning him, Biren-Wright respectfully, but firmly drew him back in and asked, "Sir, why do you keep upping the ante?" With a hint of apology, the Congressman responded simply that he had to go.

After descending from the stage a second time, Congressman Conyers was surrounded and confronted by an unrelenting group of protestors demanding that he begin impeachment proceedings. As a long-time admirer of this great statesman and feeling sentimental as a fellow Detroit native, this writer stood observing from a distance while the 78-year-old endured the near 100 degree heat of the day and the even more heated reaction from the crowd and felt an urge to reach in and pull him out of the smothering environment. We made eye contact a few times while he was being inundated with demands from the people and I wondered at what point would he realize that the consequences of not pursuing justice  outweigh his fear of failure.                                              

Later, as Congressman Donald Payne joined his colleague and friend, John Conyers, on the march for peace and justice, I approached Payne in the presence of Conyers, shook his hand and thanked him for his support of the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney. With a wink and smile to John Conyers, I made my way back into the crowd and back to the drawing board.

                                              

Conyers continued on the march with great passion, commitment and leadership with respect to the other calls to march of ending the war, racial equality, healthcare for all, stopping the violence at home and abroad and other issues of social uplift. His presence on Saturday was inspiring and encouraging to the marchers and the citizens of Newark who cheered him on and stepped into formation when they saw they had the support of the man who has been one of the most powerful forces for social justice in our Congress. As Conyers, himself, wrote the book on impeachment - literally in The Constitution in Crisis: The High Crimes of the Bush Administration and a Blueprint for Impeachment and introduced in 2005, H. Res 635 that would create a select committee to make recommendations regarding grounds for possible impeachment, we hold out hope that he will choose to put justice and the future of our country before politics.

                                    

                                   

 

http://bit.ly/birenpics

Cheryl Biren is a Philadelphia-based researcher, writer, editor and photographer with a focus on social justice. From 2007-2011, she served on the editorial board of Opednews.com.

Cheryl has also consulted for the Rob Kall Radio Show with (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): , Add Tags

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Breaking Camp: Veterans Occupy National Archives Building

Nancy Pelosi Book Signing: Know Your Power, Just Don't Speak Truth to It

Animal Rights Activists Confront Parents at Ringling Bros. Circus

Meet the Protester Who 'May Have Received a Minor Injury' at the Hofstra Debate

Veterans Want YOU for Civil Resistance!

NJ Congressman: Bush Admin. Will 'Gulf of Tonkinize' Iran

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
15 people are discussing this page, with 21 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

Its good to hear this sort of report here in Austr... by Brett Paatsch on Sunday, Aug 26, 2007 at 6:14:22 PM
Thanks for this excellent report that shows how Re... by Kevin Zeese on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 10:49:10 AM
Dude you can't republish articles unless autho... by Gallaher on Tuesday, Aug 28, 2007 at 4:20:37 PM
One thing that may have slipped by all the members... by cluelessfl on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 9:36:01 AM
Well... Do We Have Any Idea What Would Happen?I th... by Marcus B on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 10:54:22 AM
"The consequences of a failed impeachment att... by Blue Pilgrim on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 3:41:56 PM
Consider the following -Depending on what sources ... by Brett Paatsch on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 7:09:50 PM
by the people....why are the Democrats so afraid o... by Susan Nelsen on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 12:02:55 PM
I totally agree that the impeachment of this utter... by RAL on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 1:19:11 PM
Article ll, Section 4, of the Constitution reads; ... by Rae on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 1:22:48 PM
You make an excellent point--one that is seldom ex... by WML on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 1:31:17 PM
Americans didn't "elect" Bush. The c... by Rae on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 5:17:50 PM
I just reread your posting..I see you were referri... by Rae on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 5:26:20 PM
There are three possible scenarios that Conyers ma... by Charlie L on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 1:43:19 PM
Hi Cheryl,How many times do we have to dance with ... by TroubledTexan on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 3:24:39 PM
CyberChas said:  "He may fear that if pushed, Bus... by mary-ann on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 3:29:50 PM
 we start with Nancy Pelosi, she is afraid to... by vincent passiatore on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 10:27:14 PM
Conyers change of heart is hard to puzzle out, but... by delia on Monday, Aug 27, 2007 at 11:32:12 PM
are planning to steal the next election for a clea... by Blue Pilgrim on Tuesday, Aug 28, 2007 at 1:01:42 AM
Unless you travel outside the U.S. as a non-A... by Gallaher on Tuesday, Aug 28, 2007 at 4:52:06 PM
This responce was for an other article.... by Gallaher on Wednesday, Aug 29, 2007 at 5:14:36 PM