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People Empowering People to Impeach

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"Let it not be said that people in the United States did nothing when their government declared a war without limit and instituted stark new measures of repression." -- Not in Our Name, 2002

Daniel Fearn is hoping you'll hear about the "Blackout of National Shame" and start turning your lights off at home every Wednesday from 9 to 9:30 p.m. What's that about?

The light's out protest is the latest of many ideas Minneapolis resident Fearn has presented, hoping one will be the tipping point that ignites people to actively support impeachment. Fearn is aiming his message at anyone dissatisfied with the hard right turn the country has made under President George W. Bush.

Fearn, a former Marine sergeant, is an impassioned proponent of impeaching Bush, and one of a growing number of dedicated impeachment activists taking their work to the national stage. The impeachment coordinator for Veterans For Peace Chapter #27 in the Twin Cities, Fern is also hoping the national VFP leadership will adopt his "Impeach for Peace and Justice" campaign on a national scale. In the meantime, the campaign and others like it are generating intense interest around the country.

Like many progressives, Fearn is fed up with the war, the Patriot Act and domestic spying, torture, tax breaks for the wealthy, lobbyists' influence over legislators, conservatives' stranglehold on all branches of government, and with Bush's consolidation of power. But instead of fighting on numerous fronts, Fearn believes the country can only change course through impeachment.

He grew up in a household headed by an "Eisenhower Republican," says Fearn. "Eisenhower coined the term Military Industrial Complex, and warned us to watch out. At that time it was assumed people had the power."

Fearn believes that people can take their power back through impeachment. "We have to save ourselves," he wrote on the IFPJ web site. "Stop deluding yourself that there is any other solution to our Bush and Cheney problems besides impeachment. Impeachment is the only way."

His web site contains calls to action, numerous downloadable posters, and the how-to guide for do-it-yourself lobbying, "The Citizen Lobbyist."

Fearn recently teamed up with Impeach for Peace, a national effort maintained by Minnesota members of World Can't Wait. Mikael Rudolph, Twin Cities organizer for World Can't Wait, and Fearn share resources, ideas and a belief that there can be no peace, no justice without impeachment.

Impeach for Peace members, consistent with the revolutionary flair of the World Can't Wait organization, have two incidents involving activists under consideration for possible action by the ACLU and a Minneapolis attorney specializing in First Amendment rights. One member was prevented from handing out impeachment leaflets at "Grand Old Days," an annual street party in St. Paul; a couple others were told by law enforcement officers that they couldn't display an impeachment banner on a highway overpass, even if they were holding the banner.

Impeach for Peace is seeking court orders to guarantee freedom of speech at future Twin Cities protests, including the Oct. 5 rally at the Federal Building in Minneapolis. World Can't Wait has designated October 5 "A Day of Mass Resistance" and events are being planned in cities nationwide.

Says Rudolph: "For those paying attention to the comprehensive assault on democracy in America and the U.S. Constitution that is being waged by this White House, the time for the national debate as to 'Why?' impeach President George W. Bush has long passed. The only remaining question is 'How?' The appropriate time is Now!"

Democratic minority leader Nancy Pelosi, who could become the speaker of the House of Representatives should the Democrats take control of that body in November, said recently that impeachment would not be on the table if Democrats take the majority of the House seats this fall. It is however, already on the table of many U.S. citizens and all signs point to an expanding movement. More examples:

Progressives in Minnesota hoped to make an impeachment resolution part of the state DFL (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) party platform. Impeachment resolutions were passed at numerous precinct caucuses this spring, but delegates to the state convention failed to put an impeachment resolution in the platform.

The Democratic party of Wisconsin added "Support for Congress to begin immediate impeachment proceedings against President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld for sacrificing Americans' civil rights in order to wage the war against terror" to its party platform during the state convention last month.

The Berkeley City Council voted a couple weeks ago to add impeachment of Bush and Cheney on the municipal ballot this November. Among at least 21 towns and cities passing impeachment resolutions are Brookfield, Dummerston, Marlboro, Newfane and Putney, VT; San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Arcata, CA, and Chapel Hill, NC.

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Kathlyn Stone is a Minnesota-based writer covering science and medicine, health care and related policies.-She publishes, a health and science news site.
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