A resolution on tonight’s (Tuesday) City Council agenda, calling on the House of Representatives to impeach President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney, is not just another feel-good Berkeley measure.
Rather, it’s part of a burgeoning nationwide effort to recognize the crimes of the nation’s top executives and remove them from office, according to Councilmember Kriss Worthington, who has sponsored the resolution calling on the council to ask the House of Representatives to impeach Bush and Cheney and has co-sponsored a second resolution calling for a similar measure to be placed before the voters in November.
“We’re doing it to build momentum, to build a campaign, to get members
of the House and Senate
and general public to demand accountability,” Worthing-
The related resolution before the council, written by Mayor Tom Bates and Councilmemebers Linda Maio, Dona Spring and Worthington calls for the Peace and Justice Commission to prepare an advisory impeachment measure for the November ballot.
“If enough people on the grassroots level support the resolutions, then others will join,” said Nora Foster, who worked with Worthington’s office on the resolution and is a member of ImpeachPAC, (impeachPAC.org) an organization attempting to get local resolutions passed through cities and change the Congress nationally to one that would be friendly toward impeachment.
“The media has left important questions slip under the wire,” Foster said. “People need to understand how far (Bush and Cheney) have gone to abrogate people’s rights.”
If the council approves the measure, it will be the third city in California to do so, following San Francisco, Arcata and Santa Cruz.
Oakland may also move in that direction. Oakland Councilmember Nancy Nadel, a mayoral candidate, is working on such a resolution, but is still researching whether she will opt to support impeachment or censure, according to Marisa Arrona, a policy analyst in Nadel’s office.
John Conyers is the top Democrat on the Judiciary committee and is leading the move to investigate Bush’s crimes in the House. Thirty-two colleagues have called for the investigation, including Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) and Rep. Pete Stark (D-Fremont.)
The Progressive Democrats of America are bringing the question to the state Democratic Party by holding a forum on impeachment during the state Democratic Convention on Saturday in Sacramento. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) will speak.
A Berkeley-based student group, Constitution Summer 2006, is calling for “honesty, integrity and responsibility in government,” according to student organizer Abraham Kneisley, who will be working with students on the ground and in cyberspace in a “constitutional summer,” where students across the nation will spend their summer organizing for impeachment. (WWW.constitutionsummer.org.)
The Berkeley City Council resolution cites the following reasons for impeaching Bush and Cheney: They “defrauded” the country by misleading Congress and the public regarding a threat from Iraq in order to justify war; they authorized torture and indefinite detention; they failed to act quickly and adequately to respond to Hurricane Katrina and they ordered secret surveillance of American people.
Other related websites include: afterdowningstreet.org, democrats.com, www.impeachnow.org, and impeachbush.meetup.com