Yesterday, I reported on the Antiwar Event in Washington D.C.
That’s what it was billed as. That’s why I went– to send a message to stop the war, to stop Bush, Cheney, Lieberman, McCain and their enablers.
But I finally realized something quite extraordinary. This was not JUST an antiwar event. It was the largest and perhaps the first major IMPEACHMENT event ever to occur in Washington DC.
The crowd estimates ranged from tens of thousands to half a million. Judging by the signs carried and the sentiments of the protesters– a good 30-50% of the signs were about impeachment, prosecution, trial for war crimes or imprisonment of Bush and Cheney. And I’d guess that theren’t more than a handful of people out of that 100,000 to 500,000 person crowd who disagreed with the message of those signs.
John Conyers talked about firing Bush. Most of the speakers talked about the war. But underneath the antiwar message, something historic happened. The USA’s first major, massive impeachment march was held, or maybe I should say, it happened. It wasn’t planned. It wasn’t orchestrated. It emerged. It took on a life of its own.
Of course, the mainstream media didn’t discuss it. But then again, neither did the progressive media, at least that I saw. It sort of happened and it was such a natural part of the demonstration. But I don’t recall tens of thousands of impeachment signs during the Viet Nam anti war demonstrations. I remember tear gas.
Tear gas. Bush doesn’t have the guts to use tear gas. If he went after Americans for protesting THIS war… well, I grit my teeth just thinking about what would happen. I truly wonder if the capitol police would even obey such orders. I wonder if the nation al guard would. (Actually, the capitol police were ordered to leave protesters alone as they spray painted the capitol steps)And I know that the American people would reach such a fury… well, that’s why it didn’t happen, and maybe… why it should be pushed. It might just take Bush’s popularity down a few more points and move a few more Republican senators into the “what the hell am I doiong supporting this idiot” camp.
Frankly, I don’t think, if there was a call for an impeachment protest, that there would be anywhere near the response we saw on Saturday. But underneath the antiwar energy, perhaps underlying and energizing it, there is a clear, huge massively building energy– a momentum that, as manifested by the historic impeach Bush turnout– is something the US and the congress has never seen before.
People will probably be patient for a few months, as Waxman, Conyers and others start their hearings. But it is clear, very clear, that tens of millions of Americans expect the congress to protect the constitution, and that means stopping the abuses Bush and Cheney and Gonzalez have perpetrated and prosecuting them for their illegal acts. Tens of millions.
Saturday was historic. Make no mistake about it. It produced, naturally, without a call for it or any effort, the most massive impeachment demonstration in the history ot the USA. It is a beginning. It will not be the last. Americans have had enough of this administration. The Democratic led congress would be wise to smell the coffee.