The Bush Regime has now been caught lying about Iran, destroying the taped evidence of its torture of prisoners – blatantly impeachable offenses, and much more. Yet what major candidate is even talking about stopping torture and repealing the new laws codifying it? What major candidate is supporting impeachment of these criminals? It is up to the people to act.Wednesday, January 2, 10 people sat in in the Brooklyn office of Jerrold Nadler, a key member of the House Judiciary Committee. Impeachment hearings could start by this committee, yet Nadler has joined Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Democratic Party leaders in declaring impeachment off the table.
Protesters from The World Can’t Wait, Not in Our Name, and other groups, demanded to talk with Congressman Nadler to express the sentiment of millions that Bush & Cheney should be impeached for their crimes. On behalf of the Congressmen, his aides refused to even let the protesters talk to Nadler on the phone and instead threatened them with arrest.
At 5:00 PM four women were arrested, held overnight, and release with criminal trespassing charges. They are to appear in court on February 5, 2008.
Just before their arrest, they were interviewed by New York 1, WBAI Evening News and the Thom Hartmann show on Air America. Video by the protesters here .
Press reports on the sit-in and arrest can be found at:
Visiting our local Congressman
by Elaine Brower
It is an odd thing when a group of anti-war, pro-impeachment activists have to pay a visit to a local Congressman who is considered the most liberal of representatives in a completely “blue State.” Unfortunately, that is just what we had to do. Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-08), who is extremely progressive and has been an advocate for civil rights and civil liberties for his entire time in office, has for some reason gotten amnesia.
Last year Rep. Dennis Kucinich introduced H. Res. 333, the impeachment of Vice President Richard Cheney. The bill was dying a slow death, and in November, Kucinich pushed it out for a vote on the House floor. All hell broke loose and the bill went back to committee, the House Judiciary Committee, who is chaired by Congressman John Conyers, another former civil rights and civil liberties supporter. To make a long story short, Congressman Wexler just a few weeks ago, decided to call for impeachment hearings, specificially targeting the “high crimes and misdemeanors” of Vice President Cheney. This call for hearings was co-sponsored by 2 other legislators, and at this point Kucinich’s bill, H. Res.333/799, has 24 co-sponsors.
So now this impeachment movement is gaining momentum and national media attention. Here in New York City, local activists have met with Nadler over the summer to discuss his signing-on to H.Res.333, but to no avail. In fact, what I heard was that he was “downright nasty and dismissive.” Those of us who were not at that specific meeting have been trying to set up another one to discuss recent developments and the push for impeachment hearings, only to be stonewalled at every phone call, and possible meeting arrangement. So we decided to take it upon ourselves to make Nadler our target once and for all.
About 13 of us took off of work on January 2nd, the first day back for Nadler and his office staff from the holiday vacation, and we went to his Brooklyn office. This is a small, constituent based office, located on the ground floor of housing projects located right in the heart of Coney Island. Nice, cozy spot to try to meet with our legislator. We came prepared with the 300+ page document that was issued by John Conyers back in 2006 “The Constitution in Crisis”, which was also co-authored by Nadler and worked on for 2 years by both of their staff members. This particular document is very damning when it comes to impeaching not only the Vice President but also the President. It is a full investigation of all of the “high crimes and misdeamors” laid out in detail. Conyers had been “pimping” this document right up until the 2006 mid-term elections, touting the fact that these criminals should be impeached.
But we all know what happened when the dems took office in 2007, OFF THE TABLE!!! Anyway, Nadler is complicit with OFF THE TABLE, so we want it ON THE TABLE.
We went in the office, 3 secretaries present, and we spoke with the office manager. We asked to see whoever was in charge and out came the Community Liaison. He asked what we were there for and we told him, flat out, we wanted to meet with Nadler. He said he wasn’t available, but would definitely relay the message to him and could possibly, maybe set up a meeting sometime in the future (we figure it would have been when we were all dead and buried). Of course, we kept our coats on, and spoke very kindly to him. We all took our turns explaining why we were there, to get Nadler to sign on to impeachment hearings ASAP.
The community liaison explained Nadler’s position, which we already knew. He went into the dissertation of the democrats that “it’s too time consuming” “it would take away from all of the other really good things they were working on (we asked what that was)” “they didn’t have the votes”, and on and on, and on. Then he made the mistake of saying that what we hear in the media is not really the way it is in Congress. It is a very complicated political process when the legislators have to get a bill passed, or work done. That’s when I chimed in. I told Mr. liaison “Look, we came here today not as village idiots, but as well informed, well educated activists from all walks of life. We represent those people that put the dems in power in 2006, and you have lied to us.” “We don’t like being fooled and Nadler is playing us. It is time he stop. I am a registered Democrat, and I know plenty of others who will not vote for your democratic presidential candidate in 2008, so stop playing games with us.”
I went on a little bit more, but you get the gist. Little Mr. Liaison got very quiet, very defensive, and then told us he would take the letter we delivered directly to Mr. Nadler “tomorrow, personally.”
Nope, we said. Get him on the phone now. “No can do,” was the attitude. So we moved in lock stock and barrel. Took our coats off, opened up our laptops, reading materials, got out our sodas, and took over the office! We read from that paper that the 2 congressman were so nice enough to prepare for us.
The office staff was so taken aback, they didn’t know how to respond. The head honcho was not a happy camper and continually told us we were in her way, and it was a hazard. We ignored her. Ludmila, a very nice woman there, invited us to sit by her desk and she conversed with us. We helped her with the printer, gave the mail to the other secretary, all the while reading from the prepared book.
Mr. Liaison came out and told us we were disturbing the office and he would have to call the police if we didn’t stop. I think he came out and told us that about 3 times, but we ignored him. Time passed and a few more people came in. The telephones were ringing constantly, which we knew were people calling about what we were doing. We basically had the office in a small uproar, but no more warnings came our way. We had a feeling that he made a call to the Congressman, or his henchman, Mr. Gottheim, and was told to leave us alone.
However, about 4 PM, we were told the office was closing at 5 and we would have to leave. We ignored the comment and kept reading from impeachment cards that one of our activist friends delivered about 3:00. Books of cards signed by over 4,000 people around the country demanding impeachment and an end to the war. These were also given to Pelosi on September 11th where we had a marathon reading in her office for 7 hours.
So we knew that 5PM was our deadline. Sure enough Mr. Gottheim conveniently showed up in the Brooklyn Office, which I believe he probably nevers visits, and told us we would have to leave at 5, and then went into the back office and closed the door. The NYPD showed up in full force, nice officers and a really nice Captain. But along with them was the Chief Inspector for the Borough. I knew him because my son is a police officer in the 72 precinct, and my husband is a retired Lieutenant, oh, and my stepson is an officer in the 110th precinct. So I know who these people are.
I said hi to him, and asked him who he was. He snarled and said “nobody in particular” just observing. Hah, fat chance. He started talking to the henchman, and then the Capt. started asking us nicely to leave, of course he said he couldn’t “negotiate” with us, that was against the law, but he was “nicely” giving us the “opportunity” to leave and go home. We had the opportunity of coming back tomorrow, he told us. Nope, we weren’t leaving.
The NYPD practically begged us to leave, as well as henchman. They DID NOT WANT TO ARREST US! Bad publicity. Oh, well. We can’t always get what we want. So 4 of us stayed and were taken away to the 60th precinct, on a very, very cold night.
We had 3 of our friends stay outside the jail and make sure we didn’t get spirited away into the night, although the arrest process took until 4 AM! No food, no water, no bathroom usage. But we were laughing at the comedy routine of the police department. They are a regular sub-culture and very entertaining!
This is not over. I have the business card of Mr. Ilyan Kayatsky, our friendly Brooklyn Community liaison and we will take him up on his offer of making that appointment with the Congressman. We also want to make sure that the 4,000 postcards and our signed letter got into Nadler’s hands, he will be quizzed when we meet face to face!