Join us next Thursday, April 3rd at another encounter at Congressman Nadler’s Manhattan office. We will meet on the SW corner of Varick St. and Houston St. at 11:45 pm. This will be a shorter visit. We’ll leave at 1:00 pm. Please RSVP to Stephanie@worldcantwait.org.
Following is a report on our 3/27 vist to Nadler. On Thursday, March 27th seven people who had answered the World Can’t Wait call to visit Congressman Nadler at his Varick Street office to demand his support of the impeachment of Dick Cheney via H.Res. 799/333 – that languishes in his Subcommittee on the Consitution, Civil Rights & Civil Liberties.
As on previous visits, he himself was not in the office. We were greeted by Robert Gottheim, Nadler’s Director of Relations (the very same person who had brought charges against the Nadler Four during our sit-in and arrest at the Congressman’s Brooklyn office). One of our delegation asked if he could have a written copy of Nadler’s position on impeachment. He was told that Nadler had explained his position many times in open forums and to groups of constituents (However, we noted that Nadler refused to attend, or even send a representative, to the March 9th Town Hall meeting on impeachment held by constituents).
Mr. Gottheim repeated some of the reasons for Nadler’s decision but declared that a written statement was not available and would never be available. He said we could stay until the office closed at 5 p.m. His cordiality went so far as the provision of chairs for us which he had refused to do when we visited last summer, which in a Freudian slip he called his “malevolence” rather than “benevolence.” We continued to engage Mr. Gottheim in discussion. However, a woman from the back office told him and other staff members to return to their offices.
We then proceeded with our plan to read aloud from the Bush Crimes Commission transcript. Gottheim reappeared and stated that if we read aloud we would have to leave the office. One person raised the issue of free speech and the Bill of Rights. Gottheim let us know that these did not apply within this particular office, that the staff was doing the government’s business and serving Mr. Nadler’s constituents. In fact, Gottheim repeatedly told us how they were serving Nadler’s constituents although we were constituents as well. He refused to say “other constituents” which would have acknowledged our rights to the Congressman’s attention also. When Mr. Gottheim left, another of our delegates read aloud the articles of impeachment from the Constitution.
We had a lively discussion about Mr. Nadler’s position on impeachment, the Constitutional process and the war on Iraq. We decided to leave as planned after two hours but that we would continue the visits on a weekly basis, varying the day, time and office.