of a protest for honest government
Posted by Jodin Morey, Impeach For Peace
Portland Indy Media –Santa Arrested in PDX for Demanding Impeachment
(and Offering Candy Canes, Constitution to the Cops)
On the picket lines today—for the 21st Thursday— in front of the Portland OR office of Rep. Earl Blumenauer, three of the Impeach Group’s pickets were arrested: Santa and two elves. “Santa” was Joe Walsh, a Veterans for Peace member and sparkplug for regulars in red impeachment shirts responding to the Oregon congressman’s refusal to co-sponsor Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s HRes 799 to impeach Vice President Cheney.
Blumenauer has indicated seniority on the House Ways & Means committee is more important than his oath of office and the Constitution despite Democratic state and his district’s leaders recent demands he co-sponsor impeachment. In his only town hall meeting with constituents during the fall recess, he ignored impeachment demands by 40 out of 45 speakers and a packed audience on its feet chanting “Impeach Now!” His excuse up to recently has been the eight-point mantra ordered by House Democratic leadership and the Democratic Leadership Council to explain why they want impeachment off the table.
So for a Christmas touch in the weekly Impeach group’s demonstrations, Walsh decided to dress as Santa. After sealing the front door of the building with duct tape, he joined two elves in rockers to hold up impeachment signs and read a Christmas manifesto to Blumenauer—as demonstrators sang parodies of Christmas carols composed by the group’s Codepink members. Soon, a half-dozen police cruisers arrived. Walsh explained their purpose and attempted to give them candy canes along with a lecture about the Constitution and Blumenauer’s two-term refusal to take any action about Bush’s and Cheney’s high crimes rising to the Constitutional standards of impeachment.
For a look at additional coverage, see: http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2007/12/370199.shtml
Portland has 157 activist groups and was dubbed “Little Beirut” by the Bush family who rarely visit the city now unless they stay at airport hotels, ringed with police because of descending hordes of demonstrators. Republican Senator Gordon Smith’s Portland office has been peacefully besieged in relays, with demonstrators cuffed, held in jail for 6-8 hours and usually fined $100 or assigned 30 days of community service.
Instead of previous manhandling of pickets and using pepper spray and concussion grenades, however, today the police for the first time dealt gingerly with Santa’s big scene. No horses. No batons. No riot gear. No Blackwater attitudes. For nearly an hour, officers tried cajoling Santa and his elves to either return to the group’s usual peaceful strolls or to open at least open the doors a crack so Blumenauer staffers and visitors wouldn’t have to enter/exit by the rear door. The changed behavior by the police was attributed to five years of expensive victories by citizens in class-action suits against the city, by the usually peaceful nature of constant demonstrations, and by the ouster of one chief from Los Angeles for a Portland police veteran familiar with the First Amendment and the city’s usually peaceful rallies and marches.
After 30 minutes—when Walsh and the elves had made their point—the police arrested them. The prefunctory assembly line trial ought to be something because the judge will have to read charges that Santa and the elves were arrested while offering candy canes, the Constitution, and Blumenauer’s record to the police and passersby.
Pray that Congress calls you to account.
If and when you leave office we will wait for you.
In every speech, we will be there,
In every restaurant we will be there,
In every baseball game,
you will see and hear us,
We will point our terrorized finger, than
turn our backs on you,
We will shout as loud as possible:
There goes the torturer,
the killer of children, the assassin of the Constitution,
There goes the destroyer of hope,
For the rest of your life, you will know our anger.
Pray that you are called to account for your wicked deeds now and not later.
Shame awaits you two, and redemption will be ours.
A warning to you Rep. Blumenauer:
Stand up for the Constitution or look for unemployment in
Ho ho ho