On July 23, 2007, the 5th anniversary of the Downing Street Memo, as activists in the U.S. staged a sit-in calling for impeachment at the office of John Conyers, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, members of our group in Rome formed the I-Team and brought the issue of impeachment to tourists in the Eternal City.
We started at the Pantheon where Anna served up her "Impeachmintini" (white wine, peaches and mint), complete with Impeach umbrellas and custom labels, to supporters from the U.S. and Europe. We attracted attention with our Impeach t-shirts as well as the megaphone, chanting Impeach Bush, Impeach Dick Cheney, too!
A large group of Irish schoolboys shook our hands, had their photos taken with us and shouted, "We love you." Indeed, many tourists -- as well as second- and third-story local residents, peering down from their windows -- took photos of us as we lined up in front of the fountain and later the portico. There was an elderly Dutch couple and a couple of young ladies (one from Connecticut and the other from NY) who greatly appreciated both the aperitif and our sentiments. Another Dutch couple claimed to be abstemious, but said they fully supported our efforts. When it came to young American tourists, there seemed to be a pretty even divide between those who were enthusiastically behind impeachment and those who were probably more indifferent than actively opposed.
We did run into a few Bush supporters. One man told us we were disgusting and said, "if you don't like America, why don't you just stay in Italy." Amusing, since most of us have lived in Rome for decades! He went on to say, "You are an embarrassment to the U.S." With the retort, "We do not agree; it is Bush and Cheney who are the embarrassment to the U.S."
Next stop was Piazza Navona where we ran into Jerry, a Dominican friar who has marched with us before. He was leading a group of Dominicans from the U.S. on a tour of Rome, who all cheered for us when they learned what we were doing. They took our photos and had their photos taken with us.
The last stop was Campo de Fiori where a photographer friend was waiting for us, and we handed out the last of the 200 flyers. But the big surprise was still to come.
Over ONE THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED faxes have been sent from our site! These obviously didn't all come from our local group. In fact, our Judiciary Fax Blast to John Conyers' office was picked up by several sites, such as AfterDowningStreet, DailyKos, InformationClearingHouse, WhatReallyHappened, DemocraticUnderground and a number of blogs. And the people responded!
Unfortunately, the fax in Conyers' office failed under pressure so we have been forced to temporarily suspend the fax blast. But you can still call! See below.
Meanwhile, back in Washington, Cindy Sheehan, Ray McGovern, David Swanson, Rev. Yearwood, Col. Ann Wright along with 41 other activists were arrested at John Conyers' office, where around 300 protesters packed his office and lined the halls calling for impeachment.
Did someone tell you that U.S. military intervention in Iraq was over? Not true: we're at it again. This time the pretext to drop bombs is "curbing ISIS" (which was created by the U.S. in the first place, to overturn Assad in Syria and al-Malaki in Iraq, and is now out of hand. Like what happened to "our" creature al Qaeda in Afghanistan). And the death toll continues to rise...