Tuesday, June 21, 2005

''Conyers At the Gate''

"After almost a thousand days of marching, organizing, screaming and shouting over the illegal and unjustified invasion and occupation of Iraq, a day of change long awaited finally came. With the suddenness of a windstorm at sea, this nation's capitol was swept up in a large, loud and defiant chorus of demands on Thursday, June 16th, that the Bush-maintained status quo of violence, disinformation and despair in Iraq must change, and must change now. By far and away, however, the most important events took place in a small room in the Capitol Building, in a small park across the city, and before a long, black gate.

In that small room, Rep. John Conyers and a roomful of House allies listened to compelling, factual testimony from four individuals - Ambassador Joseph Wilson, retired CIA analyst Ray McGovern, constitutional attorney John Bonifaz, and a Gold Star Mother named Cindy Sheehan - who described in searing detail the import and consequences of the Downing Street Minutes. As this hearing was concluding, a large gathering of protesters gathered in Lafayette Park across from the White House. There, the crowd was exhorted by Medea Benjamin, PDA Director Tim Carpenter, the mothers of fallen soldiers and many others to stay the course, to continue pounding on the Minutes, to continue to demand that the occupation of Iraq be brought to an immediate conclusion. As the Lafayette rally grew in size and volume, a small group of people walked with deliberation towards the black White House gate. In their arms were stacks of paper - tens and tens and tens of thousands of signatures from ordinary Americans who want the bloodshed in Iraq to stop.

This, again, was Rep. Conyers, flanked by Rep. Waters and several other allies. They placed themselves before the gate, surrounded suddenly by media cameras and protesters, and demanded that the White House guard take those signatures inside. After a few moments, the gate opened and the signatures were handed over. As Rep. Conyers later recounted, this was the first time this administration had accepted papers from anyone for any reason. Why the sudden reversal? Perhaps it was the poll numbers of the Bush administration, which have been plummeting like a gravity-captured meteor."-from Will Pitt's account of the Conyers "Forum" and walk to the White House to deliver petitions.

No comments: