- SANTA CRUZ -- Angry peace
protesters at City Hall displayed a realistic-looking, oversized layoff
notice for President Bush on Tuesday, advising him to "vacate your
office in 24 hours."
- The 80 protesters, waving pink slips, are part of a local
movement that wants the City Council to be first in America to pass a resolution
not only seeking to impeach Bush, but to clean house at the White House.
- "We want a resolution from the city to impeach Bush,
Cheney, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Powell, Wolfowitz and Condoleeza Rice,"
said Sherry Conable, active in the impeachment movement. She and others
also want the City Council to beef up a local resolution opposing the U.S.
Patriot Act, by directing the city government not to cooperate with its
- Robert Nahas, one of the organizers, said heâd
gathered more than 200 pro-impeachment signatures on Saturday while downtown,
and urged the council to "protect us from the crimes of the federal
- One protester, Louis LaFortune, even stripped down to
a "pink slip," as in a pink nightie, while addressing the City
Council about impeachment.
- Protesters will have to wait, however, because the City
Council, deep in budget-slashing sessions, has yet to take action on the
resolution and will soon break for its August recess.
- Skeptics say a Republican-dominated Congress makes impeachment
all but impossible.
- Vic Marani, a former chairman of the local Republican
Party Central Committee, scoffed at the idea of protesters asking a city
council to support impeachment.
- "They arenât going to impeach Bush so fix
the streets," he said. "Thatâs boring, but thatâs
what local government does. Thereâs no such thing as a Democratic
or Republican sewer or pipe. They have no chance of any kind of follow
through, so take that energy and try to keep the Civic (Auditorium) open."
- He was referring to concerns that the city-owned 2,000-seat
auditorium in downtown Santa Cruz might be scaled back or mothballed in
light of budget cuts.
- Peace activist Ruth Hunter agreed impeachment wasnât
likely but said that if there is enough of grassroots support, it could
pressure Republicans into changing their minds.
- Protesters also said theyâre heartened by suggested
articles of impeachment drawn up by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey
Clark, by Bush opponents questioning his statements about Iraqi weapons
of mass destruction, and a recent dust-up surrounding a section in Bushâs
pre-war State of the Union address.
- The controversial clause referred to Iraq seeking uranium
from Niger, a piece of information subsequently criticized as "tainted."
The White House later stated the accusation, attributed to Britain, was
based on forged information and should have been excised.
- The City Council, in September, was the first such body
in the United States to pass a resolution opposing a U.S. war on Iraq,
a measure that drew a brief but intense bout of national attention.
- Among those calling for the latest measure are members
of the Santa Cruz Action Network, Santa Cruz Peace Coalition, Green Party
of Santa Cruz County, the Peace and Freedom Party Central Committee, Santa
Cruz Peacemakers and Code Pink of Santa Cruz.
- Though U.S. Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel, could not be reached
to comment, his spokeswoman, Sarah Rosen, said Farr didnât think
the movement could achieve its goals.
- "The congressman definitely supports any efforts
that can be made to discuss the credibility of the president, but the possibly
of impeachment going anywhere is not even remote," she said. "Weâre
- She said energy being directed toward an impeachment
movement would be better directed toward electing a Democrat president.
"We have an excellent opportunity to get rid of this guy and thatâs
what elections are all about."
- Contact Dan White at <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=Protesters
push for Bush impeachment>email@example.com