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Spell It Out: "I-M-P-E-A-C-H!" | The Nation

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John Nichols

John Nichols

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Spell It Out: "I-M-P-E-A-C-H!"

In January, Brooklyn's Jacob Park made an audacious proposal to the loose coalition of groups that has been campaigning to impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

They should pick a date, say April 28, and encourage activists across the country to spell out the word "I-M-P-E-A-C-H" on beaches, highway overpasses, the sides of buildings, downtown street corners and anywhere else where Americans might get the message they can and should be about business of applying the Constitutional remedy to a lawless administration.

"George Bush and Dick Cheney have lied the nation into a war of aggression, are spying in open violation of the law, and have sanctioned the use of torture," declares Park's ambitious A28.org website. "These are high crimes and misdemeanors that demand accountability. Since Congress doesn't seem to get it, on April 28 Americans from Miami, Florida to North Pole, Alaska, are going to spell it out for them: IMPEACH!"

Park's vision is coming to fruition this weekend, with the "A28" movement flexing its muscles at a moment when impeachment is suddenly very much "on the table" from which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sought to remove it. Vermont's state Senate and dozens of local city councils and commissions across the country have endorsed impeachment. Democratic and Green party groups across the country have added their voices. The peace movement, including the umbrella group United for Peace and Justice, has declared impeachment a priority. Polls by Newsweek and other media outlets show that a majority of Americans see impeachment as a legitimate response to accusations that Bush and Co. faked up a "case" for war with Iraq. And Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich has introduced articles of impeachment against Cheney that focus on the manipulation of intelligence before the war and attempts to maintain the lie since its beginning.

Kucinich said in announcing those articles that, "I do not stand alone. Millions of Americans are standing up for the Constitution and the rule of law."

The A28 movement is confirming the truth of that statement.

From the Caribbean to the Arctic Circle, activists will spread the word by banner, boat, automobile and plane.

Two thousand people are expected to form a "human mural" on Ocean Beach in San Francisco to spell out "I-M-P-E-A-C-H!" with their bodies. Then they'll march to Pelosi's home for an impeachment rally.

Down the coast in San Diego, where the state Democratic convention is being held, another human mural will be formed on a local beach as activists from across California rally in favor of a party resolution calling for articles of impeachment to be advanced in Congress.

There will be more human murals in New York, Washington and dozens of cities nationwide.

Planes pulling pro-impeachment banners will fly over the Jazz & Heritage Festival in New Orleans – a city that nurtures a particular gripe against the president -- and public events in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and other cities.

An impeachment caravan will cross the state of Iowa.

And when George Bush arrives in Miami to deliver the commencement address at Miami Dade College, he will be greeted by a crowd of Floridians calling for his impeachment and removal from office.

The A28 movement is pegged to one day. But it started before April 28, with an April 26 banner drop from the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington. Code Pink and Hip Hop Caucus activists unfurled a two-story long banner that called the Congress back to the roots of the Republic.

It quoted the Constitution: "The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors."

Fourteen of the impeachment activists were arrested for daring to so quote the founding document in George Bush's Washington. But in the America that lies beyond the beltway, the Constitution is making a comeback – especially the six separate sections in which it spells out the word "I-M-P-E-A-C-H!"

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John Nichols' new book is THE GENIUS OF IMPEACHMENT: The Founders' Cure forRoyalism. Rolling Stone's Tim Dickinson hails it as a "nervy, acerbic, passionately argued history-cum-polemic [that] combines a rich examination of the parliamentary roots and past use ofthe 'heroic medicine' that is impeachment with a call for Democraticleaders to 'reclaim and reuse the most vital tool handed to us by thefounders for the defense of our most basic liberties.'"

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