While things continue to get hotter in and around the White House and Blair House in Washington, impeachment is in the air in New York City.
On Friday, Oct. 21 and Saturday, Oct. 22, a group called Not in Our Name (http://www.nion.us) will be hosting an International Commission of Inquiry to examine and condemn the actions of the Bush administration in the U.S. and around the globe.
At this event, which is closely modeled on the War Crimes Tribunal of 1967 organized by philosopher Bertrand Russell to air the crimes of the U.S. in Vietnam, President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald rumsfeld and a number of other key administration officials will be symbolically put on trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
This 2005 Commission of Inquiry is being endorsed by a number of prominent human rights activists, including: prominent voices of conscience, including former U.S. Sen. James Abourezk, Edward Asner, Russell Banks, Michael Eric Dyson, Richard Falk, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Rabbi Michael Lerner, the National Lawyers Guild, Michael Ratner, Gore Vidal, Cornel West, and Howard Zinn.
Issues to be investigated will include:
1) Wars of Aggression, particularly Iraq and Afghanistan
2) Torture and Indefinite Detention
3) Destruction of the Global Environment, in particular systematic policies contributing to the catastrophic effects of global warming
4) Attacks on Global Public Health and Reproductive Rights, in particular the genocidal effects of forcing international agencies to promote “abstinence only” in the midst of a global AIDS epidemic.
In addition, there will be a special Saturday afternoon session on Bush’s response to hurricane Katrina, featuring both experts and survivors telling their own stories.
Opening speakers include Marcus Raskin from the Institute for Policy Studies, Michael Ratner from the Center for Constitutional Rights, and a special message from historian Howard Zinn. The first evidentiary session on torture and detention will feature CCR attorney Barbara Olshansky who is coordinating the defense attorneys representing the detainees at Guantanamo.
The hearings will be held at the Grand Ballroom, Manhattan Center, 311 W. 34th Street, New York City, NY (on 34th St., just west of 8th Ave, two blocks from Penn Station). Suggested registration fee is $30 for the two days. There is a sliding scale for low income.
DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Information about both books and other work by Lindorff can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net.
He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org