Thursday, February 22, 2007

Let's Talk Impeachment, Not Violent Revolution

Apparently, a number of articles and groups are discussing -- in one way or another -- violent revolution. See, for example, this essay.

Prominent impeachment activists argue that impeachment, rather than violent revolution, is the appropriate mechanism built into the Constitution to fight tyranny.

But some people respond that Congress won't impeach, and so that mechanism is not available. Specifically, House leader Pelosi has said "impeachment is off the table", Judiciary Committee chairman John Conyers won't take action, and the Congress as a whole simply won't start impeachment proceedings. So they argue that with impeachment unavailable, the only option left is violence.

But I think that argument is missing a very important point.

Nixon said he didn't care what the American people thought. He said that -- no matter what the public did or said -- he was going to escalate the war in Vietnam. Nixon actually planned to drop a nuclear bomb on Vietnam (and see this). However, a well-known biographer says that he backed off when hundreds of thousands of people turned out in Washington, D.C. to protest an escalation of the war.

This could work today. If a million Americans peacefully surround Capitol Hill and hold signs saying "we're not leaving until the Constitution and the rule of law are restored: IMPEACH", Congress would be forced to start impeachment proceedings -- no matter what they've been saying or doing.

No matter how subservient Congress and the corporate media are, they could not ignore a peaceful sit-in surrounding Capitol Hill. A non-violent action of that size, and totally surrounding Congress, simply could not be ignored.

Therefore, why is anyone talking about violent revolution when we haven't tried smart, creative forms of mass action demanding impeachment?

I am not naive. I understand that there are arguments against non-violence. However, I believe so strongly in non-violence that I am committed to giving it every possible chance to succeed.


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