Crowd Hits Beach for Impeachment
April 28, 2007 2:33 PM
Over a thousand people gathered on Ocean Beach near Lincoln Way on Saturday to spell out a direct political message concerning the president: "Impeach!"
It marked the second time this year that people gathered on the sand near Beach Chalet to raise awareness of their cause, by lying down and spelling out their opposition to George Bush and Dick Cheney.
“We’re just trying to take back our country, it’s been stolen by a bunch of neocon fascists and it’s time to take action,” said Mark Spindler, a 51-year-old Fremont resident. “Impeachment is not only a possibility, but our duty as citizens.”
The Beach Impeach II event was organized by San Francisco cab driver Brad Newsham, who also put together the first edition in January. Word of it mostly spread online, with the site A28.org calling for a National Day of Impeachment. The site listed over 80 other similar impeachment-oriented events scheduled across the country.
“I’m amazed at how willing people are not to know! They don’t want to know, and when you do know, you can’t help but be here,” said Judi Campbell, a Half Moon Bay resident who was joined by Kona, her golden retriever. “But it gets in the way of people going to Target, or whatever. I don’t think people want to know, and that’s disturbing. This needs to get people thinking.”
A helicopter flew overhead and stopped above the throng of political spellers for approximately 20 minutes to gather photos of the action. The crowd was an eclectic mix of families, social advocates and group organizers alike, all united as one big Etch A Sketch of change.
“I don’t like the war, I have so many complaints about Bush that I don’t like him, and none of my friends do,” said Almudena Martin, a 33-year-old native of the Basque Country of Spain. “People that don’t see the reality need to see this message the most.”
After the helicopter departed, participants enjoyed the free food and music that was part of the spirited gathering. Booths were set up along the sidewalk with bumper stickers, T-shirts and community leaders all urging a concerted effort at changing the White House.
“This is one more step to get rid of these monsters, and to remind people that this is an option -- it‘s in the Constitution,” said Rick Gerharter, a news photographer who lives in Lower Haight. “People have to be held accountable, and when a president has done such outrageously illegal actions, then he needs to be called into account.”
In addition to a resonating message of impeachment, others sought to spread awareness of climate change and domestic terror issues, including beliefs about cover-ups in the September 11 attacks.
“It’s great to be able to get the point across that Bush and Cheney are lying to people, including the main core of their lie, which is that 9-11 was an inside job,” said Tantra Bensko, a 48-year-old Sunset resident who wore a white shirt with Bush’s head flanked by the word LIAR. “Words have power when we get together.”
As the crowd slowly dispersed from their spelling, a female voice on a bullhorn reminded them to join together in the march to “Camp Pelosi,” which is a protesting hotspot outside Nancy Pelosi’s Pacific Heights manor. Signs with her name, urging her to listen to her constituents were all over, and a sense of disappointment in her lack of will to impeach was palpable.
“George Bush is a liar, Americans are not behind Bush or the Iraq War,” said Rae Abileah, a local groups coordinator for CODEPINK. “We’re in a state of disaster, a state of emergency. Hopefully Nancy Pelosi will hear this message and put impeachment back on the table.”
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