September 23, 2008: A small group of veterans are currently staging a protest and fast in Washington, DC, calling for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice-President Cheney. 5 vets climbed up on a 35-foot ledge at the National Archives building, unfurled a huge banner, and began broadcasting statements by famous Americans calling for impeachment.
Here are updates thanks to OpEdNews – times are Atlantic Daylight Time.
5:30 PM UPDATE:Vets call 40 members of House Judiciary Committee from perch on National Archives
Washington — Eight hours into their occupation of the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C., Veterans For Peace members report they have called all 40 members of the House Committee on the Judiciary, urging them to actively support impeachment hearings.
Elliott Adams, president of VFP and one of the four veterans perched on a 35-foot ledge in front of the Archives Building, said, “We called the pro-impeachment members of the Committee to give them a shot in the arm and let them know people are still very interested in impeachment hearings, and we called the rest of them to say, ‘Look, the Democratic and Republican conventions are over. Let’s cut the bullshit and get back on track doing your job.'” The veterans plan on maintaining their fast and occupation for 24 hours, until 8:00 am tomorrow. Update courtesy of Mike Ferner (VFP)
2:20 PM UDATE:
Spoke to VFP, Tarak Kauff, who is representing the group on the ground outside the Archives Building. He said the group is in “great spirits.” They have a sound system and have been playing recordings of MLK Jr., Rep. Dennis Kucinich, and Vincent Bugliosi. Kauff reports that the City Police have been handling the situation very well. Would like them to come down, but are respecting their First Amendment Rights. One officer told them they could “stay up there all month if they wanted.” The National Archives security are not as supportive as they see it as a security breach, but are not currently taking action. No indication if the group members will be arrested on their descent. It does not, however, look like they will be forced down. Kauff said they have lights so that it will all be lit up as night falls. The media has been showing a lot of interest. NBC news was just there filming. They are receiving calls from media outlets and radio shows all over the country. Stay tuned – Cheryl Biren-Wright
11:00 AM UPDATE
Editor’s note: Spoke to VFP President, Elliott Adams, at 11:00 a.m. Adams said, “We’re still occupying this ledge. We have our 22 foot banner that reads Defend the Constitution, Arrest Bush and Cheney.” By 11:00, there were about ten National Archives guards present. Police units have come by trying to determine jurisdiction. They gave the group a few options including “come down now and you won’t get arrested” and that if they came off the ledge now they would be allowed to stay on the ground with banner. The group has rejected the offer and intend to stay for 24 hours to make their statement. Adams said they have been receiving a lot of waves of approval from passersby. Will continue to update. – C. Biren-Wright