Thousands in New York and D.C. Rally Against Bush’s Bloody Wars; Demand Arrest of President
Following a week of street protests, more than 1,000 people marched on the United Nations Building in New York and attempted to serve a citizen’s arrest warrant on President Bush for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Earlier in the morning of September 26, a dozen separate feeder groups, consisting of a hundred or so protesters each, converged upon the plaza from across the city’s five boroughs. Carrying placards and 20 large coffins, the marchers were organized by various groups, mostly left wing, including Movement for a Democratic Society (MDS-NYC), The War Resisters League, Witness Against Torture, and one with the thought-provoking name of Arrest Cheney First.
The coffins symbolized the unrelenting death and suffering caused by the illegal occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and the illegal detentions at Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, and the network of secret U.S. prisons throughout the world.
Some found a touch of irony in the fact that the war protesters from the “far left” have begun to consider the decay of the Constitution an important issue. The major shift appeared evident on the opening day of protests when the marchers appeared with banners demanding “Defend the Constitution” in equal or greater numbers that those calling for a withdrawal
Rose McMillan, a grandmother from Springfield, Mass., carried her pocket Constitution and barked that the Bush administration had seriously violated constitutional law.
“How can this be happening?” a protester shouted at the assembled press on 2nd Avenue. The question was overheard and immediately answered by Mildred Wells from her apartment balcony, again directed to the press and not the one who asked. “It’s happening because you idiots have ignored the Constitution for 50 years.”
Many of those present on several sides called attention to what they said were increasing efforts by the New York City government to monitor political activities of Americans not only in New York but nationwide.
Sources on all sides say that since the election of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the city has embarked on a nationwide program of maintaining watch on political and social movements of individuals based on the assumption that they may have an impact on the city sometime in the future. This list includes organizations and individuals who may be in conflict with Bloomberg’s policies.
The citizen’s arrest has its roots in the common law and may apply whenever a private citizen witnesses or has knowledge of a crime having been committed by another person. Those undertaking a citizen’s arrest have the full legal right to subdue and arrest any suspect witnessed in commission of a felony but can still be held liable in civil or criminal court for any harm or damages inflicted in the process.
While the serving of the warrant was thwarted by Secret Service personnel, the attempt spoke volumes to the world of the attitude of the American people toward the action in the Middle East—a war not declared by Congress—or at least it would have had it not been mostly ignored by the establishment media.
The arrest warrant remains active and charges that Bush, as commander-in-chief, bears responsibility for the actions of those under his command and for his own directed policies.
Under the principles of the Nuremberg trials at the end of World War II, Bush would be indictable for all counts established in 1946:
However, lawyers told AFP that service of such a warrant upon the president would be little more than symbolic unless he could be taken into custody and held for the police. Considering his protection by armed guards everywhere he goes, such an eventuality is unlikely.
Merely handing the president the warrant would amount to nothing more than giving him one more “g—d—d piece of paper,” which is how he was once quoted when referring to the Constitution.
Investigative reporter Pat Shannan has been uncovering domestic fraud, waste, conspiracy and abuse against American citizens for four decades. Originally from Mississippi, Pat now resides in Washington, D.C. Find out more about Pat Shannan at www.patshannan.com
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