Monday, November 10, 2008

On Indictment Day, activists do die-in at DOJ and later demonstrate at White House during Obama visit

Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore, 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski at



Contact: Max Obuszewski [410] 366-1637 or mobuszewski at



WHO: The Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore was formed for individuals willing to engage in nonviolent civil resistance to first prevent and later to protest the war in Iraq. It is affiliated with several national peace groups, including the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR] and United For Peace & Justice. 

In September, members of NCNR sent a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey asking to meet with him to discuss the indictment of George W. Bush and Richard Cheney: “At the meeting we would hope to discuss several examples of what we perceive to be illegal behavior on the part of the Bush administration.  For example, the administration made false claims about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein in order to build a public case for war.  This manipulation of pre-war intelligence included a claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction which could threaten the United States.  Intelligence was also manufactured to claim a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda.”  A copy of the letter is available upon request.


WHAT:  Unfortunately, Attorney General Mukasey never responded to the letter, despite follow-up phone calls by NCNR representatives.  So it was decided to go to the Department of Justice to seek a meeting with him.  Joy First, of Madison, Wisconsin, spoke with a representative from DOJ Public Affairs.  While he agreed to take the letter to Mukasey’s office, he promised nothing else.  In response, there was a die-in.  The participants were First, four activists from Baltimore, Maria Allwine, Ellen Barfield, Lou Collins and Max Obuszewski, three from Washington, D.C., Malachy Kilbride, Pete Perry and Eve Tetaz, Dr. Arya Bhardwaj from India, Tim Chadwick from Pennsylvania, Christine Gaunt from Iowa, Michelle Grise from Virginia, Steve Mihalis from Ohio, Don Muller from Alaska, Phil Runkel from Milwaukee, and Manijeh Saba from New Jersey.


WHEN:  Indictment Day, Monday, November 10, 2008 from 12:15 to 1:15 PM


WHERE: at the Constitution Avenue entrance of the Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, WDC 20530


WHY:  The National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance has long challenged the Bush administration and members of Congress for supporting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the shredding of the Bill of Rights, torture and the lack of due process for detainees.  NCNR members and their supporters are strong believers in the concept of equal justice for all.  There is no reason not to consider the indictment of Bush and Cheney, considering the toll caused by the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq—the death of 4,200 U.S. soldiers and possibly one million Iraqis, the countless number of wounded soldiers and civilians and the utter devastation of a country.


The Metropolitan Police decided not to arrest those sprawled on the sidewalk.  Since Barack Obama, the president-elect, was to meet with George W. Bush at the White House, some thirty activists, including people from California, Oregon and the State of Washington, decided to take the message – Indict Bush and Cheney as war criminals – to Pennsylvania Avenue.  At 14th St. and Constitution Avenue, the group lined the streets with banners calling for indictment or impeachment as the Obama motorcade passed by.


This attempt to meet with the attorney general of the United States was undertaken by concerned citizens, as the legislators did not take action.  On Indictment Day citizen activists spoke truth to power at both the Department of Justice and later the White House. 

Throughout the march from the DOJ to Pennsylvania Avenue, well-wishers greeted the activists with cries of support.  As throngs of people gathered outside the White House, the activists brought to them the call for an indictment. 


Outside an entrance to the White House, several of the citizen-activists knelt down and called for the arrest of George Bush.  While there is hope that President Obama will close the Guantanamo Detention Facility, remove troops from Iraq and show respect to other countries, many of the indictment advocates intend to organize protests should his administration continue on the worn path from the last eight years.  There is already some discussion to send a letter to the next attorney general calling for the indictment of Bush and Cheney.


"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs




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