I appeared today at the peace rally in Washington and want to report to you that there is tremendous energy out there. Celebrities joined many activists and Members of Congress to call for an end to the fighting now. There was a very big crowd on the mall and most media coverage has been pretty positive.
Jane Fonda returned to the peace movement, calling upon Americans not to forget the lessons of Vietnam. I had a chance to speak to Sean Penn and Tim Robbins, who have also used their celebrity as movie stars to bring the media focus to the growing anti-war movement.
PDA, Code Pink and the Institute of Policy Studies all made significant contributions to the events today.
But perhaps the most powerful voices heard today were those from military families, grieving for lost loved ones. Their personal stories cut at your heart like nothing else.
I spoke with some filmmakers doing a piece for the Huffington Post today so I am hoping that you may get to hear directly from some of these military families on the pages here later.
So, as we take stock of our efforts today, I wanted to sum up the myriad of challenges that lay before us and the opportunities we have to make things right again in this country.
The Bush Administration has given us:
* Voter Intimidation and suppression and worse costing us two presidential elections.
* The Downing Street Minutes, manipulation of intelligence, and going to war under false pretenses.
* Outing a CIA agent as an act of political revenge.
* Warrantless wiretapping, outside of the law and the Constitution, and creating an unauthorized data base of millions of innocent Americans.
* Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, waterboarding, and other forms of illegal torture.
* Racial Profiling, Rendition, and Secret Prisons.
* An imperial president who takes it upon himself to issue signing statements which change the law to take away our rights.
* Intimidating the press, and firing government whistleblowers.
* Operating a government in secret, above the law and outside of court or congressional scrutiny.
* More than 3,000 Americans dead, scores of thousands of Iraqi's dead, hundreds of thousands wounded, and a cost of more than one trillion dollars.
* And now a massive escalation, disguised as a "surge," with no end in sight.
Today, and every day, we need to let this President know and let the Congress know that we have had enough.
Follow Rep. John Conyers on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RepJohnConyers