By David Swanson, After Downing Street, Feb. 12, 2008
There's a new rule on Capitol Hill: the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee can remove impeachment from the Constitution, but cannot also use telephones, Email, or fax machines, because the flood of pro-impeachment communications from outraged citizens is overwhelming each of those devices. Don't believe me? Try phoning, Emailing, or faxing John Conyers' office.
Congressman John Conyers' telephone, by many reports, rang endlessly on Monday, approximately 60 times per minute, or as fast as people could get through. The same thing appears to be happening today (Tuesday).
If you try to get through at 202-225-5126, chances are you'll hear a busy signal. Other times it will simply ring forever until a recorded voice tells you "Your party is not answering, please try your call later." Some people have had better luck by calling the Capitol Hill switchboard at 202-224-3121 or through one of the toll-free numbers that activist groups use, and asking to be connected to John Conyers' office. Others have just run into busy signals that way too.
If you are lucky, you will get through to a staffer, and by all reports they are very, very cheerful staffers glad that you called, no matter where in the country you live.
Emailing the Congressman is out, because he has stopped accepting Emails, at least at this address email@example.com. I could tell you some of his staff members' Email addresses, but then they wouldn't be able to work for a week.
Faxing the Congressman is very much in, but you have to set your fax machine to repeatedly redial until it gets through. The fax number is 202-225-0072.
You can also try these alternatives. Call Conyers' Judiciary Committee office at 202-225-3951. Or call his Detroit, Mich., office at 313-961-5670 or his Trenton, Mich., office at 734-675-4084.
If you do get through, be prepared to hear that impeachment hearings are not happening, but hearings into impeachable offenses are. Even though these non-impeachment hearings will not make it onto television, and Conyers is not even announcing them ahead of time, and even though witnesses will refuse to show up, Conyers' staffers will try to tell you that hearings of the sort they've done for the past 13 months are all that's needed.
Hmm. If that were true, would the phone be ringing the way it is?
Over 20 people are refusing to eat until Conyers begins impeachment hearings for Dick Cheney: http://afterdowningstreet.org/fasting
Nine members of the Judiciary Committee and dozens of members of Congress agree with the public that Conyers should perform his constitutional duty and begin impeachment hearings. On Friday Congressman and Committee Member Robert Wexler will deliver a sign-on letter to Conyers urging him to begin Cheney impeachment hearings.
Tuesday evening Conyers has agreed to meet with Leslie Angeline to discuss the possibility. Angeline is a member of Code Pink. Her father was a rider on the original Freedom Ride bus that was fire bombed in Alabama in 1961. She is fasting for impeachment. For her sake, if nothing else, set your phone on redial and have faith that you will get through. Consider making it a daily routine.