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FW Council: To Bush? Or Not to Bush?

Note: I've just been informed that this piece was passed on by my typical benefactors because it is too 'informal'. I was offered a chance to clean it up, salvage the words if you will, and get it on the streets by next week. But ... I like how it turned out. Considering how much heat I took from that FW Weekly Static piece (from the peace people, no less), I thought releasing the original would bring me some good karma. Enjoy!

FW Council: to Bush, or Not to Bush?

By Stephen C. Webster
Contributing Writer

That Which Must Be Done: a phrase of typical importance in all of our every day lives. Breathe. Eat. Sleep. Drink. Drive vehicle. Work. Rest. All of these must be done.

What about, “Impeach Bush”?

To Diane Wood and the Tarrant County Green Party, removal of the current Executive, our Resident Rancher himself – and his band of hairy, merry men -- is indeed something that Must Be Done.

Last Thursday night, Diane and members of Code Pink Ft. Worth, along with a troupe of unaffiliated dissidents, put into motion a novel plan: if Congress won't do it, maybe the local city council will! A resolution of impeachment based on the crimes of George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, “et. al.” was drafted, and plans were laid.

Once the speakers were selected, the Peach Wagon seemed to be moving along unfurled. Unfortunately, confusion still ensued.

“Does anyone know how we get on the agenda?” asked Diane to a group of eight at 1919 Hemphill, something of a revolutionists concert venue -slash- free-shop in south-west Ft. Worth. “I think we just have to call. Don't they have a part of the meeting where citizens can speak?”

At the prior Sunday's strategy session, the notion expressed was genuine, and certainly common among the sprawling majority of America: Bush is a generally Bad Dude, and we've pretty much had enough. Spying, lying and too much dying. The message is hard to avoid these days.

After some debate, at least one member was settled on calling ahead to be put on the agenda for Thursday, August 9. The group's previously-announced date, the 7th, was postponed because of “National Night Out”.

It was to be a shot in the dark, and word was put on the wires, through local mailing lists such as DallasRally.com, and chains of friends on MySpace. The publicity got the attention of another local band of rebels, though cut from slightly different cloth than the 40-and-up crowd scheming away at Hemphill.

If you thought John Kerry was a flip-flopper (as though Bush isn't?), you don't know Wobbly. Or, rather, The Wobblies.

The Wobblies, or more formally, Industrial Workers of the World, are one of America's oldest labor unions. They gave English such phrases as, “Get off your soapbox!” (a reference to how they conducted town hall meetings in 1916). Oh, and they want to eradicate capitalism.

Some real, Red and Black Flag stuff.

As legend has it, a Chinese immigrant who ran a restaurant used to give patronage to IWW members, but had a hard time pronouncing the “W”. He called them, “I Wobble Wobble”, and a goofy tag line was born.

On the night of the council meeting, just about everyone was on time. 7 p.m rolled around, and the chambers were full. The Public Record was running.

The conservative-dissenters were already inside, waiting patiently for a chance to speak. Leave it to the Wobblies to fit a stereotype: they actually brought Red and Black flags.

Seven individuals one might describe as “youths” stood grinning, literature, billboards and piercings glistening in the friscalating sunset. Another tall, lanky gentleman of considerable age stood alongside, his head nearly rectangular, framed by wire-rimmed glasses.

He was picking at an open sore on the left side of his face. An item of unknown definition lead this writer to believe it to be a booger, dangling down over his left ear. An odd place for mucus of such origin.

But they were eager, and genuine. They wanted to show support. Solidarity. Or, as one of their signs read, “Eliminate the Office, Not JUST the Executive!”

The only remaining problem was boredom, which quickly set in. Nearly four hours until citizen presentation, the group left to wobble around down town.

Standing on the corner of 6th and Throckmorton, they smiled idly at the scant passers-by, occasionally waiving their signs at cars. Most of the material was impeachment-related. They hoped to bring it in to the council chambers. (They were Refused by the cops.)

A small crowd of black-clad teens, one pushing another in a wheelchair, teetered by with a whoop. “Hell yeah!” gushed the man on wheels. “Bush is a Douche Bag!” His voice petered out around Bag as he coughed for breath.

Another gentleman walked by grinning at the revolutionaries and outstretched his middle finger, pausing to emphasize it in their faces. “Nice ring,” someone said.

An elderly couple approached, warmth and friendliness literally bleeding from their ears. “Are you supporting the impeachment of Bush?” asked a short woman with a bonnet and cane.

Yes 'mam,” said a heavyset activist with a pink bandanna. “And the unionization of the Working Class!”

Oh,” muttered the woman's husband in a gruff point. They literally turned heel and walked in the opposite direction.

Maybe they didn't know: Journalist Edward R. Murrow, after standing up against the bully Senator Joeseph McCarthy, was accused of being an IWW member. Hellen Keller (Yes, that Hellen Keller) was one, and Writer Noam Chomfsky pays his dues to this day. So was Rodger Nash Baldwin, founder of the ACLU.

Four and a half hours later, council was finally coming around. Citizens Presentation was to begin any minute now. But with a sudden declaration, the Wobblies wanted to leave.

We're tired. Its late. Whatever.”

They were swayed into staying by an anarchist photographer who reeked of rice wine and body odor. He suggested the Wobs, as a gesture of support to the conservative-looking speakers, stand in a straight line in the back of the room, heads down and fists raised. The group's perceived leader, Will Schnack, grinned wildly at the idea.

Inside the council chambers, their execution wasn't quite as flawless as the idea. The third speaker, a multi-tour Iraq veteran who fears (with some justification) that Bush has laid the groundwork for domestic Martial Law, stood before the council and held his head down, hands shaking so violently his paper seemed to be blowing in a wind.

The pink-bandana'd Wobbily rose from his front-row seat and crossed his arms as the man finished his comments. The audience, or at least the present supporters, applauded the speech, but when they fell silent and one man was still standing, council got fidgety.

An officer sitting five seats down drew close and motioned him down. “What, I can't stand here?” asked the activist (who later recanted his name from The Record).

The cop's eyes narrowed and he lurched forward quick, grasping the large Wob's right arm and forcing him into his seat. “Down!” he blurted, drawing a look of shock.

The speeches went on, nonetheless. Seven individuals spoke in favor of the council adopting their homespun impeachment resolution. Upon its passage, the vote and opinions of those present would be entered into the Congressional record as a petition to the Speaker of the House. “Hey, it happened in San Francisco!”

The council wasn't having any of it. After two speeches, the Mayor began to explain why he was going to lump all those speaking out against Bush into one group and dismiss the rest of their time to speak. Diane, one hand meekly poked in the air, asked him to allow the presentation to move on, explaining that everyone would approach the impeachment issue from different angles.

In spite of the statement, all the speakers hit the same topics in the same way. The war is a lie, illegal spying, use of poisonous depleted uranium in Iraq, mangling the national guard, erosion of civil liberties, secret torture sites and – a favorite – the issuance of executive orders that could effectively allow Bush to declare himself a dictator in the event of a national emergency.

That's what they said, anyway. Sort-of reads like a grocery list. “Bread, milk, eggs, CIA Black Sites, Reichstag Fire ...”

Their concerns were dismissed without so much as a batted eye by the Ft. Worth Council. Nearing midnight at that point, the activists, socialist revolutionaries and heroic ex-soldier left unfulfilled, but still determined.

As it turns out, the leadership of Ft. Worth, Texas, home to six major corporations that have bottom lines based on the continued violence in Iraq – including Consolidated Robots, recently purchased by the Halliburton corporation for a cool $25 Billion to create the most terrifying modes of techno-death known to man – aren't so much for taking down the Rough Rider who juiced up their wealthy constituents in the first place.

Go Figure.

Outside the municipal building, a few “Industrial Workers” were still wobbling around near the door. “Man, I should have got arrested!” said Pinky, rubbing his elbow. “That would have been a great show of, like, Solidarity.”


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