PORTLAND, Maine: Impeach Bush/Cheney drive gets boost

The Woodfords Club is not a smoke-filled room. Opened in 1913, the quaint picture postcard New England private club hosted a May 19 rally of over 200 calling for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

“Whether this can happen or not, it can drive discourse,” said Dud Hendrick, founding member of maineimpeach.org. Hundreds of supporters will deliver an impeachment petition with 11,000 signatures to the Maine Legislature on May 29.

The campaign joins similar grassroots actions in 10 other states where the legislatures have debated measures calling on Congress to begin impeachment proceedings. In Vermont, the state Senate and dozens of towns approved similar resolutions.

Maine Speaker of the House Glenn Cummings attended the Portland meeting and said that legislative action was unlikely because it would strain relations between Republicans and Democrats, slowing down action on other issues. Cummings met with New Hampshire and Vermont house speakers to discuss how they as leaders of their legislatures can express their disapproval of Bush.

“Support for impeachment is growing nationally and is now the mainstream sentiment within our party,” said Tim Carpenter, director of Progressive Democrats of America. “Our message to Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill is that impeachment is not a distraction. It’s not vengeful. It’s the only way to preserve the Constitution in the face of a White House that views itself as above the law.”

LOS ANGELES: Jewish Americans petition to end Iraq war

Launched on the fourth anniversary of the Iraq war, Jews Against the War released a petition with 1,000 signatures calling on Congress to end the war. Over 250 rabbis, educators and Jewish professionals signed the petition representing every major expression of the faith including Orthodox, Conservative and Reform. Organizers of the initiative hope to galvanize the Jewish American “silent” antiwar majority. Recent polling by Gallup revealed that while 52 percent of Americans oppose the Iraq war, 77 percent of Jewish Americans oppose it and believe it was a mistake.

“The outpouring of support we’ve received from Jewish religious leaders of every major denomination is unprecedented on an issue as traditionally divisive to our community as war with an Arab nation,” said Rabbi Shaul Magid. “This response has strengthened our resolve and validated our belief that a silent Jewish majority that was waiting, ready and eager to speak out is emerging. We join together and speak as one: end this disastrous war and bring our troops home.”

An excerpt from the petition reads, “We believe it is the moral responsibility of the current administration to end this war! We ask that Congress set hard and fast limits on the ability of the President to expand this war or to extend it further in a military action against Iran.”

The group continues to gather signatures at their web site, www.jewsagainstthewar.org, as well as organize “out of Iraq” teach-ins and place antiwar ads in Jewish publications.

ENDICOTT, N.Y.: IBM workers fight outsourcing

Holding a picket sign or stopping work for 15 minutes is uncharted waters for long-term high-tech workers at IBM facilities across the country, but members of Alliance@IBM/Communications Workers of America (CWA), a union organizing group, have had enough. Thousands of IBM workers stopped work at 3 p.m., Eastern time, for 15 minutes on May 15, protesting Big Blue shipping their jobs to other countries. In the name of increasing profits, IBM recently shipped out 1,300 jobs and more pink slips are expected.

IBM workers in Italy joined their U.S. counterparts in the work stoppage.

The 15-minute stoppage is part of an effort organized by the Alliance with the help of the CWA to save jobs. On May 11, Tom Midgley, a 23-year IBM veteran, was on the informational picket line in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. “We’ve got to take some kind of action.” Public visibility is one step, he said, holding his picket sign.

Praising the courage of IBM workers, Lee Conrad, Alliance leader and former Big Blue worker said, “This is kind of unique. It is new territory for most IBM employees.”

National Clips are compiled by Denise Winebrenner Edwards (dwinebr696 @aol.com).