On January 1, 2007, a new coalition of veterans, academics, firefighters and ordinary Americans was formed to encourage Congress to proceed with the impeachment process against the administration of George W. Bush. Organizers have expanded the call for impeachment to include the President, Vice President and other members of the cabinet who have been accused of high crimes and misdemeanors including: committing fraud against the public by lying about the reasons for invading Iraq, violating international treaties on torture, engaging in illegal spying on American citizens and engaging in a generally destructive course of action that threatens the very foundations of the Republic.
Organizers are planning for a number of protests and actions to take place during the months of March and April, including a massive march on the pentagon on March 17th and a national day of protest called for April 28th. Among the new tactics being brought to bear on this issue is the call for an across the board boycott of all corporate goods and services to begin on Tax Day (April 15th). The organizers and supporters of the national Shopping Boycott, including Cynthia McKinney, Dr. Peter Phillips, Dr. Dennis Loo, National Coordinator Lew Brown, and a host of coalition organizations have pointed out that the Bush Administration (and politicians in general) are often more responsive to their donors than they are to their general constituency. By putting economic pressure on the shareholders of major corporations the organizers of the boycott hope to illustrate the vast power the public holds in both political and economic terms.
Response to the calls for the boycott range from "Stupidest protest idea ever" to expressions of alarm at the potential impact of millions of people moving their money at the same time from the banks, stocks and outlets targeted by the boycott organizers. Conservative estimates of the amount of money that could be drawn away from corporate accounts for the week of the protest range from tens to hundreds of billions or more, representing what could potentially be a serious threat to the economic well-being of the nations wealthiest class. Given that over 87% of Americans in the last MSNBC poll (out of 422,614 response) favored impeachment that could translate into more than 60,000,000 registered voters taking part in a boycott with the potential to shut down the economy.
According to the National Organizer, "Our aim is simple: to illustrate that we the people hold the real power, both in government and in economics. If the members of Congress who were elected through our hard work and activism-with a mandate to bring this administration to justice and bring our troops home in one piece-won't listen to our votes, our protests and our general outrage, then maybe they will listen to our money. It is a truism that money talks-just ask the lobbyists for Exxon." When asked who the targets of the boycott were the answer was, "The shareholders of these major corporations who have driven the economic and political policies of our nation to this pass. It has been pretty clear that the pursuit of ever increasing profits by the major shareholders of the Fortune 500 has been the driving force behind the political debates of the last 50 years. As long as their greed drives our policy, we will not have peace and we will not have justice. So by targeting the people that George Bush has called his "base", we hope that they will get the message and use their own resources to bring this administration to task through the impeachment process. If not then they can learn to live like the rest of us."
The boycott is scheduled to begin on April 15th and is expected to run for one week, until April 22nd. Organizers have established a website at www.wearenotbuyingit.org for people to sign a pledge to participate and to get the materials they need to organize in their own communities. Lew Brown stated that, "This is not a top down organization, "We Are Not Buying It" is an idea that people take to their homes and workplaces and work to implement within their own community. As coordinator, all I can do is answer questions and provide resources; the actual campaign is decentralized and democratic in the best traditions of American political activism. People aren't just signing a petition here, they are committing to do whatever needs to be done to change the course of history". With over 600 organizers working around the country and more than a month to go before Tax Day "We Are Not Buying It" might have an impact far beyond that of a march, a vote or a petition-at the very least it provides another way to put pressure on decision makers to move forward with impeachment.