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Vermont voters approve indictment of Bush and Cheney

THE wall-to-wall coverage of the US primaries by the CBC and other Canadian media fails to include independent actions by the American people. A development just across the border in early March during the primary in Vermont is illustrative.

Voters in two towns approved measures calling for the indictment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for violations of the U.S. Constitution.

In what is considered to be a move that is symbolic of people's drive to have their say and a demand for change that favours them, the indictments sought to have police arrest Bush and Cheney if they ever visit Brattleboro or nearby Marlboro or to extradite them for prosecution elsewhere - if they're not impeached first.

In Brattleboro, the vote was 2,012-1,795 - a significant 217 vote margin.

In Marlboro, which actually held a town meeting on the issue, it was 43-25 with three abstentions. One of the organizers of the campaign, Kurt Daims, said that he hoped the one thing that others would learn from the exercise is that it can indeed be done.

The question put to voters in Brattleboro referred to "crimes against our Constitution" but did not specify the allegations. In Brattleboro, a steady stream of voters paraded into the Union High School gym to cast their ballots on a day when school board elections and Vermont's presidential primary were also on the slate.

Voters interviewed after casting ballots said they saw the article as an opportunity to express their frustration over the war of aggression against Iraq and Bush's presidential record in general.

The White House press office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, but a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee denounced the indictment effort. Blair Latoff told reporters that the campaign was "a waste of taxpayer dollars" to make a political point - but refused to comment on the waste of taxpayers' money in the futile war against Iraq.

The Vermont indictment is a window through which we can see an independent movement within the United States that is steadily creating space.

Its latent strength helps to explain why the Democrats for their part, in their effort to present themselves as a force for change, present themselves as anti-war with slogans that all centre on change. The Democratic Party says "Democrats Leading the Way for Change." Senator Barack Obama has as his slogan "Change We Can Believe In." Senator Hillary Clinton's is "Ready for Change, Ready to Lead." Nevertheless, Dennis Kucinich, for example, with the strongest stand against the Iraq war among all the candidates, and who in some areas of Michigan got 10 per cent of the vote, was excluded by the Democrats from the debates in Nevada. All vie to be the chameleons of the ruling circles that can appear to be for change and national unity. These are all reflections of the strength of the peoples' movements within the United States and their demand for change that favours them - to have what they need and want be what the government actually does.

The ruling parties are trying to occupy this space for change and block Americans from doing so, even to the extent of entertaining plans for a "third party" candidacy for the presidency in the name of "national unity." New York City's multi-billionaire Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg was put forward as a potential candidate. He, along with a group of influential Democrats and Republicans, held closed-door meetings in Oklahoma, along with a public forum at the University of Oklahoma on 7 January. This is a card that is being held in reserve for now. Fascism commonly comes forward under the banner of national unity and national chauvinism, a concept used to split Americans from the world's peoples.

The American elections hold no hope for humanity.

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