Those of us attending the Denial of Democracy vigil in Eugene on 12/12/2001 chose to highlight the profound significance of the US Constitution, civil rights including our right to dissent, the need to protect our right to elect our leaders, and a call to support impeachment of the US Supreme Court justices in the majority opinion of Bush v. Gore, issued on 12/12/2000. A tribute had been set up for the Twin Towers victims in New York City.
Approximately 75 citizens attended the vigil with signs, candles, and bells in hand. Some participants had traveled from as far south as Modesto, California, and to the north from the Portland area. The event was videotaped.
Fortunately, the rain stopped for most of the protest, even though we were prepared to some degree with canopies provided by supporters of the event. We were not so lucky with the wind which blew mightily at times blowing out the candlelights. Someone creative in the crowd passed out paper cups to use as candle holders which helped participants keep their lights for democracy burning throughout the vigil.
The rush hour jingle, Jail the Bums, (to the tune of Jingle Bells) rolled off our tongues with pure delight. We had a few jeers by some in passing, yet far more honks in support of our efforts.
Here's what we sang as bells rang:
Jail the bums, Jail the bums, Jail them all the way Oh what fun, To jail the bums That is what we say...
Speakers included Ed Reiman, Vietnam Vet and Eugene businessman, Jim Edmunson, Chair, Democratic Party of Oregon, Hope Marston of the Green Party, and Jim Rice, Chair, Democratic Party Lane County. A special tribute was paid to our native son, Charles Porter, the first American citizen in the nation to put forth a grassroots campaign to impeach the Rehnquist Five for "egregiously bad behavior, high crimes and misdemeanors." Based on Mr. Porter's effort, the Democratic Party of Oregon passed an investigation resolution overwhelmingly in July, the first in the Nation to do so.
The Porter Impeachment petition was available for signature, as well as a letter to be mailed to the Supreme Court Justices Rehnquist, Scalia, Thomas, O'Connor, and Kennedy.
The event was organized by Bevin Gilmore, Dianne Lobes, and Kat L'Estrange, all of Eugene. The vigil marked the day that democracy was denied when the US Supreme Court handed down an unconstitutional decision based not in the law, but in politics; a decision that ultimately nullified the votes of the American citizens and selected George W. Bush as president.