|Alameda Councilmember Jim Oddie addressing marchers in San Francisco July 2 in support of impeaching President Donald Trump. PHOTOS/Zac Goldstein|
By Keegan Tatum and Zac Goldstein
As an estimated 2,000 people began their march down the Embarcadero, an East Bay city councilmember laid out the path towards achieving their collective goal: impeaching President Donald Trump.
Jim Oddie said other localities must repeat what he successfully pushed for in Alameda – the passing of a resolution calling for the impeachment of the president.
When our representatives in Congress “receive the report from the special investigators and special prosecutor, they’ll know that the people in their communities have their backs,” Oddie said.
Writing that Oddie questions the president’s integrity would be an understatement. “With Trump, every week it seems there’s something new,” the Alameda councilmember said. “Who is he in this for? Is he in this for himself? His family? Is he in this for the American people?” On what amounted to a stage in Justin Herman Plaza, Oddie told the crowd of 1,500 to 2,000: “The country needs to know if their president is a crook.”
“It sounds like he’s been trying to stop this investigation,” Oddie added. “To me, it’s the obstruction of justice, the firing of [FBI Director James] Comey… That’s the thing that bothers me. Again, if there’s smoke there’s fire, and there’s a heck of a lot of smoke here.”
Oddie was emblematic of those whom we spoke to, in that there was a sense of urgency to remove Trump from public office.
“Master Steve” of Indivisible SF, one of the
organizers of the San Francisco impeachment
march this month.
Indivisible SF’s “Master” Steve showed a visceral concern regarding what Trump has done and what remains of his agenda. “Every piece of legislation,” the Taekwondo and kickboxing teacher said, “everything he tries to do really is to remove all the safeguards, all the regulations, just listen to lobbyists, listen to industry groups, and tear down…everything Democrats have spent the last 20 to 50 years building up – the social safety net, healthcare, ACA, Medicaid, and the EPA.”
Oddie and Master Steve separately pointed to obstruction of justice as an impeachable offense. The latter added money laundering and witness tampering to the tab, while other marchers hoped the Constitution’s Emolument’s Clause (regarding public officials receiving foreign money) could be used to oust the president. A banner at the march’s front demanded that the 25th Amendment be invoked, as they see Trump being mentally unfit to continue in his office.
Protester Says Impeachment March Not Only About Opposing President
Mischa, an activist at the July 2 impeachment
march says the “Democratic Party is the
graveyard of civil movements.”
Mischa is a high school teacher who led chants with a megaphone down the Embarcadero in Sunday’s Impeachment March. Yet, none of his chants mentioned Donald Trump. Instead, his message, amplified by the megaphone and repeated by those in the vicinity, focused on education, healthcare, and housing.
“While impeaching Trump is a great thing to do,” Mischa said, “we have to focus on the underlying problems in this society. There are major problems that I think are often overlooked.”
While many have promoted a takeover of the Democratic Party, this high school teacher described the party as a “graveyard of civil movements.”
“History has shown this over and over again that the Democratic Party [is] the graveyard of civil movements,” he strained. “They will do anything to stifle and calm down any civil uprising, because the reality is, their masters are their founders, which is corporate America, and Wall Street.”
In the midst of chants of “Stand up; fight back,” Mischa said he wanted to see policies like single-payer healthcare. The single-payer healthcare bill in California recently entered the graveyard, as Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon killed it.
“We’re entitled to be happy, successful, and…to reach our furthest potential,” Mischa said. “I feel like we’re operating in a system that does not allow for that.”