A SECOND GATHERING TO SAVE OUR DEMOCRACY
SUNDAY, 12/19/04, 2:00 PM
TENNESSEE STATE CAPITAL
WHERE WE ARE
By now, all of you are aware of the overwhelming evidence that the 2004 election may have been tampered with. As I write this message, plans are underway to recount the votes in at least a half dozen states, most notably in Ohio. In the past week, the House Judiciary Committee has taken hours of testimony in both Washington, DC and in Columbus, Ohio on the evidence of the Ohio election theft and the multiple actions now underway in that state to overcome the election fraud and theft. These hearings have shed light on a number of mechanisms used to tamper with our sacred right to vote in free and fair elections as well as on continued efforts by the Ohio Secretary of State (who both oversaw the 2004 Ohio election process AND served as George Bush's re-election chairman there) to block (or tamper with) the recount process in Ohio. For the first time this week, Clint Curtis, a computer programmer, testified under oath that a Republican Congressman hired him to write a software program to "hack" electronic voting machines. At the same time, David Cobb, the Green Party nominee for President, revealed that organized efforts to tamper with the recount process in Ohio have been uncovered. We cannot take these ongoing threats to our democratic process lightly in our United States. We must speak up together!
The evidence for this election theft is everywhere and is undeniable. Since 11/2, the nonpartisan Election Incident Reporting System has logged over 38,000 (and counting) reports of election irregularities and voting machine "glitches", well above 90% of which have favored Bush. Numerous voters have reported that the electronic votes they attempted to cast for Kerry registered instead for Bush or another candidate. The total votes that were recorded for President in many U.S. counties exceeded the total number of people who voted. (For example, in Wyoming, with no important state races at stake, the total reported vote for President was 106% of the total registered voters for the entire state.)
In too many states, absentee ballots were misplaced or never counted, and provisional ballots were discarded in violation of election rules. Voting machines were disproportionately distributed to create long lines (and discourage turnout) in Democratic districts. And the disconnect between the exit polls and the "reported" vote – a prime source of speculation that the Ukrainian vote had been tampered with – was so bad in our own country that statisticians have placed the odds that this disconnect occurred by chance in the millions (or even trillions) to one. Against those odds, a PowerBall ticket would be a safe investment.
In the face of this overwhelming evidence of U.S. election fraud, our "mainstream media" has been too quiet and our (unelected) President's comments about the Ukrainian election seem hollow, misdirected and distractingly self-serving. We sincerely hope that the American people will become aware and resolute enough to re-import a love of democracy -- and an understanding of the necessity of free and fair elections as democracy's foundation -- from the Ukrainian people, whose brave actions have placed a spotlight on our own inattention to the obvious election theft in our country. And while we're at it, we hope that we can also re-import from the Ukrainians the wisdom and the courage to change the things that now threaten democracy in the United States, while we still can.
The Ukrainians are not our only brave role models. Last week, a Nashville soldier in Kuwait (Spc. Thomas Jerry Wilson) stood face-to-face with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and demanded to know why he and his fellow soldiers were being sent into battle in Iraq unequipped and unprotected from the dangers they faced there. That bravery should be honored by our own presence at a second "Gathering to Save Our Democracy" rally in Nashville on Sunday to issue our own demands (of our media and our government) that free and fair elections, the foundation of any democracy, be protected in this country. If a single Nashville soldier can speak truth to (illegitimate) power and be heard around the world, so can we. We can do this -- together.
WHAT WE CAN DO NOW
This Sunday, 12/19/04 at 2:00 pm, we will hold our second "Gathering to Save Our Democracy" rally at the Tennessee State Capital. All Tennessee citizens -- regardless of their political affiliation -- need to "report for duty" at this rally, we need to be present and accounted for to bring more attention to this suspected election theft. Through this email, we are inviting you (and everyone you know) to join us on the east side of the Tennessee State Capital at 2:00 pm on Sunday (12/19) to show our common concern for the survival of democracy -- right here, right now.
This second Gathering is a follow-up to our first rally, which successfully brought media attention from Nashville television and radio stations to the growing evidence for election theft and our need to do something about it. At this second gathering, we will again have some folks speak about the breaking news of this election theft and about the necessity of free and fair elections to protect our democracy. We will distribute summaries of that information and we will review some of the options available to all of us to help prevent this coup. If possible, we will also allow opportunities for anyone who wishes to speak out on these issues to do so. And we will distribute orange ribbons to everyone there, so that we can begin to show our solidarity with the brave people in the Ukraine, our Tennessee soldiers in harm's way in Iraq and Afghanistan who are fighting to protect what's left of our democracy and our thankfulness for their potent example.
I'M IN -- I WILL BE THERE -- WHAT CAN I DO NOW?
If you and your friends and family can join us this Sunday, 12/19/04 at 2:00 pm, we need you to do three things:
1) If you can join us at the Gathering, please email me back right away ( email@example.com ), confirming that you will attend. If you plan to bring friends. neighbors and family members to the gathering, please let me know how many will be there with you. If you would like to speak on any particular aspect of this election theft or distribute materials at the gathering, please let me know that also.
2) Please forward this email to anyone and everyone you know in Tennessee and surrounding states who are as concerned about the future of our democracy as you are, and invite them to join us. Ask them to pass this email along to others and to email me back also so I can get a handle on the number of people who will be there.
3) Please make up signs and banners, or bring any other street theatre "props" that you'd like, to make this a visually memorable gathering. By all means, wear orange!!
This gathering will take place, regardless of the number of people who respond to this invitation. We will again notify the Nashville television stations and newspapers and invite them to cover our gathering. Rest assured; we are not alone. Over 20% of the American people already believe that this election was stolen (that's over 60 million people!!), and that's without much media coverage of this issue so far. If we can come together again and create another large gathering of concerned Tennesseans on Sunday, the ensuing news coverage will continue to help awaken many more people in our state and nation to the clear and present danger that our democracy faces if this potentially fraudulent election is allowed to stand.
So please come join us at 2:00 pm on Sunday, at the Tennessee State Capital (the east side, on Charlotte between 6th and 7th). Come early if you can to help us set up. There may be a chance of rain, but the temperatures should in the low 50s. So bring your orange raincoats and umbrellas (and all your friends, family and neighbors), come meet with many other like-minded people who share your concerns and come show, by your presence and your voice, that you will not allow this election theft to stand. Come get your orange ribbons, and help us begin to take our country back!!
SEE YOU ON SUNDAY
12/19/04, AT 2:00 PM
TENNESSEE STATE CAPITAL (EAST SIDE)