Wednesday, January 03, 2007


DREAM: No genius required to interpret this one: I’m underwater, wrestling a giant optopus, have just managed to get the tips of all its many tentacles gathered into my left hand, and am frantically pondering my next move when I snap awake... and instantly recognize the morphing of my current life: helicopter, insurance, event permit, photographers, credit card, 300-foot tape measures, 1,200 people, newspapers, radio stations, weather forecasts... Yes, and Onward!

THE CROWD: As we close in on 600 registrants (584 just now), I'm fully confident of a capacity crowd. People ask what we'll do if we get too few or too many people. Here’s the figuring: Our “IMPEACH!” will be 100 feet tall, with lettering ten feet thick. Each prone person will (on average) occupy a spot six feet tall and two and a half feet wide. A “mere” 700 bodies will fill the message “loosely” -- but adequately, I think, for our photographic purposes. 940 will fill it “solidly” (it is “designed” for 940). And we can easily squeeze in 1,200. If we get a true overflow, we've got options: add an underline, add a border, or all or some of us can just sit up or even stand up. More than you wanted to know? Don’t worry – it’ll all work. People at the beach Saturday morning will be directing attendees and handing out fliers with this information and more. Also, I’ll have a bullhorn.

MEDIA: News organizations often decide in the last 24 hours whether or not to cover something. I once spent ten years working on something I thought important (and imagining much media interest), but it wasn’t until the last two weeks that media came calling -- and then it was a landslide. The best I’ve gotten from the SF Chronicle’s assignment editor is, “I’m not sure if we’re going to cover it…” The Chronicle photo desk is undecided. The first media interest is from Canada -- but the distance may work in our favor. I’m scheduled to be interviewed Thursday afternoon or early Friday by a Montreal station which is part of the Pacifica Radio network, and when one outlet cracks the door, the entire media swarm often barges right through. So, we’ll see… tick, tick, tick… But it’s hard to imagine that 1,000-some people will gather in the Speaker of the House’s backyard two days after she takes center stage and no one, not even the local paper, will cover it. In any case, we’ve got our OWN helicopter, and on our beloved internet OUR photographer’s photos will go as far and wide as we feel like sending them on our .

All for now -- see you Saturday… First, let me check our tally… ah, I love this: 607!


Friday, December 29, 2006


For two months I've been trying to drum up interest in this event. It was a long slog getting the number of registered attendees up past the 100 mark. By yesterday morning the number was 130. Then yesterday afternoon I sent out a couple of emails that have made a huge difference. I suspect the most impactful one went to Bob Fertik at, who immediately sent an email to his group's entire list, and in the past 24 hours the number of registrants has jumped by 100, to 233. I'm feeling very confident of a full house at the beach. If you're coming, please register yourself and anyone who might be coming with you.

Have a great rest of the holidays. See you on the 6th.


Thursday, December 21, 2006


I do not think this is what we had in mind when we said NO during the latest election.

Obviously, it's time to say it again, loudly.

All the plans are in place for 1,200 of us to gather at Ocean Beach on Saturday, January 6, 2007; to lay our bodies down inside the message IMPEACH!; to have a helicopter photograph us, with the city skyline and the Golden Gate Bridge in the background; and to have the image go worldwide and at least help nudge things in the direction we want them to go.

Please come -- registered or not. My Park Service permit specifies that Ocean Beach is a public beach, open to all.

Please tell everyone you care to.

And have great holidays.

See you on the 6th.


Thursday, December 14, 2006


SATURDAY, JANUARY 6 is the new date for the Beach Impeach Project event at Ocean Beach in San Francisco (please arrive by 10:30 a.m.)

The website is being reworked and updated to reflect the new reality.

Please invite your circle of people to REGISTER. Registering allows me to communicate to all participants by sending just ONE email; and also, when we're fully subscribed, will allow me to tell the media (who INDEED ARE interested in this event), "We have 1,200 people registered for an impeachment event two days after the new Congress convenes." All of which gives us a chance of nudging events in the direction we want to see them go...

To register, please:

-- go to
-- hit "View the event calendar"
-- go down to "Saturday 1/6/07 -- Beach Impeach Project" (we're the day's only event)
-- follow the signup directions (takes about 60 seconds)

Thank you!

Any questions, please email or phone the organizer, me, Brad, at the address and number listed at

Thank you, and stay tuned.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006


TOPICS (full text below):

-- PHOTOS from helicopter
-- YOU TUBE VIDEO... it's "UP"!


Sixty-six people registered as I head to bed. It takes 68 to fill the "I" in IMPEACH!... Right now, with all the people who have told me they are coming but that they never register for ANYTHING, I'm confident of having 200 people, and am developing strategies for how to deal with the various possibilities. We need 350 bodies to "outline" the whole thing, 700 to fill it "loosely", 940 to fill it "densely", and 1200 to pack it solid...

But everything's in place. Gave my credit card number to the helicopter company. Have the photographers lined up. Now all we need is decent weather, and a big crowd... Invite everyone you know...

(This next story is from yesterday...)

What a roller-coaster! Tuesday morning, I'm up early -- 5 a.m. -- finally take my first look at the weather forecast for Sunday -- cloudy, with a 40% chance of rain. Not good. Look at number of people registered: 54. Not optimal. I know more people than that who say they are coming but have not registered, who say they don’t ‘register’ for ANYTHING. And THAT, I completely understand.

Drive daughter to school. Another parent dropping off her son tells me she (not registered) is coming with three people -- and just a few minutes ago she sent the invitation to fifty of her friends.

Back home, check weather again: now the forecast is for NO rain on Sunday. Emails from two more people who say they’re coming, bringing friends –- I don’t see either of their names on the registration list.

I take dog, Maggie, a black lab, and walk three miles in the quiet of the hills behind Oakland, sit down on log and think about the 10 years it took me to find a publisher for my book “Take Me With You”; think about the friends who said, “Give up – Move on”; recall that I never for a minute surrendered on that project, even though it did look cloudy and bad-stormy a LOT during that decade. But I thought it was too good a book, too good an idea... And now I recognize that I’m committed to the Beach Impeach Project in the same way -- it’s too good an idea. I’ll see it through.

Walk three miles back to car, drive to bagel shop. On the sidewalk a young guy, Dave, is canvassing for the group Environmental Action. I give him $10, and start to tell him about this Sunday’s event. I’ve said no more than eight words when he steps back, eyes alight:

“You’re Brad Newsham!”

I’m shocked -- I’ve never seen this fellow before. “I am...,” I say.

He says, “I emailed you from Mongolia this summer. I was traveling and I emailed you and asked if you had any advice about how to get across the border from Mongolia into Tibet…”

It doesn't sound familiar. “I do get a lot of email from travelers…” I say, uncertainly.

And then he puts me into hysterics with this: “You emailed back, ‘All good stories have at least one taxicab!’” And I recognize this immediately as one of my own little darlings.

A little later Dave says, “Oh, you bet I’m coming to the beach on Sunday -- and with a carload of friends. I put it up on myspace too… You should get a myspace account…”

I come home, call or email every media person I can think of, begging for attention. I have no idea how Sunday will turn out -- how many people, the weather -- but I do know I’m committed to the project the way my dog is committed to her tennis ball.

And today, Wednesday, the Volunteers For Change group will send the invitation out to their list of over 25,000 local activists/volunteers, and I’ll just keep plugging away.


-- I know more people who are NOT registered (who tell me that they never register for ANYTHING, which I completely understand), but who also say they are coming on Sunday, than there are people who HAVE registered (58 as of Wednesday a.m.)

-- If you don’t want to register, no problem, but please COME ANYWAY! (and please, if you will, SEND ME AN EMAIL telling me approximately how many people to expect in your party).

-- Your registering (OR sending me an email) allows me to prepare contingencies depending on the number of bodies we’ll have. Here are the numbers.

“Outline” (350 minumum): To outline the entire message requires approx 350 bodies.

“Loose” fill (700): We can completely outline and also do a respectable fill-in with 700. (This number might satisfactorily complete this project.)

“Complete” fill (940): This is the “real” number I’m shooting for. 940 bodies will fill the lettering 4 bodies across. (I’m figuring that each person, lying down with arms slightly spread, will fill, on average, a space that is six-feet by two-and-a-half-feet).

“Dream” number: 1200. With 1200 bodies we can pack the lettering like a can of squirming worms.

-- If we get less than 400, however, I’ll have to make some difficult decisions about what will make the best option for getting photos that will encourage a full crowd if/when there is a “next time” – in early 2007.

As you can see: BODIES COUNT! And registering (OR sending me an email) will really help.


A mass email that I have sent to my big list is posted in the next entry on this blog (it's titled: 'EMAIL THIS TO WHOMEVER...") -- it says most everything there is to say -- please feel free to copy it and send it to anyone you'd like.

But the overall gist is this: Last Thursday the Park Service issued me a permit for the Beach Impeach event on Sunday, Dec 10, (designated National Impeachment Day by many activist groups). I'm permitted to have to 1200 people at the beach. You're invited. Come to Ocean Beach the morning of Sunday, December 10, 2006. By 10 a.m. or so, I'll have "IMPEACH!" outlined clearly in the sand in letters 100-feet tall (or maybe taller). Please arrive no later than 10:30 a.m. Prepare to lay your body down inside the lettering: "IMPEACH!"

The helicopter -- weather permitting -- is due overhead at 11 a.m. My goal for this project is to get AT LEAST one good visual, one good icon, for the impeachment movement -- "IMPEACH!" filled with bodies in the sand, with the San Francisco skyliine and the Golden Gate Bridge, too, in the background. If we don't get a good image on Dec 10, I'm putting this project off until after the new year. The new Congress convenes on Jan 3, and will certainly need some direction from we the people.

I'll get some logistical information up in the next couple of days.


Photographer David Page, who was one of the Backpack Nation finalists from 2002, gave me a disc full of photos he took from the helicopter during the Nov 11 "run-through." I'm terrible with computers, and have managed to post just three of them, but they do give you a sense of the power and potential of the Ocean Beach site and of this project. To view, please go to:

-- YOU TUBE VIDEO... it's "UP"!

My old friend Jamie Cavenaugh was in the helicopter during the November 11 "run-through". He's posted an impressive two-minute video on You Tube. To view it, go to:


If you think you even MIGHT be able to attend, please register for the December 10 event at Go to the the "signup" bar at the top of the page, go to "View events calendar" (this is the only event scheduled for 12/10), and follow the simple registration steps (should take about 60 seconds). You can register for friends who may be coming with you, too. Thank you.


The next entry in this blog (it's titled: 'EMAIL THIS TO WHOMEVER...") is a mass email I've sent to my big list. Please feel free to copy it and send it far and wide.

And please stay tuned.


Saturday, December 02, 2006


Dear Friends,

Nothing that the people of the United States can do will ever “fix” the Bush administration’s disastrous invasion of Iraq.

However, America’s founders did provide a mechanism for dealing with disastrous leaders, and millions of Americans (and perhaps billions of people around the world) believe that to salvage a shred of global credibility the USA cannot continue with Bush and Cheney at the helm. If you share this belief, as I do, you will be interested in the official United States Park Service permit which is right now sticking up out of my shirt pocket like a small white flag.

It is a permit to hold an impeachment event on Sunday, December 10, 2006 (designated National Impeachment Day by and others), at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. The San Francisco region has given birth to a long list of movements: the Free Speech Movement, the hippie revolution, the human potential movement, the internet… The United Nations charter was signed in San Francisco after World War II. There is certainly no reason why the impeachment movement can’t flourish here -- in the November elections 19,000 voters in Berkeley and another 91,000 in San Francisco passed Impeach-Bush-and-Cheney resolutions.

The Park Service permit allows for up to 1,200 people to gather on Ocean Beach on December 10. Early that morning I will outline in the sand in 100-foot letters the message:

I M P E A C H !

At 11 a.m. a helicopter with a photographer onboard will appear overhead for a few minutes, during which all attendees (including me – including you?) will lay down in the sand, inside the lettering, voting not just with their hands or their feet but with their entire bodies.

My intention is that the resulting photographs -- with 1,200 bodies spelling out “IMPEACH!” in the foreground, with the San Francisco skyline and Golden Gate Bridge in the background -- will be vivid and memorable and will go worldwide. They will give the impeachment movement, which so far has been mostly a swirl of words and chatter, a much needed visual, will give it focus the same way that photos of Earth taken from space gave focus to the environmental movement.

Want to be part of this? Want to help send a message from the backyard of Speaker of the House-elect Nancy Pelosi, that impeachment is very much “on the table”; that America and the world have had enough of the Bush-Cheney administration; and that if they won’t simply resign, we must exercise our constitutional duty and impeach them.

You are most invited, and you would be helping me greatly by registering so that we know how many people to expect. To register, please go to, hit the 'signup' link at the top of the page, and follow the easy steps.

Any questions, please email me.

Thank you,


For updates, photos, and for more information please visit my blog:

to see a You Tube video of the November 11 "run-through" of this event, see:

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


On Saturday morning, November 11, 2006, just four days after The Election, I went down to Ocean Beach in San Francisco (the city where an Impeach-Bush-and-Cheney resolution passed with 91,000 “yes” votes), and with the heel of my boot I carved into the sand -- in 100-foot letters that stretched for more than 400 feet along the beach -- this message:

I M P E A C H !

In advance, I had alerted some of my friends, and that morning thirty of them joined me on the beach. A helicopter arrived briefly overhead, and while all of us laid down inside the outline of the message’s exclamation point, photographers recorded the scene from above. (See three photos at

When the helicopter chattered away, my friends said: “Imagine… Imagine how mind-blowing, how powerful this would be if all these letters were filled in with bodies!”

(View photos and imagine the potential of the Ocean Beach site at:

And today, November 29, the Park Service issued a permit for just that to happen -- I can invite anyone I want, and so can you.


Brad Newsham


“The impeachment movement needs a visual. There are lots of words swirling around, lots of chatter, but no image to go along with them. I thought that a photo of 1,000 people on the beach, voting not just with their feet but with their whole bodies, and with the San Francisco skyline, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the whole Bay Area spread out in the background… I thought that would make a great visual, catch some attention, and provide some focus and maybe even a physical rallying spot for the movement.”


“No. I want Bush to resign. First he should accept Cheney’s resignation, and then he should announce his own resignation effective January 3, the day the new Congress convenes. Speaker of the House Pelosi becomes President. Bush could make himself a worldwide hero -- a true statesman and uniter -- by using these next few weeks to do everything in his power to help smooth Pelosi’s way into the Presidency. Imagine what a masterstroke it would be – suddenly a woman is the American President, the most powerful person in the world! And if Pelosi named Barack Obama as vice-president... what a change in the face America shows to the world! Shock and awe would take on a whole new meaning. The international community would again shower America with the same empathy, support, and goodwill that were showered upon us after 9/11. If Bush decides not to put us through a gruelling impeachment battle -- which has already started -- the American populace will be absolutely relieved. Bush’s approval rating would go through the roof. Both parties would be ecstatic -- the Democrats for obvious reasons, and the Republicans because they would not have to defend Bush and his Iraq disaster every day between now and the next election. And what better personal move can Bush make? If he resigns, instead of being remembered as the worst President in history, he will be remembered as one of history’s greatest statesman. And what’s his alternative -- sit around and wait for impeachment? Because we still need to hold ourselves accountable for the things we’ve done as a nation, and we can't possibly do that without holding our leaders accountable, too, and the proper constitutional mechanism for that is impeachment. No, I don’t want to go through impeachment any more than anyone else does, but I do recognize its necessity unless Bush and Cheney leave on their own.”


“What else CAN she say? She can’t say, ‘Impeach these guys so I can be President!’ It’s up to the rest of us to say it.”