Thanksgiving 2005 outside of the Bush vacation ranch near Crawford, Texas with Cindy Sheehan.
Daily reports and photos to come . . .


Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Good fences make good neighbors

It was one of those defining moments of being here in Crawford: last week I was living a normal life, and at 9 this morning I was climbing the steps of the McLellan County Courthouse in Waco-- one of those classic Southern county courthouses--- to attend a hearing on land use at the Camp Casey site. I was frankly expecting a Camp Casey supporters v.s. angry landowner showdown, but to the credit of all involved, calm and reason prevailed. They aired their grievances, we discussed our need to protect our right to demonstrate, and the county commissioners listened to both sides. After the hearing, Ann Wright, a 29 year Army veteran and Camp Casey organizer, said she thought everything went really well. She commented, "The landowners have some very valid points about the traffic jams and space challenges. They spoke eloquently about their needs. We were able to discuss our need for free speech and area for dissent. It was very helpful to meet the landowners, and we look forward to working with them in the future. We want to be good neighbors to them." Ann also spoke personally with two of the landowners after the hearing (pictured above).

Another one of our talented volunteers is Lon Burnham, a Texas State Representative from Ft. Worth. He also spoke at the hearing, and made the striking point that while the land use issue is very important, we have to remember that the reason Camp Casey participants want to protect our First Amendment rights goes far beyond public land use in McLellan County; we are here to speak out against an illegal war and the undeniable tragedy of human loss.

Luckily, it looks like we won't be forced to pack up anytime soon-- we understand that if the landowners want to lobby to change the laws of public land use at Camp Casey, they are required by law to give us a 30 day warning. Don't worry, folks-- barring George Bush growing a heart, by the time eviction orders come we'll be camping at a different address: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Photo by Emily Sharpe, copyright 2005.

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