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

 

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

 

Staying the course

It is now August 17th; we have TWO WEEKS left here at Camp Casey, and the momentum is growing by the minute! The next few days promise to be intense, both here in Crawford and around the country and the globe. Want to know what will be going on? Here are some events scheduled for the next few days:

Today (Wednesday) is going to be very special, as many of you already know. Move On, along with True Majority and Democracy for America, is helping coordinate candlelight vigils at 7:30 p.m. tonight across the country to support Cindy and call for an end to the war. So far, there are at least 1,380 vigils scheduled with over 35,000 people attending. This is the largest event Move On has ever organized! Haven't signed up yet? Go for it now at www.moveon.org. If you can't find a vigil in your area, we here at Camp Casey encourage you to start one in your own hometown by registering at the same website. Even if you're the only one who holds vigil, remember that Cindy was once standing all alone, too. And just look at the numbers who have joined her since.

Speaking of numbers, we are expecting hundreds or maybe thousands of people to show up for our Interfaith service this Friday at noon to pray for the troops. While we are praying, meditating and holding vigil here at Camp Casey, please take a moment to think about the troops and hope for peace wherever you may be. If at all possible, go one step beyond and come to Crawford!!! Everyone is invited, and we extend a special invitation to religious leaders from all faiths. So please get on the phone with your minister, priest, imam, rabbi, guru, spiritual healer, or other clergy person, and encourage them to show America that the principles of peace, tolerance and justice are common to all spiritual paths and all political persuasions.


p.s. We are holding a candlelight vigil here at Camp Casey, too. It will take place at 8 p.m. instead of 7:30 p.m. as we need time to set up after Anderson Cooper airs his show live from here between 6 and 7. Since we are still in the process of arranging to move to Fred Mattlage's property, our vigil will take place at the original Camp Casey site on Prarie Chapel Road. We're planning some really great stuff, so come join us if you can!

 

We're moving!!!

Miracles happen all the time here at Camp Casey, and this one in particular is pretty amazing: Crawford resident Fred Mattlage has offered us his land as a new base for our camp! This land is a gift in more than one sense-- it is more private and secure than our current location on Prarie Chapel road; it provides us with more space to set up; and it's a HECK of a lot closer to Bush's ranch. It is also adjacent to the church Bush attends while in Crawford, so maybe we'll get a glimpse of him this Sunday. And who knows, during his time in God's house he might just be moved to walk over and greet Cindy. But then, perhaps this is too great a miracle to expect.

With this new, exciting opportunity comes some new needs. This site has far fewer trees than the old one, and so we're going to be baking under the Texas sun. To help us stay healthy and cool, we REALLY need the following:

1. large tents (both the camping type and the canopy type)
2. tarps

And remember, our much larger campsite means that we now have more room for YOU!!! Whether you can stay for a few hours, a few days or until the end of August, you are welcome at Camp Casey. People keep streaming in from all over the United States and the world, and we are so thrilled to have them.

 

Farmers for Cindy


Yesterday, we at Camp Casey had some unexpected yet much-appreciated guests. Wayne, Buddy and Larry, three farmers from Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas, respectively, wandered into the Crawford Peace House around 3 p.m. and my first thought was, "uh oh, these might be Bush supporters." But to our great relief, Wayne announced in his charming Okie accent, "Hello! We're here to see Cindy and tell her that we support her and her cause 100%." Goes to show it doesn't pay to stereotype, and even more importantly, that Cindy supporters and pro-peace people come from all different backgrounds.

Cindy was at Camp Casey, so they offered me a ride in their F-250 and off we went down the windy road towards the Bush ranch. On the way, they told me that they had driven hours in their pick-up truck to tell Cindy that they are very upset by the negative things some people are saying about her, and that they are so proud she is standing up for the truth. Wayne, Larry and Buddy are leaders in American Agriculture Movement, Inc., and they too have taken their stand for justice by participating in the Tractorcade to Washington, D.C.

When Cindy met them, she was so thrilled by their encouraging words! Wayne's daughter will be deploying soon as a nurse in the Reserves, leaving her 7 year-old son at home, and so the two of them exchanged words of comfort.


Photo by Emily Sharpe, copyright 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.


 

Flowers!


Wow. Ask and ye shall receive! This morning over 30 dozen long-stem roses arrived via FedEx from a supporter in Florida. Simply incredible. We're still sorting through them to see who exactly sent them. They're on their way up to Arlington West to be placed over each memorial. A BIG thank you to our friends in Florida!

 

Morning

We woke up this morning and headed over to Camp Casey to see what we could do to pitch in. Some media were already there filming and talking to Camp Casey folks. The irony of the situation was that the guy who drove his truck through the memorial of white crosses, claims to be a "real Christian." I'm not sure how much more ironic it can get. Some of the best pics (coming soon) show two Iraq war veterans re-setting the crosses and piecing together the remains. I must say it's pretty incredible to see veterans tear up in front of a memorial they helped create.

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