Friday, November 25, 2005
Crawford Peace House dedicates memorial to "Sheehan's Stand", troops killed in Iraq
Dozens of supporters and members of national and regional media were on hand today for the dedication of the new Crawford Peace House garden and memorial to Cindy's stand, and the troops killed in Iraq.
The memorial reads simply "Sheehan's Stand" on one side, and asks "Why!" on the other. The backside includes a few of the first names of troops killed: "Casey", "Jessica", "Aron", "Kelly", "Alex" . . .
The memorial was hand chiseled by Ron Teska from a nearly one-ton granite foundation stone of an old Pennsylvania church. Ron, who was hand for the dedication, was a fixture of the August Crawford vigil picking away at the massive stone with ice picks, screwdrivers, and hammers in the back of his pickup.
The dedication featured Gold Star Families for Peace members Sergio Torres, father of Sgt. Daniel Torres killed in Iraq; DeDe Miller and Cindy Sheehan, aunt and mother of Army Spc. Casey Sheehan; Cindy Sheehan; and Bill Mitchell, father of Army Sgt. Michael Mitchell.
Meanwhile, less than a block away at the intersection that marks the center of Crawford, a small vigil was held "to counter Sheehan's effect". A Vietnam veteran strummed a guitar and told passers-bys that we to "stay in Vietnam until the job is done". He later corrected himself that he meant, "stay in Iraq," but later repeated his declaration about Vietnam. Joining him was Gary Qualls, father of Marine LCpl Louis Qualls who was killed in Fallujah, Iraq last year.
The new memorial stone stands only 30 feet from the official "Western White House" marker that tells the official story of G.W. Bush - the story includes how Bush purchased his vacation ranch in the run up to the 2000 presidential election.
Tomorrow afternoon a rally at Camp Casey will again call for an immediate end to the occupation of Iraq, followed by a march to the Bush ranch Secret Service check point.
More photos of the memorial dedication
Photos by Jeff Paterson. Copywrite 2005
Come to Crawford Saturday to march and rally against the war
Join Cindy Sheehan, Daniel Ellsberg, Ann Wright, members of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace, Gold Star Families for Peace, CODEPINK, and many others this Saturday, November 26 for a anti-war march and rally outside the Bush vacation ranch. Meet at the Crawford Peace House (map) by noon. Please use the free shuttle service to Camp Casey for the 1 PM march and rally.
Cindy Sheehan joins Crawford Thanksgiving protest vigil
Crawford, Texas - Returning from his China getaway, Bush has again been met outside his ranch near Crawford, Texas by people from across the state and country, demanding an immediate end to the US occupation of Iraq.
Renewing the Camp Casey protest vigil in central Texas on Wednesday, a dozen anti-war activists challenged the county's recent laws against camping or parking on the side of any public road. Those arrested included Daniel Ellsberg, former diplomat Ann Wright, and DeDe Miller, Cindy Sheehan's sister. They are charged with trespassing and obstructing the road. They were sitting in the ditch along a county road, and no obstruction occurred. Each of these Orwellian criminal misdemeanors carries a possible 180 days in jail, and a $2,000 fine.
The "legal" Camp Casey II has again been erected on donated land at the foot of one of the access roads to the Bush ranch. Like many folks around the country, Camp Casey gathered for a Thanksgiving meal today - but ours was traditional Middle Eastern fare.
Under a large white tent, Bill Mitchell described how he first joined a local anti-war protest in his hometown of San Luis Obispo in Southern California when the war first started. He carried a sign that read, "Bring my son home now." He noted that he soon got what he asked for, but that his sign should have read, "Bring my son home now, alive." He later helped found Gold Star Families for Peace with Cindy Sheehan.
Daniel Ellsberg, the Pentagon Papers whistleblower, held the tent's undivided attention with endless tales of civil disobedience against unjust laws and policy. He turned serious when he expressed his doubts that "American justice" and civil rights as we know them would not survive the next 9/11. To Daniel Ellsberg, one important question is how many of us will speak out when the government targets immigrant communities and political opponents are rounded up and placed in detention camps. We should not wait until then, now is the time to resist, he concluded.
Wrapping up Thanksgiving in Crawford, dozens of supporters and media welcomed Cindy Sheehan upon her return to Camp Casey. In a brief statement at the small airport terminal last night, Cindy expressed confidence that the August vigil outside of the Bush ranch played a key part in starting a new national dialog on the Iraq War. Many people feel that history may record Camp Casey as a turning point in the war without end.
More photos of Thanksgiving in Crawford
Photos by Jeff Paterson. Copywrite 2005