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‘Camp Casey’ actions spread across the U.S.

Published Aug 18, 2005 12:29 AM

By demanding a meeting with President George W. Bush regarding her son Casey’s death in Iraq, Cindy Sheehan has helped galvanize the anti-war movement here and worldwide.

New York

Sheehan and hundreds of her supporters have set up “Camp Casey” on the outskirts of Bush’s Texas ranch to force a face-to-face meeting with Bush. With every passing day, more and more people who are fed up with the war are making their way to Crawford by car, plane and other modes of transportation.

Sheehan’s efforts go way beyond just seeking justice for her son, Casey—a GI who was killed five days after he arrived in Iraq in 2004. She demands that the United States get out of Iraq now, and also that Israel get out of Palestine. She has spoken out against “American imperialism” and also for the impeachment and jailing of Bush for war crimes.

The Troops Out Now Coalition took the initiative to urge the U.S. anti-war movement to quickly organize “Camp Casey” solidarity actions to help build more momentum against the war and the economic devastation that it is causing at home.

New York City

Hundreds of people gathered here at Union Square Park in the Village for an impromptu rally on Aug. 15. A symbolic tent was set up during the rally, with a sign reading “Camp Casey New York.” Activists have vowed to stay in the park until Aug. 17.

Larry Holmes, co-director of the Inter national Action Center, told the crowd that Cindy Sheehan is playing a role reminiscent to the one played by Rosa Parks 50 years ago when Parks refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Mont gomery, Ala. Parks’ heroic stance ignited the massive modern-day civil-rights movement. Holmes said Sheehan could be referred to as the “Rosa Parks” of the anti-war movement.

Other speakers told the crowd that “no business as usual” tactics must be deployed to shut down the war in Iraq, and also reminded the crowd about the important anti-war demonstration in Washing ton, D.C., on Sept. 24.

Camp Caseys nationwide

At “Camp Casey Philadelphia,” held at the federal building in Philadelphia, Michael Berg, whose son Nicholas was also killed in Iraq, spoke about the courage that Sheehan demonstrated. “I would even go to jail if it would bring my son back,” Berg said.

Slogans on signs included: “100,000 Iraqis, 1,800 U.S. soldiers and the Truth—all casualties of Bush’s war for oil.”

In Las Vegas, an Army recruiting station was forced to shut down when 25 protesters, organized by the Peace Now anti-war coalition, formed a picket line around it.

Other solidarity actions took place in Boston, Detroit, Miami, San Francisco, Atlanta, Phoenix, Portland, Ore., Kansas City, Mo., Buffalo and Rochester, N.Y., Traverse City, Mich., and countless other cities, large and small.

On Aug. 17, an estimated 1,000 candlelight vigils against the war are scheduled to take place around the country. On the same day, in Baltimore, the All People’s Congress is organizing a send-off rally for Eddie Boyd, an African American veteran who counsels homeless veterans. He will be traveling to “Camp Casey” in Crawford.

The Los Angeles International Action Center, along with the Filipino organization Bayan-USA and the Korean youth organization Mindullae, will be sending a delegation to Crawford on Aug. 20.

Other solidarity actions are being planned in mid-August.

Sheehan, who has vowed to stay in Crawford until the end of August while Bush is on vacation there, will be joining thousands of protesters in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 24.