Anti-war movement occupies Crawford
Published Aug 18, 2005 12:40 AM
While the events of the past few weeks have
proven that the Pentagon is not capable even of successfully occupying the Green
Zone in Baghdad, as of Aug. 16 the anti-war movement in this country has
successfully occupied Crawford, Texas, the home of President George W.
Langley from Crawford
Aug. 17—People have converged
here from all over—I just spoke to someone who drove overnight from
Atlanta. Everybody’s walking around with so much enthusiasm. It’s a
tangible feeling that we’re at the center of something—of a movement
that can really grow and stop the war. I’ll be sending updates to Workers
World. Visit www.workers.org.
This remarkable development, which has given the U.S. anti-war
movement a new burst of vitality, is due largely to the efforts of Cindy
Sheehan is from Vacaville, Calif. Her son Casey Sheehan was
killed in Baghdad’s Sadr City on April 4, 2004. Shortly after her son died
in Iraq, Sheehan co-founded the group Gold Star Mothers for Peace.
message on the Gold Star Families Web site says, “We want our loved
ones’ sacrifices to be honored by bringing our nation’s sons and
daughters home from the travesty that is Iraq IMMEDIATELY, since this war is
based on horrendous lies and deceptions.”
Sheehan vowed to occupy
Crawford while she was addressing the annual Veterans for Peace convention
Dallas on Aug. 5. She said, “That lying bastard, George Bush, is taking a
five-week vacation in time of war.”
She announced that she would go
to Bush’s 1,600-acre ranch in Crawford and camp out until he “tells
me why my son died in Iraq. I’ve got the whole month of August off, and so
As 200 veterans stood and cheered, she said: “My son
was killed in 2004. I am not paying my taxes for 2004. You killed my son, George
Bush, and I don’t owe you a penny. ... You give my son back and I’ll
pay my taxes. Come after me and we’ll put this war on
She left Dallas with a busload of veterans and anti-war
activists and has since been camped out near Bush’s ranch. She says she
intends to stay until the president meets with her, she is arrested or the end
So far, Bush has refused to interrupt his five-week vacation to
meet with Sheehan. He has other priorities.
For instance, on Aug. 13 his
motorcade sped past the grieving woman and the 800 crosses lining the road,
whisking Bush to a multi-million-dollar Republican fund raiser. The contrast
between the motorcade and the demonstrators painted a a clear picture of which
class pays and which profits from Bush’s agenda of endless war.
day Bush told reporters: “I think it’s important for me to be
thoughtful and sensitive to those who have got something to say. But I think
it’s also important for me to go on with my life, to keep a balanced life.
“I think the people want the president to be in a position to
make good, crisp decisions and to stay healthy. And part of my being healthy is
to be outside exercising. So I’m mindful of what goes on around me. On the
other hand, I’m also mindful that I’ve got a life to live and will
On Aug. 14, he again sped by Camp Casey, as Sheehan’s
roadside encampment is known, on his way to a Little League
Meanwhile, from a gathering of a few dozen activists, the crowd at
Camp Casey has grown to hundreds. Veterans of the current war, military
families, active-duty military personnel and activists from all over the country
have answered the call to “come to Crawford!”
become a worldwide symbol of opposition to the war. Solidarity rallies have been
held as far away as New Zealand.
Over the Aug. 13-14 weekend, more than
500 rallied in Crawford. Demon stra tors included members of Iraq Veterans
Against the War, Veterans for Peace, Gold Star Mothers for Peace and Code Pink.
Despite smears by far-right hate media and threats of violence by Bush
supporters, people continue to pour into Craw ford. Across the United States,
local organi zers are mobilizing delegations to join the occupation of Crawford
as part of a new wave of opposition to the war.
In a Newsweek poll
released Aug. 14, 64 percent of those asked said they do not believe the war in
Iraq “has made Amer icans safer.” Sixty-one percent said they
disapprove of the way the president is handling the war.
is fueling those who are taking to the streets and pursuing Bush right to his
Those who can’t go to Crawford are taking action locally. The
Troops Out Now Coalition initiated a call for an Aug. 15 day of solidarity
actions with Camp Casey across the United States, as a way to escalate the
pressure on Bush. “Camp Caseys” were set up in dozens of cities
across the United States, including New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Detroit
and Char lotte, N.C. Other organizations planned for candlelight vigils on Aug.
17, with more than 1,000 actions scheduled.
One military parent from Ohio
who traveled to Crawford said: “Every voice that comes behind Cindy
Sheehan sparks a new voice, and someone else stands up. Someone else is not
This demonstrates where the real power of the
movement is: in taking to the streets. Cindy Sheehan has sworn to follow Bush to
Washington in September when he finishes his vacation. The anti-war movement
must also be there to confront Bush and demand, “Bring the troops home
Langley is a Navy veteran and a national organizer for
Troops Out Now Coalition.
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