Thursday, August 18, 2005

Indymedia roundup focus on the conversation Cindy Sheehan started across the nation

Cindy Sheehan told reporters she had just received the phone call and was leaving immediately to be with her 74-year-old mother at a Los Angeles hospital.
"I'll be back as soon as possible if it's possible," she said. After hugging some of her supporters, Sheehan and her sister, Deedee Miller, got in a van and left for the Waco airport about 20 miles away.

That's the latest on Cindy Sheehan from Angela K. Brown's "'Peace Mom,' Her Mother Ill, Leaves Camp." The article is an Associated Press one and we'll justify the inclusion by noting Tamara found the link via BuzzFlash (which is independent media). Hopefully, Sheehan's mother will make a full recovery (Sheehan does hope to return to Camp Casey in Crawford provided her mother is fine) but regardless of how much time she needs to take for herself, Cindy Sheehan got the nation talking and (my opinion) it doesn't stop now.

The items noted in this entry go to impact that Cindy Sheehan has had on getting the nation talking.

There's mercy in the August breeze in Crawford. It brings relief from the ever-present malevolent heat and humidity at Camp Casey, the makeshift settlement named in honor of Cindy Sheehan's son, whose life is among the thousands that have been wasted in George W. Bush's politically pornographic Iraq war/occupation.
Crawford was the last place I ever expected to find a sense of community. I had no interest in visiting the vacation retreats of evil nincompoops. Having just returned from the Voting Rights March in Atlanta, I was plum (peach?) tuckered out. But my absolute abhorrence of the war prompted me to accept Randi Rhodes's request that I travel to this particular end of the earth as the Camp Casey correspondent for her Air America Radio show.
I was to go for only a few days, but like many US military personnel I found myself pressed into extended service in a stop-loss program. In this case the loss that needed stopping was that of thousands of lives in Iraq. As tough as it is on the ground in Crawford, I'd be much more uncomfortable anyplace else. When you get to know Cindy and other Gold Star Families for Peace, abandoning them to the untender mercilessness of the fire ants, scorpions, water moccasins, rattlers, and Bush functionaries that slither about the president's prairie playground becomes an unattractive option.

The above is from Barry Crimmins' "Home on the range:A visit to Camp Casey, where one mother has set off a vibe that tempers even the most rabid Iraq-war backer" (Boston Phoenix) and was e-mailed by ???

Wally e-mails to note Patrick O'Neill's "Cindy Sheehan may take protest to D.C." (Raleigh-Durham Independent):

As U.S. public opinion against the war catches up with world public opinion, Sheehan may be remembered in history as the mother who finally turned the tide against Bush and the neocons who have called the Iraq war a noble cause.
Sheehan, who is already being referred to as the Rosa Parks of the peace movement, has gone to Crawford at a moment in time when Americans finally seem to be seriously questioning Bush's motives for launching a war with no end in sight. Her defiant presence in the hot Texas sun has become a daily reminder of the real cost of this war in lives lost.
In an interview with the Independent on Sunday, Sheehan says she doesn't expect Bush to make an appearance at what's been dubbed "Camp Casey" after her son, U.S. Army Specialist Casey Sheehan, who was killed in action in Sadr City on April 4, 2004.
Bush "knows I'm going to ask him some hard questions and demand the truth from him," says Sheehan, who has also publicly called for Bush to encourage his own young daughters to join the service and go to war.

Boyd e-mails to note Jessica Lee's "Three hundred Tucsonans support Cindy Sheehan at local vigil" (Arizona Inydmedia):

More than three hundred people gathered at El Tiradito Shine downtown Wednesday night to show solidarity for Cindy Sheehan, the mother who lost her military son in Iraq and who has been camping out in Crawford, Texas demanding to ask President Bush why he sent her son to die.
The local Tucson vigil was part of the approximately 1,500 vigils that occurred simultaneously last night in support of Sheehan and ending the war on Iraq.
The Tucson Raging Grannies, a local collection of women working to promote global peace, justice, and social and economic equality by raising public awareness through the medium of song and humor, dedicated a new song for Sheehan. "Hey Mr. President, come and talk to me," rang the chorus in the warm Tucson air. The song, sang to the melody of Bob Dylan's "Hey Mr. Tambourine Man," tells the story of Sheehan and how thousands of Americans feel about the war. The group recorded the song last night to send to Sheehan. (Video is available of the song at the link below.) Gripping candles and signs supporting the growing anti-war camp in Crawford, a moment of silence was dedicated to Sheehan, all the mothers of military personal, and the innocent people of Iraq. David Ray, a local poet who has published the only book of anti-war poems against the Iraq war, read the poem, "from Lonesome Mom," that he had written for Sheehan ten days ago. "…you are the Rosa Parks who has boarded/ the bus that George Bush is driving./ You demand to be heard and respected face to face…When he showed up for a closed-door/ session with a few families like yours/ he did not know your son Casey’s name,/ although he called you 'Mom' as if he could for few minutes replace him…" At the end of his poem, Ray criticized the media who is calling Sheehan an "emotional predator" saying that if Sheehan, who lost her son is an emotional predator, than so is he. Ray, who has a son-in-law in Iraq, said he is terrified that his daughter will end up a widow with two children.

Henry e-mails to note Tarik Abdelazim's "Local Vigil for Cindy Sheehan Attracts More than 150 Residents" (Binghampton Indymedia):

For close to an hour on Wednesday evening, over 150 residents from the greater Binghamton area assembled down by the riverside at Confluence Park to vigil in support of Cindy Sheehan. The local vigil, part of a national campaign coordinated by Moveon, True Majority, and Democrats for America, was one of over 1500 hosted nationally.
Over a week ago, Cindy Sheehan called on the nation to stand with her, as she is determined to remain camped outside Bush's ranch in Crawford Texas until he answers her simple question: For what noble cause did my son die?Few would've guessed her appeal would reach so far. But Sheehan's protest is not just a four-week media show, remarked BU graduate student Fumio Iwamoto. "The face of a grieving mother cuts right through the lies, fear and arrogance. Sheehan's show of courage gives us hope that if enough of us demand it, we can end this war.Jim Clune, a long-time peace activist in the area, helped coordinate the event. "A few of us decided on Monday evening to host this vigil," he explained, "which makes the large turnout that much more remarkable."People streamed into the park in droves, and at 7:30, Clune invited the large crowd to move from the grass toward the river and gather in a circle. He then pointed to an enlarged photo of flag-draped coffins and said this was the focus of our vigil tonight.Clune then invited others to speak if they felt called to share from the heart. The comments were moving, fluid. Rob Tierney, a Gulf War Veteran, reminded the crowd of our shared humanity, regardless of custom or nationality.Another woman thanked the media representatives for covering the event. "It seems we've only ever heard one side of the story, so thanks for coming down." All three local TV news were present as well as a Press and Sun Bulletin reporter.For the most part, however, the large assembly reflected silently as the lights dimmed, the candles flickered, and the river rushed over smooth rocks. The moon rose full over the South Washington Bridge, and I smiled when I overheard a child behind me tell his mother he had to pee.But as it echoed, "Mom, I have to pee," the twilight seemd to haunt. It's exactly those moments--a child's warm appeal to mom--forever lost that brought Cindy to Crawford. And that simple innocence of a child and the grief of a mother, I realized, are what's slowly driving us all to break our silence and demand an end to this horrible war. Looking around again, the twilight seemd to haunt less, for it was the large circle of illumination that seemed to inspire more.
Sereana e-mails to note Beth Cox's "
80 Attend Tulsa Vigil for Peace" (Oklahoma Indymedia):
At least 80 people came to Woodward Park Wednesday evening to show support for Cindy Shehan and opposition to the War in Iraq. Between songs and a poetry reading attendees explained why they came and why they opposed the war. The crowd ranged in age from small children to senior citizens in their 70s and 80s and included people from all walks of life. The event was covered by the CBS affiliate, KOTV-6, and the ABC affiliate, KTUL-8. A reporter from the Tulsa World showed up well after it was all over and only five of us were left, cleaning up and socializing. He got a few quotes to add a local touch to a national wire story that will be in tomorrow's paper.
At least 80 people came to Woodward Park Wednesday evening to show support for Cindy Shehan and opposition to the War in Iraq. Between songs and a poetry reading attendees explained why they came and why they opposed the war. The crowd ranged in age from small children to senior citizens in their 70s and 80s and included people from all walks of life. The event was covered by the CBS affiliate, KOTV-6, and the ABC affiliate, KTUL-8. A reporter from the Tulsa World showed up well after it was all over and only five of us were left, cleaning up and socializing. He got a few quotes to add a local touch to a national wire story that will be in tomorrow's paper.

Durham e-mails to note Jason Guard's "'Fan Residents Backing Cindy' stand vigil on the Boulevard" (Richmond IMC):

On an otherwise quiet and humid night in the Fan, almost 100 people came together to support Cindy Sheehan's vigil outside President's Bush's Crawford Texas ranch. Cindy, whose 24-year-old son Casey was killed while serving in the Iraq war, has attracted growing attention for her bold anti-war protest. Nearly two weeks into her public vigil, she urged supporters around the country to hold anti-war vigils in their home towns "before one more mother's child is lost." The call was passed around by and an extimated 1700 vigils were quickly scheduled with more than 50,000 registered to attend.At 7:30 pm on Wednesday August 17th, people started showing up on the Boulevard outside the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. They walked from their Fan homes, biked from the West End, and drove from Downtown lofts. The one thing they all had in common was Horace W. Wooldridge, Fan resident and ex-Director of Admissions for VCU. At 11pm on the previous night, Horace was looking at the website, promted by one of their mass emails. He decided to heed Cindy's call after he had seen the broken crosses and flags that had been mowed down by a Bush-supporting driver of a pickup truck in Crawford, Texas. "That's when I knew it was time to stand up," says Horace. However, both of the Richmond vigil options on MoveOn's website were full. One of the vigils was planned as a 12 person assembly on a Fan resident's porch and the other was restricted to 50 people to be held in someone's front yard in Brandermill, "in front of our garden" as the event was described on the website. So, Horace added another suggestion for vigil locations, calling his "Fan Residents Backing Cindy." He set the limit at 100 people because he didn't want to be responsible for a mob of people. "I hope what we're doing is legal," he wrote in an email. "I can't seem to find anyone at the City Hall that knows whether or not I need a permit. I have called city hall, the police, and the VA Museum and left messages. No response from anyone. I'll just scream the right to gather."The spot that Horace chose was the same that was used by Richmond Women in Black at the start of the 2nd Iraq war over three years ago. Many in attendance had questions about the group. Who was it? What happened to the gathering? Those questions went unanswered although rebuilding the anti-war movement was a popular conversation topic.By 7:38 over 50 people were milling around, lighting candles and sitting on the steps of the museum near the corner of Grove and Boulevard. Horace greeted people and handed out the modest supplies he'd picked up, but mostly left the vigilers to their own devices. The event was planned as a silent vigil, but that didn't stop people from getting to know each other and chewing the proverbial fat. Most agreed that Americans have spent too long in silent opposition to the ongoing occupation of Iraq.
Keith e-mails to note Jenn Lott's "
Report from FUMCOG Vigil in Philly" (Philadelphia Indymedia):
The mood at the First United Methodist Church of Germantown was somber on Wednesday evening, August 17, as people entered the church for a vigil showing solidarity with Cindy Sheehan, co-founder of Gold Star Families for Peace and mother of Casey, an American soldier who was killed in Iraq. Sheehan has been camping outside George W. Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas waiting to get answers as to why her son and many others are really losing their lives in this war.
Last night’s vigil in Germantown was one of hundreds across the country. Organized by groups such as, the vigils drew large crowds of Americans, who are growing more and more disenchanted by the war in Iraq. A very diverse crowd of approximately 100 people attended FUMCOG’s prayer service and candlelight vigil. FUMCOG pastor Beth Stroud opened the service with a prayer for peace and introduced the evening’s program. Also offering a prayer, artially in Hebrew, was Rabbi Arthur Waskow, director of the Shalom Center in Mt. Airy. Faith communities represented among the attendants included Mishkan Shalom, FUMCOG, Unitarian Universalist Society of Germantown, St. Martin in the Fields Episcopal Church, Germantown Friends, Mennonite Church of Germantown, St. Vincent’s Catholic Church, Chestnut Hill United Methodist Church, the New Covenant Church of Mt. Airy as well as atheists and agnostics. Celeste Zappala, foster mother of Sherwood Baker, co-founder of Gold Star Families for Peace and member of FUMCOG, also spoke about camping in Crawford with Cindy Sheehan and waiting to speak with the President. As she spoke about her son and her fight for an end to the war, Zappala tearfully pointed to the baptismal font in the front of the church where her son had been baptized thirty years ago.

Erika e-mails to note mjb's "Sheehan Solidarity Vigil Outside White House" (DC Indymedia):

All in all, hundreds gathered at the White House, one of a dozen or so vigils in the DC metro area, and over a thousand across the country. Also at the White House were a dozen or so counter-demonstrators, showing their unwavering support for the war.
The Johnsons were an example of a new participant in these events; they say that this was the first demonstration that they have participated in. This seemed to be the case with many others asked as well and it would seem Cindy Sheehan is inspiring more people than those who have participated in anti-war actions, including the massive past protests in New York and Washington. Susan John said she "nearly drove out to Crawford instead" and that she has been looking for "more concrete" things to do to express her concerns than "send checks."

Portland e-mails to note "Vigils Supporting Cindy Sheehan Held Across Cascadia"
(Portland Indymedia):

Vancouver: About 378 people came out with candles and signs for Cindy at one of three vigils for her in conservative Vancouver. We began showing up by 7 pm at the library on Mill Plain. Because of the large numbers, we moved over to the grassy field across the street. We visited old and new peace friends, and Vancouver for Peace had a table with literature, free social security t-shirts, and a card for everybody to sign for Cindy. [ more ]
McMinnville: From 7:30 to 8:30 the corner of 2nd and Adams in McMinnville was filled with pro-Cindy, anti-war protesters. There were lots of signs, candles and even a few kids. In contrast to the last protest I attended at this location in September '04 (on the other side of the street) a majority of the people driving by honked, cheered, nodded and exhibited drive-by support. Only one person expressed their disagrement with a single digit "Bush Press" salute. [
more ]
Astoria: Tonight we held a Candlelight Vigil in honor of Cindy Sheehan who is still trying for an audience with President Bush to ask the questions spawned by the death of her son in the Iraq War. Our purpose in the vigil was to show Ms. Sheehan that she is not waiting alone. Setting up, I was fearful that no one would come and I would have to stand alone. But people came from every direction: singly, in couples, in families, and in small groups, on bikes, by motorcycle, in cars, and on foot. People came from Ilwaco, WA, Cannon Beach, Seaside, North Bend, and even Portland. And they kept coming. [
more ]
Olympia: This is a second hand report but I was told that 400 people showed up to the vigil in downtown Olympia tonight. Spirits were apparently very high and the response from the community was overwhelmingly supportive. People spread out along the sides of the street for several blocks with signs supporting Cindy Sheehan and calling for an end to the war. The overall feeling, as related to me, was very positive and energizing. [ more:
1, 2 ]
Portland (@ NW 23rd): This evening, August 17, 2005, I attended one of the many Vigils being held throughout Portland to honor and support Cindy Sheehan in her ongoing attempt to speak with President Bush at his ranch in Crawford Texas... This Vigil was held in Northwest Portland, beginning at NW 23rd and Hoyt. By 7:30, people had already begun to gather, and before the Vigil ended, and hour later, at least four full blocks were lined with people holding candles and carrying signs supporting Cindy and opposing the War in Iraq. I estimate the crowd at this Vigil to be in excess of 350 people. [
more ] Video: [ 56k dsl/cable ]
Portland (@ SE 82nd): Code Pink hosted a "Stand with Cindy" vigil on SE 82nd Ave at the Eastport Plaza set of superstores (that includes Wal-Mart and the largest Armed Forces Recruiting Center I've ever seen). Cindy Sheehan's son was killed in Bush's war of choice in Iraq. We were supporting Cindy's month long vigil to get Bush to come out of his Texas vacation home and explain to her just where in all his lies about the war is the noble cause for which 1,860 American soldiers and more than 100,000 Iraqi's have died.... About 200 people took part in this SE 82nd Ave vigil. [
more ]
Related: [
Baltimore Shows its Solidarity with Cindy Sheehan! Boycott The Drudge Report Portland Area Hosts Many Vigils In Support Of Cindy Sheehan Desecration of the Dead ]

Zach e-mails to note "Cities and Towns Around the Country Hold August 17th Vigils with Cindy Sheehan" (San Diego Indymedia):

On August 17th over 1,620 vigils were held all over the US in solidarity with Cindy Sheehan, who is camping in Crawford, Texas as she waits for President Bush to agree to meet with her. Her son Casey was a soldier who was killed in Iraq last year. Her son Casey Sheehan was a soldier who was killed in Iraq last year. While TrueMajority,, and Democracy For America helped to organize the vigils, corporate media coverage of the events has focused disportionately on the efforts of these organizations, rather than on the genuine outpouring of support from the tens of thousands of people who turned up all over North America to share in Cindy's anti-war message.
The list continues to grow as Indymedia reports have come back in from
Binghamton, Houston, Richmond, New York City, Tulsa, and across Cascadia. Lots of sites also have photos of the vigils available: Photos from Camp Casey Photos from San Francisco: Federal Building 24th & Mission Photos From Berkeley: Adeline and Ashby Solano Ave Acton Street The French Hotel Photos From Oakland Photos From Sacramento Photos from LA Photos From All Over The US .
Local Camp Caseys have been opened all over the US, such as
Camp Casey San Francisco. Military mothers are calling for the president to join them Friday to pray for the troops in Iraq.Hundreds have joined Cindy Sheehan in Crawford, Texas, to demand that the president come out and talk with her. Sheehan will be moving her camp closer to Bush's ranch after she was offered the use of a piece of land by a supporter. The white crosses to honor dead soldiers that were set up at her current camp will not be moved when she relocates. They were vandalized Monday night, and people will stay at the camp to monitor them.

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