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Cindy Sheehan in Raleigh #1

Cindy Sheehan in Raleigh #1

September 2005 Raleigh, NC

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Those of you who are not aware of the anti-war subculture of American politics these days may not  know who Cindy Sheehan is.  Cindy is the mother of a young soldier, Casey Sheehan, who was killed in Iraq in April 2004.  After the shock of Casey's death started to subside, Cindy got angry at pResident George Bush and started asking for a meeting with him.  She simply wanted answers to some tough questions, wanting to know why her son had died, what the war was for and why we, as a nation, needed to invade Iraq. 

Bush refused to even acknowledge her request and, instead, set out for his ranch in Crawford, TX for a 5-week vacation.  Sheehan, angry at being snubbed, decided to follow Bush to Crawford.  Her cause became a counter-culture peace movement ralling cry and she soon found herself down in Crawford with hundreds of other people.  There, they set up "Camp Casey" and waiting for Bush to meet with them.  They became media savvy, giving interviews to news outlets around the world clearly stating their love for their country and support for the soldiers in the Gulf region, just not for the leadership that is supposed to be guiding everything.

When Bush left Crawford, Sheehan decided to go to Washington.  It was eventually decided to turn the trip to Washington into an event.  The Bring Them Home Now Tour  has three branches, with Sheehan jumping between the branches.  Today was her last stop on the Southern Tour and was in the downtown Raleigh area.

I stopped off on my way home from work to get some images and to get her autograph for Bonn. 

Sheehan is a strong, caring woman who is smart, tenatious and determined.  She's also given hope to hundreds of thousands of Americans who have been looking for someone to start the rallying cry with a voice that won't go away.

Sheehan arrives in DC next Saturday and there's a big protest march against the war that afternoon in DC.  We'll be there.

For more images from the afternoon, click on through to the other side  )
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Boylan Bridge Vigil

Boylan Street Bridge Vigil

August 2005 Raleigh, NC

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For those of you who lack the contact with All Things American, Cindy Sheehan is a woman who has become something of a galvanizing point for the anti-war effort here in the US. Sheehan's son, Casey, was killed in Iraq in April 2004 at the age of 24. After several months of living in shock, Cindy decided to start doing something about her son's death and the lies the American public has been told by the current administration concerning the reasons for going to war in Iraq.

She's been asking for a meeting with him to ask him the hard questions any mother in her situation would want to ask. When our current pResident decided to take his 5-week summer vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, Cindy Sheehan decided to follow him. She set up camp about 2 miles down the road from his ranch and has been joined by over a hundred other people, all taking up her cause with her.

Texas is a hot, desert area of a state. Camping out by the side of the road in the best of weather isn't fun. In the heat of August, it's got to be brutal. Still, they're undettered. (This week they moved to a local ranch, about a mile from Dubbya's ranch, thanks to a Vet who disapproved of the war)

She is, in many ways, the nightmare the Right had hoped would never come. She's a sympathetic figure, a heart-broken mother with questions. She's not spitting anger and revenge, she's not out of control and crazy. She's just deeply hurt and wants to confront the pRresident about all of this.

As well, she's a soldier's mom. There's no way the Right can pin the "You're protesting the war, you must hate the troops!" tag on her.

Cindy Sheehan is a force that's growing.

Monday the email started coming in that there were going to be nationwide vigils in support of Cindy Sheehan and her work. Bonn, who has been saying for weeks that if she had the money she'd be down in Texas with Sheehan's group, was certain to go to one of the vigils in our area. So was I.

There were larger ones around, but we chose one closer to home. It was a smaller one and we figured they could use the support. This was a short bridge, spanning the railroad tracks that connect some of the commercial train lines with local businesses. Forty-some people signed up online; 105 was the count one woman gave us after walking the length of us.

It was a nice, quiet and respectful way of making a point to the country, to the pResident and to the world.

For more images, click on through to the other side... )

[added late: a flickr slideshow of images from vigils around the country can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/moveon/sets/774501/show/ The last one in my series is included.]

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