View Full Version : Bush Cuts Short Holiday As Anti-War Neighbors Move In

07-29-2006, 11:05 AM
Bush cuts short holiday as anti-war neighbours move in


Oliver Burkeman in New York
Saturday July 29, 2006
The Guardian

The principle of neighbourliness is about to be stretched to its limits in Crawford, Texas, where the well-known peace activist Cindy Sheehan has bought a plot of land not far from the town's most famous resident, George Bush.

Ms Sheehan, whose son Casey was killed in Iraq two years ago aged 24, will use the two hectare (five acre) plot as a permanent home for Camp Casey, the roadside peace protest that dogged Mr Bush throughout last summer.

The president traditionally spends a long August vacation at the ranch, but this year he is curtailing his holiday to a fortnight - ending it days before the advertised start of Ms Sheehan's protest.

"We are beginning to believe that he is frightened of us," she wrote in a message to supporters, adding that this year's campaign would begin two days earlier than scheduled, "so we can at least share part of the summer with Georgie."

So far, Mr Bush has opted for a policy of non-engagement with Ms Sheehan and her anti-war group, Gold Star Families for Peace, publicly endorsing her right to free speech but refusing to meet her. "It's ... important for me to go on with my life, to keep a balanced life," he told reporters last year. "I think the people want the president to be in a position to make good, crisp decisions and to stay healthy."

Other Crawford locals have been more open in their objections: Ms Sheehan says the protesters were threatened by shotgun blasts during the 2005 campaign. Tensions have been further exacerbated by the revelation that Ms Sheehan used a fellow protester, Gerry Fonseca, as an agent to buy the land. "If Cindy Sheehan came to town, I don't think anybody would have sold her any property," Mr Fonseca, who was displaced by Hurricane Katrina, told the Waco Tribune-Herald. The seller, Bobby Ramsey, said Mr Fonseca had "told me Katrina wiped him out ... it didn't even occur to me that he could use it for this".

But Ray Meadows, the county commissioner in charge of the area that includes both Mr Bush and Ms Sheehan's land, said he was "ecstatic" at the news - for a decidedly non-political reason: it would reduce traffic jams caused by the protests. "It will keep them off the road and keep traffic moving," he told the Tribune Herald. The protests would be "all just a part of summer now", he added.

Ms Sheehan, for her part, said she had no grudge against the town. "Crawford is a beautiful place and Camp Casey has made it even lovelier," she wrote. "I feel so at home there ... I think the people of Crawford are beginning to understand that we come in peace and love and that we have an issue with just one resident."

07-29-2006, 12:04 PM
That is brilliant on Cindy's part, buying property right next to Bush, to protest on.

Unfortunately, she isn't brilliant enough to see how powerful exposing the truth of 9/11 would be.

07-29-2006, 12:07 PM