Friday, March 19, 2010

Activist Cindy Sheehan revives anti-war efforts

Activist Cindy
Sheehan revives
anti-war efforts

March 14, 2010

By Oren Dorell, USA TODAY

 Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan is restarting her
campaign against wars in
Iraq and Afghanistan
today, setting up tents and teaching protest
seminars near the
Washington Monument.

Dubbed "Camp OUT NOW," the protest is geared to
pressure President Obama and
Democrats, whom
Sheehan says have abandoned the anti-war cause
now that they have control of the White House and

"Obama said there'd be one combat battalion coming
home per month, and that has not happened,"
Sheehan says. "We still have significant troops in
Iraq, and he's ramped up in Afghanistan.

"I don't think this is what people understood they
were voting for. I think they were voting for a

White House officials declined to comment.


The number of U.S. servicemembers in Iraq have
declined to 98,000 in February from a peak of
170,000 during President
George W. Bush's surge.
Obama has presided over plans to send 30,000
more servicemembers to Afghanistan and has
expanded missile strikes against suspected militants
Pakistan and Yemen.

Sheehan's group, Peace of the Action, will hold
seminars on grass-roots organizing and civil
disobedience near the Washington Monument,
leading up to a peace march Saturday. Sheehan says
the group plans to "start doing actions" on March
22, although she wouldn't discuss details or how
long they might last. Possible actions include
blocking Washington, D.C., intersections and offices
in Congress, she said.

"We're demanding that we see some movement in the
direction toward peace and bringing our troops
home, and we're determined to stay there until that
happens, so it's an indefinite thing," she says.

Sheehan, whose son Casey was killed in 2004 in
Iraq, gained national attention in 2005 when she
camped outside
Bush's ranch near Crawford, Texas,
demanding an audience with the

She was embraced by the political action group
, which had raised $2 million to air
anti-war commercials before the 2004 elections and
then launched numerous vigils on her behalf in



Activist Cindy Sheehan leads an anti-war protest outside of CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., on Jan. 16.


By Jacquelyn Martin, AP

Activist Cindy Sheehan leads an anti-war protest outside of CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., on Jan. 16.






In 2007, Sheehan announced that she was leaving
the peace movement, saying that "Democrats and
play politics with human lives" by
continuing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 2008, Sheehan ran for Congress against House
Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. She lost with 17% of
the vote.

Since then, she has hosted her own radio show,
dubbed Cindy Sheehan's Soap Box, and traveled to
Venezuela to meet with anti-U.S. President Hugo
Chávez. On her blog, she has praised Chávez as a
leader who — unlike her U.S. homeland, she says —
has launched no "foreign wars of aggression."

Now she's back, targeting Democrats as she once
targeted Republicans. She notes that the peace
movement has lost much of its steam since Bush left

"The energy was for electing Democrats. Now the
energy is for keeping the
Democratic majority," she
says. "Even though we're still in Iraq and
Afghanistan and now in Pakistan and Yemen."




Copyright 2010 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.


Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at]


"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs


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