The anti-Iraq war mother says she will carry her peace message to Washington, D.C.
Any hope that President Bush’s administration may have had of Cindy Sheehan going away after Aug. 31 were dashed Thursday when the protesting mother announced a bus tour that will end in the nation’s capital.
Sheehan is the mother of Casey Sheehan, a 24-year-old soldier killed in Iraq last year. Sheehan began a single-person sit-down outside President Bush’s Crawford, Texas, ranch that has quickly grown into full-fledged protest with hundreds of supporters and related events in cities around the country.
On Thursday, Sheehan announced that the protest wouldn’t end when Bush leaves his ranch to return to Washington at the end of the month. Instead, she will lead a bus tour to the capital, where protesters will begin a round-the-clock vigil, the Associated Press reports.
At a news conference, Sheehan said many people have the same concerns as she does. “There’s thousands of military families who want the same answers to the same questions,” she said.
When Sheehan first arrived in Texas, she said she would stay until she was granted a meeting with the president. The two had already previously met following her son’s death, during a meeting in which Sheehan characterized the president as uninformed and disrespectful.
Bush has refused to speak with her, and as the protest has grown, its plans for the future have changed as well. “We’ve galvanized the peace movement,” Sheehan said. “We’ve started people talking about the war again.”
However, not everyone is in agreement with the protests. A group called Move America Forward is traveling to Texas from California to stage a counterprotest, and other supporters of the war have set up “Camp Reality,” across the street from Sheehan’s camp in Crawford.