When we left Lafayette Park yesterday there were 3396 Americans dead in Iraq. When we got to the Capitol about 45 minutes later, the count was up to 3498 and when we got out of jail 8 hours later, 3401 were gone.
Three-hundred amazing Americans joined us yesterday in The Mother of a March which was sponsored by The Camp Casey Peace Institute and supported and co-sponsored by many other peace groups.
Cynthia came from Berkeley. Cindy came from Washington State. Another Cindy came from Illinois worried out of her mind because her Marine son is stationed around Mahmoudiya, or so she thinks. We are quite certain now that her son was not killed or captured in the ambush that took the lives of five soldiers and captured three the other day, but although relieved, we all mourn for the families that weren’t so fortunate. We also pray that our captured soldiers are treated more humanely than America treats our prisoners in such places as Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.
Paul came from Cape Cod and had emailed me earlier, very pleased that his wife gave him permission to get arrested with us if we decided to do civil disobedience.
Polly and Tina have quit their jobs, moved to DC, and have made ending the war their life work. It is not easy and they scrape by day to day, hand to mouth, but they care about our soldiers who are not only dying and killing innocent people, but are being physically, emotionally, and spiritually wounded by the tens of thousands. We all intensely care about the people of Iraq who think it it okay to kill Americans—almost by unanimous acclamation.
Barb ping-pongs back and forth to DC from San Diego many times a year and never misses a Camp Casey in Crawford, Tx. Retired Col. Ann Wright spends less time in her Maui condo than I do at my home in California. Then we have “Team Cindy” comprised of my assistant and sister who have also put any kind of personal life on hold and work tirelessly for peace and supporting me. In Texas, there is our Camp Casey caretaker, Carl, who lives on our property in Crawford in the most primitive of circumstances and always says: “I love it here!” whenever we talk. Memphis Mike, Missouri Richard, Chicago Lobo, Minneapolis Bruce, Philly Bill (who greeted each jail-bird with a cold beer last night), Indiana, Nebraska, Oregon, Texas, and all the wonderful local DC activists who are always present at our protests along with a very generous sprinkling of pink!
There are so many people sacrificing their entire lives to work for peace. We have left homes and any comfortable-ness to live in virtual poverty or on planes and out of our suitcases because our soldiers and the people of Iraq and Afghanistan are living lives of abject misery for the crimes of BushCo and Congress, Inc. I am so honored to be considered one of the leaders of a movement that is so committed to humanity that it is willing to devote so much of its time, talents, energies, and resources to peace and justice.
When we arrived in front of the Cannon House office building yesterday, we set up our mobile flag pole in the middle of an intersection, with our American flag half-mast to honor the deaths that BushCo refuse to acknowledge and upside down to signify a nation in distress. We surrounded the flag and shut down the intersection for an hour. Thirty-three patriotic Americans were arrested and we spent the next eight hours in a Capitol Hill police garage, hand-cuffed but in very good spirits knowing that we would be emerging from jail soon, but our soldiers and millions of people in the Middle East are suffering with no end on the horizon.
Fully three-quarters of this nation oppose the war in Iraq. George Bush is at an historic low in his approval rating. Millions of Americans are in favor of impeaching the Bush Regime and we had 300 people march with us yesterday. Nothing will change until everyone who opposes this war expresses their opposition by their presence. It is not enough to be intellectually or philosophically opposed, you must also be physically opposed. It is not enough to sit behind your computer screens and blog about your anger or sorrow; you must arise from your seat and join us on the street.
Learn to live with less so more can live, period.
The 33 who were arrested yesterday either had to pay a 100.00 fine, or get a citation to come back to DC on June 5th for a court date and to pay the fine then. This is on top of the travel money and expense money we already put out. Please go to: www.gsfp.org to donate to a fund to help us defray the arrest costs. Designate: “IndyAve 33 Fine Fund” on the “In Honor of” line. Thanks! There is also a great youtube video of the events yesterday on the site.
The Camp Casey Peace Institute’s next action will be a New Independence meeting in Philadelphia on the 4th of July. Then we will be caravanning to Boston to dump something in the harbor to signify our independence from a government that murders innocent people and uses our tax dollars to do it.
Check our site for forthcoming information.
Camp Casey ’07 in Crawford, Tx will take place Aug 3rd-Aug. 12th
Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Sheehan who was killed in Bush’s war of terror on 04/04/04. She is the co-founder and president of Gold Star Families for Peace and The Camp Casey Peace Institute