You are hereCindy Sheehan
Cindy's Stand in Crawford
By Cindy Sheehan
|At Miraflores in Caracas: January 2006|
What do I do when I am angry, happy, or sad? I write.
Back in 2004, shortly after my son, Casey, was killed in Iraq, a grief counselor advised me to write a letter to my son in a journal every night. I filled up three journals in the terrible months after his death. I often wrote at his grave and those journals did help me deal with the unspeakable loss.
Today, I write from a great well of sadness, but not just for me, for the world. My dear friend in peace and justice, President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, just lost his fierce and valiant battle with cancer.
Many people know about Hugo Chavez, the president, and constant thorn in the side to El Imperio the meddlesome and harmful Empire to the north. But I want to eulogize Chavez the man I knew.
He was my dear friend and comrade in a way where we were united in the struggle for peace and economic justice and equality. It’s not like I could text him, or we would chat about current events, but whenever I had the privilege to be with him, warmth radiated from his heart and I was able to connect with him in very real and human ways. Compared to the palpable realness of Chavez, most of the US politicians I have met with are walking and talking ice sculptures.
The first time I met him in Caracas was in early 2006 at the World Social Forum. I had been invited to sit on the stage while he gave a speech to those gathered there from around the world. He introduced me as, “Señora Esperanza,” “Mrs. Hope,” in contrast to his nickname for George Bush: “Señor Peligro,” “Mr. Danger.” However, our brother, Hugo Chavez, was the one who gave us much hope.
I have met and interviewed so many people in Venezuela whose lives were immeasurably improved by the vision and dedication of Hugo Chavez. How can one put a price on going from being illiterate to being able to read? A 65-year-old woman told me her life was transformed by the adult literacy program. It really made me appreciate the fact that I have always known how to read (it seems). What would I have done without my best friends, my books? Wow. I guess Capitalism would tally the cost of educating one student and, of course education here in the US is now just another commodity, but the look of wonder in my Sister’s eyes was priceless!
Another woman showed me her perfect teeth in a huge grin. She told me that her teeth used to be so bad, that she would never smile before, but now, due to her new set of false teeth provided by the national dental program, she walks around grinning like a lunatic all day, which made me laugh with joy! Again, Capitalism would say: One set of false teeth equals X amount of dollars. I say, being able to smile after years of embarrassing humiliation is worth more than any amount of gold.
Those are just two stories out of millions and my heart breaks with sorrow for the People of the Bolivarian Revolution that must be even more devastated than I, today.
I witnessed Chavez the proud “abuelo” (grandpa) once on a long flight from Caracas to Montevideo that I took with them. We chatted about out “nietos” (grandchildren) and felt a mutual connection there. I hugged my grandbabies a little harder today when I found out that Chavez died, because I know the wonderful connection that he had with his. My heart breaks for his children and his family, and his brother, Adan, who seemed to be constantly at his side.
It’s just a very hard day.
I was with Chavez in Montevideo, Uruguay, for the presidential inauguration of Felipé Mujica. I was amazed that Chavez could just plunge into the crowds and interact with the people without a phalanx of bodyguards, anti-aircraft missiles and assault weapons. His security detail was prepared, but not paranoid like up here in the Empire. Someone who is universally loved by the 99% need have no fear. Chavez had no fear.
Chavez’s courageous battle against the Empire was more successful than his battle against cancer. Chavez was able to inspire more leftist leaders in Latin America and my friends in Cuba will always be grateful for the friendship between Venezuela and Cuba. The struggle against neo-liberalism and the Empire has been far advanced under Chavez’s inspirational leadership.
This is a sad day and I am angry that the so-called leaders of my own country made Chavez’s life a virtual hell, but he survived one coup attempt and the many other attempts through the media and financing of his opposition to undermine the revolution.
When in the hell is this country going to mind it’s own goddamn business and realize that not every drop of oil belongs to our oil companies and not every democratically elected leader must pledge undying obsequiousness to the Evil Empire?
I am immensely proud of Chavez and I am immensely proud of the people of Venezuela who have worked with him to improve their lives and because they really understand the concept of “national sovereignty.”
I know the upper echelons of The Empire think they have won a victory today (if it didn’t give Chavez his cancer in the first place—don’t even start and say I am a “conspiracy theorist” everyone knows that the Empire is fully capable of it, they couldn’t kill him, or depose him, outright) and all the oil will now flow back into the hands of our big oil companies, but The Empire underestimates the people of Venezuela and their dedication to the Bolivarian Revolution and love for their leader, Hugo Chavez.
As we sorrowfully say, “vaya con la paz” to our Brother, Hugo Chavez, let’s also say, “long live the revolution.”
Chavez will never die if we honor his vision and continue our struggle against The Empire.
A-dios, Señor Esperanza.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart and soul. Your light is far too bright to be extinguished by something as cruel as death and your light shines in all of us whose hearts burn with revolution and love for all the people.
My life and our world are far better today because of your life and the struggle continues until victory!
READ THE TRANSCRIPT OF
CINDY'S 2010 INTERVIEW OF
Between April 4 and July 3, the entire country (and the other 96% of humanity too) is invited to join in a bicycle ride from California to Washington, D.C. You can join as a bicycler or as a sponsor.
This won't be a ride to raise awareness about cruelty to animals, but it will raise awareness about war -- by many measures the greatest destroyer of the natural environment we have, as well as consisting first and foremost of the mass killing of that peculiar animal we're all rather fond of: the homo sapiens.
This won't be a ride to raise money for cancer research, but it will raise money for the campaign to abolish war -- a carcinogen if the people of Fallujah ever saw one.
This paragraph is exclusively for supporters of President Obama. If that's not you, please skip to the following paragraph right now. With Republicans out of the White House and no election this year, there is no need to fund election campaigns or to work against particular wars. This is a moment in which our time and our resources are freed up to support long-term structure building so that the plague of war never returns. Remember all those promises to engage in policy-based activism once the most important election of our lives was over? This is the time to get in better physical shape before phone banking season. Pump up your tires and polish your handlebars! Stop reading and get riding right now.
With presidential war powers expanding rapidly and war gaining widespread acceptance among liberals there is an urgent need for an educational and organizing effort that pedals under, over, and around the barricades of the corporate media. U.S. forces are in more nations than ever before, the military budget is still rising and will still be rising even if the sequester "cuts" go through, the CIA has been handed war making powers, the president has claimed the power to spy without warrants, imprison without trial, and murder at will. Wars are launched on nations like Libya in defiance of Congress and the United Nations, with blowback spreading rapidly. Pentagon friendly dictatorships like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are backed against their people's nonviolent movements for democracy, while violence is encouraged in Syria and Iran. Palestinians are left to their fate, while a new kind of war launched from flying robots slaughters men, women, and children, traumatizes populations, and generates refugee crises, engulfing nations in boiling hatred of the United States of America.
When MSNBC assigns David Axelrod (who refused to deny that President Obama maintains the power to torture anyone as he sees fit) to analyze and punditrify John Brennan's refusal to deny that President Obama maintains the power to murder U.S. citizens within the United States (never mind anyone at all outside the United States or 96% of humanity within it), the triumph of freemarket journalism will have reached a pinnacle unsurpassed in history, putting the Soviet Union's efforts to shame and finally concluding the Cold War, unless nobody notices.
You know who just might wake some people up to what's staring them in the face?
Cindy Sheehan. Cindy has proposed the Tour de Peace. She's been lining up events and participants along the route. She's ready to ride, and to me she is an inspiration. Cindy's appeal, both before and after the corporate media made her a story in Crawford Texas seven-and-a-half years ago, was her uncensored honesty. She's still got it. I've seen a lot of people dump their heart and soul into the peace movement over the past decade and burn out and quit. I appreciate their efforts. We need sprinters, just as the Tour de Peace needs short-distance riders.
But when I see someone become even more aware of the evil that has swallowed up our government, and continually find new ways to confront it, I see a model others should follow. Cindy's gone at it as hard as anyone. She's taken nasty blows from the right and the so-called left. She's burned out and quit, too, but never for more than a day or so. She just keeps coming. Cindy has quit paying her taxes because of the wars they fund. She's been arrested for nonviolent resistance countless times. She's traveled endlessly, speaking and inspiring. She's written a stack of important books. She's hosted a radio show, blogged, and run for Congress and the Vice Presidency. And in this age in which pundits openly say they'd oppose the president's abuses if he were a Republican, Cindy goes ahead and opposed them anyway, with plenty of opposition left over for the Congress, the courts, the funders, the weapons makers, the lobbyists, and the White House Press Corpse.
Creating a mass of people in the streets for peace or justice usually requires money and staff, bus rentals and leg work, coalition building and compromising. Two moments stand out in my mind when none of that was needed. One was when Cindy went to Crawford. The other was when Occupy went to Wall Street. Both were moments of brilliant principled and courageous activism. Neither would have ever been heard of by most who heard of them if not for the corporate media. I've seen Cindy attempt to recreate Crawford countless times since (not to mention before), without the same success. She does so fully aware of the forces at work. She does so with every effort to create our own media and bypass the corporate censors. And she does so knowing that the only way to guarantee failure is to not try.
What if we were to create a movement capable of thinking of itself as real and national or international even outside of our television sets? One of the side effects would be its inevitable infiltration into our television sets. But the primary effect would be the beginning of hope and change as something more than perverse slogans of star-gazing servitude.
When the Tour de Peace leaves Casey Sheehan's grave in Vacaville, Calif., on the ninth anniversary of his death in Iraq and the 45th of Dr. King's in Memphis, it will follow the mother road, Route 66, to Chicago, and other highways and byways from there to D.C. The tour will conclude on July 3, 2013, with a ride from Arlington National Cemetery to the White House.
This August will mark 8 years since Sheehan began her widely reported protest at then-President George W. Bush's "ranch". She was demanding to know what the "noble cause" was for which Bush claimed Americans were dying in Iraq. Neither Bush nor Obama has yet offered a justification for a global war now in its 12th year. The Tour de Peace will carry with it these demands:
To end wars,
To end immunity for U.S. war crimes,
To end suppression of our civil rights,
To end the use of fossil fuels,
To end persecution of whistleblowers,
To end partisan apathy and inaction.
as well as the names of everyone who signs on in support.
Watch the trailer here.
After a years-long media black-out and a grueling battle to get the film shown in the US, The Prosecution of an American President, the brainchild of the Los Angeles County prosecutor who prosecuted Charles Manson, opens at theaters this week. In its long trek to the American big screen, the movie was originally scheduled to be run on HBO before the channel dropped it at the last minute. Bugliosi then had to go outside the country to find a producer, Windsor Ontario NAFTC Studios.
This Monday, January 2, 2012, following the Rose Parade, Cindy Sheehan brings an important message to Occupy Wall Street (and Main Street) from the west steps of Pasadena City Hall: How trillion dollar wars serve the interests of the 1% at the expense of the 99%. Specifically – as described in the Occupy LA announcement: Cindy will speak about “the relationship between the Military-Industrial-Congressional complex and the Fortune 500 and Wall Street Banks.”
Good, because up until now that has not been the focus of the OWS movement. While it has been busy targeting the dominance and corruption of the 1% on the domestic side, it has inadvertently given those same people a massive free pass on the foreign policy side. This needs to change. The two cannot be separated, because they control the war economy and the civilian economy.
One obvious example of how these interconnected policies impact us is with funding: austerity measures for the civilian economy are prescribed by the elites and dutifully emphasized by the mainstream media and voted on by politicians as the only remedy for budget shortfalls – that is called sound fiscal policy, while simultaneously funding for the national defense and security apparatus is protected, justified as essential in waging the war on terror.
In short, it will take both movements working together to change these skewed priorities, not to mention stop the next war.
Case in point, entering into another military adventure so soon after ending the Iraq debacle is not an abstract or distant possibility, nor is it insane from our rulers’ point of view. For them, it makes sense, since Iran always was the main target in the Middle East region, nor would such a war pass without some people making out like bandits.
At the very least it will feed the war economy while burying the OWS movement as the focus shifts to rallying behind the troops. Beyond that, if there is a major escalation leading to a full-scale war with Iran, then it is not inconceivable that today’s OWS occupiers will be tomorrow’s draftees.
That said, short of hostilities breaking out with Iran, the overall Bush Doctrine of projecting American dominance globally remains in play for the long term as the Pentagon pursues a long war strategy. Therefore, flare-ups are possible down the road at any time and in any number of regions, each one capable of sucking us into empire support operations. Wherever American interests are deemed vital and there is an uncooperative regime, our leaders are quick to assert our national security interest to justify military action.
From Cindy Sheehan:
“Violence is a part of America. I don't want to single out rap music. Let's be honest. America's the most violent country in the history of the world, that's just the way it is. We're all affected by it. “
“I do not know a method of drawing up an indictment against a whole people.”
January 8, 2011 was a tough day—six people were killed and many more wounded in a cowardly act of unspeakable violence.
By Cindy Sheehan, Al Jazeera
The recent repeal of the US military policy of "Don't ask, don't tell" is far from being the human rights advancement some are touting it to be. I find it intellectually dishonest, in fact, illogical on any level to associate human rights with any military, let alone one that is currently dehumanising two populations as well as numerous other victims of it's clandestine "security" policies.
Placing this major contention aside, the enactment of the bill might be an institutional step forward in the fight for "equality"; however institutions rarely reflect reality.
Do we really think that the US congress vote to repeal the act and Obama signing the bill is going to stop the current systemic harassment of gays in the military?
By Dede Miller
On Monday, November 29th, I attended an event at Saddleback Church, or, as I now call it, Sodom and Gomorrah, in Lake Forest California. George Bush was the guest Philistine. Sodom and Gomorrah is located deep in the heart of VERY conservative Orange county California. I, and my fellow defenders of good and justice, were literally in the belly of the beast..
To: Nancy Pelosi
From Cindy Sheehan
How’s that “liberal agenda” going for you these days?
You have had quite a run as the first female Speaker of the House, haven’t you?
In that almost four years now, you have fully funded the wars; rammed through the bankster bailouts and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Modernization Act; refused to hold the criminals of the Bush administration accountable; supported the torture policies of George Bush and wanted even stricter measures against suspected terrorists; obediently supported and defended the murderous Israeli oppression of Palestine; presided over the worst jobs’ hemorrhage since the Great Depression (can you see all the jobless and homeless from your mansion on the hill in Pac Heights?) and the only “victory” that you can claim is a feeble health care “reform” bill that you admit you had no idea what it contained, when in reality, it was just a massive welfare program for your corporate buddies in the industry.
You are going to become a lame duck Speaker early next month when your party loses its majority—now don’t think I am thrilled that the Republicans are returning to a majority, at least in your House, because I think your party and the GOP are just different sides of the same coin—but you can’t say I didn’t warn you back in 2006 that if you and your party didn’t end the wars and hold BushCo accountable that your euphoria would be short-lived.
I literally brought that warning home to you in 2008 when I stood for election against you as an Independent in your district. I again tried to send you the gift of a wake up call through my platform and candidacy that ending the wars;, increasing jobs here in the US; fully funding education; protecting people’s homes from eviction and foreclosure; protecting the environment from destruction; and justice for war crimes were what the people wanted. Nancy, your party’s impending defeat proves that if you ever were in touch with “the people,” that time passed long before you assumed the Speaker’s gavel and when you relinquish the gavel, you will be just another empty lavender pants suit—an obscenely expensive lavender pants suit, but empty all the same.
by Linda Milazzo
Officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs believe that more than 6000 veterans will commit suicide in 2010.
According to an article in Foreign Policy, an average of one soldier a day committed suicide in June.
When Barack Obama spoke to Disabled Veterans of America (DVA) in Georgia on August 2, he addressed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), calling it “a pain like no other” and said: "… the hopelessness that has led too many of our troops and veterans to take their own lives. Today, I want to say to anyone who is struggling—do not suffer in silence. It’s not a sign of weakness to reach out for support—it’s a sign of strength. Your country needs you."
“Your country needs you.” Yes, the United States of American needs you.
Your country needs you for imperialist wars and occupations.
Your country needs you to secure the resources of other countries.
The soldier in a now-famous Wikileaks video who found a rocket launcher at the scene of a controversial 2007 Apache helicopter attack, in Baghdad, said in a radio interview this week that he did not believe an ambush was imminent. The video shows 12 men, including two Reuters newsmen, standing on a street corner before being fired upon with the Apache’s 30mm cannon, resulting in what appears to be an unprovoked massacre. The video caused an international outcry after it was leaked to the media by the government watchdog Wikileaks. The presence of the rocket launcher was seized upon by defenders of the attack as proof that the attack was justified, and that this was evidence of an impending ambush.
I’m happy to run with the six peaceniks that stood trial in DC Superior Court on July 12th. Three are with Peace of the Action (POTA) and include Cindy Sheehan, national director of the organization, as well as Jon Gold and Jim Veeder. They were acquitted. Elaine Brower of Military Families Speak Out and Matthis Chiroux of Iraq Veterans Against the War were convicted, as was Leflora Cunningham-Walsh. I applaud these citizens of the world and their devotion to peace and activism. Sheehan and Gold have articles about the trial on POTA’s web address: peaceoftheaction.org/.
On July 13th, some of us gathered at the White House. We took a bullhorn to the president’s presidio and told Barack Obama what we think of his George Bushiness foreign policy. This was gratifying, a celebratory wrap for POTA’s July action, especially since the defendants, prior to the trial, had been under a “stay away order” from this area of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Now, progress would be not arresting people in the first place.
Cindy credits Mark Goldstone and Ann Wilcox for legal help.
Here's NBC: "Cindy Sheehan Cleared of D.C. Protest Charge". The crime was protesting. Sheesh.
Here's press release:
Cindy Sheehan and two others acquitted, 3 found guilty stemming from March 20th arrest in front of White House.
Today, Cindy Sheehan, National Director of Peace of the Action, and two of her colleagues, Jonathan Gold and James Veeder, were acquitted of crossing a police line. Judge Morin, of DC Superior Court found that the government didn’t prove beyond reasonable doubt that the three knew that the bicycle racks placed between the protest and the few protesters lying on the sidewalk constituted a “police line.”
Three of the defendants, Elaine Brower of Military Families Speak Out and World Can’t Wait and Matthis Chiroux, veteran and member of Iraq Veterans Against the War were convicted of failure to obey a legal order and Leflora Cunningham-Walsh, a local DC activist was convicted of crossing the police line. The three who were convicted were given a $100 fine, which was suspended due to the fact that the defendants spent a considerable amount of time in jail after the arrest. Chiroux, Brower and Cunningham-Walsh are inclined to file an appeal and will probably due so soon.
“Win one for free speech,” exclaimed Mark Goldstone, defendant’s co-counsel soon after the verdicts were delivered by Judge Morin.
“I am happy to be acquitted for the first time ever at trial, but I am distressed that Matthis, Elaine and Leflora were not acquitted. Elaine’s son spent tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and has had issues every since. I know that Elaine suffered every time James was deployed as she suffers for all of our troops and the people our country is massacring in what we have long considered to be illegal and immoral wars. Matthis gave an emotional statement after his conviction stating that his service harmed him as he unfortunately harmed others. On March 20, we all were just exercising our civil and human rights to free speech and our Constitutional right to peaceable assemble,” Sheehan said in a post-trial statement.
“We will go to protest in front of the White House tomorrow at 1pm,” Sheehan continued: “We can never let up, because our government won’t stop the wars overseas.”
The six co-defendants all had “ban and bar” orders from the White House that were lifted upon the ending of the trial.
Peace of the Action would like to invite you to join us in the Capitol of the Empire for two weeks of protest.
Sunday, July 4th:
Meet up with us in Lafayette Park (across from the White House--Pennsylvania Ave side) at 1PM as we declare our Independence from Petroleum. Very few people can break this addiction 100%, but very few of us can't reduce our consumption by a significant amount. If you can't make it to DC, consider having a protest in solidarity with us at a local BP or ARCO/AMPM station.
Monday, July 5th-Friday, July 9th
Say "So long" to Drones!
We will be meeting in Lafayette Park every day at 9am to go to various places in DC (the Smithsonian; General Atomics, etc) to protest the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in the illegal and immoral wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Tuesday, July 6th
Prime Minister of Israel, inyamin Netanyahu, is visiting the White House--we will be there to demand that the siege on Gaza is lifted and that the occupation of Palestine be ended with a solution that is fair to the Palestinian people.
Saturday, July 10th
Take Back the Land.
We will help a homeless organization set up a homeless camp in DC
Monday, July 12 to Friday, July 16th
War is a Racket!
Join us in Lafayette Park every day at 9am as we go to various locations in DC (recruiters' and war profiteers) to protest the preying on of our children by military recruiters.
Monday, July 12:
Trial of the Century for the POTA 3 and three others begins in DC City Court.
"Let Them Eat Oil"
By Cindy Sheehan
I am now on an airplane heading home (for two days) after my very profound and moving experience in the Gulf Region.
Monday, June 21st, a few dozen activists, scientists, environmentalists and concerned citizens gathered in front of the Deepwater Horizon Response Unified Command Center to present our list of demands to the office that houses BP and 14 Federal Agencies (the FBI also has offices in the building).
We pulled this protest together in two days and I was gratified at the turnout (one woman, Cyndie, came up from Florida) and especially with the turnout from the media. Usually the corporate media presents some hostility, but not today. After my interviews, many of them said words to this affect: "Thank you for being here to help us call attention to this disaster." Wow! Even the jaded press realizes what an enormous tragedy this is!
UW Campus Antiwar Network: Antiwar panel scheduled for Monday at 7:00 at Memorial Union featuring activist Cindy Sheehan cancelled by union staff due to "security concerns" | Wis Politics | Press Release
Note to Attendees: Event attendees are set to meet at the front steps of the Union at 6:45 PM, and from there, the panel will either be held there, in the Union lobby, or in Lakefront on Langdon in the Union.
To Members of the Press:
An antiwar panel sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Havens Center, Campus Antiwar Network, Middle East Interest Group, and the Wisconsin Union Directorate's Society and Politics Committee and scheduled for Monday, April 26 at 7:00 PM in Memorial Union has been cancelled by the Union Building/Event Management Director, Roger Vogts, due to a last-minute expression of "security concerns" that would accompany antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan's visit. Vogts said that he could not contact security over the weekend because, apparently, phones don't work over the weekend.
On top of that, those organizing the event would have to foot the bill for the security, even though Sheehan never requested security to begin with, and even though no organizations involved with this event had enough money to foot the expensive bill this late in the game, either.
The U.S. Supreme Court has made clear, in its Forsyth County v. Nationalist Movement (505 U.S. 123, 1992) decision, that "Speech cannot be financially burdened, any more than it can be punished or banned, simply because it might offend a hostile mob" (emphasis mine). Since the Union's Central Reservations presides over a viewpoint-neutral limited public forum at the Union and other facilities, the Union is necessarily bound by the same constitutional demands as the local government in Forsyth County. In other words, it is unconstitutional for any viewpoint-neutral limited public forum to deny any organization their free speech rights on the grounds that they are unable to provide for extra security costs related to the exercise of that free speech.
The mortgage company has agreed to a month’s delay in foreclosing on the Peace House.
Your support is making a difference!
Johnny Wolf’s activism began at an early age, as his parents instilled in him an ethic of peaceful service to his fellow man, which he has practiced throughout his life. After attending a National Network to End the War Against Iraq conference, he sold enough buttons at a buck a pop to raise the down payment on the Peace House.
Among Johnny’s other contributions are co-founding the Committee on Solidarity with the People of Iraq, which, together with Veterans for Peace, is responsible for rebuilding six water treatment plants in Iraq.
The Crawford Peace House was dedicated on Easter Sunday, 2003.
Over the years of resistance to the Iraq war and the criminal activities of the Bush regime, the Crawford Peace House served thousands of activists as a gathering place of hope and resistance, feeding literally thousands of people and managing a large team of volunteers. Wolf states, “The Peace House is so much more than President Bush – it is a centralized location where we perform miracles, offering hope to humanity to counter the cult of war.”
Now, with your help, Johnny is working tirelessly to make the dream of a Peace Museum a reality. Easter, of course, is our seasonal reminder of the prospects of world peace. If you share in the dream of a Peace Museum and care to contribute, you can contact Johnny Wolf.
Camp Is Gone, But Not For Long
By Cindy Sheehan
Well, our great experiment didn’t go as well as we planned here in DC. My vision was a Peace Camp that would serve the needs of the campers as far as housing and food were concerned (that part worked) and the campers would then commit aggressive acts of civil resistance (that part didn’t) in the nation’s capital to shut down the violent military-corporate empire that we live in. In the opinion of members of Peace of the Action, living here in the US gives us special responsibilities for stopping it.
Anyway, we had hundreds of people come through camp over the week that we were allowed to keep it up. Dozens were college students that worked very hard while they were here and we were sorry to see them go back to their schools after break. The thing that we were hoping that would happen and never did—was that hundreds of people would stay and help us claim the camp as a permanent presence on the mall.
It’s true that the Park Police thwarted us and watched (and photographed) every move we made. However, if we had the numbers, we could have taken a more credible stand against the repression of our rights. When the Park Police came out and shut down camping on the first day—part of our name “Camp” was shut down, too. Read more.
Transcript of Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox Interview with President Hugo Chavez
Transcribed by Regina Freitag; Original Translation by Eva Golinger; Interviewer: Cindy Sheehan. Listen to the audio here.
Cindy Sheehan: Welcome to this video and audio audition of Cindy Sheehan’s SoapBox.
Presidente Chavez, thank you for being on the show, thank you for this interview and thank you for allowing me to bring the truth about Venezuela and about you and about your revolution to the people of the United States.
Before the revolution, Venezuela was a nation that was ruled and used up by the oligarchy, the elite. How did your revolution begin, how did it manage to remain relatively peaceful?
Hugo Chavez: Thank you Cindy, for this interview, for your efforts, that are so honorable and notable, to try to find out our truth and to contribute to its diffusion. And we wish you much luck in your struggles, which are ours as well, against war, for peace, for freedom and equality and against imperialism. We accompany you in your struggles. You and the people of the United States. We love them the same. The bourgeoisie of Venezuela has always dominated the country, for more than a hundred years. And they dominated it with force, using violence, persecution, assassination and disappearances. Unfortunately, the Venezuelan history is a history full of a lot of violence, violence from the strong against the weak. In the 20th century, Venezuela, which was dominated by the oligarchy and the bourgeois state, the rich, the wealthy, produced a reversed type of miracle, we could say. Venezuela was the first exporter of oil from the beginning of the 1920s until the 1970s. One of the largest producers of petroleum in the world throughout all the 20th century. And when the 20th century ended, with the domination of the bourgeoisie, despite all the wealth, Venezuela had more than 70% poverty and 40% extreme poverty, misery, misery, misery. So that generated an explosion, a violent one. All explosions are violent. An explosion of the poor, to liberate themselves. We were remembering just 2 days ago in Caracas. You were there with us, with our people. 21 years ago, the people woke, arose in a big explosion. And as military we were used by the bourgeoisie to massacre the people, children, women, and older people. And then that awoke something in the young military folks, a consciousness of pain and then we joined with the people. We had two rebellions, military rebellions, popular (inaudible ). A revolution isn’t exactly peaceful. As you said it was relatively peaceful. Read more.
From Cindy Sheehan:
As you all know, Camp OUT NOW was shut down by law enforcement here in DC--we wanted to make a stand to keep Camp up, but we did not have the numbers to do that.
Camp was so energetic and wonderful for the week that we had it up, that no one really wants to give that up. However, since the numbers are so weak, we will have to stop here in DC for awhile.
We are planning to set Camp back up in June when students get out of college/high school and we are planning on doing what we originally planned: Daily acts of Civil Resistance over the summer until Congress leaves to campaign.
On the 7th commemoration of the illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq, there was a rally and march in DC sponsored by the A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition that was attended by about eight thousand people.
For quite awhile, I have been having problems with marches on Saturday, anyway. It seems like we march past empty buildings and shake our fists at them and promise that if those empty buildings don’t change their ways, we will be back next year to do the same thing. The arrests are symbolic and don’t shut down anything, except in the case of large arrests, where the police stations are busy for a few hours.
Thousands of protesters - many directing their anger squarely at President Barack Obama - marched through the nation's capital Saturday to urge immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.
At least eight people, including activist Cindy Sheehan, were arrested by U.S. Park Police at the end of the march, after laying coffins at a fence outside the White House. Friday marked the seventh anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
"Arrest that war criminal!" Sheehan shouted outside the White House before her arrest, referring to Obama.
At a rally before the march, Sheehan asked whether "the honeymoon was over with that war criminal in the White House" - an apparent reference to Obama - prompting moderate applause.
The protesters defied orders to clear the sidewalk on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House and park police say they face charges of failure to obey a lawful order. Read more.
Four videos and a slide show: