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UPDATES ON CINDY SHEEHAN VISIT TO CRAWFORD
The Lone Star Iconoclast is covering Saturday's journey to Crawford by several groups, including Veterans For Peace, Military Family Speak Out, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Code Pink, Crawford Peace House, and others.
Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq last year, is seeking a meeting with President Bush, who is vacationing in Crawford, to have some of her questions answered about the war. Several busloads of interested individuals are expected in Crawford to support her cause. Sheehan has said that she is willing to camp out in Crawford until she gets to meet with the President.
Iconoclast reporter Nathan Diebenow is on the scene and will be dispatching reports during the day. As they come in they will be reported here:
12:40 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6
When Cindy Sheehan got off her bus in Crawford around 11:40 a.m., she was greeted with applause and swarmed by reporters. Some of the meda covering the event, along with The Iconoclast, were ABC, CNN, CBS, and AFP (French form of AP).
One man carrying a sign, Allen Goodwin from South Florida, commented that he is for peace, "but Bush isn't." His sign reads "Somebody lied."
Currently, a bus provided by Veterans for Peace is taking about a dozen members, including Cindy Sheehan, to the checkpoint in front of President Bush's ranch. Sheriff's Department Captain Kenneth Vanek said prior to departing to lead the caravan, "As long as y'all work with us, we'll work with y'all."
Following the bus is a train of automobiles, numbering about 15.
Sheehan said she is prepared to go to jail if necesssary, but is expecting a peaceful confrontation.
The McLennan County Sheriff's Department is acting as the escort to the checkpoint.
With the arrival of Sheehan's bus, there were at least 50 people present, from Code Pink Austin, Veterans for Peace, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Iraqi Veterans Against the War, and Gold Star Families for Peace, which is Sheehan's group.
Among those present, rumors of pro-war, anti-protest protestors perhaps arriving later were voiced.
In all, about a dozen law enforcement officers were on the scene near the Peace House. No Secret Service personnel had been identified. More later.
1:10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6
We've got about 50-something people walking on the side of the road, in a ditch, all the way up the mile to the Bush ranch. At the first checkpoint, the police ordered them to not walk on the roadway, but in the medium-tall grass along the right side of the road where it is about 10 ft. wide in places, three feet deep. They are kind of straddling the roadway.
There appears to be another checkpoint up ahead, with another car in the middle of the road.
Now two big white dogs are coming out to great them. I don't know what kind of dogs they are.
It's really hot, humid, with people sweating.
Wait. Call you back in a minute.
1:15 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6
We are at the second checkpoint and the sheriff's department has told the protestors to get off the road. They've been walking on the road, breaking their part of the bargain.
Some are now sitting, waiting for Bush to come out. Now more are sitting down.
One Veterans for Peace protestor asked police officers for water because it's a hundred degrees.
Now the protestors are reciting The Lord's Prayer in unison.
Now Cindy Sheehan is shouting that Bush's mother ought to be ashamed of him. She's proud of her child who died in Iraq.
I now see Secret Service out here.
Protestors are saying that one of their rationales for not getting off the road was that the media was on the road. A police officer said that the media was just following them, but the media is still on the road, with cameras, booms, microphones.
Some protestors are still sitting, but more are now standing.
They are now chanting "No Justice, No Peace." "George Bush is a war criminal." "Downing Street memos prove it." "Billion dollars a week for war."
Chanting again, people on left saying "Had enough," people on right saying "Stop the war," going back and forth.
Police now telling media to get on the other side of the road and to not disrupt traffic.
Chanting still going on (time 1:20).