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Update from Lone Star Iconoclast on Rally in Crawford

Nathan Diebenow reporting for The Lone Star Iconoclast at 1:48 p.m. CDT

People are leaving the rally at Tonkawa Falls park. They are putting pink and yellow ribbons on the antennas of their cars. Licence plates include Virginia, Colorado, Arizona, and Missouri.

The Crawford police have stopped traffic along the road leading to Camp Casey. The pro-peace rallyers are stuck there awaiting the arrival of the McLennan County Sheriff's Department. It is hot in the cars. I was allowed to go through, being press, to the Peace House to talk more about what happened.

Three times during the rally, there were helicopters circling. Again, they did not look like media helicopters.

Speakers at the rally included members of Veterans for Peace, Gold Star Families for Peace, Military Families Speak Out, and Iraq Veterans Against The War. Names of the speakers included Ann Wright, Dante Zappala, Hadi Jawad, David Cline, Barbara Porchia, Celeste Zappala, Lietta Rugger, Linda and Phil Waste, Tim Goodrich, Beatriz Salidvar, Jean Prewitt, Sheri Glover, and Sue Niederer.

There were also two female musicians who performed folk and blues music.

Celeste Zappala said how proud she was of her son, Sgt. Sherwood Baker, the first Pennsylvania National Guardsman to die in combat since World War II.

Sue Niederer of Pennington, N.J. said, "Bring the troops home now and take care of them."

She thanked Cindy Sheehan for making Crawford "our home for the month of August." She noted that there were 25 families with Gold Star Families for Peace at the rally and she encouraged the people at the rally to attend the September pro-peace events in Washington, D.C.

She had two questions for President Bush and his supporters: Why aren't Barbara and Jenna Bush fighting in Iraq? and Why not the children of others who support this administration's policies join this war? Niederer said that she "hoped to hell" that the draft is coming and said that she would personally like to see if any children of Bush supporters would enlist in the military.

Phil Waste of Hinesville, Ga. said that there are not traitors here as suggested by right-wing media pundits over the course of this week. He and his wife have three sons and two grandchildren, a grandson and a granddaughter who are active military. In total, they have spent over 57 months in Iraq.

This afternoon, one of the singers will perform at Camp Casey and another rally will be held. They wanted eveyone who hasn't seen the Arlington West crosses from Los Angeles to see them. They were created by Veterans for Peace members.

The pro-Bush contingency is right outside the Pirate Field in the parking lot, carrying around large American flags. They number about 50 people, including a man with a loudspeaker on the back of a pickup truck.

About 300 people were at the pro-peace rally.


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