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Women set to join Texas war protest

August 13, 2005
Cape Cod Times

HYANNIS - A local Marine mother will soon join a California woman's Texas standoff with President George W. Bush.

War protesters and parents of people who have died in the war have gathered in Crawford, Texas, in support of Cindy Sheehan, who has been outspoken in her criticism of Bush since her son Casey, 24, was killed in Iraq in April 2004.

Sheehan said she will camp out in Crawford for Bush's five-week summer vacation unless he grants her a meeting.

West Barnstable resident Mimi Evans, whose 29-year-old son will soon deploy to Iraq, is among more than 20 people being sent to Texas by the Boston-based group Military Families Speak Out to support Sheehan.

She'll be joined by two members of Cape Codders for Peace and Justice, Diane Turco and Sarah Thacher.

Evans always had a soft spot for social activism, but never got involved herself until after the 2000 presidential election. A family member invited her to Washington, D.C., to protest Bush's inauguration.

''I went to Washington that day and I completely changed,'' she said. ''There were 25,000 people there. There were police in riot gear. There were snipers on the roofs.''

Now living on the Cape and working as a fundraiser for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Evans has joined the protest of the Iraq war.

Her son, who asked that his name not be used, is an attorney and a Marine - two things she never expected any of her children to be.

''He said, 'The Marines are trained to kill everything in their path and we have to trust we are being used justly,''' Evans said. ''I know all soldiers and Marines have to say that - to be blunt - to stay alive.''

Evans has packed her tent, a lawn chair and sunblock for her weeklong journey to Texas. She leaves Tuesday.

Evans, who met Sheehan recently when they were both speakers at an event held at Cape Cod Community College, said she felt compelled to join Sheehan's campout to pressure Bush.

Bush has called the war that her son will soon go into a ''noble cause.''

''I want to know what's so noble about it,'' Evans said.

Bush said earlier this week that he sympathizes with Sheehan, but that he doesn't agree with the protesters' demands to immediately remove troops from Iraq.

Sheehan met with Bush last summer, but has demanded another meeting.

Military Families Speak Out, which was started in 2002 in hopes of preventing the Iraq war, has organized more than 20 people to join Sheehan in Texas, said co-founder Nancy Lessin. The group is paying for Evans' airfare to Texas.

''It's really building the voice,'' Lessin said. ''It's helping to galvanize the nation.''

Thacher said she and Turco will do whatever needs to be done when they leave for Texas on Monday.

''We're going to raise some rumpus,'' said the East Dennis resident. ''Whatever it takes.''

This weekend Evans will visit with her son at Camp Lejeune, N.C., one last time before he is expected to be deployed to Iraq.

''Even if he comes home whole, he is going to be experiencing things no mother would want her son to experience,'' Evans said.

Amanda Lehmert can be reached at Information from the

Associated Press was used

in this article.

(Published: August 13, 2005)

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