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Did You Go to a Vigil?


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Here's mine: I went to a vigil with about 50 people in the small town of Cheverly, Md. Several people took turns speaking. We sang "Give Peace a Chance." Then we broke up the circle and talked to friends and new aquaintances. The Prince George's Sentinel and the Gazette were both there. We're assuming that the Washington Post was either covering the event over at the White House or had decided this was all beneath them.
-David Swanson

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Orlando vigil photos.

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Thirty seven of us met in a park by a river in Georgetown, Texas.
We held our candles, stood in a circle and all took turns speaking what was on their minds. We took turns reading some Celtic prayers as the full moon rose and we stood under very old trees that had survived all sorts of turmoil in Texas and the country. May we be as strong as those symbols of strength and beauty. We have a hard road ahead.

I counted at least 200 people at the Village Green (i.e., twice the number that had registered).

Wonderful! (MoveOn reports not up yet, so posting here.)
148 people came to the center of town to support Cindy and honor those killed in this criminal conflict. From 3 to 93 yrs - all lined the street in tribute and petition for an end to the occupation of Iraq. Three pro-Bush people came and stood quietly next to us. Felt sorry for them - well not much.

200-300 People...remarkable for a small 'burb. Several speakers, many creative ways to keep candles lit in the ocean's wind. Needed some PA, though...hard to hear speakers over ocean. Small crosses/memorial set up, no trouble from hecklers. Media coverage good. No cops, no hassles, all very low-key.

We had two vigils last night, three blocks apart. Despite the local newspaper misprinting the location, we ended up with about 120 people between the two sites.

It was peaceful and powerful. We got a lot of honking with thumbs-up and/or peace signs from passing motorists.

Although the local paper ran one photo of our group, it chose to run an AP article about the vigil in Denver, rather than show our community what a good showing we had last night!

We had a very beautiful event at the home of Camp Pendleton and the Marines who have lost so many of their Brothers-in-Arms. I led a chant, "No More War!" which was on the TV news on ABC last night, and I hear it was also on this morning's news.

Approximately 150-180 people turned out - families, couples, singles and many children. We had only one anti-protester, which was amazing to me. We had lots of news coverage from ABC and NBC, The North County Times newspaper, and The Union Tribune, another San Diego County Newspaper all thanks to Barbara Schulz who hosted the event and really pushed the media to cover our event.

Everyone that I spoke with were honored and pleased with the event on the beach just north of Oceanside Pier. Everyone showed great support for Cindy. Many people also signed large poster boards with messages to Cindy. Barbara is going to FedEx them to Cindy today. I took many photos which I will upload today. We all made a difference and our voice was heard! Keep on keeping on! Bring the troops home - NOW!

I attended one of the many vigils in and around Baltimore. We stood at McKeldin Square in Baltimore's tourist mecca, the Inner Harbor. There were about 50 of us peacefully holding signs and candles. We stood for 10 minutes before a Baltimore City policeman told us we needed a permit and would have to move. This is not true and I proceeded to let the officer know that. After 15 minutes or so of my dialoguing with this sergeant, we remained where we were for the next 2 hours. We had lots of honks and shouts of support and we were pleased to be able to talk with folks who walked by about Cindy and why she waits in Crawford. The Inner Harbor is always a "tough" crowd but the support we received last night was more than ever before.

It never fails that demonstrators in Baltimore are always harassed by the police. As I reminded the sergeant, he was wrong about the law and should be ashamed to participate in these tactics. I encouraged him to call his supervisor to get a refresher course in Baltimore City law, which he did. After that call, he told us we could remain.

We can not, must not, acquiesce to the demands of those who have been ordered to intimidate us. This happened because Baltimore City officials do not want protesters with uncomfortable messages anywhere near tourists who are spending money and "enjoying themselves" in Baltimore. If we do not remain vigilant in defending and exercising, no matter what, our constitutionally guaranteed rights under the First Amendment, we will lose them for good.

Thank you, Cindy Sheehan, for breathing new life into our movement. I am proud and humbled to stand with you.

Below is the article...my co-host was interviewed by Air-America! I've been asked to run a campaign...good grief. Americans are takin' back America!

Hundreds gather at North County beaches to oppose war

By: DARRIN MORTENSON and YVETTE URREA - Staff Writers

NORTH COUNTY ---- Cindy Sheehan's protest outside President Bush's ranch drew hundreds of supporters to Texas and grabbed headlines around the world ---- now, the grieving-mother-turned-peace-activist has tapped into an undercurrent of anti-war sentiment in North County.

On Wednesday evening, hundreds of local residents gathered at two beaches and at least one church to protest the war in Iraq and support Sheehan, who since Aug. 6 has camped out in front of Bush's Crawford, Texas, ranch to ask that he personally explain to her why her son died in Iraq.

Army Spec. Casey Sheehan, 24, of rural Vacaville, was killed in the Sadr City section of Baghdad during a Shiite uprising in April 2004.

After meeting amicably with Bush and a group of parents of fallen troops shortly after her son's death, Sheehan, 48, has emerged as a potent voice, questioning and protesting U.S. military involvement in Iraq.

Wednesday's vigils, called for by MoveOn.org but organized mostly by unaffiliated locals, proved that the pain and anger in Sheehan's voice has resonated even with residents of conservative North County.

"This is America taking America back ... this is the beginning," said Barbara Schultz, organizer of a two-hour candlelight vigil on the beach north of the Oceanside pier which drew about 150 residents and visitors for conversation and song.

About 200 people gathered at the Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Carlsbad, and more than 400 were signed up for a similar vigil at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas.

The local vigils were in response to a call by Sheehan and her growing encampment in Crawford to join in a nationwide demand for accountability from Bush and to demand that American troops be brought home from Iraq.

By 5 p.m. Wednesday, more than 50,000 people had signed up for at least 1,627 vigils across the country and in several spots abroad.

At the Pilgrim United Church of Christ, residents sang anti-war songs and prayed for peace.

With their candles in hand, they gathered outside the church around tarps that bore the names of all the service men and women who have been killed in Iraq since the war began in March 2003. Others lined the corner of Chestnut Avenue and Monroe Street, praying and singing in public solidarity with Sheehan.

Jim Brown, 60, of Encinitas, a Marine Corps combat veteran and peace activist, said he attended the Veterans for Peace Convention in Dallas, where Sheehan first announced her plans to park herself in front of Bush's ranch.

"I want (the people here) to feel empowered by her example," Brown said before the vigil Wednesday.

Another peace activist, Fernando Suarez del Solar, whose son was killed during the first week of the war, told the group he has been in contact with Sheehan via e-mail and is trying to help.

"We need ... more Americans to say, 'Bring them home now,' " said the Escondido resident.

Jeannie Soverns, 38, and Julie Thompson, 35, both mothers from Vista, recently returned from Crawford where they met with Sheehan.

"What I saw down there were a lot of grieving parents," Thompson said. "I drove 24 hours to tell Cindy Sheehan that I'll hear her, I care."

At the event in Oceanside, many of the participants seemed a bit unsure how to go about their vigil, some admitting that it was their first public action against the war.

They gathered around a 20-foot, round peace symbol marked in the sand by candles burning in paper bags, taking turns singing and talking about why they came.

"I finally got to the point where I felt like a hypocrite," said 31-year-old Amanda Blackburn, of San Clemente. "For me to sit back and say that (the war) was wrong but not do anything about it ---- I couldn't do that anymore."

Against the roar of the surf and the friendly chatter of the growing crowd, 71-year-old Korean War veteran Mark Irvin took a candle and his place around the peace ring. He said his wife and their 8-year-old grandson were on vacation from Phoenix when they read about Wednesday's vigil.

"This war is just wrong," he said. "It was a war we started ---- nobody else ---- that Bush started."

He said he had never participated in a protest before Wednesday.

Like Irvin, but for entirely different reasons, 65-year-old Vista resident Ruth O'Neil said she attended to oppose the vigil and the message it would send the troops.

"These fellas just need to know that they have our support," she said, holding a sign that read "Freedom isn't Free" at the edge of the crowd.

Other local war supporters and Bush backers say they will join a caravan next week, driving from Sacramento to Bush's ranch in Crawford to drown out the protesters with their own message. The caravan is being organized by North County politician Howard Kaloogian, a former North County Republican assemblyman and founder of Move America Forward.

Among the few active duty Marines at the Oceanside vigil Wednesday, Pfc. Michael Lewis, 20, of Virginia, said he held nothing against those gathered to oppose the war.

On the contrary, he said, "It just makes me want to fight a lot harder, make sure everyone comes back the way they went out."

Looking out over the candles and the chattering crowd, he said he was glad that at least people were gathering to talk about the war as he gears up to deploy in February.

"I guess the only thing that disappoints me," he said, "is that there are not more (people) here."

Contact staff writer Darrin Mortenson at (760) 740-5442 or dmortenson@nctimes.com.

It was a wonderful gathering! The sunset was awesome, the full moon rising -brilliant- and a rare summer southern swell made for perfect waves.
I am so thankful we were able to get together to support Cindy and all of our fellow Americans!

Peace
~Laura

"NORTH COUNTY ---- Cindy Sheehan's protest outside President Bush's ranch drew hundreds of supporters to Texas and grabbed headlines around the world ---- now, the grieving-mother-turned-peace-activist has tapped into an undercurrent of anti-war sentiment in North County."

North County? I think the appropriate words would have been the WHOLE COUNTRY...

About 430 people lined the intersection of Gregson and Main streets holding signs and candles to voice their support for Cindy Sheehan, whose son, Casey, was killed in Iraq in April 2004.

I am a resident of Durham Co., presently vacationing "up North" on Cape Cod. I attended a vigil in Orleans, MA, a little town on the elbow of the Cape. It was a spectacularly beautiful evening, and almost 200 people lined the streets in front of the library to support Cindy and an end to this war. I'm so proud to see your post about Durham. Attending such an event away from home made me realize how many people there are across the country who share our anger and want to be active.

I am truely sorry for anyone who lost someone to this war. I do not like war.... I really don't think any one does. I just want to know though what these folks thought their son's husband's and father's were doing when they enlisted. If they had been drafted did not have a choice to be where they are at now........ I would understand more their anger..... but everone who is there joined the military. Did they think they were there to get paid to defend our country ..... alot of them have advanced their education..... and now when they have to go to war some feel they do not need to do what they were paid and trained to do. No matter they do not agree with what we are fighting for ..... they knew after Viet Nam that is the chance they will take when they go in. They have a boss same as ever one....... he says go to war you go. If you do not want that then keep your family from joining. I have two sons that were in the Marines they could be there now and they would only have them selves to blame. My son in law will be there in Jan. It would have killed me to have something happen to my son's but it would not be President Bush who killed them it would have been someone who does not know how to leave the people in this country alone and let us live in peace. That is all any of us want they do not.

Respectfully, my response to "Sorry" would be, as it is the soldier's duty to fight when sent to war, as that is the "contract" between soldier and the country, it is our duty as citizens to question our government if we believe the war was started and is based on less than noble reasons or outright lies. Just like any job, if the boss is not doing a good job or the company is putting the workers in undue danger, it is the job of the citizens to bring that company to task.

That was very well put.

I support our Troops, I just don't think they should be risking their lives so some pansie boy can grease the palms of his rich buddies.

The Troops have all of my respect. But the President does not. He blew up the Towers and then pointed a finger while he new the Country was still shocked and mourning. He is a sick man who killed innocent people HERE IN THE U.S. and abroad. IMPEACH HIM!

I am afraid you do not get the point here. Please remember that the root cause of the anti-war anger and subsequent movement are the lies and hypocricy. (DSM, Karl Rove, Niger yellow cake, WMD, MUSHROOM CLOUDS in America etc Etc ETC)Cindy Sheehan has somehow galvanized the nations frustration, but she is only a catalyst of a rising tide of righteous indignation at not being truly represented in the Congress or the media. And please dont forget to ask every single war pundit: "Who in YOUR family is helping with this 'noble' cause?"

A volunteer armed services is a great thing. It means we are not conscripting people against their will. I support it completely.

When our brave young men and women join the military they do so for a variety of reasons. If they do so because they have been LIED TO, then we (our country) has stolen their service through FRAUD, and we should all be ashamed.

I am so very proud and thankful to each and every person in the military and to their families for supporting them. I want them to have all the best tools they need to do their jobs and the best benefits and healthcare when they come home. (Funny, me, a "liberal democrat" feeling that way, while the Republicans are cutting the VA and sending them off without the proper armor -- so funny indeed.)

We (as a nation) and our government leaders have a MORAL OBLIGATION to not put our boys and girls into harms way without having exhausted EVERY OTHER POSSIBLE OPTION! Our children are not "fodder units" (a term used by Bush as told by HIS biographer) but are human beings to be respected and protected.

This administration LIED to the American people and even to the congress. This administration cherry-picked and manipulated intelligence to make the situation look different than it was. This administration changed its story four times about why we thousands of American soldiers went to their deaths and tens of thousands more are injured and hundreds of thousands of "them" are dead or injured and an entire nation is a total disaster. First, their story was WMD, complete with promises of "mushroom clouds" and "smoking guns" when they KNEW this was false and were being TOLD BY THEIR OWN PEOPLE that this was false. Then, it was because Saddam was a "bad guy" who needed to be taken from power. Well, that may be all true, but the American people wouldn't have bought it and still don't. Finally, it's because "Democracy" needs to be spread into the region, but, strangely enough, it looks like a theocracy that is going to take hold.

The REAL reasons have to do with the PNAC's goals for control over the Middle East, and until this administration is called to account for all the LIES they told, we will never get to that.

Sorry, Mr. Anonymous Sorry, but the people we are killing in Iraq and whose country we are destroying (not rebuilding) did nothing to the United States of America. THAT WAS THE TERRORISTS BEING SUPPORTED AND HIDING IN AFGHANISTAN -- the ones we let get away, after we said we would "smoke them out" and get them "dead or alive."

The bosses at Enron gave illegal orders too. When bosses give bad orders, you must say: "No, that is wrong, and I will not do that." Otherwise, when the war crime trials come, your only answer will be "I was just following orders." Where have I heard that before? Why am I, the "agnostic, hedonistic, liberal" having to explain the moral imperative -- wasn't it the Republicans who had all these morals?

Charlie L
Portland, OR
CLL2001@gmail.com

Friday noon moment of silence. Saturday TBD. September 24-26 in Washington, D.C. Let's take our democratic republic back! (Support the recount in San Diego -- who knows what secrets we will uncover!)

You are a fool if you allow others to do your thinking for you. It is this administration that lied and would have you believe that Iraqis in any way threatened us or "did not let us live in peace." This is nonsense. We have never been threatened by Iraq. "We" the US, invaded Iraq and now occupy it. "we" have killed an estimated 100,000 Iraqis in this latest conflict. "They" have no escape from "our" war.

I'd like to tell Anonymous that what these boys were doing when they enlisted was volunteering to defend America, not defend Iraqis from their own insurgency. That matters big time.

A soldier can expect to face death to defend his country, but he shouldn't be asked to face death defending someone else's country. Especially in a wrongful war.

America started a war. We have never done that before, but there are times when we might be called upon to do so when faced with an imminent threat. This war wasn't such a time. When you start a war you don't guess there's a threat, you damn well know there's one. You don't risk thousands of lives based on a hunch. As General Zinni said:

"Never before in over two centuries of our history have we struck first. Do I believe we should reserve the right to strike first? Yes, absolutely. I think there could be conditions in our own defense; there could be things that are happening that are so horrible that we must act. But, when you make that decision for the first time, you have to get it right and you have to be sure it is the right action and you have to be right."

I'm a vet of WWII and Korea, so I understand a military man must obey even orders with which he doesn't agree. It doesn't matter whether you are a draftee or not, the American right to be angry, and let it be known he is angry is not only a right, it's a duty.

You have the consumate gall to question whether a parent has the right to be angry over the death of a son in what he and others consider an immoral war! Every grunt at the front has a right to be angry his buddies got blown to bits and he risked the same in an unjustified war.

catfella

These men AND women (in case you missed the facts, which I can tell you have, many US military WOMEN have also been killed) joined the military to protect our country not our business sector. Our honorable troops were sent to Iraq based on our President's evil plan to get his hands on the last known oil deposits in the world, underneath Iraqi soil. It has BEEN PROVEN Bush lied in order to achieve his agenda. There IS NO LINK between 9/11 and Iraq. That is not reason to send our troops to their death. Finding Osama Bin Laden was reason but Bush now says that is not important. Get your head out of your behind and learn the truth. Your sons and your son in law deserve a better parent. You may feel differently when your child is in a body bag, snuck back in pieces into this country and for what? Oil. As long as you buy into Bush's lies, more will die.

When you join the military, I would assume you are thinking that you will be working for and defending honorable and just and humane causes ... if the boss says to go to war and that means to support his tyrannical, inhumane, corrupt activities, why is that supportable behavior? The lemmings rush to the sea...the Nazis marched to Hitler's orders...shall I go on? The final example: if your master tells you to shoot your child in the head and then march happily into the sunset whistling My Country Tis Of Thee, would you simply comply?

Did you go? Are you a veteran. Please Respond ?

I'm sure that when Casey Sheehan, and all the other enlisted soldiers sighned up for military service, they knew that they might someday have to fight to defend their country. The real tragedy here is that this war is not, and never was about defending our country. It is about protecting United States economic and strategic interests. Bush used the horror of 9/11 (not connected with Iraq) to frighten people into believing his lies about the WMDs. No person, enlisted or otherwise, should have to fight and die for a pack of lies. This administration has no morals, and no regard for the lives of our troops, who are being used as pawns in a cold and calculated game.

Imagine you had a son who was was hired to work at the zoo. He was proud to get this job and looked sharp in his uniform. Plus, ever since he was a young man he enjoyed being around animals. Then further imagine that his boss George the zoo-keeper told your son that the male lion was acting out and posed a possible threat to the community. He ordered your son to enter the Lions cage and slap the beast around for about six minutes "you know, show him who's the boss." Well, naturally the lion devours your son.
Now who are you mad at? The Lion or lyin' George?

There were two vigils in Indianapolis, one in downtown at Monument Circle and a smaller one on the northside. Both were peaceful with no counter demonstrations. The local (Gannett) newspaper estimated the downtown crowd at 125 and Channel 13 at about 300. Our line stretched to more than half the circle. My guess is that there were 200-250. One couple said they had been there 36 years ago protesting the Vietnam war and asked, "When will they ever learn?" One woman said her husband was in Iraq and as soon as it was clear there were no weapons of mass destruction she turned against the war. US Representative Julia Carson said she hoped the pictures from Indianapolis would let Cindy Sheehan know of the widespread support she has. Many cars honked in support of the vigil and waved at the crowd which spanned all ages from the very senior to young families with babies in strollers. What is amazing for Indianapolis is that there was not a single negative incident. One bystander said she didn't realize there were that many liberals in Indiana. But she was smiling when she said it.

I drove down from Malibu to attend the vigil held in Coronado, Ca yesterday.

I wanted to see what the reaction would be, smack dab in the middle of a very conservative military town.

Last night I stood with all sorts of people: Mothers, Fathers, Grandparents, military families, vets back from Iraq. I listened to the voices of those sane, true patriots who now speak for the majority of the country. I realized I was among those who really do "get it".

Those still spewing the war line have fallen out of favor with the majority of us, so they are yelling even louder, but the people aren't listening to their insanity any more. That's the beauty of our way of life; the majority seem to emerge on the side of morality, leaving the rabid minds to spin in their confusing circle of sin and degradation.

Among those true patriots last night, I saw what is right about us. I saw that real Americans are just as disgusted at the immoral behavior of the minority as I am, and they are "truth speaking to power".

Before the evening ended, the crowd listened to Steve McDonald's "Fallen Flowers", and the Mothers, Fathers, Lovers, Vets and brothers held their candles, they cried.

When I returned home, I looked up McDonald's song, and found the following by Mark Reynolds: (http://www.strike-the-root.com)

"There is only one reason that I can see for war, and that is the reason that the Iraq RESISTANCE exists. When someone invades another country or the territory of someone else, they can expect to be repelled as an INVADER, not as a “liberator

Main and bodega About 120 in our small northern california town, overwhelming positive response for vigil from traffic unlike years past when we demonstrated at same main street and bodega ave. There are 10 Million references for AFterDowningStreet.org on Goggle . This seems a HUGE jump from yesterday. When People Lead the Leaders Follow.
thank you for this website . Thanks to Cindy. we are not alone anymore. Check DemocracyNow.org on Net for report..... Peace

Candlelight vigil with 80 people in Moscow, Id. Talk of a trip to "see" visiting W on Moday. Support, singing and good spirits.

Hi, I am from Suffolk County Long Island. I participated in a vigil in East Patchogue. When I looked in the morning there were 0 participants registered with Move On. By noon there were about twenty and although I had a Weight Watchers meeting, I decided to go after. By the time I left the house at six there were 50 some people registered. When I got there shortly after it started, and I had brought flyers with local bus numbers for Sept. 24th, there were close to 100 on the lawn of this woman's home. She had started it knowing no one else was around. Several people from South Country Peace Group,and counter recruiting activists, Women in Black, Pax Christi and others sent it around through e mails. The minority of the people were friends I vigil with, the majority were many from the local churches in East Patchogue, Patchogue,Bellport,Shirley and other suburban small villages nearby. Many honks of support as we held our candles a long the road, a few catcalls, not many, and one gentleman who came out of his car just as we were having a closing circle and said he had fought in WWII and was against what we were doing. Simultaneously 3 people from different parts of the crowd said to him "Thank you for your service". Then he said you are against the troops, and several woman patiently explained to him the fallacy of that. As he left I said to him,"Isn't that what makes America great, that there are many diverse opinions" I don't think he knew what to say. He quietly got back in his car and left.
Our vigil ended with several peace songs,"the women's song, we will go forward, never turning back which we added, we will work for peace, never turning back, never turning back. Someone asked me to say a few words and I said that I had worked for peace all my life, was currently working with my co-chair Dennis of South Country Peace Group and that they were beautiful the new beautiful flowers of the peace movement. (Sorry I can't help it, I write poetry). We have been doing a vigil in Patchogue for 19 months where we read the names of the dead alternating American and Iraqi to show how precious all human life is.

Thank you Move On for doing this. It took one courageous woman who didn't think many would come, got home late from work to find 100 people holding candles on her lawn. I cried from the beauty of it.
Right there on that lawn is the America I love, the innate goodness of many ordinary people with extraordinary hearts.

Between 70-75 of us (all ages) held a vigil to support Cindy Sheehan's courage in speaking truth to power. It is noisy with traffic at the corner of College and Allen but, as we stood silent with candles, a dozen in our number individually addressed us with the heartfelt reasons why they had come, from an ex-marine (female), a Korean War veteran to an organizer of Women for Peace in 1964 who said she couldn't believe she was singing "We Shall Overcome" (as we were) again last evening...."when will they ever learn."

I took many photos of our event and you can view them on my web site on a page I created with a photo gallery. Enjoy them at: http://www.jussta.com/vigil_by_the_sea.htm

LINK

Fire Karl Rove!
Hang Abramoff!
Indict, indict, indict!!!

-BeNt
bentpatriot@yahoo.com
http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/

There were about 100 of us on the corner of Lakeshore and Mandana. It was one of many vigils in Oakland. Ours was silent. I don't have any photo maybe some one else will post.

Signing up as a host barely 24 hours before the event, I thought I'd be alone with my mosquitos -- that if anyone should join me here in Seguin, they would be Democratic regulars. But to my delight and surprise, more than a dozen men, women, and teenagers came, some from across Guadalupe County, and almost half the group learned about the vigil through MoveOn and United for Peace websites.
We did our best to keep numerous candles lit, sat in a circle, and talked until well after dark about the wrongs being done daily in our name all over the world. We asked, "Exactly what are we exporting to Iraq and beyond? It's certainly not democracy!"
We agreed that our military must be brought home safely, that we must do all we can to rebuild Iraq, that we must practice real democracy in our country before we try to push it elsewhere, and that we need to know the true agenda of the Administration and its most powerful corporate backers. Mostly, we thanked Cindy for her inspiration and example, and we remind everybody that George W. Bush is not really a Texan. He grew up in privilege in Maine, and his Texan accent has only appeared since he ventured into politics.

About 200 people attended a candlelight vigil in the park at the center of town. A large number of motorists signaled their support by honking. In the one hour or so I was there only two drivers signaled their disapproval.

Yes we in the great state of Texas are standing up with Cindy to end this senseless,immoral war.We had about 70 people in a field next to a Starbucks on a major highway.We all sang and chanted "What do we want"PEACE "When do we want it"NOW"! Almost 100% positive comeing from the people passing our site.This is American's taking back America. On to D.C. the 24th of Sept.People get ready there's a train a commen.

We had 26 people at a vigil on a downtown street corner in Laramie, Wyoming last night. The participants ranged in age from under one to nudging eighty. And the reaction from those driving past was wonderful. At least half honked enthusiastically in support of our efforts.

To read more or see photos of the event, go here: http://www.sufpw.org/sheehan_vigil.htm

For the skeptics, myself included, here's the truth. Camarillo, located in Ventura County, southern California, probably majority Republican, agricultural, 25,000 population, suburban, quiet, conservative, had an anti-war vigil 8/17/05. Final headcount either 99 or 100 depending on whose count you believe. The woman who organized it counted 99, but then someone else said that right after the count a young man driving by pulled into the parking lot, got out, said he'd seen the group and decided to join it because he was against the war.

7:10 p.m. I left my house, drove down Carmen towards the park, and saw one woman standing on the corner of the park, by herself, and thought "Oh no, not just one person." When I got to the other corner of the park I saw about 10 people with signs and candles, and decided 10 was OK.

So I parked, got out, went over to join them, immediately started talking to some very nice people.

I'd made a sign, about 12" x 16", poked holes in the top, tied a ribbon through it, hung it around my neck. The top part was downloaded from a website and it said "America Stands with Cindy" [Sheehan]. And to make sure no one was confused about my position, I typed in on my computer, in 106 pt font, the bottom half of the sign, which said "U.S. Out Of Iraq." I figured that was a clear as I could be. Lots of people liked my sign, and took pictures of it.

So I stand by a few people and talk to them. One couple, she's teacher, he's retired. An Indian man with his son. Another couple maybe in their 70s. They've brought their chairs and their signs and candles with them. They set up their chairs, get out their signs, light their candles, and sit on the corner telling the world they're against this war.

Then I look up, and see more people coming, walking down the sidewalk on Carmen carrying signs and candles, and others coming who have parked in the City Hall parking lot. Then we get the mommy brigade, a group of women with babies and baby carriages, carrying their signs and candles, against the war.

Then the police came - or sheriffs, or rent-a-cop, or whatever we have in Camarillo - three of them in some little car, window rolled down, and the passenger in the front leans out and waves at us, smiling.

Lots of people brought their kids.

And the cars driving by were a terrific surprise. I can't tell you the number of cars that honked, rolled down their windows, gave us the thumbs up, gave us the peace sign. I think people were really happy to see 100 people in Camarillo standing on a street corner telling George Bush we don't like him, and we don't like his war.

We had a great turnout for our candlelight vigil in support of the troops and Cindy. We estimated about 200 people. I was so pleased by the turnout, and the feeling of solidarity and hope. The leader of the vigil tried to keep the focus on the soldiers who are serving, have died, or have returned home. We heard from sisters and mothers of those who are in Iraq now. I spoke a few words (with my 3 yr. old daughter on my hip) about my cousin who served in Iraq and came home a different person. It was a very emotional evening, with some signing, a little shouting, and hardly a dry eye in the crowd. Thank you, Cindy, for starting this national conversation about the reasons for the war in Iraq, and when we can end it. Asking questions is not unpatriotic, it is responsible!

The icing on the cake was to see the vigil get Top Story billing in our local paper today!
http://www.gazettetimes.com/articles/2005/08/18/news/top_story/thu01.txt

Our vigil, sponsored by Quad-Cities Progressive Action for the Common Good, was attended by about 200 people! It was both a vigil and a "welcome home" for a local woman, Caryn Unsicker, who traveled to Crawford, Texas to support Cindy Sheehan's efforts. Caryn spoke to us about her first-hand experiences with the Peace House, Camp Casey, and the Texas heat. She spoke of the deeply emotional nature of her time spent there and encouraged us to continue in our efforts to protest the Iraq war.
We sang, shared information, lit candles and glow sticks, and made plans to have a local presence at the march on Washington on September 24! Special thanks to Dick Fallow, who composed and sang his newest song, "It's a long way to Crawford, Texas" to welcome Caryn back and express his own views about Cindy's efforts!

Last night in a constant downpour backlit by the Parthenon in Centennial Park 200 to 300 people stood with Cindy Sheehan and silently prayed for the return of our troops..... safely and soon.

Heaven wept and Osama smiled on Cindy.

How sad and pathetic you are. Why don't you try walking in Cindy's shoes for awhile. What makes Osama happy is war, killing, and America wasting it's resources on an unwinnable "war". You can't make war on a noun. Instead of ocupying Iraq so George's oil buddies can get rich, we should be hunting down Osama and the other terrorists like the dog's they are. But Bush can't be bothered, after all if Osama was caught the American people might find out who trained Osama to be a terrorist. The good ol' USA, namely Ronald Reagan and his merry cohorts, many of whom hold positions in George Jrs. administration. My advice to you is stop drinking the Kool-Aid, and find out some facts. Not right propaganda, that can't stand up to independent analysis. After all doesn't the bible say "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth."

Jerk..............

it's because of people like you that we have to have these vigils, to remind everyone of the cost of war. It would be much easier to stay home and keep our mouths shut but obviously there are still people out there who believe Bush's pack of lies. What is it going to take - a sworn testament from the chief liar himself? Naivete is for children and fools - are you one of these?

We had a wonderful vigil in Orlando - approximately 300 people, a beautiful (if warm) night, and a peaceful, almost spiritual event. Absolutely wonderful - please join us every third Wednesday at Lake Eola at 7:30 p.m. - we'll be there until the troops come home.

You know this poster is an obvious ass but I feel compelled to respond to such a mindless hurtful spew.

In the build-up towards the Iraq war I marched in the massive and historic anti-war march in Washington DC. It was frigidly cold but hundreds of thousands braved the freezing weather to have their voices heard. All manner of banners and posters were on display but the one that still stands out in my mind was a rework of the famous recruitment poster of Uncle Sam saying "I want you" (I hope you know the one). The rework had Osama bin Laden's face pasted over Uncle Sam's and the caption was changed to say "I want you to invade Iraq". How true this poster turned out to be! Iraq, a country that had no ties to al Qeada now is a hotbed of terrorist, the United States mired in a costly war with no clear end in sight. Osama smiled?? He sure did. When the Bush cabal mislead the USA to invade Iraq. That is when Osama smiled.

or better yet, send your close relative, possibly your son, to enlist so they can ship him to Iraq ASAP. When your son gets killed, please come back here and tell us how you feel. We'll weep with you.

I don't understand what you have written. Sounds like a foolish thing to say.

I understand why cowards wish to remain anonymous

Yes, Heaven wept over the senseless deaths and GOD smiled on Cindy.

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