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U.S. protesters dig in despite absent anti-war mom


By Tabassum Zakaria
Reuters
Friday, August 19, 2005; 6:07 PM

CRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) - Supporters of anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan on Friday vowed to stay near U.S. President George W. Bush's Texas ranch in her absence, while opponents of her campaign displayed sheets filled with messages of support for the president.

Sheehan, whose son was killed in the Iraq war, returned to California on Thursday after her mother had a stroke. She had been camped out near the ranch in Crawford since August 6 seeking a meeting with Bush to ask him what "noble cause" her 24-year-old son, Casey, died for last year.

"I plan on returning to Camp Casey very soon, but while I'm in Los Angeles please respect that my sister, brother and I are here focusing on our mother, while the moms in Crawford focus on Bush," Sheehan said in a statement. "The president is not off the hook."

About 60 supporters attended a prayer rally at the campsite to say they were not leaving and would keep pressing for Bush to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq.

"Mr. president, we are staying here, we are keeping this vigil, this vigil is larger than Cindy," said Mimi Evans of Military Families Speak Out.

Evans said her son was being deployed to Iraq in about a week. "I said goodbye to him on Monday, then I packed my bags and I came down here on Tuesday. That's what's happening with all of us, we all needed to be here," she said.

'I GIVE A SHEET'

More than 1,800 American soldiers have died in Iraq and thousands have been injured.

About 80 Bush supporters, including a group that chartered a plane from Georgia, held a rally dubbed "I Give A Sheet" at the nearby Crawford Community Center.

They hung up white sheets filled with written messages like "Mr. Bush, you are doing a great job, thank you for all your hard work! God Bless America!"

Valerie Duty of Waco, Texas, said that as a mother she sympathized with Sheehan, but disliked the anti-Bush vehemence expressed by organizations that took up her cause.

"People who are for things don't usually go out and say something, it's usually people that are against something that does," said Eve Tidwell, who organized the group from Georgia.

They later folded the sheets and presented the stack to a White House aide at a Secret Service checkpoint. The messages were written with washable markers so the sheets can be washed and donated to homeless shelters, organizers said.

Also on Friday, clergy from Methodist, Presbyterian and Baptist churches and a rabbi held a noon prayer rally under the blazing Texas sun at the Sheehan camp.

They walked two-by-two along a line of white crosses with the names of dead soldiers written on them and knelt before the candles and crosses in front of Sheehan's tent.

"We come here to declare this a sacred place, a place of compassion, a place of healing. We come here to honor these people who did their duty as our ancestors did before them," said Andrew Weaver, a United Methodist pastor from Brooklyn, New York.

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I attended a Candle Light vigil on Wednesday evening in Westland, Michigan on City Hall property in front of the Vietnam Memorial. Over one hundred people attended with only two days notice. We were amazed and pleased by the turnout. We all talked and introduced ourselves and shared ideas and viewpoints. Many of the woman said they were happy to find others to discuss their opinions with and vent their frustrations. Many said their friends and relatives were pro-war and they had difficulty communicating with them. Also some felt that many people were indifferent and apathetic or just didn't care about this war as long and they were not affected personally by the outcome. We prayed, sang patriotic songs and then took our candles and signs to a grassy area at the edge of Ford Road, a busy intersection. We waved at those driving by and received positive responses. People blew their horns and gave us peace signs. We felt they were with us all the way. We also felt we were creating public awareness and causing many of the people to do some thinking.

GAY REPUBLICAN BIGOT "AL RANTEL" TRASHES "CAMP CASEY" Director
http://www.alrantel.com
http://www.meetwithcindy.org/
http://demopedia.democraticunderground.com/index.php/Republican_Values
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/KLOS_Impact/

DISNEY CORPORATION/L.A.,CA KABC 790AM Gay Republican bigot Al Rantel on his Aug 19 talk radio show
attempted a slur, attack match on a Documentary
filmmaker, "GLORIA OLIVA" (as it sounded by Al's pronunciation), that at Crawford, Texas, wrapped production
of a cinema verite style work called "CAMP CASEY" on Cindy Crawford's
vigil to evoke Pres. Bush Jr. on his ranch vacation. Al Rantel baited
and manipulated Oliva with rant questions on a leftest agenda. After
the guest concluded, Rantel launched into typical conservative GOP
hate vitriol calling Gloria Oliva, "a swine", "a disgusting cockroach"
how he "handled that woman", this "broad" and opened the phone lines
to mainly men that trashed Cindy Crawford and Democrat Party women
for their sex problems, unattactive age physiques, lesbian tendencies.
Proof again that the GOP media can no longer control the revived anti-
war movement globally to GOP/PENTAGON/CORPORATE crimes overseas.
Laugh and weep, Al Rantel.

Hmmmm. I wonder how many of them have eye holes.

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