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The Crawford Experience
August 20 – 21, 2005
Submitted by Carly Miller, email@example.com
I can’t imagine Hell being much hotter than Crawford, Texas. Exhausted, saddened and inspired, I have just returned from a two-day stint at Camp Casey, located adjacent to President Bush’s ranch in Crawford, where the temperature lingered around 105 degrees and, combined with the 40% humidity, was nothing short of oppressive. I am in awe of and deeply moved by the thousands of peace activists who have been at Camp Casey for what is now days, and in some cases weeks, on end, enduring the heat, insects, portable restrooms and surmountable other deterrents. For many, this is certainly not an ideal place to set up camp in a ditch on the side of a dirt road. But, for those of us who believe that the U.S. is waging an illegal, immoral, devastating war on the Iraqi people, comfort and life’s little luxuries are the least of our worries. More important for us are the increasing numbers of American soldiers dying daily, the lives of nearly 100,000 slain innocent Iraqi civilians and the utter physical and psychological destruction of a country that never posed an imminent threat or committed any actions to provoke such an unjust invasion, occupation and mass death. This is why we are in Crawford and this is why we are demanding answers.
My name is Carly Miller. I’m one half of a two-woman team operating Clothing of the American Mind (http://www.cotam.org), a grassroots apparel company dedicated to promoting, supporting and articulating vital progressive values. Through the sale of our merchandise, Clothing of the American Mind (COTAM) raises funds to assist forward-thinking organizations, including MoveOn.org, Progressive Democrats of America, Amnesty International, Gold Star Families for Peace, Peace Action, the Democratic National Committee and many other reputable causes. A percentage of every purchase is donated to these groups. Clothing of the American Mind is not just another t-shirt company trying to make a buck. For us, it’s not about money; it’s about spreading a message and outfitting informed dissenters with provocative, dialogue-inducing wear. We are heavily involved in the political climate, participating in events here in Los Angeles on an almost daily basis. In the summer of 2004, we drove across country in an RV hosting nearly 20 events in swing state cities, registering voters and raising funds. Ending our trip in Boston at the Democratic National Convention, we later headed to New York to join the thousands protesting during the Republican National Convention. During the week of the November 2, 2004 Presidential election, we worked on the ground to get out the vote both in California and Ohio.
I believe this background is important because just like Cindy Sheehan, Clothing of the American Mind did not just recently appear on the anti-war scene. Our founding in March of 2004 coincided with the 1st anniversary of the invasion of Iraq and since then, we have been an integral part of the movement fighting to take back America and our democracy.
I flew all night from LA getting minimal sleep to arrive at the Waco Regional Airport on Saturday morning, August 20th. The sideways glares began immediately as I was, of course, wearing COTAM’s very direct “Stop War