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NY Times Covers Cindy In Brooklyn
Mother Who Lost Son in Iraq Continues Fight Against War
By MARC SANTORA
Published: September 19, 2005
Cindy Sheehan, the mother of an American soldier killed in Iraq, last night brought her campaign to end the war to New York, where she accused Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of not doing enough to challenge the Bush administration's Iraq policies.
Speaking in front of more than 500 supporters in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, Ms. Sheehan, speaking of Senator Clinton, said, "She knows that the war is a lie but she is waiting for the right time to say it."
Then, as the crowd cheered, she issued a challenge to Senator Clinton, saying, "You say it or you are losing your job."
A spokesman for Senator Clinton, while not commenting about Ms. Sheehan's remarks, said that the senator, while voting to give President Bush the authority to go to war, has been very critical of the way he has chosen to use that authority.
The main focus of Ms. Sheehan's anger, however, continued to be the Bush administration. She camped outside President Bush's vacation home in Crawford, Tex., for many days last month, a move that earned her widespread attention .
Since leaving Texas, Ms. Sheehan, of Vacaville, Calif., has been traveling around the country, rallying people against the war. Her entourage includes other parents who lost their children in the war, families of soldiers overseas, and veterans who have returned from Iraq.
The tour culminates with what organizers hope will be a huge protest in Washington Sept. 24 to 26.
Many in the crowd at the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church last night were eager to get a peek at the woman whom they had seen on television.
"I was just passing by," said John Ullman, 37. "This is going to be a chance for me to get my first impression of her," he added, noting that he agrees with her goal of ending the war.
Mr. Ullman and the others who came to the church had to wait for more than an hour to hear Ms. Sheehan, as her party got lost on the streets of New York.
When they finally arrived, Ms. Sheehan, whose son Casey, 24, was killed last year, was treated like a rock star, as children and adults crowded around her, clamoring to shake her hand or get an autograph.
The church was an appropriate setting for a protest, said the Rev. David W. Dyson, who helped organize the event. Built in 1857, the church was created as part of the abolitionist movement, and tunnels below were twice used to shelter runaway slaves as part of the Underground Railroad.
Mr. Dyson said many people showed up because they respect Ms. Sheehan's willingness to speak out for what she believes.
"I was opposed to the war in the beginning," Mr. Dyson said. "I am even more opposed to it now."
Ms. Sheehan, however, was not the only person speaking to a crowd about the war in Iraq yesterday.
Gary Qualls, an Army veteran whose son also died in Iraq, spoke in Bryant Park in Manhattan as part of a gathering sponsored by Families United for Our Troops and Their Mission, which supports the Bush administration's goals.
Elsewhere, the Times Square Choir gathered for a special service called "Salute to the Troops" on the deck of the U.S.S. Intrepid, which is permanently docked on the Hudson River.
Ms. Sheehan has more events scheduled in the city, including a news conference with the Rev. Al Sharpton and other New York leaders this morning and a rally later in Union Square. She is to end her trip to New York with another speech at Riverside Church.
She also faulted the media for not scrutinizing the White House.
"It is not patriotism when you say, 'My country right or wrong,'" she said. "Because our country is very wrong now."