Anti-war protest near Bush ranch
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 12, 2005 12:00 AM
SCOTTSDALE - Two Scottsdale mothers have joined a highly publicized vigil near President Bush's remote ranch in Crawford, Texas, to demand that he withdraw troops from Iraq.
"This is a real pivotal moment in the anti-war movement," said Sherry Bohlen, whose son is in Iraq. "We want to raise public awareness."
Under mounting pressure, Bush repeatedly has said it is too early to pull out of the war, but he sympathizes with parents of soldiers.
Bohlen and Rebecca Bahr, also of Scottsdale, arrived in Crawford on Wednesday afternoon, where about 200 protesters have gathered since Saturday.
Much of the media attention has been on Cindy Sheehan of Vacaville, Calif., who is camped on a roadside near Bush's ranch. Sheehan has vowed to stay put until she speaks with Bush about her son.
Casey Sheehan, 24, of the Army's 1st Battalion, was killed in Iraq on April 4, 2004, five days after he arrived.
Bahr was not available for comment Thursday. She has a daughter stateside who is a member of the Marine Corps.
Bohlen's son, Thor, 36, joined the Army two years ago after the Sept. 11 attacks.
"He wanted to serve his country," Bohlen said Thursday.
She said she believes military men and women serve their country honorably.
"But there is nothing honorable about a war based on lies." she said.
Bush went to war "knowing there were no weapons of mass destruction," Bohlen said.
Bohlen said Sheehan announced Thursday that if Bush has not spoken to her before he returns to Washington on Aug. 31, she will follow him to the White House, where she expects to be joined by other anti-war groups.
"We want to keep the pressure up," Bohlen said.
She praises Sheehan for empowering people to speak out against the war.
Bohlen compared Sheehan to Rosa Parks, a Black woman who defied segregation laws when she refused to sit in the back of a bus in Montgomery, Ala., 50 years ago.
"Just as Rosa Parks refused to get off that bus," Bohlen said, "this will be the spark that sets off a nationwide anti-war movement."
Bohlen and Bahr are staying in a motel in another town because a campground is thick with mud from heavy rainstorms.
She said they spend all day Thursday and much of the evening at Camp Casey, where there is food and music "and people telling their stories."
Bohlen said she is not sure when she and Bahr will return to Scottsdale.
"We are playing it by ear."
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