Pulse of the Twin Cities
Local mother joins Camp Casey
Cindy Sheehan to speak in Mpls Saturday
by Julia Curran
Editor’s note: As we were going to press, Women Against Military Madness announced that Cindy Sheehan will speak in Minneapolis Sat., Sept. 3, at a time and place to be announced. Sheehan is the mother of a fallen soldier who inspired a mass protest outside George W. Bush’s compound in Crawford, Texas. For more information contact Women Against Military Madness at 612-827-5364 or visit WorldWideWAMM.org.
The mainstream media, so easily drawn into the political rhetoric of the Iraq war, prefers dealing in abstractions, numbers and money, oil and faraway names. In these stories humanity, if it appears at all, is a quirky supporting character tacked on at the end.
Cindy Sheehan, whose son Casey died in Iraq last year, has led the most successful push yet to humanize the war and its soldiers. As she has become the face of motherly love and mourning in a sea of abstract political posturing, supporters and sympathizers have poured into Camp Casey outside President George W. Bush’s Texas compound.
While other anti-war protests have received little, if any, attention, Sheehan’s simple demand to meet with Bush is galvanizing people across the political spectrum.
Kathy Stone, a freelance journalist and single mother from St. Paul, is among those who took action on behalf of Sheehan’s son and other soldiers. Two weekends ago she traveled to Camp Casey to keep vigil with Sheehan. In an interview the day before she left, Stone talked about Sheehan, the war, and the anti-war movement.
PULSE: Could you talk a little bit about why you are joining Cindy Sheehan outside of Bush’s compound? Why this protest, instead of all the others going on?
STONE: This is what we’ve been waiting for—someone with the moral authority to demand answers. I’ve heard [Sheehan] speak and it’s from the heart. She has this quiet determination that is very infectious. She speaks for a lot of us.
I’ve seen the polls; Bush’s approval rating is dropping. When we say that we are fed up with the war and want some answers, it’s not an extremist view, that’s a mainstream view. It’s too bad that people are divided, but I think that we’re coming together on this, and what she says is real. They can try to tear her apart, but they can’t tear apart what she’s saying. [Sheehan]’s right there at Bush’s ranch. It’s time. It’s past time.
People want some answers— Americans aren’t going to blindly follow along with this anymore. She’s not alone by any means.
An average of 50 innocent Iraqis who didn’t attack us are dying each day. They are living under terrible conditions. We can’t let it go on in our names if we don’t agree with it. It’s horrifying. We owe it to everybody—soldiers, their families, and Iraqis—to speak up about it.
Even in Minnesota we have 2,500 National Guard members shipping out for training for eventual deployment to Iraq. I don’t think they anticipated going to Iraq when they signed up. This makes it even more urgent for there to be some accounting for why parents have to send body armor to their children over there. It’s more urgent every day. Congress doesn’t seem able to do anything.
PULSE: What drew you to become a member of Women Against Military Madness? Does your status as “mother