Cindy Sheehan brings fight for peace to BG PDF Print E-mail
Written by JORDAN CRAVENS, Sentinel Staff Writer   
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 09:05
Cindy Sheehan speaking at Happy Badger in BG. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Cindy Sheehan made headlines in 2005 when she staged a lengthy anti-war protest outside of former U.S. President George W. Bush's Texas ranch. Since then, the California woman known as "The Tornado" by the Secret Service, has pitched tents in the nation's capital, ran for Congress against Democratic powerhouse Nancy Pelosi and been arrested multiple times fighting for a cause she firmly believes in.
On Monday, the nationally known anti-war activist stood on the hardwood floors of the Happy Badger in downtown Bowling Green as part of a 90-day cycling ride from her son's grave in California to the nation's capital. She calls her ride the "Tour de Peace."
Her ride began April 4 from her son's, Casey Sheehan, grave in Vacaville, Calif., and will conclude on July 3 in "WashedUp DeCeit," Sheehan's nickname for Washington, D.C. Her son, a 24-year-old Army Specialist, was killed in action in Iraq on April 4, 2004.
"We have struggled for so long, it's hard for us to believe there is a better way," Sheehan told the crowd.
She has several ideas for a better way, which took the form of a list of demands. The demands are: to end wars; to end immunity for U.S. war crimes; to end suppression of civil rights; to end use of fossil fuels and nuclear power; to end persecution of whistle blowers; and to end partisan apathy and inaction.
"Just think of all the trillions of dollars we have spent on the wars for empire," Sheehan said. "Can you all think of something we can do with that money here? How about not closing schools?"
Sheehan said the money being spent on war takes away from social services, education, infrastructure and health care, for example.
"We spend trillions of dollars of our valuable resources on these wars. And that's what we need to link together."
On fossil fuels, Sheehan decided to sell her car seven years ago. She walks, bikes or uses public transportation.
"I had such negative feelings about partaking in the fossil fuel economy," she said.
But Sheehan isn't naive to think she would simply bike to D.C. and have these demands met.
"We think it's about journey of Tour de Peace rather than the destination of 'WashedUp DeCeit.'"
Despite group efforts over the last nine years, Sheehan said, not a lot has changed.
"I think the biggest problem is that every two to four years, our movements get derailed by elections," she said.
"People get so divided, so polarized especially around presidential elections."
The latest example of this, she said, was Barack Obama's election, which nearly halted the anti-war movement.
"We should fit our activism to our own principles - no matter who is in office," Sheehan said.
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