BREAKING NEWS FROM CAMP CASEY. . .
At the close of Cindy Sheehan's 10th day of patiently waiting on the
President to come out from his vacation ranch to speak to her, an
unidentified man premeditated a plan to vandalize the camp.
At 6:30 in the evening, a tan truck carrying a pipe dragging against the
ground behind it, drove off the County Road into the public access ditch
next to Camp Casey. The driver flattened the Iraq Memorial containing 800
white crosses, interspersed with stars and crescents and extending for 300
feet. About 500 crosses were pulled down and a hundred were damaged. Tire
tread marks ran over the hand written names of killed service men and
grounded numerous American flags into the dirt. The perpetrator sped off
down Prairie Chapel Road into the darkness.
Local police were called. http://www.Truthout.org
and local ABC television crews appeared spontaneously on the scene to record
and document the damage.
The police quickly arrived, but instead of stopping at Camp Casey, they sped
by in pursuit of the miscreant. He was caught red handed with one white
cross still dangling from his destructive dragging apparatus!
So far, no one was reported injured. Campers are being careful not to touch
the evidence, although the gut reaction is to immediately upright the
crosses and to clean up the soiled American flags which are in a state of
Locals at the Crawford Peace House will not be intimidated. They are
currently constructing more crosses. The goal is to increase the Memorial
to it's proper representation of 1,850+ markers--one for each U.S. soldier
killed since the invasion began on March 20, 2003. And once that goal is
reach, additional crosses will be made to keep up with the increasing toll
of the violently killed U.S. soldiers.
If you have woodworking skills and wish to help build more crosses, contact
the folks at the Crawford Peace House: 254-486-0099.
Stand by for more updates.
Topanga Peace Alliance
Articles of Interest:
1. Supplies are plentiful, but people still needed
2. General news on happenings/plans in the works/NEW FORUM
3. Deb's advice on surviving TX heat and integrating into Crawford more
4. Maia Thomas, with Buddhist for Peace Fellowship and CodePink, brings us
great insight from this past weekend's events in Crawford.
5. Call from Iraqi Veterans Against the War to "adopt a vet"
6. Song and poem for Cindy: David Rovics & Thom the World Poet
---SUPPLIES PLENTIFUL in
DUE TO THE BIG HEART OF TEXANS, supplies being donated in Crawford are
getting larger than demand. Please call the Crawford Peace House at
254-486-0099 to see what they need. The one thing that is constantly
needed: ICE. They do need bodies ANY DAY/S YOU CAN GO, but be ready to work
in some hot weather -- see item #3 for advice!
A new networking forum has been created for ridesharing, news updates, links
to blogs, etc.
http://crawfordpeace.nfshost.com/ please "create a new
account" and keep plugged in.
Drums, Not War - Texas-based drumming group arriving tonite to drum for
peace in Camp Casey.
The full moon is Thursday-great week for camping! Slumber party in the
works via Code Pink Friday night (CP breakfast Sat. 8am at Camp Casey).
Events are in the works for Saturday in Crawford. Bush is hosting Lance
Armstrong at the ranch then...lots of potential since Lance has recently
spoken against the war (saying money could be better spent on cancer
A bike activist in Tulsa, OK, is trying to drum up support for a Critical
Mass bike ride to Crawford very soon--to respond to Cindy's suggestion that
this war is for oil. Save lives...bike to Crawford! Watch the new forum for
news or contact Paul at
Event in the works for AUSTIN: Thursday, Aug. 25 in conjunction with:
Stay tuned for more details.
-------------Deb's unsolicited advice on HOW TO STAY COOL in the unforgiving
TX heat & other tips on KEEPING PEACE IN CRAWFORD---------------
DEHYDRATION: drink lots of water BEFORE noon; before you have a chance
dehydrate ("if you're thirsty, it's already too late"). Toss a packet of
"Emergenc-E" in a glass of water or drink other electrolytes (plenty have
been donated to Camp Casey commissary)/ or Gatorade type-drinks at this
--go easy on them, tho, due to the high sugar content (don't crash and
burn--keep steady energy with low sugar & starch, and a high fiber, greens
and fruit diet--snacking on such thru day). Sodas, tea, coffee & juices,
etc. don't count as water & in some cases, they detract from your water
intake...YOU CAFFEINE JUNKIES: GIVE IT UP! That one cup o' joe will seep the
fluids from outta the places they need to be (why force yourself to stay
awake?--if your body says nap, do it!). If someone stops sweating and is
gray and clammy and slurring - call in medical help asap (before calling 911
and creating legal havoc, note there are probably trained people in your
SHADE & WATER -- seek shade ("Easy Up" shade structures are cheap/as are
tarps and rope) & stay in it, from 11am-6pm. If you have to get in the sun
at all: use umbrellas/large floppy hats - guys, this is no time to worry
about "being manly"! But you don't want your hat to trap heat in -- make
sure it breathes; hot heads make for hotheads (and heat stroke). Use SPF 30+
sunscreen, waterproof (since you're sweating, a good thing) - REAPPLY -
forget at least one second coat before 3pm. Before that second application
(don't want the fishies to ingest it!), use the creek at Tonkawa Park
mid-afternoon...go with lots of friends so the snakes will stay away! A dip
may be the difference between heat stroke and being an effective addition to
OTHER "TRICKS": I use a "CamelBack" backpack/insulated water bladder with an
attached hose/nozzle with nipple dispenser clipped to my shoulder so I get
in the habit of sipping water thru out day; shy of such a pricey
contraption--devise some way to have cool water available at your fingertips
at all times and don't let your mouth get dry. MISTERS! Toss some cooler
water into a spray bottle and spray your face/body -- offer to others who
look like they could use cooling -- they'll love you for it. (I like to add
in a drop of peppermint oil for ultimate cooling effect). Dip that
hankerchief or hat or your shirt, for that matter, into that cold melted-ice
cooler water and put on your neck/head/body. Eat. Don't let the 'full
feeling' of all that water and the low-energy from heat trick you into not
eating enough. You need the nutrients to function well: none of which come
from sugars and/or bleached wheat flour and/or table salt (sea salt is GOOD!
tho) or from animal fat or cheese, for that matter! You can make a hand fan
out of anything. 100% cotton (or hemp!) is your friend. Keep checking in
with yourself before others have to check in with you.
----KEEPING PEACE IN
"EARTH GUARDIAN" NEEDS Deb's identified: we need coordinated recycling
making sure we pack it up and get it back to Austin or Dallas or nearest
recycling center (posting such info on the forum would be helpful). Please
organize some micro-trash sweeps. Thanks to Maia Thomas for starting this
process Sunday/let's work to maintain it. This weekend's crowds weren't
well-versed on the concepts of "leave no trace" and "don't let it hit the
ground." "MOOP" (Matter Out of Place) includes the little stuff...the bits
of plastic wraps and cig butts (altoids cans and film cannisters make great
pocket ashtrays) and string and that broken prong off a plastic fork and
apple stems those stupid stickers on fruit all count as MOOP!
If we leave Crawford cleaner than we found it, we will have done our part to
'live by example' as we call for the administration to stop raping and
pillaging the world.
There are some new folks from many different walks of life coming to bat
right now. Peace activists, please actively relay the message of the power
of using peace to address war -- such as by not yelling "IDIOT!" in response
to someone yelling some insipid, jingoistic remark (yes, a parking volunteer
at the Peace House did such Sat.) We're there to build peace, not make
enemies of the locals. We're not there to lecture locals on feminist values.
I personally smiled and waved when a right winger tried to 'throw me' by
whistling suggestively at me. I can put on my "good ol' TXgrrl" hat when
REPORT from the GROUND this past weekend, from Maia Thomas
Sunday August 14, 2005
Crawford, Texas USA
# of Days at war with Iraq; 878
# of US soldiers killed; 1853
# of US soldiers number wounded; 13,189
# of Iraqi civilians killed; Estimates range from 23,000 to 100,000. We
really donıt know.
³Nothing is more powerful than an individual acting out of his conscience,
thus helping to bring the collective conscience to life.² Norman
It started with Cindy. With her grief for her son, Casey Sheehan, and with
her audacious and stubborn claim that she would camp outside George Bushıs
Crawford ranch until the President agreed to speak with her and answer her
simple questions, ³Why did my son die? What was the noble cause that he
Camp Casey started with Cindyıs lonely resolve but has blossomed into a
spontaneous convergence of the ³collective conscience.² Since the
beginning of her vigil, thousands have come to join her, putting Camp Casey
and the tiny Crawford Peace House on the map and in the national eye. Camp
Casey itself is a strip of tents, memorials and non-profit group tables
lining the side of a small country road about a mile from the Bush ranch.
The Crawford Peace House sits about 4 miles away in downtown Crawford, where
it has sat mostly unnoticed for the last several years.
Last week, the Peace House had $0 in the bank. The phone service had been
disconnected. This week they not only have phones, they have wireless
internet, DSL, and $85,000 in the bank, with which they plan to pay off the
mortgage. It has become the staging area for Camp Casey operations, the
welcome center for new arrivals, the donations drop-off, the
telecommunications center and the media convergence area.
Camp Casey has the feeling of a pilgrimage spot. Some people make the trip
here just to see Cindy, to bring her a card, some flowers, or a homemade
pie. Others come bearing car-fuls of gift offerings for the convergence-
batteries, cash, protein bars, handi-wipes, computer gear, and lots and
lots of bottled water. Some come briefly from far away. I met a woman
yesterday who had driven, with her son, 17 hours from Ohio. A few hours
later they were getting ready to make the long drove home again. ³I have to
be back to work on Monday,² she explained. Another woman told me Camp Casey
has become sacred ground.² It feels like it, with rows of white crosses,
crescents, and stars lining the side of the road, each bearing the name of a
The atmosphere at the Peace House is filled with a level of industry and
optimism that sometimes borders on mania. People stay up late talking
politics, planning the next days events and helping edit one anotherıs
blogs. They get up early and start the dayıs work of keeping camp for the
thousands of visitors passing through. Itıs hot and sticky. The Peace House
electricity flickers from the overload. A passing cloud temporarily cuts off
the wireless connection.
A Texas State Representative spends the entire day shuttling visitors
between the Peace House and Camp Casey. Long-haired vegans chop buckets of
vegetables in the tiny kitchen. A 10-year old girl works the crowd,
surprisingly articulate as she patiently explains who Amy Goodman is and why
everyone should sign the petition to get Democracy Now on the radio in
So far today, I have organized the trash/recycling system, set up hand
washing stations at the outhouses, been interviewed for a documentary about
free speech in America, and made flower bouquets for the luncheon. Iıve
swum twice, once alone and once with new friends, in a natural limestone
swimming hole complete with waterfall.
An Argentinean man introduces himself to me. His son was killed in
Afghanistan. Now this man travels the country speaking to high school
classes, warning students of the realities of war and lies of military
recruiters. He shows me a big card a class has sent to him. The students
have written notes like, ³you really opened my eyes,² ³I will think twice
about joining the military now,² and ³Your son really is a hero because he
inspired you to come here and speak to us.² ³My wife,² he says, his eyes
reddening, ³She is devastated and only cries. But I...I have to do
Possibly the most novel aspect of the Camp Casey phenomenon is the growing
alliance between military families and long-time peace activists. A man
wanders through a room of busy media folks wearing a T-shirts saying, ³My
daughter wears combat boots.² A young man searches for his desert fatigues.
He put them somewhere last night and wants to wear them this afternoon to
the Iraq/US luncheon. A US colonel and diplomat, who resigned in protest
over the Iraq war sits at a picnic table excitedly planning the weekıs
events with peace activists from L.A.
Itıs crowded here. People stumble over suitcases, extension cords and each
other in an effort to help. Tensions and voices occasionally rise as a
result of too much coffee, too little sleep and an eagerness to get the work
People smile and cry easily. They embrace strangers. The phone rings again.
Someone wants to know how to get here from McGregor, Texas. It rings again.
An artist specializing in aerial photography offers to create a shot of a
huge human banner in a nearby field. It rings again. A female soldier is
calling just to say, ³Thank you.²
Come to Crawford. Come to soak up the optimism and the camaraderie. Come to
pay your respects to the dead and your respects to the living. But donıt
come empty-handed. Bring a case of toilet paper, a box of instant oatmeal, a
stack of trash bags or a bag of breakfast bars. Bring your own ideas and
your own optimism. Bring your belief that people working together are
stronger than people standing alone.
--------------CALL FROM IVAW-------------------------
1. People who wish SEND VETERANS TO JOIN CINDY may donate to Iraq Veterans
Against the War. www.IVAW.net
Or write checks to:
P.O. Box 8296,
Philadelphia PA 19101
(write "Cindy" on the memo line)
2. Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans - call Frank at: 610-931-9046 for airfare
assistance, if you wish to stand with Cindy Sheehan at Camp Casey outside
the gates to Bush's vacation ranch.
-------------SONG and POEM for Cindy----------------------
DAVID ROVICS--coming to Crawford in a week or so--wrote a song for Cindy
just this past Saturday. (lyrics linked on
). ... He
attributes William Rivers Pitt's article in
Mother's Son. David also notes Chris Chandler's new song, "There's
Something In The Air But It's Not On The Airwaves." It's the first link
down after his picture on
FROM THOM the WORLD POET
Better that you go to her
now, in that ditch ,in that tent
outside Crawford Ranch
where a five week holiday means
more war( unless and until he listens
to Cindy Sheenan). Character assassinators
are hate radio mongering/
slandering her character
in the same way they imputed treason
to Purple Heart John Kerry...
Her son died his first week in Iraq
She (and eye) want no more dead
No more dying. Better that you leave this
poem/petition now-go to her..
Restore a human connection
to assure and re-assure
that not all are war mongerers
that we are made of peace
and wish no harm to other nations
no mutilation of innocent civilians
Credibility requires action
These words my injunction
Leave now. She is waiting
Tell her eye said HELLO!
Tell her eye want PEACE NOW!
Forget this poem. Go to her..
THOM AUGUST 12,2005