Letter from Cindy Sheehan
Sept. 7, 2005
On August 31st, we closed down Camp Casey on the outskirts of President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas. In the three and a half weeks that we were in Crawford, thousands of people passed through - some for just a few hours and some for days or weeks. Throughout the country, hundreds of thousands of people responded to my vigil, calling on the President to meet with me and, just as importantly, adding their voices to the growing cry for an end to the war in Iraq.
The horrific events that have unfolded in New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, in the wake of the deadly hurricane Katrina are stark reminders of just how lop-sided our nation's priorities are. Resources that could have been used to save lives are instead tied up in a war that continues to kill Iraqis and U.S. servicepeople. Our nation is at a crossroads: will we continue to squander resources and take lives in a war that never should have happened, or will we commit ourselves to the re-building of the Gulf Coast and the lives torn asunder by Katrina? It is clear that both cannot happen at the same time, and in this context our urgent call to end the war in Iraq must be as clear and strong as ever.
The same day Camp Casey closed two important initiatives were launched. Gold Star Families for Peace kicked off a campaign to hold Congress accountable for taking us into war, and also for ending this war. I sent a letter to every member of Congress - all 435 representatives and 100 senators - asking the same questions I've been asking President Bush. At the same time, three buses left Camp Casey to head North, East and South carrying members of Gold Star Families for Peace, Military Families Speak Out, Iraq Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace to dozens of cities. The buses will converge on Washington, DC September 21, just days before the national anti-war protest being organized for the weekend of September 24-26. In addition to community forums and other events, on the road we will visit members of Congress asking for a meeting and answers to my questions. You can join this campaign as the buses pass through your community, or become a part of a delegation being organized in your Congressional district.
In case you have not already made plans to be there, I want to encourage you to join me in Washington, DC that weekend. I'll be marching on Saturday, September 24 with United for Peace and Justice, and later that same day will be speaking at the "Operation Ceasefire" free concert at the Washington Monument.
You know as well as I do that the majority of the people of this country oppose the war. As we talk to people from every part of the country, it is clear that the time is right for this demonstration in the nation's capital. You do not want to miss this crucial event - it's looking like the September 24-26 weekend will be the largest gathering so far of the movement to end the war in Iraq. It will also be the first opportunity since Katrina hit our shores to raise our voices in a call for new priorities.
Most importantly, I urge you to come to Washington on September 24, to tell President Bush and Congress in the strongest possible way that it's time to bring the troops home. But don't come alone - bring your friends and family, bring your co-workers, your classmates, your neighbors. Visit the United for Peace and Justice website for details about the day's events, and for information about the interfaith service, grassroots lobby day, and nonviolent civil disobedience action at the White House being planned for September 25 and 26.
And your help is needed in another way. To reach the potential of what will be a history-making event, United for Peace and Justice needs your financial support. Please take a moment right now to make the largest donation possible. I know that many of you have given and will continue to give to Katrina relief efforts, and it's important that we each do what we can to help out. But hopefully you also understand how important it is to lend your financial support to the Sept. 24-26 Mobilization.
I want to thank all of you who gave so much to support my efforts while I was in Texas. Now, as we all move into the next phase of our efforts to end the war in Iraq, I look forward to seeing you in Washington, DC on September 24.