Monday, August 08, 2005

Mothers and Others -- Gold, Pink & Pissed Off Head to Crawford Texas

I didn't know how synchronicity was going to kick in when Amanda from KXCI sent the following email last evening:

“Well, if the good lord is willin' and the creeks don't rise, I will be broadcasting excerpts of Medea Benjamin’s talk given at Reader's Oasis Book Store this past May. I tried to fit in as much as I could into a half hour program. The program will air on Sunday, August 14th at 2:30, 91.3 on the Tucson dial.”

By the way, KXCI streams audio – and as one of the few community (non-corporate) radio stations in the U.S., it just might be something you want to tune in at other times too for a refreshing taste of free thought and speech broadcasting.

But speaking of Medea Benjamin, the book she and Jodie Evans edited Stop the Next War Now features an essay by Cindy Sheehan. Cindy is the righteously determined woman doing vigil outside Bush’s fortress in Crawford, TX until Bush agrees to talk to her and she can ask, “Why did you kill my son? What did my son die for?“

CODEPINK, the women initiated and lead peace group that opposes the waging of this unjust and immoral War on Iraq, sent out a call (of which the following is a part) for women, mothers and activists to head to Crawford to support Cindy. That was just a bit over 24 hours ago.

On Saturday, as Cindy marched towards the ranch where Bush is vacationing for 33 days, she and her supporters, including CODEPINK cofounder Diane Wilson, were stopped by local sheriffs, who pushed them into a ditch with fire ants in 100 degree heat. Cindy was undeterred: “I am not leaving until I meet with George Bush and he answers my questions about the death of my son. This is the beginning of the end of the war in Iraq,” she said, (read more).

Inspired by the power of Cindy’s determination Diane pledged that CODEPINK would join her in solidarity by staging a hunger strike. Diane has already begun her fast and many of us are making our way to Crawford to join her, including Ann Wright, former US Army colonel and senior diplomat who resigned after 35 years of service because of the Iraq war (Cindy, Diane and Ann all have powerful essays in our book Stop The Next War Now).

Knowing that every day lives are being lost in the war on Iraq, Cindy, Diane and Ann have taken an uncompromising position. This is a powerful moment in our struggle that cannot be overlooked by any of us who care deeply about the lives that are being wasted in this immoral war. When we are given the opportunity to witness someone else’s courage in the face of struggle, it is a gift. An even greater gift comes when we are presented with the possibility of joining boldly in that struggle.

Here are ways you can stand with them):
• Come to Crawford or donate money or miles so others can come
• Fast in solidarity from home
• Spread the word by contacting the press

This vigil and fast follows in the footsteps of all those throughout history who have taken extreme action, putting their own needs aside to save our humanity. We are reminded of another great soul, Robin Cooke, former British Foreign Secretary who, in 2003, resigned from Blair’s cabinet in protest of the invasion of Iraq. Cooke died on Saturday, but his courageous example lives on for all of us to follow until the last foreign soldier leaves Iraq.

Women can organize quickly. And they are doing just that and coming from all over the country heading there to support Cindy – in fact, three of my friends from CODEPINK Phoenix, Sherry, Rebecca and Arizona Lizzzeee are shipping out tomorrow. This morning on the Charles Goyette Show on Air America Phoenix Carolyn of CODEPINK Phoenix called in and spoke eloquently about the reasons that this group women are headed to Crawford. They hope to arrive in Crawford by Thursday a.m. after a 16-hour drive from Tucson. I tried to get Anabelle Valencia in touch with these folks as she is a mother with similar concerns. In fact you can read about her trip to Iraq to visit her daughter and her son who were both stationed in Iraq. Many, many mothers are and have been against this war from day one and beforel.

I spoke with Sherry this morning – she is psyched for going but also very aware that this is “serious business” that should not be confused with “wearing costumes” to get media coverage. We want our children home now!

I know exactly what she means when she says “serious.” We all flash on scenes from Iron Jawed Angels every time we head out the door to an action. We hope this dread is just residual detritus that is sticking to us from blanket of fear the Bushites are trying to smother us in. We will not be intimidated or deterred. This is our country. Our very flesh and blood is the commodity in which the Bushites are trading and we will put an end to this wholesale slaughter that benefits no human person only corporate entities. We will build a peace.

Sherry will be sending updates about the action that I will upload here as soon as they are received. Sherry has a son in Iraq presently, and Rebecca’s daughter just came off of a tour of duty in Iraq and could be reassigned there again. We will just have to see how Bush treats the mothers of America.

We know how recruiters are apparently instructed to treat grandmothers, we’ll just have to see how mothers are treated. Bookmark this site or pick up our RSS/Atom feed to get updates as this story develops.

I am so proud of the actions of these courageous women who as mothers are as brave as their children who are now or have served in Iraq.

For some reason I’m reminded of Annie Lennox singing, “Sistahs are doing it for themselves” – well this time mothers are doing it for themselves...and their kids...and their grandkids...

Women are going to have to be the ones to stop this war.


The Press release for the Phoenix Pinkers headed to Texas follows:


Contact Information:
Sherry Bohlen
14021 E. Becker Lane
Scottsdale, AZ 85259
Phone: 480-545-5136
Mobile: 480-529-2131

Local Phoenix mothers of active duty soldiers driving to Crawford, Texas in support of Cindy Sheehan

Phoenix, AZ -- August 8, 2005 -- Concerned mothers of active-duty soldiers are heading for Crawford, Tx. on Tuesday to stand in solidarity with Cindy Sheehan of Gold Star Families for Peace despite threats of arrest.

This fearless group includes representatives of the local chapter of Code Pink, Women for Peace. One, in particular, is Rebecca Bahr, mother of a Marine Corps daughter currently serving stateside. Mrs. Bahr is also a member of Military Families Speak Out. She is concerned that this administration be worthy of the trust that our troops place in them as their leaders.

Sherry Bohlen -- another mother who's son, Thor, was posted to Iraq on June 10th -- is also going. Sherry is the National Field Director of Progressive Democrats of America.

Others in the group are going because they believe it's the right thing to do. They plan to be in Crawford, Texas by Thursday to coincide with a visit to President Bush's Crawford "ranch" by Condoleezza Rice and Donald Rumsfeld. The group's trip will be blogged by Nancy Hill, head of the Tucson chapter of Code Pink, at -- Charles Goyette of KXXT radio is also planning on keeping in touch with them along the way.

Cindy Sheehan has reportedly been told by authorities that as of Thursday her group will be considered a "national security risk" and subject to arrest. That should make for some interesting headlines but is not enough to deter her growing number of vocal supporters. This gutsy mom is determined to ask President Bush just what "noble cause" he claims our 1800 soldiers, including her son Casey, have died for in Iraq.

There is widespread interest in our local military families. Please give this story due diligence as your broadcast license would require. Thank you.

For more information:

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