After Cindy Sheehan's 24-year-old son Casey was killed in Iraq in 2004, she didn't stand idly by. Instead she started a nationwide peace movement with a protest encampment, known as "Camp Casey," outside President George W. Bush's Crawford, Texas, ranch.
This past November, Sheehan lost a congressional race against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but Sheehan isn't giving up hope for an end to the war. She'll be speaking on the need for fundamental U.S. change at the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center's 27th Anniversary Party at Bridges on Thursday, January 15th. Sheehan took a moment to speak to the Flyer by phone:
Flyer: During the Camp Casey days, did you expect this war would still be going on in 2009?
Sheehan: At the time, I was very optimistic that the peace movement could make a difference. But when 2007 rolled around and the Democrats were in the majority, [they didn't] stop funding the war so our troops could come home. I also thought Bush would be impeached, but that didn't happen either.
What inspired you to run against Nancy Pelosi?
After [Congress] approved so many war-funding bills and refused to hold Bush accountable, I decided to run. I got 50,000 votes, about 17 percent of the vote. I'm going to run again in 2010. If I can get 50,000 votes a year like I did in 2008, I'm going to beat her and really bring the fundamental change to this country that's so desperately needed.
What will you be speaking about at the Peace and Justice anniversary party?
I'm going to talk about the need for us to still be committed to this work, even though many people are pinning all their hopes on Barack Obama. That's the wrong thing to do. It's up to us if we really want to get the changes that we need.
Mid-South Peace and Justice Center 27th Anniversary Party, Thursday, January 15th, 6:30-9 p.m., $35, Bridges, 477 N. Fifth St. (725-4990, MidSouthPeace.org).