Ed Pilkington in New York
Monday June 11, 2007
Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier who died in Iraq and a leading anti-war activist, has sold her five-acre protest site near George Bush's ranch in Crawford.
It has been bought for $87,000 (£44,000) by Bree Walker, a Los Angeles-based television host who has promised to keep the site as a peace memorial. "I'm cashing out my capitalist corporate stocks and buying into a legacy of peace," Walker said.
Her acquisition of the land prevents a purchase by the pro-war group Move America Forward, which had declared its intention to try to buy the plot and build its own monument to fallen Iraq heroes.
The settlement of the future of the site removes a barrier to Ms Sheehan's departure from the anti-war movement. Last week she announced she was stepping down, partly in disgust at a decision by the Democrats to drop their insistence on a timetable for troop withdrawal from Iraq.
Her son, Casey, was killed aged 24 in an ambush in Baghdad in 2004. In 2005 she began her vigil outside Mr Bush's ranch, attracting 10,000 people to the area that summer. "Camp Casey" has been a central point for anti-war activists ever since.
But Ms Sheehan's disillusionment reached breaking point last month when the Democratic party bowed to Mr Bush's threat of a veto and dropped the timetable for withdrawal. In a posting on the liberal blog Daily Kos, she said: "Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives."