Peace activist Sheehan comes to the area Monday

Belmont Citizen-Herald, June 26, 2009

Arlington, Mass. - Cindy Sheehan, who became America’s most outspoken peace activist when she staged a protest at former President George Bush’s Texas ranch following the death of her son, Casey, in Iraq in 2004, will appear at Arlington’s Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., on Monday, June 29, at 7:30 p.m.

The Smedley D. Butler Brigade, Chapter 9, of Veterans For Peace, is sponsoring the free event. Co-sponsors of the event include Military Families Speak Out, 9/11 Truth, Citizens for an Informed Community, and Boston-area United for Justice with Peace, which includes Arlington/Lexington UJP.

Sheehan’s topic will be the title of her latest book, "Myth America: 10 Greatest Myths of the Robber Class and the Case for Revolution."

“We in Veterans for Peace and our other co-sponsors are thrilled to bring Cindy to Boston,” said Nate Goldshlag, Coordinator of the Smedley D. Butler Brigade. “Cindy’s message today is just as important as it was when she set up her protest camp in Crawford, Texas.”

Sheehan’s antiwar activism began after her son, Casey, was killed in Iraq in April 2004. After the death of her son, Sheehan listened to then President George W. Bush telling the nation that those killed in Iraq died for a “noble cause.” Sheehan had a simple and direct question for George W. Bush: “What noble cause did my son die for?”

She took her question to President Bush while he was vacationing in August 2005, and created a makeshift camp by the side of the road near Bush's Crawford Ranch. Soon afterward, the media began referring to her camp as “Camp Casey” and to Sheehan as “Peace Mom”. Over the next few weeks, thousands of supporters, including members of Congress, notable actors and singers, and civil rights activists, visited Camp Casey.

Sheehan became known throughout the world for her courage and direct action. She has continued her activities in the U.S. and abroad, appeared on numerous political programs on TV, and wrote Dear President Bush, about civil disobedience, her son’s death, and her transformation into the US’s most outspoken advocate for peace; "Peace Mom: A Mother’s Journey Through Heartache to Activism, her memoir; and Not One More Mother’s Child."

In May, 2007, Sheehan officially left the Democratic Party after the Democratic-controlled Congress authorized the continued funding for the war in Iraq, and resigned as the “face” of the antiwar movement, saying she wanted to go home and be a mother to her other children. In a farewell message, she said that she felt that for so little in return she had sacrificed her health, her husband, and her life savings.

Sheehan later returned to the antiwar fray, and soon announced that she would run for Congress in 2008 as an independent against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She ran on a very progressive platform, but came in a distant second to Pelosi in the election in 2008, but ahead of the Republican candidate. She has continued her antiwar activities. She is credited with having revived the antiwar effort, and providing a name and face for the peace and justice movement. Since then, her peace activities have literally taken over her life. Sheehan was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 and has received many peace awards from all over the world.

Co-sponsors of the event include Military Families Speak Out, 9/11 Truth, Citizens for an Informed Community, and Boston-area United for Justice with Peace which includes Arlington/Lexington UJP.

The Smedley D. Butler Brigade Chapter 9 of Veterans For Peace was established in the mid-1980s and includes more than 100 veterans from the Boston area who are involved in antiwar activities. The local chapter is part of the national Veterans For Peace and is named in honor of Marine Gen. Smedley D. Butler, the most decorated Marine in U.S. history, who turned against war and famously said “War is a racket. A few profit, the many pay.”

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