More American soldiers and innocent Iraqi citizens continue to die for a war the president refuses to justify beyond hollow and propagandistic metaphors about “freedom.” Meanwhile, Bush continues his five-week, rich-man’s vacation this month with corporate-media bicycling tours on his 1,800-acre ranch in Crawford, Texas.
But there is good news for anyone with even a small bit of morality.
The country seems to be coming to its senses. Polls show a majority of Americans no longer support the war or Bush or his administration. A majority of Americans now accept the president lied about the reasons for the war. The national peace movement is growing. Cindy Sheehan’s war protest has become the major story of this summer.
Even Oklahoma has a vibrant and growing peace movement.
Our position as one of the extremist of extreme red-states makes the peace movement here tremendously significant on a local and national level.
On Tuesday, a group of protestors gathered outside the Back Door Coffee House at 31st and Classen Avenue, holding up signs protesting the war and asking for Bush’s impeachment. This group has been protesting at this area on Classen from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday for a few weeks now. The group’s numbers are growing as has the support from those driving by who honk their horns and wave.
Two leaders of this group, Tara Feuerborn and Lisa Ghariani, say most people driving by these days are either neutral or support them. On Tuesday, only a couple of drivers showed support for Bush. They were far outnumbered by people honking and showing support for signs calling for Bush’s impeachment.
Ghariani just recently came back from Crawford, Texas, where she met with Cindy Sheehan. Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq, has camped outside the president’s ranch. Sheehan has this question for Bush: Mr. President, for what reason did my son die so young. Bush refuses to talk to Sheehan.
(Sheehan left Crawford Thursday to be with her mother who suddenly suffered a stroke, but she vowed to continue her vigil.)
Ghariana said Sheehan continues to inspire people from around the country. Sheehan’s message is a very personal one, and more and more Americans are relating to it as the war continues to claim innocent lives and the president refuses to discuss what the country hopes to accomplished with the war.
Another Oklahoman to make the trip to Crawford is Serena Blaiz, who has been filing reports through the Oklahoma Independent Media Center site.
Local war protestors are also organizing a “Caravan to Crawford” on August 23-24 to support Cindy Sheehan. The group will meet at 9:30 a.m. August 23 at The Peace House, 2912 N. Robinson, drive to Crawford, and then spend the night there. (For more information, contact Nathaniel Batchelder, email@example.com.)
Meanwhile, Oklahoma groups continue to protest the war on a regular basis. Democrats for Peace hold weekly vigils on the downtown corner of Park Avenue and Robinson Street at noon on Mondays. On Tuesdays, from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., anti-war groups gather at Villa and Northwest Highway.
In addition, a vigil will be held in Lawton for three imprisoned conscientious objectors at 1:30 p.m., Sunday, August 28th. The conscientious objectors are Blake LeMoine, Dale Bartell, and Neil Quentin Lucas. Those who want to attend the vigil should gather at 1:30 p.m. at The Peace House, 2912 N. Robinson. The group will drive to Lawton, and hold the vigil from 4 to 6 p.m. outside Fort Sill. (For more information, call 405-476-5620.)
And on, Saturday, September 24, area peace activists will hold an “Anti-War FAIR” from noon to 4 p.m. at Memorial Park, NW 36th Street and Classen Boulevard. This will correspond with a national peace demonstration in Washington, D.C. There will be music, speakers, booths, and a children’s area. For more information contact Lisa Ghariani , 524-1846, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Tara Feuerborn 528-9999, email@example.com.
The number of peace activities and the growing numbers of people at these Oklahoma events show there is major discontent with Bush’s war policies even here in the belly of the right-wing beast.
Now is the time to get involved if you want to be on the moral side of history.
As Camilo Mejia, an Iraq War veteran who is now a peace activist, said: “You can either support the troops or you can support the war. But you can’t do both.”
The emerging war resistance and peace activism cannot come soon enough. Four more American soldiers were killed yesterday. That followed three car bomb attacks that killed 43 Iraqis and injured nearly 90 others in Baghdad the previous day.