Thursday, August 18, 2005

Camp Casey and the Bush Ranch

I recently went out to George W. Bush's Ranch to join the protest for a little while, and to interview Cindy Sheehan for an article I was writing about the experience for my paper THE DAYTIME.
To get there I had to go through some of the most republican infested land in the world. And these aren't the docile, domesticated republicans that u see up in Massachusetts, these are wild republicans. Left to their own ways for generations, they have created a suburbia of small houses and large churches, all lined up in an orderly fashion. These people are Bush's neighbors, and they feel strongly for him and his current plight. I mean, how would u feel if a women started camping out at near your ranch and started saying u caused the death of her son? You'd feel very distressed, I'm sure. And now George Bush's neighbors are distressed too. These people are actively hostile against Camp Casey (that's what the group of people protesting call their encampment). I honestly feared for my life when I had to ask directions to the protest.

Camp Casey was about as I had expected it to be. A few tents and tarps set up on the side of the road, a bunch of peace signs. 3 police officers were guarding the entrance to Bush's ranch. Across the big road was one lone tent, with 3 people huddling underneath it, a small sign next to it read "Pro War."
The people at the camp are very smart, free minded individuals. I interviewed a few of them. One was named Calvin. He had thought of something when asking people why they had come and listening to all of them say "I just felt I had to." So, he had made the sentence "While eating mashed potatoes, I found myself carving the head of George W. Bush." Those of you who have not seen Close Encounters need to. Calvin told me that the camp needed to be guarded at night. Though there was only 1 major incident. This was when some guy tied a chain to the back his car and drove right through all of the crosses the protestor had put up for those who died in the war. He totally devastated them, but was eventually caught by the police. Calvin says he probably won't be charged for anything though. The cops are apparently really nice, and they've been really nice to the cops, and to everyone in general. That's on Cindy's orders.
With Calvin's assistance I managed to get a short interview with Cindy while she was going form TV interview to TV interview. I asked her 2 questions, what teens can do to help the anti war effort, and what she thinks will be the result of Camp Casey. The answers were good, though since she had had so many interviews since she started the camp, probably well practiced, though I think I was the first person to ask her what teens could do to help. Cindy was really nice, smart and very polite.
Then we left the Camp, but before we went home I felt I had to stop by the Crawford Peace House. This place has been around for several years, and though not directly connected to Camp Casey, has been heaping it out financially for a while. While there I interviewed a director of the camp, and a person who was a human shield in Iraq. The human shield, one Judith Karpova, told me about how she had decided to go to go to Iraq. She told me about how her friend had had to help Iraqi parents search through piles of bodies for their children, how they had carried body parts and thrown them into piles. She's writing a book about it called Speaker of Stone. It'll be published soon, and I highly recommend it.
All in all the trip was eye opening. I had a great time and learned a lot. I think the people there will make a difference, even if it's only to alert people to, in Calvin's words, "A serious awareness that questions need to be answered." Something that Cindy said during my interview with her still sticks in my mind. After she answered me last question, as she was walking away, she turned back to me. She paused in the road and said "It's not about democrats or republicans, it's about democracy."

4 Comments:

Blogger seth gasped, still in awe of the posts pure goodness...

I eagerly await the article about this. If we have room (the Greece feature may take up a lotta space) this can probably go on the front page.


-your power-crazed editor

5:05 PM  
Blogger Aeger gasped, still in awe of the posts pure goodness...

cool

12:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous gasped, still in awe of the posts pure goodness...

Glad to see you did the article. I some how lost the photo of you and cindy . Sorry . I went on to camp casey 3 in Covington and Cree the lady with me went on to D.C. . I live in Galveston and the hurricane missed me. We have a camp casey yahoo alumni that you might enjoy joining. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/campcaseyalumni
http://www.jsonline.com/multimedia/graphic.asp?graphic=http://graphics.jsonline.com/graphics/news/img/sep05/ritaJ3092405.jpg
Calvin

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous gasped, still in awe of the posts pure goodness...

I found the photos of you and cindy . email me at clwehrle@juno.com and I will send them to you
Calvin

10:12 PM  

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