Peace of Help?
My name is Cindy Sheehan-many people may not recognize my name or face anymore, but I know you remember what I did in the summer of 2005.
My precious oldest son, Casey, was killed in Iraq on April 04, 2004, and since then I have spent my life trying to end the wars that were based on lies that took his life.
That led me to set up Camp Casey on Prairie Chapel Road in Crawford, Texas, to ask then-U.S. president George Bush "What Noble Cause" killed so many Americans, Iraqis and Afghans.
Since then, I have traveled America and the world-thanks to many wonderful invitations--seeking partners for peace. One of my favorite stories from all my travels was when I was speaking in Venice, Italy, and a young woman from Texas, of all places, approached me after the meeting and told me that every male in her graduating class was going to join the National Guard, but after my protest in Crawford, every single one of them decided not to!
One of the greatest things the U.S. peace movement can do is counter-recruitment, and I plan to continue those efforts wherever and whenever I can in the coming year, for sure! Even if our efforts prevent one young person from enlisting, they are worth it.
To keep you up to date, I have written several books and hundreds of articles, and now have a regular column on the Al Jazeera English website which, among other things, reaches a worldwide audience with a peace perspective they do not associate with America.
In 2008, I ran for Congress against Nancy Pelosi, and received over 16% of the vote: more than 49,000 people voted for real change that year!
"Change" is that hard to quantify term that has been bandied about so much it has been rendered almost meaningless, but as George Bush earns millions from a book he didn't write and hundreds of thousands of dollars giving speeches that someone else writes for him, my bank account is bare.
Since Obama was elected, and even before that when the Democrats regained control of both Houses of Congress the U.S. peace movement has been on the sad decline, but with the surge in Afghanistan and resurgences of tensions in Korea and China and the continuing revelations of the Wikileaks documents, we have to renew our commitment to peace with increased energy and fervor.
However, the State still fears us; it's persecuting peace activists with FBI Storm Trooper raids, subpoenas, and in March of 2010, I spent my longest stint in jail after being arrested in front of the White House with seven other activists, and six of us had to spend 52 hours in jail. And when we were finally released, we were slapped with a restraining order from the White House that would entail a mandatory penalty of six months in jail if any of us violated it. But in a trial for the arrest in July, I was acquitted of the charges, and the restraining order was lifted. But that took time and money. The regime wants to break our resolve and our will through these oppressions and through demonization (any and all opposition to Obama, even from the principled left, has been labeled "racist") and the propaganda that the U.S. has two different political parties.
I will not be beaten, and I know you will not either. So I plan to continue my work for peace; my radio show, Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox; a premier of my movie, Revolution, A Love Story about the grassroots revolutions in South America, but particularly Venezuela; working on the memoirs of my 2008 campaign called: I Left My Marbles in San Francisco; doing sustained and aggressive actions against the Empire with my group Peace of the Action; and helping organize an alternative to the "savage austerity" measures that would help we the people, not the elite to close the widening income gap here in the US between the "haves" and "have nots."
Ever since I hauled myself up from my couch where I wallowed in my grief everyday, I have been working tirelessly to make this world a better place for the children of the world, and to honor my son's needless death, and you have helped me every step of the way. I am asking you to help some more.
Let's work together to make 2011 truly a year of positive change and the beginning of an end to war and the U.S. Empire as we now know it. Your (tax deductible) donation can make all the difference.
There are many worthy places to donate (and I do scrape together resources myself to do so), and I want to thank you in advance for your donation this Season, and to thank you with ALL MY HEART for your past support.
You are the ones that help us get through that Empty Chair at the table during the holidays and always.
Love & Peace,