t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Thursday 17 October 2005
Honoring the Fallen
By Cindy Sheehan
If you believe in what you are doing, give me your stiffest sentence. If you don't, then resign.
Yesterday started off with a "bang" when we went to Arlington Cemetery to lay a wreath in the section where the Iraq War dead are buried. In our group yesterday morning were three other members of Gold Star Families for Peace. Juan Torres was with us and his son, Juan, was murdered in Afghanistan.
First of all, I was followed all morning by the Park Police. I guess because I am a very dangerous subversive. I would never hurt a flea, but what I am dangerous to is the lies and corruption of our government.
Secondly, Juan, Beatriz Saldivar and Julie Cuniglio, who have all had loved ones killed in this war, had brought pictures of their dead loved ones with them to Arlington. We were told by the administration of the cemetery that they couldn't take the pictures into the cemetery because they were "political statements!!" We were stunned that pictures of our children who have been killed for lies and betrayals and for purely political reasons can't be shown in a cemetery that supposedly honors those who have served, some making the ultimate sacrifice in war. We are living in a state that kills our children then calls them political statements. That speaks volumes to the chicken hawks who we are allowing to ruin our country.
After Arlington, I met with Sen. Carl Levin from Michigan, who has been a strong and outspoken critic against the war. The mess that George Bush has unleashed on our country and on the innocent world weighs heavily on his shoulders. He knows something needs to be done. Let's support him in doing so. Today, I will meet with Sen. Stabenow from the same state.
We headed to the vigil at the White House for our hours-long wait in the freezing cold. There was a man there who had several signs, among them one which said: "Saddam loves Cindy." This man didn't care that Rumsfeld (or Rumsfailed as I accidentally called him in an interview yesterday) was buddy, buddy with Saddam and gave him or sold him tons of WMDs before he became our enemy. I told this man that he didn't bother me, and he told me I don't bother him either. Well, if I don't bother him, why did he come down and make signs and march for hours screaming that I kill our soldiers? We found out why. He was making 60 dollars an hour to do so from some non-profit, right wing group. He said he would switch signs if we gave him more money.
At 7:30 p.m. about 100 patriots symbolically died in front of the White House. Then 26 of us refused to get up and were arrested. As usual, the Park Police were very polite and efficient and many whisper words of support and encouragement to us. We are planning another die-in tonight at 7 p.m. We need more Americans to come out and symbolically die with us here in DC … or do it in your own communities at relevant places, like a federal building or a congressperson's or senator's office.
When I was being processed out, the Lieutenant warned me if I got arrested again that I may have to stay in jail until January since this was my second arrest and I already have one under my belt that hasn't been resolved (which I plan on going to court for anyway). The Lt. went to bat for me, he said, so the judge wouldn't keep me until my November court date this time.
I appreciate the warning of the Lt., but I plan on doing Civil Disobedience again this evening. I cannot live freely in a country where people are allowed to commit murder and roam free to commit more mayhem while other people who are exercising their first amendment rights to free speech are locked up in jail. I cannot live freely in a country where others are allowed to lie to retaliate against a person who had the temerity to challenge previous lies. I cannot live freely in a country where bereaved family members aren't allowed to carry pictures of their murdered loved ones into a national cemetery.
If I go before a magistrate tonight or tomorrow after my next arrest, I will tell him/her: If you believe in what you are doing, give me the stiffest sentence possible. If you don't, then resign.