W. Bush and Laura waved at me again from a billboard as I rolled into Crawford,
Texas for week two of my quest to document the Cindy Sheehan vigil. I was here
last weekend too. Id booked my plane ticket an hour before finding out Cindy
was going to decamp because her mother had a stroke.
said, fuck it, Im going anyway, maybe shell be back in time
for me to get an interview." Arriving was like many things in life
there is no preparation for the actual experience.
landed at the Austin airport and my only knowledge of the place was from the movie
Slacker. The movie depicts the lives of losers in Austin and jumps from one person
to the next. I feel like the guy in the bus in the movies opening scene
well if I stayed in Indiana I wouldnt be here. I guess there are
really multiple realities. One reality is that I read the mainstream media and
I dont have a clue whats going on here
but I am here now and
will find out whats going on from my own perspective. Somewhere out in the
universe my twin is still clueless but thats his problem.
I came here the first time it had even been suggested that I was a political activist
who could no longer be trusted for taking time off from my job at a newspaper
to head down here. Someone joked that I obviously must hate freedom.
Someone else suggested I was only covering this because my own father is a Vietnam
so I am obviously crazy. But who hates Freedom? WHO???
hit Austin with two hours of sleep on Hunter S. Thompsons funeral blastoff
day. I knew there was no way hed be up there in Woody Creek with all those
sycophants and wannabes. Fuck them and all their stupid money. Gonzo police
I read later they had Gonzo police
what the fuck is that? Ha! Johnny Depp
and John Kerry should get their asses down here to Texas is what I am thinking.
to Crawford I listened to right wing radio. Some of the right wingers are on Cindy
this is when I know Crawford, Texas is the place to
be and the whole world is fucked. I sleep15 minutes in a rest stop with semis
roaring past and the sun taunting me
in Texas now
what the fuck have you gotten yourself into?!
welcome to Texas
I finally arrive
but not before stopping for Mexican food where I get a
lecture from a woman who has a relative in the military. Im a Republican,
she says, and I support her Freedom of speech but shes made her point
now why doesnt she just leave. Were all sick of her.
had left, her mother had a stroke and the movement they said would die when Cindy
jumped on that plane was very much alive. Later in the evening a rumor about Joan
Baez showing up comes true.
Baez at Camp Casey - Click Pix to View VidClip of
movement is in three places. The first is in Crawford. Its called the Peace
House. The second place is Camp Casey I, a sprawling series of tents in a ditch.
On up the road is Camp Casey II thats where most of the action is.
The Pix To View VidClip of "Where
Have All The Flowers Gone."
was a little surreal for me
Joan Baez was at Woodstock. She was one of
the major influences on the 1960s. And here she was
She sang, Where
have all the flowers gone? Later the right-winger s on the radio made fun
I headed back to Crawford; I was still in a daze. About 2 a.m. an angry vet showed
up at the Peace House (the main convergence point for the movement)
wanted to speak with Bush too. I gave him bad directions to the ranch because
he was so angry I was worried the Secret Service would shoot him. He ended up
at Camp Casey 1 and woke everyone up.
reminded me of my own father. Someone who believed he was fighting for his country,
defending his country
only to be cast aside with injuries both physical
and psychic on his return home. After all we do live in a consumer society and
events like wars are quickly forgotten in the daily maelstrom of advertising and
pop culture. But the injuries of vets do not go away.
next day I am across the street from the ditch where Cindy Sheehan made her stand
and right-wingers have shown up
there is a soldier whod nearly had
his feet blown off. He said he disagrees with Cindy Sheehan
so I asked
him if he supports the first amendment. His face changes. Well I fought for it
in Iraq. I nearly got killed for it. Ill fight for her right to free speech.
Ill die for it. If someone said there is no more free speech in America
Id pick up a gun.
was not the reaction I expected after reading all the reactionary rhetoric from
defenders of civil liberties on the left
but I came away from week one
thinking what Ive been thinking
the people here in America dont
hate freedom, nobody wants anything bad for the troops and nobody is a terrorist
people just have different ways of interpreting the world here. But
the only interpretation that seems to be approved is what comes from the White
House and that isnt freedom.
one of the right-wingers says to me
yeah if Bush lied
but dont make our troops suffer. One man tells me he knows where
the weapons of mass destruction are: Syria.
I dont know what Bush and his White House staff is really thinking
and I dont know what some war planners or the neo-cons think about all this.
But the people have spoken
will they listen? Or will they continue to have
their goons in the right wing media lie and spin the truth about whats really
going on here?