'Peace Mom' Sheehan Moving to Crawford
Published on Friday, July 28, 2006 by the Waco Tribune (Texas)
'Peace Mom' Sheehan Moving to Crawford
by Katy Moore

CRAWFORD — Peace activist Cindy Sheehan, whose roadside protests near President Bush’s ranch sparked traffic jams, kicked up dust and angered many Crawford-area residents last summer, is purchasing property just north of Crawford.

Sheehan, 49, says this new property will be the site of upcoming anti-war protests, once again planned for the month of August, when the president routinely spends much of his long vacation at his Central Texas ranch.

County records and sources indicate Sheehan, 49, purchased the land through a third party and will take full possession of the property in September, right about the time she wraps up her August protest at the site.

Many town residents here today expressed astonishment and disbelief that Sheehan was becoming one of them. For her part, Sheehan — while frequently attacking President Bush for his policy on the war in Iraq — has often discussed how much she likes Crawford.

It’s one of the few passions she reportedly shares with Bush, who has often spoken of his love for Central Texas, where he purchased his Prairie Chapel Ranch in 1999. Sheehan’s new property is still several miles from the Bush ranch.

“Crawford is a beautiful place and Camp Casey has made it even lovelier,” Sheehan said on her Web site, referring to the peace camp she helped found last year. “I feel so at home there. When I am able to return, I feel a renewal and resurgence of energy and hope. The sunrises and sunsets and starlit nights are breathtaking and there is nothing like a cool (if rare) Crawford evening breeze to dry off the sweat and sweeten the soul.”

McLennan County Commissioner Ray Meadows, whose precinct includes both the Bush ranch and the five acres that Sheehan says she’s taken over, said he was glad to see the so-called “peace mom” moving in because it would preclude last summer’s roadside protests near the Bush ranch.

“I’m glad it’s here instead,” he said while eyeing the property this afternoon. “It’ll keep the traffic down. It thrilled me.”

Citing concerns about traffic and sanitation, county commissioners last year passed an ordinance outlawing anyone from camping along the road near Bush’s ranch, which subsequently sparked legal challenges over free speech issues from Sheehan allies.

On her Web site, Sheehan said she was enthusiastic about the new Crawford site because the peace movement had outgrown sites used last year “and we needed to move on to bigger property.”

Sheehan described the property as “a beautiful, wooded five acres of land that will be ideal for our expanding peace population and for hosting our growing family. We are looking forward to being good neighbors in Crawford whenever we are there and we are looking forward to having good neighbors also.”

The peace activist said she didn’t understand Bush’s passion for torrid Central Texas initially, “but now after spending an entire year there every season I totally understand.”

Sheehan says this summer’s war protest will run from Aug. 13 to Sept. 2. White House reports indicate that President Bush plans to spend far less time at his ranch this August than usual, much of it confined to the first few weeks of August.

© 2006 The Waco Tribune