Group Wants Sheehan's Land, But She's Not selling to Just Anyone
FORT WORTH, Texas - Days after Cindy Sheehan announced she was stepping down as the face of the anti-war movement, a pro-troop (sic) organization said Friday that it plans to buy her 5-acre protest site in President Bush's adopted hometown.
But Sheehan doesn't want to sell to just anyone.
Move America Forward wants to place a monument to the troops on the site in Crawford, about 100 miles south of Fort Worth.
"There's definitely symbolism behind being able to take that land and being able to put up a monument that supports (sic) our troops," said Robert Dixon, executive director of the Sacramento-based group. "It's purely symbolic. We're not going to be holding any rallies there."
Sheehan, who was unavailable for comment, plans to sell the land on eBay as early as next week with a starting bid of $80,000, Miller said. Since she bought the property last year for $52,500, Sheehan's group has made many improvements, including putting in gravel roads, clearing brush, mowing and planting gardens, Miller said.
Dixon said that after Sheehan's announcement Monday, he was "flooded" with e-mails from Move America Forward members who thought the group should buy the land. The non-profit organization had planned to erect a monument to honor U.S. troops who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, possibly in Crawford, so "we figured this is the perfect thing to do," Dixon said.
He said the group is "pretty much prepared to do what we have to do" to get the land but does have a price limit, which he declined to disclose. The group retained a California real estate agent to start working on the deal and also will start raising money, Dixon said.
Sheehan gained national attention from her grassroots vigil in August 2005 when she camped outside Bush's Crawford ranch for 26 days, demanding to talk with him about her son's death. Army Spc. Casey Sheehan was killed at age 24 in an ambush in Baghdad in 2004.
Sheehan's protest that summer drew more than 10,000 people to the one-stoplight town of 700 residents. But it also drew counter protests of Bush supporters, including a large downtown rally after a cross-country tour called "You Don't Speak for Me, Cindy!" sponsored by Move America Forward.
Sheehan announced Monday in her online diary that she was leaving the peace movement because of the "smear and hatred" she had endured, not only from the right but the left.
She also said "Camp Casey," the property she bought as a permanent protest site, had served its purpose and was for sale.
Miller said that she and others working with Sheehan have received numerous inquiries this week about buying the land.
© 2007 The Associated Press.