Local Sheehan supporters continue protest

Camp Casey Columbia extends its vigil, hoping an anti-war bus tour will visit.
Wednesday, August 31, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 2:04 p.m. CDT, Monday, June 30, 2008

Tuesday was day eight of Camp Casey Columbia, Jamie Walters and Ruth O’Neill’s contribution to Cindy Sheehan’s soon-to-be nationwide protest of the war in Iraq. It was also the day they were joined by neighbor Lana Jacobs.

They seemed upbeat despite President Bush’s recent denial of a second meeting with Sheehan. Sheehan and the president had previously met at an event for military families.

After Bush’s decision not to meet again with Sheehan, she decided to turn Camp Casey, near Bush’s ranch at Crawford, Texas, into three nationwide bus tours. The north tour will stop in Kansas City on Thursday, the central tour will visit St. Louis on Saturday, and the south tour, of which Sheehan will be a member, will stage a protest outside the ranch of Sen. Tom DeLay, R-Texas. The three tours plan to meet in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 24 and protest outside the White House.

Sheehan has said she believes her movement is going to end the war in Iraq.

“When you read about the Camp Casey movement in the history books, you can say, ‘I met Casey’s mom,’” she told supporters on Saturday.

Walters and O’Neill hope the Kansas City tour will stop at their vigil on Range Line Street.

The two women are unsure whether they will go to Washington.

“We certainly will be there in spirit, whether we can be there in body or not,” Walters said.

The protesters had originally planned on closing the local “camp” today, after a nine-day vigil outside, but they plan to remain in their yard if the tour decides to stop.

“It’s a good move on her part,” Jacobs said in response to Sheehan’s decision to move the camp, “We’ve all been expecting it for awhile.”

Walters and O’Neill said they have 55 signatures in the guestbook they’ve been keeping during their vigil. “I hope it reminds everyone of what we are doing in Iraq,” O’Neill said. “If just a few people started thinking about things that they haven’t thought about before, then this has been very worthwhile.”

The Associated Press and The Washington Post contributed to this report.

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