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Katrina Marchers Heckled, VFP Cruise To AK

I guess we have to do an update on the doing of Mother Sheehan and her merry band, including the Veterans For Peace.

At least they’re getting heckled during their bogus "march." And it would seem that Cindy’s injuries are keeping her from participating, despite all of her promises to do so.

From the Mississippi Press:

March organizer and pretend Vietnam War combat veteran, Ward Reilly.

Marchers protest Iraq war, Katrina response; draw hecklers

Thursday, March 16, 2006
By NATALIE CHAMBERS

PASCAGOULA — More than 100 protesters against the war in Iraq and critical of the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina, marched Wednesday through Jackson County.

The caravan of activists and psychedelic vehicles inched toward New Orleans, where a rally is scheduled next week.

Participants were members and supporters of Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Gold Star Families for Peace and Military Families Speak Out.

A front line of Iraq war veterans carried a huge banner bearing their name. A smaller vehicle in the caravan featured a large sign perched atop its roof that read: "Abandon Iraq: Not Our Gulf Coast."

Organizer Michael McPhearson, executive director of Veterans for Peace located in St. Louis, Mo., said the march had been in the works for eight weeks. McPhearson said the protest combined the war and the Aug. 29 hurricane because similarities between the events.

"We are showing the people the connections that are there," he said.

McPhearson said the reasons for marching are threefold.

Long before Hurricane Katrina, he said, the federal government was forewarned of a possible levee breach in New Orleans, but no action was taken.

"Right before Katrina, as we now know because of videotape, President Bush was told once again that this was going to be the worst storm in American history. Bush … I don’t know what he was thinking … but he said we were ready. We weren’t," he said.

"Iraq, the same thing. Intelligence told the administration if we go in there we would have an insurgency. However, there was no intelligence that definitely said there were weapons of mass destruction. But, but for some reason the Administration saw it differently. None of the reasons we invaded ended up being the reasons we are there," McPhearson said.

More than 1,300 people across the Gulf Coast were killed by the hurricane, which is considered the worst natural disaster in U.S. history.

Vets and storm victims, McPhearson said, have received poor response from the government and as a result, are experiencing a high rate of suicide and alcoholism.

Protester Annie O’Brien of Maine said marchers hail from across the United States.

"I’m here because my son was a veteran. He was in Afghanistan as a medic and he is a conscientious objector. I am particularly excited that we are making the connection between what is happening to the Coast — a lack of reconstruction — and money that’s going toward the war," she said.

Perfect weather and close police escorts through Pas-cagoula, Gautier and Ocean Springs made the trek easier for walkers. But it didn’t prevent some hecklers from expressing their outrage at marchers.

A young woman, traveling along U.S. 90 in Pascagoula, leaned out of her passenger window and yelled at the group "You should be supporting the president. You ought to be ashamed."

Those type responses, said McPhearson, are not the norm.

McPhearson said sometimes he gets annoyed by unsolicited comments, but he believes some people don’t understand their rights as citizens.

McPhearson is a veteran. His adult son, whom he would not identify, is active with the 101st Airborne, he said.

"When they say we are not supporting the troops, it’s ridiculous," he said. It’s the president’s actions that are in question, he said.

"The tradition of this country is when you see a government doing something that’s wrong, you stand up to it. We’re just doing an American tradition and there’s no shame in that," he said.

Jim Treadway of Pascagoula sees things differently. He was also holding a sign: "God bless W’.

"It bothers me they are not supporting the president of the United States. The president is actually doing a good job. He is a good guy. He is the right guy at the right time. I am so proud he is our president," Treadway said.

Carolina Fowlkes, formerly of Gautier, now living in Minnesota, is a protester.

"The Vietnam War took my generation, and now we’re doing it again, and this is the second go around in that part of the world. For me, this is even clearer than Vietnam War was, what this war is about. It just so happens that I grew up in Mobile and Gautier, and I’ve been wanting to come back home. When I saw this and I needed to go back home, I said, I’m with you,’" she said.

"We’re over in Iraq fighting for another country’s freedom when here in America in the state of Mississippi, we have people getting beaten to death in a controlled environment where you are supposed to be safe. We have soldiers dying in a foreign country for those same things and we can’t even get it here in America, said Damion King of Virginia.

King has temporarily relocated to Mississippi to assist with storm recovery effort.

The protest marchers did not receive sanction or support of Mississippi Vietnam Veterans Memorial Committee, even though they used the Vietnam Veterans monument in Ocean Springs as a rally site.

Vietnam veteran Larry Lucas, chairman of the memorial’s names and pictures committee, said as far as he was concerned, the march was a non-event.

"We are a non-political organization. These people have a political agenda and they are using our memorial as a stage to present their agenda. We don’t care for that. We can’t stop them, but we can express the fact that we have nothing to do with them whatsoever, even though they are using the memorial," Lucas said.

Meanwhile, Mother Sheehan’s cohorts at the Veterans For Peace are so upset at Bush and the War In Iraq they are going on a luxury cruise:

Cruise Alaska's Inside Passage!

February 15, 2006

Alaska Cruise

Join Veterans for Peace after the convention and sail on board the MS Westerdam out of Seattle’s lovely Puget Sound, bound for forested isles, icy-blue glaciers, and charming frontier ports. Cruise close up to the massive face of Hubbard Glacier, the largest glacier in North America.

Welcome to Holland America Line, where timeless values of gracious service combined with premium amenities and surroundings elevate a cruise from ordinary to extraordinary. Every day brings a wealth of activities, indulgences and entertainment, along with the freedom to partake in as many or as few as you please. And your every request is anticipated. No wonder Holland America’s five-star fleet is consistently among the Highest-rated Cruise Lines by Conde Nast Traveler and Travel & Leisure Magazines.

SPECIAL GROUP PRICING FROM $959.00*
Inside Stateroom From $  959.00
Outside Stateroom From $1429.00
Verandah Stateroom From $1569.00
Suite From $2109.00
3rd/4th passenger   $  379.00
* plus    
Port Charges (not included above) $  220.00
Taxes (not included above) $    51.29
Prices are per person, double occupancy, and
subject to availability.
ITINERARY
7-Day Alaska Cruise
Seattle — Seattle
August 13 – August 20, 2006
Day Port Arrive Depart
Sun Seattle   5:00p
Mon Day at Sea    
Tue Hubbard Glacier 2:30p 5:00p
Wed Juneau, Alaska 7:00a 8:00p
Thu Sitka, Alaska 8:00a 4:00p
Fri Ketchikan, Alaska 7:00a 1:00p
Sat Victoria, BC 8:00p Midnight
Sun Seattle 7:00a  

Book now for the best stateroom selection.
Call Jeanette at All Wanderlands Travel 1-800-441-6271

Several cabins are already booked.
Currently there is a single convention delegate looking for a roommate.

No word yet as to whether Cindy herself will be on board. But I would suspect she will, unless she gets a more lucrative offer.

(Thanks to JohnX for keeping tabs on these folks.)

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, March 17th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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