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Sheehan Protested At University In Chicago

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

'Peace Mom' greeted by protests at St. Xavier

February 17, 2006

BY MARK J. KONKOL Staff Reporter

You'd think that a woman with such an Irish-sounding name would have gotten a better reception down in Mount Greenwood.

But Cindy "Peace Mom" Sheehan, known for protesting the Iraq war, was greeted at St. Xavier University on the Southwest Side with, well, protests.

Sheehan was hired by the university's student activities board to give a speech titled "One person can make a difference, not one more," aimed at getting people involved in the peace movement.

She's credited for re-energizing the anti-war movement by protesting outside President Bush's Texas ranch — an effort to get him to meet with her.

Before her talk, dozens of bikers and blue collar workers gathered outside the field house, in the freezing rain, carrying signs that read: "Support Our Troops."

Bill Naughton, a truck mechanic from Hillside, said he showed up so Sheehan didn't get all the spotlight.

"She gets to say what she wants. We get a say," he said. "She says 'Bring them back. We're fighting for oil.' I don't believe we're fighting for oil. I support what our guys enlisted to do, volunteered to do."

Sheehan suggested she was going to stay away from politics on this night, telling an audience of more than 300 — including protesters who stood on the bleachers with their backs to her — the story of why she became involved in the anti-war effort and how one person can make a difference.

She talked about how her son shared a birthday with John F. Kennedy and died in Iraq on April 4, 2004, the same date Martin Luther King was killed. That's when the protesters in the crowd started heckling her.

When she started reading her daughter's anti-war poem, something that spurred her to the peace movement, about 20 protesters inside the gym walked out, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and screaming at her.

As they left, Sheehan gave them the peace sign. Only a few of the protesters remained in the university gymnasium as she continued.

The speech became an anti-war rally, with members of the crowd cheering as she ticked off reasons why troops should come home and the war should end.

She said, "Let's talk about supporting the troops," and went on to list the problems such as poor quality body armor and having soldiers eating rotten food. "Let's talk about cutting VA benefits for when they come home. Let's talk about kids committing suicide because they're not being treated for post-traumatic stress."

She went on to say: "If you care about the troops, do more than carry a sign or put up a bumper sticker . . . if you support this war and President Bush, march to your recruiter's office and sign up."

She finished the night by taking questions from the audience.

For this she gets $30,000? The same lame speech she has been giving for months now?

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

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