Monday, July 15, 2013

"Hide Errbody [sic]" Tour de Peace wrap-up by Cindy Sheehan

Tour de Peace begins on April 7th in Santa Monica

 The cross-country cycling leg of Tour de Peace ended on July 3rd with a very small protest in front of the White House, but, I must admit, it is taking me far longer than I expected to recover from the 90-day odyssey in quest of peace and justice.

Cindy is on "first-name basis" with DC police state

 I travel a lot and my life has been one protest or long action after the other since my son was killed; I even camped in a ditch in Crawford, Tx for one hot August. Why has the end of Tour de Peace caused me so much exhaustion and, let’s face it—mild depression? There are a few obvious answers, and some subtle ones.

First of all, I must face the fact that I am not a super-human. I am a middle-aged woman trapped in a rapidly degenerating skin bag, in slightly above average physical condition, who just rode her bike 3000 miles in all kinds of weather and terrain. That feat is one that I will marvel at and admire about myself forever, but one that did take its physical toll. Now, my impulse is to keep going “full-steam ahead,” but every fiber of my being is screaming out, “REST!” I am trying to compromise with myself by resting AND continuing to ride my bike—I have to, I have no car—and doing activities that I love, like swimming and walking.

Secondly, I think the mild emotional depression comes from the fact, that while the Tour exceeded many of my expectations, it woefully “deceeded” others. Although Tour de Peace was wonderfully hosted in a couple of dozen of communities across this nation with crowds ranging from 10 to 200, I was dismayed to find that there is very little anti-war sentiment out there besides the anti-drone work—which is important, but not comprehensive. By focusing on drones we forget about manned aircraft and there has been very little opposition to the US and its putrid allies arming and training the "rebels" in Syria. The violence in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan continues and the use of drones is just one part of the imperial project of world domination.

Most people we encountered are rightfully concerned about what will happen to Pfc. Bradley Manning (in fact, the Tour went tohis court martial in Ft. Meade several times to support him), but not up in righteous arms about what he revealed. The Edward Snowden revelation happened at the end of our Tour, but there was no resulting storming (used metaphorically) of the NSA or the White House?  How do we get stuck on the cause célébre, but not the cause?

Also, during the final weeks of the Tour, Obama was in Europe and Africa on his Tour de War—with very little commentary on how AfriComm is digging it’s vicious hooks into that continent to exploit and steal its vast stores of oil and other precious natural resources. In fact, Obama joined the last undemocratically elected CEO of USA, Inc, in Tanzania and good ol’ George W. thinks Obama is doing a fine job. Now, there’s an endorsement for the Obama lovers, eh? Anyway, I digress.

I think part of my depressions stems from the fact that I am trying to figure out how to be a “peace” activist when there seems so little energy to forcefully and with integrity confront the fact that The Empire grinds on and over people no matter who is the president?

I know that “peace” encompasses so many important issues, such as economic justice, but how can we advocate for that when The Empire spends trillions of dollars per year maintaining said Empire?

I realize that “peace” also encompasses criminal justice, but how can we even begin to address that issue here, when the US wages these racist wars for Empire all over the globe? After the recent Zimmerman verdict in the Trayvon Martin case, the lead Executioner himself, Obama, appealed for “calm” reminding everyone that the US is a “nation of laws.” It’s so nice to hear Obama say that, since he routinely breaks the law by murdering people abroad with his hellfire missiles and spying on all of us (to name two of his crimes)—now his fan club can look at themselves in the mirror after they hear their abusive father tell them, “do as I say, not as I do, I know what’s best for you.” It must all be true because Obama is the smart one and he can pronounce “nuclear.”

I cannot say that I am even close to coming to a conclusion in my struggle for a relevant path to be on. I would like to circle my wagons and start growing my own food and producing my own energy, but I have a very deep seated revulsion to the fact that the Empire I live in is murdering innocent people and stealing their land and natural resources. I want to be involved in a movement of people who fight against the same thing, but dozens does not a movement make.

I said in the beginning that this leg of Tour de Peace ended in front of the White House with a small protest—by “small” I mean less than 20 people. I had hoped that some of the large antiwar orgs would mobilize some people and I realize it was a Wednesday (when the buildings aren’t actually empty in DC)—but that “turn out” was obviously a "turn down" and it actually may have demoralized me more than any recent event, or non-event, I guess. The only thing that keeps the hope flickering in me is that people joined us West Coasters from from upstate Pennsylvania, New York, Iowa, Florida, and New Jersey to be there.

One of our goals when we reached WashedUp, DeCeit was to hang the banner on the White House fence that we liberated from the fence at 29 Palms Marine Base and we did it. I was surprised that we got it back with the mild admonishment to “don’t do that again.” The sign motivates the title of this peace because it read, "Hide your daughters. Hide your wife. Hide errbody [sic]. The 2/7 is back in town." We on the tour were rightfully outraged and appalled by that banner and that's why we tore it down. Being that the Obama family fits the threat implied in the sign (by the 2/7 Marines), we decided to bring it to DeCeit with us to show Obama what his troops do in the field and at home. 

Cindy and Bob Witanek (Tour de Peace, New Jersey) with banner before hanging on the fence

I am going to write a book about the experience, (which was absolutely magnificent, no matter how letdown and exhausted I seem right now), called: 2013, A Bike Odyssey: Tales from Tour de Peace, and I am anxious to get started after I finish the book that’s been on the burner for awhile now, I Left My Marbles in San Francisco (almost finished, by the way). We are also working with the strong core of people who supported the Tour to keep the small, but mighty, energy going. Riding bikes is good for peace because it’s good for the environment and our own health. Gotta love that!

I will be traveling back to the DeCeit area for a trial with the rest of the CIA 6. We all were arrested on June 29th at the CIA protesting its participation in the US drone program and we decided to fight the charges. More info on that as it becomes available! 

Again, a huge THANKS to everyone who supported Tour de Peace along the way! I will be okay and soon, I always am! 


  1. we wuv u ... <3



  2. edward c. stengelJuly 15, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    I think I understand exactly the way Cindy feels about the small number of protesters these days. Although I believe that the majority of Americans believe in the same things she does - civil rights, peace, a decent standard of living for all Americans, and a government that the people should be able to trust - most Americans have started to feel that the protests don't seem to work anymore. Hopefully, we'll return to the days when they will work again.

  3. Cheers, Cindy! You are indefatigable and still inspiring us, ever since Doug and I drove down to the ditches of Crawford. Depression is a sane response to the state of the world if you ask me. I know we musn't take you for granted, but as a seeming force of nature, it is my hope you will renew yourself and rebound.

  4. Cindy you are amazing. Please take a few days off to recharge your body and soul. You deserve it.

    I think that there doesn't seem to be much of a movement because there is a Democrat, especially this Democrat, in the White House. Had McCain won in 2008 there would have been a lot more people out these protesting against the same terrible things that Obama is doing.

    A year or so ago I heard a far right radio rabbi saying that he was glad that Obama had won instead of McCain. Obama, he said, is doing nothing that McCain wouldn't have done but the election of Obama lead to the Tea Parties which would not have come about had McCain won the election.

  5. I think I understand the let-down and depression. There seems to be little result for major effort and that has to be demoralizing. I got involved in my peace activism through my political activity back in 1984, all related to Central America. It was a sad fact then and it is still a sad fact now, that most folks involved in political organizing are not interested in getting involved in peace work. Why? Because to be consistent and faithful to the peace work, you will have to challenge the politics, and if you are socializing with other political activists - you know, the ones who will make phone calls, go to fundraiser, join political clubs, listen to speakers at meetings, put up yard signs - you are loathe to challenge the outcome of their work. I think a long sustained effort to build a political party with our common goals that get us to a peaceful world might be the eventual solution. I voted Green in the last presidential election because that was the best alternate choice for me on the Texas ballot. If there was actually a peace-oriented political party that could recruit strong candidates to challenge the Democratic Party, someplace where people could put their energy with positive results, we might actually make a real change. Stay strong, Cindy.

  6. Dear Cindy,

    I am sending you lots of love and understanding from Euskal Herria, the Basque Country, where I am basquing for a while.
    You are so right in your analysis! I have met a few Americans over here too and they are so unaware of the situation! They are very confused. They believe that Obama is the best president the USA could aim to have...I will send this blog to them.
    Keep it up, Rest and All the best to you for the benefit of everybody's sons!
    Peace! Bakea!

  7. I have a great deal of respect for people like Cindy, who actually walk the walk and do what they say.

    I don't understand Americans' apathy either, although I am a realist and I understand that we're operating like WWII German citizens, blithely unaware of just how bad American military imperialism is.

    That being said, I'm also careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water: Obama, for all his many faults, errors and shortcomings, has done more for the Common Good than any of his predecessors, and to begin the steep climb of righting the many wrongs that drive this country's wealth disparity--the root of most of our problems.

    Follow the money.

    Good on you, Cindy, for being a doer.

    1. WE will agree to disagree about Obama.


  8. Welcome home. I'll be seeing you soon.

  9. Cindy, I am very sorry to see you so dispirited. You continue to be an inspiration to all of us, speaking truth to power. There are at least two other brave women out there that you might contact if only for moral support: Elizabeth Warren and Wendy Davis. I realize they are focused on economic justice and abortion rights, rather than exposing the militaristic empire our nation has become, but at least they - like you -- are taking a stand. Although not an activist per se, Rachel Maddow has written an excellent book, Drift, that "tells the epic story of how American warfare came to be both never-ending and practically invisible." I am just hoping that you can get some additional support so that you can continue to fight for what is right. Please accept my very best wishes.

  10. I'm so sorry you have been hoodwinked by Obama. He has done nothing for the Common Good; on the contrary he is the "more effective evil", a phrase coined by Glenn Greenwald I believe. He has succeeded in neutralizing any anti-war sentiment that existed under Bush and consequently, things are continuing to get worse.

    That said, people like Cindy Sheehan inspire me to believe that there is still hope for change--no thanks to Obama!

  11. Emlyn, I hope you get a chance to read some more of Cindy's stuff. You'll realize (as Cindy has) the error of looking to Obama as doing something for the "Common Good." He is a tool of the corporatocracy; someone who is, as Glen Ford of the Black Agenda report, says "the more effective evil."

  12. "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
    Margaret Mead

    Keep on working, Ms. Sheehan, we do need you so.


  13. Cindy,

    Since I met you in Mt Shasta several years ago at a presentation you gave about the war-based empire we live in, I have been inspired and energized by your courage and outspokenness against evil, your clarity of conviction, your global worldview, your humor, your dignity, your vision of world peace, your love for humanity and your commitment to creating a better world. I share your concerns, your disappointments and your revulsion about the state of affairs in this modern and wealthy racist police state. Through great effort and dedication you have made your life an effective bulwark for the cause of peace and humanity since Casey died, and imho have had a hugely positive impact on the sleeping giant called America. Now, if you can step back and take a richly deserved sabbatical, cease from your activism, meditate, have fun, rest, become quite, be more in nature, carry water and wood, etc. you will see the magic of the Great Spirit, (God, Love) carrying on your great work in a host of others as you step back and rest from your noble political activities. Unplug, discorporate, become absolutely free and enjoy your remaining life to the fullest. It's time to make the great change and reverse directions. I send you prayers and positive energy to help you make the transition to a richer happier existence.

    Your Friend and warrior for peace,


  14. What exactly has Obama done for the common good? Pretend to support gay marriage? LOL


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