Tensions rise at Bush ranch vigil
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Tensions rise at Bush ranch vigil

BBC News | August 17, 2005

Tensions are growing among local residents and activists gathered near US President George W Bush's Texas ranch in protest at the war in Iraq.

One resident was arrested on Monday for allegedly running over some 800 wooden crosses, dotted along a roadside, which bore the names of fallen soldiers.

A day earlier, a landowner reportedly fired a shotgun twice in the air.

Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier who died in Iraq, began the vigil outside Mr Bush's ranch 11 days ago.

She has vowed to stay put during the president's month-long vacation at his ranch until he agrees to meet her.

Her peace protest has drawn worldwide attention and, by last weekend, had attracted hundreds of supporters.

But local residents in Crawford have complained of blocked roads and traffic jams. Some have asked county officials to impose parking restrictions around the site.

"No matter what you think about the war we should all honour the sacrifices of the ones who have fallen"

- Cindy Sheehan

One landowner reportedly fired his shotgun twice into the air last Sunday, but was not arrested. He is said to have told reporters he was "getting ready for dove season".

'Very disturbing'

Late on Monday, a truck driver mowed down the hundreds of small crosses bearing the names of fallen soldiers in Iraq that had been planted along a roadside.

One man was arrested and charged in connection with the incident, police said.

Mrs Sheehan, 48, called the incident "very disturbing".

"No matter what you think about the war we should all honour the sacrifices of the ones who have fallen," she said.

She said they did not want to upset anyone. "The only thing we want is to talk to one of their neighbours," she added.

Mrs Sheehan, whose eldest son, Casey, was killed in action in 2004, wants Mr Bush to withdraw US troops from Iraq.

The president has so far refused to agree to her request to meet him, although he says he has given her plea for troop withdrawal serious consideration.

White House officials say Mrs Sheehan has met the president on a previous occasion, and made her views known then.

She has complained that the president was disrespectful towards her, and says their previous meeting came before revelations of faulty intelligence-gathering in the run-up to war.

Meanwhile, she has refused to comment on news that her husband, Patrick, has filed for divorce citing "irreconcilable differences" after 28 years of marriage.

 

 

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