Barbara Bush a no-show at tea party

Cindy Sheehan. Photo by paul Hill/PWW.

HOUSTON — On Feb. 6, President’s Day, some 200 supporters joined peace activist Cindy Sheehan in front of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, claimed by Barbara Bush and former President George H. W. Bush as their home church.

“I am overwhelmed by the response. It’s very good,” Sheehan told the World. “We invited Barbara Bush to a tea party,” she said. “I’m waiting for Barbara Bush to come out and join the tea party. Her husband, George Bush, said that if I showed up at her church, she would deal with me. If she shows up, I would like to talk with her.”

Though activists had prepared a table appropriate for the occasion, Barbara Bush failed to join Sheehan for the “tea party.”

The event, in one of Houston’s wealthiest neighborhoods, was organized by Gold Star Families for Peace, Veterans for Peace and Code Pink.

As Sheehan led them in chants of “1, 2, 3, 4, we don’t want your stupid war!” participants were upbeat and enthusiastic about the possibilities for ending the war and restoring peace. Cree Frye, 33, with the Island Peace Front in Galveston, was standing by a huge banner that read, “Jesus Wept.” She said she has been supporting Cindy Sheehan “since we went to Crawford in August.” Frye added, “I don’t believe anyone was put on this earth to kill people. The troops that we send over there are killing people for a lie and they’re dying for a lie. It will be nice to see the mothers’ sons come home.”

“We live in Montgomery and I’m campaigning for Teens for Peace,” said Autumn, 13, at the demonstration with her mother and a neighbor. “We want to send a message to Bush that the teens care. Most people think teens are a mindless mass that will do anything you say. I’m against the reasons for the war. There’s no weapons of mass destruction. Where are they?”

Another demonstrator, Matt, 20, told the World, “I don’t support the war. I don’t think violence in general is a means of solving any problem.” Sarah, 19, a student, added, “one of my good friends is over in Iraq. He’s not very happy with what’s happening over there. The things he has told me are not very pleasant.”

Many families with children participated. “I’m here because I have young sons and if we don’t stop this war, they will be fighting it!” said Regina Neely, 33, who describes herself as an “activist mom.”

James Windham, 33, said, “I’m here because I have young children and I don’t want them to be fighting in this war or paying for this war.”

“It’s really amazing to see such a show of solidarity against the war in such a conservative part of town,” said Free Man Jung, 24. “People from all ideologies came to make a statement with their presence.”