Joan Baez Joins Anti-War Protest Outside Bush Ranch

Published: 2005-08-25
Roughly 500 anti-war protesters, camped near US President George W. Bush's ranch in Crawford, TX, were joined on Sunday by folk singer and protest veteran Joan Baez.

Baez performed a free concert for the assembled protesters and relatives of US soldiers killed in the line of duty in Iraq. "In the first march I went to (opposing Vietnam) there were 10 of us", Baez told the crowd before her performance. "This is huge." Baez went on to perform peace-themed songs such as "Where Have All The Flowers Gone?", "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" and "Song Of Peace".

The protest was organized by Cindy Sheehan, an outspoken opponent of the war whose son, Casey, is one of almost 2,000 US soldiers killed in Iraq since the US invasion began in May 2003. Sheehan set up camp near the Bush ranch on August 6, vowing to stay until Bush came and talked to her or cut short his controversial month-long vacation.

Baez called the growing vehemence of the anti-war movement in the US inevitable. "It was the final tear for the overflow and you can't stop running water", she said. "Cindy's was the final tear."

President Bush has so far refused to cut short his vacation to speak with Sheehan and the protesters gathered in Crawford, instead falling back on his usual policy of offering empty sympathy for the dead while equating war with freedom and destruction with hope.

Joan Baez will release a live album, Bowery Songs, on September 6.

Writer: Neil McDonald



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