After Cindy Sheehan's son Casey was killed in an illegal war in Iraq, she devoted her life to her son's memory. She tried to ask President George W. Bush why her son had died but was shunned by the Commander-in-Chief who had sent her son to his death. She refused to settle for silence. She camped outside Bush's ranch and made her presence and the need for an answer known. Former newswoman Bree Walker provided a ranch down the road from Bush's. There, Cindy created a base for her protests.
Cindy's actions were not limited to her remembering her own son. She let America know about deaths of thousands of servicemen. Cindy created a group called Gold Star Families for Peace for those who had lost a loved one in Iraq. She organized peace rallies and stood against war funding in an effort to save sons who had not yet died. In 2006 she was arrested in the House gallery for wearing an anti-war T-shirt to Bush's State of the Union Address. It read "2,245 Dead. How many
In 2008, she ran for Congress in San Francisco against Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi is the Democratic leader considered to be the top enabler of continuation of the wars. Evidence from the anti-prop 8 campaign indicates that the votes in San Francisco were either not counted or were miscounted. The Mayor of the San Francisco was related to Nancy Pelosi. Numerous other events, including break-ins into Sheehan's headquarters with a refusal of the police to properly investigate indicated that her campaign had run afoul of the powers that be in the city.
Cindy has refused to let hunger, sickness and unjust imprisonment deter her from fighting for peace. Cindy continues to be the mother who has inspired a movement and who has encouraged other mothers to follow her lead of working for peace.
Cynthia McKinney set an example for her son Coy. She is a mother who has been dedicated to peace and human rights for most of her life. When she was in the Georgia State Legislature, she stood up against the first Gulf War as haws in the Georgia State legislature walked out.
Cynthia McKinney ran afoul of the pro-war interests when she questioned the events leading up to 9/11/01. She took the lead against the PATRIOT Act and the Iraq War. She was unable to stop the war. So she turned her peace work towards defunding the war and bringing it to a close. She stood up to Democratic Congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi who was a major force in keeping the wars continuing. For this, McKinney was punished by Pelosi but this didn't deter McKinney from her course. Throughout her time in Congress McKinney remained a strong peace and human rights leader.
Her quest for peace resulted in her risking her life more than once to bring medical supplies to the children of Gaza. Her boat, the Dignity, was rammed and fired upon by the Israeli Government in 2008. It had to turn back. This didn't stop her. She and Mairead Maguire returned on the Spirit of Humanity. This time these women and others were taken prisoner by the Israeli Government. Eight days in an Israeli prison didn't deter McKinney from trying again. Next, she went over land and brought what supplies she could carry into Gaza.
Later she organized a Dignity delegation to Libya to try to end the NATO and US backed genocide.
McKinney was selected as the Green Presidential candidate in 2008 and was considered the real peace candidate for President in the general election that year.
Cynthia's son Coy is very proud of his mom and has spoken about her willingness to do the right thing in Congress and to ask questions about 9/11.
She taught her son well. This is what he has to say about war:
"If we want to live in a world of peace, we must learn from our history and see that war is an unnatural phenomenon; we need to reject it on a philosophical and spiritual level. Removing war from our conscience creates space for dialogue and diplomacy and brings us closer to a shared utopia."