Antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan, perhaps best-known for her long protest in front of President George W. Bush’s ranch during the Iraq War, will embark on a Tour de Peace bicycle ride from California to Washington, D.C., including Route 66.
Sheehan protested Bush and the war not long after her soldier son Casey was killed in action in Iraq in 2004. The bicycle ride will begin April 4 from her son’s grave in Vacaville, Calif. — the ninth anniversary of his death.
It will continue on much of Route 66 and beyond, finishing July 3 at the White House in Washington.
According to the news release, local groups will organize several events along the way, and cyclists are invited on all or part of the journey.
As for why the Tour de Peace is being organized, the organizers explain:
This August will mark 8 years since Cindy Sheehan began a widely reported protest at then-President George W. Bush’s “ranch” in Crawford, Texas, demanding to know what the “noble cause” was for which Bush claimed Americans were dying in Iraq. Neither Bush nor President Obama has yet offered a justification for a global war now in its 12th year. The Tour de Peace will carry with it these demands:
To end wars,
To end immunity for U.S. war crimes,
To end suppression of our civil rights,
To end the use of fossil fuels,
To end persecution of whistleblowers,
To end partisan apathy and inaction.
History books will probably cite Sheehan’s protest as a turning point in the public’s opinion of the war. However, Sheehan’s causes have become more strident and quixotic in recent years, as you’ll probably surmise from a lengthy Wikipedia entry about her. Those things have cost her a lot of credibility, and it almost certainly cost her a 28-year marriage.
Regardless, I suspect people along Route 66 will treat her hospitably during her journey. It’s no picnic to pedal more than 3,000 miles across America, and I doubt anyone would say she’s insincere in her causes.