Cindy Sheehan's oldest child Casey was killed in Iraq on April 4th, 2004. Since then she has been on a mission to end the wars and hold George W. Bush accountable
I have some wonderful news, after almost two years and much stress, heart break, and inspiration, I am within a couple of weeks of finishing my project, Revolution, A Love Story.
As some of you may remember, or not, Revolution, A Love Story began as a documentary project after I traveled to Venezuela in February-March of 2010 to interview President Hugo Chávez for Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox Radio Show. I had a terrible split with one of the cameramen, who was my roommate at the time, who not only absconded with the footage for the film, but with thousands of dollars of merchandise that belonged to my non-profit, Peace of the Action. The end of last year was terrible for me, but it wasn’t the first time I had been stabbed in the back by someone whom I trusted—it was just the worst time.
Anyway, since I do write, I decided to write a book based on my research and to be able to give something to my supporters (the one who stole the footage had no supporters and didn’t raise one penny for the project) who pre-ordered the movie to give us some working capital. It took me way longer to write than my previous books, perhaps because I never tried to write a book while being a grandmother to four adorable babies before, but I don’t know. I was still busy with my radio show, blog, protesting and traveling the world on my almost 8-year long quest for peace.
So, the wonderful news is that by the end of this year, I can fulfill my commitment to my supporters to deliver a product to them. It’s not what I hoped it would be, but it’s something.
So here’s the difficult news I have to share. I have been waging a mighty internal struggle for some time and have come to some important conclusions. The movement moved away from me a long time ago, or I moved away from it when I realized that the Democratic Party was part of the problem, and not worth investing any time or energy into. It doesn’t matter who moved away from whom at this point because it’s become increasingly difficult for me to survive—I don’t want to become rich from circumstances leading from my son’s death and that’s why I have poured most of my earnings back into the movement, but the struggle to remain a full-time activist that hasn’t sold out her principles has grown too great. I am literally just one person, now; I can’t do it anymore. I don't think anyone, friend or foe, can't say that I haven't tried my hardest.
I have also come to terms with the fact that, contrary to what I believe, Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox must not be a good show, because it is not supported. Since January of 2009, when the show premiered, it has always been a struggle to pay the Soapbox bills. The only way it has remained on the air for the last six months, however, is because my staff has been working for free and I cannot ask them to do that any longer. I appreciate the help from them all and appreciate that they believed in the show, but banging ones head against the wall just gives one a headache. I can’t afford to pay for the bandwidth to keep the show on the air or the email service I use to send out my reminders and other info anymore, either. For me, at least, sadly, Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox is signing off.
For everything there is a season and some of the events of this past year show great promise for a renewed sense of activism and empowerment, but even though I have been preaching this gospel for years, now, and organized the post-911’s first Occupy activity (Camp Casey in Crawford, Tx), a new generation is arising. I am super-happy about that and super-excited that the energy is there and the OWS movement has the resources it needs to do whatever it thinks it needs to do. I am not needed and that’s perfectly fine by me.
The only thing that’s not fine with me is that foreign policy issues are getting scarier and scarier, and it doesn’t seem that there’s currently much of a movement to address this. Like I said, I put everything into working for peace: my heart, my soul, my money, etc, and the only thing I have to show for it is some dusty awards and a bank account that has a negative balance of $4. The Evil Empire is even farther away from peace than it was when my son was killed and this is a fact that causes me much pain and frustration.
This is not a message asking anyone for money. I will never ask you for money again. I have to sell my soul, swallow my principles (like someone just reminded me, people do it every day—but it won’t be easy) work with the IRS and find a job, or assistance to go back to school, or something.
Life has two guarantees: either everything will be okay, or it won’t.
I have a strong feeling that I will be okay, because I have survived the worst thing any mother can survive, the pre-mature and unnecessary death of a child. Somehow, I am always “okay," and I will continue to do what I can as a part-time peace and justice activist.
I can’t even express my gratitude strongly enough for all the love and support that each of you have shown me over the years and give thanks for the memories, because there have been far more good ones than bad ones. I am excited to begin this new phase of my life.
In May of 2007, when I resigned as “face of the antiwar movement,” I was physically ill and profoundly exhausted, I can’t say that now! I honestly feel healthier and in better physical shape than I have been in years. This message is not self-pity party because I have no regrets. Regrets are for those that live in the past. I do detect a certain amount of irony, however, in the fact that the murderers responsible for my son's death seem to be prospering and have an endless stream of opportunities available to them. It would be funny if it weren't so tragic and continuous.
Oh, one last thing I will ask of you all—does anyone know any job available for someone that can read, write, speak in public, has a better than average grasp of current events, is articulate, can cause trouble with the best of them, and who is fearless, funny and smart? I'm the woman!
Love and peace,
November 9th, 2013
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