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The White Rose and the Rose Parade

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Since the conquest of Poland three hundred thousand Jews have been murdered in this country in the most bestial way ... The German people slumber on in their dull, stupid sleep and encourage these fascist criminals ... Each man wants to be exonerated of a guilt of this kind, each one continues on his way with the most placid, the calmest conscience. But he cannot be exonerated; he is guilty, guilty, guilty! — From the second leaflet of the White Rose. [5] ”


My first encounter with the White Rose Society (a small group of Munich University Students who were executed for their opposition to Hitler and the Third Reich) came on my way from Dallas to Crawford, Tx on August 6th, 2005.

I rode from the Veteran’s for Peace Convention in Dallas on the “White Rose,” a bus that had a huge ‘IMPEACH’ written on the side of it. On the bus was a picture of Sophie Scholl and her brother Hans and some of the quotes of the series of 5 leaflets that the Society spread denouncing Hitler from June 1942 to February 1943, when they were caught and executed. They were an obviously brave and moral group of wide awake Germans who sacrificed their lives to try and change the horrible direction that their nation was going in.

Gold Star Families for Peace and the Camp Casey Peace Institute has joined a group called the "White Rose Coalition" that will be carrying a large copy of the Constitution at the end of the parade and the Backbone Campaign’s Chain Gang will be following the parade. Many activists will tag along with our “Impeachment” banners, signs and other means of protest to call national attention to the accountability issue.

Being involved in this particular action has engendered the most hate mail for me since I left the Democratic Party! I am “ruining the parade.” I am the “representation of everything that is evil in the world today.” One woman named Carrie, was “sorry” that my son is dead, but he volunteered to “honor” this country with his service and even though Carrie is no “fan” of Bush (yeah sure), I have really “crossed the line” this time.

First of all, we are not protesting the parade at all, except that it is a symbol of corporate excess and it is my opinion it is not really moral to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on parade floats when people are still being killed in Iraq and suicide rates for our Veterans are skyrocketing because the VA system in under-funded and apparently not a priority for BushCo and Congress Inc
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I can’t remember a time in my life where anyone protesting at a parade would have upset me at all, but since Casey was killed in Iraq and since I have faced and witnessed so much violence, oppression and hardship in the world, it is absolutely stunning to me that this protest would create so much vileness and venom. There are so many more important things in the world besides parades and football games. I have also tried to imagine an Iraqi happening to catch a glimpse of the Rose Parade on TV somehow and marveling how everything is so happy and beautiful in America when our nation has utterly devastated and destroyed theirs.

Since the “conquest” of Iraq, over one million Iraqis have been slaughtered or have died from the tragic, but unavoidable consequences of invasion and occupation. BushCo have desecrated our Constitution and the almost complete fascist take-over of our media and the blatant stealing of our freedoms here at home have bypassed many Americans while they are slumbering in our dull, stupid sleep.

As long as people like Carrie have their “circuses” to divert them, then they don’t have to bother their “beautiful minds” with the crimes of BushCo---but ignorance is not an excuse for being awash in the blood of nearly 4000 Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.

I spend every second of every day mourning my son and longing for his future. I am sorry if someone wearing an “Impeach Bush and Cheney” t-shirt will ruin a parade for somebody, but we are trying to prevent many more people from having their entire lives ruined.

We cannot allow this criminal regime to continue as in the words of the first leaflet from the White Rose Society:

It is certain that today every honest German is ashamed of his government. Who among us has any conception of the dimensions of shame that will befall us and our children when one day the veil has fallen from our eyes and the most horrible of crimes ... reach the light of day.
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Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan, who was KIA in Iraq on 04/04/04. She is a co-founder and President of Gold Star Families for Peace and the author of two books: Not One More Mother's Child and Dear President Bush.

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