Benny's World

Monday, August 22, 2005

Even those in Salt Lake City Get the Blues

Do these protesters look like hippie--pinko types to you?

From today's Salt Lake Tribune:

"In downtown Salt Lake City's Pioneer Park, between 1,000 and 2,000 anti-war protesters gathered to speak and demonstrate against the continuing fighting in Iraq.

Organizers were thrilled at the turnout and Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson called on Utahns to make the protest a turning point in national opposition to Bush policies in Iraq and on environmental issues.

"Our nation was lied into a war," said Anderson, who was booed by VFW members earlier in the day but cheered by Bush protesters in Pioneer Park.

Protest organizer Eileen McCabe-Olsen, said: "A fire has been lit."

Celeste Zappala, a co-founder of Gold Star Families, and the mother of a son killed in Baghdad, said she was amazed by the size of the anti-war demonstration in conservative Utah, which gave Bush his largest margin of victory in the past two elections. "

From Yahoo News:

Among them was retired Air Force Lt. Col. George Muller of Salt Lake City, who said he believed there has been a shift in the country's attitude toward the war.

"That's what it's going to take — veterans groups, veterans and mothers who have lost kids speaking out," Muller said.

Bush has refused to meet this month with Sheehan, who lost her son last year in Iraq and left the camp near his ranch last week to tend to her hospitalized mother. She and family members of several other soldiers killed in Iraq met with the president in June of last year.

Celeste Zappala of Pennsylvania, another mother who lost her son and has been protesting with Sheehan, flew to Salt Lake City to speak at the rally. Zappala said the large turnout gave her hope for peace.

"It amazes me," said Zappala, whose son Sherwood Baker died while serving with the Pennsylvania National Guard. "I always thought of Salt Lake as a sleepy, conservative, buttoned-up place."

Meanwhile...Utah TV Commercial Refuses to Air Cindy Sheehan Ad

ABC's affiliate in Salt Lake City, KTVX, is refusing to run an ad featuring Cindy Sheehan. The station claimed the ad was an "inappropriate commercial advertisement" that could "be offensive to our community in Utah." (paragraph taken from Democracy Now website) Another story from Newsday is linked here.

I think at least 1500-2000 folks wouldn't be offended by the ad. Maybe more.

My understanding is that W received a lukewarm reception at his speech to the VFW folks attending a convention there.

Cindy Sheehan caused a spark; Salt Lake citizens blew on spark in the kindling and made it into a small fire, but red and hot. Rocky Anderson gets the mayor of the month award. If there isn't one, let's create one!

Good job! Many thanks to Sean, our Utah patriot from the DU for posting his pictures. I borrowed a couple of them for this post.


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