October 5th, 2009
08:25 PM ET
9 years ago

Cindy Sheehan arrested at White House anti-war protest


Dozens of protesters were arrested after they gathered in front of the White House to call for the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (CNN) - As the war in Afghanistan nears the start of its ninth year, a group of anti-war protesters gathered in front of the White House today to express their disappointment that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are not yet over, and to request a meeting with President Obama.

An estimated 500 people from different anti-war groups gathered on the sidewalk in front of the White House. A few chained themselves to the fence, some laid down on the sidewalk as if they were dead, and others chanted: "mourn the dead, heal the wounded, end the war!"

The protest was peaceful, though U.S. Park Police said that 61 people were arrested for failure to obey a lawful order after the crowd was repeatedly asked to move back from the sidewalk. According to Park Police Sgt. David Schlosser, all were cited and released.

Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq in 2004, was among the protestors, and was one of those who were arrested. She said she had not been a supporter of President Obama or of Sen. John McCain during last year's election but said protestors were running out of patience. "I think the mood of the country and the mood of our movement is getting a little bit more desperate, and (that) this will be the time to be able to translate our tireless activism and work for peace," she said.

Sheehan added that President Obama has been in office long enough to start working towards peace in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that his supporters want him to make those changes.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that neither he nor the president were aware of the protest until it was mentioned in the daily briefing to the press, adding: "I think the president has long believed that whether your opinion is on one side of this issue or the other, that this is the greatness of our country, is that you get to amplify that opinion."

Filed under: Afghanistan • Extra • Iraq • Popular Posts • White House
soundoff (132 Responses)
  1. Padraig

    This is why I love this nation. Whether you agree with the protestors or not ; they have the right to be heard.

    October 5, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  2. Rob

    THANK YOU CINDY!!! Stop these wars! President Obama, do as you promised to do!!!

    October 5, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  3. S Callahan NYS

    You can't change what God ordains!

    October 5, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  4. Rick in OP

    Now that President Obama is on the receiving end of Cindy Sheehan’s anti-war protest, watch and see how long it takes for the mainstream media to demonize her.

    October 5, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  5. Emmanuel Goldstein

    So, how's the view from under the bus? Not like I didn't say you'd wind up there.

    got hope?

    October 5, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  6. andy

    This anti-american NUTS should be ashamed of themselves. Putting thier kids out there in those stupid costumes. They need to remember real americans died in foreign wars so they would have the right to be stupid. Sheehan needs medication.

    October 5, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  7. Teknarik

    Go home Cindy! Peace process is not as simple as you would like to think. Let the President and Generals decide what is best for the army!

    October 5, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  8. roger

    This chick needs to get on with her life! Or get a life!

    October 5, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  9. normajean

    This problem of Afghanistan is indeed something that is going to take a lot of the administration time and efforts, however, until the jobless and healthcareless and even some homeless are helped in our own country, I think our priorities are going to have to be at home. We will try to save lives in other countries.whenever possible but with relatives struggling right now, I for one want the priority to be here. We are hurting.

    October 5, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  10. Buckeye

    Mourn the dead, heal the wounded, end the war now. Amen.

    October 5, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  11. inofritzn

    Left probably hates her now?

    October 5, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  12. Dan A

    Time to get over it Cindy Sheehan !!! Honor your sons bravery instead of disgracing his efforts by your waste of time protests !!!

    October 5, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  13. ICARE

    Oh, I feel so sad for her. She's a great role model for freedom of speech. I must say she is so American. She has a lot of guts...!! You go girl!!

    October 5, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  14. Phil

    Cindy Sheehan has been a tireless advocate for peace since losing her son Casey in Iraq.

    Thank you Cindy! Keep speaking truth to power!

    October 5, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  15. Michael Willis

    " WASHINGTON (CNN) — As the war in Afghanistan nears the start of its ninth year..." We are actually approaching the start of the eighth year.

    October 5, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  16. gwen

    I respect Presdient Obama's intelligent, thought out process on both wars – lets not jump in again and find out it was all based on .lies and misinformation!! The same repubs that are criticizing Obama for taking his time to get out of Iraq and building up/or not in afganistan are the same ones who supported bush in his haste decisions involving iraq and we all know what that got us 4300 americans dead, 50,000 horribly wounded and 300,000 or more innocent iraqs dead!!

    October 5, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  17. normajean

    Having lost a very young son in years past, I do understand Mrs. Sheehans feelings, but I also understand our people { some in my family} that can't worry about war right now when they have lost their jobs
    and don't know how they're going to pay everyday billsl and keep food on the table .Heaven help them if they get sick, the health care went with the job.Call it selfish,but our priorities are at home.

    October 5, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  18. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Obama needs to end the Bush Wars.....


    October 5, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  19. Mike in MN

    Another protest against Obama that he was not aware of. There is a pattern here.
    At least Cindy Sheehan is protesting the wars out of a true personal belief. Not based on a partisian position. She protested Bush and Obama on the wars.
    While the protest was not violent, I'm sure many on the left will become concerned that they are stoking hate and violence. There were some arrests. Please note liberals that there are yet to be any arrests at Tea Parties, thats zero.

    October 5, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  20. curtis

    Funny how Bush never had her arrested and thrown in the slammer when she repeatedly protested and stalked him....How compassionate of Obama to arrest her now that she is protesting his Iraq war etc.

    October 5, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  21. Jay T.

    No, friend, the Left does not hate her and we do not support Obama's war agenda on any level. I am no "Yes Man" like those who watch Fox News and allow themselves to be lied to on a daily basis. Remember, you are the ones who voted Bush into office twice. So, don't forget that. Your credibility is zero with those who think.

    October 5, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  22. Rambo

    If we bring the soldiers home now, what are they going to do for work? Are they to be used for crowd control against future protest?

    October 5, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  23. Dennis

    I find it amazing that CNN did not give the same coverage to the Tea Parties that had thousands of protesters to Cindy’s 500….. hmm no bias here

    October 5, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  24. Pat

    andy, what wars are you referring to? WWI, Vietnam, Korean Conflict, Cold War, Gulf Wars, Iraq/Pakistan/Afghanistan, Covert Drug wars? I can't figure out which of those made a bit of difference. WWII was the only just war we engaged in. It was the only war we actually fought against the spread of tyranny.

    October 5, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  25. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    End both of these wars now, bring our brave service people home. No more wars for profit!

    October 5, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
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