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."
I am certainly NO fan of hers, but I got to hand it to her. She is steadfast in her beliefs.
Quite the conundrum ol' Obama is in, isn't it? The steps went like this:
1. Spoke out against the war to appease the "popular opinion"
2. Became President preaching "change" and "hope"
3. Realized doing isn't as easy as saying.
4. Catches flack from the anti-war nuts who think Terrorists will want to "hug it out" as soon as we withdraw.
I agree with Code Pink, ANSWER, The World Can't Wait and all the rest of we the pro-Peace (Cindy Shehan) folks who know why America is so addicted to WAR! President Obama has moved from our side to get elected to the middle where all the killing policies get appeasement and the plight of the maimed, brain injured, DEAD of all sides get quietly forgotten to do U.S. Foreign Policy. Just take a long look around this world at the neglected places robbed by capitalism and corrupt leaders-Darfur, Somalia, South Africa and a host more. What does Darfur have that capitalists want? Nothing and this is why these poor folks languish in such horrifying suffering. Please see this book to understand so much: Naomi Klein's, "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise Of Disaster Capitalism" AND Naomi Wolf's, "The End Of America: A Letter Of Warning To A Yound Patriot". You will be most enlightened. Peace
Afghanistan was a tough situation from the state, But thanks to Bush and Cheney's incompetence, which borders on criminal negligence, it's now lose-lose situation for literally everyone, for the US, for our military, even for the Afghanis.
At least these people have a valid point. The teabaggers were complaining about tax increases that never happened.
Wow....some of the comments on here are scary...
When is she coming to Hyde Park to camp out in front of Obama’s home? Don’t hear much support for her now that Obama is in charge! Liberal hypocrites!
Well, President Obama has his Robert McNamara, his General Westmorland, and his John Foster Dulles, all neatly lined up and anxious to go. He only needs Henry Kissinger to look for the light at the end of the tunnel.
The Iraq and Afghanistan wars should be ended today. Isn't 8 years of killing poor people for Oil revenues enough? The United States and it's people are financial bankrupt and on the verge of being foreclosed upon. These Imperial wars for global domination just can't be run anymore. Sorry Pro-War folks of the red states this war business should be closed down as well. Bring the troops home and have them work here on making america more secure. The only foreigners who are going to come to america are looking for jobs that aren't even here.
This is one Obama supporter that has always supported Cindy and still does.
Good for her for not caving just because a Democrat was elected!!
I know a solution that will solve the war problem and everything else. How about we work together as the UNITED states of America. That is all I am going to say; it is easy to figure out. I am 18, and have a lot to learn; but I already know that the only way to solve the nations problems is to do that one simple thing. God bless America.
"mourn the dead, heal the wounded, end the war!"
Oh dear..she has been out of the lime light for a while. She lost the election in California so I suppose she has to ratchet up the protest....I think the press should ignore her. She made her point about the Iraqi War. But it now seems as if she is just seeking publicity...UGH<<< she is ruining her former creditibly
Don't criticize Obama for trying to find a way out of GW Bush's mess. He is trying to end two messy wars as cleanly as possible.
Republicans LOVE WAR. This is one reason why the Republican party is now 21% of the nation's citizens.
The war in Iraq was completely based on lies and has cost more American lives than we lost on 9/11. In my mind, this makes the warmonger Republicans a bigger threat than Al Queda.
what dennis said is right. We are for freedom for all, what is this country going to when protestors are shoved into a car by military and drove away no questions asked???.
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
Ron Paul knows best
Who Cares? She is not going to stop the war. It won't belong until that war is in American turf. We can thank the democrats and Obama for that!
We still have work to do in Afghanistan. McCain claimed he knew how to get Bin Laden. Obama should get McCain to fess up about that.
Iraq on the other hand should be handling things on its own. We shouldn't be there anymore.
Some people here claim there were no arrests at the "Tea Parties". Do we know that for sure?
Dems and Republicans make me sick..... They ALL need some help. Vote them all out!
everyone forgets that sheehan's son volunteered. she did nothing to stop him. talked my cousin out of volunteering by simply telling him that the nation is not at war where the objective is total victory so he would just be cannon fodder for no set victory objective. if the nation were serious about victory, afghanistan and iraq would have been subjected to carpet bombing since the 9/11 attack and the blazes with collateral damage. we haven't won a war since ww2 so why volunteer to die needlessly?
They should put her in jail and keep her there. She is disgracing the memory of her son. As for the rest, I'm glad to see them excercise the rights that my comrades and I fought so hard for, but they still annoy me. Lets hope Barry does not give into the preassure of a few nuts and sends the needed troops asap
I protest the actions and results of the Bush Administration. NO WMD, NO EXIT STRAGETY, bankrupting OUR Country, Spreading Our Troops to thinly, harming our world respect, wiretapping, waterboarding, BLACKWATER, Halliburton NO BID CONTRACTS, TAX CUTS for the Rich, De-regulation and joined at the hip with CORPORATE AMERICA, BIG OIL, Wallstreet, Insurance Companies, Lobbyists and Special Interest Groups.
Oh Jay, how's that Hope and Change working out for ya?
Looks like Cindy's words: "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.
are a GREAT excuse for these peaceniks to get violent. Stay tuned!
I'm glad protesters aren't labelled terrorists any more.
God bless Cindy! End these wars that were started on lies! Wake up America!