Monday, August 29, 2005

Sheehan's shadow

So you thought the Cindy Sheehan protest was a spontaneous act of desperation from a grieving mom? Think again.

Byron York from the National Review introduces us to Lisa Fithian, the ultra-radical leftist who has been lurking behind the scenes of this story from the very beginning. According to York, it is she who first pushed Cindy Sheehan into the spotlight and it is also she who has been whispering into Sheehan's ear every step of the way:

A notice on Cindy Sheehan's website, meetwithcindy.org, asks for donors who might be able to offer a camper, or an RV, or just money, for Sheehan's upcoming cross-country tour, scheduled to begin Wednesday in Crawford, Texas, and end in Washington at the big antiwar demonstration scheduled for September 24. At the end of the note, readers with something to offer are asked to "please call organizer Lisa Fithian."

To anyone familiar with the world of professional protesting — protests against globalism, capitalism, war, police tactics, and dozens of other causes — the presence of Fithian is a sign of how far Cindy Sheehan has strayed from the roots of her "one mom" crusade against George W. Bush. Or, perhaps more accurately, it is a sign that the "one mom" crusade was never just one mom. Fithian is a legendary organizer who operates in the world of anti-globalism anarchists, antiwar protesters, and union activists; an advocate of aggressive "direct action" demonstrations, she protested the first Gulf war, played an important role in the violent shutdown of Seattle during the 1999 World Trade Organization meeting, was a key planner in protests at the Republican and Democratic national conventions in 2000 and 2004, and organized demonstrations at trade meetings in Washington, D.C., Prague, and Genoa.

Although she has received virtually no attention from reporters covering Sheehan, Fithian has been part of the Crawford protest from the very beginning. In a telephone interview with National Review Online on Sunday, she explained that she was with Sheehan in Dallas at a meeting of the antiwar group Veterans for Peace during the first days of August when the decision was made for Sheehan to go to the president's ranch. On August 6, when Sheehan went to Crawford — in a bus with the words "Impeachment Tour" emblazoned on the side — Fithian went along. "I came the first day and helped her [Sheehan] set up the initial encampment," Fithian said. With the exception of one brief absence, she has been there ever since.

Full story below:

Cindy Sheehan’s Radical Strategist

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