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Crosses vandalized at antiwar mom’s campsite

A truck ran over crosses erected at anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan's campsite Monday night, the latest sign of tension over the peace vigil outside President George W. Bush's Texas ranch.
/ Source: Reuters

A pickup truck ran over wooden crosses erected at antiwar protester Cindy Sheehan's campsite on Monday night in the latest sign of tension over the peace vigil outside vacationing President Bush's Texas ranch.

Larry Northern, 46, of nearby Waco, Texas, was arrested and charged with criminal mischief in connection with the incident, Crawford Police Chief Donnie Tidmore said.

Sheehan has pitched a tent on Prairie Chapel Road, which leads to Bush's ranch, and calls her site "Camp Casey," named after her 24-year-old son, who was killed in combat in Iraq in April 2004.

The small, white wooden crosses erected at the site are hand-painted with the names of soldiers killed in Iraq.

Sheehan, of Vacaville, Calif., has demanded a meeting with Bush at which she said she wants to call for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq.

White House declining second meeting
While Bush has expressed sympathy for Sheehan's grief, the White House has declined a meeting. Sheehan previously met with Bush in 2004 but wants another meeting.

Michelle Mulkey, a spokeswoman for Sheehan, said protesters were still awake on Monday night when a truck dragging a pipe and chains drove over a portion of the area where the crosses were standing.

Sheehan's vigil has attracted antiwar activists from all over the United States — many of them also relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq — who arrived to cheer her on and join in rallies.

But not everyone in this farming town of just over 700 people is happy about the presence of Camp Casey and the accompanying media circus. One resident, neighbor Larry Mattlage, fired shots into the air on Sunday from his ranch near Bush's 1,600-acre property.