Cindy Sheehan attracted a lot of supported, who gathered near Bush’s ranch at Texas. They make great donations to the Peace House, fighting against war in Iraq.
More than $150,000 (Ђ122,000) in donations have poured in to the Peace House since Sheehan arrived Aug. 6 and started a makeshift campsite along the road leading to Bush's Texas ranch. Because the rural campsite is small, many of the hundreds of visitors have spent their time a few kilometers (miles) away at the Peace House, which has become Sheehan's headquarters.
The peace center in a four-room house near Bush's ranch opened a month after the Iraq war began in March 2003. But with little support until now the co-founders struggled to keep it running and even used some of their own money to pay the mortgage and electric bill. Last month, the telephone was cut off for nonpayment.
Not only is the phone back on, but the $54,000 (Ђ44,000) mortgage is about to be paid.
"This has gone absolutely way beyond our imagination or expectations ever," said Hadi Jawad, one of the co-founders.
The Peace House, just across the railroad tracks from downtown Crawford, was established as a place for activists to gather in Bush's adopted hometown. Jawad and John Wolf, affiliated with the Dallas Peace Center, bought the white-clapboard house for $65,000 (Ђ53,000). They made the down payment with proceeds from selling anti-war buttons for $1 apiece at peace rallies.
But many of the town's 700 residents view the Peace House as a nuisance and harmful to the town's image.
Sheehan's protest, which she plans to continue in the nation's capital after Bush's monthlong vacation ends next week, also is drawing harsh criticism and counter-protests, including a pro-Bush rally set for Saturday in town.