At the west end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., stands the prodigious Washington Monument, a worldwide symbol of American democracy and freedom.
But across the street from this 555-foot obelisk is another symbol: Cindy Sheehan.
Sheehan, founder of Peace of the Action, has set up a protest called Camp OUT NOW, urging President Obama to end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Peace of the Action is the "most ambitious anti-war, pro-peace coalition ever," Sheehan said. She started the grassroots group after her son Casey was killed in Iraq in April 2004.
"That's why we're here again,” she said at an impromptu press conference in March. “The same things are happening as they did when George W. Bush was president, and we still don't like it. We're continuing to advocate an immediate withdrawal.”
A diverse collection of individuals follow Sheehan in her mission. Robby Diesu, a Catholic University student activist, and Polly Miller, an ex-teacher from Rochester, both joined Peace of the Action after seeing the forceful recruitment of young people into the military.
Diesu first began working with GI resistors to help soldiers get out of the military.