Peace Vigil in Salt Lake City August 22, 2005

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The Peace Vigil in Crawford, Texas gained momentum from the Peace Vigil held August 22, 2005, in Salt Lake City, Utah, while President George W. Bush spoke at the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in the Salt Palace Convention Center.

KSL TV 5 reporter Jon Dunn characterized the vigil as a "peaceful protest." [1]

"All Hell Breaks Loose in Utah"

Reporting on the DailyKos blog, Al Rodgers wrote August 22, 2005, that "over 2,000 citizens, in the reddest of states, marched on Bush." [2]

The DailyKos provides video links to several speeches and news reports on the web page.

Related News Articles

Bush's Speech

"In a speech to a convention of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Bush again linked the Iraq war with efforts to protect the United States from another September 11-style attack -- a link critics say is an attempt to shift the justification for war." --Caren Bohan, Reuters, August 22, 2005. [emphasis added]

Planning the Protest

In an email "to about 10 activist leaders" on August 18, 2005, "Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson called for 'the biggest demonstration this state has ever seen' to protest President Bush's appearance..."

Anderson said that "'This administration has been disastrous to the country, ... If people could organize and speak out in an effective manner from the reddest state in the country, that would garner a lot of attention.' ... The mayor plans to join the protesters."

Gold Star Families for Peace followed Bush to Salt Lake City and began running a 60-second television ad there Saturday, August 20th, in which Cindy Sheehan addresses President Bush directly. Cindy said that "she will stay close to the President until he agrees to meet with her and explain why he considers the war in Iraq, where her son and more than 1,800 other Americans have died, 'a noble cause.'

The ad was to "air on the CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates in Salt Lake City through Monday, a $15,000 buy paid for with contributions from supporters nationwide of Sheehan and her vigil, the organization announced. Celeste Zappala, co-founder of Gold Star Families, said the message from Crawford is the same messge the President will hear all across the country.

"'Where ever he goes, we plan to be there,' she said.

"Salt Lake City’s ABC affiliate, KTVX-TV Channel 4, refused to accept the ads. Station executive Jemina Keller claimed that it is an 'inappropriate commercial advertisement for Salt Lake City… incompatible with our marketplace.'

"The station is owned by Clear Channel Communications, the Texas-based mega-broadcasting chain whose executives have been close to George W. Bush."

"Mark Wiest, vice president of sales for NBC-affiliated KSL television, said that in the interest of freedom of speech, his station didn't hesitate to run the ad. KSL is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"'The bigger picture is, by suppressing the message are we doing what is right under the First Amendment and in an open democratic society?' Wiest said.

"Bush received nearly 70 percent of the vote last fall in Utah, one of the most conservative states north of the Bible Belt."