Joan Baez Performs at Crawford Anti-War Vigil

Lm Otero / AP

In the first march I went to (opposing Vietnam) there were 10 of us. This is huge,” Baez told relatives of fallen U.S. soldiers Sunday before performing a free concert just up the road from the ranch.

REUTERS/Jeff Mitchell

REUTERS/Jeff Mitchell
About 500 people gathered to hear her on a 1-acre lot offered by a landowner who opposes the war. Not far away, protesters continued a camp-out started by grieving mother Cindy Sheehan.

REUTERS/Jeff Mitchell

Baez said a movement like this was waiting to happen.

“It was the final tear for the overflow and you can’t stop running water,” she said. “Cindy’s was the final tear.”

I think the question that nobody wanted to deal with is the question they’re posing: did my kid die in vain? Because the answer is too awful,” Baez said. She has never met Sheehan but said she spoke to her on the phone.

REUTERS/Jeff Mitchell

Baez brings peace activism, music to Crawford

Folk singer Joan Baez, a leading figure of the 1960s counter-culture and peace movement, took to the stage Sunday night less than a mile from the Western White House.

Even before she sung a note in her concert in support of war mom Cindy Sheehan, the legendary artist and activist received a standing ovation from the more than 500 people in the audience.

“Sit down. Y’all sit down,” Baez told the crowd. “I’d say thank you for inviting me, but I already had my plane ticket.”

As the sun set, Baez sang a mishmash of folk songs, including “Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream,” the African spirtual “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” and “Song of Peace,” patterned after the Finnish national anthem.

About an hour prior to her set, Baez spoke to reporters and to parents whose children were killed in the Iraq war. Baez said she came to Crawford to support Sheehan’s cause and the other military parents grieving for their fallen children.

Baez is forever linked to her activism against the Vietnam War in the 1960s. Through the decades, she has lent her voice against aggression and militarism.

Also at Camp Casey today — “Liz Carpenter, Lady Bird Johnson’s chief of staff and press secretary during the Johnson administration. The 85-year-old Salado native called on the audience, especially women, to advance peace in lieu of war.”

“When I first went to Washington in June 1943, I ran into the first ambassador I’d ever met, and I said to him, ‘What is diplomacy?’ and he said, ‘Keeping the conversation going.’ Wouldn’t we be a lot better if we kept the conversation going?” Carpenter said. “We are all ambassadors in this country and we’ve got to learn how to wage peace.

“When it happens, it will be because of women, and women like Cindy Sheehan.”

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10 Responses to Joan Baez Performs at Crawford Anti-War Vigil

  1. Teresa says:

    Something big is happening. I’ve never seen anything like this. The people coming to the President’s home, not the White House. The sincerity and down home nature of it all amazes me. The hope, the lack of obsession with the surrounding hate and violence.
    Sometimes you’ve got to turn your back on it all and do something positive.

  2. Marjorie G says:

    This growing movement is giving people hope, if not agreement on how to proceed. How to fight back and have a voice, in something so critical as sending our kids off to kill or be killed.

    With this, I hope, we begin a pattern that despite stolen votes, legislation rammed through last minute and switched, we say enough and speak up. We also have to stop blaming the Dems, all the time, for how they voted. So we watch how they vote, bring the worst offenders to task-like the credit card bill, and support real campaign finance reform and candidacies to the best of our limited incomes.

    Knew this was coming, but saw in my Chicago Tribune giveaway in NYC, sneakily Conservative to turn us:

    Hunter’s Last Soiree
    The Late Hunter S. Thompson’s ashes were blasted into the sky exactly as he wished on Saturday night. At a party attended by John Depp, Bill Murray, Lyle Lovett and SEN. JOHN KERRY, Thompson’s ashes were fired from a 15-story tower in the shape of his logo: a clenched fist holding a peyote button, rising from the hilt of a dagger. Depp paid for the $2.5 million soiree.

    Thanks for DU fest, KG

  3. florida dem says:

    JK was at HST’s final blast off. Cool.

  4. Teresa

    Yesterday at Camp Casey appeared to be another defining moment in the movement. I was floored to ready about Lady Bird’s press secretary showing up as well.

    Joan Baez looks great doesn’t she.

  5. Marjorie, Florida Dem

    It seems we never know where JK will show up.

  6. florida dem says:

    Hey did everyone get today’s email petition from JK urging Shrub to stop the “stay the course” rhetoric and offer up a real plan for Iraq? I’ve already signed it and passed it on to friends.

  7. Florida Dem

    I’m just getting ready to post it. Got an advance (?) copy from the PAC, but you already have it… LOL!

  8. Teresa says:


    I too was amazed at Lady Bird’s secretary. It adds legitimacy.
    And Joan looks fabulous. It’s good to see us old peaceniks out and about…still ambulatory!

  9. karendc says:

    My Joan Baez story:

    I met Joan Baez almost exactly 36 years ago. It was the Mariposa Folk Festival, she had closed the show, immediately following my then-boyfriend and his skittle band. The band had brought down the house with “How Come You Do Me Like You Do Do Do”.

    We got on the small boat to ride back to Toronto-proper, and had to scoot down the bench when very-pregnant Joan came onboard. We didn’t want to breathe or speak. It was quiet.

    As the boat pulled away from the dock and glided across the lake, someone said, “Sing something, Joanie.”

    She sang “Amazing Grace”, full of sound and peace and Gabriel (her son, born several weeks later).

    I thought about her when we sang “Amazing Grace” in front of the White House on Wednesday. Ironically, her rendition was the very first I had heard…

    Posted by: karen at August 22, 2005 04:07 PM

  10. Karen

    Great story! Thanks for sharing it with us.