McLennan County, Texas, responds to Camp Casey.
Citing public safety concerns, not a desire to limit anti-war demonstrators, McLennan County commissioners on Tuesday approved an order to prohibit parking along 23 miles of county roads surrounding President Bush’s Crawford-area ranch.
In a 4-1 vote, commissioners and County Judge Jim Lewis ordered no parking or stopping of vehicles along portions of Prairie Chapel, Hester, Old Beulah, Morgan, Mattlage, Homestead, Quiet Valley, Canaan Church, Coryell City, Bohne, Spross, Castle Creek and West Middle Bosque roads.
The lone standout, Precinct 3 Commissioner Joe Mashek, read aloud the First Amendment, which guarantees the right to free expression. He said he voted against the order because he believes limiting parking along 23 miles of road is “too extreme.”
And we don’t want none of your damn crosses, either!
Commissioners deferred action on two other orders proposed by Meadows. One would have prohibited signs, monuments or obstructions from being placed along those 23 miles of roads. The other would have prohibited residing, erecting shelters or placing sewage receptacles in right-of-ways on all county roads.
Mike Dixon, a Waco attorney who represents the county, said he needs to study further the order prohibiting signs or monuments after commissioners raised questions about signs for garage sales, family reunions and the like.
Commissioners also questioned if they should prohibit markers placed by grieving families at locations where loved ones were killed in accidents.
Speaking against the restrictions, Paul McDaniel, a Vietnam combat veteran and a member of Veterans for Peace, told commissioners the campground memorial set up by Sheehan is “sacred ground hallowed by the tears of families and mothers of our fallen heroes and the blood of our fallen sons and daughters.”
“Bush is the self-declared war president working at the Western White House to plan, recruit and build coalitions for his war agenda with the full presence of the White House press corps,” McDaniel said. “The First Amendment allows us reasonable access to the president to express our rights. This specific Gold Star Mother peace memorial is in the highest tradition of our free and democratic society.”