Peace activist Sheehan to challenge top Democrat Pelosi
Aug 10, 2007
San Francisco - Blasting Democrats for failing to take steps to end the war in Iraq, top peace activist Cindy Sheehan on Thursday formally announced her candidacy to challenge Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi in next year's elections.
Pelosi, who represents a left-leaning congressional district centred on San Francisco, is the top-ranking Democrat in the House and the first woman to hold the speakership in US history.
Sheehan last month vowed to mount a challenge if Pelosi did not move to impeach US President George W Bush.
Speaking in tears Thursday to a crowd of supporters, Sheehan said that Pelosi had lost touch with the people and was more interested in 'protecting the status quo ... and the corporate elite.'
She said she was inspired to run by the memory of her 24-year-old son, Casey, who was killed in Iraq in 2004, setting her on a course that made her the country's most famous and controversial anti-war activist.
'The country is ripe for a change,' said Sheehan, who said she planned to run as an independent on a platform of anti-war policy and universal health care. 'It's going to start right here and right now.'