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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 August 2005, 12:42 GMT 13:42 UK
Soldier's mother in Bush protest
Cindy Sheehan in roadside camp
Sheehan has vowed to stay until the president agrees to meet her
The mother of a US soldier killed in Iraq, who is holding a roadside protest outside President Bush's Texas ranch, is gaining support from well-wishers.

Cindy Sheehan has received flowers and food from people who support her anti-war stance, and dozens have turned out to join her demonstration.

She is vowing to remain until she is allowed to speak to the president about his justification for the war.

Ms Sheehan's son Casey was killed in Baghdad's Sadr City in April 2004.

Divided opinion

Ms Sheehan, who took up residence in her roadside tent on Saturday, said she has been amazed by her newfound status as a symbol for the anti-war movement.

"Before my son was killed, I used to think that one person could not make a difference,'' she told AFP. "But one person that is surrounded and supported by millions of people can be heard."

However, some forces veterans and relatives have dubbed the vigil a distraction and are keen to ensure support for those serving in Iraq does not wane.

Among those who have visited Ms Sheehan in her camp are the US national security adviser and deputy White House chief of staff. Both chatted to her for about 20 minutes.

But the angry mother dubbed the encounter "pointless" and repeated her demand to see her president.

Ms Sheehan met the president once before when he visited Fort Lewis in Washington State to meet relatives of those killed in the war.


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