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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 December 2005, 17:51 GMT
Anti-war mother in Scottish visit
Cindy Sheehan
Cindy Sheehan staged a protest outside the US president's home
An American woman whose son was killed in Iraq has brought her campaign against the war to Scotland.

Cindy Sheehan's son Casey, 24, died while serving with the US military, prompting her to hold a vigil outside President George Bush's Texas home.

She was joined on a visit to the Scottish Parliament by fellow anti-war campaigner Rose Gentle - whose son Gordon died in the conflict.

The pair staged a demonstration against the war in Iraq outside Holyrood.

The two women met earlier this year when Mrs Gentle, 42, from Glasgow, flew out to America to take part in an anti-war march and rally in Washington.

They had hoped for a meeting with First Minister Jack McConnell but he was unable to see them because of diary pressures.

Mrs Gentle branded him a "coward".

I'm here to encourage the Scottish Parliament to speak out about this
Cindy Sheehan

She said: "He will send our sons to die but he won't come and speak to the mothers."

Ms Sheehan added: "I think Jack McConnell is just like George Bush. They don't have as much courage as our sons did and they don't have the answers to our questions."

She claimed that 63% of Americans were now opposed to the conflict in Iraq, compared to the 80% of US citizens she said had backed the action prior to the invasion.

She said: "The tide really is turning.

"Somebody said America has the best of humanity and the worst of humanity, and now the best is shining through."

Ms Sheehan added: "I'm here to encourage the Scottish Parliament to speak out about this and to assure Europe that there are Americans working for peace and to hold someone accountable for Casey and Gordon's deaths."

Following the Edinburgh protest, the pair headed to Glasgow for an anti-war rally attended by Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond and Scottish Socialist Party MSP Tommy Sheridan.

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