By: E&P Staff
Showing the value of its nearly round-the-clock coverage, the Lone Star Iconoclast, a weekly in Crawford, Texas, reported this morning from the scene that shots had been fired near the Cindy Sheehan antiwar encampment near the Bush ranch, which has drawn national attention.
Apparently they were fired by a local landowner none too pleased with the protest in his neighborhood.
Earlier this week, the Houston Chronicle talked to the neghbor, Larry Mattlage. Sitting on a tractor across the road, Mattlage said he supported the right to protest but that the demonstrators should not be allowed to stay for prolonged periods. “In the morning I usually wake up and see the morning sun,” he said. “Now I wake up to stuff hanging in trees.”
Here is today’s Iconoclast report, as phoned in by its staffer, Deborah Mathews, on the scene:
Let me read you the schedule posted on a tree: “9:15 camp meeting; 10 a.m. inter-faith service, 10:30 a.m., “Food-Not-Bombs Breakfast at Peace House,” and….
Wait! Someone is firing a gun. (pause). He fired it into the air about five times. He appears to be a local inside the fence line on private property. Now he has thrown what looks like a shotgun into the front seat of a pickup, and he’s stomping off out of sight. I wonder where he went.
Now he’s coming back out. I’m out here standing on the road. He’s got a no parking sign in his hand, walking toward his fence. I’m going to go try to talk to him. I’ve got to hang up.
(three minutes later)
I went over and talked to the man. He is Larry Mattlage, who says he is on his property and just posted a no-parking sign.
“We’re going to start doing our war and it’s going to be underneath the law,” he told me. “Whatever it takes. So y’all go find another place to do whatever you do. ‘Cause this is our front yard and back yard.”
Wait…..now there’s some Secret Service and cops. I’m going to get closer to hear what they’re saying. People in bullet-proof vests are here now. Two Secret Service agents are now walking up his driveway towards his house, with Mr. Mattlage. A member of the Sheriff’s Department has arrived. Mr. Mattlage is waving his arms now. All of them are now walking back this way.
Now they are between the lane and the house. He’s at the fence now. Let me record what they are saying. I’ll call right back.
Interviewed afterward, protest leader Cindy Sheehan said it was okay if the man fired his gun on his own property, so long as the bullets remained on his property as well.