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Gathering of Eagles to land downtown

By Staff
Group will protest Iraq war protesters
By DAN PARSONS
Special to the Daily News
The weekly peace vigils on Stewart Parkway protesting the Iraq war have stirred opposition. Tonight, Gathering of Eagles plans to match wits with the gathered group, it was announced Thursday night at a meeting of the Down East Republican Club.
In response to those vigils, Gathering of Eagles Chairman Larry Bailey said Thursday that he plans to represent “the negative side,” something he said he finds to be effective in politics.
The group Bailey plans to oppose has gathered this summer along Stewart Parkway to protest both the human and monetary cost of the Iraq war for North Carolina. The group has acquired all necessary permits from the Washington Police department to hold its “peace vigils,” complete with an “Impeach Bush” petition and signs reading “No Blood 4 Oil.”
Gathering of Eagles is a “strictly nonviolent but confrontational” organization that supports “the troops, the troops, nothing but the troops,” according to Bailey.
Bailey said that he did not know how many supporters he could expect, but his group has enlisted people from as far as away Raleigh and Shallote to attend. He also displayed a number of the signs the group will hold, some which read “support our troops,” some with the organization’s name.
Bailey, a former Navy SEAL and Vietnam War veteran, has experience in opposing anti-war sentiment. He was president of Vietnam Veterans for the Truth, a group that contested John Kerry’s Vietnam War combat record during Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign.
As chairman of Gathering of Eagles, Bailey said he was instrumental in fielding 30,000 veterans against an anti-war protest led by Cindy Sheehan on St. Patrick’s day in March. Sheehan gained national attention while camping outside President Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas, in summer 2005 demanding the president meet with her about her son’s death in Iraq.
Bailey was preceded at the meeting by N.C. Court of Appeals Judge Doug McCullough, a Republican running for re-election in 2008.