- The Washington Times - Monday, March 10, 2003

CRAWFORD, Texas, March 10 (UPI) — A peace activist plans to open an anti-war center in a home he recently purchased in Crawford near President Bush's Texas ranch and local residents are not happy with the prospect.

"I'm not going over there with any fresh-baked cookies," resident Diane Nowlain said in Monday's edition of The Dallas Morning News. "They are probably in the wrong town."

Crawford, about 7 miles from Bush's ranch, strongly supports the president and the news of plans for a peace center in their town was a surprise.

John Wolf, a Rockwall contractor, purchased the house across the street from the Coffee Station restaurant. The wood-frame home used to be a rental property and was sold for $54,000, the News said.

The house is the first one visitors see after passing a billboard that reads, "Home of President George W. Bush," at the edge of town. It sits on three lots only a few yards from Crawford City Hall.

"I can wave at the police chief from the back porch," Wolf told the News.

Several area peace groups are collaborating on plans for the peace center, including the Dallas Peace Center. They hope have a media center, player center and a lavish peace garden.

Crawford Mayor Robert Campbell is worried that the center may bring more demonstrations to the small town.

"We're not going to let them turn our town into a three-ring circus," he said. "If they want to protest, let them to go to Washington. I know what they want, but I don't think they're going to get it."

In Washington, White House Deputy Press Secretary Scott McClellan said the organizers of the Crawford peace center have a right to express their opinion.

"If the people of Iraq try to speak out," he told the newspaper, "they have their tongues cut out by the brutal regime."

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