Democratiс presidential candidate Al Sharpton joins anti-war protesters

A group of war protesters camping out near President Bush's ranch got support from the Rev. Al Sharpton and actor Martin Sheen in separate visits Sunday.

Sheen, who plays Democratic President "Jeb" Bartlet on NBC's The West Wing met privately with Cindy Sheehan, who started the war protest three weeks ago. Sheen is known for his peace activism.

"At least you've got the acting president of the United States," Sheen said as the crowd of more than 300 people cheered and laughed. "I think you know what I do for a living, but this is what I do to stay alive."

Earlier Sunday, Sharpton spoke at an interfaith service.

Sharpton said he opposed the war from the beginning and was compelled to meet Sheehan, who arrived in Bush's adopted hometown Aug. 6 and refused to leave until she could question Bush about the war that has claimed more than 1,870 U.S. soldiers' lives — including that of her son Casey, the AP informs.

"I feel that it is our moral obligation to stand and to be courageous with these families, and particularly Cindy, that have become the conscience of this nation," Sharpton said to the crowd who cheered wildly throughout his speech. "... Somebody had to bring to the doorsteps of this president the truth."

Sharpton, a former Democratic presidential candidate, said he and the peace activists would protest a war they believed was wrong regardless of a president's political party.

Sharpton reminded protesters that Sunday was the 42nd anniversary of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech in Washington, D.C.

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