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LOCAL Announcement :: Peace

Oct 27 Mobilization Building 'Popular Power' to Stop Iraq War

Chicago is the Midwest focus of several Oct 27 mobilizations.

Click on image for a larger version

Protestors Fill Fed Plaza in Chicago
Oct 27 Mobilization Is Underway:
The Antiwar Majority Has Spoken,
Bring All Our Troops Home Now!

The Fall campaign against the Iraq war, culminating in a Midwest regional mobilization in Chicago on October 27, 2007, took another important step forward Thursday, Aug. 16, with the second coalition meeting that has now grown to over 50 organizations in the metropolitan area alone.

"We need to start this meeting acknowledging the courage and commitment of those arrested at the Federal Building yesterday," said Carl Davidson, who chaired the session, referring to four faith-based activists trying to enter the offices of Illinois Senators Richard Durbin and Barack Obama to demand a cutoff of funds for the war. "Any group here may or may not endorse the tactic of civil disobedience, but what matters is the moral clarity of their message: This war must end now, completely. Nor were they aiming at the Illinois Senators alone. This protest is aimed at every Member of Congress across the country, and it is not going to stop until the war stops. We have to add our energies and efforts to theirs, with a truly massive expression of the antiwar majority in this country."

The new coalition named itself, simply, the October 27 Mobilization Committee.

Comprised of a diverse mixture of labor, community, religious, electoral, immigrant rights and neighborhood and city-based peace and justice organizations, it is part of a larger nationwide effort that will manifest in eight or nine additional cities on Oct. 27.

The group decided to pick Sept. 21, 2007–the first of the ‘Third Fridays" of every month singled out for a nationwide initiative called the "Iraq Moratorium,"–for its campaign launch. On that day, people everywhere will be encouraged to take a wide range of actions, from wearing armbands to protests, every month until the war ends. Here in Chicago, the first moratorium will be comprised of linked efforts to promote the mobilization in October as well.

"Outreach is key at this point," said Ra Chaka of the African American Alliance for Peace and Justice. "We have no way of telling how many will finally turn out, but it all depends of what we do. We distributed thousands of flyers linking the war abroad with the war at home at the community rally against the police shooting of our youth a few days ago, and got hundreds of new names of people who want to take part. We did the same at the Bud Bilikken Parade, which drew hundreds of thousands from the AFrican American community, and got a good reception for the Oct 27 event."

Another plan is still being developed to mark the 5th Anniversary on Oct 2 of a major antiwar protest in Federal Plaza by Chicagoans Against War & Injustice (CAWI). " We need to be flexible, and keep in mind this late September, early October period will be a critical one for Congress," said Marilyn Katz. "We will need to mount mass pressure then that also serves to build the regional effort at the end of the month."

The group also adopted a framework for what would happen in Chicago on Oct 27. The morning would start with neighborhood-centered rallies and ‘feeder marches’ across the city, which would plan to arrive in Union Park around 1pm. At the same time, bus caravans from cities across the Midwest, along with ‘peace trains’ from Detroit and St. Louis, would arrive in the city for a mammoth rally to kick off at 2pm. By 3:30pm, the assembly would march through the Loop, to Federal Plaza, then to Grant Park, for a closing rally. Indoor workshops and cultural events would also be planned for the evening.

"It’s a great plan," said Joanna Misnik, communicators director of SEIU Local 73. "Tried and true. We know how to do this, let’s get on with it." She expressed the energy and determination of the groups there to vastly expand their numbers, and bring out an expression of popular power that could not be ignored or dismissed.

The political thrust of the mobilization is straightforward and clear: Stop the War Now, Bring All Our Troops Home; Fund Human Needs, Not the War, Stop the Violence at Home and Abroad, No Wider Wars; Defend Our Civil Liberties, Defend Immigrant Rights. Groups, constituencies and contingents are encouraged to develop these further as they see fit, but these central slogans are what expresses the will and the unity of the antiwar majority .

"We need to move on this quickly," added Davidson. "We plan to secure all the proper permits, and we expect full cooperation with City Hall. The Chicago City Council, after all, voted twice to prevent and then to end this war. In fact, working with dozens of other ‘cities for peace,’ we can even pull together an ‘Alderman’s Contingent’ in this procession."

Several people stressed the importance of 'getting outside the box' and meeting new forces with new initiatives. Rev. Leon Finney, of the Christ Apostolic Church and The Woodlawn Organization, agreed to host a meeting for other churches and groups for a South Siders mobilization on Oct 27. Betsy Vandercook, chief of staff for Alderman Joe Moore in the 49th Ward, agreed to work with other Ward organizations to organize participation. A dozen union leaders caucused at the end of the session to plan their outreach.

Similar statewide networks have already met in Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio, and have started reserving buses. More states are organizing as well.

Representation to the Oct 27 mobilization committee is by organization, and groups in agreement with its orientation are encouraged to join in. Volunteers and donations are much needed. Make Checks to CAWI., Suite 4, 3411 W Diversey, Chicago, IL 60647 Contact Oct27chicago (at) gmail.com or 773-384-5799 for more information and the time and place of the next meetings.

Members of the Committee (In Formation)
*Group Names for Identification

Alderman Rick Munoz 22nd Ward Alderman
Lucia Flores, 22nd Ward Organization
Alderman Joe Moore, 49th Ward Alderman
Betsy Vandercook, 49th Ward Organization
Bob Bosse, 8th Day Center for Justice
Tom Wilson, ADAPT, Access Living
Ra Chaka, African American Alliance for Peace & Justice
Erin Polley, Michael McConnell & Mary Zerkel, American Friends Service Committee
AWARE, Champaign-Urbana
Julie Peterson, Beyond Today
Bloomington-Normal Citizens for Peace and Justice
Terry Davis, Chicago Labor for Peace, Prosperity & Justice, CNP
Ramon Becerra, Chicago Metro LCLAA
Marilyn Katz, Chicagoans Against War & Injustice
Rev. Leon Finney, Christ Apostolic Church, The Woodlawn Organization
Claire Serdiuk & Lynda DelaForgue, Citizen Action - IL
John Bachtell, Communist Party Illinois
Dan Kenney, DeKalb Interfaith Network for Peace & Justice
Amy Tauchman, DuPage Against War Now
Kevin Lindeman, DuPage Peace Through Justice Coalition
Nick Kreitman, SDS Chicago, Elmhurst College
Tim Yeager, Episcopal Peace Fellowship. UAW Local 2320
Scott Gilbert, Evanston Neighbors for Peace
Mary Shesgreen & Siobhan Kolar, Fox Valley Citizens for Peace and Justice
Fulton County Coaltion for Peace and Justice
Christine Cegelis & Julie Hewn, Greater Chicago Caucus, Americans for Democratic Action
Marcia & Mel Rothenberg, Hyde Park for Peace & Justice
Jerry Rankins, IBEW Local 21, Business Agent
Molses Bernal Puente, ICIRR, USLAW
Salim Muwakil, In These Times, Chicago Public Square
Sheila Rosenthal, Indiana Peace and Justice Network
Josh Lansdale, Iraq Summer Campaign
James Thindwa, Jobs with Justice
Aaron Dellutri, Lincoln Park Neighbors United for Peace
Jaime DeLeon, Little Village Community Development Corporation
Gretchen Henninger, Logan Square Neighbors for Peace and Justice
Ted Pearson, Committees of Correspondence for Democracy & Socialism
Laurel Lambert Schmidt, Near West Citizens for Peace and Justice
Marcia Bernsten, North Shore Coalition for Peace and Justice
Anthony Shafton, Northwest Indiana Coalition Against the Iraq War
Larry Goldbetter, NWU, UAW Local 1981
Bill Barclay & James Harris, Oak Park Coalition for Truth & Justice
Bill Bianchi, Progressive Democrats of American-Chicago
George Martin, Peace Action Wisconsin, UFPJ Steering Committee, Wisconsin Greens
Linda Beckstrom, Peace Pledge Chicago
Joanna M Misnik, SEIU Local 73
Carl Rosen, United Electrical Workers, Western Region President
Carl Davidson, United for Peace & Justice, National Steering Committee
Elena Marcheschi, Unite-HERE
Ray Parish, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Vets for Peace
Bill Davis, VVAW, IAM Local 701
Dave Martin, West Suburban Faith-based Peace Coalition, Christian Peacemakers

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Re: Oct 27 Mobilization Building 'Popular Power' to Stop Iraq War

Latest news from the October 27th programmers is that they are extending invitations to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley ( hardly an antiwar voice by any stretch of the imagination ) the Illinois Democratic congressional delegation, and those Presidential candidates who have voiced criticism of the war - say like Barack Obama - to be keynote speakers in order to attract a "mainstream' audience. From the looks of it, this seems to be shaping up to be another DP campaign rally.

Re: Oct 27 Mobilization Building 'Popular Power' to Stop Iraq War

Latest news from the October 27th programmers is that they are extending invitations to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley ( hardly an antiwar voice by any stretch of the imagination ) the Illinois Democratic congressional delegation, and those Presidential candidates who have voiced criticism of the war - say like Barack Obama - to be keynote speakers in order to attract a "mainstream' audience. From the looks of it, this seems to be shaping up to be another DP campaign rally.


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