FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact:
Kevin McDermott, Oak Park Coalition for Truth and Justice
Email Address: kevinmcd@...
December 1 - 15, 2002 Dedicated a "Season of Peacemaking:" Religious and
community leaders united for coordinated peace events against a war with Iraq.
November 27, 2002 -- Oak Park, Illinois -- The Oak Park Coalition for Truth and
Justice (OPCTJ), in cooperation with Chicagoans Against War (CAWI), and United
for Peace, an interfaith group of religious leaders, is calling for communities,
churches, synagogues, and mosques throughout the Chicago area to observe a
"Season of Peacemaking and Unity" December 1 - 15, 2002 by organizing peace
vigils and other events designed to unite all of Chicago-land with one voice
saying NO TO WAR.
In Oak Park on Sunday, December 8, community organizations and church members
will gather at 2:00pm in Scoville Park to make public statements for peace
followed by a march through downtown. "We've chosen to hold our event on
December 8th because it is a critical date on the timeline for war. December
8th is the day that The United Nations has given as the deadline for Sadam
Hussien to declare all of his weapons of mass destruction," said Kevin
McDermott, an OPCTJ member and one of the coordinators for the event.
Answering the question is it important to show support for peace, OPCTJ member
Angela Larson said, Now, more than ever, the people of this country must speak
out against plans by the United States to invade Iraq. Aggression against other
countries, preemptive strikes, bombing of civilian populations, and interfering
in the political choices of other nations are all violations of international
law and immoral acts under any conditions. And, in this nuclear age, such acts
We believe that the real threat facing us is this manufactured rush to war,
said another coalition member, Eric Gershenson. It has distracted us and
consumed resources necessary to solve a multitude of problems from the
continued terrorism of Al Qaeda, to economic instability, to the further erosion
of civil liberties that are undermining of the very democratic guarantees we
claim to be defending. These are the real immediate threats to our nation, not
Iraq, he said.
The local December activities will culminate in a regional peace vigil at St.
James Cathedral in downtown Chicago and candlelight peace procession up the
Magnificent Mile on December 15. Organizers are requesting that attendees bring
candles, flashlights, and peace banners from their local activities to the St.
James Cathedral, 65 East Huron, Chicago. The December 15th peace service is to
begin at 3:30pm.
December peace and human rights events are sponsored by a growing list of
organizations including: the American Friends Service Committee, Chicagoans
Against War on Iraq, Chicago Peace Response Coalition, Community Renewal
Society, Eighth Day Center, Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, Evanston Neighbors for
Peace, Illinois Church of the United Church of Christ, Northern Illinois
Conference of the United Methodist Church, Oak Park Coalition for Truth and
Justice, Oak Park Democratic Party, Pax Christi, Peace and Justice Office of the
Roman Catholic Archdiocese, Presbytery of Chicago, and Veterans for Peace.
A list of peace vigils and related events, as well as additional material will
be posted at the Web site for Grass Roots Voices (www.grassrootsvoices.org), a
project of the American Friends Service Committee.
The Oak Park Coalition for Truth and Justice is a group of citizens from Oak
Park and the surrounding areas who gathered in response to the attacks of
September 11th and our nations mobilization for war. The groups focus is to
promote a just foreign policy, humanitarian alternatives to war, protect our
civil liberties, and advocate for justice and equality at home. For more
information about OPCTJ, please go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OPCTJ.