This list is just a sampling of some of the diverse organizations that have emerged to oppose war on Iraq. It was researched and compiled by Nation interns Emily Biuso, Emilie Goodhart and Lisa Weinert.
Racial Justice 9-11: People of Color Against the War
WHAT: RJ9-11 is a national coalition of racial justice groups working to defeat the war, including the domestic war targeting people of color through the denial of civil liberties. More than forty-five groups are affiliated with the coalition, including CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities; Women of Color Resource Center; and Project South.
WHY: For RJ9-11, war includes international aggressions such as the sanctions against Iraq and local warfare against youth, women, immigrants and the poor. They aim to build a peace and justice movement in communities of color and integrate racial justice politics into the antiwar movement.
WHAT NEXT: RJ9-11 is working on consolidating a more formal, national network for groups to wage antiwar campaigns on local and international levels.
WHAT: Born out of a small group of environmentally activist women, Code Pink is an antiwar movement that’s “gender-driven but not gender exclusive,” says one of its founders, Jodie Evans. Endorsers include NOW, Women in Black and Global Exchange.
WHY: Code Pink aims to be the in-your-face voice of opposition that can’t be ignored by the Bush Administration. They’ve protested in front of many Washington landmarks and leaders, once shedding their shirts, covering their breasts with doves and donning a sign exclaiming, Read Our Tits: No War in Iraq. “They can’t do this without some disruption,” Evans says of the Bush Administration.
WHAT NEXT: Since November 17 Code Pink has been staging a peace vigil in Lafayette Park, across from the White House. Many women’s groups are taking four-day shifts in the park, and some women are fasting. They plan to be there until March 8, when they’ll celebrate International Women’s Day with a concert, a march and other activities.
War Times/Tiempo de Guerras
WHAT: War Times is a free, bilingual, antiwar newspaper distributed every six weeks with a circulation of 120,000. It’s also available online. Bob Wing, the editor and co-founder, is the former editor of ColorLines. Endorsers include Noam Chomsky, Frances Fox Piven and Howard Zinn.
WHY: War Times‘s masthead logo is: “The first casualty of war is truth.” In that spirit, War Times analyzes and informs readers about the impending war in Iraq and the growing peace movement. Its principal target audience are people who aren’t already antiwar activists but are open to becoming antiwar. The colorful, easily accessible paper is meant as an educational organizing tool for activists.
WHAT NEXT: War Times will continue to exist as long as it has financial support. Though it is a free publication, donations are strongly encouraged. There are volunteer distributors in every state, and those interested in distributing are encouraged to contact the staff.
Not in Our Name
WHAT: Not in Our Name, founded on March 23, 2002, in New York City, is perhaps best known for its Pledge of Resistance, written by artists, writers and activists (it is also known for the involvement of members of the Revolutionary Communist Party–and a related group, Refuse & Resist–in the group from its inception). NION has sponsored or co-sponsored numerous actions around the country. It has also reached out to youth through its National Youth Coordinators, who range from 12 to 28 years old.
WHY: “NION involves people of all nationalities, of all walks of life who are determined to stop the US government’s war on the world,” said Miles Solay, who has been a political activist for six years, or since he was 14 years old, and is the coordinator of the National Youth Coalition for NION. The pledge of resistance reads, in part, “We believe that as people living in the United States, it is our responsibility to resist the injustices done by our government in our names.”
WHAT NEXT: NION is planning a week of actions either January 18-20 or the week following the first act of war, whichever comes first. NION is also working with United for Peace in planning for the worldwide antiwar actions on February 15.
September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
WHAT: Peaceful Tomorrows is an advocacy organization founded by family members of September 11 victims. Fifty family members directly affected by 9/11 are the core members, but they also have 2,000 supporters nationwide.
WHY: “The base of our mission is to seek an effective nonviolent alternative to war,” said co-founder David Potorti, who lost his oldest brother on 9/11. He added, “What happened on 9/11 did not discriminate, it did not just happen to students, did not just happen to left-wingers–our basic support is very broad. It’s grandmothers, it’s students, it’s Republicans, it’s people who have never been politically active before.”
WHAT NEXT: Peaceful Tomorrows is sending a delegation of four members to Iraq from January 5-14 to learn about and bear witness to the conditions of the Iraqi civilians, and to acknowledge their shared experience as innocent people suffering from the effects of terrorism and war.
David Potorti, co-director and Eastern US coordinator
Address: PO Box 4035
Cary, North Carolina 27519-4035
Kelly Campbell, co-director and Western US coordinator
Address: 5111 Telegraph #185
Oakland, CA 94609
Stop the War Coalition
WHAT: On September 21, 2001, upwards of 2,000 people gathered for a public meeting in London and formed the Stop the War Coalition, the only national antiwar coalition in the U.K.
WHY: “We decided to set up this organization on a very broad basis. Our mission is in three parts: Firstly, to stop the war; secondly, to defend civil liberties, which is a big question, because there are people here being held indefinitely without charge. And then the third plank is against racism, because there were attacks against Muslim people in England,” said Stop the War press secretary Andrew Bergen.
WHAT NEXT: The next day of action will take place on February 15.
Andrew Bergen, press secretary
Phone: 07 951 235 915
also: 02 0 7053 21 55
Address: Stop the War Coalition
PO Box 3739
London E58EJ, England
National Youth and Student Peace Coalition
WHAT: A student and youth coalition that was formed directly after 9/11 to oppose the bombings abroad in addition to fighting to end racism and protect civil liberties at home.
WHY: Its mission is to build long-term student and youth opposition to war. “Due to recent domestic and international events related to Bush’s ‘war on terrorism’ we…oppose a US military response and support a foreign policy based on social and economic justice, not military and corporate oppression.”
WHAT NEXT: NYSPC is now planning a national student walkout for next spring.
Address: The National Youth and Student Peace Coalition
c/o United States Student Association
1413 K Street NW, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20005
United for Peace
WHAT: United for Peace, a national antiwar umbrella organization that now represents over 100 peace and justice organizations nationwide, was founded in July 2002. Along with NION, the coalition was instrumental in coordinating the nationwide antiwar rallies on October 6, and spearheaded another national day of action on December 10.
WHY: “Our main mission is to prevent a full-scale attack on Iraq and to do that by unifying a diversity of organizations and individuals who oppose the war on Iraq,” said Andrea Buffa, a peace campaigner at Global Exchange and co-chair of United for Peace. Among United for Peace’s goals is to “have one great student organizer at every college and university,” according to student organizer Chris Michael.
WHAT NEXT: United for Peace member Black Voices for Peace is holding events over the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial weekend, January 18-20. United for Peace is also calling for a mass antiwar rally in New York City on February 15, which would coincide with antiwar protests in every European capital.
WHAT: Launched after 9/11 by student activists on the Swarthmore College campus, this new web-based organization works to “organize, inform, and motivate” the general population to question the mounting “war on terrorism,” by serving as a hub of communication and a resource base for activism on campuses across the country.
WHY: “We strive to discover and disseminate new ideas about the war and the new social movement to help people, particularly students, make informed decisions on how they feel about the war, regardless of ideology or political beliefs.”
WHAT NEXT: Why War? is planning a Peace Conflict Symposium at the Swarthmore College campus in February. Contact Anmol Tikoo for details at email@example.com. It is also planning a rally in New York City for February 15, following United for Peace’s protest during the day (see www.columbia.edu/~mca2011).
WHAT: One of the country’s largest grassroots peace networks, Peace Action (formerly SANE/Nuclear Freeze) works with more than 100 local chapters throughout the nation to “educate the public and activate the constituents in order to create more responsible US policies.”
WHY: “Our goal is to create sustainable action by organizing at the base and increasing local activism. We need to educate people and offer them an alternative to what the Bush Administration is currently presenting. It is not good enough to simply oppose invading Iraq, we need to offer a positive vision of America’s place in the world.”
WHAT NEXT: Supporting United for Peace’s Day of Action in New York on February 15.
Scott Lynch, communication director
Phone: (202) 862-9740, ext. 3030
Address: Peace Action & Peace Action Education Fund
1819 H Street NW, Suite 420 & 425
Washington, DC 20006
Student Peace Action Network
WHAT: Founded in 1995 with support from the Peace Action Education Fund, SPAN is a national student network created to facilitate communication between student groups on campuses to forge a more popular and diverse student peace movement.
WHY: “To educate and empower students to be more effective activists on their college campuses and leaders in the current peace movement.”
WHAT NEXT: SPAN National Summit, last weekend in February.
Jen White, SPAN coordinator
Phone: (202) 862-9740, ext. 3051
Address: Student Peace Action Network
1819 H St. NW, Suite 425
Washington, DC 20006
WHAT: Formed in Washington, DC, after the Quebec demonstrations, the ACC is a coalition of anticapitalist activists networking to form a global resistance against corporate rule.
WHY: “You cannot separate the current war from the fight against globalization. Our goal is to inject an anticapitalist message in the antiwar movement and show that they are inextricable. Moreover, we want to reach the people that are being radicalized by the war and show them the economic roots of the war that the US is planning.”
WHAT NEXT: Anarchist Encuentro: A Regional Gathering for Anarchists, Anti-Capitalists & Assorted Freedom Fighters. Saturday, December 21, at 2 pm at the PACE Center, 700 West Franklin, in Richmond, Virginia. Upcoming action against the State of the Union Address. ACC is also opening up the Brian McKenzie Infoshop, a new resource center and meeting room for activists in the Washington area.
Phone: (703) 276-9768, ext. 7
Address: Anti-Capitalist Convergence
PO Box 21674
Washington, DC 20009-9997
National Council of Churches
WHAT: Founded in 1950, the NCC is one of the leading forces in Christian ecumenical cooperation in the United States. Representing an eclectic collection of Protestant traditions, the NCC works to stress the moral and ethical dimensions of public policy in Washington.
WHY: “Our goal is to be a coordinator of religious voices and to stand up to the other voices that are giving a blank check to the current Administration.”
WHAT NEXT: NCC has launched the Season for Peacemaking campaign, a web service listing upcoming actions. Check out their website for activist updates.
Robert W. Edgar, NCC general secretary
Phone: (212) 870-3398
Address: National Council of Churches
475 Riverside Drive, Suite 880
New York, NY 10115
Direct Action Network
WHAT: DAN began as a coalition of activists during the WTO protests in Seattle, formed in the hope of maintaining a “continental network of activists” to share resources and facilitate future mobilization through the guerrilla tactics of direct action. In response to the situation in Iraq, NYC DAN started the No Blood for Oil Coalition.
WHY: “Our mission is to bring direct action into the movement against the war. We’re not organized around holding large rallies; our focus is more around civil resistance: facilitating affinity groups, organizing guerrilla action and other visible ways that show we’re ready to put our bodies in line to speak against this war.”
WHAT NEXT: Mass mobilization on Times Square in New York City at 5 pm the day of the invasion of Iraq.
NYC DAN e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
No Blood For Oil e-mail: email@example.com
Chicago DAN e-mail: chicagoDAN@ziplip.com