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Chicago Coalition Against War Sticks With Core Principles, Utilizes Working Grou

CHICAGO, Oct. 10 (IMC) - While millions remain tethered to mainstream media accounts of the US-backed war, a group of 80 gathered at Harold Washington College in Chicago's Loop to plan for an anti-war march on Saturday, October 13.
CHICAGO, Oct. 10 (IMC) - While millions remain tethered to mainstream media accounts of the US-backed war, a group of 80 gathered at Harold Washington College in Chicago's Loop to plan for an anti-war march on Saturday, October 13.

Representing a variety of leftist, Christian and Muslim/Arab groups, the Chicago Ad Hoc Coalition Against War and Racism (chicagoantiwar.org) decided to retain its orientation around three main principles: No war, no racist scapegoating and no attacks on civil liberties.

The brainstorming session revealed a disagreement over assessments of Monday's march in which protestors occupied the northbound lanes of Michigan Avenue and suffered four arrests for impromptu street sit-downs. Three of the four have been charged with mob action, a misdemeanor.

Some described the march as less-than-organized and insisted that future civil disobedience be discussed and planned. Others characterized the city's anti-war activities to date as mostly successful and still embryonic.

Arab participants at the meeting urged Saturday's would-be marchers to avoid actions that could jeopardize the safety of Muslim and Arab protestors. The coalition adopted language to that effect.

A range of leftist political groups has found common ground for the time being in the coalition's goals for peace and against hate crimes -- the meeting was marked by a widespread respect for facilitation to time limits and an absence of ideological squabbles.

Eight working groups distribute the bulk of the coalition's functionality. The groups develop proposals that are forwarded to the larger coalition for discussion, 2-versus-2 positioning, consensus consideration and voting as a last resort. Proposals at the vote may be defeated with a 20% opposition. The working groups are Outreach, Structure, Fundraising, Art, Action, Defense for Targeted Communities, Media and Education.

The next meeting will first address a proposal developed by the Structure working group that, if adopted, would create a coordinating committee to facilitate the coalition's week-to-week activities. The participants of the Structure working group emphasized that this coordinating committee would not be able to override the greater coalition's decisions.

Under the terms of the proposal each working group would have one voting representative and one alternate to the coordinating committee, one male and one female. Acting representatives would rotate on a monthly basis and no organization could have more than one representative for all working groups combined.

The coalition decided to expand the scope of October 13's Anti-Boeing protest planned outside the Chicago Hilton and Towers. Its broader anti-war theme now includes opposition to the Bush Administration's bombing of Afghanistan and plans for a National Missile Defense, and the School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia, the alma mater of many US-sponsored dictators and torturers.
 
 

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