Chicagoans Against War in Iraq

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Chicagoans Against War in Iraq

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History

Several Chicago area radicals came together as Chicagoans Against War in Iraq in September 2002[1] "feeling the urgency to raise our voices and take action against the growing danger of war in Iraq".

We come from all walks of life and many political perspectives, but we are united on the belief that the Bush administration is pursuing a reckless, lawless and dangerous policy that is against the best interests of our country and the world. The threat posed by the Hussein regime to the region could have been contained and thwarted by other means.

Prominent early members included Carl Davidson, Marilyn Katz, James Weinstein and Don Rose.

Name change

In June 2003, "to adapt our name to reflect the changing political atmosphere and our changing goals", the group changed its name to Chicagoans Against War and Injustice.

Chicagoans Against War and Injustice is an affiliate of United For Peace and Justice nationally and the Illinois Coalition for Peace & Justice statewide[2].

Activity

Chicagoans Against War and Injustice participates in all mass mobilizations and broad alliances against the war, but also works in the legislative and electoral arenas[3].

We encourage elected officials to join are ranks, and several have done so. We helped get the Chicago City Council to vote against the war, registered over 20,000 new voters, and helped get an antiwar referendum on the ballot in Cook County in 2006. The measure gathered over 800,000 ‘Yes’ votes–winning by an 80% to 20% margin.
We have a working core of about 100 people, with 2000 more on our email lists. We have a close network of neighborhood-based affiliates around the city and allies in the suburbs and surrounding counties who send representatives to our monthly meetings.

Obama comes out against War in Iraq

On October 2 2002 Chicagoans Against War in Iraq organized the famous anti war rally in Federal Plaza Chicago, where Illinois State Senator Barack Obama first made his name as a strong opponent of the war. Some of the people around Davidson, later held a fundraiser for Obama when he ran for U.S. Senate in 2004[4].

He spoke at our first antiwar rally. He spent most of his speech detailing all the wars in history he supported, then finally made a distinction between just wars and 'dumb' wars, and going into Iraq, which was still six months down the road then, was a 'dumb war,' and he flatly opposed it. Good, that put him on our side, and some of us organized a fundraiser for him for his Senate race.

References

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