Sunday, November 28, 2010

Is there an anti-war movement in Illinois?

I've been working with a group in Chicago to use the film Rethink Afghanistan to encourage a civic conversation about U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, as well as in Iraq and other parts of the Mideast and South Asia. "Rethink Afghanistan" is a very powerful, fact-based, 60-minute documentary that covers key issues in the Afghanistan conflict. The entire film can be watched on the Rethink website. A large community follows Rethink Afghanistan on Facebook.

The bad news is ... what with holidays, work schedules, school schedules, family schedules, the economic meltdown, etc. etc. etc. ... it's very hard to make regular progress in advancing the conversation.

The good news is ... the conversation is advancing ... and not just in Chicago! Over the past several weeks, I've reached out to people throughout the state to learn what is going on in local communities. Below is a sampling of what I found.

The Peoria Area Peace Network has weekly (noon - 1 pm) protests agaist the wars, and often includes speakers on human rights issues. The group also participates in national programs, e.g. the Chicago event on October 16.

Alton has a group that has screened "Rethink Afghanistan."

Carbondale also has a group that has screened "Rethink Afghanistan" ... in a congressional district that includes a lot of Scott Air Force base workers ...

Evanston has a very active anti-war group called Neighbors for Peace. Also - there are quite a few other groups throughout the North Shore.

In Chicago . . .

. . . there was a large anti-war march on October 16;

. . . Chicago-Area Veterans for Peace has an active slate of activities;

. . . Loyola, UIC, and Columbia College and have active chapters of Campus Anti-war Network.

. . . the Chicago Peacebuilding Program at the American Friends Service Committee has regular activities;

And, of course, in our own Rethink Afghanistan - Chicago group, we've had a series of activities, including:

  • summer screening of "Rethink Afghanistan"

  • participation in the October 16 Chicago march

  • monthly meetings at The Bourgeois Pig, 738 W Fullerton

In other parts of Illinois, groups have been set up to arrange screenings of "Rethink Afghanistan," as well.

I'm sure the conversation in Illinois will continue to grow!

Do you have additional information on the anti-war movement in Illinois? Please add your information as a comment below!