For immediate release: February 5, 2003
Contact: Madelyn Hoffman, Executive Director, NJ Peace Action (973) 744-3263 Work, (973)-851-2136 Cell
The Rev. Robert Moore, Executive Director, Coalition for Peace Action (609) 924-5022 Work; (609) 924-1206 Home; (609) 937-6931 Cell
"PEACE TRAIN" TO TAKE NEW JERSEY RESIDENTS TO FEBRUARY 15 NEW YORK CITY MASS DEMONSTRATION AGAINST WAR WITH IRAQ; PERMITS THUS FAR DENIED IN STARK VIOLATION OF FIRST AMENDMENT
The NJ Coalition Against War in Iraq is coordinating "Peace Trains" to take New Jersey residents to the National March and Rally Against War on Iraq on Saturday, February 15 in New York City. Trains are going from every part of the state (see list below), and will carry thousands of New Jerseyans to the protest that day. Hundreds of thousands are expected to participate in the New York protest, with an estimated ten million more in simultaneous protests in other cities throughout the US, Europe, and elsewhere.
The NJ Coalition Against War in Iraq includes 36 New Jersey organizations (see list at end of this release). Those wanting to go on a Peace Train can contact either of the co-coordinators of the NJ Coalition Against War with Iraq: the Montclair-based NJ Peace Action at (973) 744-3263 or www.njpeaceaction.org, or the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action at (609) 924-5022 or www.peacecoaliton.org. Trains going from throughout the state can be found at the web site: nowarnj.org.
This huge turnout is expected in spite of resistance by New York City authorities on granting a permit requested more than a month ago. Numerous meetings have been held with the authorities by March coordinators, who are confident the permit will eventually be provided. Attorneys are now being consulted to assert options for obtaining such basic first amendment rights.
"We are engaged in a major fight over our basic democratic right to protest. With only ten days remaining before February 15, the continued stonewalling by police can only be seen as an active effort to prevent us from voicing our opposition to this war. We will not be silenced—the streets of New York will be filled with a cry for peace," said the Rev. Robert Moore, Executive Director of the Coalition for Peace Action and Co-coordinator of the NJ Coalition Against War in Iraq.
"This outrageous violation of our first amendment rights is further evidence of severe erosion of our most fundamental rights of democratic expression. First they wouldn’t let our paid ad against the war run on Comcast, now they refuse to let us demonstrate," continued the Rev. Moore. On January 28, the organization directed by the Rev. Moore had an anti-war ad that had been accepted and paid for with Comcast in Washington, D.C. suddenly rejected.
"While the Bush Administration’s drumbeat and build-up for war continue, 65% of the American people, according to a just-released national LA Times poll, don’t feel war is justified," said Madelyn Hoffman, Director of NJ Peace Action and the other Co-coordinator of the NJ Coalition Against War in Iraq. "We must not allow cynicism or defeatism to stop us from using our democratic process and rights to oppose war. There is still time to pull back from the disastrous course of action. The lives of many American servicemen and women, as well as Iraqi soldiers and civilians, are at risk in a war. The human and economic costs are far too great to forgo peaceful solutions. Over 60 cities in the US, including our own Jersey City and Newark, have recognized this and passed resolutions opposing the war."
The sites peace trains are currently planned to leave from, along with local contact person, follows. A pre-boarding rally will precede the departure of each train.
From Jersey City—Journal Square: Bill Bradley (201) 714-5408 or [email protected]
From Red Bank, contact Carol Gay at [email protected] or (732) 785-1503
From Montclair, contact Madelyn Hoffman, Director of NJ Peace Action at 973-744-3263 or 973-851-2136, or www.njpeaceaction.org
From Newark, Larry Hamm: 973-801-0001 or visit the website, www.njpop.org;
Stephan Jones (973) 994-3268 or
From New Brunswick/Metuchen: contact Ellen Whitt at 732-846-3544 or at [email protected]
From Princeton Junction: Contact the Coalition for Peace Action at (609) 924-5022 or www.peacecoalition.org
From Hamilton: Contact Carol Lerner (609) 883-8878 or
From Bridgewater: Susan Johanesen (908) 281-6108 or
From Plainfield: Kit Marlowe: (908) 754-5160 or
From Pleasantville (by bus): Norm Cohen (609) 601-8537 or
From Bergen County (by bus): Englewood, Mahwah (Ramapo College), Ridgewood and Teaneck: contact 201-378-7377 or
Current List of Member Organizations (as of February 6, 2003):
NJ Peace Action and the Coalition for Peace Action (co-coordinators)
Arab-American League of Voters of NJ; Arab Student Organization, Montclair State University; Bergen Action Network, Central New Jersey Coalition for Peace and Justice, Central Jersey Coalition Against War on Iraq, Coalition for Peace With Justice in the Middle East; Coalition for Peace and Justice (Cape May/Atlantic Counties), United Methodist Church of Greater NJ, Board of Church & Society; Food Not Bombs, New Brunswick; Hudson County Coalition for Peace and Justice; Jewish Mobilization for a Just Peace; Jewish Voices; Monmouth County Pax Christi; Morris County Pax Christi; Muhammad’s Mosque #44, Trenton; National Organization for Women, NJ Chapter; NJ Council of Churches Public Policy Working Group; Progressive Student Action, Rutgers New Brunswick; NJ Green Party; NJ Hiroshima Day Remembrance Committee; NJ Military Toxics Project; NJ Pax Christi; Northwest New Jersey Peace Organization; Peoples Organization for Progress; Physicians for Social Responsibility, NJ Chapter; Plainfield Friends Meeting House; Rise Up and Resist, Montclair State University; Rutgers Act for Peace + Justice; Speak Out Against the War on Iraq!, Montgomery; NJ Union County Peace and Social Action Committee; Unitarian Society of Ridgewood, Peace and Justice Committee; Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community; Unitarian Universalists United for Peaceful Alternatives; Veterans for Peace; Vietnam Veterans Against the War; Young Muslim Association