New Jersey Coalition Against War on Iraq

 

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DECEMBER 7 "PEACE TRAIN" PLANNED BY NJ COALITION AGAINST WAR IN IRAQ; WILL CULMINATE WITH MARCH AND RALLIES IN NEWARK

Monday, November 25, 2002

Contact: 

Madelyn Hoffman, Director, NJ Peace Action at (973) 744-3263 Work; (973)851-2136 Cell
The Rev. Robert Moore, Director, Coalition for Peace Action, (609) 924-5022 Work; (609) 924-1206 Home; (609) 937-6931 Cell
List of local coordinators with towns and phone numbers is at end of this release

The Peace Train could be coming through a town near you on December 7. Last year, a similar event drew over 150 people committed to peace to the streets of Newark, New Jersey. This year's event promises to be much larger, as opposition to Bush administration plans to invade Iraq grows stronger-at least partly reflected in the fact that 31 groups are now participating in the NJ Coalition Against War in Iraq.

The trains will carry hundreds of anti-war activists from throughout New Jersey. Participants will then join a march and rally at Peter Francesca Park, near Penn Station in Newark, to demand that there be "no war" against Iraq. The march is being coordinated by the NJ Coalition Against War on Iraq, a statewide coalition co-coordinated by the Montclair-based NJ Peace Action and the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action, with 36 organizations from every part of the state participating. The coalition includes students, ecumenical groups, civil rights organizations and anti-war committees.

Coalition members are opposed to the concept of pre-emptive strike and believe that war against Iraq will not make us any safer here at home.

After more than 1500 people from New Jersey traveled to Washington, D.C. on October 26 to protest the impending war, many are organizing themselves here at home to show what they promise will be massive opposition to the plans for war and strong support for peace. On December 7, starting early in the morning, local demonstrations will occur at nearly 20 train stations. (See list of local contacts at end of release for more information.)

Planned events include press conferences, speakers, displaying signs and banners, distributing fliers and otherwise demonstrating their opposition to a pending war on Iraq. The anti-war activists will then board trains, which they are calling the "Peace Train," to Newark. Local train station demonstrations and gathering points, convening between 9 and 10:30 am are planned at the following train stations and towns: Bridgewater, Dover, Elizabeth, Englewood, Hoboken, New Brunswick, Metuchen, Morristown, Plainfield, Princeton, Red Bank, Ridgewood, Sparta, Trenton, Westfield, and several other possible locations.

Demonstrators will arrive by train in Newark between 12 and 1 pm. At 12:30 a Rally will commence at Peter Francesca Park (diagonally across from Newark's Penn Station), followed at 1 PM by a march through Newark. Stops will include: Senator Jon Corzine's office to thank him for voting against the
use of force against Iraq resolution of October 10th; Newark City Hall to call attention to the money drained away from communities by spending it on war; and the Federal Building to thank those Representatives who voted against the use of force resolution (Reps. Menendez, Pallone, Payne and
Holt) and to implore all Representatives to stand firm against war; and a culminating at a rally at Essex Community College at 3 pm.

Through the local train station rallies and the train ride, activists hope to communicate their opposition to the war preparations and their support for a culture of peace to tens of thousands of NJ residents. They will distribute fliers inviting New Jersey residents to join in their opposition
to the war, providing information about local groups that residents can contact to get involved in local vigils and other activities against the pending war.

According to Madelyn Hoffman of New Jersey Peace Action, "While all indicators are pointing to escalation of war on Iraq, led by the United States, we firmly believe in the ability of the people to turn things around. Polls are showing that more and more Americans are opposed to the war. We aim to organize that opposition into an effective movement capable of stopping the war, one that will call for breaking the cycle of violence and will propose non-violent alternatives to international disputes."

The demonstration is another step of a statewide campaign against the possible war as the coalition, with other groups, promises to organize anti-war demonstrations, vigils, rallies, marches, etc., in dozens of towns around New Jersey during the weekend of December 19 through 21st in what the
coalition is calling their "Eve of Christmas - Eve of War" events.

The Rev. Bob Moore, Director of the Coalition for Peace Action, said "Since August, the 36 organizations comprising the NJ Coalition Against War on Iraq have worked to oppose war against that embattled country. Our work resulted in thousands of phone calls, letter and e-mails to elected officials opposing war against Iraq. Thousands of New Jerseyans have demonstrated throughout New Jersey and in Washington, D.C. Now we seek to come together statewide with a united voice against war and for peaceful alternatives."

The NJ Coalition Against War on Iraq promises to continue its efforts to oppose war against Iraq and advocate peaceful alternatives. It calls upon the United States to employ non-violent means of resolving this international dispute. For more information, please visit our website, http://NoWarNJ.org

For more information about local events, please contact:

Bridgewater Bill Rodriguez: (908) 203-8660; Dover: Litsa Binder (973)726-3245; Elizabeth: Paula Borenstein (908)289-3584; Englewood and Ridgewood: Chris Whalen at (201) 679-7441; Hoboken: Louis Fundora (908) 659-2586 (day) and (201) 553-0906 (evening); Newark: Larry Hamm, Peoples
Organization for Progress (973) 801-0001; New Brunswick: Marc Shapiro (732)220-7927; Metuchen: Dorothy Schwarz (201) 418-6867 (daytime); (732) 248-9763 (evening); Morristown: Elliott Schwarz and Susan Berkowitz (973) 334-3826 Plainfield: Mary Haddad (908) 754-5160; Princeton: The Rev. Bob Moore (609)924-5022; Red Bank: Carol Gay (732)785-1503; Trenton: Irene Goldman (609)882-9186 ; Westfield: Leigh Davis (908)272-8487.

Co-sponsors of the NJ Coalition Against War on Iraq include: NJ Peace Action; Coalition for Peace Action; 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 and Justice (Cape May/Atlantic Counties); First United Methodist Church Greater NJ Board of Church & Society; Food Not Bombs, New Brunswick; Jewish Mobilization for a Just Peace; Jewish Voices; Monmouth County Pax Christi; Morris County Pax Christi; National Organization of Women, NJ Chapter; NJ Council of Churches Public Policy Working Group; NJ Green Party; NJ Hiroshima Day Remembrance Committee; NJ Military Toxics Project; NJ Pax Christi; Northwest Fellowship for Peace; Peace & Justice Committee, Unitarian Society of Ridgewood; Peoples Organization for Progress; Physicians for Social Responsibility, NJ Chapter; Plainfield Friends Meeting House; Princeton Peace Network; Progressive Student Action, Rutgers New Brunswick; Rise Up and Resist, Montclair State University; Rutgers Act for Peace + Justice; Speak Out Against the War on Iraq!, Montgomery; Union County Peace and Social Action 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.

 

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