Left Justified: Odds and ends, again

Left Justified: Odds and ends, again

By Stanley Campbell

Well, we hosted a peace rally and too many people showed up. Really, we were expecting 50 and hoping for 100 folks at our Jan. 18 demonstration against the war on Iraq. More than 300 showed up, and if you count the late-comers and early-goers as well as those who said, “I really wanted to be there,” the count could have gone as high as 450. Whatever the figure, it was a lot larger than I expected, and I was concerned that we would have traffic snarls, unruly protesters, and get in trouble with the city officials. (I told them 50 would just peacefully picket at the corner of State and Alpine.)

I needn’t have worried; the crowd was a cross-section of old and young, white and black, foreign and American, Christian, Muslim and Jewish, and who knows what else, and everyone was there for peace. The only rudeness came from four anti-abortion demonstrators, who kept yelling at us and wouldn’t even talk. That was the weirdest part about the rally. Otherwise, it came off without a hitch, and even the sun shone on us on that bitterly cold Saturday.

I want to thank The Rock River Times for such wonderful coverage, as well as the rest of Rockford’s media. Few people could say they didn’t know there were local anti-war feelings. And if you’d seen the response from the people in the cars, you’d think that everyone was against the war.

Rockford Peace & Justice Action Committee will host a review of local and national demonstrations and plan upcoming stuff. Free and open to the public, 7:30 p.m., Feb. 3 at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 4848 Turner St. in Rockford. There’s another national march on New York (in front of the United Nations) on Saturday, Feb. 15. Local Rockfordians are already planning their trip, and we will support them with some kind of local action. Stay tuned!

Let me put on my other cap as the director of Rockford Urban Ministries: We are hosting a program on local civil rights struggles. Got any civil rights stories from the ’50s and ’60s? I can use them for a Rockford Urban Ministries’ Feb. 27 meeting, where we will share stories of local struggles. Especially needed are buttons, flyers, leaflets, posters and brochures from the era. Call me at (815) 964-7111.

Stanley Campbell is executive director of Rockford Urban Ministries and spokesman for Rockford Peace & Justice.

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