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Rally on 50th Anniversary of Chicago '68 Democratic Convention Aug. 25
2018-08-21

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The Chicago Committee Against War and Racism has finalized its list of speakers for its rally and march this Saturday, Aug. 25, under the theme: "1968 & 2018: Unite Against War and Police Violence!"

The rally is intended to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the watershed anti-war protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, but it will not be an exercise in nostalgia. It will be one step toward building a new independent people's movement against the U.S. government's constant war-making and the related struggles against racism, poverty and police repression.

The rally will begin at 12 noon, Saturday August 25, 2018, at Richard J. Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington Street, Chicago, Illinois. At 1 p.m., a march will proceed to the General John A. Logan Statue in Grant Park, corner of 9th Street and S. Michigan Avenue, scene of one of the most iconic protests during the 1968 convention. This event has been organized by the Chicago Committee Against War & Racism ( CCAWR ), organizer of the 10,000-strong march on Lake Shore Drive at the start of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Our speakers will briefly address issues related to this theme, such as the impacts of war in the Middle East and Africa; the relationship between war, racism and the class divide; militarism, climate change and other environmental degradation; how constant war impacts our communities, schools and services, the impacts of U.S. intervention in Central and South America, and the urgent need to address police violence and a racist criminal justice system. The overriding message is that all of these problems share common roots in our economic and political institutions,and will require a unified people's struggle to overcome them. Our speakers will be:

Frank Chapman, field organizer and educational director of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. ( CAARPR ) has been a leading organization in the for the campaign for the Civilian Police Accountability Council ( CPAC ), an all elected, civilian police accountability council. In 1961 at the age of 19, Frank Chapman was wrongfully convicted of first-degree murder and armed robbery and confined to a Missouri prison. Fourteen years later, he was freed with support from some of the same people who helped free Angela Davis. The campaign to free Davis resulted in the formation of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression ( NAARPR ).

Natasha Erskine, Chicago Public Schools mom, community organizer, and US Air Force Veteran. She's on several coalition boards across the city and acts as Deputy Coordinator, Chicago Veterans for Peace.

Vincent Emanuele, anti-war veteran and community organizer. He served in the United States Marine Corps from 2002-2006, deploying twice to Iraq as a combat infantryman and squad automatic machine gunner. In 2008, Vincent testified to U.S. Congress about war crimes and atrocities that were being committed in Iraq. Since then, Vincent has worked with antiwar and anti-militarist movements around the world. Currently, Vincent helps run a progressive community/cultural center in Michigan City, Indiana.

Roberto Ferreyra, born in Morelia, Michoacan, is a painter, printmaker, and social activist. As an artist he has been active in the Taller de GrÃˇfica Popular ( "People's Graphic Workshop" ), participating in the solidarity activities to support democratic movements in Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua. He was part of the Chilenian MIR in Mexico, and did solidarity art for peace with the Grupo Brecha. In recent times is an active member of the Comité Chicago Justicia por Ayotzinapa ( "Chicago Committee for Justice in Ayotzinapa" ) and member of the Morena Party in Mexico.

Kathy Kelly. During the '68 Democratic convention, Kathy Kelly lived on the southwest side of Chicago. Even in her working-class neighborhood, some families were objecting to the war in Viet Nam. Impressions gained during that time eventually helped shape her determination to help abolish all wars. Kathy has lived alongside people trapped in war zones, - in Iraq, Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon and Afghanistan. She and her companions in Voices for Creative Nonviolence believe that where you stand determines what you see. For their nonviolent civil resistance opposing wars and weapons they have spent time in federal prisons and county jails. One of their finest mentors was David Dellinger who entitled his memoir "From Yale to Jail."

Samer Owaida, a sociologist, anthropologist and Palestinian rights activist. He recently returned from a visit to the West Bank.

Barbara Ransby, an historian, writer and longtime activist. She currently works with the R3 Coalition ( Resist. Reimagine. Rebuild. ) locally as well as The Majority, Scholars for Social Justice and the Movement for Black Lives nationally.

Rich Whitney, co-chair of the Illinois Green Party and its nominee for Illinois governor in 2006 and 2010. He is also active with the Green Party Peace Action Committee, the United National Antiwar Coalition, and other peace and environmental organizations. He is a co-founder of the Chicago Committee Against War & Racism ( CCAWR ).

Andy Thayer is a co-founder of CCAWR and the multi-issue, LGBTQ Gay Liberation Network, which has worked to provide an anti-war voice within the LGBTQ community. He has helped organize many large anti-war protests in Chicago, including the largest march on the NATO summit and a march of 15,000 on Lake Shore Drive when the U.S. invaded Iraq. He writes frequently on various political issues, including his latest, "Why the Chicago '68 Convention Matters Today."

From a press release


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