Our Mission and Focus
Oak Park Coalition for Truth and Justice is a group of concerned
citizens from Oak Park and the surrounding communities who explore humanitarian
alternatives to war, protect our civil liberties, encourage citizen action and
promote awareness of local and global events. OPCTJ wishes to build bridges to
other local groups and individuals, and invites you to participate in their
We have sponsored several Oak Park Town Meetings, candlelight vigils
attended by hundreds of Oak Park residents, letter-writing/petition efforts,
potluck gatherings of Oak Park area progressive groups attended also by some
public officials and members of congress, open-mic performance nights, and
several marches and rallies in the Oak Park area. Together with the Oak Park
Public Library, we have been co-sponsoring a successful free film series
on peace, justice and America's future. OPCTJ also organizes an annual
Chicago Area Peace Fair in early September,
and cosponsors an online directory of progressive speakers, performers and films
called Voices Exchange.
We wish to build bridges between ourselves, other local groups and individuals
who question the war and seek alternative responses to terrorism. This Web site
and our public forum message board are in service of that connection, and to
announce events that our group sponsors or that our members may find of interest.
Here are some issues our group is interested in:
- Promote and/or explore peaceful alternatives to war
- Tell all the truth about the Sept. 11 attack
- Bring the guilty to justice in an international court of law such as the UN Tribunal
- Alter U.S. foreign policy, including:
- Focus on diplomacy and cooperation toward a peaceful resolution to terrorism
- Halt US financing of warlord terrorist activities worldwide
- Eradicate the poverty, hunger, and human rights abuses that nurture terrorism
- Shut down the School of the Americas
- Support Afghan refugees
- Protect our civil liberties
- End racist backlash attacks at home
- Encourage a true watch-dog media that is uncensored and impartial
- Find a safe alternative energy source and end the U.S. dependency on oil
- Support the growth of other groups who are interested in these issues
Some Highlights from Our History
How You Can Join Us
In response to the attacks of 9/11
a few Oak Park activists organized two town meetings, which led to the
formation of OPCTJ over the next several months. Since our formation, the group has helped individuals come together into groups
to accomplish meaningful actions including public rallies, signature ads in
newspapers, visits to Congressional offices, passage of resolutions opposing war
and infringement of civil liberties in local town councils, public film
showings, town hall meetings, lectures by prominent citizens, and more. Some of
our more significant accomplishments include:
- October 2001, produced our
first Town Hall meeting discussing the political environment and history of the
- November 2001, organized the first petition questioning the U.S.
response to the 9/11 attacks, organized the first Oak Park peace rally against
Bush's war policies, held a Town Hall meeting linking War, terror, power and
- January 2002, Hosted our first film showing at the Oak Park Library,
"Missile Street" about sanctions in Iraq.
- February 2002, "No Iraq War"
sign campaign -10,000 small signs distributed door-to-door in Oak Park.
2002, presented U.S. Rep. Danny Davis with over 3,000 petition signatures
demanding that the U.S. not invade Iraq.
- October 2002, Hosted a Town Hall
meeting "In America's Interests? War and the policy of Preventive Aggression"
featuring Univ. of Chicago Prof. Robert Pape, aimed at people undecided about
the looming attack on Iraq.
- February 2003, Oak Park Village Board passes an
OPCTJ sponsored resolution opposing the U.S. plan to launch a preventive war
- November 2003, Public forum on "The Cost of War: Winners &
Losers in a War Economy" with Chicago Alderman Joe Moore.
- February 2004, Oak
Park Village Board passes an OPCTJ co-sponsored resolution against the Patriot
- December 2004, Public forum featuring Nobel Peace Prize nominee Kathy
Kelly, founder of Voices in the Wilderness "Other Lands Have Dreams: Eyewitness
to War, Witness for Peace", The Tom Neumann Memorial Forum, co-sponsored with
Third Unitarian Church of Chicago.
- September 2005, The first annual Chicago
Area Peace Fair with Music, Art, Speakout, Booths and public draws 55 exhibitors
and over 3,000 attendees.
- October 2005, In conjunction with the Oak Park Public Library OPCTJ
launches our ongoing free film series with award winning films such as "The
Corporation" (23 int'l film awards) and "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low
- April 2006, Lead organizer of the Founding conference of the Illinois
Coalition for Peace and Justice (ICPJ), www.ilcpj.org. bringing together 80+
peace groups from across the state.
- September 2006, The second annual Chicago
Area Peace Fair with Music, Public Art, Booths and children's activities.
Featured speaker is State Rep. Karen Yarbrough, author of the "Impeachment of
George W. Bush" bill.
We seek new ideas and networks. You can join or participate in the activities of our
in many different ways:
- help us network with other groups;
- come to our regular meetings to help organize events and activities;
- offer your ideas for new events, actions, forums, etc.;
- participate in or help organize a specific event or activity, such as a petition
drive, tabling, vigil, or forum.
OPCTJ normally meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month, at the main branch of
Oak Park Public Library (Meeting rooms on the second floor). The meetings will begin at 7
PM. To find out more about upcoming OPCTJ meetings, or would like to bring an issue to
OPCTJ for discussion please contact John at
is welcome to attend.
How to Contact US
You can write, call, or email us at:
Oak Park Coalition for Truth and Justice
641 S. Scoville Ave.
Oak Park, IL 60304