Peace Coalition of Southern Illinois

Fellowship of Reconcilliation

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Peace Coalition of Southern Illinois

2016 Margie Parker Teach-In for Peace: Medea Benjamin

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Local organizer and activist Margie Parker led the Peace Coalition of Southern Illinois/FOR for more than 20 years. After her death, the Peace Coalition initiated a Teach-in for Peace in her memory which this year will host Medea Benjamin, whose latest book, Kingdom of the Unjust, Behind the US-Saudi Connection, explores this issue of national significance.

Medea is one of America’s best-known 21st-century activists. Co-founder of CODEPINK and the fair trade advocacy group Global Exchange, in 2012 she was awarded the U.S. Peace Memorial Foundation’s Peace Prize; she received the 2014 Gandhi Peace Award and the 2010 Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Prize from the Fellowship of Reconciliation. She is mother of two children and currently lives in Washington, D.C.

The co-founder of CODEPINK has become famous for fearlessly tackling head-on subjects most of us studiously avoid. Sometimes she does so in person—as during President Obama’s speech at the National Defense University, or during a reception for drone manufacturers and members of Congress, or in Cairo, where she was assaulted by police. With her latest book, she’s researching the sinister nature of the relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. What is the origin of this strange alliance between two countries that seemingly have very little in common? Why does it persist, and what are its consequences?

With extremism spreading across the globe, a reduced U.S. need for Saudi oil, and a thawing of U.S. relations with Iran, the time is right for a re-evaluation of our close ties with the Saudi regime. More information about this effort can be found at

The program will be held Thursday, November 3 at 7:00 PM in the SIU School of Law Auditorium, Corner of Oakland and Douglas Dr., Carbondale. The speech will be followed by a reception and book signing in the Formal Lounge. The event is free and open to the public, for more information contact Georgeann Hartzog, 618.521.4239 or M.J. Smerken, 618.534.5403.

Co-sponsors of the Teach-In include the Peace Coalition of Southern Illinois/Fellowship of Reconciliation, Nonviolent Carbondale, Carbondale Public Library, SIU School of Law, Social Action Committee of the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship, the Shawnee Green Party, Covenants Committee of the Church of the Good Shepherd UCC, Southern Illinois Quaker Meeting, and Gaia House.


Last Updated on Sunday, 16 October 2016 13:06


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The Peace Coalition of Southern Illinois/Fellowship of Reconciliation is joining Pace e Bene Peace + all good's  national Campaign Nonviolence initiative.  A series of events scheduled in Carbondale voice the call to “create a Culture of Peace, free from war, poverty, the climate crisis and the epidemic of violence.”  While that sounds like a monumental undertaking, there are diverse groups working in our communities to meet this challenge.  Campaign Nonviolence seeks to connect the dots that show the violent impacts our status quo has on ourselves, others - particularly those less well off - and the whole natural world.   Information about the weeks’ events can also be seen at View Campaign Nonviolence - Carbondale calendar.

The week will showcase the alternatives and positive interventions being created and shared locally. These include the struggle to end the ravages of war, homelessness, domestic violence, police militarization, and mass incarceration, and the major efforts to prevent the destruction of fracking in southern Illinois while pushing ahead with vigorous alternative energy, conservation, and local food security plans.

Currently nearly 300 events around the country are planned for the week of Campaign Nonviolence.  On September 20th events in Carbondale will begin at the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship and the Carbondale Public Library and will continue through the week.  One capstone will be a Rally for Campaign Nonviolence to be held on Sunday, September 27th, 4:00 pm at the Labyrinth Peace Park, next to Gaia House, 913 S. Illinois Avenue.  Under the Geodesic Dome Sculpture the event will bring together music, speakers from participating community groups, and an introduction to the plan for a new Community Peace Mural.  Information about the weeks’ events can be seen at View Campaign Nonviolence - Carbondale calendar

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 September 2015 20:13

70th Anniversary Hiroshima/Nagasaki Atomic Bombing: Aug 1st Vigil, Aug 9th Commemoration

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On Saturday, August 1, 2015 from Noon to 1 PM at the corner of Main and Illinois Avenues in Carbondale, the Peace Coalition of Southern Illinois/FOR will hold the Monthly Vigil for Peace and Justice in recognition of the 70th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The vigil will call for reducing the world wide Nuclear threat by supporting the nuclear agreement with Iran and by redirecting spending on Nuclear weapons in the U.S. to
meet the needs of U S. cities.

A resolution adopted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) at its’ most recent meeting “expresses its support for the successful conclusion of negotiations with Iran on a comprehensive nuclear deal and urges the U.S. government to support the convening of a conference on establishing a Middle East Zone free of weapons of mass destruction at the earliest possible date.”

Citing the fact that over the next decade the U.S. plans to spend $348 billion to maintain and modernize its nuclear forces, the USCM declares that “the needs of America’s cities can only be met by adopting new priorities to create a just and sustainable economy, infrastructure and environment,” and “calls on the President and Congress to reduce nuclear weapons spending to the minimum necessary to assure the safety and security of the existing weapons as they await disablement and dismantlement, and to redirect those funds to address the pressing needs of cities.”

In our own communities, we see the need for funds to support public services, rebuild roads and bridges and numerous other projects that keep our cities livable. Members of the Peace Coalition and others are familiar with the terrible devastation of nuclear weapons demonstrated in Japan 70 years ago and support this call for a multi-pronged effort to make the world safer from the dangers of an accidental or purposeful use of them. We call for vigorous support of the recently concluded Iran negotiations, especially in the U.S. Senate.

The Peace Coalition will hold its monthly meeting at Cristado's, across from Carbondale Civic Center, at 1:15pm following the vigil.

The Peace Coalition will also hold the annual  Hiroshima/Nagasaki Commemoration on Sunday, August 9th, at the Church of the Good Shepherd UCC, corner of Orchard and Schwartz in Carbondale.  The event will begin at 5:30 pm with a potluck, followed by a presentation on Trinity, the first bomb, by Jessica Bradshaw; and a ceremony of remembrance.

The public is invited to these free events.


Campaign Nonviolence--September 20 -27, 2015

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“Campaign Nonviolence is a long-term movement to mainstream active nonviolence; to build a culture of peace and nonviolence; and to foster a world free of war, poverty, the climate crisis, and the epidemic of violence”.

Members of the Peace Coalition and  Nonviolent Carbondale met on June 22nd to begin organizing local public actions as part of the week of Campaign Nonviolence initiated by the Pace e Bene/Peace and All Good Nonviolence Service to be held this September 20 – 27th at numerous locations around the United States.  Local groups will be invited to join in creating events with a focus on Nonviolent problem solving and action here in southern Illinois.

The event in Carbondale will use a model established by Nonviolent Carbondale’s (NVC) 11 Days events which, in the past, focused on Peace, Compassion and Food Justice.  It will be titled “Campaign Nonviolence-September 20-27thand will work to pull a variety of local groups together in recognizing our common interests and goals to bring about a less violent world.  A concluding event will connect our multiple threads building toward  a world free of war, poverty and climate crisis.

Pace e Bene Nonviolent Action Service has produced a number of organizing resources and ideas and is holding periodic calls to talk about developing plans.  CNV week September 20-27, 2015. Learn more here.

The Peace Coalition will support three  members of our community in attending the August 6-9th Campaign Nonviolence Conference to be held in Santa Fe, New Mexico.   A report on their experience will provide part of the programming for Campaign Nonviolence-Sept. 20-27th.   Anyone interested in taking part in ongoing planning please contact Hugh Muldoon, 549-1051, or Georgeann Hartzog, 521-4239.

Last Updated on Sunday, 26 July 2015 13:47

Pastors for Peace Caravan to Cuba Event Tuesday, July 7th

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The 26th IFCO/Pastors for Peace Friendshipment Caravan to Cuba will be in Carbondale on Tuesday, July 7th. The visit is an opportunity to show support for ending the U.S. economic blockade and travel ban on Cuba and to support the changing diplomatic environment.

Manolo de los Santos will lead the delegation of Caravanistas arriving at the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship, 105 N. Parrish Lane, Carbondale. The evening will begin:

At 5:00 PM with a performance from the great local Latin band HOT!Sauce.

At 6:00 PM a Cuban-inspired dinner will be served, to be followed by a message from the Caravanistas.

Manolo De Los Santos has worked for Pastors for Peace in coordinating caravans to Cuba since 2008 and other projects in Haiti, Mexico and Central America.  He is currently the IFCO/Pastors for Peace liaison in Cuba with the US students at the Latin American School of Medicine. He resides in Matanzas, Cuba where he is a student at Evangelical Theological Seminary.

His presentation will be a unique opportunity to hear from someone who is seeing the changes in Cuba up close.

Since 2000, the Peace Coalition has worked with other friends of the Cuban people in southern Illinois to assist the Caravan as it transports donated construction, medical and education supplies for the people of Cuba.

The US and Cuba are on the verge of establishing diplomatic relations but the embargo is still in place. The work of the Caravan helps keep the pressure on the US government to do the right thing. The Caravanistas’ journey challenges the legality and morality of the longstanding US economic blockade of Cuba and this year focuses on community organizing, visiting senior centers, children’s programs, cooperatives, and Cuban churches.

Funds will be collected to help with the expenses of transporting donated supplies.

The event is being cosponsored by the Peace Coalition of Southern Illinois/FOR and the Social Action Committee of the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship. For more information about Pastors for Peace and IFCO go to


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