Chicago Coalition Against War & Racism

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  • Chicago Coalition
  • Against War & Racism
  • Chicago Committee
  • Against War and Racism
Formation2001; 23 years ago (2001)
FoundersAndy Thayer[1]
Founded atChicago, Illinois
  • Chicago, Illinois, United States

Chicago Coalition Against War & Racism (CCAWR) was formed in September 2001 to protest the imminent United States invasion of Afghanistan. As of 2018, they had changed their name to Chicago Committee Against War and Racism.[2] CCAWR gained a foothold in Chicago street politics and rose to prominence when it organized a rally at Federal Plaza the day after the U.S. invaded Iraq on March 20, 2003.

Activism and protests[edit]

During the March 20 protest, about 10,000 Chicagoans marched and took over Lake Shore Drive in a direct action that led to national news.[3] The Chicago Police Department reported that 543 people were arrested in the protest and that 353 of them were charged, mainly with reckless behavior.[3][a] In April 2003, as a result of those arrests, the Chicago chapter of the National Lawyers Guild filed a class action lawsuit against the city and the police department for what it claimed was the "unlawful arrest and imprisonment of hundreds of people".[3] The lawsuit alleged that the police used illegal tactics like "herding, sweeping and pinning" of the bystanders and protesters.[3] The city agreed to pay $6.2 million to the arrested protesters to settle the lawsuit.[2]

In 2002, they were part of a protest at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, against "Israel's treatment of Palestinians" and the local police department who had questioned at least three Arabs.[4] On the 8th anniversary of the U.S. war and occupation of Iraq, the CCAWR was part of 1500 protesters who were demonstrating against the U.S. military getting involved in Libya.[5] The group was one of the main organizers that arranged protests during the 2012 Chicago summit, a meeting that included heads of state and heads of government of NATO.[6] Thousands of protesters showed up to express their opposition to NATO.[7]

In 2018, on the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, the CCAWR organized a protest on a wide range of issues, like the wars in the Middle East to the "funding of the military at the expense of public services".[2] In 2021, members of the organization demonstrated at Federal Plaza, "demanding the Biden administration move forward with policies that will end the war in Yemen during his first 100 days in office".[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Other sources have reported the number of arrested at "about 900 people" or "more than 900 people".NBC Chicago 2011; Chicago Tribune 2012; Courthouse News 2011


  1. ^ García Mathewson, Tara (April 12, 2012). "Chicago activist urges ECC community to protest NATO summit". Daily Herald.
  2. ^ a b c Thorp, Adam (July 25, 2018). "Spirit of '68: March Against War Set For 50th of Convention Protests". Chicago Sun-Times.
  3. ^ a b c d "A Nation At War: Dissent; Chicago and Police Face Suit Over Jailing of War Protesters". The New York Times. April 11, 2003. Archived from the original on January 26, 2021.
  4. ^ Neuwahl, Janette; Pandell, Jerome C. (February 4, 2002). "Crowd Protests Against Israeli Government Acts". The Daily Northwestern.
  5. ^ ABC7 (March 19, 2011). "1,500 Protest US Occupation in Iraq, Libya". KGO-TV.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ Webber, Tammy; Johnson, Carla K.; Rousseau, Caryn; Tareen, Sophia (March 6, 2012). "Protesters: We're still coming to Chicago for NATO". San Diego Union-Tribune. Associated Press.
  7. ^ Reynolds, Dean (May 20, 2012). "1000s Protest the Chicago NATO Summit". CBS News.
  8. ^ McAfee, Leonna (February 3, 2021). "Yemeni Activists and Supporters Demand End to 'War on Yemen' on Global Day of Action Following a Teach-In by CDSA". Medill Reports Chicago.


External links[edit]