DALLAS – On the evening after President Bush presented his bellicose ultimatum to the United Nations, North Texas peace activists held a Town Meeting in the Northaven United Methodist Church. The topic was “Stopping the War against Iraq.”

State Rep. Lon Burnam (D-Fort Worth) convened the assembly and brought it immediately to the business at hand. Activists divided themselves into five “brainstorming” workshops: congressional lobbying, media, direct action, outreach to immigrants and framing the message. As the workshops began to produce results, each one sent “emissaries” to other workshops to cross-pollinate the process. Appointed reporters from each workshop then brought their proposals to a plenary session.

Organizers expect the North Texas peace movement to function as a much better organized and integrated unit to fight the apparent war danger. Since the tragedies of the previous year, different organizations have accelerated their activities for peace. Public events of all organizations have been well attended.

Just two evenings before, for example, the North Texas Coalition for Just Peace held a successful evening street march in downtown Dallas. It began as a religious service for victims of the Sept. 11 tragedy ended, then flicked on their flashlights and proceeded to the Federal Building, where Republican Sens. Phil Gramm and Kay Bailey Hutchison, both war hawks, have offices.

The author can be reached at pww@pww.org