Who We Are

The Ojai Peace Coalition is an email/web-driven community of activists primarily within the Ojai Valley, who take individual and coordinated action on a variety of topics and issues that we believe contribute to a greater and functional Peace at all levels.

The Ojai Peace Coalition's first colorguard, in the 2005 Ojai Independence Day Parade

The Ojai Peace Coalition's first colorguard, in the 2005 Ojai Independence Day Parade

Our story begins in early 2005, as the third Independence Day since the American invasion of Iraq was approaching, already with over 1,000 American military deaths and untold Iraqi casualties.  Local activist evan austin was frustrated and angry at what he considered unthinking patriotism and inherently pro-war symbolism typically displayed for the holiday, and wanted a voice of Peace to be present in the celebration.  Unsure about whether a community of significant size existed to create such a presence, he posted flyers around town asking people to contact him with interest and support.  Calls and emails poured in, and on the morning of July 4th, 2005, under the sub-theme of “Peace Is Patriotic…Support Our Troops…Bring Them Home!”, around 50 people, many of whom had never met, stepped onto Ojai Avenue and marched colorfully in the parade.  Along the way, encouraged by our energy and signs asking viewers to join us, many people left their lawn chairs and blankets to march with us to the end, where we counted nearly 200 people!  Excited by the new and vibrant community for Peace that had just been created/discovered, evan realized it needed a name…and the Ojai Peace Coalition was born.

Since that time, the contact list has grown into the hundreds, and we have taken action on issues ranging from health care to global warming, from torture to taxes, from nukes to recruits!  If it promotes or threatens life, encourages or obscures transparency and democracy, heals or hurts our planet, grows or strangles compassion, then Peace is at stake and we’ll take action.  That has come in the form of online campaigns, vigils and protests, film screenings, panel discussions and teach-ins, an annual presence in the Independence Day parade, and other public actions.

To recieve an occasional Action Email, simply CLICK HERE and enter your email address!  Simple!