On a night when the final outline for the Human Relations Commission was to be presented, the Carbondale City Council postponed any discussion because of a heated debate regarding a resolution opposing war against Iraq

By Gus Bode

On a night when the final outline for the Human Relations Commission was to be presented, the Carbondale City Council postponed any discussion because of a heated debate regarding a resolution opposing war against Iraq.

The resolution was shot down by a controversial 3-2 vote that sparked more than 100 citizens in attendance, many of which signed the resolution, to begin singing “We Shall Overcome” in protest after the decision was announced.

After an emotional plea by Carbondale Mayor Neil Dillard asking local citizens not to force a vote by the council and to the council not to pass it if it came up for a vote, Hugh Muldoon, spokesman for those in favor of the resolution, was given a chance to address the council.


“We stand against this war, but most of all, we stand for peace,” said Muldoon, who is also director of the Interfaith Center at SIUC. He complied with Dillard’s request to not press the issue further.

Once Muldoon left the podium, the mayor called his first of two 15-minute recesses in what seemed to be an effort to compose himself and to settle the crowd. Resolution hopefuls took that time to regroup and decide how to proceed from there. After speaking about the legalities of the mayor’s move, the peace organization continued to press for a vote on the resolution.

Councilwomen Corene McDaniel and Maggie Flanagan voted in favor of the resolution.

The three members opposed to the resolution, Mike Neill, Brad Cole and Dillard, faced a disappointed, and at times unruly crowd who stood in protest and shouted “Maggie Flanagan for mayor.”

The voice in support of the resolution was strong, but there were also a few in attendance against it.

Frank Glaub, a Carbondale citizen and father of an enlisted soldier, opposed passage of the resolution. He and his daughter, Miriam, came out in support of President Bush and his movements toward war.

“Unlike 90 percent of those here who don’t reside in this town, I am a citizen of Carbondale,” Glaub said, referring to the large number of students in attendance.


“It bothers me when the Iraqi ambassador comes on the news and says he takes comfort in the fact 160 cities in the United States took anti-war resolutions,” he said. “That is aiding and adding comfort to the enemy.”

Glaub might have been pleased with the outcome, but he was in the minority of those in attendance.

“More people should have a voice,” said Alex Paull, member of the Peace Collation who was among the many upset that more people were not given a chance to speak before Dillard called for the vote. “That is what democracy is about.”

Still, Miriam Glaub said she totally supports Bush and said he “has bent over backward to be diplomatic.”

Sgt. Mike Osifcin of the Carbondale Police Department was one of the officers on duty to keep the peace at the meeting.

Osifcin said there are always police at the meetings, but that several more were in attendance Tuesday night because of the large crowd expected.

And the large crowd came. To make space for all attendees, the back wall of the meeting room was removed to allow for twice the normal amount of people after the last City Council meeting left for standing room only. Proponents of the resolution also heavily attended that meeting, where they suggested the council take action against a war. The council voted to bring it up at Tuesday’s meeting.

Though there was a standing ovation after the two favorable votes, the clapping was not enough to change the other City Council members’ minds.

Once the disappointed protesters heard the council’s decision, they planned a conference with Dillard to discuss having a town meeting about the issue.

In the meantime, the Committee Against War has developed a contingency action plan to go into play in the event that war is declared against Iraq.

Still, protesters of a war in Iraq said they are in total support of the U.S. military.

“The Peace Coalition says they support the troops, but they will not support them in victory,” Glaub said.

Muldoon said Glaub is right, because “there is no such thing as victory in war.”

Reporter Kristina Herrndobler can be reached at [email protected]

Reporter Brain Peach can be reached at [email protected]