Controversial professor Ward Churchill will headline a local forum billed as a chance to support conscientious objectors in the Iraqi war, and to counter military recruiting pitches targeting students.

One of the forum organizers, Marla Benoist, says the event Thursday at North Portland's Mississippi Ballroom is an important opportunity for war-resistance groups to share strategy and organize counter-recruiting in Portland.

"Parents are not aware that their sons' and daughters' names are given out to recruiters, and that they have options about opting out," Benoist says.

Benoist is project director for Info-Mission, a nonprofit group founded in 2000 to promote "alternative'' human-rights information on college campuses. Info-Mission is co-sponsoring the forum with Students for Unity, a self-described radical Portland State University student activist group.

Churchill, the keynote speaker and a University of Colorado professor, will discuss the need for U.S. troops to resist illegal orders and to question both prison torture and violations of human rights.

He gained national notoriety in recent months for his comparisons of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks with Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann.

Churchill will share the stage with Dr. Mohammed Daud Miraki from the Afghan Depleted Uranium and Recovery Fund. Miraki will explain why he believes the U.S.-led military action in Afghanistan will ultimately fail.

Mississippi Ballroom, 833 N Shaver St., 745-8777, . 5:30 pm Thursday, June 23. $10.