Minutes for MPJC Meeting of February 10, 2014

Present: Peter, Ellyn, Glenda Rae, Rey, Lois, Wanda, Galen

Old business

    1.  Approval of Minutes for January 12: The minutes were approved as corrected.

    2. Progress Reports

        a. Topic of the Month: Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Ellyn prepared a draft for the meeting. We recommended that in the second paragraph she take off the "in" in front of habitation in the first line, change "Jewish" to "Jews" in the next to last line, and change the clause "and strengthened in the late 1940's." to "and was strengthened in the late 1940's, due to the persecution of the Jews in Europe." We also recommend changing "natives" to "Palestinians" throughout the fourth paragraph. We recommend that the last paragraph be revised to change "transferring some at least" to "transferring at least some," adding "need to" before "solutions" at the end, and incorporating the parallel with native americans, mentioning that settlements will prevent a 2-state solutions - just a collection of bantustans. Close with the comment that MPJC recommends either a 2-state solution or a unified state in which all occupants would have equal citizenship and economic rights. We debated including a reference to Zionism but felt that it would not add anything to the piece and would be very divisive.

        b. Showing of We're not Broke: Postponed because of weather

        c. Little Taste of Peace: In spite of the promise by the church that the hall would be all set up, Wanda and Galen had to arrange all the chairs in circles when they arrived. In spite of the snowy weather, a good number of folks came, among them 20 or so sisters from Saint Mary's. The study circles continue to have problems. Not enough people signed up and too many African Americans were in one group and too many Whites were in a second.

        d. MLK Day events: MPJC had two tables for the price of one. Lois coordinated one table which was devoted to asking people to share their dream on paper to be shared with our elected representatives. Lois and Peter checked out a picture "Father's Love" of a father holding his child. She set this upright on her table along with a picture of a mother with daughter, and another picture. Peter and Ellyn brought the ingredients for a fake fire in the middle of the table using bike warning lights, cellophane, and kindling. On the other table we will had our usual MLK display with some leaflets. Rey brought some literature we could use. Peter arranged a stand for the bean poll. Folks seemed to stop by to talk more and do the bean poll than in past years. Lois was pleased with her table and its response. One teenager wrote, "Please bring justice where it is not." A grandfather with a child on his lap stopped to look at the picture making a rose from a sword. It is too bad that MLK's children are squabbling over his estate. The weather was bad for the evening concert.

        e. Screenpeace: The films included one about Mohamed Ali which focused on his being a CO. Another told about the overthrown of Pinochet in Chile. "Madjda" told about a young girl in Saudi Arabia and focused on the oppression of women. She entered a contest to buy a bike by memorizing Koran verses. She won, but the officials refused to give her the money. Her mother bought her the bike. A final film, "Last Act of Killing," was about a journalist who went to Indonesia to interview people involved in the Pol Pot massacres. It was bloody at first but the perpetrators learned bloodless ways of killing. The journalist started retching at the place where they killed people. We observed that his experience couldn't be as bad as it had been for the victims.

    3. Treasurer's Report: Our bank total is $81.04 with $5.11 in petty cash.

New Business

    1. What do we (can we) do next? We incorporated this topic into other discussion

    2. Tax Day Actions: Rey will check if the tax fairness folks are doing anything so that we could join with them. If we cut waste in the military there would be enough money for social programs. Tax breaks for the rich are expanding income inequality. We could focus on the unfairness of the tax system. We will decide what to do on April 15 at our next meeting.

    3. Memorial Day Parade: We will probably not participate this year. No one has received an invitation.

    4. Anti Keystone XL Pipeline vigil: This went pretty well. We were the only ones in the state who got TV coverage. There were 500 actions around the country. There were many good signs and more folks than usual at our Monday vigils. The group should have been larger given the importance of the issue.

    5. Topic of the Month: We decided to continue work on MPJC response to the Israeli-Palestinian situation.

    6. Other Topics and Issues: 350.org encouraged us to make use of the 30-day comment period after the EPA announced that a study contracted by them showed no environmental impact from the pipeline. The company doing the study has ties to the oil and gas industry. Secretary Kerry has to make a statement about the issue. The President will then make his response, possibly triggering a wave of civil disobedience actions.

    7. Next meeting: Monday, March 24th, at 3pm at Peter and Ellyn's.