Minutes for March 8, 2005 Meeting
Present: Zae, Lee, Ed C., Pam, Rey, Glenda Rae, Paul, Peter, Dustin, Mary Jo
- The minutes for February 22 were approved as written. Several items from
the minutes were added to the agenda.
- Progress Reports
- Midwest Peace Summit and Rally preparations: Lee informed us that the
preparations for the rally are hitting some snags. The police will not
allow the porta potties to remain at the circle from Friday afternoon
until Monday morning because homeless people might sleep in them. They
must be delivered on Sunday morning and picked up on Sunday afternoon.
This increases the cost from $180 to more than $600. Also there must be
an IT specialist on site during the summit to handle problems, so this
is another $400 cost. There are no additional local people volunteering
to plan and work on the summit or rally. Also, colleges in the surrounding
states are not responding. People who are staying for the summit should
look into group rates for inexpensive motels. The organizers are going
ahead in spite of these difficulties. They anticipate at least 700 people
for the rally.
- Bus for the March 20th Rally: Paul announced that the ND administration
and some faculty associated with peace groups on campus have given students
organizing for the summit and rally a lot of grief. He believes they do
not want students participating in events cosponsored by off campus groups.
There was flack about posting the flyer for the bus trip to Indy. The
bottom line is that the ND students are going to the protest in Chicago
on Saturday, the 19th. Only a handful will come down to Indy on Sunday
and none of them will take the bus. Given that the rest of us could guarantee
only a few seats on the bus, we decided to cancel it and arrange to car
pool down to Indy.
- Tax Day plans: These are proceeding. Nothing new. Peter and Glenda Rae
will try to get people to sign up for shifts at the post office from 6-midnight
on April 15. No one volunteered as a result of Zae's email to the Peace
not War folks at Saint Mary's.
- Weekly letters to Congress on the web: Still no progress. Peter will
get to it soon. The web site main page has been redesigned by Kay with
input from Zae. The paragraph about the mission of the MPJC is now on
a separate page with an "About us" link from the main page. The new logo
is also on the main page and there are a group of buttons on the top left
as well as at the bottom, linking to other pages in the website. It was
suggested that we put a search engine on the main page so folks can find
a topic which is buried in the letters to Congress or in the minutes.
- Banner: We decided not to cut V's in the banner, but to keep it in the
trunk if the wind was greater than 20 mph. We also decided to sew a slot
along the bottom so we can insert a heavy pipe to keep the banner taut
when we are holding it up. Pam said she could do the sewing if we get
- Volunteer speakers publicity: Zae passed out a draft of this brochure
and we thought it was fine. She will put the finishing touches on it and
print some copies. Also, the anti-war brochure is in rough draft form.
She hopes to have it ready for the Peace summit.
When discussing the volunteer speakers project, we brought up the desirability
of having a couple of press contacts that we could give to local news
organizations to contact when they needed an MPJC response to a breaking
issue. Zae and Ed C. volunteered and were approved by the group. The two
would like to have more discussion of potentially controversial issues,
so they could give the range of MPJC opinions when asked by the press.
We decided to discuss how we feel about the reinstatement of the draft,
and also immediate pullout of troops from Iraq on the listserv and also
at the next meeting -- sort of topic of the month. Other topics will be
identified at the next meeting. Peter will alert the list serv folks about
the topics for the next meeting.
- Procurement subcommittee report: Rey has the white magnetic ribbons for
cars that say "Bring the Troops Home Now." We decided to sell them for $4
apiece or 3 for $10. They will be available for the rally on the 20th and
also at the vigils. We thought that Ellyn would want to be repaid for the
$100 cost of the ribbons.
Glenda Rae reported that we have $188.89 in the bank and $34.85 in cash. There
were only two responses from Zae's eloquent appeal for donations on the list
serv although these were very generous and more than doubled our bank account.
Zae may try to shame more people into supporting us.
- Listserv Etiquette: Peter passed out copies of our "Zero Tolerance for Flaming"
Policy. This was approved about four years ago. We decided not to promulgate
it again, since we want to encourage discussion, particularly with our topic
of the month program. The jist of the policy is to state strong critical opinions
about issues, but do not state critical opinions about individuals.
- Next Quarter Student Group gathering: Zae will see if the Saint Mary's student
group wants to host the next gathering in mid April. It should be billed as
a student action day and focused around organizing for some action. Washington
High School has an anti-violence group and may be interested in participating.
- Other topics and Issues
- Bush demonstration: There were between 200 and 300 anti-Bush demonstrators
outside the Athletic Center at ND on March 4th, when Bush was here to
push social security reform. All the press was there and we got good coverage
both in the paper and on TV. There was a lot of chanting and shouting
of slogans. There were a good number of students, especially from Saint
Mary's. we had the banner, the vigil signs, and helium balloons to get
our message across. Folks from Fort Wayne added to the spirit. Kathy was
interviewed and got her message out very clearly. When the folks emerged
from the Bush talk, things got very ugly verbally, at least on the part
of the Bush supporters. The police had to separate the two groups. Paul
congratulated everyone for pulling the protest together in three days.
- Educators to Stop the War Conference: Paul attended this conference
in New York along with 500 others. About 1/3 were students, 1/3 were high
school teachers, and 1/3 were college and university teachers. Paul attended
the high school session to tell them about our efforts in South Bend.
Others reported some successful counter-recruitment efforts on the part
of students which were freaking out the military recruiters.
- Glenda Rae handed out flyers about the Homeward Bound walk for the homeless
on April 17. We decided to walk as a coalition and carry our banner. If
you want to pledge money to support programs for the homeless, contact
Glenda Rae at 287-7715.
- Today is International Women's Day and is celebrated in most of the
world except in the United States. Paul wished all the women present a
happy women's day, and mentioned it commemorated the 20,000 garment workers
who marched for suffrage and against child labor on March 8, 1908, in
New York City.
- USA Today had an article on how recruitment goals are not being met,
and on the rise in counter recruitment. The army admits that it has 6,000
deserters from the Iraq war.
- Next Meeting. We will meet at 1036 N. Niles on Tuesday, March 29th. It
will be announced via the List Serv and at the weekly vigil.