Minutes for MPJC Meeting of March 12, 2008


Present: Peter, Ellyn, Paul, Kathy, Pam, Ron, Sierra, Wes, Lois

Old business
    1.  Approval of Minutes for March 5: The minutes were approved.

    2. Progress Reports
        a. March Program for war protests: Since the events sponsored by WAND are well planned and underway, we focused on March 19th planning. We decided to split the vigil focus with the first hour or so having a "Stop the War" rally atmosphere and the last hour more a silent prayerful vigil mourning the 4,000 U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq. That way we can advertise on both United for Peace and Justice which calls for local rallies and Move-On which calls for candlelight vigils. It will not be dark enough to see candles so we decided to prepare a 200 foot banner with the names of all 4,000 dead and hold it up along St. Joseph St. during the vigil. Ellyn will try to get Tom H. to coordinate the vigil part of the event.

Kathy is working on preparing a file she can bring to Saint Marys or a local print shop and have them print 200 sheets with 20 names per sheet. Any help anyone can give her preparing this file will be much appreciated. Ellyn will investigate getting wall paper or vinyl to paste the sheets on. Once this is ready we will get some volunteers to paste the sheets and roll up the banner.

Wes is trying to get Holy Cross College to permit the reading of the names of U.S. troops killed in Iraq in the afternoon of the 19th and have Saint Mary's and Notre Dame students join Holy Cross students in a march down to the 6:00pm rally. Notre Dame Progressive Student Alliance will hold a vigil in the fieldhouse mall from 1-2pm to which all are welcome. No one has heard from IUSB students.

We brainstormed speakers for the rally. Bob Warnock and Charlotte Pfeifer have already confirmed. Wes agreed to speak. Ellyn will ask Jerusa and Andre. Peter will ask Daniel B. Pam will ask mayor Steve. We talked about inviting Donnelly to speak and agreed that if he came he could speak.

We laid out an agenda for the rally. David James will supply the sound equipment and play music. We need to find out what external power he needs and how to supply it. Kathy will be the MC and try to hold the speakers to 4 or 5 minutes each. We will ask David to play from 6:00 to 6:15, then have Charlotte speak, followed by Wes. We will ask Joe T. and/or David to lead us in Solidarity Forever and follow that with Bob W. and Jesusa. Then another song like study war no more, followed by Dan B. and Andre. We will plug Steve in whenever he gets there. Andre will provide the linkage between the rally and the more solemn vigil which is to follow. We will ask Danille to select an appropriate song to lead off the vigil as we walk to St. Joseph Street unrolling and carrying the 200 foot banner. We will close the rally/vigil at 8:00pm or earlier if folks are getting tired.

Kathy will do the press releases to the major media and Ellyn will try to get some PSAs to WUBS and the Spanish radio station. We need someone to be press spokesperson at the event. Paul?

Ellyn suggested passing out a flyer asking folks to divert war taxes to something better. We all agreed to arrive at the Morris by 5:30 for last minute adjustments.

During the rally there will be a couple of stations along the wall: one a penny poll to give participants a chance to say where they want their tax money spent (Peter will coordinate), and a large poster board with a letter to Donnelly and a chance for everyone to sign it. (Kathy will prepare it and Ellyn will coordinate getting the signatures).

        b. IPJN report: Still no word on the spring conference.

       c. War Tax Resistance Workshop: Peter, Glenda Rae and Ellyn met to plan the March 15th workshop. They brough flyers for distribution and will send out the Work document by email. We encouraged all to attend.

     3. Treasurer's Report: We still have $189.11 in checking and $10.01 in cash.

New Business

    1. April 15th events: Lois and Peter met briefly before the meeting and decided to have the usual post office vigil and leafletting from 6 to whenever the traffic slows to a trickle. Peter will get 500 "Where does the money go" flyers. We mentioned a public awarding of grants from resisted tax money but no plans were made for this.

(We did not discuss the following two items again but I kept it to remind us to take up this topic later)

    2. Ballot Access in Indiana: We first clarified the relationship between MPJC, the list serv and the Peace Ed Fund. MPJC has decided not to endorse any candidates for office, but we are not required to avoid political activity. Folks can contribute to the Peace Ed Fund which is a 501c3 organization and we can use the money to support educational activities of MPJC. MPJC itself is not a 501c3 organization. The list serv is independent of MPJC and anyone can propose anything for discussion as long as they do not "flame" other posters. Only topics discussed and agreed upon at regular MPJC meetings constitute the official stands and business of MPJC. Thus, we decided that the post asking folks to help with ballot access for Nader was perfectly appropriate on the list serv along with the responses that Nader was not worth supporting. We decided to take up the topic of the unfair restrictions for ballot access for third party candidates after the fall elections.

    3. Topic of the Month: Kathy raised the question of Indiana's voter ID law which unfairly penalizes seniors and those without vehicles. She believes that the Supreme Court will let the state law stand, restricting voting to those with government issued photo IDs. We decided to ask Donnelly and Bayh to pressure the DMV to provide a mobile van to travel to nursing homes, soup kitchens, homeless housing sites, various festivals, and process ID applicants who find it hard to get to the DMV office. We could prepare bookmarks outlining the requirement and process for getting the ID. Perhaps the unions would print them and we could ask the library to put one in each set of books checked out. We did not formerly choose this ID problem as the topic of the month, but Kathy will send out a post to the list.

    4. Other topics and issues: None were raised.

    5. Next meeting: Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 7pm at KJ's Main Cafe across Main Street from the downtown public library.