Minutes for MPJC Meeting of March 14, 2007


Present: Rey, Caroline, Kathy, Pam, Lois, Caitlin, Carol, Peter

Old business
    1.  Approval of Minutes for February 6: The minutes were approved as written.

    2. Progress Reports
        a. Meeting with Donnelly (Caroline): The February 10th meeting with Joe Donnelly went well. There was a good representation and an open discussion about the war. Even though Donnelly did not agree with us on some of our points, he agreed to meet with us regularly. Caroline sent a summary of the discussion to the list serve and a thank-you letter to Donnelly. She noted how important it was to have someone take notes and write up the meeting afterwards so we have a record for both Donnelly and ourselves. Kathy proposed that we get different anti-war constituencies to meet with Donnelly each month so they can come at the issue in different ways and let him know of the widespread sentiment against the war. All thought it was an excellent idea and Kathy volunteered to coordinate the effort. The WAND group from Goshen already has a March 25th meeting scheduled and David Cortright and possibly George Lopez from the Kroc institute will be present to help Joe think through his position on the war. Since April is "Cover the Uninsured" month, she will try to get some union folks to meet with Joe in April and press him to support HR 676 on universal health insurance and indicate that the money to fund this program is being squandered on the war. Lois mentioned the National Priorities Project has a state-by-state breakdown of the local cost of the war and what the money could do if spent for health, education, housing etc.

        b. MPJC List Serve Discussion of the Donnelly Meeting (Caroline): There was not much discussion after Caroline sent out the summary. Those who had read it commented on how complete and accurate it was.

        c. Midwest Peace Conference (Lee): Lee was unable to attend, but Kathy had been on the latest IPJN conference call. She had exciting news that the keynote speakers at the Midwest Summit will be Cindy Sheehan and former Iraq War POW James Yee. Cindy will be speaking in Gary on April 10th, going to West Lafayette on the 11th, and Kathy is trying to get her to South Bend for an event on the 12th. The Summit is April 13-14 at IUPUI in Indianapolis. There may be some vans from the local colleges going down. Peter and Caroline attended last year and found in very worthwhile.

        d. Tax Day Plans: (Peter) Tax Day is Tuesday, April 17th this year. We plan to leaflet and hold sign at the post office again this year, but will reduce the time due to more electronic filers. We will be there from 6-10pm. Kathy suggested we contact Aimee Lu from the Tribune to see if she will cover the protest. Caitlin shared a sheet detailing the unequal distribution of resources in the world. We may work some of these facts into the signs we carry on Tax Day.

        e. Civil Disobedience against Iraq War (Brenna): Brenna did not attend, but Peter reflected on his experience with CD around the Contra War. The CD itself is but the tip of the iceberg as there may be up to a year dealing with the legal system followed by possible jail time. We decided that unless the benefits clearly outweighed the negative effect that a sitin would have on our emerging dialog with Donnelly, we would not endorse CD. We strongly recommended that anyone contemplating CD should talk to folks experienced in this form of protest in South Bend.

        f. IPJN report (Lee): Kathy mentioned that IPJN is trying to collect dues from its members. She will try to find out the amount and we authorized Glenda Rae to pay them. We also noted that we paid the Jobs with Justice dues back in the fall when we sent a check for an ad in the banquet brochure which was not big enough to purchase the ad.

         g. Press Contact Information (Peter): The three press contacts Peter, Caroline and Lois have their information on the website. We were called by the Tribune to verify that the vigil from 5-6 on Monday, 3/19, would take place as well as the 7-8pm vigil at Morris Civic on that day. We told the Tribune the 5-6 vigil would occur, and verified at the meeting that this information was correct. We will tell each person who comes to the 5-6 vigil about the one at 7-8 and suggest that they wait until 7 if they feel they cannot attend both. Some folks will come to the 5-6 vigil without having heard about the 7-8 one, and we don't want them to think we canceled the vigil on the anniversary of the war.

    3. Treasurer's Report: Glenda Rae was not able to attend, so we assume we have $517.86 in the bank. Glenda Rae will write a check to Peter for $14 to cover the new registry of our domain name.

New Business

    1. Iraq War Anniversary Protests (Kathy): There should be more vigils across the country on Monday than any other day in history. Move-on is allowing organizations to post their non-move-on-sponsored events on their website. Lots of other anti-war groups are sponsoring local events in solidarity with the large Pentagon Iraq War anniversary demonstration The events in the Michiana area are listed on our website.

There will be a presence at each of Senator Lugar's five offices around the state since his is a key voice in ending the war. South Bend will feature a candlelight vigil at the St. Joseph Street side of the green space in front of the Morris Civic Auditorium from 7-8pm on Monday, March 19. All are welcome to come and hold a sign and/or a candle. The theme is "Honor the Dead - Heal the Wounded and the War." From 9-5 on the 19th, IUSB will host the Eyes Wide Open boots project on the lawn off Mishawake Ave. They need people to stop by and help read the names of the war dead. At 5pm they will pack up the boots and drive them by the Morris Civic vigil on their way to Notre Dame where they will be displayed on the 20th. Carol agreed to call the mayor's office to try to get a police escort with siren and lights flashing as the boots exhibit goes by the vigil. Peter suggested they try to find a union member who controls one of the vehicles that is used to escort wide loads to provide an escort for the boots.

Also on Monday, they are asking churches to ring their bells, especially during the 7-8pm vigil hour. Pam is tracking down a trumpeter who can play taps. If she can't pin anyone down she will call Peter who knows a trumpeter. Folks are asked to come to the vigil early to help fill bags with sand in order to spell out 3200 in large letters, representing the U.S. War dead in Iraq, and also to hand out flyers for the event at the noon Saturday St. Patrick's Day parade. Call Kathy at 220-0846 for fliers and more information.

    2. CPF and Catholic Worker Conference (Brenna): Brenna did not attend, but Peter briefly described the event. The Catholic Peace Fellowship conference (March 24) and the Midwest Catholic Workers' Resistance Gathering (March 25-26) will take place at "Our Lady of the Road," 744 South Main Street in South Bend. To register, please email staff@catholicpeacefellowship.org or call 232-2811.

    3. Situation of the detained Janco workers and their families (Caroline): Immigration and Customs Enforcement raided factories all over the U.S. last week, including the Janco plant in Mishawaka. Many immigrants were taken into custody including single parents who are the sole support of young children. St Adelberts is collecting money for bail and legal representation for these folks. The best we can do now is to support fundraising efforts. Caroline will let us know if we can do more. Support the Benefit Dinner For our immigrate Janco families, Saturday, March 17, 2007, At St. Adalbert's school Hall, South Olive St, just north of Sample, South Bend, Indiana, 11:am 2:00pm.

Food ***** Music ******** Raffles

Come and help us raise funds for families affected by the Janco Immigration deportation.

    4. Topic of the Month: We decided to send out our statement on immigration again, given the Janco situation, and hope to stimulate discussion.

    5. Other topics and issues: Kathy will ask churches to celebrate April 15 as Peace Sunday. She has already received positive responses from several churches. This could entail prayer, coffee, sermon, or a sign in front of the church. CLAP had an article in the Tribune. Carol has a possible contact at Notre Dame and will alert us to CLAP projects.

    6. Next meeting: Tuesday, April 24, at 1036 N. Niles Ave.