Minutes for MPJC meeting for March 15
Present: Paul, Lois, Lee, Peter
1. Approval of Minutes: The minutes for the February 16th meeting were approved. Paul will send Peter
an electronic version of his statement about the importance of unions in his life. Peter will post it on the website.
2. Progress Reports
- February 22 anti-Bush rally: The rally was held at John Young School, 1801
N. Main, Mishawaka, from 6:30-8. There were some good messages from several
of the speakers. A stronger anti-war message would have been desirable, but
the mood of the audience was definitely anti-war. Lee had hoped for more people,
perhaps 600. There were more protesters on Thursday morning than attendees
at the rally. Lois had a good exchange with an anti-war American Legion person
which was evidence of just how widespread is opposition to the war. We all
agreed that Bob should not have let the Conspiracy theory DJ speak at the
end and it would have been polite to introduce Steve as a candidate for 2nd
District Congressman even though it was agreed that he would not speak. In
the meantime, since the rally, Steve met with the Central Labor Council and
they had a full and open exchange.
- February 23 Bush Demonstration: The turnout was amazing for a Michiana
demonstration, perhaps 600 folks stretching from Target all the way down to
the entrance to Bethel. It was fortunate that we were on the South Bend side
of the boundary with Mishawaka, since the Mishawaka police might not have
been so tolerant of the demonstrators. Our interactions with the South Bend
police were very positive and they were happy to allow us to protest as long
as we remained safe and did not get in the way of the motorcade. We have noticed
a change in attitude on the part of police passing our Monday vigil since
the 23rd. We noticed that there was not much participation from Goshen and
Elkhart. Paul suggested that we try to have a meeting of anti-war folks from
the three communities (South Bend, Elkhart, and Goshen) after the major demonstrations
are over. Perhaps we could meet in the hall on Nash Rd.
- CLAP project report: There is a drive to urge ND workers to vote for a union.
A prof from IUPUI who was active in the Yale strike may come to speak to gather
community support for the workers. Paul will touch base with CLAP to see how
to coordinate efforts. At this point MPJC will not be actively involved. Carol
has drafted a letter to Fr. Jenkins urging him to abide by Catholic social
teaching and pay ND workers a living wage. We noted that the Church since
Leo XIII has supported the rights of workers to unionize in order to better
their wages and working conditions. Carol was late for the meeting and we
did not have time to discuss the letter which she wants to send to Fr. Jenkins
with MPJC support. Peter will send it out to the list for comment until March
20. She will incorporate the comments and send the letter after that.
- Topic of the Month -- Withdrawal of troops from Iraq: Lee and Ed. J. had
approved Peter's proposed position of immediate withdrawal. Everyone in attendance
approved this position. Peter will reword the position and send it to the
list for final approval at the next meeting
3. Treasurer's Report: The treasurer had class and could not attend. We agreed
to pay the $25 dues to IPJN and also to send $25 to support the March 18th rally
in Indianapolis. Peter will get checks from Glenda Rae.
- March 18th rally in Indianapolis at 1pm: Peter and Lee are thinking of going.
Peter has room for 2 or 3 more people. Everyone Lee talked to was going to Chicago. Peter
has become the Veterans for Peace coordinator for northwest Indiana and VFP is a cosponsor of the rally.
- March 18th events in Chicago: There is an ANSWER rally at noon at Federal
Plaza, a march to Union Park (1501 W. Randolph at Ogden) for a huge rally
at 3pm. At 6pm folks will gather at Walton and State for a march down Michigan
Ave starting at 7pm. We noted that folks would have to drive or stay overnight
in Chicago since the last South Shore train leaves before the march will be
- Town Hall Meeting to showcase alternatives to Bush ideas: The League of
Women Voters and the Landlord Organization is sponsoring a "Meet the Candidate"
evening at 6:30pm at the Elk's Lodge on McKinley on March 23. It was unclear
whether candidates for federal office would be invited. This venue did not
seem to qualify as a town hall meeting, so we talked about planning another
event closer to the May 2nd primary. Because so few MPJC folks attended this
meeting we decided to wait until the next meeting to plan this town hall event.
We need to line up cosponsors such as the candidate organizations and Jobs
- League of Women Voters grant to host an openness in government forum 2-5pm on March 18th in Wiekamp Rm 1001
at IUSB: We noted that this will take place. It conflicts with the 3rd anniversary events.
- April 15-17th Tax Day protest: It will be held on April 17th in the evening. Lois will coordinate this
protest since Peter and Ellyn will be away. Peter will order the leaflets and fold them and make the initial calls.
He will pass the lists to Lois for final calling.
- Other topics and issues: Peter announced that a draft resistance group
asked if they could be a link on the website. Peter will check it out and
Lois asked us to consider walking in the West Side Memorial Day Parade.
Paul suggested that we carry a enlarged version of the Constitution. We may be able to better gauge opposition to the
war from folks reaction to us as we march. We will postpone the decision about marching until the next meeting.
Lois announced an internet-based consensus-building anti-war forum on April 20-21. Folks can log in and be assigned
a small group of internet users to formulate a policy statement. This will be refined over the internet until a
consensus statement is reached.
- Next meeting: The next meeting will be on Tuesday, March 28th at 7:30pm at 1036 N. Niles Ave. Everyone will
talk to folks who have attended in the past so we have a good representation for making decisions.