Minutes for MPJC meeting for May 24.
Present: Dustin, Mary Jo, Lois, Zae, Kathy, Lee, Ben, Peter
- Approval of Minutes: The minutes for the May 3rd meeting were approved.
- Progress Reports
- IPJN report: The next project for the network is military recruiting
in the high schools. The coordinator, Sheila Rosenthal, is still trying
to pull a meeting together.
- Sheila Provencher's Speaking Engagement: Peter had arranged to get
St. Augustine's Parish Hall for a potluck on Wednesday, June 22, but found
out Sheila was unavailable that day. The group felt that Monday, the 20th,
would be the best day that week. Peter and Lois will work on the venue
and publicity for this event to follow the regular Monday vigil. Lois
is trying to get Sheila to speak at the CWIL conference June 27 - July
- MPJC Position on Torture: Zae read the proposed statement which had
been promulgated to the email list by Ed C. It was approved as read. Peter
will put it on the web. Generally, we thought there was little controversy
about total opposition to torture.
- Website Changes - Mission statement, Positions on Draft and Withdrawal,
Cost of War Brochure: Everyone who had looked at the website liked the
changes. Peter passed out an updated Cost of War copy and folks liked
it except for the spacing on the front. Peter will correct this and print
enough copies on pink paper to pass out on Mondays and when we table at
- Alternative Media Sources Collection Effort: Zae has collected a long
list of alternative web news sources. She will collate them and send them
to Peter for inclusion on the links page on the website.
- Iraqi trade unionists visit: Nothing further on this. Lee emphasized
that MPJC would play only a support role in this effort and would not
be asked for money.
- Report on the May 7 March and Rally: No one at the meeting had attended,
but Lee said it drew about 150 folks and was successful.
- Student Volunteer for July-August: Zae will contact Paul to check on
progress. He was to coordinate with the student.
- Treasurers Report: We have $377.89 in the bank and $14.85 in cash.
- Relationship between Donnelly and MPJC: Dustin and Kathy had attended a
progressive democrats meeting in Indianapolis and on the drive they discussed
how to bring Joe Donnelly (our 2006 democratic candidate for Congress) up
to speed on issues of peace and justice, especially about the War in Iraq.
They thought it would be good for him to meet with small groups to help him
form his positions. It will not be enough for him to use soundbites in the
next campaign since he needs to get folks excited about him so they will come
to the polls in spite of the hassles of procuring a special ID to vote next
time. Kathy felt that meeting with the whole steering committee would be too
intimidating, so we decided to let our press contacts Zae and Ed fill him
in initially. Hopefully, later he will feel comfortable meeting with us. To
make sure that our message gets out during the primary campaign, we decided
to encourage Ed C. to run against Donnelly.
- No Child Left Behind Issue: Peter had attended a nonviolence training day
last Saturday, sponsored by the Center for Peace and Nonviolence. This group
is taking up the issue of military recruitment in the secondary schools, particularly
trying to get parents to opt out of the requirements that schools pass on
the names addresses, phone numbers, and GPA's of all students to the military.
There is a national protest day on this issue on June 1. We felt that Washington
and Riley high schools need our attention since military recruitment of minorities
is emphasized there. Someone mentioned a new nonviolence student group starting
at Washington. MPJC was interested in picking up on this issue during the
summer and next fall. Ben mentioned that one way to hamper recruitment is
to have peace studies students sign up for all the slots on the military recruiting
schedule and then discuss with the recruiter why war is wrong. This tactic
has forced the military to stop recruiting at Manchester College.
- MPJC position on Nuclear Weapons and Power: The email discussion was very
rich on this topic. Peter thought there were three separate topics here: Nuclear
Weapons, Nuclear Power, and Depleted Uranium. He will try to condense the
discussion into an MPJC position on each of these. Folks wanted us to talk
about what we were for, not just what we were against.
- Other topics and issues
- United for Peace and Justice March and Rally: There will be a massive
march and rally to end the war in Iraq and bring the troops home now in
Washington, DC, on Saturday, September 24. We need to decide how to respond.
There will be grassroots training on September 25, and mass CD on September
- Monday Vigil: We will be out at the Federal Building on Memorial Day.
It was suggested that we make some new signs in honor of this day.
- Saturday Vigil: Zae will be away for six weeks starting June 25. Peter
volunteered to announce the Saturday vigil for that day, and hopefully
Ed C. can help with some of the other Saturdays. Since Zae brings a carload
of vigilers with her each week, we need to talk up this vigil to maintain
a good showing over the summer.
- Ellyn asked us to open communication with the Grand Rapids peace group.
We took no action on this proposal.
- The next Topic of the Month will be Voter Reform: Some ideas were justice
at the polls, new voter ID, making more extensive use of absentee ballot,
etc. Dustin agreed to pose the question to the email list.
- St. Joe Valley Project mailing: We received a bill from the St. Joe
Valley Project for annual dues of $50 and an invitation to the annual
dinner in September. We belong to this Project because of our membership
in Jobs with Justice. Lee will check on whether our dues to JWJ covers
our dues to the Project and report back at next meeting. Until then we
will just hold on to the bill.
- West Side All-West reunion: From June 30 to July 4, there will be a
50 year anniversary festival at Charles Black center. We decided to staff
a table on one of those days and hand out literature on the cost of war,
our speakers list, counter-recruitment, social security info, voter registration
and voter ID. The booth rental is $50 per day, but Lois will try to get
them to reduce the cost for informational booths.
- Social Security Reform: At the recent League of Women Voters social
security forum, there was a Republican plant at every table to ask aggressive
and sometimes hostile questions of the speaker, Marty Wolfson. We need
to be aware that the republicans are organizing for an all-out effort.
There will be a public town hall meeting about social security reform
on June 7 at the main Library Auditorium sponsored by Americans United
to Preserve Social Security. We all need to call Chocola's office inviting
hime to attend. If he does not come they will set up an empty chair in
- Next meeting: Tuesday, June 21, at 1036 N. Niles Ave.