Minutes for MPJC Meeting of June 8, 2010


Present: Peter, Carol, Bill, Glenda Rae, Rey, Ellyn, Bernie

Old business
    1.  Approval of Minutes for May 20: The minutes were approved after a couple of corrections. Under "Other Topics and Issues," the May 22 entry should read "there will be a Mamas Against Violence community walk..." The June 17th entry should indicate the sponsorship of a Summer Peacemakers Potluck at 6pm at the shelter in Keller Park on Riverside Drive. The other CPNV project is a year-long (not summer) project to teach young people how to practice nonviolence.

    2. Progress Reports
        a. Topic of the Month: Food Justice: Peter lost the electronic version of this topic and was not able to correct it and send it out to the list. Rey will look for his email and Glenda Rae will find the printed version from the last meeting. After this, we will get it out to the list for objections before posting it on the website. Rey noted that both BP and Johnson & Johnson are recent examples of corporations not paying attention to the environment.

        b. Topic of the Month: Nonviolent Resistance to Corporate Influence: We noted that all oil companies pollute, but we need their oil to get around and transport our goods and food. Carol mentioned reading a recent book, "Empire of Illusions," by Chris Hedges where he exposes the frightening power of Corporations. She was especially appalled by how much they have taken over our schools. We will continue with this topic for another month, attempting to develop a position paper.

        c. Memorial Day Parade: A smashing success. We were float 106 (not 102 as indicated in the previous minutes). The decorations and signs were perfect - kudos to Lois! Ellyn convinced David James to cut a CD with some good songs to play from the truck during the parade and also lend us his sound equipment to broadcast the music. He forgot to give Rey the CD, but we simply played Pete Seeger's "Bring them Home." over and over. The people watching the parade lip synced the words, clapped, and cheered us on. There were no cat-calls or jeers. Bernie, Ron, Lois, and Rey rode in the truck and Carol, Bill, and others carried the banner in front. We decided to do it again next year, perhaps choosing a different parade.

        d. IPJN News: Rey gets all the emails from this group. Peter signed up but does not use Yahoo email, so doesn't think to check the Yahoo Groups website very often. To learn about IJPN look at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ipjn or their website at http://www.ipjn.org/. There will be a conference in September involving a recent Indy member of the military as one of the speakers. They have a new website coming online with a blog containing a number of extensive postings. Many of the listserv participants are very vocal on the Israeli blockade.

3. Treasurer's Report: Our bank total is $190.02 with $11.32 in petty cash. We paid $50 to St. Joe Valley Project for dues. We agreed to pay $25 to continue our membership in IPJN. We also decided to send David James a $25 check in appreciation for his help with the Memorial Day parade and for making the CD which we will ask for.

New Business

    1. What do we (can we) do next? August 6th is a Friday this year and there will be music over the lunch hour in front of Morris Auditorium. We decided to ask Lois to spearhead a repeat of our efforts last year.

    2. Signs opposing violence in recent Gaza aid shipments: We had a lengthy and heated discussion on this issue. Many folks, both liberal and conservative thought that Israel should have let the ships through, thus diffusing the situation. The blockade runners had a PR victory. The result has been a hardening of public opinion against Israel, and now Egypt has opened its checkpoints to aid to Gaza, possibly permanently. We debated what the signs should say and agreed on "Peace and Justice in Gaza" and "Israel & Gaza, Soften Hard Line.". Some folks wanted to blame Hamas for harassing Israel, and others blamed the settlers and Israeli troops on the West Bank for making Palestinian lives so miserable, with home demolitions, walling off farmland and olive groves, and harassing young school children on their way to school, that Palestinians are joining Hamas. Ellyn will make the signs.

    3. Topic of the Month: We decided to continue with the topic of Corporate influence in politics

    4. Other Topics and Issues: At the June 17th potluck, folks are supposed to pass out our Cost of War brochure. Peter will find the masters and Ellyn will run them off.

    5. Next meeting: The next meeting will be on Thursday, July 22, at 7pm at 1036 N. Niles Ave., South Bend.