Minutes for 06/23/03

Present: Rey, Carol, Ellyn, Lois, Peter, Caroline, Brad, and Paul
  1. Forum to dialog with folks from across the street: we discussed how to engage the folks across the street at our Monday vigils in dialog. Caroline has a friend who recently left the navy and who is enthused by the way the armed services help people in countries in which they are stationed (e.g. by building homes and clinics, repairing roads, providing water, etc.). He is willing to help us with a forum which would allow both sides to express their views and listen to one another. Several people were skeptical that any of the folks on the other side would attend such a forum even if they received personal invitations. We decided to ask them this question next week. If anyone shows interest, Ellyn, Lois, Caroline, and Brad will meet to plan details for such a forum.

  2. Vigil themes: We noted that the support we had at one time from the churches seems to have dissipated. Even though some pastors support peace and justice issues, there seems to be little discussion of these ideas from the pulpit or in meetings of the congregations. We suggested that we pick one Sunday in the fall (say October 5, which is the start of Keep space for Peace week) to try to get many of the churches actively discussing peace, justice and war. Carol, Lois, Peter and Brad will work on this.

    We decided to keep up the weekly vigils as the support is still strong. We will each keep aware of the issues in the news and try to prepare appropriate signs to keep the message fresh. Also, in the Fall we may plan some vigils with specific themes to draw specific constituencies to participate in the vigils (e.g., a vigil with a religious theme).

  3. Vote in Moveon.org primary: We encouraged everyone to vote in the Moveon democratic primary today and tomorrow and briefly discussed some of the candidates. Braun, Dean, Kusinich, and Sharpton has the support of at least one of the folks present. Statements by each of the candidates can be accessed from the moveon.org web site. Paul agreed to pull together these statements with other pertinent info and post it to the listserv.

    Should MPJC support a candidate? We decided that it would be divisive and counterproductive to try to endorse a candidate at this early stage. Perhaps in the weeks before the democratic convention, the choices will have narrowed and we can revisit this issue. We raised the question of how committed are we to defeating Bush; i.e., would we work for any democratic candidate no matter what his or her stand on the issues?

  4. Impeachment of Bush - Sign Petition: Even though it is almost certain that the Republican Congress would never bring articles of impeachment against Bush, it doesn't take much to sign a petition and talk of impeachment is a way to keep the issues of the way Bush and company misled the people about reasons for invading Iraq alive and before the Congress and media.

  5. Reconciliation between Ed and Brad: Our listserv protagonists have met and reconciled, agreeing to disagree about their different stands on pacifism. They intend to put out a joint statement over the listserv soon. We noted that this should encourage others to take strong stands and give strong arguments on the listserv, understanding that activists generally have thick skins. We wanted to make sure that Kay had put a disclaimer at the bottom of each message that goes out on the listserv. Some were concerned about the recent violent language against the president on the part of one of the contributors to the listserv, but we figured that the FBI would realize that he is powerless to carry out his threats. We rejected any formal censorship by the listserv moderator, but thought it appropriate to challenge his views in a message.

  6. Meeting time and day: Mondays are not a great day for meetings for some people, so we decided to try Tuesdays. After much discussion, we tentatively set Tuesday, July 15, as the next meeting date.

The meeting adjourned at 8:35 p.m.