Minutes for MPJC meeting for July 19.

Present: Lee, Peter, Paul, Ellyn, Rey, Ed C., Elyse, Jackie

Old Business

  1. Approval of Minutes: The minutes for the June 21st meeting were approved.

  2. Progress Reports

    1. MPJC table at CWIL conference and West Side Reunion: Peter set up and took down the table at the CWIL conference. Our banner was clearly displayed, but no one monitored the table. There was not much literature disbursed. Peter set up the table at the West Side reunion and again our banner was clearly visible. Dustin staffed the table on Friday and had some interest, although the attendance was nothing like Juneteenth, which he had tabled for the Democratic Party. Liz and Brenna staffed the table on Saturday and provided the dropoff point for literature and banner for all three days. There was not much business on Saturday. Rey staffed the table on Sunday and had some observations: 1) The best way to reach the African American community is through the churches; 2) Verbal communication is much more effective than providing literature; 3) If we want to interest this community, we need to support their events and issues. Ed C. mentioned doing presentations in African American churches but we need to contact pastors on this. Paul suggested talking to the Political Elders group which had been active during the elections. If we table again next year, the organizer said we would not have to pay.

    2. Response to Darfur Genocide: Liz and Brenna have shown their DVD at several places during the past month and all who have seen it thought it was very powerful. They decided to have a presence with leaflets and a banner at the Sunday afternoon music programs at Seitz park. Last Sunday was the first time and, according to Elyse, they got a good reception. They were not allowed to leaflet in the audience, but stood in the parking lot across the bridge and leafletted the folks walking over to the concert. Someone came to get flyers and passed them out to folks sitting near them. We decided to publicize this ongoing leafletting on the website.

    3. MPJC Statement on Voting: Dustin did not attend the meeting and had not sent out a summary of the positions on this issue to the listserv for final comments. We will encourage him to do so.

    4. Student Volunteer for July-August: Elyse went to Shiela's talk on July 10th, has been attending Monday vigils, worked with Brenna on the Darfur leafletting, and can help with the tabling at the July 24th art fair from 1 to 3. She has talked to Paul and has ideas to bring back to Ball State to invigorate her peace group there. Paul will come down to speak to the Ball State group.

    5. No Child Left Behind issue: Peter described what the Center for Pace and Nonviolence is doing on the counter recruitment issue. They have scheduled an August 18th planning session and pizza party at 7pm at Prince of Peace Church (Cleveland and Ironwood) for leaders among high school youth. They asked for our support to contact high-school-aged folks. We agreed to focus on this issue in the fall and to publicize the August 18th meeting on the website. They plan to invite the Dowagiac students to speak. Shouldn't Cathy Liggett or her son also be invited? Paul suggested the Riley high school Latino Student Union as a good contact since one of the members had a parent who worked with Cesar Chavez. The slogan CPNV chose was "Protect our Youth / Let Me Decide," figuring the first clause would appeal to parents and the second to high school students. Paul warned that the schools are very authoritarian and think young people have no constitutional rights. He came to talk with a student group at Washington and was not alowed into the school. One of our folks was arrested a few years ago at Washington High for passing out info outside the school on the No Child Left Behind Act.

      We thought that it would be best if all the high school student leaders coordinated efforts for a same-day push to get students to fill out the opt-out form. That way the media could be alerted and if there was any attempt to prevent them from doing this, it would get coverage. Ellyn was concerned that the forms could be used to discriminate against the students who filled them out when it came time to ask for letters of recommendation for college, but Paul said that the college faculty in the group could write these letters. The students get to choose who to ask for letters. We should inform them of this option when they sign the opt-out form. Lee had sent an IPJN counter recruitment flyer to be put on the web, but Peter had not done so. It is now a link from the word "counter recruitment" on the main page.

    6. Meetings with Chocola/Bayh reps: Over the last two days, Ellyn and a small group of MPJC folks had met with Chocola's representative Marcus Barlow and Bayh's representative Hodge Patel to urge withdrawal of troops, bases, and trash from Iraq, and remind them of the money being wasted by the war that could be used for many things, among them health care for veterans. In each case another staff member sat in. Neither was sympathetic with our urging them to set an early date for withdrawal from Iraq. Chocola's reps were much more argumentative. We decided that is good to keep talking to them in case they are not reading our weekly letters. They can't say they were not informed about the disaster that U.S. policy in Iraq is causing both at home and in Iraq. We also spoke to Hodge against repeal of the estate tax (Bayh is against permanent repeal) and the need to withdraw support from international companies doing business in Sudan.

    7. September 24-26 National Iraq War Protest: Lee had several conference calls on this issue in recent days. The Indiana Peace and Justice Network is planning to bus folks to Washington for the rally on the 24th and stay for the civil disobedience on the 26th. They anticipate the cost will be $100-125 per person. Also, the network has decided to set up a formal dues structure and to plan for another peace summit April 7-9, 2006, at IUPUI in Indianapolis. The theme is "Speaking Peace: the Courage to be Nonviolent." We felt that the bus cost was too high to get much local participation in the DC event and Chicago had nothing planned. Paul proposed we host a major event in South Bend on September 24th and invite folks from northern Indiana and southern Michigan. Lee and Paul will spearhead this effort after early August. Peter will put a proposal on the listserv to get ideas about what type of event should be planned.

  3. Treasurer’s Report: The treasurer was absent.

New Business

  1. Honking at the Vigils: This issue was raised at the last meeting from news stories about police ticketing motorists in other cities who honked in response to signs "Honk for Peace." This happened in a residential neighborhood. Rey had talked earlier to an assistant city attorney who said that honking near a busy intersection like the federal building (and presumably Grape road) would not be considered a violation of the noise ordinance. So we will continue to ask folks to honk for peace.

  2. Hiroshima Day activities: Since August 6th is a Saturday, we will have some signs and banners calling attention to the 60th anniversary of the Hiroshima bomb, and remember Nagasaki at the Monday vigil on the 8th. Lois will try to have peace cranes for both events.

  3. July 24th Art Fair table: We have accepted an invitation to have a literature table at the art fair across from the Charles Martin center from 1 to 6 this Sunday. Peter will set up the table. Elyse can be there from 1 to 3. Lois can stay to the end. Rey volunteered to be there as well and to teach kids how to fold peace cranes. Lois is learning how to fold them from library books. Peter will break down the table. We will display the banner.

  4. Topic of the Month: Jackie is sponsoring a September 10-11 millenium review summit, entitled "End War, End Poverty, Support Multinationalism through the UN," at the Kroc Institute which, among other things, will be dealing with U.S. response to International Law. We decided to discuss this as our topic of the month and Jackie will send a message to the listserv formulating this topic and soliciting responses. Peter will send her samples of past messages to this effect.

  5. Other topics and issues

    1. Aftercare for Indiana through Mentoring (AIM): Rey had become involved with this group which works with post-release adolescents. Their goal is to set them on a constructive path with their incarceration left behind. One of the suggestions made to these young people is enlistment in the armed services. We should try to set up a relationship with the employment office to help them find better options than military service.

    2. Sign making get together: Our signs are again showing signs of wear. Perhaps Zae will host another sign making party when she gets back. Ed offered to do it if if would be hard for Zae.

    3. Ellyn asked that the issue of a Dept. of Peace ala Kuchinich's proposal be a topic for discussion at a meeting or for monthly topic.....Janet indicated that she would be interested in such a discussion as well.

  6. Next meeting: Tuesday, August 16. Can someone offer to host this meeting as Peter and Ellyn will be away?