Minutes for MPJC Meeting of August 29, 2007


Present: Lois, Peter, Ellyn, Kathy

Old business
    1.  Approval of Minutes for August 1: The minutes were approved as written.

    2. Progress Reports
        a. Donnelly/Bayh Meetings: Ellyn and Lois met with Donnelly at Martin's to ask him to sponsor a night when nonviolent groups could recruit young people, similar to the event at Covaleski where the military did the recruiting. He said he would look into it.

Kathy and Pam along with 40 others or so met with Bayh at Crown Point. There was much controversy about security and the question ground rules. Oneof the attendees sent a long email to the list which Kathy said was accurate. Bayh agreed to another meeting in the next six months, perhaps in D.C. WAND will meet with him at their lobby day as part of their national conference in D.C. in early October. The attendees pushed him to speak out on the Senate floor against the war as Lugar has been doing. He said he would.

        b. Tabling at Summer Events (Lois): Lois had a table at the Arts Festival in mid-July, but almost no one attended the festival. Lois did engage in a few good discussions however and felt it was worth it. Others wondered if we should put effort into this event in the future because this is the second year of low attendance. We owe Studio arts $25 for the table and we agreed to ask Glenda Rae to pay it.

Lois had a table at the Howard Park Night against Violence event right next to the Democratic Committee table. She got some signatures on our petition to our Congressmen for withdrawal from Iraq and had good discussions even though the heat cut into the attendance.

        c. Universal Health Care Topic of the Month (Caroline): Caroline was not able to attend and had not sent a statement for us to look at. Perhaps next meeting.

        d. IPJN report (Kathy): Kathy said that IPJN was trying to get all the groups throughout the state to do something on September 21. This is the international day of peace and Lois has big plans for us (See below). Sept.21st is the first of the monthly 3rd Friday moratorium days against the Iraq war. Also on October 27th, there will be a big regional gathering in Chicago and in 8 other locations throughout the country. We hope there will be busses and vans from South Bend, and we are looking into traveling on the South Shore. There is a new website for IPJN - www.networkforpeace.org where most activities are listed.

        e. Cure gun buy-back (Glenda Rae): This was very successful, so much so that they ran out of certificates. They are looking for people to donate more money. Send a check to Healthy Families Initiative, c/o Chamber of Commerce, 401 E. Colfax St., South Bend, 46601.

      f. Arlington Midwest tombstone project (Kathy): This will be held from Thursday, August 30 to Sunday, September 2 in front of Holy Cross Village along Route 933. There will be 3,700 crosses 24 deep along 700 feet of frontage and also sections for Indiana and Michigan war dead, a section for suicides of military personnel, and a circle with posts holding the names of some of the 650,000 Iraqi civilians killed in the war. Brother Bob has given us permission to use the site and has been very supportive. There will be a banner stating "Arlington Midwest - The Human Cost of War" on the north end of the exhibit. Peter will take care of erecting it. Kathy will do PR for the event. The Ohio folks will park the truck over the weekend at Kathy's sister's house. They will go back to Toledo and return on Sunday. Kathy estimates that the truck expenses will be $600.00 with an additional $200 for upkeep of the exhibit. MPJC has contributed $200. WAND will contribute $200. We still need $400 to break even. The Sheriff's department and the city police will drive by for security.

On Sunday morning,there will be an interdenominational prayer service at 7:30am at the site. Lois is coordinating this event which will kick off the month of September dedicated to bringing peace to the world. There are a dozen persons and organizations coordinating this month-long effort. Some of the participants in the prayer service are the interdenominational ministerial alliance, Holy Cross Brothers, Imam from mosque, Baha'i, Buddhist, and Jewish congregations, Peace churches, and others. Mayors of South Bend and Mishawaka will be preparing proclamations. The service will end with folks singing "World Peace Prayer."

        g. Hiroshima/Nagasaki vigil (Lois): This coincided with the night without violence (See above). She had Hiroshima signs and banners.

        h. August 28th vigils (Ellyn): The one at Morris was very successful with about 50 participants. Folks held signs along the highway and listened to the role call of dead soldiers from this year. Melies did a nice job organizing and facilitating the vigil.

The Goshen vigil drew 60 folks. The weather was perfect.

    3. Treasurer's Report: Glenda Rae was not there.

New Business

    1. Website poll (Kay): This topic was tabled at the last meeting and will not be brought up until someone raises it again.

    2. International Day (Lois): September 21 is International Day of Peace. The World Council of Churches is pushing for a 24-hour ceasefire throughout the world on September 21. Everyone is to offer a prayer for peace at noon GMT on that day. There are several projects and venues planned for that day. The Whirled Peace Committee is planning to make pinwheels throughout the month of September, collect them at the CROP walk, and ship them to Africa at the end of the month. There will be a flyer at Arlington Midwest describing this project. The South Bend and Mishawaka school city art directors plan to incorporate the pinwheel making into the school curriculum. The South Bend Library will help get pencils and thumbtacks to make the pinwheels and will dedicate the Story Hour on September 21st to making pinwheels. Women at St. Margaret's house and the Catholic Worker will also help.

Art Beat will be held near the East Race from 4-8:30pm on September 6. Ellyn will try to get a table where we could encourage children and others to make pinwheels. She will email Joe Tashetta and Kay to see if they can spare some room at their sites. Pam had offered to arrange a venue for us at Art Beat earlier in the summer. MPJC agreed to take on the Art Beat venue as our contribution to the International Day of Peace events.

Another project is to take brown paper sacks and paste 10x2" strips on each with something about peace printed on them (10 words or less). Holes will be put in the top and they will be hung from trees and bushes. The wind will carry the message. The women at St. Margaret's house and Catholic Worker will help with this project also.

    3. Vigils at Donnelly's office (Peter): Ellyn put a request for folks interested in coming to such a vigil and only Ted responded. With all we have to do in September, we won't plan to start a vigil at the office until the next meeting.

    4. Review where we have been and where we are going re war refusal (Ellyn): We seem to have plenty to do so did not spend any time on this topic.

    5. Topic of the Month: We ran out of time before getting to this topic

    6. Other topics and issues: On Thursday, August 30, Donnelly is sponsoring an evening at Covaleski where young people can meet with representatives from the Armed Forces. We debated picketing this event but felt we were overextended. Donnelly has agreed to do another such event with representatives of VISTA, and volunteer groups working nonviolently for social change. We will hold him to this promise and also find ways for young student activists to talk to us and to each other - similar to the coffee house efforts of a few years ago.

    7. Next meeting: Tuesday, September 25.