Minutes for MPJC Meeting of September 1, 2009


Present: Peter, Ellyn, Glenda Rae, Pam, Ron, Rey

Old business
    1.  Approval of Minutes for July 28: The minutes were approved with some typos corrected.

    2. Progress Reports
        a. Hiroshima-Nagasaki protest: Five of us gathered at Morris Civic Plaza between 11:30 and 12:00. We had lots of materials, including a table for collecting signatures to a nuclear nonproliferation treaty, a two-sided flyer remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a large display board with pictures of victims, the bean poll to guage where folks wanted their tax dollar spent, and several large cutouts designed to be stuck in the ground and represent the shadows of Japanese incinerated during the bombing. The Morris manager would not let them be put in the ground, afraid the wind would blow them over, so Rey and Ron carried them around. This turned out to be more effective and elicited some discussion. Lois took around a clipboard containing the petition and Glenda Rae and Peter passed out leaflets. We gave out 150 flyers. The demonstration was termed a success.

        b. International Day of Prayer for Peace: Plans are well underway for this September 21 gathering. There will not be any marches to the County-City building where the event will take place between 11:45 and 1:00pm. Jackie Dickey and Mary Metzler will issue a call to prayer with mid-eastern drumming. This will be followed by a welcome by Karen White and words from David Cortright. Diana Mendelsohn will provide a musical interlude followed by prayers for peace from the Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Buddhist, Baha'i, and Native American traditions. There will be twol musical interludes during the prayers by the Michiana male chorus. Dennis Engbrect will give the benediction. MPJC is one of the cosponsors of this event so we hope a number of us will attend.

        c. Health Care Initiative: There is a Move-on sponsored candlelight vigil at Morris Civic park at 7:30pm on September 2. There will be a rally in Indianapolis on Saturday, September 5. Kathy and some other folks from South Bend will be taking a bus leaving at 6am to attend. There will be a union sponsored Labor Day picnic in Howard Park, Monday, September 7, 4:30-6pm. Ellyn will speak on health care at that event and she will send more details over the list serve. Glenda Rae will bring signs. We will not have our regular Monday vigil that day. There will be a health care reform rally on Friday, September 18, noon-2pm in Gary. More information will be available via the list serv. State representative Jackie Walorski held an anti-health reform town meeting at St. Paul's church. Kay and others were asked to leave because they spoke out in favor of health care reform. Tony gave a good defense of the postal worker health care plan and Pam spoke up to refute untruths about the British system. U.S. representative Souder is absolutely opposed to any kind of health care reform. Donnelly claims to be for reform that helps 2nd district taxpayers, but he won't watch "Sicko." Most of the anti-reform folks are taking this position because they are opposed to Obama. There is not much logic to their positions. The so-called "Patriots for America" held a vigil downtown in mid August. They were greatly outnumbered by a group of 150 pro-reform folks who gathered on the other three corners of Main and Jefferson. Ellyn referred to a report that showed that every single organization representing doctors, even the American College of Surgeons, has come out in favor of reform. She will emphasize this at the Labor Day picnic. Wikipedia has very good explanations, including statistics, of the Canadian health care system.

        d. Tyler Boudreau Bike Trip: Caity organized a reception for Tyler at IUSB on August 15th. Kathy was disappointed by the turnout, but 26 people attended. He gave a good talk and signed books afterwards. Tyler stayed with Kathy and her family while he was in the area. He has now finished his trip, having arrived in Maine.

        e. Topic of the Month: Environmental Issues: Peter has not posted the list of ways to preserve the environment to the website. We decided to drop this topic. The League of Women Voters has a person interested in this topic if we ever decide to pick it up again.

        f. Topic of the Month: Support for Conscientious Objectors: Rey has still not received a return email from Mike Baxter from the Catholic Peace Fellowship to see how we could help. Glenda Rae suggested he go sit on the Catholic Worker porch until Mike agrees to talk to him.

3. Treasurer's Report: Our bank total is $157.95 with $1.76 in petty cash.

New Business

    1. What do we (can we) do next? We will continue with the Monday vigils. We will have a vigil on Saturday, September 5, but none for the rest of September. Glenda Rae had some posters for a film, "Pray the Devil Back to Hell," about how women stopped the violence in Liberia. It will be shown at Notre Dame Fine Arts building at 6:30 and 9:30pm on Saturday, September 12. Reservations are required. It will also be shown at Kern Road Mennonite Church at 7pm on September 20, and Little Flower Catholic church at 7pm on September 25.

We need to start planning for MLK day 2010. We decided to get a table and have information on military recruitment and what becoming a CO entails. We thought perhaps to have the table near the union table so we can steer folks to apprentice programs. We need extroverts to draw people to the table and get them interested. We should have the bean poll again.

    2. Topic of the Month: We decided to develop an MPJC position on U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. Peter will post a request for comment to the list serv.

    3. Other Topics and Issues: We should schedule meetings with Donnelly and Bayh representatives in September. Ellyn will follow up.

    4. Next meeting: The next meeting will be at Peter and Ellyn's on Tuesday, Oct. 6, at 7 pm.