Minutes for MPJC Meeting of September 13, 2013

Present: Peter, Ellyn, Glenda Rae, Rey, Jenny, Wanda, Galen

Old business

    1.  Approval of Minutes forJuly 18: The minutes were approved as corrected. Peter noted that Jenny will be the Peace Education Fund Vice President, Glenda Rae has filed the annual epostcard with the IRS, and the Lincoln Way West cleanup committee is no longer interested in using this fund. However, John offered the fund to the Fracking group.

    2. Progress Reports

        a. Topic of the Month: Immigration - Peter brought a copy of the currently revised MPJC Resolution on Immigration to the meeting. It can be found at michianapeacejustice.net/immigration.html. We focused on the wording of bullet point 4. Rey suggested adding the phrase "with an emphasis on literacy." to the end of the first sentence in the second paragraph of the bulleted point, and deleting the second sentence which was confusing. This was approved and Peter will make the change on the web. Jenny will add wording about the effects of Free Trade Agreements and Peter will send the completed statement to the list serv for comments. Rey commented that with the advent of TransPacific Partnerships (TPP), corporations will be completely unregulated. It may make little difference what Free Trade Agreements say.

        b. Hiroshima/Nagasaki Events: Lois, Rey and Pam coordinated and staffed this event on Friday, August 9 during the music by the fountain series at the Jon Hunt Plaza. They had a table, held a banner, passed out leaflets wore a sandwich board and, in general, called attention to this horrific event in our history.

        c. Topic of the Month: Fracking - Rey described the process. Conventional gas drilling is through a vertical well which is unable to tap gas pockets surrounding the well position. That gas is found in lesser concentrations than found in the original well. To access those peripheral pockets, horizontal drilling is extended from the original vertical shaft. That shaft is then lined with concrete. Explosives are are set off at the far end of the horizontal shaft, thus fracturing the shale. (This process is where the name "fracking" comes from).Then massive amounts of water, sand, and chemicals are forced down the main shaft into the rock, further opening the fractures, and forcing the gas into the vertical well where it can be captured. The sand remains in the fractures keeping them open for the gas to flow. In some cases, after a well will no longer profitably yield gas, after some time, the concrete casing may leak. Whatever chemicals are not captured eventually pollute the ground water so all the water wells in the area become toxic. The companies will not reveal what the chemicals are. Even if the well casings remain intact, the wastewater with chemicals is routinely stored in open above ground retention ponds. The danger of this method was recently demonstrated in the Colorado floods. We decided to join the Americans Against Fracking group, which puts us on record as being against fracking. Peter will do this. Rey and Glenda Rae will prepare a draft statement on fracking and put it out on the list serv for comment.

        d. Topic of the month: Drones - Ellyn had prepared a draft and sent it to the list for comment. A couple of people suggested changes and Peter printed out the statement and brought it to the meeting. We thought that it was generally a good statement, but a paragraph about what MPJC position should be needs to be moved near the beginning of the document, perhaps following the sentence: "While there are good civilian uses for drones, we decry their military uses." A couple of other suggested changes were to change "Roman" to "ancient" before war chariots in the 7th paragraph and insert "a great distance away" after "pilot" in the first paragraph, deleting the rest of the sentence. Ellyn will make the changes and sent the draft out again for comment. Wanda urged us to get and read the book "Dirty Wars" by Jeremy Scahill, which describes how our special forces are working for the CIA committing atrocities and provoking war.

    3. Treasurer's Report: Our bank total is now $121.04 with $5.11 in petty cash.

New Business

    1. What do we (can we) do next? We incorporated this topic into other discussion

    2. Syria Vigil: We had a good turnout for this vigil on Monday, September 9, to protest the possible bombing of Syria. We counted 35 people, 30 not counting the media which turned out in force. We got stories on Channels 16, 22, 28, and the Tribune. We put one of the pictures on the website. We want to emphasize negotiating a ceasefire and stopping the U.S. from giving weapons to the rebels. Galen mentioned the slippery slope of U.S. military training the rebels. That is the way the Vietnam war started with "U. S. advisors" training the South Vietnam military.

    3. International Day of Peace Statement re Education: Lois had reminded Ellyn that September 21 was International Day for Prayer for Peace. The United Religious Coalition which has conducted services on this day for several years was not able to do anything this year. Lois was going to send information from the UN about the emphasis this year on Sept. 21 for education. Here is a quote from Ban Ki-moon: "It is not enough to teach children how to read, write and count. Education has to cultivate mutual respect for others and the world in which
we live, and help people forge more just, inclusive and peaceful societies." Ellyn did not get the reference from Lois before the meeting, and everyone was busy on the 21st, so we decided not to do anything as an organization. However, Lois got an idea after the meeting, without knowing about this decision, to have a table with a sign and flyers at the Farmers Market starting at 7:00am on Saturday. She is asking anyone who can help to call her at 574-231-8971.

    4. Topic of the Month: We decided to continue to work on the Immigration, Drones, and Fracking topics.

    5. Other Topics and Issues: Frack Free Michiana will meet at 6:30pm at the River Park Branch Library on September 26 to watch some video on the subject. The group has been meeting on the second and fourth Thursday of the month.

350.org has named September 21 as national day of protest re the pipeline. The closest rally point for us is Chicago. There will be an action in Indianapolis as well.

The local branch of the NAACP will host a fundraising luncheon on October 4.

There will be an Immigration rally on October 18. More info at the next meeting.

    6. Next meeting: Thursday, October 10th at 7pm. Place to be determined depending on whether Wanda and Galen get their repairs finished by then.