Minutes for September 14, 2004 Meeting

Present: Lois, Zae, Roz, Paul, Caroline, Ellyn, Peter, Rey, Glenda Rae

Old Business

  1. We approved the minutes from the August 29th meeting and confirmed the plan to switch the listserv to Notre Dame under the condition that we send notice by email to the list a week in advance and transfer all the members from the old to new list. Kay and Kevin will work on the change.

  2. The Jobs with Justice banquet is Thursday, September 30. The cost is $25 per person for 2 or more people. Contact Lee at 287-8377 for tickets or information. We collected almost enough money to pay for JWJ membership ($50) and to take out a half page ad in their banquet booklet ($50). Glenda Rae made up the difference from personal funds. We did not take any money from the bank account.

  3. We discussed the open letter to candidates for elective office. See below. This is the petition we discussed changing at the last meeting. Caroline had updated it and we made some changes at the meeting. (We added CAFTA, to point 5, and the phrase "a climate of fear" to point 3. We suggested that this letter be used as an instrument to engage peoplein discussion. I.e., "If you want to know what the peace and justice community think on the issues, take a look at this letter. We hope to pressure the candidates to take up these issues." We hoped folks would print off this letter and distribute it to campus groups, political campaign workers, passers-by at the Monday vigils, and as many others as possible.

  4. We discussed the "Get out the Vote -- Vote out Bush" event for late October. we decided to hold it in the green in front of the Morris Auditorium starting at 6:30pm on Friday, October 29th. We would ask people to bring candles, banners, and signs, so passing cars would know what we were about. We intended it as a gathering of folks committed to regime change so we could encourage each other to get out and vote the next Tuesday. We have no planned agenda or speeches. Peter will frame up a leaflet and Paul will edit it. We will publish it on the list for approval and make it available for download from the website. Everyone is encouraged to pass the word. The Center for Peace and Nonviolence has scheduled a weekend conference for that weekend. If anyone has details about this and how we could dovetail it with the Oct 29th gathering, please send email to the list.

New Business

  1. Rey brought up the Military draft bill which is before the Armed Services Committee. Information on this bill was sent out on the list last week. The wesite holding the wording is http://thomas.loc.gov/ We noted that we need to think about gearing up for draft counseling. The Pax Christi group at Notre Dame and particularly Fr. Mike Baxter is a good resource on Conscientious Objection. The discussion branched out to military recruitment in the high schools (the current de-facto draft of the poor). Zae thought her daughter could find out more about the military in the schools as she is a freshman at Clay. Paul urged her to hook up with the peace group at IUSB as many of them have just graduated from the South Bend high schools. We decided to watch the situation and investigate providing high school students with information about alternatives to military service.

  2. Roz asked if she could say she is a member of MPJC when she wrote to ask Amnesty International to investigate the case of Abraham Berloc(sp), a Kurdish restaurant owner in southwestern Michigan, who has been held without counsel by the Deptment of Homeland Security since late July. We saw no problem with Roz giving her MPJC membership information to AI, but noted that the case was quite complicated and wished that groups advocating his release would provide complete information so each of us could decide whether to support his cause.

  3. Next Meeting. We will meet at 1036 N. Niles on Tuesday, October 12. It will be announced via the List Serv and at the weekly vigil.

Open Letter to Candidates for Elective Office