Minutes for MPJC Meeting of October 8, 2008


Present: Rey, Glenda Rae, Lois, Peter, Ellyn, Tom

Old business
    1.  Approval of Minutes for September 8: There were several corrections: the 3rd annual week of nonviolence week is October 10-20, not 1-10. There are only 18 governates in Iraq. The jobs with justice dinner was on September 30. The word legitimately was misspelled in paragraph 5b. With these corrections, the minutes were approved.

    2. Progress Reports
        a. Environmental Issues Topic of the Month: Rey did not bring his notes to the meeting. Peter will remind him for the next meeting.

        b. IPJN report: No one present had any information on IJPN. There has been no email contact with them since the Spring.

        c. Report on events discussed at last meeting: There was no special effort to mark September 27 day of action to stop a war on Iran. Lois and Glenda Rae were the only two at the Saturday vigil that day. The Vote Smart bus came to SMC and had some good information on voting. The "Meet the Candidates" night went well although none of our questions were asked. Donnelly was not able to attend, but sent a representative. The "Bush Legacy" bus came to the space across from Century Center on September19 and had an interesting exhibit. Lois signed up for the million doors for peace project and said that the materials were excellent. She was not able to knock on the doors on September 20, but intends to do so before the election. There were 17-20 folks at the International Day of Peace celebration on September 21. It was very early in the morning to mark noon GMT. Next year, perhaps we should not try to have our celebration occur at noon GMT, but choose a time when more folks can attend.

        d. Voting Policy Topic of the Month: Peter posted our current policy on the list serv asking for help in improving it. No one commented. We decided to give it another month and see what problems will arise from the upcoming elections. We noted that folks are experiencing a caging policy where they lose their homes from mortgage default and have to move, but are unable to update their voter registration information. Glenda Rae thinks they will still be permitted to vote in this election. Note that wearing buttons to vote will violate the voting regulations. Folks should be encouraged to wear a shirt over them or take them off before coming in to vote. Rey noted that early voting is a special form of absentee voting. Ellyn said that organized info about issues and
candidates was not easily available, including on line and in the newspaper,
during Oct when early voting was possible and she didn't know what was on the
ballot. Rey pointed out that there is a table of sample ballots from different precincts on a table at County City building that you can look at before voting. We noted how difficult it is to know the records of judges who are on the ballot to be retained. Perhaps the bar association will provide that record or we can call the person at the YWCA who follows domestic violence cases.

     3. Treasurer's Report: Glenda Rae reported $224.86 in checking and 9.85 in petty cash. She had sent a $50 check for our Jobs with Justice dues to Lee in September.

New Business

    1. What do we (can we) do next?: October 10-20 is the 3rd annual week of nonviolence throughout Iraq to oppose corruption and violence. We will focus our October 11, 13, and 19th vigils on this cause. Peter will sign us up on the peaceful tomorrows website as supporting this effort. For more information contact www.christianpeacewitness.org and www.peacefultomorrows.org and encourage other people to visit these sites. There has been a lack of press coverage at events lately. Apparently, the Tribune has had to cut staff. We discussed writing our own stories and attaching our pictures and submitting these after an event.

    2. Thursday, October 30 - St Marcellus Day: Folks will gather at 1:50pm at the Civil War Monument, Battell Park, 301 Mishawaka Ave in Mishawaka. We will walk and pray for peace along the river from Mishawaka to South Bend. At 4pm we will gather at Seitz park between the East Race and the dam off Niles Ave (rain site Zion United Church of Christ, 715 E. Wayne) for a dramatic reenactment of the St. Marcellus Story along with testimonies of several conscientious objectors. There will be a soup supper at 5:30pm at First Unitarian Church at Michigan and North Shore (10 different kinds of delicious soup). The day will end with a prayer service at 7pm in the Basilica, Notre Dame campus, featuring a keynote address by Fr. Richard Rohr on "A New Consciousness for Peacemaking." See www.cpnv.net or call 574-291-0924 for more information. Rey will call to find out where to park for the 7pm service at Notre Dame.

On Friday, October 31, there will be an all-day workshop with Richard Rohr at Kern Road church. Reservations are required. Call the number above to reserve a place. Over 200 folks have already registered.

    3. Topic of the Month: We will try to clean up the two topics still outstanding. See above.

    4. Other Topics and Issues:

        a. Wednesday, December 3. Countries will sign the recently negotiated treaty to ban cluster bombs. Of the 165 possible signatories, 40 (including the US) are not expected to sign. Obama has indicated support for the treaty, but we need to pressure our Senators to vote to ratify it. A cluster bomb opens in midair releasing 600 bomblets. As these spin they arm themseves, say 500 spins to be fully armed and explode. 80% explode and kill anything within a 3 football field area. The other 20% land and wait for someone to pick them up and swing them around (they are perfectly suited to attract kids to do this). Then they explode killing or maiming the kids. 90% of the casualties from cluster bombs are civilians. Rey handed out postcards to send to our senators seeking support for elimination of this deadly weapon.

        b. Wednesday, December 10. 60th anniversary of the ratification of the Declaration of Human Rights. There will be a celebration in South Bend on Saturday, December 6. Email michianasocialforum@gmail.com or call (574) 807-1349 for more information.

        c. Tuesday, November 18. Community Forum.

        d. Vigil discipline: We discussed the issue of folks yelling at passersby at our Monday vigil. Folks who attend the vigil are asked to abide by our discipline for peace demonstrations which is posted on the website and which states in part that "We will not be violent in our attitude, make hostile remarks, shout or call names. " After much discussion, we decided remind folks about this discipline as necessary.

    5. The meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:35pm. Folks stayed and chatted until 9:00pm

    6. Next meeting: Wednesday, November 19, at 1036 N. Niles Ave.