Minutes for 10/21/02

Meeting at Fiddler’s Hearth after Monday Vigil
Present: Gene H., Paul M., Caroline D.,Ed J., Megan R (ND), Paul (ND)

Next Meeting 6:15 at Fiddler’s Hearth - Oct 28- after vigil (All invited)

At the meeting there were a number of substantial and organizational issues taken up. I. We discussed the need for planning activities for the future, especially because the weather is going to make the weekly vigils a problem in the very near future. We decided that we should try to do a major indoor event before Christmas and there were two paths we discussed. A. First, we could try to get a big name such as Howard Zinn or Jesse Jackson. We will try to find out about their availability. B. Second, we could have a teach-in format which would draw upon local experts and there were a number of names suggested including George Lopez and David Cartwright from the Crock Institute for Peace Studies at ND, Pat Gaffney (ND) and Becky Trostrick (IUSB) who are anthopologists specializing in the Mid-East.

II. There will be a small number of people going from South Bend to Washington for the October 26 demonstration. They will go on the Chicago buses. Anyone still interested should contact Gene Hunter ASAP.

We will continue these discussions at the next meeting.

II. We talked about the overall context of the Peace movement and how we can see by the slowing down of the drive to war owed something to the continued activity of the Peace movement. It is pretty clear that primarily due to the resistance to Bush on the part of the UN Security Council, and from our “Allies” the steamroller has been slowed. But it is also true that the tide of domestic dissent is rising- ie. John Sweeny of the AFL-CIO has begun to raise questions and that did not happen with the wars in Vietnam, and in Central America.

III. On a more internally contentious not, Paul raised the issue of last weeks vigil and the march on Jill Long Thompson’s headquarters. It is clear that there are two main positions - one that Jill’s stated support for the Bush administration’s war resolution places her in opposition to the goals of the Peace movement and should therefore be treated as an ally of the Republicans-at least on this issue. The other position (mine, PM) and one that seems to be a minority, is that the Peace movement exists within a range of movements and organizations and that like all these organizations it needs to evaluate strategically where Jill Long Thompson is as a potential ally. Paul expressed concern that the decision to attack Jill Long Thompson publicly for her statements about the war is a policy issue which needs to be decided democratically and with serious discussion, not based that people feel angry at her position. There is also a real issue of members of the Peace community who are also active in the labor movement, for example, could have there work compromised, and this is not a correct way to treat brothers or sisters in the movement. There will be more discussion about this, I am sure and we would welcome further contributions to the list regarding this issue.

Submitted by Paul Mishler

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