Minutes for MPJC Meeting of November 16, 2015

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

Old business

    1.  Approval of Minutes for October 12: The minutes were approved as corrected. URC was spelled wrong. Rey found out that alternative energy is already competitive costwise with fossil fuels.

    2. Progress Reports

        a. Topic of the Month: Is there racism in our community today? Glenda Rae has not had time to prepare a draft statement and will be unlikely to have time until Spring. We decided to postpone this topic of the month.

        b. November 11 Armistice Day vigil: MPJC held a vigil at the Federal Building at 11am, on November 11, in conjunction with a request from Veterans for Peace that we reclaim Armistice Day when the nations of the earth vowed to never again resort to war. 10 folks vigiled, but no press showed up. We held a Veterans for Peace banner and one with the flag with a peace symbol replacing the stars. During our discussion of this event, Galen spoke about his service in WW II where he was designated a noncombatant on his second day in boot camp by a Methodist chaplain. He never had to fire a gun. He went through boot camp in Chicago and then was transferred to New London where he worked cleaning up in the mess hall. When he heard they needed a baker, he volunteered, although his only baking experience was sitting on a stool watching his mother do the family baking. We talked about how Rev. Martin Luther King renounced the Vietnam War in his Riverside church sermon and how that was a big reason why he was assassinated. He claimed that silence is betrayal. One of the allies of Veterans for Peace is Military Families Speak Out, which Kathy worked with when her son was in Iraq. Ellyn was disappointed that the United Farm Workers does not mention Dolores Huerte in a prominent place on their website.

        c. Book of the Month report: We were encouraged to comment on the list serve when we read one of Naomi Klein's books. In response to a question about Disaster Capitalism, Rey responded that it is the generation of profits by a company when it responds to a natural or man-made disaster.

       d. Nov 29th Climate Change Demonstration: Still no word on this. The People's Climate Movement's actions on November 14 were coordinated out of Paris and they were disrupted by the terrorist actions there.

       f. MLK Day events and table: We agreed to rent a table for $40. Glenda Rae will write the check. Lois will get a table for free, hopefully, next to ours. She hopes that we can have Vets for Peace literature this year. It is important to counter the pressure on Obama to put boots on the ground in Syria. Diane Freedland, a marine who helped staff the Vets resource center at MLK day a couple of years ago came to one meeting of the MLK Day committee. Lois was not able to ask her what she hoped to accomplish this year. We agreed to have a Vets for Peace focus this year and also consider the NWTRCC proposal below.

       g. St Marcellus Day Events: There was a good turnout at the Olivet church supper and the walk to the Basilica. The first speaker did not use a mike and we were able to hear him just fine when he gave the history of relics. The main speaker used a microphone and he was not understandable. Ellyn suggested that the event organizers accommodate direct connections to hearing aids. Rey emailed the organizers about the acoustical problems as he does every year without any changes being made. He and Glenda Rae no longer atend the event.

3. Treasurer's Report: $83.72 with a $5.11 in petty cash.

New Business

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

    2. Topic of the Month: We decided to take up the topic: Issues in Admitting Refugees into the U.S. Rey will get us started.

    3. NWTRCC Proposal: Peter had just returned from the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee (NWTRCC) meeting in Las Vegas. They have proposed that local affiliates (of which we are one) organize a table at an MLK Day event with war tax resistance literature and a penny poll. Then we should ask other organizations there if they are doing anything for tax day and if we can join up with them in this effort. We decided to work on this proposal at the MLK Day event and beyond.

    4. Human Rights Day, December 10: This event is scheduled for 6pm at the downtown library. The focus will be on Articles 13 and 14 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

    5. Other Topics and Issues: Trees for Life and Trees, Water & People are organizations that try to save trees, especially the maringa tree, by teaching folks how to make their own stoves and bricks. The stoves vent outside and use much less wood, saving both trees and the lungs of the people who use them. Trees for Life discovered that many of the villages had no books, so they have been founding libraries. We noted that the G20 nations have given $452 billion to support the fossil fuel industry. Glenda Rae asked if we could prepare a vigil sign to that effect.

Zhoubi Zhoubi will be speaking at Broadway Christian Parish at 3pm on Sunday, December 6. He runs a peace and justice center in Bethlehem. Glenda Rae told us that 500,000 settlers have moved into the West Bank. A Rabbi was recently beaten by them for trying to prevent them from stealing olives from Palestinians.

There has recently been a program broadcast on redistricting. To find it google "politically speaking" under WNIT. The redistricting study committee set up by the State Legislature is supposed to come up with a report. The best plan is to allow a non-partisan group do the redistricting to prevent officials from choosing voters instead of voters choosing officials.

CPNV is still collecting stories of nonviolence. Send your story to SB150peace@gmail.com

    6. Next meeting: Monday, January 25th, at 2:30pm at Peter and Ellyn's.