Minutes for December 9, 2003 Meeting

Present: Lois, Pam, Ron, Lee, Caroline, Ellyn, Peter

Old Business - Action Items from last meeting

  1. Getting hand-held battery-powered candles and transcribing some of the signs using neon markers with sparkles so we can be seen better on the corner in the dark. Lois bought some hand-held candles which flicker like real candles and we have used them the last two Mondays. It must be effective because the folks across the street showed up with candles this past week. We did not redo the signs and it is not clear whether or not they can be seen now that it gets dark so early. Lois will get some fluorescent tape and we will use it to make a Burma-Shave-type sign. (See point a of new business

  2. We decided to promote the A.N.S.W.E.R. petition, and take sign-up sheets to Fiddler's Hearth for Paul Mishler's talk, get them to the local colleges and workplaces, and perhaps have a fan-out day when we would go door-to-door asking folks to sign. We did take them to Fiddler's Hearth and got one sheet of signatures. Pam will take sheets to the Farmer's Market to get more signatures. Anyone who wants to get a signature sheet, go to www.votenowar.org

  3. Move-On Ad and Press Conference Campaign. We signed on for this effort but were never contacted.

  4. Open Letter to Candidates for Election in 2004. Lee posted this proposal on the list serv a couple of weeks ago and the only comment he got was to add a plank about a just and sustainable energy policy. We decided to approve the open letter and organize the campaign as follows:
  5. March 20th Activities. We will try to organize a protest activity here in South Bend for the one-year anniversary of the start of the war. Peter will call Mary Turgi to see if she is willing to call together the coalition which planned the protest a year ago. Ellyn will make sure the student peace organizations are alerted.

  6. Martin Luther King Day Table. We need $30 for the rest of the fee for this table. Lois will ask Glenda Rae to use Peace Ed fund money for this. Lois will set up and take down the table but needs volunteers to help staff it. She especially needs folks from 10:30 - 11:45am and 1-3pm. If anyone has literature for the table, get it to Lois. Ellyn will put this announcement on the list serv.

New Business

  1. Big sheet at Monday Vigil to focus on a Christmas message. We talked about the Christmas armistice during WW I and passed around the story and song about that day. (See www.lmno4p.org) We decided to put the message Peace For X-Mas, one letter on each poster board, with fluorescent tape and each person at the Monday vigil would hold one of the letters. We will gather at Peter and Ellyn's on Sunday, 12/14 at 4:30 to make the signs. The sign making session will be followed by a song fest and simple meal. All are invited. R.S.V.P. 289-2126 if you can stay for the meal.

  2. Killing of Children in Iraq and Afghanistan. We decided to ask Sheila P for copies of some of her pictures of Iraqi children and also get pictures from England of child war victims (U.S. media are not permitted to show these pictures). We will have them available at the MLK table on January 19.

  3. Other business. Lois will try to get the South Bend players to put on the drama Alice in Blunderland. We will also get a copy of the documentary "Uncovered," which exposed the current Iraq war idiocies, and set up some showings in the community.

  4. Announcements. Lee announced that Jobs with Justice is sponsoring an action at 6PM tomorrow, December 10, at UAW local 5, 1426 South Main, South Bend. For further information you can contact Joe Carbone at 574-674-6645 or pager 574-321-5171.

  5. Next Meeting. We will have an ad hoc meeting at Pam and Ron's shortly before the MLK day in January. It will be announced via the List Serv and at the weekly vigil.

The meeting adjourned at 8:33pm.

Open Letter to Candidates for Elective Office -
Especially Candidates for President of the United States

From the People of Indiana (St. Joe County and others perhaps)

We, the undersigned are concerned for the future of our country, our state, and our communities. Jobs continue to leave and state budgets are cut leaving rising poverty and unemployment. Home foreclosures in Indiana are among the highest in the country with new rounds of layoffs and plant closings this crisis will only increase. At the same time we are engaged in an ongoing war that shows no sign of ending. Our sons and daughters in the military continue to be killed, and the money, which should be used to solve our crises here, is being sent to Iraq to maintain the US occupation. While some of us may disagree about the initial justification for the war when it began, it is clear now that it was entered into, at best, based on questionable intelligence, and at worst, we were lied to.

While, at this point in the campaign, we, as individuals may have come to different conclusions regarding which candidate or candidates will best represent our views, we are united in our concern for the issues we believe ALL candidates should address. To turn this country from the disastrous course we are now on we demand that the candidates looking for our votes address the following proposals.

  1. End the US occupation of Iraq. Turn over governance of Iraq to the people of Iraq. Replace the US occupation force with an internationally-sanctioned UN peacekeeping force.

  2. Stop the Free Trade of the Americas Act (FTAA)! NAFTA has already left a trail of joblessness in Indiana, has deepened the social and economic crisis in Mexico, and led to attacks on social welfare and public health in Canada. We want to stop the job loss here, and stand in solidarity with the poor of Latin America and the Caribbean who will be devastated by FTAA and other 'free" trade policies.

  3. Repeal the Patriot Act! Stop Patriot Act II! The Patriot Act is one of the most dangerous legal efforts in our history to curtail traditional US freedoms of speech, association, religion and the right to due process. It has already led to increased racist victimization and will continue to do so. It has not and will not enhance our security.

  4. Millions of us are without health insurance, with many more one layoff, retirement, or concessionary labor negotiation away from losing what we have. This is not an abstract policy issue. People are dying and will continue to die in our private insurance dominated system. Poor communities and communities of color are the most likely to be affected. We want a democratic health care system, accessible to all: young and old; rich and poor and for Congress to repeal the Medicare Act.

  5. Develop a just and sustainable energy policy.