Minutes for MPJC Meeting of December 15, 2010

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

Old business
    1.  Approval of Minutes for November 11: The minutes were approved as written

    2. Progress Reports
        a. Topic of the Month: End War, Reduce the Deficit: We noted that 50% of our taxes go towards war and preparation for war. Spending significantly less on war would eliminate the deficit and begin paying off the national debt. We should send a notice on the list serv to encourage folks to get 2010 donations in on time to reduce taxes if they itemize. We should also make sure that folks file a revised W-4 form early in the year if they paid more in taxes than they owed in 2010.

        b. Fr. Franco's talk: Several folks had been unable to attend the talk so we summarized his message. He told about how his group is witnessing for the poor, especially folks in Colombia driven off their land by military, paramilitary, and guerrillas, so that rich folks can seize their land for large farms and road construction. He related some stories of individuals persecuted for taking a stand in opposition to these land seizures. He talked about folks banding together into "Gated Communities" to make it harder for the military groups to capture them. 12-13 folks attended the lecture which was very interesting. We collected $80 to send with Fr. Franco and other donations were sent later. There was a notice about his tour and his talk in Goshen in El Puente.

        c. IPJN News: The Midwest Peace and Justice Summit will be on March 26, 2011. There will be a conference call on Monday, December 21st. Rey will call in as it is a toll-free number. The minutes from the conference calls are on their website - www.ipjn.org.

        d. MoveOn campaign against Washington corruption: There was a vigil outside Senator Bayh's office on Thursday, December 11, to protest the millionaire tax bailout. Peter and four other folks from Move On and Jobs with Justice attended.

        e. Martin Luther King Day table and workshop: Glenda Rae sent in the $40 for a table. We will have information on counter recruitment and highlight the "bean poll," perhaps revising the categories to tie in with the topic of the month. The Nickle and Dime Theater will present the play about a Christian Roman soldier who dies after refusing to fight that was performed at the St Marcellus Day remembrance. This will be part of a 90 minute workshop titled: "What does Dr. King's Dream and a Drama about a Roman Soldier have to do with conscience and choices you will have to make?" This workshop will be early afternoon on January 17 at Century Center. We may or may not have the theater as a poet is also asking for that room. There will be some speakers at the workshop but it will not be a panel discussion. Lois (on speaker phone) said she has been unable to contact Mike Griffin to MC and wondered if Peter could do it. He was reluctant since he would not relate to the young folks as well as Mike. Ellyn found Mike's Holy Cross phone number and gave it to Lois. Lois called most of the organizations on her poster board listing hundreds of church-related alternative service projects, and found that most of them were still active with the phone numbers listed on the board, although a good number are looking for more experienced volunteers. Lois was unable to get any information on government service projects from Donnelly's office after two tries. We will have a person who is active training young people for the work force. We wanted to ask Roger Parent if he could share stories of the peace corps and hold it up as a possibility for young people as an alternative to the military. Lois listed some questions to ask the young people in attendance: "Are you in school?" "Out of school?" "Looking for a job?" "Can't find one;" "How do we choose our life's work?" "What kind of jobs are we looking for?" "What about a volunteer year?"

3. Treasurer's Report: Our bank total is $125.02 with $30 in petty cash.

New Business

    1. What do we (can we) do next? We did not have time to pursue this item

    2. Dec 16 showing of Sacred Space Denied: Bethlehem and the Wall: This film will be shown at 7:30pm at the First Unitarian Church at Jefferson and Eddy. This is sponsored by Michiana Peacemakers, a new group that meets at Little Flower on the third Wednesday of the month to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian situation. Ellyn suggested that folks read the Exile by James North Patterson for good background on this tragic situation.

    3. Topic of the Month: We decided to continue work on the "End War, Reduce the Deficit," topic for next time. We decided to make some new signs for the vigils, "One Hour of the War in Afghanistan Could Pay for ___ Teachers." Galen knew lots of Conscientious Objectors during WWII, He noted that some were involved in a hunger project to see what happened to the body when someone starved. Also, Spring Mill State park was built by CCC workers in the 30s. Peter and Ellyn had seen a documentary by Clive Cussler talking about building a prototype for a huge floating runway built from ice and wood pulp to counter german U-boats during the war.

    4. Other Topics and Issues: The Little Taste of Peace will be held on Saturday, January 15, at the First Unitarian Church.

Peter, Ellyn, Rey, and Glenda Rae will present a tax resistance workshop at Our Lady of the Road on the first Friday of February, starting around 6:30pm. We will show a new video and answer questions.

The library is holding its photograph contest again this year. Lois wanted to enter a photo of wild geese marching into a pond in a straight line, titled "Peace is the Way, Let's Go!" We encouraged her to do so.

We noted that March 8 is National Woman's Day. Ellyn will be in Nicaragua and unable to organize a program marking this day.

    5. Next meeting: The next meeting will be on Monday, January 10, after the vigil at 7pm at Peter and Ellyn's, preceded by a light supper. All are welcome. Please call 289-2126.