January 12, 2008

People for Peace, Justice and Healing met Saturday, January 12, 2008, at Associated Ministries. Present for check-in were Rob, Sallie, Nancy, Karen, Ray, Mark, Vivi, Colleen.

Discussion: Presidential campaign politics and current events. Mark enlightened us on what really happened in the Persian Gulf/Iran (speedboat) -- "threat" to the U.S. crisis (as the kids say, "not.")


1. Financial (Sallie)
Sallie reported receipt of thank you note from Associated Ministries for our contribution to them of $350. Sallie believes our contribution went basically to South Sound Peace and Justice. We received a donation of $131.50 from the Unitarian Association of Tacoma's Change for Change project.

2. Fifth Anniversary, Iraq Meeting (Ray and Sallie)
Ray (and Karen Konrad) attended this meeting at UPS on Tuesday night. This "coalition" will be meeting on Tuesday nights at UPS-Wheelock, to discuss an event or events in recognition of the Iraq War. Groups represented the faith, labor, SDS, and the usual collection of peace groups. The group decided to try and facilitate and come to decisions through consensus. Definite decisions about programs weren't established this first night. Ray said that some ideas that were entertained included an SOA type event at Ft. Lewis, production of flyers, purchase of Billboard space. Ray and Sallie think there are two possibilities for direction the group will take: one would be a cooperative effort with all groups, in consensus, participating under established "rules or understandings" or groups will operate separately, working out and hosting a series of programs and events to take place over several weeks. An interesting area of possible contention for the groups to try and work out, for instance, is whether or not certain groups working in collaboration with others will or will not agree to be "censored," i.e. last year certain participants and groups didn't like the chanting of slogans like, "No War But Class War." Ray reported good attendance and good participation by young people. Meetings will continue on Tuesday nights, at 7 p.m. at Wheelock.

3. ABED: Nancy
Nancy is eager to bring Abbedlfattah Abusrour to Tacoma. This Palestinian activist and human rights worker will be in Seattle the first week in March. Nancy visited and worked with him in his education and creative works center in a Bethlehem refugee camp. He will be presenting videos and talking about his work in an effort to raise funds. Discussion of venue for Abed: History Museum or Carwein. Nancy will check on availability first of the Carwein. Tuesday, March 4, was set as a tentative date for the event. BACKGROUND: The teacher and playwright Abbedlfattah Abusrour was awarded an Ashoka Fellowship in 2006 and “combats violence among children, teaching them to become promoters of peace. Abdelfattah’s childhood, like that of many children in Palestine’s refugee camps, exposed him to violence daily. Unlike other children, Abdelfattah found solace and expression in writing and performing short plays with his friends. Now Abdelfattah targets children in refugee camps with programs promoting activities such as sports, arts, and theater to offer children alternative means of self-expression. He uses these activities to teach acceptance of others and non-violent communication. Abdelfattah complements these programs by training parents and community members in non-violent resistance. He has gained worldwide support for his programs by touring internationally with his children’s theater group.” Abbedlfattah is on tour lecturing about his work as a playwright.


UFPPC's book study circle known as Digging Deeper meets Monday evenings at 7:00 p.m. at the Mandolin Café (3923 S. 12th St., Tacoma, WA). On Mon., Jan. 7, 14, 21, & 28, David Gilmour (Ph.D., Classics, Univ. of Washington) will lead Digging Deeper XL in "Are We Rome? -- a four-week examination of some recent books that draw parallels between the Roman Empire and the United States. The book chosen for discussion are the following: 1) Cullen Murphy's Are We Rome?: The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America (Houghton Mifflin, 2007); -- 2) Charles S. Maier, Among Empires: American Ascendancy and Its Predecessors (Harvard UP, 2007); -- 3) Terry Jones's Barbarians: An Alternative Roman History (BBC Books, 2007); -- 4) John Pilger's Freedom Next Time: Resisting the Empire (Nation Books, 2007). -- There is no charge for participation and sessions are open to the public. -- Digging Deeper meets Mondays from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Mandolin Café in Tacoma.

Meetings to discuss public events, protests of ongoing war in Iraq. Group(s) meet Tuesday nights, Wheelock Center on UPS campus, 7:00 p.m.

Joe La Sac, the UPS student videographer whose right to film Tacoma PMR became a local cause célèbre in March 2007, will speak in Tacoma on Fri., Jan. 18. -- As has been the case for all the events UFPPC's 2007-2008 speaker series, Joe La Sac's talk on "Port Militarization Resistance: What Do These Events Have to Do with Free Speech?" will begin at 7:00 p.m., and will be held at King's Books (218 St. Helens Ave.). -- This talk is free and is open to the public.

At 7:00 p.m. at King’s Books (218 St. Helens Ave.) on Thurs., Jan. 24, UFPPC's 2007-2008 speaker series will present Gerri Haynes speaking on "Iraq's Refugees." -- Gerri Haynes is a past president of Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, and has made annual trips to the Middle East since 1993. -- She recently helped organize and was part of a delegation of eight who visited Syrian citizens and Iraqi refugees in Syria in Damascus, Saydnaya, and Aleppo.

5. ABED: Coming, hopefully, in March.

Respectfully submitted,