Saturday, February 15, 2003 Meeting Notes

0. Check-in
1. Film series at UPS
2. Blue Mouse film & food series
3. Nonviolent Communication
4. Instant Runoff Voting
5. Earth Charter Endorsement
6. Supporting the troops
7. Announcements

CHECK-IN: a few scattered notes on remarks by those present:
- Doug passed around a couple anti-war posters, including a color flyer using oil company logos to 'explanify' US Iraq policy: "We SHELL not EXXONerate Saddam Hussein for his actions. We will MOBILize to meet this threat in the Persian GULF until an AMOCOble solution is reached. Our plan is to BPrepared. Failing that, we ARCOming to kick his ass."
- Pat was back.
- Sheila (with moral support from Kyle) described contacts in the Middle East & news of a peace rally in Ramallah.
- Dorothy had week in some ways good, in some ways bad.
- Colleen was in pre-departure mode prior to leaving for Cambodia on Monday; she noted that this weekend's demonstrations constitute the largest peace demonstration ever.
- Mark showed Costa-Gavras's 'Missing' on Tuesday and hosted Howard Welsh's presentation on conscientious objection on Thursday at PLU.
- Sallie said that the US is getting to experience what others around the world have for a long time: living with a government that doesn't represent them.
- Karen H. was concerned to hear about the extension of the Patriot Act being contemplated in Congress.
- Jill has been thinking of 'what peace needs' over the past week.
- Adam was glad to be back after being away for several weeks.
- Marilyn felt frustrated about the issue of supporting the troops, and asserted that one *can* support the troops without supporting their behavior.
- David appreciated all the communications while in California; he tried to reach a call-in show about Iraq on NPR during the meeting but couldn't get through.
- Patricia brought Rama to the table.
- Vivi apologized for arriving a bit late.

1. Film series at UPS

Adam has decided to present a series of films related to Iraq and the Gulf War at UPS on Feb. 27 and Mar. 4, 6, 11, 13, and 18 (all Tuesdays and Thursdays). He will rent films from the American Friends Service Committee with will mail videos for a $10-20 donation. PPJH agreed to endorse, co-sponsor and promote.

2. Blue Mouse International Food & Film Series

Sheila reported that the Blue Mouse Theatre (2611 N. Proctor, Tacoma - 752-9500) is in the midst of a Thursday evening international food and film series. Food at 6:00 p.m., film at 7:00 p.m.

3. Nonviolent Communication

Dorothy reported on Nonviolent Communication, a worldwide movement started by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D., to teach people how to communicate nonviolently through a method that seeks to change both the words and the attitudes of people, helping them embrace the possibility of finding common ground with people who think differently by seeking to understand the feelings of those with whom they may disagree, as well as the needs behind those feelings. Dorothy said that on Saturday, Feb. 27, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon there will be a Nonviolent Communication presentation entitled "Connected Parenting" by Holly Eckert, a Trainer with the Puget Sound Network for Compassionate Communication. It has been suggested that PPJH might also begin learning about these ideas by viewing or showing a videotape. Jill agreed to work with Dorothy toward this goal.

4. Instant Runoff Voting

Colleen reported on the movement to introduce Instant Runoff Voting to reinvigorate democracy. She said that half of US citizens don't register and half of those registered don't vote, so that the support of only about a quarter of the citizenry is needed to elect a government. She said that people don't vote because they feel that their vote doesn't count. Instant Runoff Voting is a way of making everyone's preferences count, thus enhancing the political legitimacy of democracy. (For more information, see Steve Hill's Fixing Elections.) In Tacoma, a group calling itself Citizens for Instant Runoff Voting (CIRV) is meeting every other Wednesday at First United Methodist from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; the next meeting of CIRV will be on Feb. 26. The group asked Colleen to keep PPJH informed about the progress of this group.

5. Earth Charter Endorsement

Mark read to the meeting a copy of the letter, dated Feb. 14, 2003, that he wrote and sent to the Earth Charter International Secretariat in San Jose, Costa Rica announcing the endorsement of People for Peace, Justice, and Healing, since such a letter must be written to endorse the Earth Charter (endorsement of a group through e-mail is not possible). It reads: "To Earth Charter Secretariat: I am pleased to inform you that People for Peace, Justice, and Healing, a group in Tacoma, Washington, decided without dissent to endorse the Earth Charter on Feb. 8, 2003, at one of its regular weekly meetings. The group had been examining the Earth Charter for some time and now looks forward for ways to use the document both in our individual lives and also as an educational tool to communicate to the public a vision of a hopeful, peaceful future that is consistent with the greater good of the ecosystems and life forms that, for better or for worse, have been entrusted to human care on this planet. I write in my capacity as webmaster for the group's website and apologize for our inability to provide a letter with our group's letterhead. I write on the stationery of Pacific Lutheran University, where I am a faculty member and chair of the Department of Languages and Literatures. I have printed the first page of our website for your perusal. On behalf of all the individuals who are involved with People for Peace, Justice, and Healing, and in the name of the hope that the Earth Charter represents, I would like to thank you for your efforts on behalf of the greater good of the Earth and its inhabitants. May sanity prevail and save us all from our self-destructive tendencies! Very sincerely yours..."

6. Supporting the Troops

The group discussed the issues related to supporting the troops and agreed to continue the discussion of this important and contentious issue, which comes up again and again in discussions of and reporting about the peace movement.

7. Announcements

a. Dorothy noted that a class on Mar. 1-2 entitled "But What If -- Does Nonviolence Really Work?" will be taught by Rev. Randall Mullins, the director of the Center for Contemplation and Nonviolence in Seattle, as part of the COMMUNIVERSITY program at PLU that is organized by Associated Ministries.

The meeting concluded at 11:30 a.m. -- thirty minutes early to accommodate those going to the United for Peace of Pierce County rally and march -- with hands held in a silent circle.

Respectfully submitted,
Mark Jensen