February 17, 2007

People for Peace, Justice and Healing held its regular Saturday meeting at 10:00 a.m. on Feb. 17, 2007, at Associated Ministries in Tacoma, WA. Present for check-in: Colleen, Mark, Sol, Sallie S. Laura, Sally M., Nancy, Louisa, Kathryn, Joel, Scott, Kyle, and Sheila.


1. THE PRESS (Sallie S.)
Sallie conveyed a message from Angela Omulepu with ideas for influencing public discussion of the living wage issue and the fiscal 2008 federal budget proposed by President George W. Bush.

The group endorsed co-sponsoring the upcoming appearance at PLU of Palestinian nonviolent activists Mohammad Khatib and Feryal Abu Haikal, models of nonviolent resistance to occupation, who are traveling through the region on a speaking tour, and who will appear at 7:00 p.m. on Mon., Mar. 5, on the campus of Pacific Lutheran University (Xavier 201 [Philip A. Nordquist Lecture Hall]).

Nancy described the work of Adbel Fattah Abu Srour, Ph.D. (biochemistry), who founded the Al-Rowwad Children's Theater and Cultural Training Center, devoted to serving children in the Aida Refugee Camp in occupied Bethlehem by providing a healthy environment for children to help them cope creatively with the stress of the war conditions in which they are forced to live. The Center uses theater and drama, and also encourages the participation of disabled children in its projects, as well as organizing, in collaboration with local organizations, arts and crafts workshops, animation-cartoon film-making workshops, English language courses, a public library and computer center for children, and medical assistance days for the people in the camp. There is a possibility Dr. Srour may visit the area; Nancy will investigate possible venues.

A search for a nurse to staff the Puget Sound Interfaith Youth Camp will soon begin. This position will provide room, board, and a negotiable stipend in return for services at the Aug. 26-31, 2007, session of the camp. Volunteers to organize music are also being sought. The camp will have space for sixty students about to enter 7th or 8th grade. This year there will be a charge, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Discussion of the importance of dance and other arts in individual development. On this and related topics, Sheila recommended Howard Gardner's Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century (Basic Books, 1999; paperback 2000).

Sol reported that prosecutors have decided to treat as an infraction the arrests of the 37 protestors at the Declaration of Peace action at Indian Island in September 2006. Discussion of how to pursue effectively issues of depleted uranium, which massively passes through the Ammunition Depot Indian Island at Port Hadlock, near Port Townsend, WA, on the Quimper Peninsula. This facility is now the only weapons depot on the West Coast, and has been the focus of a group in Port Townsend, which has focused on environmental issues. For more information, see here. The Army, however, has not been responsive to demands for information, including requests from the Port Townsend City Council. Laura suggested finding personal experiences of DU to highlight, or showing movies in neighborhoods. The approach the Occupation Project was discussed.


1. (Mark) As part of a series of "Global Conversations" events sponsored by PLU's Wang Center, Ann Jones, author of Kabul in Winter, will speak at 7:00 p.m., Thurs., Feb. 22, in Lagerquist Hall, on "Women in Post-Taliban Afganistan," and former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale will speak on "The Changing World Conversation" in PLU's University Center (CK West) at 12:30 p.m. on Fri., Feb. 23.

2. (Sallie S.) A major antiwar/peace march and rally with the theme "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH" will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Sat., Mar. 17, at People's Park in Tacoma.

3. (Sallie S.) On Mon. Apr. 2, the Soweto Gospel Choir will perform at the Pantages Theatre. "Direct from South Africa, the Soweto Gospel Choir are an awe-inspiring vocal ensemble performing an inspirational program (in eight different languages) of tribal, traditional, and popular African gospel." -- For more information on the choir's tour, see here.

4. (Sol) On Apr. 12, the Step It Up! 2007 campaign will engage tens of thousands of Americans in gatherings all across the country at meaningful, iconic places to call for action on climate change. These will include hiking, biking, walking, climbing, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, or simply sitting or standing with banners proclaiming: "Step it up, Congress! Cut carbon 80% by 2050!" Bill McKibben is spearheading this campaign.

5. (Sallie S.) The annual Spring Celebration Dinner and Auction of Associated Ministries will be held on the evening of Sat., Apr. 28, at St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Tacoma.

Respectfully submitted,