Saturday, February 22, 2003 Meeting Notes
1. Starting time
2. "Support our troops"
3. Nonviolent Communication
4. Earth Charter
5. Statement in the event of war
-Tacoma PJH met at Associated Ministries 2/22/03, 10:00 sorta a.m. to noon. Marilyn D. facilitating.
- Karen H: Complained about her reading list: Subjects - Saddam You Know Who, Havel's LETTERS TO OLGA, Daniel Gordis' IF A PLACE CAN MAKE YOU CRY (American Jew in Israel) etc.
- Sayaka & Noah (6 mos.): Her second pjh visit. Found the 2/15 Rally a good experience.
- Benji: Introduced Noah to group. Noah sat up for the first time this last week - he's sitting up for peace. Was in Boise on 15th and attended a good rally there. One thousand people in Boise for peace! Marched from Boise State house to public square in downtown Boise. Recommends we visit the Anne Frank memorial in downtown Boise.
- Mark: Has felt up and down all week. Discussed work with Quest for Global Justice class, where he presented a lecture on the origin of national security state in the 1920s...although he now thinks those ideas...really began to develop in the 1870s. Feeling some frustration, is afraid the masses are all just sitting back watching a spectacle . . . senses a feeling of futility and hopelessness.
- Aaron: Aaron has moved here with his family from East Coast where he was attending Univ. of Vermont. Agrees with Mark about student apathy and feeling of hopelessness. Is becoming re-connected with issues of peace movement.
- Sheila and Kyle: Sheila attended Citizen Lobby Day in Olympia this past week with her environmental group and found the experience enlightening. Says several issues of concern (environmental) are being considered in current legislative session.
- Kyle: Abstains.
- Sarah: Was sorry she was unable to attend the rally but read newspaper article. Feels people in Europe are more distressed about current situation than Americans and feels this is because the American media is not giving us all the information that we need. Discussed Robert McChesney book that details the media monopoly and how it works. Feels the media is sucking out our oxygen supply and that we need to breath easily.
- Sally: Has like Mark felt up and down all week. Sometimes feels great, sometimes not. Doesn't want to be alarmist but has feelings of forboding - wonders if this is what Germany felt like in the 1930s. Feels supporters of the war are sincere about wanting to help the Iraqi people. Wants to write to people of MoveOn about our activities should the war start. Fears people will just fall away from the movement feeling we have failed. Wants to keep working for peace.
- Rob: Couldn't attend march because took a group of youngsters skiing. Found a rally in Twist, WA of about 50 people. Showed us a pamphlet put out by Global Network that details the cost of war, locally and globally and wonders if we could do something similar. (Used as an example demonstrations sponsored by Physicians for Social Responsibility that showed what happened to people injured by bombs.)
- Ed: (New) Introduced himself.
- Barb: Missed the rally but did something for herself on the 15th. Sat by the fire and enjoyed it and the rain. Told about experiencing a day of world wide prayer on the 9th sponsored by Spiritual Peacemakers (formerly Spiritual Warriors) and how in touch she felt with the world, especially a group she knows working in Israel.
- Elaine: Also has felt similarities with current situation and the situation in Germany in the 1930s, although she thinks Cheney and Bush sincerely feel they are doing the right thing. Agrees with Rob that we should educate about the impact this war will have on the economy, especially groups like WRAC. Thinks we might interest their involvement. Asks where the billions for Turkey is coming from... Wonders where the idea that protest groups don't count comes from . . . has candle holder and tray in her car ready for rally at Federal Courthouse if and when war starts.
- Marilyn: Has a friend who is on the staff of [ ] and close to staff of Congress and Senate. Friend says entire Congress has received emergency kits and gas masks. There is so much anxiety there that they aren't getting any work done and everyone is exhausted. She also received a long email from David Zeeck (TRIB) which she decided not to share (burden?) the group with relating to her "obsessive" concerns with the media. Reminds group of TNT - Free Press discussion (via Fahrenheit 451) on this Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. at Trib office, 19th and State, and USA Patriot Act/Fahrenheit 451 event at Kilworth Chapel on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. (Mark will be on the panel.) 1. Starting time
Marilyn makes plea that everyone try to be on time at 10:00.
Karen suggests we start check-ins at 10:00.
Sallie suggests that check-ins are vital - a major aspect of knowing who we are and why we're meeting and we need majority of people there for them.
Sheila: Says she can't always be on time.
Sallie: Agrees it's more important that she come when able than not come if late.
Conclusion: Marilyn recommends that we try to do better about being on time.
2. Support Our Troops
Sheila: Too many assume that if you are against the war you don't support the troops.
Mark: This idea is generated in great part by right- wing media machine and doesn't reflect the opinions of either the general population or military people. He has been sending information about depleted uranium to a military officer who doesn't perceive this as anti-patriotic. He feels we should challenge people who claim to "support the troops" with many medical issues that the military has been derelict about addressing. He feels the whole proposition is a red herring.
Sheila: Remarked on Vet's Group at the march who don't feel this war is a just war.
Sarah: Asked why it's more patriotic to send troops into battle for the sake of someone else's power and/or greed. Feels that working for peace is a true way to support the troops. Appalled when government fails to respond to health issues of vets who have to fight to get help.
Rob: Brought up the need for a symbol that represents "troop support." Told about a woman whose son is in the military who distributes yellow ribbons. Suggests that we could wear yellow ribbons.
Sallie: Talks about people who see the troops as liberating (the people of Iraq.) But Sallie thinks this is a bait and switch. They are really supporting Bush. Discusses asking questions of people rather than preaching at them. Listening to what (people) have to say. Follow up with more questions. Discovering and acknowledging their concerns leads to a (deeper) engagement.
Benji: Says he has heard a lot of doubt expressed by people in military.
Marilyn: Knows of a fellow, a victim of Agent Orange, who recently had his leg amputated. He fought for years for recognition from the government for his problem (because U.S. denied they used Agent Orange in Viet Nam.) Marilyn expressed her frustration with the whole idea of "nationalism, flag waving and boundaries." She feels we're all connected. She sees these concepts as fictional and social constructs . . . although she's glad she lives in America . . .
(Steve and Penny join group.)
Marilyn finds it difficult to talk to people who don't understand these constructs as artificial.
Tillie: Feels Marilyn shouldn't waste her time talking to people who don't understand what she's talking about.
Kyle: Bush knows what he wants but he's not telling people.
(Group asks Kyle what Bush wants.)
Elaine: Likes the yellow ribbon idea. Sees people in military as hostages.
Mark: Who was quoted in paper about "support the troops" issue, says he's received no negative fall-out from his statement.
Penny: Feels yellow ribbons might provoke discussion.
Sallie: We could tie yellow ribbons around our signs.
Elaine: We could distribute ribbons at March 8 event.
Aaron: Offers to try a Your Voice opinion letter for TNT.
Mark: Remarks on militarism as an aberration or perversion of American values.
Sallie: Feels Aaron should focus on Support the TRoops issue for opinion letter.
Sara: Asks what it means to support troops.
Penny: Keep them home... Talked about lack of support (therapy) for returning troops..their need to "de-tox" from strains of battle.
Sarah: Tells about military person who was really messed up by experiences in Kosovo. How he was offered no support by the military, and feared being killed if he complained.
Sheila: Refers to domestic killings at Ft. Bragg.
Penny: Cites studies that "prove" war screws up everyone it touches. Offers to find studies for Aaron.
Marilyn: Feels if military families knew what they were getting into they wouldn't do it.
Aaron: Agrees to write letter for Trib for group's approval for next Saturday.
3. Non-Violent Communication Skills
Elaine: Elaine and Dorothy have discussed developing a training opportunity for group members who would then be able to facilitate community outreach - Conversation Cafes. These Cafes might meet regularly or in different locations, i.e. a person might be able to attend one in one place during a month as well as one in another. Elaine has videos and textbooks for training (author of movement: Marshall Rosenburg.) Elaine talked about general premises: What non-violent Communication is - acknowledging people for where they are, not telling others what to think, acknowledging the integrity of the other person etc. Elaine will have two dates for training by next week.
4. Earth Charter
Due to time constraints and Sheila and Kyle's need to go to Earth Charter function at Snake Lake, this agenda item was postponed.
5. Statement in the event of war
Sallie: Asks Mark to read his statement which has been endorsed by UFPPC should war break out: "Millions of people have devoted billions of hours trying to avert the catastrophe of the Iraq war. For this war is a catastrophe. It is a disaster regardless of the military outcome. It is a disaster for the nation, and a disaster for the world. Our nation has, for the first time in its history, consciously embraced an aggressive pre-emptive war against a country that posed no imminent threat. And, despite overwhelming opposition, the world community has been unable to prevent it. Whatever the president and the president's advisors may say, this was an unnecessary war, misusing our troops and traducing their high ideals. We mourn the lives that are being lost. How can we, as Americans, reclaim the ideals of this nation? We are not sure of the answer, but we refuse to give them up. At this dark hour in the history of the United States of America, we remain united for peace in Pierce County." Group endorses.
Rob: Suggests members sign up for Virtual March with Move-on and True Majority. It takes only a moment to call your representative.
Events: TNT Free Press, Tuesday, 2/25, at News Tribune; Patriot Act at Kilworth Chapel, 2/27, UPS, 7:00 p.m.
Respectfully, Karen H.