Saturday, March 27, 2004 Meeting Notes for People for Peace, Justice, and Healing

PPJH meeting minutes

People for Peace, Justice and Healing met March 27, 2004, at 10:00 a.m. at Associated Ministries. Present for check-in: Sallie S., Adam, Elaine, Benjie, Mark J., Karen K., and Colleen.


1. Earth Charter
2. Reminder: AM Auction and dinner on 4/17
3. Evening presentation by Benjie Peters
4. Coalition-building conference 5/14-15
5. Update on Northwest Detention Center
6. What's next
7. Announcements

1. Earth Charter. As decided Feb. 14, following check-in the meeting began with a reading and brief discussion of one section of the Earth Charter:

"6. Prevent harm as the best method of environmental protection and, when knowledge is limited, apply a precautionary approach.
"a. Take action to avoid the possibility of serious or irreversible environmental harm even when scientific knowledge is incomplete or inconclusive.
"b. Place the burden of proof on those who argue that a proposed activity will not cause significant harm, and make the responsible parties liable for environmental harm.
"c. Ensure that decision making addresses the cumulative, long-term, indirect, long distance, and global consequences of human activities.
"d. Prevent pollution of any part of the environment and allow no build-up of radioactive, toxic, or other hazardous substances.
"e. Avoid military activities damaging to the environment."

2. April 17 Associated Ministries auction and dinner (Sallie). There will be a PJH table and a UFPPC table. A great opportunity to buy gifts for the coming year and help a good cause. Steve Larson (UPS student whose talk/rap/performance at last Saturday's rally in McKinley Park was one of the highlights of the day) will receive the Ecumenical Service Award (Youth). Call Sallie (383-3056 ext. 105) soon if interested.

3. Evening with Benjie Peters (Colleen; Benjie). Colleen will host an evening presentation Benjie Peters of his work on an evening during the next month. The talk by Benjie, who is a graduate student at the University of Washington, Tacoma and who worked last summer at the Martin Luther King Jr. archive at Stanford University, will be on a Tuesday or weekend evening and will be a part of PPJH's ongoing "Seeking Alternatives to War" series.

4. May 14-15 conference on coalition building (Benjie). PPJH will be a co-sponsor of a conference on coalition building called "From Chaos to Community: Where Do We Go from Here?" The conference will be held at First United Methodist Church (423 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tacoma). There will be an evening tea and social hour followed by an address by Leslie Braxton (probably on what Martin Luther King Jr. called the "giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism") on the evening of Friday, May 14. On the morning and afternoon of Saturday, May 15, there will be a number of workshops on topics including: labor and the environment; immigration and labor; health care; communities of faith/peace and justice; overcoming wedge issues in electoral politics. There will be a nominal fee for attendance; however, no one will be turned away.

5. Northwest Detention Center: Update (Mark; Colleen). Eight people attended a Mar. 22 meeting called by Tim Smith devoted to strategies to stop or delay the opening of the Northwest Detention Center, the 760-bed Homeland Security prison for immigration detainees that Correctional Services Corporation of Sarasota, Florida, is building and planning to operate on the Tacoma Tideflats. Events of the week included an article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and a Thursday morning KPLU report. On Friday Tim handed out warnings about possible health dangers, and none of the 21 workers he spoke to knew that 1623 E. "J" St. is a Superfund site. OSHA issues are being pursued. This week Tim turned up an explicit prohibition of jails and detention centers in volcanic hazard areas in the Pierce County building code (#18E.40.050), and the city is also examining evacuation plans and issues of general oversight of a private prison within city limits. See for more information.

6. What's next? (Sallie). PLU history prof Bob Erickson will be approached about making an evening presentation in the "Seeking Alternatives to War" series.

7. ANNOUNCEMENTS (Adam). On Thurs., Apr. 1, at 7:30 p.m., Burchell Taylor, a pastor, theologian, and lecturer from Kingston, Jamaica, will speak on "Stepping Out from the Shadow of Empire" at the Schneebeck Concert Hall on the campus of the University of Puget Sound. Taylor is reputedly "an incredible speaker," and will probably address the recent U.S.-sponsored overthrow of the democratically elected president of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and the current situation there. The free lecture is sponsored by the Swope Endowed Lectureship on Ethics, Religion, Faith, and Values; the public is invited. More information is available on the web (

Mark J.