Saturday, March 15, 2003 Meeting Notes
2. Earth Charter
Tacomapjh met March 29, 2003 at Associated Ministries
at 10:00 a.m.
Facilitator - Elaine N., Sallie Shawl
Agenda - Elaine
Notes - Karen H.
Elaine: Had an exhausting work week. High stress levels, never mind her insulin levels...Her son also presented her with "stuff" that got her attention. Looking forward to bringing non-violence communication to the agenda.
Dorothy: Had a pretty good week despite the external situation. And despite the fact that her computer broke down. She's been working on non-violent communication project. Her husband fell in the shower but is OK now. Wants to focus her energies on non-violent communication re: current situation.
Karen H: Just returned from 2 days at Long Beach visiting a friend who's been teaching in Thailand.
Tillie: Is working to figure out and thinking about current political situation.
Sam/PLU: An awful week. Is on spring break and has been road tripping on California Coast. Attended a big protest in San Francisco. Enjoyed talking with friends and hearing their different views on current situation.
Liz/PLU: Has been sick the week of Spring Break. The media is driving her insane.
Justin/PLU: Has been working the week of spring break. (Asked about his "shiner") said it wasn't anything - just work related.
Helena/PLU: Has been reading and relaxing while on spring break.
Karen K: Has been involved in fundraising for Rain Forest and has been disappointed in the response from parents/kids. Of 500 students, only about six students have turned stuff in. Teachers also don't support the project although they are able to support other school fundraisers. (Karen explained in detail this fundraiser and circulated her brochure.) She's buying a house. She wants a house where, like the movie, BABE, all the animals talk. She feels guilty when she goes by the homeless shelter, but now her rabbit will have a home: life is about the juxtaposition of needs.
Colleen: Arrived back from Cambodia the day the war started. It was also her birthday. She feels the condition of the country is a direct result of U.S. actions - the poverty, the rise of Pol Pot. But she found the people resilient, industrious and hopeful. She never heard a voice raised in anger or a child punished in any way. She didn't meet a traveller who was for the war. The Cambodians weren't interested in it. She's glad to be with us and to see new faces in the group. It counter balances her distress in seeing young people signing up for the military so they can get an education.
Mark: Due to spring break has been able to spend 10 to 12 hours a day on the computer. Is receiving 200 emails a day. Singled out article he found on petrodollar theories of the war. Feels Europe is not simply "better" than U.S. in its policies in the economic arena. Recommended we hook into "war blogs" - journals of reporters writing from the front. Connections on our Iraqi web page. Thanked Scott from UFP for helping with Iraqi page. He's frustrated with the mainstream media when there's so much real information available. Explained repetition process - the administration decides on its daily "take" and all follow suit repeating same slogans, same ideas.
Vivi: Happy to be with us. Although she's active all the time, feels she'd like to do more. She's putting a candle on her porch every night and hopes people know what it's there for. Listens to talk radio but rather than calling host(s) calls the station and tells them she doesn't support the programing. She circulated a card for Jean Buskin of SNOW who is serving 20 days in jail for refusing to leave Patty Murray's office pre-Patty Murray's first vote on Iraqi resolution.
Sheila and Kyle: (Kyle flew handsome white no war flag) They saw SPIRITED AWAY and (two thumbs up.) Passed around March 24 NEWSWEEK re: article on Why America Scares the World (and what to do about it.) Is looking for rhetoric we can turn to our advantage...i.e. change Liberate Iraq to Liberate Palestine. Brought our attention to book entitled HOW TO END THE WAR OF 1948. Says Brian Baird is looking into investigating Rachel Corrie's death. Has ordered ten books. Mentioned THE IRON WALL, by a Jewish scholar. Feels we should concentrate on economic problems rather than just be against the war.
Sarah: Has been thinking of underlying reasons for what is happening. She has started writing down her ideas and asked to read them: Feels current problems go beyond Europe and America...We are demonizing parts of the world like Syria...who's next? Russia? Pakistan? Her major concern is the ecological effect of weaponry on the environment, since we don't know how much the world will be able to take before we go beyond the limits of the earth's ability to correct the devastation and renew itself. Fears we may be soon looking at a dead planet.
Jim: Lives in Fife and has served on their City Council. Spends all day at the computer. Had cancer some years ago and is suffering from the effects of radiation treatment. Talked about corrupt practices alive in Pierce County. He has seen efforts to buy the system, threatening and harmful behavior. Remarks on our society as addicted to instant gratification...effects of Wolfowitz and Neo-Con policies. Sees many struggling countries as still fighting their own civil wars, unlike America which has been able to unite in their interests. He finds sign holding (at vigils) physically difficult. Has been calling his legislators...but doesn't feel a lot of hope for the future.
Aaron: Has been working and therefore missed a few meetings. Concerned about the War Powers Act. Encourages us to communicate our concerns: speakermail.house.com Has been reading EMPIRE and feels we should be protesting at Boeing and Raytheon. Knows of groups who are researching corporations in preparation for divesting...the whole power structure feeds off the life of the people - they have power because we give them our money. We have to find ways to support ourselves. It's not the government - it's the corporate fed government...
Deon: Like Mark, has been up all night on net. Al- Jazeera has been high jacked. Feels she is angrier than the rest of us. Is starting a graveyard of sites that have been pulled. Finds Tacoma complacent. Cites some jingoism she found impossibly offensive: soldier (touted) for standing on a mountain of dead bodies. Identified herself as a single mom, a news junkie (I'll do anything to find out). She loves people willing to go to jail for their beliefs, but she's a single mom. Identies with Tolstoy, Ghandi, Mother Teresa and as a citizen of the World not just U.S. Has profound distrust of media. Feels you can't be a patriot and a Christian at the same time. Went to bed tired and woke up mad - but feels mad's not good. Told very touching story of talking to "support the troops" type at a vigil. She thought their signs looked tacky and offered them some poster board and use of her thick marker. They aren't sure how to take her. (Much laughter, tears from all.) But they use her poster board and marker.
Sallie: Is having problems with her well. Might have to pull up a pump that is 135 feet down. Shows us a coin given to her by a friend who is serving as medical personnel although he is totally against the war. She knows two people who are serving as human shields. She worries about what they will witness. Women In Black are vigiling here at Fed. Bldg. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The women wear black, hold candles, no signs. At the last vigil there were pro-war demonstrators in front of the Fed. so they used the median strip. After awhile the pro-war guys came over to the median and surrounded them. Women in black felt co-opted but remained standing. "They weren't directing shit at us but there was an atmosphere." Like a massage therapist who tries to shake off the energy following a massage, they tried but found it impossible to get rid of all this negative male energy. Sallie described Plowshares' direct action on military weapons and talked about a friend who is serving for 30 years. There's three of them...she has mixed feelings about their situation because they knew what they were risking, nonetheless she's finds it horrible.
Dorothy: Asks Sallie to pass her coin around the circle.
Karen K: Brought an earth flag to her class and her children hugged it.
Sarah: (Re: Women in Black) Feels silent vigiling is powerful. You can go inside and marshall energy.
Dorothy: Briefly describes to the group our project, showing part of a video last week as an introduction to Marshall Rosenberg, our desire to train trainers and meet to practice non-violent communication. (Hereinafter known as nv comm.) Marshall Rosenberg will be in Seattle on April 24 and 25. For further information contact Dorothy, Elaine or Puget Sound Network for Compassionate Communication, 206-382-8576 or www.psncc.org or firstname.lastname@example.org. Dorothy circulates three hand-outs: Announcement of Rosenberg appearance and workshops; flyer titled Knowing the Difference Between Violence and Non-Violence; and a selection from Rosenberg about the difference between observation and evaluation.
Elaine: Feels that this isn't a good time to intersect nv comm with Conversation Cafes. Feels it's important to concentrate on nv comm skills - get out of binary thinking: right/wrong, good/bad. She wants to be a part of really exploring that. Feels it might be possible to bring the two (CC) together at a later time.
Sallie: Asks for anyone who has the energy, time and will to invest in Conversation Cafe project. Asks that our need to find someone be reflected in the minutes.
Liz: Can be involved for a few months. She graduates in June.
Dorothy: If we're going to have formal training in May, we need weekly training to prepare for the big event.
Colleen and Karen H. volunteer.
Sallie: Suggests possible meetings at lunch at Assoc. Ministries at "our" table. Suggests putting further call for volunteers over list serve. Meetings could include another showing of tape we've seen and complete showing of tapes. Sallie reflects on what she thinks makes nv comm different from like "practices" such as practiced listening, etc. which is in the introduction to the nv comm tape.
Vivi: Asks if anyone can do it.
Sarah: Indicates interest in Conversation Cafes.
Sallie: Refers those interested to Conversation Cafe website: conversationcafe.com Recommends trip to Seattle where they are continually operating. Sallie will work with Liz and Sarah.
Sheila is going ahead with plans for summit in October. She is networking with people from PLU, expressed desirable possibility of holding the summit at PLU.
Sallie: Recommends Sheila also post notice to see if others come forward to work on project. Sheila's # home - 756-0541; work - 597-6243. She works in the afternoons.
For those considering civil disobedience, Sallie recommends the affinity group, helpful in discerning one's commitment. Affinity Group concept and name may go back as far as the Spanish Civil War. Eight to twelve people get together to explore their intentions. If you are interested contact Sallie. This activity however is separate from TPJH.
Deon: As a woman of color, she feels there are other issues to explore such as racism....
Colleen: Nadine Strossen, national President of the ACLU will be at Puyallup Branch of Pierce College, April 16 at noon. Colleen needs assistance with the literature table.
Tacoma Chapter of ACLU will meet at the main branch of the library, Wednesday, April 2 at 7:00 p.m. in the Cascadia Room. They meet every first Wednesday. Colleen will post notice.
BORDC Tacoma Committee will meet this coming Monday at First United Methodist at 7 p.m. re: Patriot Act.
Karen Armstrong, Middle Eastern scholar, author of THE BATTLE FOR GOD, and books on Islam and Buddha will be at UPS Fieldhouse, Wednesday, April 2. Tickets are $5.00, available at door.
Event: Evergreen State, Wednesday, April 2 at 7 p.m. Subject: Peace in the Middle East
Sheila: SGI chapter in Olympia is organizing a ceremony to honor Rachel Corrie. They have opened conversations about what is happening in Middle East.
Sheila is also attending a NAFTA meeting in Miami, November 20 and 21st. Kyle's father lives there and he can stay with his father if she gets arrested.
Mark: PLU is sponsoring a conference on Conscious Consumerism, April 4th and 5th. (Saturday - 10 - 3) Mark will speak about the Earth Charter at the conference. To be held at the University Center.
Liz: Knows people who are researching corporations for people who want to know whose products they should buy.
Sallie: Fact Finding Vigil today at noon at Borders, 38th and Steele. Featuring six facts. Thursday, Women In Black at Federal Bldg. May be hassled by counter demonstration.
(Mea Culpa) This is where Deon described her peaceful encounter with counter demonstrators when she offered to help them with their tacky signs. She is interested in affecting the "enemies" heart. Wants to be a "militant lover." Asks, "What can you do to change a heart?" Group circle and silence.
Respectfully, Karen H.