Saturday, May 24, 2003 Meeting Notes
Check-in: scattered notes on remarks by those present.
- Sheila has been reading Shibley Telhami, *The States: America and the Middle East -- The Consequences of Power and the Choice of Peace* (Boulder, CO: Westview,, 2002) and said it emphasizes that the Israel-Palestine conflict is the central issue in the Middle East in the eyes of the Arabs. She also recommends David Grossman, *Death as a Way of Life: Ten Years after Oslo* (NY: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2003). -- reported that Rachel Corrie will be awarded a posthumous degree at the Evergreen commecement.
- Kyle passed.
- Mark J.'s son graduated from Reed College on Monday. -- This was finals week at PLU. -- He said he's looking forward to the workshop on Nonviolent Communication. -- He reflected on the invasion of 'technical reason' (the market rationale, technolology) in spheres of life where it is not appropriate as an endemic problem of our time.
- Sallie told about a troubling dream in which fascists took over and she took refuge with people in a building which turned out to be the building in Tacoma where citizens of Japanese origin were temporarily interned in Tacoma during WWII. -- She's working hard recruiting painting crews for Paint Tacoma Beautiful.
- Kent reported that a German company has developed an efficient parabolic concentrator that captures 25% of the energy of sunlight, twice the efficiency of solar cells (see http://www.gbe.com) and is interested in making efforts to facilitate the arrival of this technology in the U.S., as well as figuring out how to get more passive solar energy used here in the Puget Sound region. -- He recommends Lucie Leu's book using Marshall Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication in jails. -- Every other week he visits a man in Pierce County jail who is accused of causing his son's death. He hopes a way can be found to integrate concern for justice with Nonviolent Communication. -- Tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. at the Hillside Community Church (behind Borders) Kent's making a presentation on Nonviolent Communication: all are welcome. He said Nonviolent Communication is working well with members of his extended family.
- Mark N. said he was present "for transformation."
- Sara attended a concert last night at PLU and felt uplifted. She described research showing beneficial effects of making music on the brains of children, and said our society has too much moved toward passive patterns of behavior; instead of being entertained, we should be singing.
1. Kelly Campbell. Sallie reported on the visit last Sunday of a co-founder of September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows (http://www.peacefultomorrows.org). Kelly Campbell is the sister-in-law of a 9-11 victim. Twenty-two people attended her presentation. She showed a video of the visit of members of her group to Afghanistan. Kelly Campbell said that lately the group has been gaining more members. Their slogan is: "Our grief is not a cry for war." Sallie spent 24 hours with Kelly Campbell, who has a background in environmentalism, and had interesting reflections on the political complexities of the peace & justice community that confirmed Sallie's view that United for Peace and Justice is the least sectarian and most democratic of the peace coalitions now active. She offered insights into the difficulty of overcoming a sudden death that occurs from an intentional human act.
This led to a discussion of anger, justice, and nonviolence. Kent observed that Marshall Rosenberg makes few assumptions about human beings -- he does not say that human beings are children of God, and he doesn't say that they are beasts -- but rather focuses on people as having needs and as beings that generally behave well and feel good when their needs are met. Sallie observed that she finds that anger is often a secondary or displaced emotion, where the primary emotion behind it is something like fear, etc.
2. Earth Charter Summit. Sheila described plans for an October 11 event with an opening ceremony around eight in the morning followed by events in various tracks: 1) a discussion track with both mediated and unmediated groups; 2) sessions on various subjects; 3) Nonviolent Communication; 4) Kids (this is not childcare, however); 5) Relaxation & arts. These will last through the day with a pause for a bring-your-own-food lunch. At the end, wrap-up, networking, and closing. The next meeting to discuss this event: Tuesday, June 10, at Tully's on 9th, at 6:30 p.m.
3. Candidate Discussion. Sara said she's been very impressed with Howard Dean.
4. Earth Charter Discussion. Princples 1a and 1b were discussed (Principle 1a: "Recognize that all beings are interdependent and every form of life has value regardless of its worth to human beings." Princple 1b: "Affirm faith in the inherent dignity of all human beings and in the intellectual, artistic, ethical, and spiritual potential of humanity.") further. Sheila described coming to appreciate insects better. Kyle described metamorphosis. Mark J. noted Principle 1a insists we should not evaluate all life according to its usefulness to humans, while Principle 1b accords special "inherent dignity" to all human beings, but places this in the *potential* of humanity's intellectual, artistic, ethical, and spiritual dimensions. What this worth and dignity of life and human life "are" are ultimately mysteries, and in speaking about them we are adopting a moral attitude toward the future more than discovering properties of them. Kent said the notion of mystery is important as more than something to figure out. Mark N. wondered how to communicate these ideas to others who believe the earth was created for human beings. Sallie said she's tried to spare mice and spiders in her house, and recommended highly Barbara Kingsolver's *Prodigal Summer*.
1. Sallie reported dates to hold: June 7 for the Nonviolent Communication Workshop at UPS 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; June 21 for the benefit concert at the Antique Sandwich Company for United for Peace in Pierce County; July 10 for the benefit for Paint Tacoma Beautiful; and July 15 as the probable date for the UFPPC re-energizing event.
2. Sheila announced a fundraiser in tomorrow for people going to Palestine at the Free Palestine Cafe in Olympia (1520 Hays Ave. NW) from 5:00 p.m. till midnight (good food served until 9:00 p.m.)
3. Mark J. announced a SNOW re-energizing and re-focusing event at the Seattle Labor Temple (2800 First Ave., downtown Seattle) for the peace movement from 1:00 p.m. till 4:30 p.m., with workshops from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. (he'll be leading on on the "National Security Strategy of the United States of America," that abomination, in company with Susan Friedrich of SNOW.
Respectfully submitted, Mark J.