Saturday, June 17, 2006

People for Peace, Justice and Healing met June 17, 2006, at 10 a.m. at Associated Ministries. Present for check-in: Sallie S., Vivi, Scott, Joel, Martell, Kathryn, Rob, Colleen, Mark, and Sol.


The conversation on "labels" went well. Discussion of how to maintain standards of decorum in the conversation cafe. PPJH adopted this statement, drafted by Sheila, to be communicated at the beginning of the conversation cafe: "In our conversations here, at times things are said that individuals find offensive. When that happens, each of us have the right to speak up. There is an expectation is that we will all listent respectfully and temper our speech in consideration of other participants' sensibilities."

Discussion of the decision, announced on Jun. 16 by the Rev. Monty Smith in a noontime press conference at First United Methodist Church, to make First United Methodist Church, 423 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tacoma, a sanctuary "for service members who find themselves conscientiously opposed to combat duties," in the words of Susan Dobkins, director of the church's Micah Project. "The sanctuary will serve as a place for service members to come and contemplate their options, and also receive counseling about conscientious objection, administrative discharges, and other GI Rights-related questions." VOLUNTEERING OPPORTUNITY: A training session for reliable individuals who can follow rules and policies, and who would like to volunteer to help staff the center, will be held on Sunday, June 18, at 2:00 p.m., at the Tacoma Dominican Center, 935 South Fawcett, Tacoma. For more information contact Susan Dobkins (253-973-7080 cell; 253-627-0129 office;

Mark reported on a survey he made 22 U.S. newspapers, showing that only press in the Pacific Northwest are covering the story of Lt. Ehren Watada's decision, announced on Jun. 7 in Tacoma; no national daily is taking up the story, and most have not even mentioned it (including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Christian Science Monitor, the San Jose Mercury News, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Dallas Morning News, the St. Louis Dispatch, and the Denver Post. He also distributed copies of a statement adopted on Jun. 15 by in support of Lt. Watada, which takes a position very similar to a column published on Jun. 16 by Prof. Michael Honey of the University of Washington-Tacoma. Sallie and Colleen described their interaction with Lt. Watada and his family at an event they attended on Jun. 15. UFPPC will be participating in the national day of mobilization of support for Lt. Watada that has been called for on Tues., Jun. 27, and will be calling for people to turn out for that; details forthcoming. Sallie is interested in organizing leafletting on that day as well. Brief discussion of other possibilities to call attention to Lt. Watada's case, such as organizing letter-writing campaigns, raising money to pay for the publication of Lt. Watada's argument about the legality of the Iraq war, and organizing a debate or series of debates on the matter of the war's legality.

Discussion of the current situation in Afghanistan, especially on drugs and corruption there.

Davis Guggenheim's film on global warming, "An Inconvenient Truth," featuring Al Gore, opened at the Grand Cinema on Friday; there will be a discussion after the 4:00 p.m. showing this afternoon. However, the Grand will not cooperate with leafletting those who attend the film. Sol plans to work a half-page flyer outside anyway; contact her at ( if you'd like to help.

Sallie read Tom Krebsbach's account of "Day 1 in Support of Lt. Watada at Fort Lewis," reporting that he was not only harassed but manhandled by MPs while demonstrating near Fort Lewis.


1. On Wednesday, July 21, at 7:00 p.m., United for Peace of Pierce County is holding a garden solstice party celebrating Persian poetry as part of its Iran Education Months (May-June). The event is entitled "Wake!" — the first word of Edward FitzGerald's translation of "The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam." Poetry both in English translation and the original Persian (Farsi) will be presented, as well as Persian pastries, Moroccan wine, and tea. -- The event will be held in a beautiful backyard garden in North Tacoma (420 N. 4th St. -- enter by driveway in the back). Attendees may want to bring a blanket or folding chair for seating. (Mark)

2. On Monday evening at 7:00 p.m., Steve & Kristi Nebel will perform in concert at Rhapsody in Bloom, 3709 Sixth Ave., Tacoma.

3. The Guadalupe Gala spaghetti dinner, auction, and music fundraiser to fund safety repairs for Tacoma Catholic Worker’s Guadalupe House for transitional guests will be held this evening, Sat., Jun. 17, from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., at Holy Cross Church, 5510 N. 44th St. Auction items include get-away package to Oregon coast; dinner for six hosted by Jesuit Father Bill Bichsel. No charge at door; donations accepted. More info: (253) 572-2296.