Saturday, June 24, 2006
People for Peace, Justice, and Healing
June 24, 2006
Present for check-in: Colleen, Martell, Sallie S., Susan, Mark, Joel, Scott, Kathryn, Vivi, Sally M.
1. Iran (Vivi)
Review of the international situation and prospects for war and peace. The segment from the DVD Marion Ward bestowed on us afterher Jun. 11 visit to Tacoma, showing a charming 10-year-old girl from Isfahan, might be an excellent basis for a TV ad countering the demonization of Iran taking place in the media, Vivi points out. (UFPPC will show this 30-minute DVD -- with excellent production values -- of the Dec. 2005 FOR peace delegation to Iran at 6:30 p.m. on July 6 at First United Methodist Church, 423 MLK Jr. Way, prior to the regular UFPPC meeting.)
2. Afganistan (Martell) NPR reported recently on the opium crop, and mentioned that it is alleged Pres. Karzai's brother is a kingpin in the drug trade and has not been pursued (Karzai denies this is so).
3. Conversation Cafe (Kathryn)
Good conversation on Tuesday. Need to arrange for facilitator on Tues., Jun. 27, as Kathryn & Scott can't come. Conversation on Tues., Jul. 4: CANCELLED. Question for next week has been posted at the cafe. Question chosen for Tues., Jul. 11: "Should the U.S. adopt/enact an official language?" -- Dendria gave Kathryn an excellent group of proposed questions that she and some friends developed, of which the official language question was one. The others: 1. How has television affected human life since its invention? 2. What is an ideal democracy? 3. What do you think of our country's apathy, or whatever? 4. What is the "American dream"? 5. How does White Supremacy rear its ugly head? 6. How do pets affect your life? 7. What awaits you after this life? 8. How do you find love? 9. Technology: friend or foe? 10. What are your opinions on gas prices and the oil industry? 11. Where do you see Earth's environment in the next 50-100 years? 12. What will/would the effects of a globalized economy be? 13. Where/Who/What do you call home? 14. What is your favorite spice, and why?
4. Lieutenant Watada (Sallie S.)
Summary of developments: On Jun. 22 Lt. Ehren K. Watada refused to deploy with his unit to Iraq on the grounds that the war is illegal. He is confined to base pending charges against him. So far press coverage has been only regional: Pacific NW and Hawaii (where Lt. Watada is from). -- ACTIVITIES FOR TUESDAY, JUNE 27, A NATIONAL DAY OF MOBILIZATION OF SUPPORT FOR LT. WATADA: UFPPC will banner from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on two overpasses: (1) McKinley Way over I-5 (near Tacoma Dome); (2) pedestrian bridge over Rte. 16 near the Narrows Bridge (access at N. Skyline Dr. & N. 9th St. on the south side, and N. Skyline Dr. & N. 10th St. on the north side). -- ALSO: Sallie has prepared 750 leaflets outlining Lt. Watada's case to be handed out on Tuesday at various public spots: Contact Sallie to get leaflets and advice about where to hand them out (253-383-2056 ext. 105). For bannering, it's not required but would be very helpful to contact Steve Nebel: 253-573-1504. For more information, see the UFPPC web site.
5. Lt. Watada support meeting Thursday night (Sallie S.)
More than 30 activists supporting Lt. Watada met with his parents & stepmother, and also his lawyer, at First United Methodist Church on Thursday evening. There was some tension between those who would like to focus on Lt. Watada's plight as an individual, and those who would like to focus on the issues about the Iraq war upon which his case is based (particularly with respect to the web site associated with his cause: www.thankyoult.org.)
6. UFPPC study circle on the legality of the war (Mark)
On Jul. 3, 10, & 17, from 7:00 p.m to 8:30 p.m. at the Mandolin Café (3923 S. 12th St., Tacoma) UFPPC will take up three books on the legal issues surrounding the Iraq war: Michael Byers, War Law: Understanding International Law and Armed Conflict (Grove Press, 2006); Noam Chomsky, Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy (Metropolitan Books, 2006); and Robert Jay Lifton, Richard Falk, and Irene Gendzier, eds., Crimes of War: Iraq (Nation Books, 2006). See here for more information. Mark has acquired some copies of books for purchase or lending (253-756-7519).
7. Poetry of Hafiz (also transliterated Hafez) (Sallie S.)
Discussion of Persian poetry, a follow-up to UFPPC's garden solstice celebration of Persian poetry on Jun. 21. Sallie emphasizes that Hafiz is not only profound, he's funny.
8. Debate on the war's legality (Mark)
Discussion of possible format(s) and venue(s) and participant(s) for a debate or series of debates about the legality of the Iraq war. To be continued.
1. Sallie Shawl (253-383-3056 ext. 105) has available for distribution "REFUSE ILLEGAL WAR" posters supporting Lt. Watada.
2. Tuesday bannering and leafleting in support of Lt. Watada (see #4 above).
3. On Tues., Jun. 27, 2006, at 11:00 a.m., Shanti Sellz and Daniel Strauss, the "Two Samaritans" who are being tried in federal court in Tucson for giving assistance to "illegal immigrants," will speak at Centro Latino. (Vivi) (Call Sue Schaeffer to confirm: 253-572-7717.)