Saturday, November 2, 2002 Meeting Notes
1. Coordinating locally with national actions
2. Julio Quan workshop follow-up
3. Peace vigils
4. Study group
5. Peace walk
6. School of the Americas protest vigil Nov. 15
CHECK-IN: a few scattered notes on remarks by those present
- Carl scalded himself pretty badly at last weekend's workshop but fortunately two doctors were present when it happened.
- Amy's doing o.k.
- Marilyn, our phone tree organizer, attended for the first time and called for more action! as well as recommending Michael Moore's new documentary film "Bowling for Columbine" (probably coming to the Tacoma Grand Cinema in mid-November).
- Adam reported that UPS's Iraq teach-in was successful, drawing about 160 people; a number of smaller discussions have also been taking place at UPS.
- Mark attended the SNOW meeting on Tuesday evening and compared the current situation in the U.S. to Ionesco's play "Rhinocéros."
- Chris said she's been thinking a lot about Julio Quan's question "What does peace need?" a lot and seeing a different perspective on what we do at PJH.
- Mara's glasses broke and car broke down on the same day.
- Colleen said the high point of her week was a reception for Anthony Romero, ACLU's new director (since September 8, 2001) -- he says that what has happened in the past year in terms of civil liberties has been horrifying and that this is a most critical time -- but he is hopeful nonetheless, and Colleen also feels that the peace movement is making a difference in this country right now.
1. Coordinating locally with national actions. Carl noted that December 10, International Human Rights Day, is being touted as a national day of local actions, and that it may be a good time to try to gather South Sound groups to plan a joint event and build a coalition. The feasibility of this and the possible need for a mediator to facilitate were discussed; Carl was optimistic that effective cooperation is possible. The group agreed to undertake preliminary work on arranging such a meeting, viz. (a) Mark will contact Rev. Pat Trytten of Christ Episcopal Church, who has offered to make facilities available for an event there; (b) Colleen and Elaine will prepare a list of groups to be contacted; (c) Carl will prepare a text and a message that we can use to invite groups to attend. There will be a meeting Thursday, November 7, at 9:00 p.m. at Colleen's to bring these elements together into a firm plan; Amy, Carl, Colleen, Elaine, Mark, and Adam (or someone else from UPS) will attend. (Any others wishing to attend can call Colleen, 759-9680.)
2. Julio Quan workshop follow-up. Colleen reported on a call from Julio Quan early this week inquiring about PJH response to the Oct. 26 workshop. Colleen told him the response had been mixed. Julio felt he could perhaps have done a better job; Colleen felt she could have done a better job preparing Julio for the event. Julio thought that we had not understood everything he was trying to say about the notion of "alternatives to war." The group discussed the workshop, the light it shed on feelings about how PJH is functioning, etc. The group reached no conclusion but declared an intention to continue discussing these questions in future meetings. (Note: on the afternoon of Tuesday, Nov. 5, at 3:00 p.m. Julio Quan will be at the Conflict Resolution Institute at the Old City Hall in downtown Tacoma and Colleen and some others will be meeting with him; other PJHers are welcome. For more information, call Colleen, 759-9680.)
3. Peace Vigils. The group decided that for the coming week PJH will announce only the 5-6 p.m. Wednesday peace vigil at the Federal Courthouse for the coming week, but continue to encourage other groups to 'adopt' the vigil other evenings. (Tacoma Friends Meeting has adopted the Monday vigil.)
4. Study group. Mark reported on the formation of a SNOW NSS Study Group to try to find ways of communicating the radical danger to core national values represented by the Bush administration's national security strategy. Mark said there was concern that Iraq is not a forest, but a tree: a part of a much larger phenomenon. The administration has elaborated a new grand strategy whose goal is to maintain the current global hegemony the US possesses in world affairs. It rejects the realist-cum-liberal basis of national security policy that has existed for the past 50 years on the grounds that it no longer responds to the assymetrical threats represented by terrorism and WMDs. The means to implement this strategy are called by some "breakout," i.e. leveraging US military superiority through massive investments in the military and R&D to make permament US hegemony and to extend it into space. Well-informed analysts of this grand strategy have identified some implications of this grand strategy as (a) regarding international treaties, international institutions, and multilateral agreements as relatively less important commitments that can be dispensed with if necessary; (b) reducing strategic partnerships (e.g. Europe, Japan) to the status of assets rather than policy pillars; (c) redefining the notion of sovereignty and making respect for the sovereignty of other nations conditional upon cooperation with US concerns; (d) changing aspects of the domestic constitutional regime in the US (Patriot Act, etc.); (e) identifying bringing modernity to the Middle East as a strategic imperative for the US. Critiques of the strategy point out that it is hubristic, overreaching (the classic mistake of imperial regimes), destablizing, not credible in the eyes of most nations, morally wrong, and inconsistent with core national values of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. However, the general public is still ignorant of this. The goal of the study group will be to find ways to communicate this to the general public. The meeting decided to reactivate the study group and to have the study group meet, as has been usual, on the fourth Sunday of the month, i.e. on Nov. 24 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Chris Martin agreed to host the discusion at her home at 638 N. Prospect, Tacoma -- call 572-6315 to RSVP. Mark agreed to send out a notice on the listserv, to facilitate at the study group, and also to provide hard copies of the texts to those unable to access them on-line.
5. Peace Walk. Adam Bray of the UPS Center for Spirituality and Justice said he had decided to undertake on the Thanksgiving weekend a peace walk to Olympia from some point to the north (perhaps Everett). His decision came after reading about a Mennonite pastor from Pittsburgh who has undertaken a similar walk, and from a felt need on Adam's part to do something more individually. PJH agreed to support him by putting up a page on our website about his peace walk and in other ways to be determined as Adam's project takes shape.
6. School of the Americas vigil. Adam reported that a Nov. 15 4:00 p.m vigil in front of the Federal Courthouse is being planned. Several speakers have been lined up. Details will follow.
(a) Adam announced that there will be a Hunger Banquet at the UPS Rotunda on Nov. 19 at 7:00 p.m. Diners will pay $4.00 and take their chances on what meal they will receive, to be distributed in proportions that reflect worldwide inequality, malnutrition, and hunger. Open to the public.
(b) Elaine reported that the anti-discrimination law passed by the Tacoma City Council is in danger and urged people to take action to help defeat Measure One. On Sunday at noon at Christ the King on Martin Luther King, Jr. Way volunteers can gather to spend the afternoon working against Measure One. BE SURE TO VOTE "NO" ON MEASURE ONE.
(c) Mark announced that he had posted information passed on by Howard Walsh about recent changes making it more difficult to qualify for Conscientious Objector status, and that he would put on the web a questionnaire being used to facilitate conscientious objection to war. See the "Resources" page of the PJH website (tacomapjh.org).
The meeting adjourned at 12:16 p.m.