Meeting notes for People for Peace, Justice, and Healing
November 12, 2005
The People for Peace, Justice and Healing met at 10:00 a.m., November 12, 2005, at Associated Ministries. Present for check-in were Rob, Louise, Katherine, Mark, Karen, Sallie, Gracie, Sarah, Nancy and Vivi. Discussion. Question of where to get most current casuality rates on the web: Iraq Coalition Casualty Count. Casualities are listed by state. Discussion of 11/12 TNT coverage of Bush's Veteran's Day speech re: (mostly) pre-war intelligence.
THREAT TO WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS: Mark presented a paper explaining the current threat to the Writ of Habeas Corpus, (U.S. Constitution Article I, Section 9, Clause 2) which guarantees the right of the prisoner...to be brought to court at a specified time, in a specified place, to answer a specified charge. Even though the current exception is a narrow one (currently), it is dangerous because it gives the president (executive branch) the power to trump constitutional law. That is, the president by defining someone as an "enemy combatant" can have the person imprisoned without any of the safe guards of due process - the chance to answer one's accusers. Writ of Habeas Corpus is seen as a key principle and defense against tyranny and despotism. The current Senate voted 49-42 on 11/10/05 to strip "enemy combatants" of the right "to petition in civilian court for a writ of habeas corpus." Consequent "turmoil" over the issue is expected in coming weeks, including when the matter reaches the house. Members were asked to write letters to the Trib protesting this step and to contact their legislative representatives. Discussion.
LEONARD PELTIER: Katherine discussed current plans to work with Jim Robbins to video tape a conversation with Arthur Miller re: Leonard Peltier so that we will have videos ready to distribute to friends and as broadly as possible. Discussion of technical possibilities. Sallie feels pjh can pay for any expenses that might be involved in obtaining tape, etc. Discussion of possibilities of approaching public access TV to see if they would be interested in programing the tape. Other movies, et al about Leonard were mentioned. The possibilities of viewing some of this material post our regularly scheduled meetings - sometime in January - was suggested. We will be hosting a meal per the last several years following this year's protest march.
CONVERSATION CAFE: Susan Boone has agreed to facilitate C/C. (Sorry, didn't quite catch all the dates.) She is agreeable to pjh formulating the questions. (Karens 1 and 2 are currently rehearsing a play, THE WOMEN OF RICHARD III with Shakespeare in the Parking Lot.) Spirited discussion of this week's question led by Katherine: Can what is currently happening in France, happen here? Are our minorities and children of our minorities so upset with current cultural conditions that they would rebel in a similar fashion?
KEVIN BENDERMAN: Sallie reported that Bix (Fr. Bill Bichsel) has been the only person locally allowed to visit Benderman. Sallie has talked to Monica, his wife, and they are asking that we don't protest locally at Ft. Lewis because Ft. Lewis is only housing him and his "command" is in Georgia. Kevin and Monica are eager to focus on issues larger than his individual case. Benderman is being held incommunicado and can't receive mail although he talks to his wife via phone daily. Mark sent a letter to David Linn (or Lynn) a Georgia legislator involved in the case. If you are interested in contact, google at Bendermandefense.org or Amnesty International. Bix and Sallie's reflections on this issue will appear in coming issue of CHANNEL. (A ten year veteran, Benderman applied for CO status after a tour in Iraq. His CO application was rejected and he is listed as "missing deployment." There are no treatment issues at this time.) Write your Congressperson.
COUNTER RECRUITMENT: Discussion of recruitment of minority youth. Sallie asks Katherine to call her.
PEACE MARATHON: Lucas Smiraldo is hosting a Peace Marathon this weekend starting Friday evening. PJH is scheduled to "perform" Saturday afternoon between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. Further details will appear over this list serve.