Saturday, November 16, 2002 Meeting Notes
1. Relationship with Associated Ministries; Finances
2. Adam Bray's peace walk
3. December 8 Coalition
4. Pierce County Demographics
CHECK-IN: a few scattered notes on remarks by those present:
- Carl expressed satisfaction at the fine turnout at Thursday night's coalition-building meeting.
- Karen K. said she has been feeling the need to retreat, perhaps for a vision quest, but came to the realization that our real work is here in our community.
- Mark is participating in a 'national security strategy study group' composed of about a dozen SNOW members who met last Tuesday (and will meet again next Tuesday) in Seattle to discuss how to communicate the significance of the Bush doctrine to the broader public.
- Sally left for Europe on Oct. 1 but was glad to be able to see pictures of the Oct. 7 demonstration on the web when she was in Europe. She showed a beautiful picture of a full moon rising over Florence and other pics of her trip, which included more tourism than her first visit to Europe years ago. She's glad to be back ("I can't not be here") but is worried about overextension.
- Rob said the challenge is to call people's attention to what's going on, when many people do not want to look as deeply as they need to. This afternoon he's taking a group of young people (and their parents) to see Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine" at the Grand... after taking them bowling.
- Karen H. described an interesting encounter at yesterday evening's School of the Americas vigil.
- Benjie attended last Saturday a workshop that drew 250 people at UW Seattle entitled "Imagine Revolution: A Workshop for Optimistic Rebels" -- interesting but doctrinaire.
- Howard described his efforts to effectively penetrate Pierce County's population for peace.
- Glenda said that it's not possible to talk about peace at work but that contacts made at Thursday's meeting had opened up channels of communication.
- Adam expressed relief that the week was over; planning for the SoA vigil was a lot of work.
1. Relationship with Associated Ministries; Finances. Sallie reported that David Alger wants to attend next week's Nov. 23 meeting to discuss our financial relation to Associated Ministries. She reported that between $2500 and $2600 of the $3200 needed for the Oct. 1 TNT ad has been raised; we need to call in unredeemed pledges and close the books on that item. A report on the state of our finances will be forthcoming.
2. Adam Bray's Walk for Peace. Adam reported on his plans for a peace walk over Thanksgiving weekend. He will walk Nov. 28-Dec. 1 in legs of 24.6, 25.0, 24.6, and 20.5 miles, with United Methodist churches as the beginning and end of each leg of the walk. See the link to Adam Bray's webpage on the main PJH page. At next week's meeting PJH will discuss how we will participate further in Adam's inspirational undertaking.
3. December 8th Coalition. Carl recapitulated the origins of the December 8th Coalition: following up on a national coalition's call for local events circa Dec. 10, Carl proposed at the Nov. 2 PJH meeting organizing a Tacoma/Pierce County coalition; this was organized at a Nov. 7 meeting of Carl, Colleen, Mark, and Elaine. Seventy people attended the initial Nov. 14 meeting at Christ Episcopal. There were two parameters: (a) opposition to the war with Iraq; (b) non-violence. It was decided that there would be an event on Dec. 8 at 1:00 p.m. -- further decisions will be made at the meeting next Thursday, Nov. 21, 7:00 p.m., tentatively scheduled pending confirmation of permission to meet at Christ Episcopal. Carl also spoke about the nature of coalitions and the importance of keeping the unifying principle simple. Mark expressed the hope that the next meeting would formally embrace a principle of decision (e.g. 2/3 vote of those present), a name, and some brief statement of principles or points of agreement; he was concerned that there were more individuals than groups involved, that there were not enough people able and willing to give substantial amounts of time to the organizational work needed, and that the group had not yet addressed the responsibilities for peacekeeping training. Karen wondered whether it was sure that a war would occur; Howard expressed confidence that the military will generate an enemy to justify their existence, whether it be Saddam Hussein or someone else. Since the Dec. 8 event is intended to be the coalitions, and not PJH's event, the group did not do any further formal planning for the Nov. 21 meeting. Carl will be traveling for work and will not be able to attend; who will facilitate on Nov. 21 is still uncertain.
4. Pierce County Demographics. Howard gave a brief exposition of Pierce County demographics and the opportunities they represent for organizing for peace locally, with respect to organizing young people who are subject to conscription should the draft be reinstituted (males from 17 to 39 years of age, at present). This is the group we need to focus on if we are to impact the needs to the US military machine. By a variety of governmental acts, the president now possesses the authority to implement military procurement on short notice and Howard is convinced that this is a real possibility. In Pierce County the population is officially 713,000 people (really more like 720,000 probably); 10% of these fall in militarily eligible category -- about 50,000 to 60,000 males aged 15 to 40. There are 600 places of worship in Pierce County, representing 36 denominations, of which 18 already belong to national organizations that have taken stands opposing war with Iraq. We have a tremendous opportunity to network with these groups, but it takes legwork and outreach. There are also academic institutions -- PLU, UPS, UW Tacoma, Bates, the community colleges. We should try to develop counselors at each of these places. In addition, the US military has about 8,000 active duty Army personnel, and about 4,000 active duty Air Force. Turnover of these forces is about 30% biannually, so that in a 3-5 year period, half of them represent a new population. Each of these active duty personnel has the right to seek 1-A-O-1 status, which exempts them from combat. Howard urges people to read Dennis Kucinich's proposal for a US Departement of Peace. Satyagraha is the practical approach he recommends. His goal: have 50 counselors each with a caseload of 200 young people, so that the number of satyagrahi in Pierce County will be equal to the number of active duty military personnel.
(a) Karen H. said Bix is doing pretty well.
(b) Adam: Hunger Banquet at UPS, 11/19, 6 p.m. Cost $4.00. Guests will "eat in accordance with how food is distributed throughout the world."
(c) Mark: PLU is also organizing Hunger and Homelessness events during the coming week; call him at 253-535-7219 for more information.
Meeting dismissed at 12:05 p.m.