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Notes 9/20/01

Future meetings and events:

Next meeting of this group is Saturday Sept 29th 10am upstairs at the Antique (big thanks to Antique!)

This coming Wednesday, Sept 26th from 12:30 - 2:00 there will be a vigil at the Federal Bldg. (Union Station). It was suggested to bring a candle and to bring a mirror to symbolize reflection: for us to reflect and to urge reflection.

This coming Wednesday, Sept. 26th; all day (from 11:30 am to 7:00pm) at the Thai restaurant (32 Silvers) at Freighthouse Square, Stall 51(24th and East D Street in Tacoma) a delicious Thai buffet has been donated and will be served. Come eat together and make a donation to the needs of the families of this tragedy.

This Saturday Sept. 22 there is scheduled a Labyrinth Walk at University of Puget Sound's Kilworth Chapel (10am-2pm); paper will be provided for a group scroll of written notes, drawings, and reflections - which will then be sent to the Congress and the President.

This Saturday is the AIDS walk - please network there.


The meeting began with a sharing circle of introductions. Janie Starr facilitated the meeting.

The contact plan is that Carrie Washburn will coordinate an email address list and send it to everyone present. Meeting notes will be sent to everyone. There was concern and a request that everyone honor this list and each individual's address, communicating only with others on the list, but not pass the list along to others. (there was a suggestion to go ahead and send the list to the FBI at the outset and be done with it - accompanied by some laughter)

A concern was voiced about the pressure of time (noting that President Bush was addressing the congress at the time of this meeting, and is preparing public opinion) and while during the sharing circle people mentioned gathering to make art and to write or sing are all good suggestions, she would like to see something done that reaches government to let our voices be heard regarding what is already being set in motion. Having heard of petitions and letters that are already set in motion, is there something additional that this group can do right away? Should we take specific action? What could that be?

It was mentioned that the third week in October is designated by the YWCA as A Week Without Violence, and the coordinator of this even suggested that this event be a networking place and time. She also mentioned that as now we are passing the hat for relatives of those lost in this tragedy, in the future we could pass the hat for the women and children of Afghanistan and other places in such dire need.

In line with the above suggestion, it was mentioned that we could match our donations for the victims of this tragedy with donations for the benefit of all those around the world that have been harmed- we could send the donation to those governments so that they would know that we in the West know are not the only ones who have been hurt, and that we are concerned with others in the world, not just concerned with ourselves.

The Labyrinth Walk events coming up were not created recently, but have been planned for some months - the one on October 13th is for the cause of Breast Cancer, but this Saturday's can include the writing/art project mentioned above.

This project is similar to a writing project, a "racism wall" that students against racism created at Pierce College. It was suggested that this kind of project can easily be added to events that are already happening, like the Labyrinth walk, with writings and drawings being put on rolls of butcher paper and then rolled up and sent off to Congress, the President, or Congressional representatives.

It was suggested that due to new road/bridge construction in Tacoma, the old traditional gathering place for things like candlelight vigils no longer works, but let's think about creating a place and designating an ongoing event - like a weekly vigil - a place to come and bring candles....(the first of these is Wednesday, 12:30 to 2:00, Federal Bldg.)

It was suggested that the media coverage has such a powerful effect (for instance, the word 'war' was immediately and continuously repeated in the media almost immediately) - the media reflects back what we think - so ideas are needed to influence the media, the TNT. Suggestion: an endorsement ad in the newspaper so that people who read the TNT would know that there are people in Tacoma who support peace. People interested in pursuing this idea, please email Carrie at

Jim Robbins will suggest and coordinate events that use art as the focus of expression, perhaps those projects and events would be good material for the TNT. The art could also be sent to Washington DC - Contact him at his email address:

It was pointed out that when a public group asks for media attention, the media then asks what the group stands for, and in this case if the media asks us "what then is the appropriate response to the killing of the thousands of people in the terrorist attack on the WTC?" What would be our response? We have lots of ideas, but as a group have not yet determined our focus. Therefore, it was suggested that we agree to continue to meet: "I want a place for people who give a shit show up" regularly, continuously, over time - a place to struggle with our own feelings, and to grapple with what it means to give a damn. (discussion of this point led to the agreement to meet on September 29th, Sat. 10am upstairs at the Antique.)

It was suggested that, since there are a variety of ideas and interests, anyone who has energy to launch that idea go ahead and get it going, and communicate with the group via email.

It was suggested that perhaps what might happen is that there would be a core group (which would be open to whoever could/would show up) that would meet on a regular basis and a regular time and place, for support and grappling, and it would also be a "clearing house" for information about all the events that were taking place - people would know to contact this group to give or receive that kind of information, and in addition, the group would commit to meeting together in an ongoing way to 'give a shit' [for perhaps the next 20 years. :-) ] Actually, to start on the 29th and go from there.

The concern for doing something right away was again voiced - resulted in agreement that a couple of people draft a letter, as well as the Labyrinth event, and urging anyone/everyone to write their representatives......In the case of a group letter, it was agreed that the letter would be drafted and everyone would get a chance to see it and add (or not) their name, rather than people having their names added to something just because they attended a meeting.

A group from Guadalupe House is planning to protest at the School of the Americas in Georgia in October. They are working to form coalitions for labor groups to pool spirit and energy - there's a meeting there Tuesday evening at 7:30 pm to continue this process. We can take inspiration from this sort of thing - learn to form coalitions and show up at places where events are already happening (like the AIDS walk Saturday) and make voice heard.

Thank you to the Antique for offering their upstairs room for these meetings. (The Friends House might also be a space for some gathering)

It was suggested that people bring a mirror as well as a candle to the vigil - mirror gets attention of media - symbolic of reflecting the thoughts and feelings of the American people. Wondering who would be a contact person if media requested an interview?

It was suggested that we all take notice to see if there is any one thing that an official has said and the media has said that we could go on record as not supporting, but mention was made that for clear communication it is best to focus on positive expressions rather than reinforcing negative messages through repeating them.

It was suggested that each time we meet we could pick one thing, one topic, and then all communicate it.

There were expressions of gratitude for the meeting, and then a closing circle and song.

"We Shall Overcome someday
We Shall live in peace someday
We are not afraid . . .today. . .
Deep in my heart, I do believe, that we shall live in peace someday."

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