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Notes 9/29/01

Carrie facilitated the group and Flo acted as white board recorder and Jude took these notes. Alta will send the meeting notes to people who do not have email.

NEXT MEETING OF THIS GROUP will be held 9:30 to 12:00 next Saturday October 6 at Associated Ministries. If you will be making an announcement at that meeting about an upcoming event, please also write the information down and hand it to Jude so she can put it in the meeting notes. Thanks

Upcoming events folks might be interested in:

  • This Wednesday, Oct. 3rd from 12:00 to 2:00 there will be another vigil at the Federal Bldg. (Union Station). Theme: Justice, not Vengeance. Bring candle, signs, and please spread the word!
  • Sunday Sept 30, 1 to 4pm Jim Robbins is facilitating a free family art/creative writing workshop "Picturing Peace" at Center for Spiritual Living, 206 North J St. in Tacoma. A love offering will be taken to benefit children who lost their parents in the tragedy in NY.
  • Thursday, Oct 4th at the Main Branch of the Library (1102 Tacoma Avenue S.) hosts a tribute to Pierce County Labor, featuring James Talley in concert (6:00 PM reception, 7:00 concert), singing the Songs of Woody Guthrie. James' Songs of Woody Guthrie and My Oklahoma Home album won's prestigious, "Folk Album of the Year for 2000" award, praise from Woody's daughter, Nora Guthrie, and raves from the NY Times and Greil Marcus. His first album was named to Rolling Stone's top 100 albums of the decade.
  • "Justice Not Vengeance" posters are available. Contact Sallie Shawl at Associated Ministries.
  • Nativity House is in jeopardy. Join a rally at the City Council meeting in the Municipal Bldg on St. Helens Oct 2, 5pm. Wear red.
  • Forum on "Fostering Community in a Time of Individualism"at the Wheelock Branch Library Thursday Oct. 4 at 7pm.
  • Gandhi's birthday is Tuesday Oct. 2. Celebrate Peace!
  • Upcoming UPS events organized by student group Freak Out!
    • Monday(Oct 1) 7pm at Wheelock 101 poster making for upcoming rallies
    • Wednesday(Oct 3) 5pm Wheelock 101 Teach-In on the topic of Islam and also Hate Crimes
    • Thursday(Oct 4) 7:30 pm Rally & March to Proctor district starting on steps of Jones Hall and ending with a vigil (around 8:30) on Wheelock Ctr. Plaza. BYOC (Bring your won candle).
  • Thursday Oct. 4 at 6:00 at UPS Thompson fountain. Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi. A blessing of the animals (bring your pet) and a peace gathering. St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of peace and of other animals.
  • Next planning meeting for local SOA Watch: Wednesday, Oct. 3, 6:30pm until 8pm at the UPS Catholic Students' house, 1608 North Alder, contact Mike Smith: 879-4792.
  • Non-violence training in anticipation of civil disobedience will be heldseveral times/places in mid-October. The firm date so far: Saturday, Oct.13, 12noon til 5pm at the Seattle Labor Temple, Hall One, 2800 - 1st Avenue in Seattle. Suggested donation $10. Contact / RSVP to Ken Little, 253-531-5658 or
  • Lovingkindness Meditation class for eight sessions: Thursdays, 7:00 tp 9:00 beginning October 18th at the Unitarian Church. Call Jude for more information 752-5098.

Notes from the meeting:

The meeting began with people sharing who they are and what meeting they felt the came to. This sharing revealed intensions, concerns, questions, and aspirations that people bring to this group. Among them the following:

  • Wanting to look at both short-term and long-term responses to these events. What are we learning? How can we be a voice? Feel empowered by this group, this community, by having a voice in a group that is thinking differently, hoping the group grows, hoping we come up with more things to do to make our voices heard
  • Wanting to learn, find resources for educating myself, and have a place to connect with concerned others, and hear of other events happening in Tacoma
  • Notice in the News Tribune said this group had to do with "non-violent response" and see this as an opportunity to share with others who may be a minority
  • Wanting to connect with others, see an opportunity for collaboration . This is an extraordinary time, there is change in the air, we want a vehicle for friends to invite them to the group or be added to the list
  • Have been so inspired by the Black Collective group that has been meeting weekly for 20 years, coming together as a community, regardless of political views , they always meet, no matter how many or how few attend, and they never admonish each other so that no one attends from a feeling of guilt. Wants an ongoing group that is a place to be welcomed whether wise or ignorant, open to mentoring and being mentored
  • Came for a meaningful response to the militarism that seems to be growing. Felt compelled to be a part of something
  • Want to see more awareness of the whole world in pain and would like to have events to learn how to speak to the people whose first reaction is the perspective that violence is the answer.
  • Wanting to spend time with comrades, to give me strength to speak and not to be afraid
  • Wanting to see this group help make linkages outside our smaller communities
  • After seeing how the sale of firearms has gone up all over the country, wanting to connect with friends
  • Feeling from hearing the others that we are all citizens of the world, and as such, a need to respond in some way when militarism arises in the world
  • We came because we said we would

The morning's agenda discussed, and the following topics were covered:

Reports where given on the last week's activities, acknowledging that this group generated some positive events and that the group has already been functioning as a clearing house for information on other events:

  • The Labyrinth walk event sent a scroll to the White House with writings from 25 participants about their concerns
  • On Wednesday 20 people braved the weather and attended the vigil with many signs. The HONK FOR PEACE sign drew a lot of responses. A big thanks to all who helped. Our 2 representatives came out to receive the letters to them that circulated on the email last week
  • The News Tribune notice brought new people to this group
  • The Tuesday night meeting at Guadalupe House generated signatures for the Dicks letter

There was a discussion about group purpose and so forth, to see if there is a group here and perhaps to name it. The following things were mentioned:

  • It take time and care to name a group, and it may be best not to rush to naming, because a name defines a group. An example was the group "safe streets" that met 12 years ago. It took 3 meetings to find that name. Consider: what are we about? Concern for those who have been hurt by this tragedy-
  • Wanting some clarity of purpose. Felt the letter was unclear
  • This event, and the deaths of 7,000 people awakened us, so would like to focus on those deaths but also on broader issues like what is my country's policy of very the next 5 years or 5 days toward these kinds of events as they happen everywhere?
  • What can my country do that is not violent?
  • Wanting to influence the foreign policy that triggers such a reaction around the world is my way of honoring the 7,000 people who died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time , and the firefighters and rescue workers who died trying to help them, is to fight to avoid unnecessary deaths in the future
  • Felt the letter said well in one page what was a huge message - including abhorring the tragic events and standing for a position on policy-..
  • Knowing that these acts and these deaths were appalling and unthinkable, and because we dimly recognize the mentality behind those who perpetrate terrorism, wanting time for reflection and wanting to encourage time for reflection so as not to respond with a knee-jerk reaction that might perpetrate the same outrage on others
  • Aware of our leaders experiencing lots of fear: fears of not being brave, of losing face, many other fears. See a need for those to be consoled
  • Strong need to be able to say "I believe in non-violence and this is what it looks like" and wanting this group to help figure out what that looks like. Wants to be able to respond to people who ask for a peaceful alternative response
  • Wanting us as a group to learn more about our country and the world and have a regular group that meets to figure out what this is for us
  • Would like this group to put out a positive message, rather than the abundance of criticism that can come out of groups. Let's pick up on the positive when it's there
  • There have been many comparisons to Pearl Harbor. That event was clearly a call to war, but this is a call to consciousness, a "sea change." People have been saying on talk programs of how ashamed they now feel of their lives and what they have been doing, what they have felt was important. There is a feeling now of a rallying call that affects and can be responded to with consciousness rather than conflict
  • Wanting us to become informed ourselves. There is a great ignorance in our country. There is an excellent article in the Christian Science Monitor of Thursday Sept 27th called "Why Do They Hate Us?" You can find the article on the web at Click the archive feature. (At the time of this writing the archive feature is not functioning but there is a reassuring note that they are working on it!) This is a good article, and there are others, that help us be educated and to know what happened and why, whether we agree or not. This group can help us become educated.
  • An exchange student once commented on how little Americans know about the rest of the world, how little information is in the news. We need to change that in our country
  • Feeling shame and pain now, because having lived in Latin America for many years in the 70's when our country was admired for its democratic ideals. By the 80's the tide had turned, and it hurts me in my soul to know how much we are hated in other countries. Would like to see the image of the US changed so we are appreciated in the world once again
  • Feeling that the response that is happening now in America is amazing because, two weeks later we are not at war (remembering the war with Granada for so much less. Feels if there is a war, wanting to be on Colin Powell's side and not Chaney's. Is inspired by Mayor Giuliani who I never would have voted for. How can we be participants in public applause to the things we are privately celebrating?
  • So much appreciate this conversation and want to capture some of this.
  • Offer to chair next meeting and facilitate an Open Space activity to distill all our concerns and focus the group
  • Agreeing that it is amazing that the US is not right now bombing Afghanistan, and noticing that the language has changed this week. The tone in the country is changing, at least on NPR. People are expressing a growing movement within the country and in other nations that is not a militaristic response
  • Maybe one feels that listening to NPR, but many do feel violent and militaristic
  • Concerned that we don't really know what the US is doing. There could be a secret ward going on right now. "Maybe I'm paranoid, but that doesn't mean people aren't after me" NPR is one view, but there are others
  • What is frightening is the black/white, right/wrong reaction with no shades of gray. That's what I keep hearing
  • People often equate non-violence with non-action, and need to hear: NO WAR DOES NOT EQUAL NO ACTION. People need to know that there are creative non-violent activities (inspired by a boy's comment when he saw a GI Joe doll "what a sissy having to use a gun instead of his head")

At this point there was some discussion about whether to have the next meeting be a continuation of the kind of format of this meeting, or to ask Chris to facilitate a Open Space meeting on the topic of focusing this group. Several people wanted the open space meeting to be on what a response to the government might be, or what advice one might give to the government at this time with respect to what I want them to do.

Chris clarified that an Open Space meeting is a format where everyone is provide with three 'stickies' to write on covering what we personally value and would want the group to support, or three themes and then all are put on the wall and clustered into groups. There would also be meeting in small groups and it would bring in everyone's ideas and prioritize and distill the focus of the group. At the end of the meeting, maybe 5 or 6 different themes might arise.

A discussion ensued, and some of the points mentioned were a desire to learn more about the Muslims, not to tell them things, but to learn. Hungry for learning in political science, national policy,wanting to know why the congress is silent and allowing the executive branch to make all these decisions

  • thought of 11 positive things I could tell the administration
  • why should we spend more time uncovering themes in this group? Because it has a distillation effect and sets focuses for direct action
  • deciding on Open Space process for next week is too quick, it might be good later
  • desire to discuss where the terrorists are in the world, and also the oil in Afghanistan

So there was a call for a show of hands on whether to continue in the way we've been meeting or to have the Open Space process for next meeting. The Open Space process was decided by majority. Chris will facilitate it next week (thank you Chris!)
(9:30 to 12 noon at Associated Ministries)

Other announcements:

Last week's lunch sponsored/donated by the Thai restaurant and Dennis's family sent a $2700 donation to NYC families

Janie has earth pins available for a $2 donation

Janie gave her name and the number of the Foundation for Global Community as contact person for announcements paper and is willing to keep doing it if people want that

Joan will get the names and contact information for the senators and representatives etc: They will be posted on the website.

Jean will post items on the website as long as they do not violate copyright.

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