July-15-Minutes
July 15 Meeting Minutes
Veterans for Peace Rachel Corrie Chapter 109
Olympia, Washington
 
In attendance: Dennis M, Molly G, Larry K, Wes H, David R, Janet S, George H, Bill M, Terry Z, George (Jim) J, Ken S, Jody T, Mohammed A, Debra B, Dan R, James S, Duane K.
 
Introductions, announcements and free speech (rants, etc.).  Visitors David R, Debra B and James S were welcomed.  Some information from this round about will appear at the end of the minutes.
 
The minutes of the previous meeting were approved.
 
Treasurer's Report:  Terry reported that we have $245 in the regular account, $985 in the grant account.  Before passing the hat he reminded us that the Agustin Aguayo event will need financial support, that the Peace Scouts has requested $200 funding to produce their final peace badge.  Other funding requests are on their way to the funds team as well.  The hat was passed and produced $129.  The funds team recommends that the $400 for the Arlington Northwest Memorial come out of the grant account, approved later in the meeting. The funds team consists of Terry, Ken, Jim and Dennis.
 
Old business: 
Jim James reported on the Arlington Northwest Memorial.  Pending approval by the manager of Heritage Park, the dates will be Aug. 26-27 (7am Sunday to 7pm Monday).  Chapter 92 and the Kirkland Chapter provide the crosses and headstones, about 3700 of them are expected.  It takes about 20 people to set it up in a reasonable amount of time.  This will be the 4th year that we have presented the Memorial, and it has always been well received, as it is not a protest, but a memorial, and does help educate the public about the cost of war.  Jim is thinking of asking other organizations to sponsor the event as a fundraiser for the chapter.  A casino was mentioned, but there was objection to aligning ourselves with a gambling establishment because gambling  is an addiction like alcohol for some folks.
Lakefair Parade:  Jim reported that we will be number 115 in the parade, this Saturday, July 21, and the parade starts at 5pm, so no need to arrive at the staging area until about 5pm.  We will have the Color Guard and be inviting the Peace Scouts and other peace groups to join us with positive messages on signs, peace flags, etc.  Bring friends and family.  Watch e-mail for more info on where to meet (on Capital Way, probably near the Freeway overpass).  Bring water. 
Agustin Aguayo will be speaking at Traditions, Tuesday, July 17, 7pm.  He recently served 8 months in prison for his resistance to fighting in Iraq.  Hear his story and contribute to his legal fees; the cost of defending himself still has to be paid.
 
Break:  A yummy Indian lunch was served to us by Dr. Ayub, who is from Madras, India, as a celebration of some personal good news.  (Those who missed this meeting really missed something!)
 
New Business:
Bob P asked to use our video camera at a monetary policy conference that he will be attending that is focusing on war and peace issues.  He wanted to know if we should ask that group to pay for the use of the camera.  It was decided to allow his filming of the event with our camera, requesting a suggested donation of $100 from that group.  Bob will be doing the filming except for the one workshop where he is the presenter.
Wes reported that military ships may possibly be coming to the port during Lakefair.  The Port Military Resistance group opposes their visit during this large, family-oriented festival.  Anyone who wishes to comment regarding the proposed visit can e-mail the commander of the USS Ingram, Rick Odom, at odom@ffg61.navy.mil.  The Office of Homeland Security has recommended against the visit for security reasons and the City of Olympia has denied a request to provide security for the visit at City expense.  Wes indicated that PMR will offer free ice cream at Traditions to crew members if the ships do come here because they welcome the crew members, while opposing the militarization of our port.   The sidewalk in front of the cafe will be available for informational tables during Lakefair.
The Occupation Project involves "occupying" our Congressional Representatives offices along the I-5 corridor reading the names of the fallen in Iraq, singing, providing other forms of visibility and perhaps nonviolent civil disobedience.  Jody will be leading a team to do this action.  Contact her if you want to help.  Jody also suggested we take a shift at the Thurston County Food Bank, Tuesdays 9am-noon.  She will do a project proposal and ask for volunteers.
 
Announcements: 
Ken reported that new members will automatically be placed on the "VfP109" listserv and this list is reserved for VfP business.  The second list "VfP109 talk" is for discussion and information from outside the chapter.  About one third of our members are on that list.  To join it, contact Ken at kenard10@comcast.netPlease respect this request not to use the chapter listserv as if it were the discussion listserv. 
 
Larry reported that when a decision is needed between meetings, the subject line will say "DECISION NEEDED" in all capital letters.  This will help teams and even the membership at large notice when a response to a message is needed asap.
 
Next Meeting:  August 19 at Traditions, 1:30 social time, 2:00 meeting.
 
Respectfully submitted,
Cheryl Crist,
Secretary
 
Members news
Lela M is traveling with Cindy Shehan through the South, then to Washington DC to meet with Rep. Conyers regarding impeachment and other matters, then to the UN to lobby on issues of Iraq, Iran and Africa.
Molly G asks us to put Sept 26 on our calendars for a fundraiser for the Voices in Wartime presentation at SPSCC.  Watch for more information as the date nears.
Dennis M just returned from Croatia where he was helping set up online training of trauma treatment practitioners.  He reports that it seems like everyone hates everyone else there.  During the war the Croates tortured the Serbs and the Serbs tortured the Croates and they all tortured the Albanians.  The buildings and terrain still look like the war zone that it was in the 1990's.  Landmine fields still have not been cleared.
Dr. Ayub got word that a frivolous lawsuit against him was thrown out of court and he is happy to have been fully exonerated.  His serving us lunch was in celebration of that.
Ken and Cheryl recommend that everyone go to pbs.org and watch Bill Moyers Journal from Friday 13, 2007.  John Nichols, editor of "The Nation" and Bruce Fein were discussing "The Genius of Impeachment".  Bruce Fein is a constitutional attorney with the American Enterprise Institute who thinks it is imperative that the US House impeach both Bush and Cheney for "over reaching" and extending their power to include kidnapping and throwing people into dungeons, breaking into private homes for secret searches and many other crimes.  We must not allow these new "powers" to stand and be used by future presidents.
Jody invited us to take part in "Fire the Grid" to help heal the whole planet.  See FiretheGrid.org for more information.
Lee Gilchrist is moving out of Olympia.  In his honor, please attend the impeachment rally Monday, July 16, 4:30-6:00 at the intersection of Cooper Point and Black Lake Blvd.  Signs will be provided.  He, Cheryl C, and George H have been active in the impeachment movement.
Larry says Al Gore's Assault on Reason is a must read.
Duane K is moving Monday, July 16 and during the week that follows needs help organizing and placing items where they ought to go.  If you are good at doing that and also can tell him what to throw out, please let him know.