Sept. 16, '07 Meeting Minutes Veterans for Peace Rachel Corrie Chapter 109

In Attendance: Terry Z., Dennis M., Robert "Bob" P., Wes H., Lela M., Bill M., Duane K., Jody T., Dan R., Larry K., George H., Lois W., and Kenneth D.

Introductions and Free Speech Round-about (1 min each)
Kenneth D., a new member veteran, was welcomed.

Minutes of last meeting Aug. 19,'07 were approved.

Treasurer's report, Terry Z. reported: The grant account has been closed out with the remaining $357.82 put into the general account. Expenses since August: $200 to Peace Scouts; $200 for Voices in Wartime: $100 deposit for TC PRO-NET Mike Farrel event; $185 for media team: $400 earmarked for ANW. Including $83 from the meeting, plus $20 for selling VFP stuff, the general account is now $421.82.

Old Business:
Arlington Northwest Memorial was reviewed and approved by the City of Olympia for Oct. 14-15. Sharing costs with Seattle, including $65 monthly for storage, and funding further markers up to 4,000 were discussed. Result: [I do not think this came to a vote or consensus, and asked 3 others; received one response, as follows, Geo.] I don't recall a specific decision on ANW costs except that $400 was "budgeted" for the erection. Other groups would be solicited for sponsorships to help offset the cost. There is a proposal to increase the markers to full count, but I don't recall who was to follow up with Susan Arndt and Chapter 92. Bob P.
Space is limited in several sites, for example, Tacoma and Centralia; spacing closer would involve new wire cables. Publicity was encouraged, particularly with letters to the editor. Other veterans organizations will be invited; a letter will be drafted for Jody T., Chapter President, to approve.

Peace Scouts received approval for $200 funding, which includes the Nelson Mandela patches. (contact is Terry Z.)

New Business and Announcements
Jody T. read the following memoriam by Michael McPhearson for former President of National VFP, David Cline, who attended the recent national convention even though he was quite ill:

I regret to inform you that sometime last night David Cline died. I have very few details, and I or someone will provide more as they are available.

Most of you know that David was a giant in the Veteran's anti-war and Peace movements. A national coordinator and long time member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War as well as former President of Veterans For Peace, David was a crucial part of the explosion in VFP's growth and led us in our planning and actions as we have resisted the invasion and occupation of Iraq. David was a giant among people who motivated all of us to action by modeling leadership and providing inspiration.

David was my boss, mentor, friend and I loved him. He recruited me into VFP by simply being the person he was, a veteran working for peace. There are few people outside of my family whose death means such a loss to me personally. There are few in our nation whose loss means so much to our movement.

A quote David loved so much guided his thoughts and actions. He carried it in his wallet so that he could whip it out to motivate us at any time. Of course he also had it memorized.

"If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what a people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress." Frederick Douglass

David Cline we Salute You.

Michael T. McPhearson
Veterans For Peace
Executive Director
314 725-6005

peace: One step at a time.

Jody T. reported on highlights from the VFP National Convention:
1. Strong interest in developing a program in Colombia where teenagers are forced into combatant roles by government, leftists and drug dealers.
2. GI Rights Hotline is being expanded by Ray Parrish, a very experienced counsellor, who wishes to train more counsellors; this training will be mainly via telephone. The Hotline gives referrals to National Lawyers Guild South Sound Chapter (contact Wes B.)
3. Elliot Adams, new national VFP President, emphasizes the need for as many VFP as possible to take the FOR course on non-violent resistance "Culture of Peace."

Robert "Bob" P., who studies monetary theory closely, highly recommends and donated to the VFP library, copies of "The Lost Science of Money," by Stephen Zarlenga, "the best single source on the subject" and "Web of Debt," by Ellen Brown.
Cheryl Christ's contributions were appreciated. The need for a new secretary being apparent and as yet unfilled, George H. agreed to draft these minutes.

"Presente!" re the Nov. 16-18, '07 Convergence on School of Americas, Fort Benning Georgia, was circulated by Larry K.

FOR conference, "Resisting the War Machine" Nov. 9-10, examines the various parts and presents a regional opportunity to network and trade literature at an open table. Cost is $20 w/o lodging, $35 with lodging. (contact Glen Anderson, Pres. Olympia FOR)

Bernie Meyer will help celebrate Gandhi's birthday at Tradition Fair Trade 7 pm, Oct. 2. Bernie will share highlights of his 700 plus miles walk from Glasgow to London as The American Gandhi - and we will celebrate Bernie's 70th BD.

Gary David, VFP Chapter 92 Seattle, wishes to network regarding a proposed GI coffee house in the Fort Lewis area. (contact info_________)

The question was aired regarding time usage for the opening round-about. Show of hands was eleven for and none against continuing the free speech period, Provided it was limited to one minute per person.

There is a major new PTSD support organization, with a building going up at the River Danube in former Yugoslavia. It will provide web access and tele-counselling, thanks to a very generous donor. Dennis M. is our contact, visited the area recently, and was instrumental in helping to start this project.

Movie with Iraqi Vets, "The Ground Truth," will be shown at the UU Church in Olympia, Friday evening, Sept. 21, 7 pm.

KAOS: ___________(contact Duane K.).
TCTV: footage planned re Arlington NW. (contact Bob P.)

The Vietnam Friendship Village organization is seeking donations to set up a community water purification system in Vietnam - before the rainy season starts. The budget for this is $10,000 USD, and Dan R., a board member in the organization, offers $500 to be matched by others who share his feelings. He points out the newsletter is their only overhead, it is not a Vietnamese Government function; it is sponsored by the Vietnamese Veteran Association.

Type II diabetes is fully covered by the VA for all Vietnam ground troop veterans, because Agent Orange exposure is assumed and does not need to be proven. An office in Olympia will assist with the application. (contact Wes B.)

Request was made to use union shops for our printing needs, not voted, but no dissenting voice.

Assistance is requested for the Arlington NW display at Centralia, Oct. 21-22. Our southern wing has a much smaller population to support this display. (contact Bob P. at rpoteat@hotmail.com)

Next VFP RCC 109 Meeting will be in CENTRALIA, Sunday Oct. 21, 2:00-4:00 pm, at the Centralia Library, in conjunction with the Arlington Northwest display.

Respectfully submitted by George Hill