Veterans for Peace Meeting Minutes (12-1-05)

This meeting was held in Brunswick with 14 members participating. The meeting was facilitated by V-P Peggy Akers.

CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE VIDEO

Arthur Whitman played the 18-minute video called Caught in the Crossfire: Untold Story of Falleujah. The powerful video showed what has not been shown in the U.S. - the total destruction of a city the size of Cincinnati, Ohio causing hundreds of thousands of civilians to evacuate. Anyone who is interested in showing the video please contact Arthur.

NOVEMBER ACTIVITIES REVIEW

Iraq war veteran Brian Turner read his poetry at Bates, Bowdoin, USM and Farmington. VfP member Eric Herter video taped Turner’s presentation. Contact Eric at: imagesvietnam@yahoo.com

The Stan Goff tour went well, lots of students were able to hear him speak. The tour was coordinated by Bill Slavick and Arthur W. will check with him to see if all costs were covered. Goff is a retired special forces counterinsurgency Marine. His talks included a heavy emphasis on economic analysis of the current situation.

Veterans day parade in Portland was well attended by VfP members and supporters. Small crowd watched from the sidewalk. Parade has become increasingly militarized. The end of parade where VfP stood across from the speakers was a special moment for many members. VfP needs to press in the future to be included as a speaker. Need to keep asking each year.

TREASURERS REPORT

Arthur W. reported that we now have $5,130 in bank. Tom Sturtevant reported that Maine Share has run up several thousand $$$ in debt but that this should not impact on VfP’s next grant from them.

Bruce Gagnon reported that the previous meetings decision to purchase 1-minute advertisements on Air America radio out of Portland has been done. The ads will run from Jan-Mar in 2006 and will ask folks to call senators Snowe and Collins urging them to hold a town-hall meeting on Iraq. Bruce and Doug Rawlings wrote the ads.

PTSD CONFERENCE

Tim Blanchette reported that Togas has turned VfP down to hold the March 25 PTSD conference there. Still looking for a suitable site in Augusta. Was agreed that we should have Don Harden explore getting official institutional co-sponsorship of the event. Could help make it seem less controversial. Doug R. is also working on this event.

STEP ON THE GAS

Michael Uhl stated that now is the time for the anti-war movement to step up pressure against the war as at the moment there is a political opening following the statements by Rep. John Murtha. We must avoid being drawn into the debate over a timetable for troop withdrawal. We must keep strong and maintain our position to bring the troops home now. Peggy A. urged all members to write letters to the editor during the next month.

UP-COMING EVENTS

  • Every Saturday during advent there will be vigils at BIW in Bath. They are from 11:30 – 12:30

  • Bruce G.’s portrait has been painted by artist (and VfP member) Rob Shetterly as part of his Americans Who Tell The Truth collection. The collection is now showing at USM Lewiston-Auburn until Dec 15.

  • Dec 15 there will be a “War is Over” press conference and rally at Sen. Snowe’s office in Bangor. The action is being organized by Dud Hendrick’s affinity group and is being widely supported around the state. People will meet at 1pm at the P & J Center in Bangor and then walk to Snowe’s office for the rally. Bob Dale urged that VfP spend some money to help promote the action by purchasing an advertisement. A decision was made to spend $1,000 in the Bangor paper on the week-end prior to the Dec 15 action. The ad would give the details of the action, state “Bring the troops home now,” and would ask folks to call the Maine Congressional delegation urging them to hold public town hall meetings on the war. Bruce G. volunteered to talk with local organizers and get the advert done.

  • Michael U. said Dec 18 there will be a showing of the Vietnam war GI resistance movement film called “Sir No Sir” in Darmiscotta at the public library. Was not sure about time of showing.

  • Bob D. invited all members to come meet Dexter Kamilewicz (pronounced Kam-a-lev-ich) each Monday at 7pm at Bob’s home (11 Chamberlain in Brunswick). Dexter is creating an exploratory committee to consider a run for Congress against Tom Allen. Dexter’s son Ben is now in Iraq.

Next VfP meeting will be Jan 26 in Portland at the Peace & Justice Center.

ADDENDUM: CONA at the Movies will cosponsor with Veterans For Peace a screening of Sir! No Sir!, David Zeiger's documentarly film about the Vietnam era GI Movement in the Porter Auditorium of the Skidompha Library in Damariscotta, on Sunday December 18th, beginning at 7 p.m. Access from the library's rear entrance only. Free, but donations accepted.


Address:
Maine Veterans For Peace
Chapter 001
13 Soper Road
Chesterville, Me 04938


e-mail:
rawlings@maine.edu


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