VETERANS FOR PEACE

OCTOBER 27, 2005

6:05 PM


Viewing of documentary film entitled “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” the story of a coup against Hugo Chavez, leader of Venezuela and his subsequent return to power. See hand-out—Bolivarian revolution, a short course compiled by Tom Whitney Jr. There was a brief discussion of the film.

Business meeting began at 7:27 pm. 22 MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE.

Doug informed new attendees that VFP chapter 001 meets the last Thursday of each month at revolving sites.

Introductions of those present.

Doug reviewed the busy schedule for November.

11/02 — Dar Jahmail speaking at Bowdoin college
11/11 — Veterans’ Day parade in Portland
11/16-17 — Stan Goff speaking in Maine (hosted by VFP and Pax Christi)
11/30 — Brian Turner, a poet, featured in New Yorker magazine will tour Maine (Bates reading hosted by VFP)

Jack reported there were 17 people at BIW on Oct. 8, standing in pouring rain.

Advent vigil at BIW the four Saturdays before Christmas 11:30 am to 12:30 pm.

Bruce stated there was a vigil on 10/14 at Olympia Snowe’s office in Biddeford. The reading of the names took over six hours, with lots of new people participating and Richard stated VFP was well represented with 15 or so members.

Doug & Larry Danzinger visited Mountain Blue High on career day

10/27 — Thorndike High, Tom Sturtevant and Tom Whitney had an all day
table display. VFP was greatly out-numbered by Navy, Army & National
Guard. Five or six students stopped by the VFP table. Tom Sturtevant
spoke about Truth and has been invited back.


Jack reported that the South Portland school board has invited VFP to enter the school after military recruiters. On Nov. 2 a Portland written school policy will provide alternatives to military services at each high school 7 times per year. This is supported by the superintendent of schools. Funding and staffing will be split with Peace Action Maine.

Doug stated in the Farmington area a colleague has joined the school board, and there is a new principal, a positive shift is occurring.

Russ said the governor is pushing for training programs for alternative energy—may be a way into schools as well.

Doug reported Bill Leonard went to CMCC and spoke to 15-20 students. One student now seeking C/O status.

10/26 — Over 150 people participated in Portland during a vigil for the 2000 American soldiers killed in Iraq. Dud reported that he visited Senators Snowe’s & Collins’ offices on 10/25 encouraging each senator to hold a town meeting. In addition 80 people participated in a vigil in Blue Hill on 10/20.

Treasurer’s report—Arthur stated we have a balance of about $5000. VFP chapter 001 sent $500 to National to assist them.

Web page: Dan Ellis has re-designed the home page and menu with all links on the right. All the pages will be in a new format as Dan is cleaning up the host site. The new web site should be on-line soon. Dan is the webmaster and all suggestions and notes should go to him.

Friday, 11/11, Veterans Day — as many people as possible are asked to gather together between 9 & 9:30.am on State Street in Portland. All are asked to wear black. No political posters or signs please. We will use the True Cost of War banner at the beginning and the Abolish War banner at the end. After some discussion it was decided that Peter Baldwin’s drum would follow the Cost of War banner with the drummer doing a dirge beat. All invited to gather at O’Naturals for lunch after the parade.

Jack reported that the South Portland VFW were glad that the “queers” (the VFP’ers) were not in the Patriots Day parade.

It was noted that VFP is acknowledging the deaths of service people and civilians, not celebrating.

Michael Uhl has arranged for 4 Vietnamese to tour Maine on 11/20-21 to talk about agent Orange. He is asking that we guarantee lodging, food, location and $500-$1000. The group decided we would not be able to do this at this time as we already have a very full November schedule. Doug will communicate our decision to Meryl Ratner the coordinator of the tour.

Tim reported on the PTSD conference announcing a proposed date of March 25,2006 for Dr. Shiraldi to come to Maine. Estimated cost is $2,300. Don Hardin thinks that the Maine State health dept would help with the costs as there is great interest in further training Maine employees to deal with PTSD. Perhaps the meeting would be held at Togus. It was agreed that VFP would keep working on this and Doug will contact Don Hardin.

VFP agreed to donate $150 as co-sponsor of Dahr Jamail who is speaking on 11/02 in Kresgee Auditorium, Bowdoin at 7 pm.

11/29-30 — VFP is sponsoring Brian Turner, poet, as part of the Allan Ladd series at Bates.

Bill Slavik announced that Stan Goff, a dynamic speaker, wants to talk about the Iraq war and his new book Sex and War. He’ll be speaking in Augusta on 11/17 at noon and in the evening at Bates. The cost is $500 for the speaker per day. Each venue is asked to contribute $250. Bill is hoping VFP will fill in the financial gap. $300 was approved for the Stan Goff tour ($175 was approved to go to U-Maine-Farmington student group hosting Goff on the 15th.

Bob Lezer spoke briefly about contact with Beth Edmonds, president of the Maine Senate, regarding a resolution calling for the return of all American troops from Iraq. In addition there is discussion beginning about requiring the governor’s approval for Maine National Guard to leave the state and a 2/3 vote of the legislature for the Maine National Guard to leave the United States. This is all very preliminary.

Jack reported there is a bulk mailing coming out regarding the opt-out policy at schools. He said HR551 is in committee to change from an opt-out to an opt-in policy. Schools must notify parents of the option to opt-out. Madison, Wisconsin, Ithaca, NY, and a town in California are saying “No”. (to the opting in policy) Military is discriminating because it is asking about sexual orientation. People are watching an appeal to the 3rd district Federal Court.

Bruce asked for and received approval to spend $400 to air ads on Air America from January through March. The ads would be in the Portland market area with VFP asking Senators Collins and Snowe to hold town meetings.

The Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville has asked for someone to appear 11/ 16 on a panel of former soldiers who were involved in torture. There were no takers.

Charlene, a senior anthropology major from Bates, spoke about her thesis about the Junior ROTC program & how we are all connected in our society and that the nation is blurring the distinction between soldier and civilian. She is looking at Lewiston Jr. High School & how they say Jr. ROTC motivates students to become better citizens. Jack suggested she check into the town of Waterboro as well. Arthur said Charlene should look at the article All Pain No Gain. Jack said ROTC does not have to be state certified.

Russ said in Venezuela Chavez has promised he would treat 90,000 Americans with cataracts (free) and he is fulfilling this promise. In addition he is providing fuel assistance to Chicago, Boston & New York.

Next meeting 1 December in Brunswick at the Senior Center at 7 pm.

Meeting adjourned at 9:00 pm






 


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


e-mail:
rawlings@maine.edu


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