Meeting called to order by Preident. Rawlings at 7:30 PM, 3/31/22
Attendance: Doug Rawlings, Dave Larsen, Suzanne Hedrick, Dud Hendrick, Garrett Reppenhagen, Peter Morgan, Charlie Clements, Dan Ellis, Richard Clement, Ed Jurenas, Peggy Akers, Sally Chappell, Martha Spiess, Don Kimball, Larry Gilbert, John Morris
Inspiration: Moment of silence in remembrance of Herb Hoffman
Garrett briefed. us on the VFP National statement on the war in Ukraine. He showed several slides depicting the reasons why a no-fly zone would not be a wise move. The main points of the statement are an immediate cease fire and a reduction in the aggressive actions of NATO. He suggested visiting the web site of War Industry Resisters Network for information on actions being taken during the week of 4/17-4/24 to promote peace and highlight the evils of war. We in Maine will be jumping the gun with vigils at BIW on April 2, 9, and 15 from 11:30-12:30.All are welcome. He also encouraged everyone to read the VFP Nuclear Posture Review on the website and to write letters to local newspapers about the dangers of nuclear weapons proliferation.
Congressional hearings are planned on the implementation of the War Powers Resolution Act (which restricts the power of the executive branch to wage undeclared war) but these hearings will probably not result in its actually being used by Congress.
Comments and questions followed Garrett’s presentation. These addressed the probability of nuclear war, the preference of the US Government for Ukrainian immigrants over those from Africa and the Middle East, and the pros and cons of supplying weapons to Ukraine.
Garrett also mentioned the problem of declining Membership in VFP due to the fact that the number of older veterans dying is outpacing the influx of new, mostly younger, members. He also noted the need for more money at the national level in order to maintain the level of ongoing projects as well as the ability to fund new ones.
Don Kimball reported from Creech Air Base on the ongoing protests against drone warfare by VFP and other peace groups. He encouraged writing letters to convicted and incarcerated drone whistleblower Daniel Hale at the following address: Daniel E. Hale 26069-075, USP Marion POB 1000, Marion IL 62959.
Doug reported that he, in conjunction with Physicians For Social Responsibility, will meet with Rep. Chellie Pingree on Monday, 4/4 to discuss the increase in the Pentagon’s share of the President’s proposed 2023 budget request.
Dave, Peter and Doug reported that the controversy over the unauthorized posting of items on the Chapter listserv and Facebook page has been resolved and that such posts are no longer appearing on either site.
Discussion was held on our possible participation in the now resurrected Brunswick Memorial Day Parade. Ten of the sixteen meeting participants expressed their desire to take part in the parade. Doug will register our group and will post the requirements for marchers on the listserv for discussion and possible further action.
Doug reported on his conversation with MaineShare Executive Director Amanda Langley. She appears to be highly supportive of Maine VFP and expressed her hope of closer collaboration with us. Richard reported that the reorganization of MaineShare is still an ongoing process.
Doug reported that the project being funded by Herb Hoffman’s generous gift of $2000 is taking shape. The plan is to introduce the movie ‘Truth Tellers’ (about the art and activism of Rob Shetterly) into as many high schools in Maine as possible. The chapter will match Herb’s gift and Charlie Clements has also offered to contribute $1000. Herb’s death has resulted in a possible delay in receiving the money but there is no question of its eventual receipt.
Secretary’s Report – February minutes (thanks, Doug) have been accepted and posted on line.
Treasurer’s Report – as of 3/31/22 : $6440.46 in checking account, $2627.55 in savings account.
Doug will look into the cost of printing copies of the pie chart depicting the allocation of discretionary Federal spending (to highlight the unconscionable amount going to the Pentagon, not to mention the Dept. of Energy for all nuclear weapons costs, Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security and other intelligence agencies, and debt service due to all of the above). He will post info on this on the website for discussion.
Charlie Clements now lives in Kittery and Doug will post his email address on the listserv. He is one of Rob Shetterly’s Truth Tellers and his biography can be read on americanswhotellthetruth.org. We’re honored that he is now among us.
Meeting adjourned at 9 PM. Next meeting on April 28th.