veterans for peace maine

August 2018 Meeting Minutes

Meeting called to order by President Doug Rawlings at 7PM

Members present: Dan Ellis, Richard Clement, Peter Morgan, Peggy Akers, Bud Buzzell, Robin Spencer, David Larsen, Martha Morrison, Doug Rawlings, Don Kimball, Dave Crowley, Bob Lezer, Bill Laidley, John Morris

This month’s inspiration was provided by Peter Morgan by way of a recording of a song by Pat Scanlan entitled “War is not the Answer”

Sydney Avitia-Jacques, Community Organizer for the Maine People’s Alliance, spoke on November ballot question 1, which would provide funding for a universal home care benefit for any Mainer who needed such care. This would be especially beneficial to veterans as many of them are severely impacted due to their military service. The chapter moved to support question 1 by a twelve to two vote. More information on this question may be found by visiting www.mainersforhomecare.org.

The Unsung Hero award for August was awarded to Richard Clement for his long time service to the chapter, especially for serving as President for the last five years

The June Secretary’s report was accepted as written

Dan reported that the treasury balance as of 8/28 was $3,603.05.

Dan reported that we currently have a total of 109 members, 67 of whom are paid up

Doug reported on the My Lai Memorial Exhibit which will be at the Portland Media Center on Congress Street from Friday, 9/14 to Sunday,9/16. The exhibit will include informational panels, videos, interactive collage building, readings of poetry and “Letters to the Wall”, letter writing and discussions. Volunteers are needed to set up the exhibit on Friday morning and for take down on Sunday afternoon

The Common Ground Fair will be in Unity from 9/21 to 9/23. Volunteers are needed to staff our table; contact Doug if interested

Our chapter will enter into a sister relationship with VFP in Komi, Russia. Both chapters have agreed on a declaration of objectives, the text of which may be found in the August agenda notes provided online

Copies of the latest edition of “Letters to the Wall” may be purchased on line at lulu.com (click on ‘shop’ and search for ‘letters to the wall veterans for peace’)

The Maine War Tax Resistance gathering will be on 10/27 at USM in Portland. More info at our Sept. meeting

Attendance at the Brunswick Peace Fair was down due to the unsettled weather but was nevertheless informative for the few who visited the VFP booth

Doug and Regis attended the annual VFP convention in St. Paul. Doug will prepare a report on the convention shortly

Dan showed the film trailer of “The Nuns, the Priest and the Bombs”, an account of the 2012 Plowshares protest at the National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Sister Megan Rice and five others breached the facility as a protest against nuclear weapons. Dan will contact Sister Rice re the possibility of her coming to Maine to show the film.

Discussion was held about creating a chapter T-shirt. Dan will work on a design for the shirt

Doug displayed a copy of the entertainment magazine ‘Variety’ containing a full page ad by VFP featuring an article (co-written by Doug) on why the Ken Burns Vietnam documentary should not be considered for an Emmy award.

It was agreed (motion passed) that the chapter purchase 20 copies of the 2017 edition and 20 copies of the 2018 edition of “Letters to the Wall” for sale at the Common Ground Fair and the My Lai Exhibit

Actions by chapter members during July and August:

Richard and Peter (Morgan) attended the ‘Stop Kavanaugh’ rally in Portand on 8/26

Peggy participated in the annual Seeds of Peace conference (to foster cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians)

Martha provided a potential military recruit with information on alternatives

to military service

Don received a call from whistleblower Reality Winner expressing her appreciation for his support. He will also highlight the My Lai Exhibit and the Tax Resistance gathering on his WMPG show

Meeting adjourned at 9PM.Next meeting 9/27 in Augusta

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