veterans for peace maine

August 2019 Meeting Minutes

UMA Holocaust Center. August 29, 2019

Meeting opened at 7PM by President Doug Rawlings.

Attending members: Dave Larsen, Dave Crowley, Peter Morgan, Martha Morrison, Don Kimball, Peggy Akers, John Morris, Dan Ellis, Doug Rawlings, Richard Clement, Robin Spencer. Also non-member Morgana Warner-Evans.

Peggy opened the meeting with a remembrance of Frances Crowe, long time peace activist who died recently at the age of 100.

Secretary’s report: No meeting in July. Minutes of June meeting (by Peggy) accepted as written.

Treasurer’s report-Dan. Balance as of 8/29/2019 was $1,959.47. Major expenses were $1100 for VFP National (travel and book cost for the convention) and donation, $1,000 for Shetterly calendars, $100 to Peace Works (Peace Fair), $100 to Maine People’s Alliance (Rising Tide Dinner), and $140 for the Common Ground Fair.

Membership report-Dan: 95 total, 23 active, 58 paid up.

Morgana reported on her research into student information given to the military by Maine high schools. A bill (LD 843) has been introduced in the Maine legislature to clarify what can be released but no no action has currently been taken. A discussion was held and Morgana will give us updates as the process unfolds.

Don Kimball reported on the VFP Convention which he attended.

Members are encouraged to help man our table at the Common Ground Fair to be held in Unity September 20, 21 and 22.

Doug distributed copies of a new VFP publication “Peace & Planet News” which will supplement “Peace in Our Times”. Each issue will focus on a single topic, the first being on the connection between militarism and the environment.

Discussion was held on the contentious relationship between Tarak Kauff and some members of the VFP national organization and their decision to suspend Tarak’s involvement in the publication of Peace in Our Times, which in effect would mean the demise of the paper.The general feeling in the chapter was that Tarak was being unfairly treated and should not have been removed from the staff of Peace in Our Times.Doug Rawlings read a letter which expressed his personal disagreement with the decision and will circulate it to the membership.

Doug distributed copies of the new Rob Shetterly “Americans Who Tell the Truth” calendar. Kudos to Dan Ellis for doing the layout work for the calendar, a lot of work on his part. The chapter contributed $1,000 toward the printing of the calendars.

Peggy reported that Clarence Smith (Smitty to us) would be undergoing heart surgery at Maine Medical in Portland.She will keep us advised on his recovery.

Peter Morgan reported on the June civil resistance action during the “christening” of the newest destroyer at Bath Iron Works. Twenty two activists were arrested for obstructing a public way, including VFP members Dan Ellis, Dud Hendrick, Bruce Gagnon and Brown Lethem.Court appearances are pending.

Peter Morgan reported on “Moms Demand Action” campaign against gun violence.He will announce any upcoming actions on the listserv. All are invited to participate.

Doug reported on the ongoing attempt by the Department of Veterans Affairs to privatize the Veterans Administration. VFP opposes this vehemently.

Dan reported that he received two thank you letters: one from Peace Action for our participation in and help with funding for the Brunswick Peace Fair. This year was the final hurrah for the Fair, due to the advancing ages of the organizers.The other letter was from Maine Peoples Alliance for our contribution to their Rising Tide Dinner.

Meeting adjourned at 9PM. Next meeting at USM Wishcamper Center in Portland on Thursday, Sept. 26 at 7PM.

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