veterans for peace maine

February 25, 2021 Meeting Minutes

ATTENDEES: SUSIE BOCK (USM ARCHIVIST), DAN ELLIS, RICHARD CLEMENT, HERB HOFFMAN, DON KIMBALL, MARTHA SPEISS, PEGGY AKERS, DUD HENDRICK, PETER MORGAN, SALLY CHAPELLE, SUZANEE HEDRICK, PETER WOODRUFF, ANDREA SWEIDON & 2 FRIENDS, TOM WHITNEY, AND DOUG RAWLINGS. 

PLEASE NOTE: FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DON’T READ THE NEW YORK TIMES SOCIETY SECTION, YOU SHOULD BE INFORMED THAT THE MINUTES BELOW WERE TAKEN BY DOUG RAWLINGS— CAVEAT EMPTOR….

WE BEGAN THE MEETING WITH SUZANNE PAYING HOMAGE TO DR. BERNARD LOWN AND SISTER DIANNA ORTIZ, BOTH OF WHOM RECENTLY LEFT THIS PLANE. DR. LOWN WAS FROM MAINE AND EVENTUALLY FORMED PHYSICIANS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY; SUZANNE SHARED THIS ABOUT SR. ORTIZ PRIOR TO OUR MEETING: Reading the obituary of Sister Dianna Ortiz in the Boston Globe brought back the terror I experienced on a National Catholic Reporter delegation to Guatemala in 1989. Our group met with many religious groups in the country, including Mothers of the Disappeared, all of  which asked not to take pictures  or reveal their names as all were targeted by the death squads. In the mountain resort of Coban where we had met with a local bishop who showed us a film about a desperately ill Mayan woman hiding in the forrest and being met by the military when they tried to take her for medical care, we were wakened early one morning and told to get on the bus ASAP as the military was in the parking lot. We were harboring a young doctor on board who was on the death list and hoping to get him safely to Guatemala City. I was terrified that the military would force our bus off the mountain road down a bottomless ravine. We arrived safely to Guatemala city and while there met with the archbishop who showed us a blood soaked warning with †he words, “You next, communist” This war during the reign of Rioss Mont, an evangelical tyrant who wanted to annihilate the native Mayans.  Over 200,000 people died in what a Boston University professor called a “quiet holocaust” in his letters to the Boston Globe at the time,,,with the blessings and military assistance of the US of Assassins.

Sister Dianna is a hero for   all who resisted. Sister Dianna Ortiz, Presente

THE NEXT ORDER OF BUSINESS BROUGHT US SOME HELPFUL TIPS FROM USM ARCHIVIST EXTRAORDINAIRE SUSIE BOCK(THANKS TO DON KIMBALL FOR WRITING THIS DOWN).  IF WE ARE SERIOUS ABOUT HOUSING OUR CHAPTER ARCHIVES SOME PLACE ACCESSIBLE TO FUTURE RESEARCHERS WE SHOULD:

1.Locate records and bring together in one place.

2. Sort, like materials together.

3. Look for founding docs, minutes of meetings, financial records, newsletters, workshops, annual reports, sister chapter, symposium on PTSD, Bates College and Pat Weber and by-laws are important to locate.

4. How much space will the material take-up to archive in an institutional repository?

5. Important to locate the material in a building where interested people can find them.

6. Peter Woodruff has photos, Don has audio of interview with chapter members on WMPG. Did Eric Herter shoot any docs in Maine about our chapter or members?

7. Susie can provide a state-wide Listserve to assist our chapter in finding a suitable location.

8. Dan has some material and John Morris also.

WE HAD SOME GOOD DISCUSSION AFTER SUSIE’S REMARKS. THE BEST COMMENT CAME FROM THE HUMBLE DOUG RAWLINGS, WHO MENTIONED THAT WE HAD WORKED WITH CHRIS BEAM YEARS AGO AT BATES COLLEGE TO  HOUSE 34 INTERVIEWS OF VIETNAM VETERANS. SUSIE SAID THAT THE BEST WAY TO GET A PLACE TO HOUSE YOUR RECORDS IS TO BUILD ON A PREVIOUS PROJECT.  THIS MIGHT HELP US BEGIN A COLLABORATION WITH BATES.  DOUG WILL CONTACT THE BATES LIBRARY TO SEE WHAT WE MIGHT DO.  STAY TUNED….

TREASURER’S REPORT: DOUG SAYS THAT DAN SORT OF SAID THAT WE HAVE CLOSE TO $7,000 IN THE KITTY.  (Precise accounting provided by the firm of Rawlings, Rawlings, and Rawlings).

PEGGY AKERS MENTIONED THAT ONE OF THE MOST NEEDED ITEMS FOR HOMELESS VETERANS ARE PHONES.  WE DISCUSSED USING SOME OF OUR FUNDS SET ASIDE FOR VETERANS TO HELP PURCHASE PHONES.  PEGGY WILL REPORT BACK TO US NEXT MONTH ON HOW TO PROCEED.

RICHARD REPORTED THAT MAINESHARE IS UNDERGOING A CHANGE IN POINTS PROTOCOL.  THEY DETERMINE HOW MANY POINTS AN ORGANIZATION RECEIVES BASED ON ITS ACTIVISM DURING THE GIVEN YEAR IN QUESTION.  THE AMOUNT OF MONEY TRANSFERRED TO AN ORGANIZATION IS BASED ON POINTS ACCUMULATED. LET US REMAIN CONSTANTLY VIGILANT AND ALWAYS ADVOCATE FOR MAINESHARE WHENEVER WE CAN — THAT’S ONE WAY TO BUILD UP POINTS.

HERB HOFFMAN INFORMED US THAT THE CITY OF ALBUQUERQUE  WILL BE HONORING Sally Ann THOMPSON THIS MONTH. SALLY IS AROUND 97 OR SO, IS A LONG-TIME MEMBER OF VETERANS FOR PEACE, AND IS AN OUTSPOKEN CRITIC OF United States MILITARISM. AND SHE IS A HELLUVA GOOD MUSICIAN.

PEGGY AKERS INFORMED US THAT BUD IS CLOSE TO HAVING A FUNCTIONING LAP TOP SO THAT HE CAN JOIN US ON ZOOM.  THANKS TO PEGGY AND HER HUSBAND FOR MAKING THAT HAPPEN.

RICHARD CLEMENT MENTIONED THAT HE AND ROBIN SPENCER SPOKE THE OTHER DAY.  SHE WILL BE TRYING TO GET ON THESE CALLS TOO. 

WE MISS THE OLD GANG….

DON KIMBALL LED A DISCUSSION ON THE PLIGHT OF REALITY WINNER.  HE GAVE US A QUICK HISTORY OF WHAT GOT HER INTO JAIL (RELEASING DOCUMENTS ABOUT RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE) AND THEN DESCRIBED HER HORRIBLE LIVING CONDITIONS.  A VICTIM OF COVID, SHE IS CURRENTLY LIVING IN SUBHUMAN CIRCUMSTANCES.  WE ARE ALL URGED TO WORK FOR HER RELEASE.  DON POINTED OUT THE HYPOCRISY OF A JANUARY 6TH RIOTER BEING RELEASED ON BAIL AFTER ATTACKING OUR CONSTITUTION WHILE REALITY STAYS IN JAIL AFTER TRYING TO SAVE THE CONSTITUTION. LET’S FREE HER.

DOUG BROUGHT UP JERRY DEWITT’S PROPOSAL THAT WE WORK WITH HIM AND HIS ORGANIZATION TO SET UP A TOMBSTONE FOR VFP IN THE LEWISTON/AUBURN MEMORIAL PARK.  AFTER MUCH DISCUSSION WE DECIDED TO TABLE THE MATTER ALTHOUGH THERE ARE SERIOUS DOUBTS HELD BY QUITE A FEW MEMBERS ABOUT THIS IDEA.  MEMBERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO VISIT THE PARK TO SEE FOR THEMSELVES IF THIS IS A GOOD FIT OR NOT.

SALLY CHAPPELLE AND DOUG DISCUSSED PAUL CHAPPELLE’S NEWEST EFFORTS TO BRING PEACE INO THE WORLD. DOUG WILL INTERVIEW HIM IN THE NEAR FUTURE FOR THE PEACE AND PLANET NEWS.

BEFORE DISCUSSING THE NATIONAL VFP PROJECT TO SUPPORT VETERANS EXILED AND DEPORTED FROM THE United States, WE WATCHED A SEVEN MINUTE VIDEO PRESENTED BY TWO LEADING VFP ACTIVISTS. THEY EXPRESSED THEIR HOPES THAT ALL FIFTY STATES WILL HAVE MURALS IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION THAT WOULD REINSTATE THESE DEPORTEES.  THERE ARE CLOSE TO 1,000 VETERANS OUT THERE IN THE WIND.  WE NEED TO HONOR THEM BY LETTING THEM COME HOME. HERB HOFFMAN SPOKE OF THE EFFORTS IN New Mexico BY HIS VFP CHAPTER TO SUPPORT THEIR EFFORTS.  WE AGREED TO DONATE $300.00 AND THEN RECEIVE A BANNER IN SUPPORT OF THE DEPORTEES TO BE DISPLAYED AROUND THE STATE.  DOUG WILL CONTACT MICHAEL MCPHEARSON TO GET THE BALL ROLLING. THERE IS A SERIOUS CHANCE THAT THE VFP TIJUANA, New Mexico CHAPTER’S EFFORTS OVER THESE LONG YEARS MAY FINALLY PAY OFF.  THERE IS A BILL PENDING DOWN THERE IN D.C…….

THE REST OF THE MEETING WAS SPENT DISCUSSING INDIVIDUAL EFFORTS BY MEMBERS.  DOUG RECALLS HEARING OF PEGGY’S ENDLESS HOURS GIVING VACCINES AROUND THE STATE; OF DON’S CURRENT AND RECENT RADIO SHOWS — HE MENTIONED INTERVIEWING REALITY WINNER YEARS AGO AND SHARING THAT INTERVIEW WITH REALITY’S MOTHER; OF RICHARD’S STRONG ADVOCACY FOR MAINESHARE; OF SUZANNE’S HEART-WRENCHING ACCOUNTS OF BEING IN GUATEMALA; OF….[INSERT SOMETHING THAT YOUR HUMBLE SCRIBE HAS FORGOTTEN]

GO IN PEACE EVERYONE.  TAKE GOOD CARE.  “SEE YOU” NEXT MONTH (THURSDAY, MARCH 25TH AT 7:00PM) WHEN WE’LL ZOOM AROUND AGAIN…..

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