JULY 29, 2021


PRESENT: Peter Morgan, Dan Ellis, Peggy Akers, Doug Rawlings, Laura Morris, Herb Hoffman, Richard Clement, Rita Clement, Dave Larsen, Don Kimball, Martha Spiess, Tom Whitney, and guests Jim Janko and Gary Butterfield

We began the meeting with an inspirational moment recognizing Peggy Akers as she is receiving the National VFP Ghandian Non-Violence Award at this year’s upcoming convention.  The award reads in part: “The Veterans For Peace Gandhian Non-Violence Award is given to the Associate or Veteran Member who best exemplifies the qualities of compassion and selfless service according to Mohandas K. Gandhi’s philosophy that the highest form of service is rooted in love and non-violence and ‘the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in service to others.’ Ideal candidates for the award would include members who give themselves unselfishly in service to others in their personal lives, and in their communities.”  We all agreed that Peggy deserves this award a thousand times over.  Congratulations Peggy!

Dan Ellis then shared a song from the collection “Playing For Change.”

We then gave a few moments to the memory of Peter Woodruff, a long-time member of the chapter and a stalwart peace activist.  Presente! Peter.

Jim Janko and Gary Butterfield then provided a brilliant slide presentation on their work connecting militarism to the environmental crises plaguing this planet.  Their data and metaphors really resonated with most of us.  We have decided to use their brochure and other material at the upcoming Common Ground Fair.  We also discussed providing them with a donation.  I did record this meeting, so their presentation is available.  They will be holding a workshop at this year’s VFP Convention, so members are encouraged to attend. Thank you Jim and Gary for sharing your valuable work with us.

May’s Secretary’s Report was accepted as written.

Treasurer’s Report: We have $6,700 in the kitty as of this date.

We discussed the upcoming VFP National Convention (a Zoom event) that will be occurring on August 12th, 13th, and 14th.  Registration fee is $100.00.  We, as a chapter, agreed to set aside $1,000 to help chapter members to register for the convention.  So, if you register and want to be reimbursed your $100, please contact Doug at rawlings@maine.edu.  We will send you a check up to $100 to help defer your expenses.  Why attend?  Well, for one thing, we should be there to help Peggy celebrate her accomplishments; secondly, there are some good workshops lined up (check out the VFP National Website) including one led by Susan Schnall and Paul Cox on Agent Orange. Please try to “be there.”

The Maine Common Ground Fair is back to being live this year.  We have registered for a corner table in the Peace and Social Justice Tent.  The fair takes place from Friday, September 24th, through Saturday, the 25th, and Sunday, the 26th. Tables are supposed to be staffed from 9:00AM to 6:00PM each of the three days.  Ideally, we should have three people on the table throughout the fair.  This year’s theme for us will be to connect Militarism to the Environmental crises.  We will have material to that effect as well as our usual bumper stickers, buttons, and such.  And, of course, our infamous Button Machine will be there.  We will cover the costs of you going to the Fair if you agree to provide some staffing time at the table. Please let Doug know via rawlings@maine.edu when you can help us out.  Thanks!  PS I’ll ask Rob Shetterly if we can also feature some of his postcards and posters. Martha brought up the issue of having an insurance policy for the table.  We were a bit confused by this new requirement, so we’ll do some exploring.

Laura Morris brought up the issue of the Indigenous People’s dilemma regarding the Penobscot River and the rights of the Wabanacki tribe.  As an artist, Laura will be involved using “chalk art” and other forms of artistic expression to help the Wabanackis achieve justice.  Stay tuned for more ways that we can help out.

Tom Whitney reminded us of the “proxy wars” being waged by our government throughout the world and especially in Central and South America.  Economic sanctions lead to human rights abuses in the cause of furthering the tentacles of the flailing American empire.  In our work as Veterans For Peace we can never lose sight of this reality.

Dan Ellis played another song from the “Playing For Change” collection.  We agreed to donate $300.00 to their cause.

Peter Morgan closed the meeting by thanking Ed and Gary for their presentation and suggesting that we donate some funds to their project.  We agreed, and Doug has contacted them to that effect.

NEXT MEETING (ZOOM): AUGUST 26, 2021 7:00PM TO 9:00PM.