veterans for peace maine

June 2019 Meeting Minutes

VFP Maine Chapter 001

June 27th meeting

Brunswick, Maine

Present: Rita Clement, Richard Clement, Don Kimball Jr., David Larsen, Martha Morrison, Doug Rawlings, Dave Crowley, Dan Ellis, Richard Clement, Peter Morgan Jr., Peggy Akers

Meeting was called to order at 7 by Doug Rawlings

Inspiration : our inspiration was directed at all those that participated in the recent BIW action. We were inspired for their courage to remain in jail for several days rather than pay the fine/ bail. On the blackboard of this beautiful church in Brunswick were these words.

WE LIGHT THIS….THE WARM LIGHT OF LOVE

THE LIGHT OF TRUTH

AND THE ENERGY OF ACTION

BIW Action

There was considerable discussion about this event. I am not sure I can do justice to all of the discussion but I do believe that all who participated felt heard and respected. ie do we lose more support for our organization if it is not more peaceful.

There was talk of righteous anger …and non violent direct actions..discussion about Venezuela….Doug shared that a very similar discussion occurred when VFP started many years ago.

August 6th is the hearing for the 1st folks who were arrested and Sept 4th for the 9 who remained in jail.

New Mainers.

Thank you to Martha and Peggy for volunteering at the expo with the 300 new Mainers from Congo and Angola.

VFP will be donating 500 dollars to help the new families and it was decided to hold off until we determined where the money will be most helpful.

Moms Demand Action

Peter Morgan updated us on recent legislation. Sadly all gun safety laws have been defeated. Stand your ground legislation defeated.

The Red Flag legislation was watered down but passed. KUDOS to Peter for being up in Augusta for so many hearings and representing VFP so thoughtfully.

Treasurers report by Dan Ellis

We received our Maineshare allotment.

VFP Convention

We voted to give Don Kimball 300 dollars more for his travels to Spokane Washington for the VFP Convention. He will be representing us there this August.

We voted to put a full page ad in the convention bulletin.

We voted unanimously to give 200 $ to the convention scholarship fund for veterans who need help with participating in this event.

Brunswick War Memorial

Brunswick is planning to build a war memorial and Doug has thoughtfully written a letter and proposal for the commission to consider. We are asking all to read this and send comments and thoughts.

From Doug and all of us…share thoughts please …..this has not be sent yet…we are asking for constructive and thoughtful feedback.

☮️We in Veterans for Peace want to thank you for setting up a space in your town square to memorialize and commemorate it the women and men who chose to give up a portion of their private lives to join the community of soldiers called on to defend our constitution and our homeland. We, too, have taken that oath of allegiance. And we also recognize and appreciate your concern that “ fewer and fewer people have had any first hand connection , or recollection of many of the past conflicts in which our country has been involved….”As our organization is dedicated to educating the public about the true costs of war, we, too feel the strong need to remind people, especially younger generations, that war is no game. That it is not a Hollywood movie. That, if anything, all war memorials should send a strong message that war must be prevented by all means possible. as you eloquently stare, this memorial can become”…an enhanced space of remebersnce and reflection.” Amen.

We, feel that to advance your commitment to “….the continuing dedication to the protection of our principles and and values of equality and justice since the Revolutionary War era, “ the memorial should also acknowledge the bravery of those soldiers who resisted the call to arms because they recognized some of the injustices they would be compelled to commit. they, in good conscience, could not use their training and expertise to inflict suffering on innocent civilians. They recognized the age-old adage that it is often old men ( mostly politicians with self serving motives) who call upon the young to kill and die in wars of their making. We in Veterans for Peace are choosing this year to acknowledge the sacrifices of these soldiers and veterans who, while respecting and honoring the personal sacrifices of their comrades-in-arms, have chosen to resist the politicians designs. They, too, have shown “integrity, courage, respect, loyalty, valor, duty, honor, selfless service and pride. “. would it be possible to include a form of acknowledgement for these veterans as well? we would certainly be honored to help fund that addition to the memorial.

Finally, we want you to know that we offer our suggestions with the same spirit that drove you to take on this memorial project. We feel that we can put political differences to the side and work together as veterans who are fully aware of the sacrifices many have made in their belief that they were serving on their country’s behalf. Thanks again for opening up your town square and your hearts to those who are often left in the dustbin of history☮️

Membership

There are 90 active members

Peggy will divide the lapsed member names up and send to current active members and maybe a phone call encouraging folks to stay with us and even ask how we can help with transportation if that is an issue.

Robert Shetterly calendar

Rob has again offered his amazing paintings for a 2019-2020 calendar. Robs organization is giving 2000 towards this and we will give 1000 dollars. Dan Ellis has been working closely with Rob to make this very special calendar available again for us to share with schools and teachers and the world. We will have the calendars available at Common Ground and Don Kimball will be taking orders and having folks sign up to give a donation at the convention in August.

Maineshare Update by Richard

The Yearly meeting has been postponed until the fall They are going through some changes and recently sent out a survey which Richard returned.

Peace in our Times is available

Please put in libraries….public spaces…etc.

President of VFP …DOUG Rawlings…is hoping that in the Fall we can consider a new volunteer to take over his current position. Doug will be teaching two Peace studies courses at UMF and he feels that it is time for some new energy. We all know he is pretty irreplaceable but together we can honor his wishes and his request. Please ALL think about this and share your thoughts and ideas. It has to happen.

We voted to sponsor Ridgely Fuller …a Peaceworks event and the date will be announced

Common Ground Fair is September 20. 21. 22 Please contact PeggyAkers at kizzypax@maine.rr.com if you can help with shifts at our table.

No meeting in JULY…..next meeting will be Augusta on August 29th 7-9. bunker community center.

Respectfully submitted

Peggy Akers

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