Meeting opened by Doug at 7:04
Attendance: Dave Larsen, Dan Ellis, Doug Rawlings, Seth Bernier, Peggy Akers, Eric Herter, Richard Clement, Peter Morgan, John Morris, Dud Hendrick, Larry Gilbert, Garrett Reppenhagen, Martha Spiess, Suzanne Hedrick, Sally Chappell, Don Kimball, Tom Whitney, and Louis Reprager (representing VFP National)
We welcomed Louis, who is a member of the National Board and is acting as liaison between the National and individual chapters.
Doug reported that Helen Piccard (Golden Rule) could not make the meeting due to a travel problem. We will invite her to our July meeting instead.
He also reported that he received a letter from Scott Stoll, who has previous experience as a crew member on the Golden Rule and who currently resides in Georgetown Maine. Scott has offered his help when the Golden Rule visits Maine next summer and would provide a mooring for the boat if needed.
Peter reported that the Golden Rule is currently not in the water due to an insurance cancellation but that Helen is working to get it reinsured.
Doug reported that Amanda Langley (Maine Share) also could not make the meeting but that she is very supportive of our membership in MaineCare. We recently received a check from MaineShare for $1,583 and should receive another one sometime next year. Our Shetterly project is featured on the MaineShare Newsletter on their website.
Doug reported that he and Peggy have sent out seventy letters requesting payment of dues ($35 or whatever is affordable if that is too much). Payment can be made by mail or on the Chapter website.
Doug reported on the Rob Shetterly film documentary. A meeting will be held to show the film to 200 high school teachers who could then apply to have the film shown at their schools, from which ten schools would be chosen for showing. Preference will be given to schools with sizable populations of indigenous and minority students, It is hoped that the film will foster activism on the part of students who view the film. A trailer for the film can be found at www.truthtellersfilm.com/FILM.
A committee comprised of Larry, Martha, Tom, Suzanne, and Doug will meet in Lewiston to formulate plans for the commemoration of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki bombings at the Bernard Lown Bridge in Lewiston-Auburn. It was decided to hold the event on Saturday, August 6th. A number of suggestions were made as to what might be included in the day’s program including showing the film “The Day After” (a 1983 fictional account of a nuclear war between the US and the Soviet Union), a 14 minute film on the life and career of Dr. Lown, a wreath laying ceremony, a blessing of the bridge, and speakers (possibly Peter Wilk of Physicians for Social Responsibility) and the mayors of Lewiston and Auburn.
Larry will contact the Franco American Heritage Center as a possible venue for showing the film(s) as well as the mayors of the two cities for their assistance.
Don offered to feature the event on his WMPG Friendly Fire radio show and he and Doug will work on a press release once the day’s program is finalized.
Other ideas included inviting members of Dr. Lown’s family and possibly getting letters from the Japanese mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Common Ground Fair – Sept. 23-25. Required insurance has been secured with Keyes Insurance for $52.50. (Thank you Martha). Discussion was held on a possible theme for our booth ( Bernard Lown, Rob Shetterly) but no decision was made. Suzanne offered to contribute buttons and bumper stickers and we will offer the usual assortment of literature and the ever popular button machine.
VFP statement on reproductive rights – Garrett reported that it was written by women and non-binary members and approved by the Board of Directors and while it has met with overwhelming approval, there has been some blowback which resulted in a few member resignations. It was unanimously approved to donate $500 to the National to help offset the decrease in revenue caused by these resignations, accompanied by a letter expressing our approval of and solidarity with the letter. Peggy and Doug will compose the letter.
Don reported that he was in Santa Fe, NM for a demonstration against the Supreme Court ruling on Roe vs. Wade and that it attracted some 3000 people.
Peace and Planet News – Doug reported that Roger Waters (of Pink Floyd) intends to feature the paper on his anti-war farewell tour, which he has named “This is Not a Drill” by providing a table at which current as well as prior issues of P&PN will be handed out to concert goers. He is also giving out twenty tickets, ten to VFP members and ten for their guests, for each performance. It was moved, seconded and passed unanimously to donate $500 to P&PN to help pay for the cost of printing 10,000 copies of the current issue and 4-5,000 of prior issues. The nearest venue to us is the TD Garden in Boston on July 7th. Contact Tarak Kauff for more info and tickets if interested. Louis Reprager volunteered to help host the concert in Los Angeles.
Doug promoted his newest book of poetry which is in French. Stupefiant! He is truly a Renaissance Man!
Garrett reported that the Rage Against the Machine tour will be in Washington DC on Sept.2 & 3 will donate a portion of the proceeds to VFP.
Peggy brought up the fact that the statement by the Russian veterans peace group (analogous to VFP) on the Russian invasion of Ukraine was not compatible with being dedicated to the promotion of peace. Garrett suggested that it probably was due to fear of repression by the Russian government. Doug concurred with his assessment since the statement made by the Komi chapter was in a similar vein.
Larry mentioned that the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and that Dr. Bernard Lown, who was co-founder of the organization along with Mikhail Gorbachev’s personal physician, were invited by the committee to accept the prize.
Doug will resume teaching his peace course at UMF in the fall with the emphasis being on age and gender differences as they relate to the subject of peace.
Garrett announced the opening of his family’s ice cream shop in Rockport on July 14th. It is called Freya’s and will feature gelato and crepes.
Peter reported that Moms Demand Action was pleased with the photo from our last meeting showing all the attendees wearing orange. Peter is currently working with MDA on issues to be presented to the state legislature.
Richard brought up the question of future in-person meetings. Seth opined that they could be combined with a Zoom feature for those who could not attend in person. It was tentatively agreed to hold the September meeting at the USM Wishcamper Center which should have Zoom capability. Peggy will attempt to secure the space.
Meeting adjourned at 8:34 pm. Next meeting (via Zoom) on Thursday, July 28th.