Veterans for Peace, Chapter 001
March 29, 2007 Business Meeting
- Doug reported on UMF teach-in. Good turnout with good student input
- Kennebunkport August 25 Action (Jamilla EI-Shafei)
Theme: “Stop the War: Start the Revolution” Bruce Gagnon & Jamilla EI-Shafei again heading up a protest/rally at Kennebunkport on August 25. Bush expected to be in Kennebunkport during August. Even if he is not, action will still take place. MEVFP to make major effort to reach out to all New England VFP members to attend. Request National VFP to help publicize event. Need for housing & hospitality for New England VFP members noted and hopes that MEVFP members will open their homes for them. Hospitality coordinator needed. Camping near Bush estate suggested. Jamilla offered her back yard for camping. Pat Scanlon and Dexter Kamilewicz suggested as speakers. Cindy Sheehan expected to attend. Iraqi veterans especially to be encouraged to attend. Brief discussion on need for a generator. Event to be advertised in progressive magazines, media, etc. Unanimous vote to support the Aug. 25 action
- Secretary’s report (Bob Lezer). One copy available, circulated, and approved.
- Treasurer’s report (Art Whitman). Approximately $9000 in checking account. Art is also handling monies from the Impeachment group led by Dud Hendrick. Art & Doug have also filed VFP’s FY 2007 budget required by MaineShare. Approved. Internal audit probably needed
- Nominating Committee report (Tom Sturtevant)New officers are:
President, Bob Lezer, Freeport
Vice President, Kristina Wolff, Farmington
Treasurer, Tim Blanchette, Falmouth
Membership Chair, Dan Ellis, Wilton
Board of Directors:
Jack Bussell, Portland
Richard Clement, Pittston
Bob Dale, Brunswick
Dud Hendrick, Deer Isle
Stan Lofchie, Brunswick
Doug Rawlings, ex officio, Chesterville
Tom Sturtevant, Winthrop
Art Whitman, ex officio, Auburn
A new office for membership has been created to keep track of dues, addresses, etc. Dan Ellis to be membership chair.
Question arose about new treasurer’s presence at VFP’s winter meetings to be further discussed.
- June 2nd PTSD Symposium (Doug Rawlings)
Symposium has been titled “The Hidden Costs of War.” Jack Bussell has reserved space at the Portland Public Library with some expenses to be incurred, including rental, lunch, audio/visual equipment, travel expenses, transportation, honoraria, etc. Scheduling for am & pm sessions/workshops to be finalized. Tentative speakers include Dr. Judith Herman, Dr. Edward Tick, & Congressman Jim McDermott. Michael Uhl to try to contact McDermott directly. Don Harden to try to obtain funding from the state. CEU’s needed. Sliding scale for admission for vets, low income folks. Pizzas, house salads, coffee suggested as foods with estimated cost of $500
- Calendar project (Doug Rawlings) Franklin Printing Co. of Farmington to print calendars. Cost per calendar is approximately $15.00. Lynn Ellis proofreading galleys. If calendars sell well, a second printing will be cheaper. Brochures to advertise calendar suggested for distribution at Common Ground Fair, bookstores, & elsewhere. Calendar committee to report at next meeting. Plan is to give calendars to schools gratis.
- Arlington East (Jack Bussell) Ken Farr and Herb Hoffman offered to bring Arlington East to Maine. Arlington East is a collection of combat boots (or crosses?) to be set up in a large area to put a face on U.S. casualties in Iraq. Old Orchard Beach ruled out. Possibly Ogunquit Beach or Portland’s East Promenade might be sites. It takes about six hours and nearly 100 volunteers to set up such a huge number of boots/crosses. No decision on whether to go with Arlington East.
- Anthrax vaccine (again) (Barbara Damon-Day of Newcastle, ME, Lance Boucher, & Dr. Meryl Nass). Barbara Day’s son (Maine National Guard) was killed in Afghanistan of unknown causes. She feels anthrax vacdne may have caused his death. She has worked with Baldacci & Gen. Ubby who are receptive to setting up a state commission to hold hearings on questions, complaints & statements from veterans and their families on veterans’ health issues, including mandatory anthrax vaccinations. A bill (with no LD number yet) is in the works.Dr. Nass gave a brief history of the anthrax vaccine and the bureaucratic maneuvering for DOD to start mandating it again for soldiers bound for the near East. Also, ten million doses have been reserved for civilians and have not been properly tested. Cases of serious illness have been reported from those who have taken the vaccine. Eight or nine different groups have recommended serious epidemiological studies of the anthrax vaccine. Rand Corporation has prepared reports on anthrax vaccine but not yet published.
Maine VFP to request national VFP to back (draft?) a federal bill that would call for a moratorium of anthrax vaccine use, safety studies, and correction of records of those who have refused the the anthrax vaccine. Dr. Nass, whose web site is anthraxvaccine.org, believes that our medical culture makes vaccines practically sacrosanct. No motion offered.
Ran out of time to take agenda items dealing with GI Rights Hotline, Brunswick Memorial Day Parade, Village of Hope