Veterans for Peace
Tom Sturtevant Chapter 1
March 26, 2015
Unitarian Universalist Church
Brunswick Maine

In attendance: Peter Woodruff, Dan Ellis, Richard Clement (who facilitated), Rita Clement, Robin Spencer, Peter S. Morgan, Tom Whitney (who recorded), Peggy Akers, Bob Lezer, Fran Fuller, and Russ Christensen The following items were discussed:

1. Monthly reading – Note was taken of recent Seymour Hersh article in New Yorker magazine on 50th anniversary of My Lai massacre

2. Secretary’s report on previous meeting – no questions.

3. Treasurer’s Report – Dovey not present, Richard summarized, indicating he had spent $95 for 25 copies of “Addicted to War” and $10 as application fee for display at Common Ground Fair. Balance is $7,302.29.

4. Brief discussion of plans for display at CGF: Richard advised thinking of “pie chart” poster; Peggy suggested “Oreo cookie” device for consciousness-raising.

5. Committees: Maine Share report is done – their annual meeting is soon. For Membership Committee, Dan reported 89 paid-up members. For Education Committee Tom and Russ reported on progress in developing Russ’ book project that would raise awareness of the politics of climate change mobilization. Doug, Tom, and Russ are undertaking outreach to local libraries and high school social science departments. Russ will contact the “Envirothon” project organizers. Tom suggested Maine VFP might identify teachers/presenters for educational sessions on this.

6. Status of Portland 8th grade social justice project was mentioned.

7. Organizing for Blue Angels return to Brunswick in September, 2015 will soon be a priority.

8. With Bruce not being present, there was no discussion, as planned, of the “Walk to Stop Militarization of the Seas” in the autumn.

9. News that the peace walk contemplated in Boston on March 17 had been cancelled was discussed briefly. It was to have been in conjunction with St Patrick’s day events there.

10. The “Veteran Song” project, a music workshop for the benefit of children of veterans, is set for May 2 in Portland. Maine VFP had donated $1000 to secure matching funds. Doug Rawlings is the organizer.

11. The anti-war film “Lonely Soldier,” already shown in Augusta and Portland, will be presented soon at Husson College in Bangor.

12. Note was made of participation under Bruce’s auspices of South Korean visitors appearing at Episcopal Church in Bath on March 19, where Jeju Island film was shown and also their joining in on 50-person demonstration March 21 at Bath Iron Works.

13. Tom advised the group of School of the America’s Watch annual vigil in November at Ft. Benning GA with the recommendation that a Maine VFP delegation be there.

14. Note was taken of the Youth Activist Gathering in South China, Maine April 18-20 along with the suggestion that an educational session be put on there with Russ’ books. Tom will inquire of Larry Dansinger.

15. The theme for the May 25 Brunswick area Memorial Day parade is be “The 25th Anniversary of Operation Desert Shield.” Richard suggested the group once more be a part of this.

16. Application for Common Ground Fair booth was briefly discussed again. As earlier, we’ll make use of two spaces in the tent. $200 will be due.

17. Richard brought up national convention this year set for San Diego August 5-9 under the theme “Peace and Reconciliation in the Pacific.” He invited members to think about attending and recommended a full page ad in the convention booklet (costing $200). Thought is needed as to what to say there.

18. There was brief discussion once more of the “Addicted to War” booklet with Richard saying that 25 copies are available either for sale at $5 or to hand out.

19. Dan brought up the need to find a replacement for the group’s portable sound system, or repair it. Richard made a suggestion regarding a “power inverter.” Dan made it clear that a new home was needed for the device. Bruce was volunteered to work on this; Richard will ask him.

20. Reference was made to the sports-diplomacy project of tennis pro Alan Bolter which he sees as one means for bring peace to the Korean peninsula.

21. Likewise, the group was reminded of the April 6 Unity Rally at the State House organized by the “Alliance for the Common Good.”

22. Tom mentioned good reception at Selma-related event in Norway March 22 for the national VFP newspaper “Peace in Our Times,” which Doug made available. Tom recommended Maine VFP making use of the paper as an educational tool. He also mentioned “Peace and Planet” mobilization in NYC in May associated with UN meeting then.

23. The next meeting will take place on April 30 at the UMA Holocaust Center in Augusta. Richard will not be there and Doug was volunteered to serve as facilitator