Veterans for Peace
Tom Sturtevant Chapter 1
May 29, 2014
Buker Community Center
Augusta, Maine

Inspirations: A Maya Angelou poem was read to remember her recent passing

Present: Clarence Smith, Richard Clement, Bruce Gagnon, Robin Spencer, Dan Ellis, Nicole Moreau, Bre Peters, Dud Hendrick, Bud Buzzell, Peggy Akers, Doug Rawlings

Treasurer Report: Accepted as submitted.

Membership: Now have 125 members, 91 are currently paid-up with dues.

MaineShare: 41 groups now in MaineShare. June 17 is 25th anniversary celebration held at Bowdoin. OK to have VFP table there. Cost $25 per person.

Media Committee: Dud submitted an Op-Ed on the recent Maine National Guard controversy to the PPH and the BDN. Doug brought up the issue of undoing the federalization of the National Guard so that governors would once again have the power to determine whether or not units went to war.

Tri-County Event: In Lewiston on June 28 called Inspired Voices. Cost $35 per person. Check with Doug.

Grant $$$: The $500 grant came to our chapter for the national VFP Full Disclosure project on Vietnam. The DoD is retelling the war story. Doug wants us to send the money to someone who will work on the national web site for the counter-effort going on. On August 10 there will be local events around the country – Gulf of Tonkin 50th anniversary. Talked about the idea of chapter showing “Hearts & Minds” film and having film producer Peter Davis (lives in Maine) join us for the event. Hold it in Portland or Brunswick at UU church. Flexible on date. Dud and Doug will stay on the case.

Out There: New book by Sarah Stark is offered to us for reading and author is willing to speak. Story about an Iraq vet who travels to Mexico on motorcycle. No action taken.

Frozen Out: Bruce reported on his being turned down for the May conference on Arctic ice melting and the “opportunities” now available for gas and oil extraction and militarism. The Maine National Guard and UMO sponsored the event. He tried several ways to get into the conference but was repeatedly denied.

June 27 Bath: On June 27 a newly formed local group in Bath (Midcoast Citizens for Sustainable Economies) is hosting a public forum on the conversion/diversification of the military production system across Maine. About 10% of Maine’s economy is now tied to Pentagon spending. Many states are working to create commissions to plan for conversion as national military budget is cut. Bruce urged the chapter to come support this event which begins with a pot luck supper. Can find event information HERE

Donation to National: The chapter approved sending $500 to national to support the effort to help younger vets get to the convention in North Carolina. We’ve been contacted by the wife of a young vet that is interested in our chapter. They live in Portland area. Agreed that Smitty and Peggy should make contact with them and arrange rides to future meetings.

CCCF: Doug has secured a speaking spot at the Common Ground Fair and will read poems and talk about VFP.

Palestine: Dud reported that he had an extremely rich trip to Palestine with four others. He told us that 40% of all Palestinian men have been jailed at some point. The two-week trip was led by artists Lily Yeh and Rob Shetterly. Dud would like the chapter to host an event in the Midcoast sometime in late summer or early fall. Would depend on schedule of Yeh. Chapter eagerly agreed and approved.

July 4: Parade in Bath – message will be climate change and conversion of the weapons industry. Folks are needed to carry signs and banners.

July 19: Annual parade in Hallowell starts at 10am. Some chapter members will be there. Women in Black sponsor us.

August 2: VFP will have table in Brunswick Peace Fair. Workers needed.

Next Meeting: At the time of the meeting June 26 was set to be next meeting in Brunswick. After the meeting Bruce asked if we could cancel June 26 meeting and instead have chapter come to Bath for June 27 conversion forum. Then suggested by Doug that we meet at Addams-Melman House (212 Centre St) in Bath earlier on June 27 and then attend the pot luck supper and forum.