Veterans for Peace
Tom Sturtevant Chapter 1
November 21, 2013
Buker Community Center
Augusta, Maine

Present: Rita Clement, Bud Buzzell, Clarence Smith, Richard Clement, Dud Hendrick, Bruce Gagnon, Doug Rawlings, Robin Spencer, Dan Ellis

Secretary Report: Minutes from previous meeting are on our web site and were approved.

Treasurer Report: No report available. Dud will send gas receipts to Dovey from the drone walk. Was agreed that we send $100 to a group of Jim Freeman’s choice as thank you for lending us his mini-bus for the walk.

MaineShare: The chapter raised $275 from folks as part of the Hike & Bike so this will take care of our yearly fundraiser for MaineShare.

Membership: Presently have 166 chapter members with 88 of them currently paid-up on their dues. Dan had not been reimbursed for a couple years for his efforts on website, list serve and membership. The meeting approved $1,000 to be paid immediately and will ask Dovey to advise on last chapter payment to him so we can determine how much we owe him.

Outreach Committee: Had good outreach for VFP from publicity we got during the Maine drone peace walk.

Education & Media Committees: Not active at this time but will crank them up as needed.

By-Laws Meeting: A group of chapter members met prior to this meeting to go over the draft that Smitty made for our new by-laws. Smitty will put the revised by-laws on our web site and he will present them at our next monthly meeting.

Asia-Pacific Pivot Forum: The chapter agreed to sponsor one or two forums across the state (possibly Bangor and/or Brunswick) to help educate people in our movements and beyond about the implications of the US military pivot to surround China. About 60% of US military forces are currently being moved into the Asia-Pacific. This will be expensive, provocative and destabilizing. Bruce, Dud, Dan and Doug volunteered to serve on the committee that will plan the events and reach out to other groups inviting their co-sponsorship. The forums will be held in the spring. The chapter approved a $750 budget for the forums.

Film – A Matter of Duty: There was a lengthy discussion about the new PTSD film being shown on Dec 14 in Fairfield at 7:00 pm at the high school (9 School St). The film does not address the causes of war, focus is more on the present situation for returning veterans. Many of our members plan to attend the Dec 14 screening to ask questions, etc. MPBN-TV will air the film on Dec 17 at 8pm and Dec 22 at 1pm.

Photography & Human Rights in Occupied Palestine:Palestinian photographer and filmmaker Mohammad Al-Azza will do a presentation on Dec 8 at 2pm at the USM Wishcamper Center, room 133. National VFP board member Tarak Kauff and other VFP members just returned from an intense trip to occupied Palestine.

BIW Vigils: There will be Advent season vigils from 11:30 am to 12:30 on Nov 30, Dec 7, 14, and 21 at BIW.

Peace Pole Dedication: About 100 turned up for the dedication of Tom Sturtevant’s peace pole at the elementary school in Winthrop. There was some petty hassles from the school principal who was not pleased about the VFP connection. We should make it an annual event to go to the peace pole. We could do our annual MaineShare hike & bike there since that was one of Tom’s favorite events. We need to do more to recognize his wife Mary as well.

Doug Speaking Event: Doug spoke to Wainfleet school students recently and a couple hundred were in attendance.

Iraqi population in Maine: There is growing Iraqi population in Augusta and local schools are being heavily impacted with students who have limited English language abilities. Rita asked if we could do something to help – she will research the need and report at a later meeting.

Next Meeting: The next chapter meeting will be at the home of Herschel and Selma Sternlieb, 21 McKeen Street, Brunswick on Dec 19 at 7 pm.