Minutes: Veterans for Peace/Maine

October 21, 2004

Multi-purpose Center, Lewiston

Tom Sturtevant, former VFP President, stood in for President Doug Rawlings and called the meeting to order at 7:05 pm with 15 present. Don Harden (Portland) and Albert Andersen (Falmouth) were welcomed. Minutes of the previous meeting were corrected & approved.(September 23 – spelling of Bill Slavick’s name corrected). The Chairman noted that we still need a volunteer to serve as Secretary.

The Treasurer reported an available balance of $6716.87. T-Shirts, pins & buttons from National for distribution at VFP tables at the Democratic Convention and at Common Ground Country Fair have been paid for paid for: $1,048.75 ($753 received from the Fair.) Recently received dues from New members were noted: Ed Snyder (Bar Harbor), Peter Sexton (Presque Isle), Kendell Merriam (Richmond), Charles Durfee (Woolwich) Barry Rodrique (Bath), Frank Barnes (Mt. Desert), Sally Breen (Windham), Benjamin Crocker (Portland), Cullen Stuart (Lincoln)


Public Statement (The War on Terror is a Failure): Bill Slavick, Pax Christie and VFP member, at the last meeting presented a draft statement to be issued from Peace groups in Maine: he asked for comments as well as support from VFP. Subsequently Bill Leonard and Arthur Whitman and others contributed to the final text. It was presented at a News Conference in the Hall of Flags in the capitol building in Augusta, at noon October 19th. Two radio and one ‘IV station were present. Arrangements were made to print the statement in a half-page ad in the Portland Press Herald/Cumberland County edition.

Voted: $200 towards the ad in the Portland Press Herald.

VFP at Common Ground Country Fair, September 24, 25, 26 was a great success with many opportunities to talk to prospective members. The display, set up by president Doug Rawlings was very effective thanks in large part to the many members at the tables.

Tom Sturtevant presented the latest draft of Recruiting Brochure designed by Bob Laser’s wife. Input from John Wirtz was helpful. Printing of 1000 copies was suggested as the final text and layout was accepted. Bob Dale requested 200 brochures for the Bath High School.

A Training Session is planned for VFP members talking with those considering military service. A 3pm meeting is scheduled Nov 9 at Bob Dale’s home on Counter Recruiting.

Arthur Whitman reported on a speaking engagement at The Carpenter’s Boat Shop, October 20th in South Bristol. In addition to students and staff, members of the community joined in the discussion. The recent statement issued on the 19th in Augusta was presented as questions were asked about the causes and roots of conflict between Islam and America.


Following Michael Uhl’s presentation of the story of Asraa Mizyad (which is featured in the latest Newsletter from VFP National), it was suggested that a Working Group be formed to consider bringing IRAQI Children to Maine for rehabilitation. Is there a possibility of working with other organizations? Volunteers included: Michael Uhl, Tom Whitney, Jack Bussell, Dud Hendrick. Peggy Akers.

Veterans Day Parade, Portland, Tuesday, November 11th – Jack Bussell indicated that VFP members are needed to carry the banners and 40 tombstone-shaped signs depicting the Cost of War. Watch website and email for further details. Members and friends (as many as can possibly attend) are urged to assemble between 9:30 and 10:00 at Longfellow Square on Congress Street.

Following the Parade VFP participants and & friends will gather for lunch at AuNatuai on Exchange Steet.

Jack and Fay Bussell have also prepared an Exhibit at the Portland Library on the True cost of War to open November 1st.

Nov 13 a Vigil is planned at Bath Iron Works. For further details see the VFP /Maine web site. the BIW web site or contact Bruce Gagnon.

Tom Whitney spoke briefly on the situation in Haiti. Venezuela (the world’s 5th largest oil producer) and Columbia. A team is expected to visit Cuba next summer.

New books were recommended:

  • America’s Military Today by Todd Ensign
  • Will They Ever Trust Us Again by Michael Moore
  • Death in the Trenches. How the Pentagon Shapes and Censors Movies.

The meeting adjourned at 9:20 pm. The next: meeting will be at the Peace IE Justice Center in Portland. November 18th (NOTE: ONE WEEK EARLIER BECAUSE OF THANKSGIVING.)

Respectfully submitted: Arthur Whitman, Secretary pro tem