veterans for peace maine

September 2018 Meeting Minutes

Meeting opened by Doug at 7PM

Attendance-Eric Herter, Peter Morgan, Brian Clement, Suzanne Hedrick, Peggy Akers, Clarence Smith, Robin Spencer, Doug Rawlings, Richard Clement, Dan Ellis, John Morris.Also Curtis Ayotte (outreach director for Brakey for U S Senate campaign) and Ana Hluska (Maine Share)

Opening statement-moment of silence for long time peace activist Selma Sternlieb of Brunswick

Unsung hero award to Rita Clement for her many years of service to the chapter

Correction to August meeting minutes-Rita Clement, Dave Larsen, and Seth Berner also attended the ‘Stop Kavanaugh’ rally in Portland on 8/26

Ana Hluska gave an update on some of the current Maine Share initiatives including the Fall Giving Campaign (Tuesday after Thanksgiving) and The Spring Share campaign (May 18th). She also thanked Richard for his help at the Common Ground Fair and said that she would welcome news of VFP activities for the Maine Share newsletter and hoped that we would participate in the Spring Share fundraiser

Treasurer’s report-balance as of 9/30/18 is$2,801.06.

Membership report-68 paid up members, 104 total

Discussion was held on the My Lai exhibit (Portland Media Center, 9/14-9/16).Highlights included poetry reading, two excellent short films;one, a trailer of Eric Herter’s film from his recent trip to Vietnam during which he interviewed former Vietcong fighters, and another shown by Dud Hendrick depicting his bicycle trip from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City with a group of American and Vietnamese veterans, readings from ‘Letters to the Wall’, Rob Shetterly portraits,panels by the exhibit creator Mac MacDevitt describing the history of the war, interactive displays, a video describing atrocities committed by the American Tiger Force, and a letter of apology to surviving villagers of My Lai signed by many of the visitors to the exhibit, of which there were an estimated two hundred.Bill Nemitz of the Portland Press Herald provided excellent coverage,and it proved to be an impactful experience for most, if not all, those who viewed the exhibit.Thanks to the many VFP members (and others) who helped out during the three day event.

Peggy will deliver thank you cards to the Media Center, the Brunswick U U Church, and to Pat Taub, who hosted Mac over the weekend

Common Ground Fair report-another successful year for the VFP table. Good weather, record attendance, and much interest in our display. Donations and sales of books (Letters to the Wall) and other were equal to or slightly better than costs according to Richard. Thanks to all who helped man the table.

Copies of the resolutions passed by the 2018 VFP convention were distributed. They included opposition to JROTC marksmanship training programs in schools, opposition to privatization of VA health care, call for GAO investigation of the construction of Henoko Base in Okinawa, call for a U S Congress investigation of the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, call for the U S to discontinue all aid to Israel and to allow the UN to hold Israel accountable for abuses of Palestinians, call for U S administration to lift the travel ban on U S citizen travel to North Korea and North Korea citizen travel to the U S, and call

for the U S government to terminate all operations in and support for Saudi and UAE attacks in Yemen as well as termination of all military aid arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Eric Herter plans on returning to Vietnam in February with Brian Knoblock to complete his film on Vietnamese resistance during the American War. He requested any financial help that the chapter could give him for the trip. Discussion followed and it was agreed to provide an as yet unspecified amount once travel plans become definite.

Robin distributed info from Maine All Care concerning a conference call on 9/20 sponsored by the Controlling Costs Study Group of MAC to consider recommendations for legislation to control the cost of prescription drugs and medical procedures. All are invited to participate.

Doug brought up the the subject of holding a fall retreat. No action taken.

Suzanne mentioned that she is still in contact with her Somali family.

Patty Ryan and David Westphal (contact at 207-244-4317)

are requesting information on the whereabouts of some banners from the 2005 4th of July parade in Bar Harbor. The banners contain the names of veterans who died in Iraq.

Richard reported that he has obtained some original newsletters from the founding of VFP from the daughter of founding member Ken Perkins.

It was agreed to provide $200 to the Maine War Tax Resistance (Ginnie Schneider) for their upcoming event at USM on Oct. 27 .

Discussion was held about a military recruitment sign outside Portland High School and the desirability of putting up signs opposing it. No action was taken.

Meeting adjourned at 8:45PM.Next meeting in Portland on 10/25

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