[HCCN] Fwd: Minutes from "Bring Our War $$ Home" Meeting

Judith Robbins JUDY at ROBBINSandROBBINS.com
Mon Dec 21 12:22:49 EST 2009

Begin forwarded message:

> From: "Global Network" <globalnet at mindspring.com>
> Date: December 21, 2009 11:42:46 AM EST
> To: "Peaceworks" <peaceworks at lists.riseup.net>
> Subject: Minutes from "Bring Our War $$ Home" Meeting
> Reply-To: "Global Network" <globalnet at mindspring.com>
> Minutes of Meeting of the Implementation Committee
>> The Maine Campaign to Bring Our War $$ Home
>> Dec. 19, 2009
>> Present:
>> Sally Breen, Wells Staley-Mays, Tom Whitney, Suzanne Hedrick, Alan  
>> Clemence, Mark Roman, Katrina Bisheimer, Mariam Raqib, Peter  
>> Woodruff, Dan Ellis, Jacqui Deveneau, Bruce Gagnon, Hersch  
>> Sternlieb, Selma Sternlieb, Lisa Savage, Bill Slavick, Gary  
>> Higginbottom, Michael Cutting, Natasha Mayers, Karen Wainberg, and  
>> Mary Beth Sullivan
>> War Funding:
>> Both Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud just voted for the $128  
>> billion Iraq-Afghanistan-Pakistan war funding which was included  
>> in the $636 billion Pentagon 2010 appropriation bill. Since the  
>> bill also contained $5.5 billion for BIW, and since the  
>> Congresspeople are committed to voting for BIW, they were in no  
>> position to vote against the bill. Talking to them about the fact  
>> that there would be more employment in civilian production falls  
>> on deaf ears. A supplemental appropriation of $30 billion more for  
>> the Obama Afghan surge will come up in the spring.
>> Agreement on Campaign Plan:
>> There was unanimous support for the three-month campaign plan  
>> (January 18-April 15) and for the action weekend on April 10-11.   
>> All local peace groups in Maine are strongly encouraged to  
>> organize local events during this period on the Afghanistan issue  
>> with particular emphasis on the cost of the wars.  More  
>> information can be obtained about the cost of war spending to  
>> Maine towns at http://www.nationalpriorities.org/costofwar_home   
>> Our primary demands will be for Congresspersons Pingree and  
>> Michaud to vote against any more war funding and to become real  
>> leaders in Maine and in Washington against these endless wars.
>> Talking About the Costs of War:
>> 1)It was suggested that we should always bring handouts to any  
>> meeting where we speak about the costs of war, be it a      school  
>> board meeting, a town meeting, etc.
>> 2) It was suggested that we find people who have been directly  
>> impacted by cutbacks to testify at these meetings. But we were  
>> warned that people who've lost their jobs often want to keep a low  
>> profile.
>> 3) Some ministers have made the connection in their sermons  
>> between the increased numbers of people in the food pantries of  
>> their churches and the war.  We should encourage more of this.
>> Kicking Off the Campaign:
>> Mike Brennan has offered to help us put together a news conference  
>> in Augusta at the state capital (Hall of Flags) that would make  
>> connections between state budget cuts and war funding. It will be  
>> held on Thursday, Jan. 14 (11:00-noon), the week before MLK  
>> holiday. MLK's words should be featured. The committee to work on  
>> the news conference includes Wells, Sally, Jacqui and Bruce. Bruce  
>> will contact Mike Brennan. We should all try to be at the news  
>> conference in Augusta. (Bring appropriate signs.) Lisa said she  
>> plans to urge her legislators to attend. The NAACP should also be  
>> invited to attend. We should all help contact social service  
>> groups, education groups, and public transit groups. Suzanne will  
>> talk to Commissioner of Labor Laura Fortman. Lisa suggested  
>> talking to Sue Gendron, Commissioner of Education. We should talk  
>> to our town officials about how the funding cuts are affecting  
>> their towns. Sally suggested a dramatic presentation to illustrate  
>> the issue.
>> Draw-a-thon:
>> Natasha has approached a number of Maine artists and poets about  
>> holding a draw-a-thon at the United Church of Christ in Bath on  
>> Feb. 13 (Feb 27 snow date). Their task will be to produce art that  
>> speaks about how the artist would spend the war money here in  
>> Maine. The artists will be open to ideas from us. In the evening  
>> (5:00 pm) there will be a poetry event and a potluck supper for  
>> the public. Bruce has asked Hana Maris to emcee the event. Zines  
>> featuring the art will be produced. Bruce offered Global Network  
>> funding if there is not enough money to pay the artists for gas to  
>> Bath.  Contact Natasha for more details mayersnatasha at gmail.com
>> Draw-in:
>> At a later date, a draw-in will be held at the State House. One  
>> suggestion: The draw-in should be held when the Legislature is  
>> debating cuts in services so as to connect the dots between the  
>> war and budget cuts at home. There was discussion about hanging  
>> the art in the State House. Natasha isn't sure whether children  
>> should be included among the      artists. She also talked about  
>> having the exhibit tour the state. Natasha requested volunteers to  
>> be liaisons between the artists and the media. Lisa from Code Pink  
>> Maine will work with Natasha to coordinate this event.
>> Campaign Sponsors:
>> The sponsoring groups for this campaign so far are the Maine Green  
>> Independent Party, Maine Veterans for Peace, the Global Network  
>> Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, the Peace & Justice  
>> Center of Eastern Maine, Code Pink Maine, Waterville Area Bridges  
>> for Peace & Justice, Pax Christi Maine and PeaceWorks. Please let  
>> Bruce know if your organization would like to be added to the  
>> sponsor list.  Money is not required but would be most helpful.
>> Town Meeting Warrant:
>> Gary offered to draft the wording for a warrant that can be used  
>> at town meetings. The warrant would call on a town to oppose  
>> funding the war in Afghanistan so that the town can pay for town  
>> projects. Lisa warned that the wording should be at a fifth grade  
>> level.
>> Donations:
>> The Global Network will be the campaign fiscal sponsor because it  
>> has non-profit status, so all sponsoring groups can make their  
>> donations to the Global Network.  Send them to PO Box 652,  
>> Brunswick 04011.  Individuals are also urged to donate.  Michael  
>> Cutting gave $100 at the meeting to get things going.
>> Website:
>> Dan has volunteered to create a website for the campaign. JustHost  
>> will be the host. It offers free domain for life and it's very  
>> inexpensive. We will keep it going anywhere from six months to a  
>> year. Bruce will send Dan a check to cover costs. Every sponsoring  
>> group should send its website address to Dan  
>> danellis at earthstewards.org so he can put it on the campaign  
>> website as a link.
>> Door Hangers & Leaflets:
>> Gary put together a draft of the text for the door hangers. He  
>> asked everyone at the meeting to send him suggestions for changes.  
>> We discussed what color the campaign should be. Suggestions: Green  
>> is the color of money, but to many it's the color of tree huggers;  
>> Pink is not a good idea; Red is high alert—it could be on a stop  
>> sign; Yellow is a warning; Red, White, and Blue appeals to  
>> Americans. Natasha wants a visual on the hanger. Dan asked for a  
>> decision on the color so that the website could reflect it. The  
>> door hanger could be in the shape of a dollar bill or a dollar  
>> sign. Some suggestions for text: "There's not enough money in  
>> Maine;" "It's tax day—do you know where your money is?" "Maine's  
>> economy is under dire threat." Alan suggested  that when we go  
>> door to door we wear a large label that says something like "I'm  
>> John Doe with the Maine Campaign to Bring Our War Dollars Home."  
>> Bruce will ask Nancy Randolph to design the door hanger once we've  
>> decided what we want on it.  Bruce also passed around his draft of  
>> a general leaflet and asked for comments to be sent to him.  If  
>> you would like either of these sent to you via email for review  
>> just send request to globalnet at mindspring.com
>> Letters to the Editor:
>> Bruce urged us to write letters to our local newspapers and also  
>> to the free weekly papers about the war funding issue during this  
>> campaign. More people are reading the weeklies these days. Two  
>> papers that were praised were the Free Press in Rockland and the  
>> Portland Daily Sun.
>> Reforestation Project:
>> Mariam Raqib spoke to us about a project she's involved with to  
>> plant trees on 1,000 acres in eastern Afghanistan where her family  
>> comes from.  She is accepting donations.  For more info contact  
>> her at raqibm at yahoo.com
>> Next Meeting:
>> We will hold a conference call for our next meeting on Sunday,  
>> Jan. 10 at 3:00 pm. Lisa will facilitate the call. Conference Dial- 
>> in Number: (218) 844-0850  Participant Access Code: 259896#
>> - Please forward these minutes to your local email list -

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