Peninsula Peace & Justice notes from meetings

[scroll down for minutes from September meeting]

Minutes of the Peninsula Peace and Justice meeting
of 10 02 2013

6:30 pm, Howard Room, Blue Hill Public Library 

Steve Benson (facilitator), Judy Robbins, Peter Robbins
Followup discussion regarding Herman’s House, which PPJ showed last Friday, and the surprising release of Herman Wallace from prison yesterday, due to a finding that his murder trial 42 years ago had been invalid due to the exclusion of women from the grand jury. Wallace had spent 42 years in solitary confinement.
Minutes: We discussed purpose of keeping and distributing minutes. We intend the minutes to keep a memory record of decisions and discussions, to report to those interested on our process and activities, and to attract others to join and participate in the meetings. Anyone who receives and reads the minutes is welcome to respond by email or in a meeting to any topic they see here.  Minutes are always thought over by at least two regular members of PPJ.

October 25, 7p.m., ‘Crisis in the Congo’ film event: Rob Shetterly brings this film to our community after meeting recently with Congolese activists. He hopes to join us on Oct. 25, to share why he finds this film so important to show widely. Judy will get hold of the film and send a press release out by Friday the 11th of October. Peter will make a poster.

Field of Flags closing event November 9: We plan to encourage people to bring one or two poems or other short readings, written by themselves or others, to read aloud to each other in a circle toward the back of the field, beginning at 12 noon on Saturday November 9th. Rain date Sunday November 10th. We hope to encourage various friends and associates to come. After this shared reading, those who like will stay to disassemble the current installation of flags and banners. Veterans Day this year is Monday the 11th of November. Steve will get a press release out by October 25th.

Fundraising letter: We reviewed and made constructive comments on an e-letter Judy will send to a wide ranging list, to encourage small donations from those who want to support the organization’s expenses.

Facilitating the meetings: We planned to continue the current plan for a rotation of meeting regulars to serve as moderators, which includes arranging for a key to the Library, planning and announcing an agenda in advance, introducing a topic or short presentation for discussion to kick off the meeting, and managing the business of the meeting: 

November                   Judy

December                  Bonnie

January                  Peter

–minutes by Steve


Minutes of the Peninsula Peace and Justice meeting of 09 04 2013

6:30 pm, Howard Room, Blue Hill Public Library

Bonnie Preston, Ron King, Steve Benson, Lorenzo Mitchell (facilitator), Judy Robbins, Peter Robbins

At the Common Ground Fair (9/20-22), the Maine Campaign to Free the Cuban Five will have a booth; Judy and Peter will be there on Sunday.

We decide tonight that the War Memorial Field of Flags can stay the way we left it on Saturday this past weekend: grass mowed, prayer flags and ground flags in the center, but the other 3000+ flags not replaced this year. Doug plans to mow the field for us one more time 

We resolve to present Herman’s House on September 27. This is an 80-minute film about a Louisiana prisoner serving long-term in solitary confinement and a project he has developed with an artist to draw attention to issues relating to solitary confinement. Jim Schatz is interested in speaking and leading discussion that can focus attention on the current challenges at the state level in Maine regarding reform of regulations or laws on solitary confinement practices. Bonnie will follow up with Jim about this. Steve will write a press release.

Rob Shetterly is just back from the World Fellowship Center, where he met some Congolese activitists who showed him Crisis in the Congo, a 30-minute film that shows United States involvement in the Congo. Rob would be willing to talk about the issues in the film, along with the screening. Judy will ask Rob about considering 10/25/2013 as a screening date.

Possible films that might be screened in months to come: Rwanda Gambit, 150-minute film on complexities of politics and human rights issues in central Africa, might be shown as a follow up to Crisis in the Congo. Peter will preview Living Downstream, which tells of situational origins of carcinogens in the environment. The film is based on the book of the same name by Sandra Steingraber. The Invisible War is also a film we are considering, which Judy will preview.

The idea of a formal or central PPJ archive is one we did not discuss further beyond recognizing it may be desirable to establish such an archive and identify where it is and how to contribute materials to it.

Judy has not yet written a fundraising letter but anticipates composing and sending out a letter that would explain what PPJ’s mission and operations consist of at this time and how we would use funds donated to the group’s checking account. Small amounts meanwhile do roll in to help the group to cope with minor expenses.

Next month’s meeting will be facilitated by Carolyn, if she’s able to come; Steve will serve as back up, if she can’t do it.

— minutes by Steve Benson





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