VETERANS FOR PEACE, Chapter 23, MINUTES of meeting 9/16/20
Present: Marybeth Knowles, Bruce Pease, Bruce Freeman, Jack Spula, Steve Heveron-Smith, James Swarts, Mick Cole, Jeremiah Knowles, Danny Beever, Adrienne KInne, Paul Cox, Lew Montemaggi, Mike Stuart, Dave Garretson
INFORMAL MEETING WITH ADRIENNE KINNE, DANNY BEEVER AND PAUL COX AS GUESTS
This was an informal meeting in which VFP Board President Adrienne Kinne participated, along with her husband Danny Beever (President of VFP UK), and Paul Cox from Chapter 69 in San Francisco. Danny Beever and Paul Cox are running for the VFP Board. We all introduced ourselves.
VFP UK'S ONGOING SUPPORT FOR JULIAN ASSANGE (NOW IN EXTRADITION PROCEEDINGS)
Danny Beever (VFP UK) President) said he was motivated to work for peace by the “Collateral Murder Video” which was turned over to Wikileaks by Chelsea Manning and then published by Wikileaks. VFP UK has been actively protesting the treatment of Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange who is imprisoned in London and is in the midst of a hearing seeking to extradite him to the US to face espionage charges. [See the 2019 VFP Position Statement supporting the defense of Julian Assange]
CHAPTER 23'S ONGOING SUPPORT FOR THE POOR PEOPLE'S CAMPAIGN AND THE BLACK LIVES MATTER PROTESTS
There were discussions of Chapter 23’s participation in the Poor People’s Campaign and in the on-going Black Lives Matter protests.
SUPPORT FOR NEW YORK VETERAN UNDER A DEPORTATION ORDER
How to best help a New York veteran who is under a deportation order was discussed. Once the veteran gets legal advice about how best to proceed, a letter or letters of support addressed either to the court, if legal proceedings are necessary, or to the governor, if a pardon is sought, may be appropriate.
INTERNATIONAL PEACE DAY
Participation in International Peace Day gatherings on September 20 and 21 was discussed, as was the online showing on September 21 of “We Are Many,” a documentary about the resistance to the invasion of Iraq..
ELECTION OF OFFICERS POSTPONED
It was agreed that the election of Chapter 23 officers will be postponed until October 2021.
CLIMATE CHANGE WORKING GROUP--SUMMARY OF NATIONAL VFP ZOOM MEETING--BOB SHEARER
I was impressed with the range of activities reported by attending chapter representatives. Their efforts and perspectives were widely varied in focus and level of activity.
I was pleased the executive director participated but sensed this working group needs more leadership and direction from the national staff.
When someone sought an "endorsement" of 360.org without clearly defining or discussing it amongst the various participants. Perhaps I just don't have enough background to appreciate what they were trying to do.
I feel there needs to be a clearly defined mission statement of the working group which is endorsed by all participants. That seems either completely lacking the group is too new to have done it. That's why I made my comment - which I sense you endorsed. The Exec. Director wisely mentioned the need to send it to the Executive board.
The discussion around getting the vote out is important and I see that is a clear short term goal/objective we all should be doing. However, the brief mention of "polling" seems premature and could be counterproductive if not well planned and supported by the national leadership. There also are strict regulations about polling activities if taken in proximity voting sites. It's clearly too late to pull all that together, but each chapter could easily endorse a generic initiative to get citizens to vote because of concerns about climate change. Do we have any members in Chapter 23 who serve, or can serve to put out press statements that the membership would be supportive of? If not, it might be good to look for veterans who have press or political campaign experience and could take on such a role.
Next meeting: October 21, 2020, 7:00 pm by Zoom