July 13, 2007

Report on the July NAWC Meeting

NAWC Meeting Minutes 7/8/07
[minutes taken by Carl Sack]

Present: Emily Gaarder, Denise, Laura, Dorothy Wolden, Peter Krause, Michelle Naar-Obed, Joel Kilgour, David Moultin, Cathy Anderson, Andy Anderson, Adam Ritscher, Bob Kosuth, Alyssa, Kris, and Carl Sack


1. Decision-making process
2. Strike for Peace
3. August 6 Announcement
4. UFPJ conference
5. Financial officers
6. Announcements

-Decision-Making process

We had a discussion around the process of decision-making used by NAWC. To review, NAWC uses a model whereby we strive for consensus and use voting in situations resulting in deadlock, at which time 2/3 majority vote is required to pass a proposal. No formal votes have been taken within the past 2-3 years, if ever.

A proposal was made by Emily G. to drop the voting provision and go with a consensus �1 model, whereby a lone dissenter could be overruled by the rest of the group, but not two or more. The main concern was that consensus provides a more cooperative model, which involves more people in the discussion. Everyone else expressed ambivelence toward the proposal, and Emily opted to withdraw it for now.

It was also brought up that there exists a steering committee of 3 people who can make emergency decisions between NAWC meetings as necessary. Currently, those three are Adam R., Bob K. and Sharla G. The steering committee was formed at a low ebb in NAWC's activity, when that was basically everyone coming to meetings. To date, it has been activated on occasion to approve expenditures and provide endorsements for events, but not much since the meetings got bigger again. It was decided to keep the steering committee but formally limit its powers to: 1) approving expenditures less than $200 and 2) endorse events that fit within NAWC's mission. Peter K. agreed to talk to Sharla to see if she would like to continue to be on it since she wasn't at the meeting. Nominations for other new steering committee members should be brought to the next NAWC meeting, at which time a new committee will be appointed.

-Strike for Peace

NAWC's main ongoing project is building the Strike for Peace day of actions on September 21. On this day we are asking people to take off school and work, and we will be holding workshops and a noon rally at the civic center, with a march from the CJM memorial at 11:30. Michelle informed the group that at the UFPJ National Assembly, this was brought up as a national action for UFPJ to endorse, but there was another very similar set of actions being build called the Iraq Moratorium, and the Strike for Peace didn't get much of a hearing. It was decided to keep the name Strike for Peace locally anyhow, but we may decide to affiliate ourselves with the Iraq Moratorium actions as the date draws nearer.

There was a great deal of discussion around the message of the action and what needs to be done to prepare for it. The basic parts discussed were as follows:

Workshops: They will be at various locations throughout the city, throughout the day. These will likely include UMD and CSS. It was proposed that we hold some at local small businesses such as Amazing Grace to capitalize on the regular patronage � bring the message to people. Workshops will need to be two things: A. related to the theme of creating conditions that make it impossible for war-makers to continue with their business-as-usual, and B. practical or experiential in some way (i.e. something more than just a lecture). So far, workshop topics include "Engaging the Christian Right in the peace movement," "Counter-recruiting," and something related to labor unions. Anyone can put on a workshop on any topic related to the theme, and we need presenters! Anyone wishing to present a workshop should contact Carl Sack (northlandiguana@gmail.com, 398-6554) or David Moultin (ferdyplatz@riseup.net, 724-2054). If you know someone who could present, talk to them and have them contact Carl or David. Carl and David will put together a list of potential topics and send it out over the lists within a few days.

Message: It was decided that we need a clear slogan that encapsullates the message of the strike. There was a lot of discussion over just what that message is. The group generally consensed around the theme of creating conditions that make it impossible for the war-makers' business as usual to continue. There were also ideas about U.S. foreign policy being immoral, breaking the pillars of power, and improving our lives by ending the war. A message committee was designated consisting of Michelle N.O., Emily G. and Laura to come up with a clear, consise slogan to use for the message of the Strike.

Endorsements: David is trying to talk to churches about endorsing and helping out with the Strike. Anyone who has any leads on friendly pastors or congregations should contact him immediately. Peter K. is working on finding other groups to endorse it.

-Getting the Word Out: We will need volunteers to staff tables or hand out fliers at upcoming events. This Saturday is the Bayfront Festival to End Violence Against Women. We will be handing out quarter-sheet cards to festival-goers with information about the Strike on them. Please come help if you can � meet at 3 PM at the public bathrooms at Bayfront Park.

-Hiroshima Day

Michelle announced that there will be a memorial walk on Sunday, August 6th to remember victims of the Hiroshima nuclear bombing. The event will start with a potluck and open discussion about the need for a Strike for Peace and what it's about at 5 PM at the Quaker Meeting House. At 7 PM, the reflective walk will start from Leif Erickson park and end at Endion Station. The group agreed for NAWC to endorse this event.

-UFPJ Conference Report

Adam, Michelle and Carl went to the United for Peace and Justice National Assembly in Chicago two weekends ago. UFPJ is the national coalition to which NAWC is affiliated. The Assembly endorsed several calls for local actions (including the Iraq Moratorium on September 21) and called for regional protests on October 27. The Midwest region's protest will be held that day in Chicago. Adam suggested that NAWC look into getting buses to go down to that protest, but tabled this as a proposal until next meeting.

-Oil Workers' Strike

This wasn't on the agenda, but a question came up regarding Central Labor Body support for the Iraqi oil workers who are on strike against the proposed new oil law, which has been talked about as a "benchmark" for "progress" in Iraq. Bob K. agreed to talk to Alan Netlan about what the Central Labor Body could do around that issue.

-Financial Officers

Our current financial officers are Bob Kosuth, treasurer and Peter Krause, assistant treasurer. Bob will be leaving for an extended stay in China in a few months, and wants to pass the torch. It was agreed that Peter would take on the role of treasurer, which simply involves holding the checkbook and keeping records of deposits and withdrawls. We need a new assistant treasurer to serve as backup in case Peter goes out of town. Nobody volunteered; we agreed to bring it up at every meeting until someone does.

-Event Announcements

On July 17, our friends at Peace North, along with the new Hayward chapter of Vets for Peace, will be holding a discussion on impeachment at the LCO Casino at 7 PM.

August 6th Hiroshima Day discussion and walk (see above)

Meeting Adjourned.

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