October 5, 2007

Report from the Sept. 30 NAWC Meeting

Present: Adam R., Heather B., Mike R., Hal B., Sue G., Steve C., Cathy A., Andy A., Joel K., Sue D., Steve W., Carl S..

1. Strike for Peace feedback and processing

Feedback on the Strike for Peace was shared. What people thought went well:

-Our media work, including press conference before hand
-Most of the workshops � attendance and quality of presentation
-Great lineup of rally speakers
-Good turnout for a weekday � almost the usual weekend rally turnout
-Biggest Iraq Moratorium event listed on their website

What needed improvement:

-Mainstream media coverage was awful, mostly about 10 people getting arrested with little real content. It was suggested that for future NAWC actions, one person be designated a NAWC reporter, whose only job during the day would be to take notes and pictures. It was also suggested that people write letters to the editor calling for better reporting.

-Distributing the workload. It was a lot of effort for a few people who stepped forward to make it happen. For future actions, we need a larger committee of people who will commit to taking on responsibilities. It would have been good to have more volunteers manning the workshops as greeters, etc.

-There was discussion aroung the feeling that the Civil Disobedience action conflicted with media coverage of the event and was too closely associated. It was suggested that future CD actions be more geograpically and/or chronologically separated from official NAWC actions.

-Police presence for the march and rally was friendly by very strong. It was suggested that we might reduce police presence by holding peacekeeper trainings before future actions.

-It was suggested that a stronger focus and narrower goals might improve the effectiveness of future actions.

2. October 27 Bus to Chicago

Carl has taken on organizing a bus to Chicago for the October 27th regional protest, part of a national mobilization called by UFPJ. He invites anyone who wants to help co-organize the bus to step forward. This is a one-day trip, and everyone who can go is highly encouraged to.

A 47-passenger bus has been reserved. The cost will be $2835. It was suggested that a letter be sent to the NAWC mailing list to fundraise. Veterans for Peace will sponsor one or more people, and UMD Students for Peace also is doing some fundraising.

A call will be sent out for a bus committee. Adam and Joel volunteered, and Steve W. said he would try to find a Students for Peace person to volunteer to serve on the committee.

3. Meeting Structure

Joel proposed that NAWC start holding 2 meetings a month, because we never get a chance to discuss issues related to strategy. The proposal was passed � future meetings will take place on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month. There was discussion around how to split the meetings between strategy and action points, and it was agreed that meeting agendas would be announced via listserv ahead of time. Strategy and Process will be first on the agenda next meeting.

4. Future Actions brainstorm

We brainstormed possible actions for the future:

-Making $2 a "vote for peace"
-Questionnaire for the community (go through Zenith Research?)
-Mock Impeachment/War Crimes Tribunal
-Street Theater � use Vets for Peace float as a stage?
-Talent show for Peace community
-Intensive media work, guerilla media
-Organizing returning vets � Daniel Fanning is 1 person away from an IVAW chapter in Minnesota
-Truth in Recruiting activities
-Target Oberstar
-Monthly forum series
-Roving pickets in different neighborhoods around the Twin Ports
-Outreach to National Guard members
-Peace Concert Series
-More outreach to other groups � Steve W. is putting together a comprehensive list
-Speakers' bureau � Andy, Hal and Sue will work on this

5. Future 3rd Friday Plans

We came up with a tentative plan for activities to take place with the Iraq Moratorium every third Friday. We will hold a picket/vigil at noon in a different neighborhood each time, then a forum in the evening. The Direct Action Working Group is putting together separate CD actions for each Friday. The actions will build toward a mass action in the spring, likely involving a regional War Crimes Tribunal headed up by Vets for Peace.

The October 19th picket will take place at Memorial Park in West Duluth at noon. The theme will be Support the Troops, Bring Them Home! There will be a forum in the evening on a returning veterans theme.

[Notes taken by Carl Sack]

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