December 7, 2007

Report from the Nov. 25 NAWC Meeting

NAWC meeting minutes – November 25, 2007
[Minutes taken by Carl Sack]

In Attendance: Adam Ritscher, Carl Sack, Joel Kilgour, Peter Krause, Suzanne Griffiths, David Moulton, Ozone Baghun, Leo Priesseur, Gary Sorensen, Gene M., Jacob Obozo, Sabah Alwan, Steve Carlson, Ron Miller (14) (many apologies for name misspellings)
Meeting Agenda:

-Process Committee report
-IVAW meeting
-Upcoming forums
-Spring Action
-SOAW event
-Free Democracy Summit
-Incorporation (501c)
Process Committee Report

Peter K., Joel K. and Suzanne G. presented their findings from interviewing about a dozen present and former NAWC members. They are in the process of developing a questionnaire for the general NAWC membership.

Interview findings were varied. There were some themes:

* Things people like about NAWC: Action-oriented, democratic decision-making process, politically diverse, consistent anti-war voice in the community.
* Concerns and suggestions: Need more diversity of voices, especially from labor rank & file, high school students, and people of color; could take better advantage of resources in the community; need to provide more support for member groups' concerns; meetings should be streamlined, with the agenda sent out in advance and better facilitation; more community-building within the organization; more work should be delegated to committees; ideological frameworks are dominant over others.

The committee presented two sets of proposals:

1. a. Have a ½-hour "get to know each other" social time before each meeting.

b. Act as a clearinghouse for information from member groups; publish a monthly calendar for member organizations' events.

2. Designate four standing committees, with a minimum of four people each:

a. Process committee – would be responsible for facilitation, notetaking, agenda and group dynamics

b. Finance committee – would be responsible for bookkeeping and fundraising activities

c. Outreach committee – would be responsible for finding speakers and doing publicity work

d. Vision committee – would set the broad agenda for NAWC's future activities

Each person would serve on no more than two committees.

After discussion, the second set of proposals was tabled until the next meeting to give people time to mull it over. Section 1 of the proposals was voted on in two parts and each was passed unanimously. It was decided to wait until the next meeting to assign responsibility for compiling the calendar.

-IVAW meeting and forums

Peter K. reported that two veterans in Iraq Veterans Against the War came up from Minneapolis last week and met with a few campus activists and others, and they are really gung-ho to present their stories to people here. That meeting decided to propose having three forums on February 13th, one each at UMD, Lake Superior College and UWS, for these veterans to present at, as well as an evening social event, and to ask NAWC to help build the forums. The purpose of the forums is to get people, especially recent veterans, acquainted with and plugged into IVAW. Most of the organizing will be done by the campus groups. The proposal to endorse and build the February 13th forums was voted on and passed unanimously.

-Iraq Moratorium forums

Adam reported that the November 16th picket had about 10 people, several from UMD. Suzanne reported that the Communities of Faith forum drew about 40 and lasted an hour and 45 minutes; discussion was wide-ranging and at times heated. There was some discussion around the forum. Gary S. videotaped the forum, and will work with Ozone to distill it for public access TV.

There won't be a NAWC forum in December. In January, we've planned a People of Color Against the War forum. Some ideas for speakers were suggested; send further suggestions to Adam R. at

-Spring Anti-War Actions

Adam reported that a coalition on the East Coast, New England United Against the War, is making a proposal to UFPJ to hold bicoastal protests in March around the 4th anniversary of the invasion. They want support and endorsements from as many local coalitions as possible. It was voted (unanimous) for NAWC to endorse this call. We will also have our own spring action the weekend before or after, but that's a ways ahead yet.


Ozone reported that he was arrested last weekend for "crossing the line" at SOA. His trial is in January; he faces a six-month sentence. He is planning a fundraiser for his arrest trip to Georgia; contact him if you want to help get something together.

-Free Democracy Summit

Ron M. reported that he has been talking with MPIRG about NAWC doing more with the FDS this year than in the past. Jake Obozo (sic?) from MPIRG was in attendance, and pledged to bring up the possibility of NAWC holding a panel or forum of some kind at the event. The FDS is planned for some time around April 14th. MPIRG meetings are Tuesdays, 5-6 PM in the Garden Room at UMD.


Ozone brought up a continuation of the discussion around the possibility of incorporating as a 501c nonprofit organization. There was some discussion, and it was decided to table the issue for the finance committee to address if the proposal for one gets adopted at the next meeting.


UWS – Tuesday at noon, there will be a panel on war with Ella Cross, Dick Hudelson and Marshall Johnson, in the Rothwell Student Center. Thursday at 10 AM, and Friday at Noon and 7 PM, there will be dramatic readings of the play Peace Crimes, about the Minnesota 8, in the Holden Fine Arts Experimental Theatre.

Peace North – The group endorsed the Iraq Moratorium and is working with Wisconsin's statewide coordinator. Their November 16th event drew 40 people and was reported on in Uppity Wisconsin newsletter and the Daily Kos. On December 21, their goal is to more than double that number for their vigil. They are encouraging NAWC members to carpool to Hayward for the vigil, since there won't be an event here at that time.

Critical Mass – There is a montly CM bike parade at 5 PM on Friday at Leif Erickson Park.

Socialist Action – There will be a forum on the Jena 6 at 6 PM on December 9th at Amazing Grace Café.

Meeting Adjourned

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