January 29, 2008

Report on the 01.27.08 NAWC Meeting

NAWC Minutes – January 27, 2008

*Minutes taken by Carl Sack.
*Present: Adam Ritscher, Scott Bol, Gary Sorensen, Collette Knudson, Steve Wick, Linda Gokee, Kat (sic), Suzanne Griffiths, Andy Anderson, Jilouise Bronstead-Simonson, Shelly Galloway, Steve Carlson, Peter Krause, David Moultin, Joel Kilgour, Barb Russ, Carl Sack. Apolologies for mispellings.

-Committee Reports [Process, Outreach, Finances, Vision]
-Event Reports: Moratorium, Potluck, Canadian War Resisters
-Upcoming IVAW event
-National anti-war report
-Spring local anti-war action
-"Repress-U" and HR 888
-RNC Protest planning
-148th Fighter Wing education

1. Committee Reports:

-Outreach Committee (Collette) – Collette designed new thank-you cards using the NAWC logo, and would like to put a list of participating organizations on the back. The idea was generally approved. She volunteered to print and cover the initial costs. It was suggested that the file for the NAWC logo be placed on the NAWC website.

-Finance Committee (Peter) – We have $625 in the bank and $100 in cash. The finance committee will bring a proposal for a fund drive to the next general meeting.

-Vision (Joel) – Joel presented a general idea to get people on the periphery of the peace movement together for a visioning meeting some time in the future; the idea will be discussed and developed further by the committee before being presented as a proposal.

2. Previous Event Reports:

-Iraq Moratorium (Adam) – Seven hearty souls showed up to the January 18 vigil in Duluth, while only 2 came to the Superior vigil, and a traffic accident occurred at the scene. The forum raised $100 exactly. It was filmed by Gary S., who needs a volunteer(s) to help edit it for PACT-TV. It will also go on the Vets for Peace website. Feedback on the forum was discussed: good location, large crowd; could we have reached out more to communities of color? Differing opinions. Jil suggested reaching out to students at Fond du Lac college, which has a large percentage of minorities.

-Potluck (Carl) – Our first quarterly social potluck drew about 20 people and tons of food. One woman who came was Saleema, who brought Ratada Al-Tahiri (sic), a 15-year-old Iraqi foreign exchange student, from Baghdad, who is currently attending Harbor City International School in Duluth. We held a question and answer session with Ratada, who gave us a good window into real life in present-day Baghdad. He is very well-spoken with great English skills and wants to do other speaking engagements in a similar dialogue format. The possibility was mentioned of using him for a future "voices from Iraq" forum.

-Canadian War Resisters Vigil (Joel) – Four Duluthians drove down to the Canadian consulate in Minneapolis for a vigil with 6 Twin Citians. They met with the Consul and delivered letters in support of Canada agreeing to provide refuge for U.S. war resisters. Joel asked for and the group approved $20 in reimbursement for travel expenses.

3. Iraq Veterans Against the War events:

-Steve reported that UMD is ready to go for February 13th, they just need the fliers. The forum will be held in Life Science 175, a medium-sized lecture hall, which is reserved from 6-9 PM.

-Adam reported that UWS will happen at noon, the room is still TBD. We haven't heard back from anyone at LSC; Monday is the deadline, after which we will try CSS as a plan B. Jil volunteered to try to contact the president of FDL, and a social worker she knows at LSC.

4. National Anti-war Developments:

Further details are available from Adam, but here is the gist of the national anti-war movement's situation:

An international conference representing about 143 countries that took place in London resulted in a unanimous call for protests to happen on the 5th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, which is March 19. All of those countries will be having protests then; the U.S. WILL NOT. Friction and infighting between the two big anti-war coalitions, UFPJ and ANSWER, and defaulting by leaders in favor of action in the electoral arena has resulted in the only actions being planned in this country for that time being the so-called Winter Soldier hearings conducted by IVAW and a small UFPJ-planned civil disobedience action to take place the weekend before or after. Cindy Sheehan attempted to call a conference to build a 5th anniversary mass protest, and was forced to cancel it because of the non-cooperation of the big organizations. This second default of the anti-war leaders has led to intense frustration among many rank-and-file activists and regional coalitions. A new ad-hoc coordinating committee has formed to set up a National Assembly to End the Iraq War & Occupation and to develop a call for a national conference in Cleveland, which will hopefully result in fall actions. NAWC endorsed the National Assembly and the Cleveland conference. If anyone who has not endorsed yet and wishes to can send an e-mail to adamritscher@gmail.com.

5. Local Spring Actions:

Adam presented a proposal to go forward with a local mass action on March 19th, consisting of a march starting 5 or 6 PM, an indoor rally, potluck and social, and a film festival running until 10 PM or so. Concerns were that other events were already being planned for either that Friday (the Iraq Moratorium day) or Saturday. A counter-proposal was passed that we hold a vigil and press conference on Wednesday to build the main actions, which would take place on Friday evening to coincide with the Moratorium. A committee was formed to plan the details, consisting of: Adam, Carl, Jil, Peter, Suzanne, and Andy or Cathy Anderson.

6. "Repress U" and HR 888:

Andy reported on an article on the latest issue of The Nation magazine about the activities of Homeland Security on college campuses, including "Free Speech Zones," heavily-armed campus security and increasing use of cameras. He encouraged people to watch for these things in the area.

Andy also reported on HR 888, which has some 30 signatories in the House right now, and would declare Christianity the official U.S. religion.

7. RNC Protest Planning:

Gary, Joel and Jil are planning to go down to the RNC anti-war organizing conference on February 9-10 to represent NAWC.

Kat came to the meeting to present as a member of the RNC Welcoming Committee Health Collective. They will be offering medical training for people in affinity groups going to the protest, including basic first aid, Wilderness First Aid and Wilderness First Responder. She will be in Duluth Monday-Friday every week, and can be reached at (650) 867-0399 or donnelkh@umn.edu by anyone who would like to take advantage of this opportunity.

8. 148th Fighter Wing Education:

David reported that Michael Latsch is currently making a documentary against the combat role of the 148th and against them receiving new fighter planes. Loaves and Fishes is working on getting Chalmers Johnson to speak about economic alternatives to military bases, and would like NAWC's support. At present, NAWC has no position on the 148th receiving new planes or its presence, though it was brought up that when we got the anti-war city council resolution passed, one of the arguments against was that it might make the 148th a disfavorable choice for receiving new planes, forcing it to close and putting people out of work. It was decided to table this issue to the next meeting.

9. Announcements:

-Adam announced that there is a new issue of SA newspaper with significant coverage of the anti-war movement and Iraq. He also announced a forum on Mumia Abu-Jamal which occurred Sunday night.

-Carl announced that he is putting together the February NAWC calendar, and any submissions can be sent to northlandiguana@gmail.com within the next 1-2 days. Steve is mentioned that he is setting up a website for Students for Peace with an interactive calendar that he'll put events on.

-Joel announced that the trial of him, Peter and David's trial for trespassing at the federal building during the Strike for Peace is occurring February 6 at 1:30 PM in the St. Louis Country Courthouse.

10. New Facilitator:

The facilitator for the next meeting will be Steve Wick.

NEXT MEETING: Sunday, Feb. 10 at 2pm at the Chester Creek Cafe [1902 E. 8th St., Duluth MN]. Bring a friend!

January 27, 2008

NAWC Meeting Process

NAWC Meeting Process
(Adopted 1/13/08)

Meeting Roles

Required Roles: Facilitator, Note-taker, Vibes-Checker
Optional Roles: Stacker, Timekeeper

The Facilitator:

·Is chosen at the end of each meeting to serve for the following meeting
·Is responsible for compiling and distributing a tentative meeting agenda in the week prior to the meeting, and bringing printouts of the agenda to the meeting

The Note-taker:

·Is different from the facilitator
·Is chosen at the beginning of each meeting
·Is responsible for recording meeting minutes, including votes taken and tasks assigned, and distributing the minutes via e-mail

The Vibes-checker:

·Insures that discourse remains civil and the process rules are observed in the discussion

The Stacker:

·May be designated by the facilitator if the meeting is too large for the facilitator to keep track of everyone who wants to speak
·Takes stack, ie., records in what order people raised their hands to speak

The Timekeeper:

·May designatied by the facilitator to keep track of time if discussion is contentious and to tellthe group when the time limit for a topic of discussion has been reached
·The facilitator must enforce time limits or ask the group to approve an extension when the time for that topic expires.

Standing Agenda:

Each Meeting will address a standing agenda, which can be added to as needed:

1. Introductions
2. Identification of Note-taker and Vibes-checker
3. Call for additions to the agenda
4. Approve agenda (2/3rds vote needed)
5. Review previous meeting minutes (<1 minute)
6. Committee Reports
7. Other business
8. Other (added as necessary as meeting progresses)
9. Announcements
10. Choose next facilitator

Process for Action Proposals

1. Proposal is clearly stated by the facilitator
2. Clarifying questions (no statement for or against)
3. General discussion
4. Facilitator asks for concerns
5. a) Amend proposal to address concerns; or
b) Vote to table if more time or input is needed; or
c) Vote to approve proposal (2/3rds majority needed for approval)

January 19, 2008

Report on NAWC's vigils, forum & potluck

In support of the ongoing national Iraq Moratorium Project the Northland Anti-War Coalition held 3 events on Friday, January 18. Despite the below zero weather, we went ahead with both of our Twin Ports peace vigils that day. Seven hearty souls showed up at the noon Duluth vigil [Colette K., Tegan W., Carl S., Peter K., Roger C., Penny C., Adam] and two people showed up at the 4pm Superior vigil [Mer? and Adam]. I'd like to extend a very special thanks to those brave souls who risked nose and cheeks for the cause of peace by picketing on such a bitterly cold day!

That same evening, in the nice, heated Central Hillside Community Center, we held a forum titled "Native & African Americans Speak Out on the War." Between 50-60 people attended. While one of our speakers didn't show up unfortunately, the three that did did a bang up job. Tanya Sconniers shared the interesting perspective of being an African American educator and peace supporter married to an Iraqi man. Jim Northrup shared his experiences as a Vietnam veteran, along with some awesome poetry, and Henry Banks powerfully drove home the point that there is a war going on right here at home against people of color, and how before the U.S. goes abroad to fix problems, it needs to clean its own house. Virgil Sohm was the moderator, and also filled in for the missing speaker by sharing some of his own insights and experiences on war and racism. The presentations generated some lively discussion, which continued well after the formal part of the forum was over.

Special thanks to the speakers and moderator for doing such a great job. Thanks also to Colette K., Peter K., Joel K., and Mike R. for bringing snacks and refreshments, staffing the literature and food tables, and helping with the set up and after event clean up. And of course thanks also to everyone who helped to build the forum. Between the great plug in the Duluth News Tribune the day before the event, a spot on KUMD radio that morning, and then the hundreds of leaflets, calls and emails that we sent out, we can be proud that we did a great job getting the word out about this very educational and moving event.

And then, to celebrate, and to kick back and do a bit of socializing, NAWC sponsored a potluck/social gathering the following evening, Jan. 19. About 20 people participated in the event, which was graciously hosted by Joan N. at her magnificent home. In addition to good food and company, we were treated with the opportunity to meet and talk with a young exchange student from Baghdad.

A warm thank you to Joan N., Colette K., Peter K. and Carl S. for helping to set up for the potluck, and clean up afterwards.

We had some great events these past few days, but the fight for a better world, of course, goes on. To borrow the famous words of Maurice Bishop, we must go "forward ever, backwards never!" In that spirit, I invite all who are reading this to attend the next planning meeting of the Northland Anti-War Coalition. That next meeting will be on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 2pm at the Chester Creek Cafe in Duluth. And bring a friend!

Report on the 01.13.08 NAWC Meeting

NORTHLAND ANTI-WAR COALITION Jan. 13 Planning Meeting Report
Attendance: Joel S., Gary, Virgil, Peter, Colette, Ron, Suzanne, Joel K., Andy, Kathy, Sue, Adam, Lori, Jilloise
1. Committee Reports: A.) Suzanne presented the Process Committee's meeting facilitation proposal for how to run future NAWC meetings, including proposals such as picking moderators ahead of time, having a vibe checker, speakers' list stacker and note taker. The Process proposal was accepted unanimously with some minor changes. B.) Colette reported for the Outreach Committee, which has been busy doing promotional and press work for the Jan. 18 events, putting out NAWC's first monthly Peace & Justice calendar and dividing up the various groups that have supported NAWC in the past in order to reach out to them again.

2. Jan. 18/Iraq Moratorium: Jan. 18 will be the Iraq Moratorium day for January. NAWC will be holding 3 events on that day. From noon to 1pm we'll be holding a peace vigil in Duluth at Kenwood & College St. From 4-5pm we'll be holding a peace vigil in Superior at Tower Ave. & Belknap. And at 7pm we'll be holding a forum at the Central Hillside Community Center on "Native & African Americans Speak Out on the War".

3. Feb. Teach-In Plans: On Feb. 13 we're going to be hosting a series of campus teach-ins with Iraq Veterans Against the War. The UWS events will be at noon in RSC 111. The UMD event will be at 7pm. We've yet to nail down an details for LSC though. We'll keep trying to find some folks there to help out, otherwise we'll either cancel the 3rd teach-in for that day, or move it to CSS or WITC.

4. RNC Stuff: There is going to be a planning meeting on Feb. 9 & 10 at the U of M for organizing protests at the upcoming Republican National Convention, that'll be held in Minneapolis, Sept. 1-4. NAWC has voted to endorse the anti-RNC protests. If you'd like to carpool down to Mpls. for the Feb. planning meeting email Gary S. at gls6712@cpinternet.com

5. Canadian War Resisters: Joel K. reported on efforts to get the Canadian government to allow U.S. war resisters asylum in that country. There's going to be a vigil outside of the Canadian consulate in Minneapolis on Jan. 25 at noon [701 4th Ave. S., Mpls.]. NAWC voted to endorse this protest. For more info email Joel K. at jrkilgour@yahoo.com

6. Announcements:

-Joel S. urged folks to caucus for Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer at the DFL caucuses. Jack will be at Mitchell Hall at CSS on Jan. 23 at 7pm. For more info on Jack's campaign contact Joel S. at jsipress@charter.net

-Suzanne announced that there will be a "Peace & War in the Heartland" plan in Minneapolis on February 22, 2008 at Rarig Center on the Twin Cities’ campus and runs for 14 performances. For more info email Suzanne at SGriffit@uwsuper.edu

-Adam announced that Youth for Socialist Action will be hosting a discussion on Black political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 7pm at Amazing Grace. For more info email Adam at mnsocialist@yahoo.com

-Colette announced that the UCC Peace Church's Just Peace Committee is launching a film series. For more info check out Peace Church's website at http://www.peaceucc.org/

-Sue presented a petition for Instant Runoff Voting that is going to be promoted at the upcoming MN caucuses. For info on how to help with this email Sue at sdaileydul@hotmail.com Sue also has a copy of the movie "Sir, No Sir!"
-Joel K. will be the meeting facilitator for NAWC's next meeting, which will be on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 2pm at the Chester Creek Cafe in Duluth [1902 E. 8th St.].

-meeting notes taken by Adam R.

January 6, 2008

Native & African Americans Speak Out on the War

-COMMUNITY FORUM: "Different Perspectives - Native & African Americans Speak Out on the War"

*Wanda Sayers, Women's Transitional Housing
*Tanya M. Sconiers, community member
*Jim Northrup, author & veteran
*Henry Banks, former candidate for city council

-WHERE: Central Hillside Community Center, Duluth MN
[on the corner of Lake Ave. & 4th Street E.]

-WHEN: Friday, January 18 at 7pm.

-SPONSOR: Northland Anti-War Coalition, P.O. Box 16853, Duluth MN 55816, (715) 394-6660, http://northlandantiwar.blogspot.com
or www.northlandantiwar.com
You're invited to attend and participate in this community forum on how the ongoing war in Iraq is affecting communities of color across America, including in our own community. A panel of local Native and African American community leaders will be sharing their views on the subject. After the panel gives their presentations, there will be an open, moderated discussion in which the public is invited to share their views on the war. All viewpoints are welcome. This event is free and open to everyone.

Join us in holding signs and handing out leaflets against the war!

-DULUTH ANTI-WAR VIGIL: Noon to 1pm, corner of Kenwood Ave. & College Street in Duluth near the UMD campus. Join us in holding signs and handing out leaflets against the war.

-SUPERIOR ANTI-WAR VIGIL: 4pm to 5pm, corner of Tower Ave. & Belknap near the Superior Public Library.

All three of the above events are being organized by the Northland Anti-War Coalition as part of the Iraq Moratorium Project. The Iraq Moratorium Project is a national endeaver that is encouraging concerned citizens to organize events in their community about the war in Iraq on every 3rd Friday of the month until the war is ended.