July 12, 2009

Report on the July 12 NAWC Meeting

Northland Anti-War Coalition July 12, 2009 Meeting Minutes

-Present: Joel K., Scott B., Gary S., Sue D., Ron M., Mark J., Adam R.
-Chair: Scott B.

1. VETERANS FOR PEACE REPORT: Gary reported on the Vets for Peace parade float that has been touring local cities and towns this summer. The response has been far more positive than negative, and the level of opposition to the war seems to be just as high with the Obama administration as when Bush was president. The city of Virginia is the only place that is still prohibiting the Vets for Peace float.

2. PASTORS FOR PEACE REPORT: Joel reported on the July 7 fundraising event held for the Pastors for Peace humanitarian mission to Cuba. 50 people attended, though the event ended up costing more than planned. NAWC voted to donate $50 to help defray the cost of the event.

3. PALESTINE UPDATE: While Bob was unable to be at the meeting, he sent forward a report to be passed on. We are still waiting to hear if the new Minnesota Palestine coalition will be able to come and address our August planning meeting. Feedback is welcome on the Palestine texts that have been sent out over the NAWC email list the past couple of weeks, and the tri-fold brochure that Adam has produced as part of NAWC's ongoing education work on Palestine.

4. FALL PROTEST PLANS: Adam reported that the National Assembly to End the Iraq & Afganistan Wars is calling for local protests against the war to be held round the country on Oct. 17. The National Assembly has also endorsed Oct. 5 (the anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan) as a day of action. NAWC will be holding an evening candlelight vigil on Oct. 5 in front of the Army Reserve base on MN Point. The theme of the vigil will be the human cost of the Iraq & Afghan wars so far, and the need to end the Afghan war now to prevent the death toll from getting any higher. We will also hold a march and rally on Oct. 17 around the theme of "Stop Funding the War, Start Funding Human Needs". The Oct. 17 protest will have a panel of speakers addressing different areas that could be funded if it weren't for the wars (health care, anti-poverty programs, education, home foreclosure relief, veterans programs, city parks, etc.). The march will begin at the Lakeplace Park and will culminate in front of the Duluth Federal Building.

5. HEALTHCARE NOT WARFARE: Ron reported on NAWC's history in dealing with the issue of health care. He also reported that he is circulating a petition in support of single payer health care. Email Ron at navyman3269436@yahoo.com

Ron also reported on a new national campaign to shut down the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. NAWC will discuss what type of events we might be able to hold around this issue at our next meeting.

Joel reported that the Rally for Lake Superior will take place on July 19. This is to protest the dumping of military waster barrels in the lake in the 1950s. NAWC is a co-sponsor of this event, and will try to have a table there. The event starts at 11am at the Canal Park Maritime Museum, and culminates with a noon rally at Endion Beach.

8. PEACE PROJECT & COUNTER-RECRUITMENT CAMPAIGN: Joel reported on a statewide peace lobbying group called the Peace Project. If you are interested in helping with this project, email him at jrkilgour@yahoo.com. Joel also reported that the Truth In Recruiting committee is looking to do some counter-recruitment work this fall aimed at local High School counselors. He will report more about this at next month's meeting.

9. HONDURAS COUP: NAWC voted to oppose the military coup in Honduras, and to call on the U.S. to break all ties with the military government. Joel will draft a NAWC statement on the issue.


-Women in Black will be holding a vigil at noon on Wednesday, July 15 at the intersection of Lake Ave. & Superior St. in Duluth.

-The next Iraq Moratorium event will be a 4-5pm vigil at the intersection of Hammond Ave. & Broadway in Superior, followed by a presentation by Bob K. on "Healthcare Not Warfare" at the Amazing Grace coffee shop.

-Socialist Action has issued statements on the military coup in Honduras and the recent turmoil in Iraq. You can view the statement at www.the-red-raven.blogspot.com

-Students at St. Scholatica are organizing a fundraising volleyball tournament on July 25 at the Buffalo House. The event is to raise money for refugees in Pakistan. For more info email Josie at jjohns15@css.edu

*meeting notes taken by Adam R.

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