January 2, 2010

Notes from the December NAWC Meeting

by Adam Ritscher

Notes from the December 13, 2009 Meeting of the Northland Anti-War Coalition
In attendance was Steve W., Coly W., Scott B., Joel K., Bob K., Margie N., Dan, Adam R., and Ron M.

1. SOA Report: Margie, Steve and Coly reported that 7 activists from UMD, 15 from CSS and several from the community (for a Twin Ports total of three dozen, plus several from Ashland) traveled down to this year's protest against the School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia. There were about 15,000 at the protest. The Duluth Central Labor Body made a generous contribution to help defray travel costs for the Twin Ports delegation. There will be a report back about the SOA protest at the Jan. 14 Central Labor Body meeting, and community report back at a later date.

2. Emergency Protests: NAWC supported an emergency day after protest held on Dec. 2 called by Women in Black to protest Obama's escalation of the Afghan War. Despite being a last minute affair, 25 people showed up for the noon picket. The following Thursday, student activists held a skit protesting Obama's receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize in the morning at CSS, and in the evening at the intersection of Lake Ave. and Superior St. in downtown Duluth. Two dozen participated in the protest.

3. NAWC Fliers: Joel is going to head up an effort to draft some new fliers for NAWC to distribute.

4. Spring Plans: A plan was presented and approved that NAWC try to send a delegation to the next national anti-war protest in Washington D.C. on March 20. We're shooting to send a couple of van loads of local protesters. Leading up to March 20, we're also going to hold a series of Saturday pickets in Ashland, Superior and Duluth, and then a send off event for the D.C. caravan. Side by side with this we want to do a media blitz where we either take out signature ads in a couple of local alternative papers, and/or take out some radio ads. The March 20 protest will tentatively be followed by a year long petition drive to get an anti-war referendum on the ballot in the Twin Ports.

Students for Peace also announced that this Spring they're going to hold a Peace Art Gallery event, and the second of their annual Activist Summits. More info on both events to come.

5. Steering Committee: We decided to establish a new Steering Committee, empowered to make emergency decisions in between our monthly planning meetings. Joel K., Coly W., Ellie C., and Adam R. were elected to the new body.

6. Martin Luther King Project: The Unitarian church is going to be hosting a series of events around MLK weekend, in conjunction with other events around town. The church is also looking to start up an MLK themed book club. For more info contact Scot Bol at earthmannow@gmail.com

NEXT MEETING: Sunday, January 10 at 2pm in the library of the Duluth Unitarian-Universalist Church on College Street.

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