March 14, 2010

March 14 NAWC Meeting Notes

-Attendance: Vern S., Joel K., Kathy A., Andy A., Ron M., Scott B., Adam R. and a woman whose name I didn't get.

1. March 19: On Friday, March 19 NAWC will be holding three vigils to mark the 7th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. We'll be picketing 7:30-8:30am at Central & Grand; 11:30am-12:30pm at Mesaba & Central Ent; and 4:30-5:30pm at Lake Ave & Superior St. A group of students at St. Scholastica are making two large banners that we'll be holding, and there'll be extra picket signs on hand as well. We agreed to ask Zaynab Alwan to be the press spokesperson for the events, and Carl S. to put out a press release beforehand. We've taken out an ad for the events in the Hillsider newspaper. Fliers are being circulated online and in the community, if you'd like fliers to post up email Everyone is urged to spread the word about these pickets, and we especially need folks at the early morning one!

2. Tax Day: A committee of NAWC has put together a Spring campaign calling for the war spending to be brought home. Starting on March 24 we're going to be holding a one hour vigil each Wednesday in front of the Congressman Oberstar's office in the Duluth Federal Building. After the vigils we'll be meeting with his staff to deliver letters from different organizations supporting our campaign and asking Oberstar not to oppose the war supplementals. These vigils will culminate with a protest on Tax Day itself, April 15. We'll be gathering at 4:30pm at the MN Power Plaza. There we'll be forming a human chain where each person will hold one of 50 pieces of a giant sign that highlights how much federal spending goes to war. The plan is for this human chain sign to then march through Canal Park, and through the Tea Party protest that will be taking place at the same time in Bayfront Park. It was decided that we won't be doing the fundraising concert or leafleting at post offices that we had earlier talked about doing. A flier for this event will be ready by March 19, and we're also going to be taking out an ad in the Hillsider newspaper. We voted to allocated up to $100 for sign making and other supplies. Thanks to Joel and the gang at CSS that have been doing such a great job on this!

3. Palestine: The Twin Ports Break the Bonds Campaign - a Palestine solidarity group that is associated with NAWC, held a series of events at LSC, UWS, CSS and UMD last week to highlight the Israeli occupation of Palestine. It was part of a national week of actions called Israeli Apartheid Week. 100 people participated in the Duluth/Superior events. The BBC's next project is to mark the April 9, 1948 Israeli massacre at the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin. People will march from UMD and CSS at noon on April 9 to the intersection of College St. and E. 19th, where there'll be a vigil. Then that evening there will be an educational event at 7pm at the Friends Meeting House featuring Prof. Joel Sipress and a film by Anna Baltzer.

4. National Assembly: The national network of peace groups that NAWC is affiliated to, the National Assembly to End the Iraq & Afghanistan Wars & Occupations, is holding a national conference July 23-25 in Albany, New York. The conference is called the United National Antiwar Conference, and it's gaining a lot of momentum. A number of significant peace groups have agreed to co-sponsor it, including Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace, Progressive Democrats of America, Peace of the Action, U.S. Labor Against the War, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Women's International League for Peace & Freedom, Code Pink, the Campus Antiwar Network, and others. The goal is to get several hundred peace activists from around the county in one room to come up with a joint plan of action. More info as we get closer to the event. In the meantime, the website for the conference is at

5. SOA: The Twin Ports School of the Americas Watch is going to be sending several CSS students to Washington D.C. for SOA lobby day, and a national strategy session. They're looking for donations to cover their travel expenses. If you can help email Joel at

6. Brainstorming: We started a preliminary discussion on strategy for the anti-war movement, and the political hurdles we have to overcome to build a more effective movement. We also need to come up with some future action plans for after Tax Day. We decided to devote half of our next meeting to continuing this discussion.


-a speech by Adam R. on fascism has been published. it can be bought as a pamphlet for $2. email Adam at to reserve a copy.

-there is going to be a fundraising concert for Haiti on March 19 at 7pm at the Duluth Unitarian-Universalist church.

-Ron M. will be tabling after the Friday evening showings of the Amy Goodman/Democracy Now program at the Zinema. he is available afterwards for discussions on ending corporate personhood.

NEXT MEETING: The next NAWC meeting will be on April 11 at 2pm in the library of the Duluth Unitarian-Universalist Church. Mark your calendar!

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