General Meeting: Oct. 4, 2002 - Minutes

The meeting was held at the Peace Center of Delaware County [Springfield Friends Meeting House]. Attending: Terry Rumsey, Sue Edwards, Peter Lems, Robin Lasersohn, Carol Seeley, Bob Smith, Holley Webster, Bob Neveln, Elizabeth Hansen, Laurie Pollack, Marjorie Fulmer, Pat Hardy, Dan Hardy, Jodine Mayberry, Sharon Muhammad, Marshall Muhammad, Tom Mullian, Clark Palmer, Andy Palmer, Nell Hardy, Duane Hardy, Owen Powell, Amy Dwyer

Iraq Presentation: The group heard a presentation from Peter Lems, the American Friends Service Committee's Iraq staff person, who had returned from a visit to Iraq in June to survey the country's water needs. Lems had also visited Iraq in 1999 to look at the state of the country's educational institutions which he reported were and are being devastated by the sanctions. Lems provided a chronological overview of the Bush administration's push for another war against Iraq, and the feelings and reaction of the United Nations. He also reported that the Bush administration has adopted a new strategic doctrine on the use of force posted on the White House web site that the U.S. is moving away from non-proliferation to "counter proliferation," - meaning that we'll arm our friends when convenient and continue to arm the Middle East, which is the most heavily armed region of the world - and that the U.S. will use preemptive force.

Legislative and Political Action Working Group: Robin Lasersohn reported that on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2002, from 10 AM to 1:30 PM, volunteers will be asked to go out of the community and seek citizen signatures on 500 more postcards declaring "no war in Iraq." She reported that four people recently went out and found it "startlingly easy" to get 100 citizens to sign these postcards. The working group seeks about 15 volunteers to come out on Oct. 12. They will gather at the Peace Center for a short training period and go out in pairs to pre-selected sites around the county. They will then return to the Peace Center at 1:30 for debriefing. 

Oct. 26 "No Iraq War" protest in Washington D.C.: Terry Rumsey led a discussion on whether Wage Peace should sponsor a bus for the October 26 protest which is being organized by International Answer. Some of the group members wondered how strident and sectarian leaders of the demonstration were going to be because International Answer is a known Marxist group intent on recruiting membership to its ideology.

Terry said that the demonstration is being presented as a coalition effort to which some 200 peace and justice organizations have signed on and that International Answer is the only organization taking the initiative to organize such a protest against the proposed war in Iraq. The group agreed to sponsor a bus and to take information back to their organizations in order to fill a bus with 45 to 47 attendees by Oct. 26. Wage Peace will have to pay about $700 for the bus on the day of the demonstration. Individual fares will be between 15 and $20.

Pledge of Resistance update: Bob Smith reported that there was a large gathering in Philadelphia to launch the Philadelphia Area Pledge of Resistance with hundreds of people and about 20 religious leaders in attendance. About 375 to 400 people have signed the pledge and about half of them are willing to do civil disobedience. There'll be a nonviolence training session on Oct. 20 at Tabernacle Church, 37th Street and Chestnut from 2:30 to 6:30 PM. All are welcome, but the training session is intended specifically for those willing to do civil disobedience.

The Mirror of Truth bus tour will be in Philadelphia on Oct. 7th with stops at Villanova and Swarthmore. The bus tour is intended to spread the national Iraq kept Pledge of Resistance campaign. It will go to sites on the East Coast were the U.S. is developing weapons of mass destruction, most of which are Lockheed-Martin sites, Bob said.

Affinity Group: Terry said he Robin, Laurie Pollock, Marj Fulmer and Sue Edwards have formed an affinity group which will work and plan together for Delaware County action in conjunction with the Iraq Pledge of Resistance. Anyone wishing to get involved may talk any of those affinity group members.

Chester Alliance Working Group Report on "Peace in the Streets … Peace on Earth" March. Sue Edwards reported that about 200 people took part in the March on September 28,. About half were from Chester and the other half from outside of the city. The group received a $500 grant from Bread & Roses, which it used for the program, lunch and making signs and puppets. The group will have an evaluation meeting and potluck supper in the near future, but felt on the whole they had built a good relationship with people in Chester that will be ongoing. The March received little notice and media.

The Community Education Working Group Report: Pat Hardy reported that the group is co-sponsoring a third party candidates might Oct. 23 at the Media Fellowship House. It is also working on organizing a form with the Unitarian Church for mid-November at which the speakers will be a Palestinian-American, a Jewish-American and an academic and will discuss the prospects for peace between Palestine in Israel. The group's next meeting will be Oct. 18 at Pat Hardy South at 7:30 PM.

The Steering Committee: the next meeting of the steering committee will be Oct. 30 at the Peace Center. The steering committee prepares the agenda and facilitates the meetings. Terry said that if members of Wage Peace want to get issues on the agenda, talk to a member of the steering committee. Members are also free to volunteer to serve on the steering committee, which needs more people. The members of the steering committee must meet monthly in between general membership meetings for about two to three hours. Anyone wishing to volunteer for the steering committee may speak to one of the steering committee members: Sue Edwards, Marj Fulmer, Elizabeth Hansen, Robin Lasersohn, and Terry Rumsey.

Next Meeting: Friday November 1, at 7 PM. Members may come at 6 PM for a simple meal of soup bread and salad.

Submitted by Jodine Mayberry