Delaware County Wage Peace & Justice

General Meeting: Nov 1, 2002, minutes

The meeting was held at the Peace Center of Delaware County  [Springfield Friends Meeting House].  Attending: Terry Rumsey, Sue Edwards, Max Obuszewski, Robin Lasersohn, Carol Seeley, Bob Smith, Holley Webster,, Elizabeth Lutz, Laurie Pollack, Marjorie Fulmer,  Dan Hardy, Jodine Mayberry, Tom Mullian, Clark Palmer, Andy Palmer, Will Stanton, Jen Elam, Peggy Hasbrouck, Zakiya Islam

Sue Edwards and Robin Lasersohn facilitated.

Max Obuszewski, the featured presenter, was late so the group agreed to begin with the next agenda items.

Reports from Working Groups:

Legislative and Political Action Working Group: Robin Lasersohn reported that the L&PA Working Group had reached its goal of collecting 500 signatures on postcards expressing No War In Iraq.  All the postcards will be sent to the White House and copies will be sent to Congressperson Weldon.  Robin thanked the dozens of DWP&J members who worked on the campaign.  Robin announced that she would call a Working Group meeting in November to discuss next steps.

Chester Alliance Working Group: Sue Edwards reported that the Peace in the Streets - Peace on Earth Organizing Committee held a potluck supper and meeting to evaluate the September 28th March and Rally in Chester.  About 15 folks attended. All felt positive and empowered by the event. Many ideas were shared about next steps.  There was a consensus that the Coalition should continue.  Sue E. and Terry Rumsey plan to meet with representatives of the Co-sponsoring Organizations: Calvary Baptist Church, Chester Eastside Ministries, Concerned Citizens of Chester, and the Islamic Center of Chester to discuss organizational issues.  Terry R requested support for DWP&J continuing to play a major role in the Coalition.  The group agreed to continue to play a major role in the Peace in the Streets-Peace on Earth Coalition. The next meeting of the Peace in the Streets-Peace on Earth Organizing Committee will be held on 11-18-02 @ 6PM @ the Islamic Center of Chester.

Community Education Working Group: Pat Hardy reported that over 30 people attended the Forum on Independent Political Parties at the Media Fellowship House on 10-23-02.  Representatives from a wide range of political parties ­ Green, Reform, Constitution, Socialist Workers, Libertarian, and Natural Law ­ participated.  Each speaker gave a presentation and there was a Q&A from the audience. It was interesting and most speakers opposed the war against Iraq.  Bob Small and Owen Powell deserve a lot of credit for organizing the event. Pat also reported that plans are moving forward for a Forum on Peace in Israel and Palestine that DWP&J will co-sponsor with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Delco.  Folks should keep a heads up for more info in the near future.

Discussion About DCWP&J and Independent Political Parties: Andy Palmer led a discussion about the relationship between independent political parties and DCWP&J.  Andy felt that the recent Forum constituted an endorsement of these parties and excluded good candidates from the local Democratic Party.  She felt that DCWP&J should steer clear of aligning with political parties.  Several people responded by clarifying that the forum was only meant to expose people to alternative ideas and not to endorse any party.  It was agreed that the promotion could have made that more clear.  Folks agreed that it would be good to discuss the role of independent political parties and the peace movement at a future meeting.

Report on October 26th March on Washington: Terry R reported that the DCWP&J bus was filled to capacity [47 people]. The Delco group joined over 100,000 folks in D.C. It was a great day for the peace movement.  Everyone on the bus felt good about the event.

Presentation by Max Obuszewski on Nonviolent Civil Disobedience: Max O., a staff person for the AFSC Mid-Atlantic Peace Program, gave a presentation on his involvement with nonviolent civil disobedience.  Max shared stories of many actions that he had participated in.  Max emphasized that nonviolent civil disobedience could be creative, expressive, and help to focus public attention on peace issues.

Small Group Discussions on Civil Disobedience: The group broke down into several small groups to share opinions, ideas, and insights about civil disobedience.  Afterwards, the group reformed as a whole and shared key insights from the small circles. It was generally agreed that nonviolent civil disobedience was an important component of the peace movement.

Discussion on DWP&J Participation in National, State, and Regional Coalitions: National Coalition:Terry R. proposed that a contingent from Delco WP&J meet with Bal Pingual, Staff Person for the AFSC National Peace Building Program, to discuss improving communication between the local and national peace movement.  There was a discussion about the prominence of the ANSWER Coalition in the peace movement, the perceived disorganization of the traditionalpeace movement, and the need for an effective, broad based nonviolent national coalition. Several folks expressed the sentiment that Delco WP&J leadership should not devote too much time and energy on national movement politics but keep the focus local.  Others felt that it was important to keep informed of national efforts. The group agreed that Terry R., Sue E. and other interested DWP&J members should meet with Bal and attempt to clarify the national position.

State Coaltion:Terry R reported that Ben Waxman of the Unite for Peace group in Philadelphia had requested that DWP&J help initiate a statewide coalition of local peace groups in Pennsylvania.  Ben's idea was to hold a initial organizing meeting in the center of PA.  A few other groups around the state had been contacted and expressed interest.  Terry R. requested that the group agree to help launch a statewide coalition. Again, many folks felt the focus should stay local. Others felt the request for commitment was too vague. Will Stanton proposed that Terry bring a written proposal back to the group. Terry agreed to prepare a written proposal for the group.

Regional Coalition: Bob Smith gave a report on the Philadelphia Regional Antiwar Network [PRAWN}. Bob announced that PRAWN was organizing a major peace march and rally in Philadelphia for 11-23-02.  Terry R. proposed that DWP&J send a representative to the meetings and organize to participate in the march.  Once again, many folks felt the focus should stay local.  Dan Hardy proposed that we promote the event through our e-mail list and encourage people to attend. The group agreed to this proposal.

Each One Bring One: Robin L. gave a pitch that everyone should make an effort to recruit a new persona and bring them to the next meeting.

Pendle Hill Nonviolence Training: Terry R. reported that Elizabeth Hansen had requested that DWP&J consider co-sponsoring a nonviolence training at Pendle Hill.  The group felt that Terry should the clarify DWP&J role and help with the event.

Treasurer's Report: Marjorie Fulmer presented the treasurer's report [available upon request].

Next meeting: Friday, December 6th @ 7PM @ Peace Center.  Simple meal is served @ 6PM.

Submitted by Terry Rumsey