Bring Our War $$ Home (and put 'em to work) Care-a-Van September 10 - October 10

Meeting Minutes: July 16 in Augusta following the Hallowell parade where we took 2nd place for most original entry. See here for details and photos

Present: Bruce Gagnon, Karen Wainberg, Wells Staley-Mays, Dud Hendrick, Larry Dansinger, Matthew Watkins, Sally Breen, Mark Roman, Katrina Bisheimer, Chris Rusnov, Peter Garrett, Diane Messer, Peter Woodruff

Campaign Budget: As of the time of the meeting the campaign had $1,568.59 in our account. Donations toward our upcoming Sept 10-Oct 10 Care-a-Van would be most appreciated. Tax deductible contributions can be made to Global Network and sent to PO Box 652, Brunswick, ME 04011. Specify they are for the Bring Our War $$ Home campaign. We approved a $100 donation to our web master Dan Ellis who had to buy a new computer.

Event List Grows: At the request of WERU radio we have decided to change our opening date to September 10 in order to participate in an event they are organizing in Unity. (A $100 expenditure was also approved for Sept 10 WERU T-shirt making in Unity.) We ask all local organizers to try to schedule their events, if possible, in some proximity to others happening geographically nearby thus making it easier for Care-a-Van participants to minimize statewide travel. Please help us pump up the jam by organizing an event during the Care-a-Van. Let us know your plans. Here is our latest schedule:

Common Ground Fair Table: We will share tabling space with Veterans for Peace at the fair on Sept 23-25. Diane Messer volunteered to coordinate our volunteer schedule. If you can help table sometime during that weekend let her know at enviroadvocate@aol.com

Media & Outreach: It was decided that we will spend $500 on radio ads (stations yet to be determined) during the Care-a-Van. We urge all local groups to encourage their members to write letters to editor during this 30-day effort making the connections to the cost of war to Mainers. We will send our PSA's and news releases in mid-August.

Snowe & Collins: Now that Reps. Pingree and Michaud are regularly voting against war spending we turned our attention to Senators Snowe and Collins. Katrina summed up the thinking of everyone in the meeting by saying that the best thing we can all do to bring them around to sanity is to continue building the base of people across the state who understand the connection between endless war spending and fiscal crisis. That would be the easiest way to impact Snowe-Collins in the long run. We should all be inviting the entire Congressional delegation to our events so they become more aware of our local activities.

Finale Event: After much discussion we became excited about the idea of holding our concluding event on October 9 or 10 on Indian Island. Dud volunteered to contact Penobscot chief Kirk Francis to discuss the possibility of meeting there in cooperation with their tribal community. (Oct 10 is Indigenous People's Day). Chief Francis spoke at the Veterans for Peace national convention last summer in Portland and made a brilliant speech about the origins of war on this continent that has in one way or the other been going on since that time. If we ever hope to heal America's broken soul, it would seem that we might want to start by reflecting on the connections between the "original sins" of colonial genocide of native people and the current wars of empire.

Next Meeting: Veterans for Peace is organizing a statewide demonstration in Brunswick on Saturday, August 27 at the gates of the former Naval Air Station. The Navy's Blue Angels will be headlining another airshow. The protest will run from 11am to 1pm and we will meet from 1-3 pm (location yet to be determined). All are encouraged to attend.