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VFP 34 Minutes

VFP - Chapter 34 Meeting Minutes - June 21, 2007
VFP - Chapter 34 Meeting Minutes - June 21, 2007

Attendees: 18 (Al Jaccoma, Hugh Bruce, Bob Grossman, Bill Gilson, John MacDougall, Pete Bronson, Bob Carpenter, Aris Colonna, Sally Davidson, Al Stolzer, Carl Foster, Moe Fishman, Bob Davidow, Paul Brown, Joe Lisitza, Tom Siracuse, John Baldwin, Bob Keilbach). 


1. Introductions/Meeting Minutes - The meeting started at 7 PM, chaired by Chapter 34 President Al Jaccoma. Minutes of the June 7 meeting were distributed and accepted. Meeting attendees contributed toward the cost of meeting rooms at the Community Church. 

2. Chapter Activities Committee - The committee presented four options for continuing chapter events, aimed at stopping funding for the Iraq War, as follows:

* Visually attractive weekly alternating vigils at Sen. Clinton and Schumer's offices.

* Alternating leafletting once a month each at Grand Central and Penn Stations from 5-6PM on Friday  evenings

* Vigils in front of the Times Square Recruiting Center from 1-2PM on Saturdays, with handouts in Spanish and English targeting young folks. Possibly expanding to the Bronx, Bklyn, and Jamaica, Queens.

* Leaflet service folks returning to Ft. Dix at Port Authority Bus Terminal on Sunday evenings (reconnaissance has found this to be not fruitful)

All Chapter 34 members were asked to review their schedule and come to the next meeting with a commitment to at least one of these activities.

3. Gay Pride Parade - Sunday June 24 @ 1PM - Hugh has registered Chapter 34 to march in the Parade. We will assemble on W. 54 St. between 6th and 7th Avenues. The parade, which is typically attended by 500,000 folks, is considered to be an excellent recruiting event. We plan to hand-out chapter recruitment flyers, and have our chapter banner, as well as signs calling for repeal of Don't Ask/Don't Tell, and Human Rights for all service-members. Hugh and Sally have developed a flyer to be distributed at the parade. The majority of meeting attendees plan to attend.

4. Vietnamese Victims of Agent Orange Coalition Tour - The coalition is conducting a tour of the U.S., including five of the over 3 million Agent Orange victims, to increase awareness of the long-term effects of dioxin. Hugh and Dave Cline have been involved in organizing events in the NYC area. Members reported on the following events:

(1) Saturday June 16 at the MLK Labor Center on W. 43 St. - Dave presented his Purple Heart medal to a former ARVN soldier, who was one of the Vietnamese victims

(2) Sunday June 17 at Riverside Church - the congregation held a reception for the Vietnamese delegation at services.

(3) Monday June 18 hearing of the victims' compensation case against Agent Orange manufacturers, at the US Court of Appeals at 500 Pearl St. - the courthouse was packed with a well-organized group of counter-demonstrators, leaving most of our members outside. Court decision to be announced later.

5. Anti-Torture Campaign - Bill Gilson reported that Code Pink and the NYC Religious Community are conducting a demonstration and march against use of torture, in conjunction with the UN event to honor all victims of torture, on Tuesday June 26. There will be a press conference at 9AM at the Tillman Chapel at 43 St near the UN, followed by an event at St Barts (Park Avenue between 50-51 St) at 10:30 with Dan Berrigan speaking, followed by demonstrations in front of Sen. Clinton and Schumer's offices.

Bill also proposed that the chapter establish an Anti-Torture subcommittee.

6. Impeachment Event - Monday June 25 at 6:30 Pm at Ethical Culture Society, 64 St and Central Park West. Among the speakers will be William Madden, Rocky Anderson, and Ann Wright. Tickets are available from World Can't Wait.

7. By-Laws Committee - The committee consisting of Pete, Carl, Hugh, Al and Lionelle plans to develop a new set of by-laws, which will be presented to the chapter for approval at an upcoming meeting.

8. Chapter 34 Executive Committee - Al Stolzer and Carl Foster were elected to serve on the Executive Committee.

9. Chapter Website - The Chapter 34 website is up and running. The assembly location and time for the Gay Pride Parade on June 24 will be posted on the website. The address of the chapter website is

10. Press Coverage & Publicity - John Baldwin, who has written press releases for a number of progressive events, provided some recommendations to attract the media to our activities. He offered to help train chapter members in dealing with media personnel.

11. New Business/Upcoming Events

a. Mermaid Parade - Saturday, June 23, Coney Island, in front of Nathan's. 

b. Gay Pride Parade - Sunday, June 24 at 1 PM: W. 54 St. between 6 & 7 Avenues

c. US Social Forum, June 27 - July 1 in Atlanta, GA.  Website for the forum is 

d. July 4 - UFPJ Potluck Picnic in Central Park from 1-4 PM, location tba. Also, MFSO candlelight vigil at Times Square ~6:30PM

e. Saturday July 21 - Veterans Peace Council all-day retreat in Nyack, NY

f. VFP 22nd Annual Convention - August 15-19, St. Louis, MO. Details on website at

12. Peace Vigils - VFP members currently participate in four ongoing weekly peace vigils:

! Grandmothers for Peace - Vigil for Peace at Rockefeller Center, 5 Avenue between 49 - 50 St. every Wednesday afternoon from 4:30 - 5:30 PM. 

! Women in Black - Silent Peace Vigil at 41 St and 5 Avenue every Wednesday afternoon 5:30 - 6:30 PM

! VFP/Queens Network for Peace & Justice - 2 Peace Vigils, one at Continental Av & Austin St. in Forest Hills, and one in front of the Flushing Library, from 11AM - 12 Noon

The vigils have been an effective means of raising public consciousness regarding the need to end the occupation of Iraq, bring our troops home now, and provide information to counter military recruiters, as well as attract new members. Chapter members are urged to participate. 

13. Meeting Schedule - posted on the Calendar at 

The next 3 meetings of NYC Chapter 34 are scheduled for:

Thursday July 5, 2007 - 7:00 PM at 25 W.43 Street, 19th Floor, Room 19A - discussion with Al Stolzer regarding Military Project outreach

Thursday July 19, 2007 - 7:00 PM at 40 E.35 Street - Showing of “Sir, No Sir” and discussion of GI Resistance Movement during the Vietnam War

Thursday August 2, 2007 - 7:00 PM at 40 E.35 Street 
Bob Keilbach, Secretary



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