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VFP 34 Minutes

VFP Chapter 34 Meeting Minutes - March 6, 2008
Attendees: 20(Carl Foster, Frank Stearns, Al Jaccoma, Bob Carpenter, Bob Grossman, Pete Bronson, Tom Siracuse, Jerry Hassett, John MacDougall, Greg Posnick, Bob Davidow, June Svetlovsky, Joe Urgo, John Baldwin, Nelson Levitt, Gary Davidson, Bill Davis, John Milmore, Susan Andrew, Bob Keilbach)


1. Introductions - The meeting started with introductions at 7 PM, chaired by Chapter 34 President Carl Foster. Susan Andrew attended the meeting as a guest.

2. Treasury Report - Bob C reported that the treasury currently has $774 on hand. Meeting attendees contributed toward the cost of the meeting room at the Church. 

3. Executive Committee Actions - The following actions were approved at the March 6 Executive Committee Meeting:

a. Executive Committee membership was updated to reflect current attendees, as follows: Carl Foster, Pete Bronson, Hugh Bruce, Bob Carpenter, Sally Davidson, Bob Grossman, Al Jaccoma, Frank Stearns, Bob Keilbach

b. The Executive Committee meeting schedule was revised to the last Thursday of each month, at 6:30PM, commencing on Thursday March 27, 2008.

c. Frank will take responsibility for development of a calendar of events that the chapter, and individual members, participate in. Members should e-mail Frank with event details, which he will forward to the membership.

4. Liaison Reports – Chapter 34 representative to IVAW Adam Lessuck did not attend the meeting. Jose Vasquez has requested help at the IVAW-NYC office from 10AM - 6PM M-F to help answer phones, in preparation for the Winter Soldier event. Jose may be reached at cell phone 917-587-3334; John Jay College 212-237-8451 or 
IVAW-NYC office 212-228-0450 X104 Winter Soldier testimony will be streamed on Democracy Now, and to the Ethical Culture Society 687 Larch Avenue Teaneck, NJ, and the Cinema Arts Center in Huntington, LI

Chapter 34 representative to UFPJ Al J described the events planned for Washington DC on March 18-19, to commemorate the Fifth Anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. On Tuesday March 18 at 5PM, there will be an event called Frozen Union Station, where participants will freeze in place for 5 minutes. When they do move, they will call for the people to Rise up & End the war.

On Wednesday March 19, the 5th Anniversary of the Iraq War, UFPJ has scheduled a day of creative nonviolent action and CD in DC, as well as local actions throughout the country. There will be marches and rallies throughout the DC area, organized by a variety of contingent groups, working together to expose, disrupt and transform those that are promoting and profiting from the war. 

At 9:00 AM the Veterans March for Peace will assemble on the west side of 7th Street, NW on the Mall between Madison and Jefferson. At 10:00 AM the Vets will move out in a column of deuces, carrying the American flag held upside down - a symbol of distress - and our organizational flags. Stops will include the National Museum of the American Indian, the Peace Monument, Russell Senate Building, Supreme Court, Cannon House Office Building, R&R break (food/drink) back at Mall staging area, National Archives, Robert F. Kennedy Justice Department Building, J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building, Veterans Administration Headquarters Building, Lafayette Park and the White House.

5. NYC March 19 Events – There will be various local actions that chapter members plan to participate in, to commemorate the Fifth Anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, including:

* West Side Peace Action- March starting at 86 Street between Broadway and West End Avenue at 5:30 pm going down to 73 Street and Broadway.

* Brooklyn Says No to War! - 6 PM, Flashlight vigil starting at Grand Army Plaza.
March to Military Recruiting Station at 41 Flatbush Ave (at Livingston) downtown.

* Protest at Bklyn office of Cong. Rep Vito Fossella(who continues to vote unconditional funding to support the Iraq war) 8505 4th Avenue, corner 85th St, Bay Ridge, 12 Noon.

* Granny Peace Brigade - 12 Noon, Knit-In at Times Square Recruiting Station, 43St.

6. River to River Event - Saturday March 22, 12 Noon to 2 PM
River-to-River Human Chain Across 14th Street, Manhattan, to commemorate the Fifth Anniversary of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq. Sponsored by NYC United for Peace and Justice. Chapter 34 members will muster at 11:30 AM at the Gandhi Statue on the south-west side of Union Square Park. We will carry our chapter banner and signs only.

7. Queens Winter Soldier Event – Frank and Anne Eagan have organized a showing of the film “Winter Soldier” at All Saints Church in Sunnyside Queens, on Friday March 14th at 7 PM

8. New Business/Upcoming Events

a. Sunday March 9, 4-6PM – Town Hall Meeting on Impeachment, with Bruce Fein and Liz Holtzman, at Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square So. 

b. March 13 -16, 2008 - IVAW Winter Soldier 2, at George Meany Labor College, Silver Spring, MD. This event will be the largest gathering of US veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan in history, as well as Iraqi and Afghan survivors, to offer first-hand, eyewitness accounts to tell the truth about these occupations - their impact on the troops, their families, our nation, and the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. All members are urged to support what promises to be an historic event. There has been a call for veterans to provide security during the event. Individuals who want to provide security must attend training on Thursday March 13th.

c. Friday March 14, 7PM – showing of Winter Soldier film, followed by discussion with Frank, at All Saints Church, 43-12 46St. Sunnyside.

d. Wednesday, March 19, 2008: Fifth Anniversary of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq UFPJ has initiated planning and organizing for what is hoped to be the largest day of nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience yet against the war in Iraq, in Washington, DC. Folks in Washington on March 19th can participate in CD, or assist in support work.

Those who are unable to make it to Washington on March 19 will be organizing local actions throughout the country, tied to the protest in Washington, sending a message to the policy makers to end this war and occupation. Details regarding some of the NYC actions are listed above; further information regarding all events will be posted and e-mailed to the membership by Frank. 

e. Saturday, March 22, 2008, 12 Noon – 2PM: Fifth Anniversary of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq "River-to-River" event across 14th St. in NYC. Muster location for VFP Chapter 34 at Gandhi Statue on southwest side of Union Square Park.

f. Saturday April 26, 11AM - 6PM Fifth Annual Brooklyn Peace Fair

9. Peace Vigils - VFP members currently participate in four ongoing weekly peace vigils at locations throughout NYC:

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

! Women in Black - Silent Peace Vigil at 41 St and Fifth 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, Saturday morning from 11AM - 12 Noon

These vigils have been a positive means of educating the public regarding efforts to defund the Iraq war and end the occupation, bring our troops home, and provide information to counter military recruiters, as well as attempt to attract new members. 

10. Meeting Schedule – First and Third Thursday of each month, unless otherwise noted, posted on the Calendar at

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

! Thursday March 20, 2008 - 7:00 PM at 28 E.35 Street

! Thursday April 3, 2008 - 7:00 PM at 28 E.35 Street

! Thursday April 17, 2008 - 7:00 PM at 28 E.35 Street

The Executive Committee meets once a month, at 6:30 PM, on the last Thursday of the month. The next Executive Committee meeting will be on Thursday March 27, 2008 at 28 E. 35 St. at 6:30 PM 

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