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VFP 34 Minutes

VFP Chapter 34 Meeting Minutes - March 20, 2008
VFP Chapter 34 Meeting Minutes - March 20, 2008

Attendees: 14(Carl Foster, Frank Stearns, Al Jaccoma, Bob Carpenter, Bob Grossman, Pete Bronson, Tom Siracuse, Jerry Hassett, Joe Urgo, Nelson Levitt, Hugh Bruce, Elliot Markson, Bill Gilson, Bob Keilbach)


1. Introductions - The meeting started at 7 PM, chaired by Chapter 34 President Carl Foster. Minutes of the March 6 chapter meeting were distributed on-line and by hard copy at the meeting.

2. Treasury Report - Bob C reported that the treasury currently has $653 on hand. Meeting attendees contributed toward the cost of the meeting room at the Church. The next four Executive Committee meetings have been scheduled thru June for the last Thursday of each month at 6:30PM; March 27, April 24, May 29, and June 26.                            

3. Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan – Chapter members discussed our response to viewing the testimony that was presented by IVAW on March 13 -16, 2008 in Silver Spring, MD, which provided detailed accounts about these occupations, their impact on the troops, their families, and the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. Joe and June attended the event, while other members viewed it at various locations and online. Other veterans provided security. Everyone found the testimony to be moving and powerful. The complete testimony is available online, and a video of the event is being developed by David Zeiger. The event was well covered by the foreign press, but had little mention in the mainstream US media. It was agreed that the video of this historic event should be disseminated as widely as possible, when available. Frank proposed the All Saints Church in Sunnyside Queens, which is available most Friday evenings, as one venue. Pete and Bill will bring the 18 minute trailer to show at the next chapter meeting.

4. March 19 Events - Fifth Anniversary of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq. VFP and IVAW members participated in a march to locations throughout Washington DC, carrying the American flag upside down, an international distress symbol, starting at the National Museum of the American Indian, and including a stop at the National Archives to read the Constitution, which we have violated. Pete and Bill attended the DC march.

Chapter members also participated in various local actions to commemorate the Fifth Anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, which were posted and e-mailed to the membership by Frank, including the Granny Peace Brigade Knit-In at Times Square Recruiting Station, West Side Peace Action march starting at 86 Street and Broadway, Brooklyn vigil at the Military Recruiting Station, and Queens vigil on Northern Blvd. There was good press coverage of the local events, but not much on TV. It was noted that the GOE continues to confront our recent events. A suggestion was made to have a discussion regarding our response to these confrontations at an upcoming meeting.

5. 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 west side of Union Square Park. We will carry our Chapter 34 banner and Vigil for the Fallen banner. At the last chapter meeting there was considerable discussion regarding carrying an upside-down American flag, resulting in a vote not to bring any flag. This decision has been revisited; individual members may bring flags to this event.

6. Organizers Conference - “Troops Have the Power to Stop the War” – AJ passed around a flyer announcing this event, which will take place on Saturday April 5, 10AM at Middle Collegiate Church, 50 E. 7th Street. Speakers from IVAW, VFP, etc.

7. Queens Winter Soldier Event – Frank and Anne Eagan raised funds for IVAW Winter Soldier at the All Saints Church in Sunnyside Queens, on Friday March 14th

8. New Business/Upcoming Events

a. 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 west side of Union Square Park.

b. Saturday April 5, 10AM – Organizers Conference - “Troops Have the Power to Stop the War” at Middle Collegiate Church, 50 E. 7th Street.

c. 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

! West Side - Peace Vigil at 82 St and Broadway every Saturday afternoon at 1PM.

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 April 3, 2008 - 7:00 PM at 28 E.35 Street - viewing of trailer to Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan

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

! Thursday May 1, 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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