VFP Chapter 34 Meeting Minutes - September 20, 2007
VFP Chapter 34 Meeting Minutes - September 20, 2007
Attendees: 13 (Bob Carpenter, Bob Grossman, Bill Gilson, John MacDougall, Pete Bronson, Al Stolzer, Sally Davidson, Nelson Levitt, Frank Stearns, June Svetlovsky, Tom Siracuse, Joe Urgo, Bob Keilbach).
1. Introductions/Meeting Minutes - The meeting started at 7 PM, chaired by Al Stolzer. Minutes of the September 6 meeting were read and accepted. A Moment of Silence was held for former VFP National President David Cline, and Executive Board member Gideon Rosenbluth. There will be a memorial service for David on January 11 or 12, 2008 in NY City, details tba.
2. Treasury Report - Meeting attendees contributed toward the cost of meeting rooms at the Community Church. Bob C expressed concern that current chapter expenses exceed income. It was agreed that the issue of chapter dues and/or fundraising would be addressed at the next Executive Committee meeting, at which time each member was requested to provide suggestions.
3. Washington DC Antiwar Actions - scheduled in conjunction with imminent Congressional action on continued funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
! September 15 - Answer Coalition march and demonstration on Sept 15, led by IVAW and endorsed by VFP, included a “die-in” by vets and supporters in front of the Capitol. Chapter members who attended reported that the event was attended by approximately 100,000 participants, and very well organized. They also discussed the unnecessarily rough treatment, use of Mace, and extended handcuffed detention of the nonviolent CD participants by the Capitol police force. It was also noted that counter-demonstrators who infiltrated the rear of the line of march started numerous physical confrontations.
! September 22 - 29 - Troops Out Now encampment in front of the Capitol, ending in a major demonstration on Sept. 29, which some chapter members will be attending
4. MFSO Demonstration at Senator Clinton's Office - Sally, John Mac, Bob C and Bob G reported on the MFSO rally/demonstration in front of Sen. Clinton's NY City office at 3 Avenue and 48 St. on Friday September 14th. The event was attended by several VFP members, who also spoke at the event. There were approximately 30 participants, and there was excellent broadcast and print media coverage, thanks to the efforts of Ben Chitty and Lionelle.
5 Iraq Moratorium/Molly Ivins Campaign - VFP has endorsed continuing local actions in memory of Molly Ivins, to be held once a month, beginning in September. The first action will be a demonstration in front of Sen. Hillary Clinton's NY City office at 780 3rd Avenue, at 48 St. on Wednesday September 26 from 12-2PM, with pots, pans and noise-makers. This event will be repeated on the third Wednesday of each month. This series of ongoing events will also serve as Chapter 34's participation in the ongoing Iraq Moratorium campaign. Websites: www.raisehellformollyivins.org & www.iraqmoratorium.org
6. Bush Speaking at UN - Tuesday, September 25. We will be meeting the LI Chapter at Penn Station in the General Waiting Room at 7:30AM, to participate in one of the many feeder marches to the UN, which will be a symbolic funeral procession with two flag-draped coffins. We will be leaving Penn Station by 8AM, arriving at the demonstration at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza on 47St. by 8:30AM. Website:www.arrestcheneyfirst.com
7. UFPJ Regional Actions - Saturday October 27th in NYC. Bob G volunteered to represent VFP Chapter 34 at UFPJ meetings in planning for the NYC Regional march.
8. Veterans Day Parade - Sunday November 11 - our contingent will be marching again in the annual NYC Veterans Day Parade to present our anti-war message, as a counterpoint to the many pro-war groups participating. We will honor our fallen brother Moe Fishman, an early fighter for peace, at the parade. Hugh has obtained the application, and will register our contingent. Bill G volunteered to help Hugh with preparations for the parade. Volunteers are needed to help out as marshals for our contingent.
9. Executive Committee Meeting Schedule - It was agreed that the Chapter 34 Executive Committee meeting schedule would change to having a separate meeting, apart from the general Chapter meeting, once per month. The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be on Monday October 1st at 6PM, probably at the CUNY Graduate Center on W. 43 St., (to be confirmed), with subsequent monthly meetings thereafter
10. Bay Ridge Neighbors for Peace - Sally reported on a demonstration in front of Rep. Vito Fossella's Brooklyn office on Saturday Sept. 15th. There is a video of the event on You-tube. They are also planning a Peace Fair at a local Methodist Church on Saturday October 13th. Sally will forward information regarding tabling.
11 COVO Report - Pete reported on the meeting of Sept. 19, which he attended with two representatives from the Minneapolis Chapter of VFP. He is trying to get Chapter 34 on the COVO advisory board, as the only member organization that is not a fund recipient.
12. New Business/Upcoming Events
a. September 22 - 29 - Troops Out Now encampment on the Mall in DC, with major demonstration on Saturday, Sept. 29.
b. Tuesday September 25 - @7:30 AM. March from Penn Station, NYC, to greet Bush at the UN. We will be joining the LI Chapter at the Main Waiting Room inside Penn Station, for a feeder march with flag-draped coffins.
c Wednesday September 26 - Iraq Moratorium/Molly Ivins Campaign demonstration with noisemakers, in front of Senator Clinton's Office at Third Avenue and 48 St.
d. Saturday September 29 - IVAW/VFP Syracuse march and Demonstration 1 PM
e. Wednesday October 17, and every third Wed thereafter, 12-2PM - Iraq Moratorium/Raise Hell for Molly Ivins Campaign demonstration in front of Senator Clinton's Office at Third Avenue and 48 St.
f. Sunday October 21 - Gene Glazer Memorial service.
g. Saturday October 27 - UFPJ Regional March in NYC
h. Sunday October 28 - IVAW Fundraiser, showing of “Meeting Resistance” in the village
i. Saturday November 10 @10:30AM - Moe Fishman Memorial service at Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, NYC.
j. Sunday November 11 - Veterans Day Parade, Fifth Avenue, NYC
k. January 11 or 12, 2008 - Memorial service for David Cline (TBA)
13. 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.
14. Meeting Schedule - posted on the Calendar at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vfpnyc034
The next 3 meetings of NYC Chapter 34 are scheduled for:
! Thursday October 4, 2007 - 7:00 PM at 28 E.35 Street
! Thursday October 18, 2007 - 7:00 PM at 28 E.35 Street
! Thursday November 1, 2007 - 7:00 PM at 28 E.35 Street