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VFP 34 Minutes

VFP Chapter 34 Meeting Minutes - April 3, 2008
VFP Chapter 34 Meeting Minutes - April 3, 2008

Attendees: 19(Frank Stearns, Al Jaccoma, Bob Carpenter, Bob Grossman, Pete Bronson,
Tom Siracuse, Joe Urgo, Nelson Levitt, Hugh Bruce, Bill Gilson, Adam Lessuck, Greg
Posnick, John Milmore, June Svetlovsky, John MacDougall, Bob Davidow, Jay Janson,
Aris Colonna, Bob Keilbach)

1. Introductions - The meeting started at 7 PM, chaired by Chapter 34 VP Frank Stearns.
Minutes of the March 20 chapter meeting were distributed on-line and by hard copy at
the meeting.

2. Treasury Report - Bob C reported that the treasury currently has $604 on hand.
Meeting attendees contributed toward the cost of the meeting room at the Church.

3. Executive Committee Actions – the following actions were agreed upon at the March
27 Executive committee meeting:
a. Bill Gilson’s membership on the Executive Committee has been reinstated.
b. Brooklyn Peace Fair – Saturday April 26 – chapter endorsed the event, and will share a
table with MFSO. Frank and Hugh will man the table, with assistance from other chapter
c. Gay Pride parade – the chapter agreed to participate again this year. Hugh will check
on availability of a vehicle for those who cannot march the entire route. Bill G will assist
Hugh in organizing the event.
d. Chapter 34 will pay Associate Membership dues for Georgia Wever and Paul
Zulkowitz, who have provided a great deal of assistance to VFP and the chapter.
e. Chapter contacts – Carl and Frank have keys to the mailbox at JAF post office. Hugh
agreed to be VFP chapter contact.
f. Chapter actions – Sally recommended initiating an ongoing event every Sunday
afternoon at the Times Square Recruiting Station. Hugh suggested conducting teach-ins
at local churches, and agreed to be liaison.

4. Liaison Reports – Adam reported on the IVAW Winter Soldier Investigation testimony
in Silver Spring, MD. He met Jeremy Scahill there, and recommended that we plan an
event in Brooklyn, with Scahill as speaker. Adam will follow-up. He also recommended
that local chapters put together a panel for the National VFP convention regarding
outreach to NG armories and military bases.

AJ reported that UFPJ will be organizing Tax Day protests at local Post offices
throughout the city on April 15, details tba.

5. Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan – we viewed the 18 minute preview trailer to
Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan, which provided detailed personal accounts about
the occupations, their impact on the troops, their families, and the people of Iraq and
Afghanistan. The complete testimony is available for viewing online at,
and two films of the event are being developed, one by IVAW and one by David Zeiger.

John McD and Bob G agreed to develop ideas for addressing the lack of mainstream

media coverage of antiwar events, including the Winter Soldier testimony, which
will be presented at the next chapter meeting. There was considerable discussion
regarding follow-up activities to disseminate this important information, accompanied
by discussions with vets. Joe, Pete and Hugh will develop a framework for making
presentations of the information to the public. Joe will contact Resistance Cinema to
schedule a VFP-sponsored showing in NYC.

6. Bridging the Gap - Making it Happen, an Organizers Conference - “Troops Have
the Power to Stop the War” – AJ passed around a flyer describing this event, which as
organized by the Military Project. Saturday April 5, 10AM at Middle Collegiate Church,
50 E. 7th Street. Speakers Richard Boyle, IVAW, VVAW, VFP, ILWU Local 10, etc.
This is an Organizer’s Conference for folks who wish to act together to bridge the gap
between civilians and members of the armed forces by direct contact.

7. Chapter Action - Pete sent an e-mail and distributed copies of a proposed series of
actions at local congressional offices to promote sponsorship of Congr Lynn Woolsey’s
HR 5507 for the fully funded redeployment of US armed forces and private contractors
from Iraq, which is considered to be the strongest antiwar bill that has been introduced
this year. HR 5507 is expected to become an amendment to the impending FY08
Supplemental Appropriations bill. In order to get the Democratic House leaders to bring
HR 5507 to a vote, it is vitally important to have a large number of co-sponsors, to
effectively challenge the willingness of Congress to keep funding the occupation. As of
now Congresswoman Yvette Clarke has signed on a as a co-sponsor and Congressman
Ed Towns has agreed to do so. Bill G and Hugh plan to follow-up and plan the action.
Chapter members are urged to contact your House member and ask them to co-sponsor
HR 5507.

8. New Business/Upcoming Events
a. Saturday April 5, 10AM – Organizers Conference – “Bridging the Gap – Making it
Happen” at Middle Collegiate Church, 50 E. 7th Street.

b. Wednesday April 9 – opening of “Body of War” at IFC theater, 6Ave and Waverly
Place. Tomas Young and his Mom will be in attendance.

c. Tuesday April 15 – Tax Day demonstrations

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

e. Sunday May 25 – Memorial Day commemoration.

f. Sunday June 29 - Gay Pride Parade

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

! Thursday May 1, 2008 - 7:00 PM at 28 E.35 Street

! Thursday May 15, 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 April 24, 2008 at 28
E. 35 St. at 6:30 PM

Bob Keilbach


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