A General Meeting for USC4P&J was held at the home of Maria on Tuesday September 18, 2007. Attending were: Anna, Gene, Giacomo, Maria Chiara, Maria V., Michael, Michelle, Patrick and Stephanie.
Stephanie chaired the meeting and Anna took the minutes.
1. First on the agenda was news from the Film Committee on the upcoming fall season of our Eyes Wide Open film series. Gene presented the list of films that he, David, Ilona and Cherine put together:
3 October, Bush's Brain
17 October, Iraq in Fragments
31 October, A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash
14 November, War Made Easy: How Presidents & Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death
28 November, The Future of Food
12 December, Jesus Camp
Gene will be working to publicize the film series, including an A5 size card to leave in places frequented by the English speaking community in Rome. Giacomo offered to help publicize with university students in Rome.
For the Nov 28 screening, which falls the day before Thanksgiving, a special dinner will be organized after the film.
Maria V. also mentioned a film series being held at the Circolo Arci Arcobaleno in Garbatella, suggesting we try to go one night to support their efforts and to make contact as a group. A message will be sent to the list inviting everyone to attend.
2. We next discussed organizing an informal evening to hear about Maria Chiara's hiking trip in Northern Afghanistan this past August. The idea is to organize at Linux or possible the Arci Arcobaleno. Maria Chiara will first clear this with the people involved in this project in Afghanistan. Michael offered to help Maria Chiara put her photos together in a presentation. The will be organized in the near future, on an off week for the film series.
3. Maria, Michael, Michelle and Stephanie, who had all been at the No Dal Molin Festival in Vicenza, reported back on the event. All were impressed with the organization of the campground. Maria, who spent much time volunteering in the restaurant, talked about working with the people from Vicenza. And Stephanie talked about the direct actions at the Comune, the existing base at Camp Ederle and the “welcoming” party for Rutelli. Patrick mentioned that Maria had been interviewed on the RAI Uno lunchtime news broadcast with the tree she later planted at the site of the new base on Sept 15.
Stephanie mentioned that the organizers in Vicenza, the Presidio permanente, have called for another mass demonstration on December 15. We decided to support this demonstration and also try to organize our own transportation in an attempt to get more people from our group to Vicenza.
4. Finally, we talked about upcoming events. Anna suggested supporting the Sept 29 national demonstration in Washington, “Stop the War, At Home and Abroad.” Members felt this was too short notice to try to organize a solidarity protest. It was mentioned that we could try flyering or write an article to get the word out here in Italy on the demonstration in the U.S.
We instead chose to support the demonstrations being held on Oct 27 in 10 major cities in the U.S. calling for an end to the war in Iraq. We will form a working group to organize a solidarity event in Rome.
There is also the October 20 demonstration in Rome regarding the policies of the current center-left government. We decided not to endorse this demonstration but to take advantage of the occasion to hand out flyers with information on the ties between the U.S. and Italy, promoted by this government, including the Missile Defense Shield, the U.S. base in Vicenza, the contract for F-35s, and the “hospitality” given to U.S. nuclear weapons. A working group will be formed to prepare this flyer.
5. Miscellaneous: Stephanie mentioned that she had been asked by many Italians regarding the mass demonstration and nearly 200 arrests in Washington on Sept 15. It was decided she would write a report in Italian to be sent out to Italian lists.
There are also some groups promoting a “legge di iniziativa popolare” on military bases and military servitude. Our group has been asked to participate in promoting this new law and collecting signatures. Information will be sent to the membership.
Next General Meeting: November 2007, exact date to be announced. Working group meetings to plan specific events will be held on an as needed basis. Join our mailing list for updates.
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