A general meeting for USC4P&J was held at Apartment of Maria Vasquez in Garbatella on April 26, 2012.
Attendees: Anna, David, Gene, Greg, Gretchen, Ilona, Maria, Maria Chiara, and Peter attended the meeting. Patrick and Becky arrived after the meeting but in time for supper. Anna chaired and David took the minutes.
The main points of the agenda items covered include the following:
1) Call for International Days of Action - May 14-20.
The group discussed whether it should organize something in Rome in response to the call for anti-war protests, in solidarity with those in Chicago and other parts of the U.S., against the NATO summit to be held in Chicago in May. As background, the Coalition Against NATO/G8 War & Poverty Agenda has issued a “call for non-violent actions around the globe from May 14th-20th, for solidarity, demilitarization, abolition of nuclear weapons, non-violent conflict resolution, putting people needs ahead of profits, justice, and addressing environmental challenges with integrity.” Hundreds of organizations are mobilizing people to come to Chicago for a mass march and rally to say no to the war machine on Sunday, May 20. After some discussion, the group reached consensus on organizing some form of action on Saturday, May 19. Various activities were considered (e.g. a demonstration, a t-shirt campaign, etc.) and several locations (e.g. US Embassy, NATO Academy in Roma, etc.) for the day of action. It was decided that a working group should be formed (Anna, Patrick, Maria Chiara and David) to organize and work out the details. Others will also be invited to join and collaboration with Italian anti-war groups was planned. The working group will deliver its proposal to the membership by May 12, after having presented it to the “core group” for comments. Anna asked the group whether USC4P&J should endorse the day of action in Chicago and donate money to the organizers, noting that some groups have raised concerns about ensuring that the activities organized for the days of action are non-violent (see the Chicago Principles http://cang8.org/). We agreed to wait until this issue is resolved before either endorsing the action in Chicago or sending money to the organizers.
2) Eyes Wide Open Film Series update.
Anna and Ilona discussed options for extending the film series for three more showings in May and June. The plan is to show three more films in the current season – on the 17th and 31 of May and the 14th of June. They said they are considering showing a number of films, including the film “Standing Army” (a documentary on the U.S. global web of military bases) on May 17. Anna is attempting to get one of the directors of the film (Enrico Parenti or Thomas Fazi) to attend the showing and discuss the film. One Thursday slot may go to screening timely films on the Occupy Wall Street movement or the Arab Spring, for which they are considering downloading two short films from Al Jazeera on OWS or obtaining a copy of “18 Days” (a collaborative documentary project capturing the events of last year’s revolution) on the Arab Spring in Egypt. Anna has contacted Emiliano Sacchetti, director of “A New Day has Com”, who has expressed interest and may be able to present his film for us on June 14; he will let Anna know if he can confirm this by mid-May. The Film Com explained that no decisions have been made at this point, but this last part of the season should be programmed and ready to publicize within the next 1-2 weeks. The group expressed interest in all of the above films.
3) USC4P&J Funds.
Thanks to the success of the documentary film series and the collections on film nights, USC4P&J now has about 819 € in its treasury. Although the treasurer was not available to provide a full accounting during the meeting, she had sent the full accounts by email, so that we could review it. The group spent some time discussing and deciding on the best ways to use and/or donate these funds for worthy causes. The group agreed to reserve at least 100 € for its own activities, like organizing the day of action on May 19, and to reserve up to 200 € in order to settle accounts with Ilona on the film series. (Ilona is to produce an accounting of the amount she is owed for purchasing films in recent seasons.) The group also agreed to donate 100 € each to Restock Occupy – https://donate.firedoglake.com/weatherize/contribute (“the Occupy Supply Fund, a project of Firedoglake.com, is working directly with Occupy demonstrators and organizers to raise money, purchase and deliver the supplies they need to keep going”), and to Medici per i diritti umani (MEDU) http://www.mediciperidirittiumani.org/Index.htm, designating our donation specifically towards their work providing health care for homeless immigrants in Rome (see http://www.mediciperidirittiumani.org/camper.htm). But, it decided to wait and see how the non-violent action issue is resolved before donating any money to the Chicago organizers of the days of action against NATO.
Gretchen suggested we show another film from a series of five films produced by Abigail Disney for PBS called “ Women, War and Peace”.