Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Portland AFSC Support Committee


Our conference call yesterday was a telephonic nightmare, though everyone was in a good humor about it, and we found workarounds on the fly.  The non-office group that started the Star Cafe conference call, including our clerk, patching in from Greater LA, could hear one another, but we in the office could not be heard on speaker, and if anyone picked up the receiver, the phone's speaker would die.

The old phone system, potentially high end, fashionable at Victoria's Secret, had become unusable.  Discontinuities in management left old passwords inaccessible.  Factory resets?  The work fell to Mireaya.

These glitches, and those with the leased photocopier, have nothing to do with landlord relations.

Sharing the building with the IWW is a plus for a number of reasons.  On the whole, it's not a bad situation.  There's wheel chair access and East Burnside is a happening place.  The Catholic Archdiocese and AlbertinaKerr are both in the same neighborhood.

Our agenda was packed as usual.  Pedro and I talked earlier, about some of my correspondence.  I'd been endeavoring to connect Navajo and Wabanaki efforts, or at least raise awareness of parallel / convergent narratives.

Native peoples of North / Central / South America feel they have an automatic right to not have their movements (immigration status) controlled by immigrant populations from other continents.  They're not the immigrants in this picture -- they've been here much longer.  Some of this sentiment will be expressed in the upcoming May 1 festivities.

Links between Hanford and the bombing of Nagasaki in particular were discussed.  Apparently there's some new research available, in the form of an award-winning student project.

These are not official minutes by the way, and I'm not the recording clerk.  My role is to help mind the relationship between our Yearly Meeting (NPYM) and the AFSC.  This is distinct from the MMM - AFSC liaison role, which is linked to Multnomah Meeting's Peace and Social Concerns Committee, currently experiencing turnover as its clerk prepares for a Friends Peace Teams adventure.

The community service interns were generous in letting me photograph some of the squares for the Drone Quilt that's being coordinated at a more national level.  AFSC is just one of many participants in that project.

The Door Project is also benefiting from intern support.  Some Portland Public Schools have a community service requirement, more like scouting (our newest committee member, welcomed last night, is an Eagle Scout).

Speaking of PPS, Cleveland High parents are up in arms over the budget cuts.  As I put it in my written report to our committee:
Regarding the May Day theme of fighting back against oppressors who
are dismantling social services in order to feed their fevered dreams
of imperial domination, parents at Cleveland High School are up in
arms (see below)....

Those who preach austerity and cutting the budget while squandering on
military jobs (because it's easier and lazier to kill for what you
want than to negotiate a peace) have no business representing
themselves as "the USA", a nation that went bankrupt (morally as well
as financially) sometime in the mid-1980s according to Medal of
Freedom winner R. Buckminster Fuller.  Of course some hope for a
reawakening of her democratic principles.

Youth Program Work