The following is a transcript of the agenda of a pair of meetings that were held September 26, 1990, one month into the PeaceWorks Park vigil at Gas Works Park in Seattle, and notes from one of the two meetings.

PeaceWorks Park

Notes on:

Wednesday, Sept 26 at PeaceWorks Park (Gas Works Park)
noon and 7pm WORKSHOP:

"The future of the vigil"
Where we stand and where we're going

Advance publicity: posters, press release, inclusion in our calendar, announcement at concert. Tied into the vigil being one month old.

Attendance: Hard to say: 2 meetings and a lot of drift-through. At least 40 people were involved altogeher.

Facilitator: noon Vivian McPeak, 7pm Joe Mabel

Follow-up: Each of the follwoing deserves a meeting and/or work group of its own; Plan for winter in the park; work on campl on private land; possibly form affinity groups; Multi-culturalism.

7pm notes: Joe Mabel

Formal agenda:

Wednesday, Sept 26
The PeaceWorks Park vigil at Gas Works Park is one month old.

Wednesday, Sept 26 at PeaceWorks Park (Gas Works Park)
noon & 7pm

"The future of the vigil"
Where we stand and where we're going.

Agenda (for both the noon and 7pm workshops)

The progress of events in the Persian Gulf

We have been here a month partly because the vigil is strong, but also because the Persian Gulf crisis lingers on at the same level which inspired the vigil in the first place.

In the following list, strikethrough is items on the pre-meeting list but not on the post-meeting notes; boldface is items added during the meeting.

Our goals:

Help end the Gulf Crisis peaceably
Free-speech zone
Steward the park
Spiritual center
Democracy/"people power"
other goals
information distribution
Start running external events, etc.

Who is the vigil?

Should a distinction be drawn between vigilists and hangers on?
Should a distinction be drawn between people who abide by a sobriety standard and those who refuse to do so?
Possibility of sign-up, buttons, armbands.
Have we been "forming a culture" that excludes people we need to include?
multi-cultural events

What can each of us do to move toward our goals?

making the vigil run better and stronger
dealing with drug problems in our midst
organizing events
outreach and liaison
outside the vigil proper

What should we as a group do differently?

Is there too much of a party and too little of a political or spiritual event?
Clarifying views on amplified music

What isn't happening that ought to?

The future of the vigil

near-term changes
facing winter
can we keep going in the park?
what alternatives do we have?
beyond the Gulf crisis to a lasting group
Do we need an office?

The pre-meeting announcement concluded:
Come to speak and listen! Write down thoughts & ideas, circulate them.

The 7pm notes resume:
There are no detailed notes of the noon meeting at this time. They'd be welcome. No doubt the focus differed.

Notes from 7pm meeting

For the most part, this is chronological. I've taken the liberty of moving the more digressive remarks under the headings to which they would be more appropriate. I've tried to avoid redundancy when possible. -J.M.

The progress of events in the Persian Gulf

Some discussion of the Setzkrieg ("sitting war") currently underway in the Gulf. Rival displays of poser in the Gulf. Acknowledgment that Iraq has some historical claim to Kuwait but (Bruce:) "this does not justify the invasion."

Loose consensus: oppose U.S. aggression first, but not exclusively. (Bruce:) "Bourgeois analysts say U.S. may attack mid-October."

Saddam Hussein feeding on anti-Westernism, Bush on anti-Arabism.

Our goals

(Baker Bob) public awareness ==> political force ==> U.S. backs out.

(Bam Bam) "Get the troops out." "Come together as a tribe." Emphasize refugees.

(Sierra, Sara, Harry) Information

(Robert Betesh) alluded to Lafayette Park vigil in DC. "Sit there until systematic reconstruction of our gov't to end the war machine our gov't has become."

(Randy Thompson) active, smooth-running coalition, many issues, community purpose: peace, equality, justice. Inclusiveness. Spiritual and political.

(Ron) "Get people thinking."

(Joe) "Build America's democracy movement. Move on from the formal structure of a democracy to the living content." Stop the war before it starts.

(Bruce) newsletter, affect UW campus. "There's a difference between waiting for people to come to us and going out to them." "'Peaceable resolution' is too unfocused.'" Oppose US Aggression.

(Kunga Gyaltsin) Expand vigil to long term, universal, "real peace, real love, real harmony, real life, real light, real love. Bring back the planet to a semblance of sanity." Green politics.

(John) The vigil as such focused on the Gulf but the park "is a good forum and there are a lot of causes afterwards."

(Kelly) Pointing to Kunga: "What he said." "A battle against apathy and ignorance" "stop interventionism everywhere, not just in the Gulf." "the downfall of every war machine" "This action is still a baby. Maybe this is still a fœtus." "I want people in Iraq & Saudi Arabia & China & Yugoslavia to know about [what happens here] an hour later." "Vigils all over the country" Keep workshops etc. going after this issue is settled.

(Bruce) Content of any newsletter should be as broad as possible, multiple points of view.

(Ron) a publication would nail things down (this phrase intended positively), expand the agenda.

(Lee) Promote lessened dependency on fossil fuel. "I always use my bicycle" I work on "more of a personal, individual contact basis" "some people respond to a larger group, some don't"

(Martin Wilkins, not present at meeting remarks that there seems to be some discrepancy between our mission statement of ending a military intervention and our actualized goal of a free speech zone. Says we must be careful to explain how these relate, so this will not appear to be a discrepancy.)

Who is the vigil?

(Kelly) "Buttons and armbands create negative elitist distinctions." On the other hand, affinity groups sound "nice, maybe necessary." Opposed to "who is the vigil" distinction.

(Joe) We can positively identify active vigilists and affinity groups without excluding anyone from the vigil.

(Robert Betesh) We may want to better identify who have actual jobs in the vigil.

(Randy Thompson) Positively against vigilist/non-vigilist distincton. For affinity groups.

(Bruce) plusses & minuses to affinity groups: important decisions are for everybody.

(Baker Bob) what if we get an affinity group of people who mean to camp in the park? Expressed police desire for knowing who is and is not the vigil.

(Bruce) "Don't rely on the continued goodwill fo the police" ID may make it easier for them to hassle us. "We can't let them pressure us into doing something which hurts us politically." Remain skeptical.

(Joe) "We certainly shouldn't define the boundaries of the group because the police say so!" Vagueness may be an asset. Nonetheless, supports positively identified affinity groups within the vigil.

(John) "I'm looking forward to the time when we have to declare we're taking over part of the park for a cause."

Have we beeb "forming a culture" which excludes people we need to include?

(Baker Bob) "A very closed group of people are hanging out here." Drums interfering with conversation. Sexism.

(Randy Thompson) we need to make it broader without excluding the cliques. We need to be a visible presence in the city.

(Joe) Need for multi-culturalism.

What can each of us do to move towards our goals?

(Baker Bob) Improved scheduling, maintain clipboards, hand out calendars of events at every opportunity. Emphasize good appearance. "A serious-minded political statement, not a party."

Loose consensus to keep working hard, bring on more people. Building the vigil & building the anti-war movement complementary.

Loose consensus that we need to reduce the sleeping in the park which is occurring despite efforts by most of the hard core. Loose consensus that the most effective way to achieve this would be to make our offsite camp more habitable. Those who would like to camp there should work on this!

Transcription in progress

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