SF anti-war report

David Walters dwalters at igc.org
Sat Sep 22 10:33:13 MDT 2001

Subject: FW: 500+ Turn Out For SF Town Hall Meeting, Organize More Events

Here's a full report on the SF meeting on the 20th and puts the issues in
the proper framework.

It'll give you all a good idea the state of the discussion.
David Walters

    500 plus people crammed into the church on 19th and Dolores in SF last
night (9/20) for one of the most inspiring meetings I've ever seen.  We
began with brief speeches about the drive to war and the wave of hate crimes
by Kevin Daniher from Global Exchange, Susan King from the Green Party and
Noura Erekat from the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.  Todd
Chretien from the International Socialist Organization facilitated and
reported on some of the 150 campuses that took part in the National Day of
Student Action for Peace, including the 5,000 strong march and rally at UC
Berkeley earlier in the day.

Next we voted on the following agenda:
1.  Proposal for forming Town Hall Committee to Stop War and Hate
2.  Points of Unity
3.  Future Actions and Endorsements
4.  Working Committee break outs

Here's how it all went (in VERY brief outline).  My guess is that about
60-70 different people spoke about different points on the agenda and we
took about a dozen votes, so I'm just going to focus on the decisions.

I.  Proposal:  We consititute ourselves as the Town Hall Committee Against
War and Hate.  We do not declare ourselves "THE COALITION," but simply a
large group of organizations and individuals committed to working together
to build an open, democratic anti-war movement.  This way we can work
towards greater unity with other anti-war groups (such as students, youth,
different areas - South Bay, Marin, East Bay, etc) without insisting that
"they join us."  This proposal passed by show of hands overwhelmingly.

II.  Points of Unity:
1.  Stop the War
2.  Defend Arab, Arab American, Muslim and people of Middle Eastern descent
from attack.  Oppose all racist scapegoating.
3.  Defend civil liberties from government attack.

This discussion and debate took up about one hour.  We voted about 250 for
to 250 against extending discussion, so we split the difference and extended
for a shorter time.  Dozen of people spoke with suggestions and ammendments.
Broadly speaking, many people wanted to make the points of unity more
specific and explain them more, so a proposal was made to support the three
points of unity as they stand, but establish a committee to work out a
supplementary paragraph to explain each one more thoroughly.  This proposal
passed almost unanimously, although there were about 10 people who voted to
work out the extended language as a large group.  Next we voted almost
unanimously to adopt the three points of unity.

One specific proposal was made to endorse as an action, but not as a point
of unity, the Immigrant Pride Day on October 13 in the Mission.  This
proposal passed by a large majority, with a dozen or so dissenters.  Those
dissenting did so on the grounds of keeping the Town Hall Committee focused
on anti-war, not on the basis of opposing immigrant rights.

III.  Future Actions:
September 22, 911 Solidarity Committee rally at 24th and Mission at 11am.
Passed unanimously.

September 29, ANSWER coalition protest at Dolores Park in SF at Noon.
Passed unanimously.

October 7, Teach-in at Mission High.  Passed unanimously.  Details to be
worked out in committee.

October 6, Michael Franti 911 concert to Free Mumia and Oppose the War.
There was a substantial discussion on this point basically around the idea
that most people felt if was great that Franti was including anti-war as a
theme in the concert, but that we, as an anti-war committee, could not make
supporting Mumia a condition of being in the anti-war movement.  A proposal
was made to endorse the October 6 event, as we had endorsed the Oct 13
immigrant pride day, but to also focus on building a specific rally and
protest around the points of unity later.  This proposal, after lot's more
discussion, passed about overwhelmingly with about 10 or 15 voting against.

October 20 Regional protest.  Given that there are anti-war protests on Sept
22 and 29, the Michael Franti event on Oct 6, immigrant pride day on Oct 13,
a proposal was made to call for a mass rally and march on October 20th in
Francisco.  This proposal passed unanimously.  Details to be worked out in

IV.  Committees and representatives to Coordinating Committee
Outreach - Justin Powers, Sitara Kapoor
Media - Abel Mouton, Courtney Moore
Rally - Jeff Mackler, Rebecca Westin
Teach-in - Alan Houng (sp?), and Aaron (sp?)
Resource Development - David Tibbs, Carole Seligman
Immigrant rights committee - Berta Hernadez, Maria
Creative/Art committee - ??
Liason Committee with other anti-war groups - Andy Libson, Erin Hamilton
Interim Coordinating Committee

After some discussion the above committees were established.

A proposal to elect a steering committee composed of representatives of
organizations present at the Town Hall meeting and then invite
representatives from other groups to join it, was ammended to say:

The Interim Coordinating Committee will be composed of two representatives
from each of the working committees.  We will also establish a liason
committee to begin discussion and coordination with other anti-war groups to
work out greater unity.  This ammended proposal was taken as friendly and
passed nearly unanimously.

The motivation for this structure was that the coordinating committee should
be composed of people doing real work in the committees who can effectively
coordinate with the other committees.

The working committees then split up and got down to work.  The Coordinating
Committee will meet on Saturday morning at 9am at Dolores Cafe on 18th and
Dolores Street to coordinate committee work and propose an agenda for next
week's Town Hall meeting.

Next Meeting:  Thursday, September 27, 7pm - location TBA (we need a big
place!   If you know of one, please let me know!)

WEBSITE etc.  Adam already established a peace website and has offered to
let the Town Hall Committee use it.  It's at  http://911peace.net

He also volunteeed to type everyone's email into a giant announcement list
for THC activities and notices.  Lastly, if working committees want their
own list, please email Adam at   help at 911peace.net    the members of your
committee and he can set one up for you.

That's about it!  Please feel free to make any corrections or add anything
you think I left out.  Let's get to work.

Todd Chretien
Town Hall Committee to Stop War and Hate
chretientodd at aol.com

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