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Tropical Leaves

WILPF Burlington-Branch Meeting Minutes

WLPF Burlington Branch Meeting Sept. 12, 2023 on ZOOM

Robin called the meeting to order at 5:35 PM

1. Members Present: Jane, Jean, Jill, Marguerite, Max, Pamela, Robin

2. Guests: Danila, Duncan

3. Proposal to Support Project in Haiti: Danila reported about difficult conditions in Haiti and
asked for support from WILPF. Haiti has a terrible gang problem and the police are often
helpless. The American embassy has essentially shut down. A problem WILPF can help with is a
terrible sanitation problem with bathrooms almost non-existent In the mountains. There is a
project to build concrete outhouses prioritizing those most in need for $150 each. The group
agreed WILPF would fund one outhouse and ask members to contribute $10 each toward a
second outhouse. Any money left over would go to funding more. Robin said members could
send a check to Green Valley Media (Burlington WILPF’s fiscal sponsor) at 300 Maple St,

4. Proposal to Sign onto a Letter from the American Civil Liberties Union against building a new
women’s prison to replace an older one and instead put the money for housing, community-
based initiatives, and other non-prison solutions. After much discussion the group felt more
information was needed. Robin will try to bring together a meeting with state Rep. Brian Cina on
this subject.

5. The War in Ukraine: Robin and Duncan reported. The VTPeaceAntiwar Coalition met with an
aide on foreign policy to Bernie Sanders. Max voiced the group’s concern about Bernie’s
support for military aid to Ukraine. The visit wasn’t a success and the group couldn’t get a
promise for a meeting with Sanders himself.

Medea Benjamin is planning to visit his office in Washington DC on Oct. 4 with a petition signed
by people all over the United States against the war in Ukraine. On the same day, the
VTPeaceAntiwar Coalition is planning to deliver a set of much more forcefully written and
broader list of demands to his office on Church Street with a sit-in. It is expected that some will
be arrested.

The group was asked to critique the demands and Duncan will make some changes. Robin
reported that Burl VT Friends Meeting Peace group might meet with the Unitarian Church’s
corresponding committee. The two groups might join forces about this. Jill suggested tabling at
the Farmer’s market with petitions against the war on Sat. from 11-1 on Sept. 16 to add to the
names Medea will give to the Washington DC office. The group agreed a good idea and a few
said they could table Saturday.

The meeting ended at 7:20.

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