January 15, 2008

A Letter from Your Director--Meeting at the Midwest Regional Conference

Midwest Peace & Justice Meeting
January 20th--7:00 AM
January 20th--4:30 PM

Dear Midwest P&J members,

I hope you have all survived the holidays and, for those of us in Iowa anyway, the caucuses. Many of you are no doubt aware that the Midwest Regional is scheduled for the weekend of January 18-20 in Minneapolis, and we intend to hold a P&J caucus on two occasions. They are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday mornings during the 7 a.m. breakfast hours, but I’m going to change that slightly. We’ll meet during breakfast on Saturday all right, but the Sunday caucus will be canceled. Instead, we’ll have another one about 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, after the last session ends for the day. I hope those of you attending will attend one of them. Both will cover the same material, so there is no need to attend both. As of yet, I haven’t completed the agenda, so it won’t be printed here.

We will also have a P&J table somewhere near where the sessions will be held, so feel free to stop by. In fact, we could really use your help working the table over that weekend. If you’re willing to help, please contact Tom Wolfe at wolfeman2@mchsi.com, and we’ll try to work out a work schedule.

The two main goals of our caucus this year are to end the war and to do something about NCLB. I’m being deliberately vague here because I’m not sure we are all in agreement just what should be done. Iowa’s P&J Caucus successfully guided a new business item through its delegate assembly last spring that called for a radical rewrite of ESEA to eliminate NCLB language. That became one of the earliest NBIs introduced at last summer’s RA in Philadelphia. Our national P&J executive board had no consensus on it before hand, and it was defeated on the floor; ergo, I’m not sure where we are on it. That’s why I’ve printed nothing below.

At the Iowa caucuses recently, three P&J resolutions were introduced. If the county platform committees approve them, they will be voted on at the various county conventions throughout the state. Then the process is repeated at the district, state, and national levels. I don’t know how it works in other Midwestern states, but below are the resolutions introduced In Iowa that may be of help to the rest of you. If so, feel free to use them in any way that will work. We might be able to use them in our various state delegate assemblies as well and possibly at the NEA-RA this summer.

Read on and have a good year.

Tom Wolfe
P&J Midwest Regional Director


We oppose the use of torture by the U.S. Government as an instrument of persuasion.


The United States, once the beacon of hope for all struggling people throughout the world, is now viewed as just another bully, only more hypocritical than most through its preaching of human rights while ignoring the rights of its prisoners. We must once again have pride in our government.

We oppose the war in Iraq and urge the U.S. Government to remove its troops as soon as possible.


The U.S. invasion of Iraq was immoral, unethical, and a violation of all international laws. We must leave that country as soon as possible.

We support the repeal of the Military Commissions Act of 2006.


The Military Commissions Act allows the government to detain and imprison people without charge, a violation of the right of habeas corpus, and it allows the use of torture because it gives the president the right to define torture his or her own way, a violation of international law.

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