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Ann Arbor Founding Meeting

October 1999

National Meeting of Organizations, Organizers, Local Representatives, Activists

Saturday October 9 - Monday, October 11, 1999

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
West Conference Room, Rackham

SATURDAY MORNING: We opened the meeting with a welcome on behalf of the Michigan host groups by Alan Haber. This was followed by a greeting and prayer offered by Lorraine Rekmans of the Serpent River First Nation. On behalf of the Facilitators’ Group, Jackie Cabasso summarized the history of the US Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons and reviewed the meeting agenda. She also presented the *Mission Statement* and the *Santa Barbara Declaration* as the starting point and basis of agreement among the meeting participants, and introduced the *Network-Plus Proposal* and the *Draft Statement on Democracy, Power, and Nuclear Weapons* for later discussion. Alice Slater of the Facilitators’ Group reviewed action items and background materials in the registration packet, including the *Abolition 2000 Statement*.

We organized ourselves into small groups, each including a mix of members of the Facilitators’ Group, other people who had attended the February 1999 meeting in Santa Barbara, and new folks, in order to enable people to get to know each other, and to share information and ideas in an informal setting. A set of “Focus Questions” was provided to stimulate discussion. The small groups did not report back to the body of the whole.

SATURDAY AFTERNOON: The Network-Plus structure proposal was presented and discussed in a plenary session. (See *Network-Plus Structure*, page 15.) We then heard short reports from the conveners of the working groups that were established in Santa Barbara in February 1999. (See *Working Groups/Resource People*, page 19.) This was followed by a brainstorm session on campaign ideas and action ideas. (See *Strategies, Tactics and Upcoming Events*, page 13.) Finally, we broke into small groups to discuss in detail the proposals and ideas presented earlier regarding structure and decision-making, common actions and working groups. The small groups prepared report-backs for the following morning.

SATURDAY EVENING: The out-of-town meeting participants were welcomed by local activists at a wonderful potluck dinner and reception.

SUNDAY MORNING: The 7 small groups that met Saturday afternoon reported back to the full group. Several groups proposed that the US Campaign affiliate with the Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons. Many interesting action ideas and approaches were put forward, and an energetic full group discussion followed. At the end of this session the full group reached consensus on accepting the Network-Plus Proposal as the structure for the US Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, as part of the Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons. This decision recognized that the details of the Network Plus proposal, as submitted, were subject to revision.

The “Statement on Democracy, Power, and Nuclear Weapons” Drafting Committee and a discussion group on the concerns of indigenous peoples’ and youth met over lunch.

The full group discussed and reached consensus on criteria for membership in the Coordinating Committee (CC), that committee to be consistent in general with the Network Plus proposal agreed to earlier.

        Criteria for membership in the Coordinating Committee:

Members represent organizations committed to the US Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons;

The CC should represent a mix of types of participating groups by region, group type, and sector of the population represented;

The CC should have gender and cultural balance;

It was noted that full balance of the above factors requires a large membership, and that the spirit of balance was most important.

Organizations with CC membership should be committed to significant staff work beyond conference calls;

Organizations on the CC should be willing to make a monetary contribution to network support if possible and feasible.

Coordinating Committee; number and composition:There was extensive discussion about the number of slots on the CC. Initially there was a consensus that there would be 9 CC members, with the CC empowered to add a reasonable number of people to achieve goals of outreach and diverse representation. The group later decided to accept a group of 12 organizations whose representatives were authorized and agreed that their organizations would be represented, also with the possibility of later expansion. (See list of *Coordinating Committee Members* p. ). Several participants expressed concerns that an entity meeting frequently via conference calls should not grow too large, because conference calls with large numbers of participants are often frustrating and ineffective.

Coordinating Committee terms: There was extensive discussion of Coordinating Committee terms, with most participants favoring staggered terms of two or three years. Some participants favored a stable three year term at the outset to get the network on a firm footing before staggering terms, and most favored continuity with the past interim Facilitators’ Group (which was in fact achieved in the initial Coordinating Committee membership).

After extensive discussion on terms and on criteria for network membership, the group decided to leave these issues for further development to the initial Coordinating Committee, whose members would initially serve 1 year terms. It was noted that a broader advisory council also could be constituted if necessary to provide more input from regions and sectors of the population to the CC, as have been done by the Abolition 2000 network on the international level.

Coordinating Committee mandate: The coordinating committee mandate during the initial period, assisted by staff, would be to:

* find an office in a host organization, preferably meeting the network plus proposal criteria
* hire and supervise a staff person
        - job description
- policies and procedures for staff accountability and rights
*raise funds
*coordinate network communication
*prepare for and support network meetings
*support the working groups or resource groups (working group structure was not specified)
*evaluate and inventory network resources
*develop a budget
*provide for financial accountability and reporting, including obtaining a sponsoring entity to receive and disburse funds
*outreach and network building
        - developing criteria for network participation
*support Abolition 2000
         Abolition 2000 has a goal of reaching 2000 groups by 2000, there now are nearly 1400

*CC members are both resource people and active participants in network maintenance and growth

It was noted that the spirit of what we do is important– how we set this network in motion, with what ideals and spirit.

*There should be clear mandate for the CC
*There should be continuing clarity on power and democracy issues
*There should be real attentiveness to all strands of our movement.

SUNDAY EVENING: We discussed and made plans for a Monday press conference/launch in Detroit, in coordination with WAND and Peace Action, and also planned a campus launch event in Ann Arbor.

MONDAY MORNING: After further discussion, the campaign name was reaffirmed: US CAMPAIGN TO ABOLISH NUCLEAR WEAPONS, PART OF THE ABOLITION 2000 GLOBAL NETWORK. Designated speakers (Dave Robinson, Anthony Guarisco, Jackie Cabasso and Gilbert Sanchez) went to Detroit for the press conference (see *Press Release* p. ). Those remaining in Ann Arbor prepared to “launch” the campaign.

MONDAY NOON: Alan Haber emceed the formal launch of the campaign in Rackham Auditorium, while the event was videotaped in order to record what might be seen retrospectively as a historic moment, and to create a video that can be used as an outreach tool. Alan read the Mission Statement and the Santa Barbara Declaration, and introduced a succession of speakers representing various participating groups. Each speaker articulated movingly his/her group’s plans for participating in the CAMPAIGN over the coming year. At the end of the presentations, the US CAMPAIGN TO ABOLISH NUCLEAR WEAPONS, PART OF THE ABOLITION 2000 GLOBAL NETWORK was declared formally launched!


At the Ann Arbor meeting, a lot of time was spent brainstorming tactics (activities) and strategies (longer term approaches). Our basic strategy is reflected in the structure we adopted (“Network-Plus”) -- that is, to build and strengthen our network from the bottom up, so that the network can effectively facilitate communication and cooperation among its participating groups, as well as outreach to the public. Emphasis was also placed on respecting cultural diversity and maintaining a spiritual dimension in our work. It is hoped that joint US CAMPAIGN activities can, in part, be facilitated through the working group structure. Here are just a few proposed joint activities and upcoming events. (Abolition 2000 Coordinator, Carah Ong, maintains a calendar of Abolition-related events which is posted on the Abolition 2000 website and distributed as part of the monthly electronic Abolition 2000 Grassroots Newsletter. See “How to Plug In,” inside back cover).

Keep Space for Peace: April 14 - 27, 2000, four days of protest events in Washington, DC. Sponsored by the Global Network Against Weapons & Power in Space. (352) 337-9274;

Model Peace Conference
: Earth Day, April 22-26, 2000. Putting the Nuclear Weapons Question on the Peace Table in Relation to the Global War System, in Megiddo (armageddon), Israel. With NPT link and follow-up local town meetings and democratic consultations in the US and elsewhere. Sponsored by the Megiddo Peace Project. (734) 761-7967;; http//

Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) 5-year Review Conference
: April 24 - May 19 2000, United Nations, New York. Lots of NGO activities are planned. Abolition 2000's Annual General Meeting is set for Sunday, April 30. The Coordinating Committee of the US CAMPAIGN will meet on Friday, April 28; a general membership meeting is planned from 3:00 - 6:00 pm. See Abolition 2000 NPT Call to Action for more information about how you can get involved in NPT activities.

Mother’s Day Gathering, Nevada Test Site: May 12 - 15 2000, 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas, Mercury Exit off Hwy 95. Support environmental justice on Western Shoshone Lands, learn from speakers, trainers and each other, take action to stop nuclear testing and nuclear dumping. Sponsored by Shundahai Network. (702) 647-3095;;

Peoples’ Campaign for Nonviolence:
July 1 - August 9 2000, Washington, DC. Sponsored by the Fellowship of Reconciliation to bring together many different issue groups and constituencies. In Ann Arbor, we tentatively agreed that the US CAMPAIGN TO ABOLISH NUCLEAR WEAPONS should participate. (To be taken up by the Coordinating Committee.)

Woolsey and Markey Resolutions: Ongoing effort to get more co-sponsors. H. Res. 82 (Woolsey) is a House resolution calling on the President to negotiate a treaty to eliminate nuclear weapons. H. Con. Res. 74 (Markey) is a House concurrent resolution to eliminate Stockpile Stewardship funding for new nuclear weapons research and development. H. Res. 177 (also Markey) is a House resolution calling on the President to take US nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert. US CAMPAIGN members are urged to make this ongoing effort to secure more co-sponsors part of their local work.

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