Bloomington Branch Update
Since we are a university town we have worked to get some Indiana University students active in WILPF. We have a small student membership and we have tried to support them in whatever efforts they are involved in, even when they are working with other organizations. Recently one of our students, also working with Amnesty, brought an Iraq Vet to campus to talk about his change of position on the war. We helped to provide funds to sponsor him.
Sadly, our Water chair, Joe Hailer, passed away earlier this month. Joe was a geo-chemist and was looking into laws to protect our water source from being tapped by the city of Indianapolis (which they threatened to do.) I don't know how we will meet this need at this time.
We have had a number of members very involved in voting issues for the last 8 months. They managed to get early voting arranged and thousands of people took advantage of this in November. The reason is that the early voters had paper ballots while on election day there was no paper trail. This group is working to get our voting machines changed.
On Tax Day our members handed out a couple of thousand fliers telling where our tax money is going.
In February we had a member speak to us about the Media Reform Conference which she had attended.
The FCNL held a lobbying workshop at our public library in January and a number of our members attended.
Our book club read The Storm From the East by Milton Viorst and discussed it.
We have made a list of WILPF members recommended books that we send out periodically by e-mail.
We had three graduate students from India come to talk with us about the tragedy at Bhopal and asking for our help with the continued problems that have remained. A letter was written to WILPF National asking for help with this at the WILPF International meeting coming up, as we regard this as an international incident worthy of U.N. intervention. We are hoping for a resolution to be approved.
Some IU students spoke with our group about their starting a Fair Trade store in Bloomington. Our group wants to support this effort.
WILPF Bloomington became sponsors for the campus group INPIRG with their New Energy Future Campaign.
A couple of WILPF members attended the Midwest Peace and Justice Summit in Indianapolis in April.
These are the activities of our group for the past four months or so. In spite of a lot of illness, we have managed to do quite a number of things.