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Annual Conference Report: Building the National Movement

1. Overview
2. Priority Actions
3. Campaign Structure
4. Steering Committee Elections
5. Notes from Plenary Presentations
6. Workshops and Working Groups
7. Outreach on the Hill
8. Evaluation

1. Overview

The US Campaign to End the Israeli occupation convened its second annual Conference of Organizers in Washington DC, July 19-22. Over 180 organizers from 27 states and DC came to Washington to strategize how to build a national movement to end the occupation and promote equal rights by bringing US policy into line with international law and human rights. They belonged to 85 local groups and nationwide organizations (Attachment I).

On July 19-20, the organizers learned from other efforts to build national movements in the US, discussed different tactics and priorities, and brought resources to share (Attachment II). On July 21 and 22, a training workshop was held on reaching out to elected representatives, and 100 organizers met with their Senators, Representatives, and congressional aides.

2. Priority Actions

Participants discussed priorities for nationwide action that would be supported or endorsed by the US Campaign. Working in three groups, they reviewed and discussed proposals submitted by members in the areas of:

* Education for mobilization, facilitated by Barbara Lubin of the Middle East Children's Alliance and Jeff Mendez of the Palestine center
* Divestment, facilitated by Mark Lance of SUSTAIN and Berkeley activist Will Youmans
* Congressional outreach, facilitated by Ladan Sobhani of Global Exchange and Josh Ruebner of the US Campaign.

Participants reconvened in plenary, and a representative of each group presented their discussion and findings. Participants then voted on priority areas for action for the next 12 months. The top three priorities were

* An education and mobilization campaign to oppose the Wall. This received 160 votes in both the educational and congressional categories. A sustained legislative strategy to oppose the Wall would include: Washington Wednesdays; lobby days both in districts and DC; organizing Congressional delegations to the Wall; and pursuing legislation and dear colleague letters

* The proposal to support the existing Caterpillar Campaign received 91 votes. The groups working on this issue include SUSTAIN, Jewish Voice for Peace, Center for Economic and Social, Center for Constitutional Rights, Fellowship of Reconciliation, and others. The aim would be to push Caterpillar to end sales to the Israeli military. Work would include: media; legal challenges; education, especially on home demolitions, the Wall, agricultural destruction; corporate areas, including shareholder resolutions & divestment; approaches to labor unions; and direct action (about 15 actions against CAT have been held nationally and internationally).

* The proposal to put the message of just peace in the Middle East on the agenda of presidential and Congressional nominees in the November 2004 elections received 67 votes. This would aim to: make the occupation an electoral issue; engage in town hall meetings; solicit candidate policy statements; become active in parties/running as party delegates; getting statements in the party platform; analyze districts to identify candidates and voting patterns; voter registration drives; and public opinion polls.

3. Campaign Structure

Participants voted 85 to 17 that decisions at the 2003 conference would be made by representatives of member groups, as follows: 2 representatives per local or regional group, 2 representatives per national organization, 1 representative per chapter (branch, affiliate or sub-group) of a national organization. Decisions would be made by consensus. If that could not be achieved, decisions will be made by a 2/3 majority of delegates present.

A total of 100 delegates received voting cards. Delegates present voted 76 to 1 to adopt the proposal for campaign structure and organization put forward by the Steering Committee (Attachment III).

Participants also discussed and received the Annual Report (July 1, 2002 - June 30, 2003) presented by the Steering Committee. Participants suggested that new members should receive an orientation package about the Campaign.

4. Steering Committee Elections

Chris Toensing and Zoharah Simmons chaired the Nominations Committee. By the evening of July 19, they received 13 nominations for election to the slots vacant on the 12-person Steering Committee (one-third of the total). The nominees presented themselves and their work to participants on the morning of July 20, and voting was concluded by 2pm on July 20. The following four nominees were elected to the Steering Committee:

Zaha Hasan, of Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights, Portland, Oregon
Jeff Mendez, of the Palestine Center, Washington DC
Ladan Sobhani, of Global Exchange, San Francisco
Ora Wise, of the International Solidarity Movement, New York

5. Notes from Plenary Presentations

The July 19-20 segment of the conference was facilitated by David Wilman of the General Board of Global Ministries, United Methodist Church and Mona Younis, human rights advocate. Kathy Bergen of the American Friends Service Committee served as Program Chair, and Jeff Mendez dealt with conference logistics.

Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies welcomed participants, and noted that we are at a critical juncture when the US has created an empire abroad and is practicing repression at home. The link between Iraq and Palestine is central, and changing US policy should be the top priority. Our focus is on ending the occupation and equal rights for all within a framework of international law and human rights: occupation is not negotiable. What distinguishes this Campaign from other efforts is the primacy it gives to changing US policy and what the US government is doing with our money and in our name.

Former member of Congress Cynthia McKinney gave the opening address. She asked: "What will you risk to change US policy?" She noted that her own efforts had led to an organized campaign against her by AIPAC and 4,800 Republicans had crossed over to the Democrats to unseat her. This had happened and is happening to other African American politicians. She criticized the media blackout on efforts for just peace. For example, C-Span failed to air or even post on its Web site an event on the Hill she had organized for Jewish leaders opposed to the occupation to meet Uri Avnery. She was attacked for associating with "fringe" elements of US Jewish community. She said there was a need to expose a government of warmongers and profiteers and to agitate for peace and change in Washington, DC.

Barbara Lubin moderated the panel on lessons learned from building national movements. In her remarks, she noted it was important to discuss the past and to define the difficulties that had led to battles within the peace movement since 1982; organized labor was a "dismal situation" only just beginning to change. She drew a distinction between a movement and an organization. A movement energizes people to do what they are comfortable doing (it does not corral them into a program), and could include many organizations. An organization has to focus on money, e.g. it does not share its mailing list.

Leslie Cagan of United for Peace and Justice noted that getting people active is different from getting them engaged. People are active for a host of reasons, and you need a diversity of tactics to get them engaged - no one tactic meets all needs. The other points she made included:

* People need the sense that it is possible to make a difference, so you need to define victories and markers.
* Building a movement is very different from building an organization. Issues to consider: What is unity? Do you try to achieve it at any price? It's important to recognize when a goal is important, and when it is not.
* Find ways to be bold without alienating people. Keep a step or two ahead of the crowd in your activities and language, and open up space for people to think and act differently. Use anger and outrage.
* There is no one single lesson, but rather a series of challenges and questions: how to locate work on an issue with reference to other groups and movements? What is our relationship to other movements working for social change?

Damu Smith of Black Voices for Peace drew on the experiences of the anti-apartheid movement. The movement worked on two main fronts

* Revealing to the world the horrors of Apartheid,
* Channeling outrage into effective action against the regime, and isolating it by boycotting sports teams and exhibitions and promoting divestment, etc.

Tactics to encourage civil action included students building mock shanty towns, utilizing the media, convincing the black leadership to take on Apartheid, raising the issue of US support for the regime, and encouraging entertainers and celebrities to visit South African embassy. This moved Congress to impose limited sanctions. Today, we have the responsibility to reveal the horrors of occupation and channel outrage into action. This is not being anti-Jewish or anti-Semitic, and we need to "pierce the veil" of this charge. The secret weapon in doing so is the progressive Jew. The Israeli lobby includes the Christian coalition. African Americans people go on religious tours to the Holy Land and unwittingly support the occupation. We educate them via the media, show films, and visit black churches.

Ora Wise of the International Solidarity Movement noted that it was important for ISM to locate itself in the anti-colonialist, anti-racist movements. She also emphasized the importance of

* Insisting on the distinction between the Jewish community and the Israeli state
* Decentralizing work to be accountable to local communities and make decisions that are relevant to needs on the ground. Decentralization did not mean a lack of coordination - on the contrary, decentralization can be "super-coordinated".
* Apartheid cannot lead to security; Israel's violence has been rationalized in a way that apartheid was not.
* Are we alienating real allies (Palestinians, Arabs) to gain questionable ones?
* We need to link foreign policy work to domestic issues, which is a weakness of the Palestine solidarity movement.

Hany Khalil highlighted the experience of War Times as a bi-lingual, broad multi-racial, multi-class model of struggle founded to talk to people about the war on terror. He spoke of the challenges for the Palestine solidarity movement to determine what is possible within the prevailing conditions. Other points included:

* We need to make the Palestinian struggle part of the recently growing peace movement that opposes US empire and be part of it to influence thinking. So far, we have been good at mobilizing but not at organizing.
* We need to find hooks for our work. The Wall is a hook - it is against most people's values.
* We need to find ways to get workers involved in the Palestine solidarity movement.

Comments from the floor included:

* Activists are not responding to invitations from alternative media; the mainstream media will report issues to avoid being scooped by alternative media
* To move Congress, move their constituents (rather than focus on Congress)
* Mobilize the young under the slogan occupation is oppression.
* Mobilize the arts and artists.

Roger Normand of the Center for Economic and Social Rights introduced Cindy Corrie, mother of ISM activist Rachel Corrie, who gave the keynote address at the Saturday evening plenary. She noted that the Corrie family was new to the issue; they were now involved because of what Rachel did and how she died. When Rachel was in Gaza, her father Craig felt especial anxiety as a Viet Nam vet. In her emails home, Rachel worried about not being effective. We hope that Rachel's story will bring the reality of the Palestinian issue to light.

Israeli Prime Minister Sharon had promised President Bush a transparent report about Rachel?s death, but it still declines to share the report with the US, and has announced that the case is closed and the bulldozer drivers exonerated. But the known facts do not support the outcome of the Israeli investigation. House Concurrent Resolution 111 calls for an independent US investigation into Rachel's death, and this is what we seek. Rachel was an unarmed, non-violent peace activist, working to make Palestine, Israel and the US more secure.

Kathy Engel, co-founder of MADRE the women's international human rights organization, read three of her poems dedicated to the struggle for peace, justice, and human rights (one of the poems, Prelude, can be found at http://www.madre.org/old_imagining_ex3.html)

The evening concluded with performances in solidarity with the Palestinians by Maysoon Zayid, actress, activist and comedienne; the Iron Sheik, rapper; and Singing CIA agent George Shrub presented by Dave Lippman.

In the final plenary, Maysoon Zayid conducted a fundraiser for the US Campaign, and issued a challenge to member organizations to hold local fundraisers: she would offer a free performance for the group to raise the most money for the US Campaign by May 14, 2004. The winning group could sell tickets to her performance, therefore raising money to cover their contribution to the Campaign. In all, 25 groups and organizations accepted the challenge.

6. Workshops and Working Groups

Workshops were convened on the media, education for mobilization, and divestment.

The education workshop was co-facilitated by Nisrin Elamin of Grassroots International, a Boston-based international development organization that promotes global justice through partnerships with social change organizations in Eritrea, Mexico, Brazil, Haiti and Palestine. GRI had recently launched a local education for action program and developed popular education tools to engage community and faith-based groups in dialogue around the human impact of Israeli Occupation, U.S. policies towards the region and paths to a just peace in Palestine/Israel. Elamin shared some lessons learned around setting up an education for action program, identifying a target audience and developing appropriate outreach strategies. She presented some of the educational tools and exercises GRI had developed, which will be available on the GRI website (http://www.grassrootsonline.org/) by the end of the summer. GRI is also planning Training for Trainers workshops in the fall.

Alison Weir co-facilitated the education workshop, presenting the methodology and results of their If Americans Knew media studies (http://www.ifamericansknew.org/). These are based on simple, statistical analyses of media coverage, which demonstrate the enormous omissions in American news coverage on Palestine. By providing this evidence, they find that people new to this issue become receptive to learning information about Palestine and Israel that they might otherwise have found difficult to believe.

The divestment workshop was facilitated by Nancy Murray of the Boston Committee for Palestinian Rights and Will Youmans, Berkeley activist. Participants discussed different aspects of ongoing divestment campaigns in the US and Europe - campus, corporate, municipal, trade union, symbolic (such as targeting Starbucks), and product boycotts. They talked about lessons gained from campus organizing, and then focused considerable attention on municipal divestment from Israel Bonds, seeing this as both symbolic and, in terms of Israel's failing economy, timely. A Boston-area divestment campaign, which is focused in part on Israel Bonds, is gaining solid grassroots support (see www.endtheoccupation.org)

After a plenary session in which Nancy Murray spoke about how individuals and groups working for Palestinian rights are affected by post 9/11 executive actions and the USA PATRIOT Act, participants met in different groups to discuss ways to reach out to and build support for just peace in different constituencies.

* Gia Grier of Black Voices for Peace facilitated the African American constituency group. Participants felt that the anti-Palestinian bias in the US was at its core an anti-Arab racial bias, the campaign to end the occupation had a larger context of ending racism in America and the world. Proposals included:

- Targeting educational and organizing efforts to black/Afro American organizations already concerned with combating racial prejudice: civil rights organizations (NAACP, Urban League), religious organizations (Black Baptist conference), the black Muslim community, academic institutions, and political groups Black congressional congress).
- Supporting Black Voices for Peace as a clearing house for other groups and assisting in its outreach efforts.
- Using the Campaign's weight to make contacts with prominent personalities such as Walter Fountroy, Cornell West, Barbara Lee, and others.
- Linking the Palestinian problem with local community concerns - health, education, the economic, personal freedoms and rights.
- Addressing religious and ethnic differences in terms of common moral values, especially in responding to Christian fundamentalists who support Israel as a religious duty.

* Nihad Awad facilitated the Muslim Community group. Participants noted that outreach to Muslim groups had been lacking and as a result the Muslim community did not know about the Campaign conference. It was critical to get the Campaign in touch with Muslim groups through MSA National, AMJ, CAIR and others. Proposals included:

- Sharing information about the conference and speakers on the issue with Muslim groups (CAIR has 25 offices nationally)
- Encouraging Muslim organizations to contribute to Campaign goals by providing speakers, resources, training, and television airtime. An announcement on Washington Live TV could reach millions, and the Campaign can use this to advertise a conference or event.
- Incorporating the issue of civil rights in the campaign to end the occupation. A broad range of groups need to challenge the Patriot Action not only because it is unconstitutional but also because the end result is to silence political activity.
- Making Palestine a domestic issue. Muslim organizations are interested in being an integral part of visits to churches, mosques, and synagogues.

* Liat Weingart facilitated the Jewish American group. The themes that emerged from the conversation were that Jews engaged in anti-Occupation work were looking for:

- Greater coordination among Jewish groups;
- Sharing of resources and materials;
- Understanding that criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic but that anti-Semitism does exist in the world and our movement;
- Recognition that we all have different understandings of anti-Semitism, there is no one universal Jewish experience;
- Commitment to support and be supported by one another
- Ways to speak to several different audiences: mainstream Jews; broader (not necessarily faith) community; activist community; Palestinian community; elected officials;
- How not to get stuck in "analysis paralysis," while recognizing and respecting differences.

* The Christian community group focused on the difficulties of working within the churches on Israel-Palestine related issues. Participants recognized the need for the churches to deal with the Christian Right and Christian Zionism, especially as they relate to the issues around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Don Wagner (North Park University) is an expert on Christian Zionsim and is available for speaking tours. In addition, Sabeel (the Palestinian Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem) is organizing a conference on Christian Zionism early next year in Jerusalem www.sabeel.org).

Many people don't speak out against Israeli policies that oppress Palestinians or speak for Palestinian rights because they are afraid of being labeled anti-Semitic. At the same time, there is anti-Semitism and this needs to be dealt with. However, criticizing oppressive Israeli policies and working to end the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza is legitimate and necessary.

* Hany Khalil facilitated the Arab American community group. The group noted that a major challenge faced in organizing was the fact that Arab immigrants, having learned to not dissent publicly in order to survive repressive Arab regimes, bring a fear of speaking up to the US. This has been exacerbated by the climate post 9-11 and especially the fear of deportation. Though this a real obstacle, organizers have found solutions, including:

- House meetings and building one-on-one relationships to create a safe space for discussion of issues and get people to see that if they speak up they won't be alone;
- Ensuring that organizing efforts are action-oriented, visible, and include clear wins so that people feel like it's worth the risk of getting involved;
- Using action-oriented campaigns to attract and retain people's involvement.

* The civil liberties/civil rights group was facilitated by Nancy Murray, and the session carried on the discussion of how work can best be carried out under the new constraints and ways to form alliances with civil rights and immigrant rights organizations. Participants planned to encourage groups concerned about the threats to civil liberties to understand that organizing for Palestinian rights is the cutting edge First Amendment issue of our times and that they should get involved.

* Mark Lance facilitated the campus group and discussed ways that work on campus can be supported, e.g. by pulling together articles, resources, how-to's etc. on divestment from the web; assembling examples of campus action on the web; building a speakers' bureau of people willing to give talks, or run practical trainings on campus. The group included older activists with lots of experience working on this issue, and college students just starting to build a group or movement at their institution, and they were able to talk about the challenges they faced and things that have worked elsewhere, either on Palestine or drawing from other struggles like South Africa.

* Koyuki Yip and Allison Budschalow (AFSC) facilitated the Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) constituency group. The group felt that it faced complex concerns and challenges with regard to gaining support in the community for the movement in solidarity with the Palestinians. These include barriers of language, culture, nationality, and religion, and different experiences with colonialism, war, and immigration. Therefore, approaches need to be diverse. The group reviewed the "Statement in Solidarity with the People of Palestine" released by the Asian and Pacific Islander Coalition Against War (APICAW) based in the Bay Area. This calls for withdrawal of Israeli military from all occupied territories, adherence to international law, an end to US aid to Israel, divestment from Israel, an end to the media blackout, self-determination, the right of return for all Palestinian people, and solidarity with the growing movement of people around the world who are risking their lives in support of the Palestinian people. Based on discussion of the APICAW statement, the group decided to:

- Clarify its relationship, obligations, and commitments as a constituency group to the US Campaign in particular and to the Palestinian people in general,
- Do more research into APIA groups who are already doing this work, beginning with the authors and endorsers of the APICAW statement
- Craft language that can be used for a broader audience within APIA communities

Kymberlie Charles, also an AFSC staff member agreed to serve as the point person on this issue.

[Further information regarding the education session as well as the media session will be incorporated upon receipt].

7. Outreach on the Hill

The congressional outreach days on July 21 and 22 began with a training session by Josh Ruebner, Campaign Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator. He helped participants to prepare for their upcoming meetings, walking them through a list of do's and don'ts in reaching out to elected representatives http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=222). The session was followed by a panel presentation by two Campaign Congressional District Coordinators, David Neunuebel of Americans for a Just Peace in the Middle East and Amir Qaddomi of the Coalition for Peace with Justice in North Carolina. They shared insights into what worked in their districts.

In his remarks, Qaddomi noted that representatives for the most have one major concern: to be re-elected. They may have their heart in the right place and understand somewhat how the Palestinians and Israelis are suffering, but first comes the threat of losing support for their next elections if their position is against the current Israeli government. One of the ways constituents in North Carolina have encountered this is through education, constant contact, and collecting signatures for petitions. During many of their meetings with congresspersons, constituents realized how unfamiliar they were with the current occupation. Bringing maps of settlements and by-pass roads helped to better illustrate the lives of Palestinians.

Qaddomi underscored that lobbying a congressperson is a long-term commitment. One has to keep in touch with his/her representative by sending faxes, calling, and visiting. Establishing good relations with congressional aides is also very important, since representatives get most of their information through their aide. Constituents in North Carolina were also collecting signatures for a petition that called for suspending US aid to Israel until it complied with international law. When the petition was presented, it was acknowledged by Representatives, who asked to be informed if the number of signatures were to increase. Representative will not change their views overnight: it will take time and patience. However, dedication and efforts to establish broad support for an end to the occupation in each of our districts will put this issue on the agenda for any Representative standing for re-election.

[Summary of David Neunuebel's presentation will be incorporated upon receipt]

8. Evaluation

Participants returned 24 completed evaluation forms.Overall, the evaluation was very positive, although participants drew attention to aspects that should be improved, most notably the process of discussing proposals for priority action.

The most useful session was the plenary panel on "Lessons Learned from Building National Movements," which participants found helped to set a clear focus, giving concrete information, good analysis, and useful examples - although one person felt it was "preaching to the choir."Some participants singled out the training workshops, especially on media and education, as being particularly useful, and mentioned the keynote presentations and that on civil liberties.Several lauded the entertainment on Saturday night.Two participants noted that the business session had been "very instructive," but one said it had not.

The least useful sessions were found by many to have been the Saturday working groups, largely because the process followed in discussing the action proposals was not clear to participants and, in some cases, to the facilitators. Some expressed disappointment that the fact that Edward Said was not able to participate due to health reasons was not announced earlier. Several participants urged that, in future, the process for prioritizing and goals of working groups be made clear well in advance, and that it be adhered to once it was established.

The vast majority rated the conference as excellent or very good.Some of the comments made were: "There were clear steps I can take home to my group;" "Great productivity, wonderful facilitators;" "Focused on taking action;" "Got excellent sense of range of members and of the possibilities."Three participants felt it was adequate, and two that it had not met their expectations: one wanted more on Palestine and the other more young activists.

Participants repeatedly said that the most valuable aspect was networking and connecting with other groups. They also identified: "Learning about activism from so many knowledgeable activists;" "Knowing this many capable people are working on behalf of Palestinians;" "Getting a real sense of a bottom up direction for the Campaign;" "Working as a group and hearing the challenges and successes of others;" "Feeling a part of the movement;" "Getting up to date on the big picture of purpose for US organizing;" "Sharing resources;" "Not being trapped by ideological disputes;" - and again and again, "Building connections and learning, learning, learning."

Among the least valuable aspects, participants listed: "Not enough time for real debate and discussion on proposals;" "Proposals review very confusing;" "Bad process created bad impressions with some younger organizers and new local organizers;" "Rehashing of old issues."

Among the suggestions for the future, "Enable the participants to propose skills-building and resource-sharing workshops that they themselves would facilitate;" "Keep the focus and don't duplicate the work of others;" "The three Campaign areas are tactics not goals - establish goals then decide tactics;" "Have a women's group;" "Get speakers from Israel/Palestine;" "Discuss priorities in workshops before making decisions;" "Get information on voting and process out beforehand and ensure facilitators know goals of their sessions;" "Get out agenda sooner;" "Save conference packets for pre-registered participants;" "List of organizations and contacts;" "Larger font for name tags - use less paper;""More time."

Several participants commented on the facility, most rating it adequate to excellent, but a few worried about the security and distance.Several asked for more vegetarian options, and one commented dryly "Participants wished for more protein." The Saturday night banquet was - understandably - subject to comment.

Among the plans for action when participants returned home: "Form connections with other activists;" "Raise the occupation as an issue at presidential candidate forums;" "Establish new divestment and anti-occupation group on my university campus;" "Get groups to join the US campaign;' "Stop the wall;" "Report on conference to our groups;" "Work with local committees to incorporate goals of the Campaign;" "Continue communication with those I met at the conference;" "Get further info on doing analysis of media coverage."

And a few final words: "I was re-energized by the sense of so much going on, so many still committed;" "I enjoyed seeing old faces and meeting new people;" "I'm able to go back to work with the big picture;" "The conference gave me the energy I needed to continue our local work."

The workshop preparing for the Congressional Outreach days received high marks, but some participants commented on the materials and the need for more time to coordinate among people going to visit the same Representative.

I - List of Organizations

Participants in the US Campaign 2nd Annual Conference of Organizers belonged to the following organizations:

AAPER (American Association for Palestinian Equal Rights)
ADC (American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee)
AFSC (American Friends Service Committee)
Al-Haq, Law in the Service of Man
American Educational Trust
American Muslims for Jerusalem
Americans for a Just Peace in the Middle East
Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights
Arab Jewish Peace Alliance
Association of Arab-American University Graduates
Atlanta Palestine Solidarity
Black Voices for Peace
Boston Committee for Palestinian Rights
Boston to Palestine
Center for Constitutional Rights
Center for Economic & Social Rights, New York
Christian Peacemaker Teams
Coalition for Peace with Justice (Chapel Hill)
Common Global Ministries, Middle East Personnel
Council for the National Interest
Council on American Islamic Relations
Cyberself Imagery
Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace
Fellowship of Reconciliation
Friends of Sabeel - North America
Friendship with Palestinian Christians
General Board of Global Ministries, United Methodist Church
Global Exchange
Grassroots International
Harrisburg Middle East Justice and Peace Group
Holy Land Trust
Indianapolis Peace and Justice Center
Institute for Policy Studies
International Solidarity Movement
Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice
Jewish Voice for Peace
Jewish women for justice in Israel/Palestine
Jews against the Occupation
Jews for Peace in Palestine and Israel
Kansas Committee for a Just Peace in the Middle East
Lifeline Network for Peace
Louisville Committee for Peace in the Middle East
Madison-Rafah Sister City
Maine Committee for Peace and Justice in Palestine and Israel
Mennonite Central Committee
Michigan Peace Team
Middle East Children's Alliance
Middle East Peace Committee
Middle East Peace Committee - Episcopal Diocese of Washington
Middle East Policy Council
Mideast Peace Project
NC Divest
Nonviolence International
Olympia FOR
Olympia Monthly Meeting
Palestinian Environmental NGOs Network (PENGON)
Partners for Peace
Pax Christi USA: National Catholic Peace Movement
Peace and Justice Coalition, Prince Georges County, MD
Peace and Social Justice Center of South-Central Kansas
Philadelphia Jewish Peace Network
Pittsburgh Palestine Solidarity Committee
Rally of One
Rebuilding Palestinian Homes
Religious Society of Friends - Merion Meeting
Seattle Palestine Solidarity Committee
St. Joan of Arc Church
Students for Justice in Palestine-American University
Support Sanity
The Arab American Civic Organization
The Coalition for Peace with Justice
Tikkun Community
Tri-City Action for Peace
United for Peace & Justice
United Nations Secretariat
Utahns for a Just Peace in the Holy Land
War Times
Western New York Peace Center Buffalo, NY

II - Resources Shared

Many activists brought resources to share as well as items for sale. Some are being listed below in case participants missed the opportunity to get copies or materials while in DC.

* Americans for a Just Peace in the ME: t-shirts, stickers, materials, video "Beyond the Mirage" info@ajpme.org

* Boston Committee for Palestinian Rights, "The Wall Defeats the Roadmap", a binder of facts, maps and quotes about the monstrous Wall Israel is building in the occupied Palestinian territories info@bcpr.org ($25)

* Christian Peacemakers Team: www.prairienet.org/cpt

* Global Exchange Tool Kit "Activism for Peace and Justice in the Middle East: A Handbook on Lobbying, Divestment, and Activist Organizing on the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict" palestine@globalexchange.org

* If Americans Knew shared over 100 booklets of Rachel Corrie's letters home, as well as other posters and other materials, which can be downloaded from (http://www.ifamericansknew.org/about_us/materials.html/)

* Interlink: www.interlinkbooks.com

* Jews for Peace in Palestine and Israel: T-shirts, stickers, pins, materials www.jppi.org

* The Singing CIA Agent George Shrub, by Dave Lippman http://davelippman.com

* National Lawyers Guild video "In the Name of Security", by Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler www.nlg.org and www.off-center.com

* Presence: olivewood art, jewelry, embroidery www.celebratepresence.com

* Support Sanity: www.supportsanity.org

* SUSTAIN: T-shirts ($15 donation/order to POB 1652, Bowie, MD 20717-1652); newsletter (sustain@postmark.net). www.sustain.org

* US Campaign T-shirts: $15/shirt ? sizes x-large, large, medium, and small. Please order from events@endtheoccupation.org A 20% discount applies to orders of 10 or more. All other materials circulated at the conference (e.g. the fact sheet on international law, can be downloaded from www.endtheoccupation.org

III - Campaign Structure & Organization

1. Membership in the US Campaign

The US Campaign is a coalition of groups and organizations - local, state, regional, and national - that have signed on to the Campaign Call to Action, thereby committing to work for its principles and purpose collaboratively and in good faith with other Campaign groups. The Campaign also welcomes individual members.

All members will be put on the Campaign listserv and receive regular information and action alerts. Members are encouraged to contribute to the work of the Campaign by becoming active participants on task forces and committees, and by sharing their events, resources, and experiences through the Campaign website and newsletter.

Groups and organizations that participate in the US Campaign are invited to nominate delegates to the Campaign Assembly and to propose candidates for the Steering Committee. They will make an annual financial contribution on a sliding scale of $100 - $1,000 (plus). Groups that are unable to pay $100/year can contribute $50 or request a waiver of the membership fee from the Steering Committee.

Individual members are welcome to join the Campaign. However, only representatives of organizations or groups that are accredited to the Campaign Assembly will take decisions on Campaign structures and directions. Individuals are encouraged to reach out to members of their community and to form their own local action groups, which can then affiliate to the Campaign by signing on to its Call to Action. Individual members will make an annual financial contribution of $30 (plus) and are welcome to participate in Campaign activities and task forces.

2. Campaign Assembly

The Campaign Assembly is composed of delegates from any local, state or regional, or national organization that signs on to the Campaign Call to Action, as follows:

- 2 per local or regional group
- 2 per national organization
- 1 per chapter (branch, affiliate or sub-group) of a national organization

The Campaign Assembly will hold an annual conference each year in order to

* Set overall political direction and priorities for the coming year,
* Review and evaluate the work of the Campaign,
* Elect representatives to the Steering Committee,
* Provide a forum for local and national groups and individuals to network and resource one another.

Decisions will be made by consensus. If this cannot be achieved, decisions will be made by a 2/3 majority of delegates present. Proxy votes are not allowed. A 2/3 majority of all member organizations is needed to amend the Call to Action.

3. Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is the Campaign's decision-making and implementing body in between the annual conferences. It will have 12 members who will broadly represent the diversity of the United States. Steering Committee members will each serve a three-year term and can stand for re-election up to a maximum of two terms. In the event of a vacancy, the Steering Committee is authorized to fill the slot until the next elections.

Steering Committee members, who may be representatives of member organizations or individuals, are all volunteers and contribute their time, resources and energies to the Campaign. The Steering Committee will be responsible for

* Writing the Campaign by laws
* Decisions regarding strategy and policy between conferences
* Implementation of the work program and services
* Staff recruitment, structure, procedures and supervision; staff members will participate in the work of the Steering Committee on an ex-officio basis.
* Approving the annual budget and financial reports
* Deciding on new proposals and working groups
* Inviting members to serve on the Advisory Board, in consultation with the Campaign Assembly
* Reporting to the Campaign Assembly

The Steering Committee meets at least once a month by conference call and conducts most of its business by email. The Steering Committee has authority over all Campaign resources. It will make decisions by majority of the quorum. Steering Committee minutes and financial updates will be circulated to the Campaign Assembly.

4. Advisory Board

The Advisory Board will be made up of people living in the United States who are recognized for their contribution to peace and justice, human rights, and international law. The Steering Committee will issue the invitations after consultation with the Campaign Assembly. It will circulate a list of proposed invitees to the Board to the Assembly and solicit names of invitees from the Assembly before issuing the invitations. The Advisory Board will assist the Campaign in outreach, fundraising, and other activities to promote its work.

5. Elections and Nominations

The Campaign Assembly will elect a third of the Steering Committee each year at the annual conference. This will allow for continuity in the Campaign's work, while providing for representation from member groups. A 3-person nominations committee will be presented to the Campaign Assembly during the first morning of the annual conference. Nominations will be accepted by the Committee up until 10 pm of the 1st day. The list of nominees will be announced to the Assembly the morning of the 2nd day and nominees will have an opportunity to present themselves to participants. Voting will take place during lunch of the 2nd day. The candidates that receive the most votes will fill the vacant slots. The results will be announced during the closing session.