Pauline Morrissette's A-16 Washington LETS Trip Report 
April 16th,2000
Departed Ottawa late Thursday the 14th and drove all through the 
night, 12 hours from Ottawa.
Our first function was at the Foundry United Methodist Church 
at 1500-16th Street N.W., Washington, D.C.
Globalization's Triple Threat:
WTO, IMF, World Bank
Guests speakers we were anxious to hear were Edward (Teddy) Goldsmith, 
from London, England. I was fortunate enough to have spent time with 
Teddy 2 years ago thanks to my very good friend Sabine Kurjo-McNeil. 
He had written a wonderful paper on LETS and gifted me with it on my 
departure. Another guest speaker and an advocate of LETS was Kevin 
Danaher. We had met Kevin in Denver Colorado when we attended a G-8 
function there in 1997.
When we got to the church we were informed it had been sold out. I 
asked the security guard at the door if it would be at all possible to 
just go to see Mr. Goldsmith for a brief moment to say hello as I had 
driven all the way from Ottawa, Canada. So they had me escorted to the 
front. It was a brief hello but he was very pleased to see me. 
When I went back outside John was busying himself handing out flyers 
and talking with groups of people. Our signs for this function read 
"Don't Cancel the Debt, L.E.T.S. Cancel Debt Growth." It sure was an 
attention getter. 
I went around asking if anyone wanted to sell their tickets. Finally a 
young student came to me and just handed me tickets. He said they had 
a couple extra and didn't want anything for them. So, in we went I 
watched from the gallery and took photos, John was on the lower level. 
A female reporter Marita Knipper from PG Wirtschaft, Landwirtschaft 
and Umwelt, Marita was from Koln, 
Germany. We did an interview. Unfortunately she was more interested in 
knowing if I thought there would be any violence than about the 
message I brought but she did take the literature and I directed her 
to the cyberclass information.
After the speakers we went outside to catch the crowd as they 
departed. I saw familiar faces in the crowd, one I didn't expect to 
see was Avi Zion, John's host for the Toronto-Much Music show 
back in 1993. He acknowledged John and was telling his group John had 
been on his show when he was running for Prime Minister of Canada.
John later told me how good it felt to finally tell Avi he knew he 
had ran out of shills on the show. The whole Much Music fiasco was a 
set up to make John look foolish. They strategically placed their 
people around the studio and asked only them to pose questions that 
would put John on the spot. They also put through selected telephone 
calls to disrupt him every time he was on a wave length. Interested 
parties from Toronto that had gone down to partake in that show also 
sensed the set up. We have it on tape. Rev. Lindsay King, a very 
staunch L.E.T.S. supporter in Toronto, was there and we later asked 
him to verify what he was mouthing on the show. Indeed he was saying 
"Media Manipulation."
Randy Bachman from Bachman, Turner, Overdrive - Taking Care of 
Business - was John's interviewer on that show. Randy had called me in 
Ottawa a week before the show. He said he wanted to be well-prepared 
and be able to ask the right questions. Made sense to me so we spoke 
for about 20 minutes and then I faxed down some information. Indeed he 
was well prepared and took his interviewer job seriously, asking the 
right questions at the right time and giving John lots of lead-in 
opportunities and following right along to be able to ask further 
informed questions. When the media fix started, all hell broke loose 
and the show got so disruptive they cancelled the last 10 minutes, not 
allowing John to continue. Avi lost control of the show. What he 
probably didn't realize at the time ws that we all knew about Media 
Manipulation. Just another part of the adventure I thought you'd like 
to hear about.
Later that night another forum was set up and Maude Barlow from Canada 
was to speak. I was very tired from not having slept the day before so 
I went to the van to have a rest. Later that night, we continued to 
hand out our flyers and mingle and talk to different groups of people. 
I went up to one young girl and asked if she enjoyed the day. She said 
she had and it gave her a lot of hope to see this number of people 
involved. I continued to talk with her and her companion and told them 
about Birmingham England. I told her that John and I have been 
travelling extensively bringing the message of L.E.T.S. to communities 
around the world and also learning ourselves how L.E.T.S. was being 
used in different places. Her mouth fell agape. She was speachless. 
She finally said "I set up a L.E.T.S. in Newfoundland." I had 
goosebumps. I said "good girl, congradulations" and we hugged and 
jumped up and down with excitement. I said "you're not Lori, from 
"bringing back the Cod?"" She said "yes" and John had just walked by. 
He told her "I have your story in my journal." He went quickly to the 
van to get it and held it up for her to see. She was truly thrilled. I 
told her my mother and friend Mr. Cutler have been visiting 
Newfoundland on and off over the last couple of years and gave me the 
"Downhomer," a Newfoundland publication that carried the story. 
A breakthrough just before leaving Ottawa. One now can get on a 
L.E.T.S. simply by hanging up his shingle on the internet. Offers, 
wants and your LETS timecurrency accounts. No need to wait for a 
community to set one up and no annual administration costs as long as 
they maintain their own account. Wow, we were able to talk about this 
to several groups in Washington, mostly a young crowd. They also saw 
the potential. The biggest turn-on for the kids was the LETS Travel 
Plan. Even if they couldn't get things immediately that they needed by 
LETS, the thought of working this way and banking time dollars to put 
towards travel in the future really turned their crank. I explained 
that travelling this way, you're not a tourist, you're a member of a 
global extended family. You will see the best sights, eat the local 
food, and you will be with like-minded people who talk about the same 
issues you will want to talk about, the environment, health issues, 
We talked about the social aspects of LETS. All were in agreement that 
to be able to work, when one felt well enough to work, for example the 
mentally challenged person who is on drugs, on good days these people 
are able to function and function well. To be able to be part of 
society and having a place to reach out and say I feel well enough to 
do something today, then go out and do it. This person will eventually 
and slowly work him/herself back into a functioning society. Everyone 
wants to do what they do best. And this is the way. Just because they 
want high tech, we don't all have to be mathematicians, engineers, we 
can still be bakers and gardeners, window-cleaners, grass mowers, 
whatever you feel like doing and if not, you have that option. 
I have seen this first hand. A very good friend of mine on her good 
days was able to set up offices for the francaphone mentally 
challenged people in Ottawa and also set up a local Cancer Centre for 
francaphone women. She would take important information packages to 
hospitals to the francaphone Cancer patients on her good days and talk 
with them, giving them hope because she herself was a Cancer survivor, 
as well as being challenged. The best incentive was her own time/green 
account to aid her with cleaning, driving, etc. This young woman 
worked selflessly for hours getting government grants, hours of 
administration that benefit many in the Ottawa area, yet because on a 
disability pension which barely covered her necessities, she is now 
dead at the young age of 50. Did anyone ever have the opportunity to 
say thank-you? No. She is an unspoken hero. Lorraine Pharand. RIP. 
This opened conversation about the Volunteer System. Many countries 
have volunteers in all aspects of life, hospital, libraries, schools, 
girls and boys clubs, you name it. I say that every volunteer out 
there should have their own time dollar account. This is how we in 
society can thank them. Volunteers working for institutions can simply 
have a time card, and this information can be fed in once a week, the 
number of hours, and they will have a pay check in the form of time 
dollars. I believe that everyone, with or without a family, have found 
themselves in need of help at one time or another. They can call up 
their extended LETS family, state their account number and get the 
service they need and earned with dignity.
In Washington there were many young people. It had a 60's feeling. 
They were rebelling, they want love and peace. It was also very clear 
that they did not want to work to give half of everything they earned 
to the government for deficit reduction. But when asked if they would 
mind working and banking Hours, to get such things as travel and 
knowledge from other countries, if they could teach drumming sessions, 
gardening, dancing whatever took their fancy. I saw looks of 
This took us back to more conversation on the social impact of LETS. I 
explained that being in my 50s, I went through a growing-up period, 
that even though my parents were a middle class working family, we 
were able to get things that parents cannot afford to give their 
children these days. We were able to try out all our creative outlets 
to see where we fit in. Be it piano lessons, dancing, guitar, violin, 
somehow they found a way to allow us to try. Children today don't have 
this because now it has become a luxury most young families cannot 
afford. So what we are seeing is children tied to the television, 
hanging out in malls, etc.
Again, I have been fortunate enough to see the changes that LETS is 
making around the world in this respect. Young families can now work 
spare hours to get those luxuries for their children, to keep them 
active, to keep them off the streets, hence more harmony in society.   
We must not forget one of the most empowering aspects of our global 
interLETS economy. We have all heard about the bankers getting into 
the insurance business. This is just another way we are becoming 
slaves to the system of the bankers' world. The sooner we get our act 
together and realize in large numbers that we can do anything we want 
and that includes insuring ourselves, the better off we all will be. 
The present system out there has us insuring homes, apts. (I had to 
pay a large premium before I was allowed to rent), cars, boats, 
cottages, possessions and the list goes on and on. In our interlets 
economy, once there are enough members, we can start up our own 
insurance system. The little man in the computer runs around and takes 
out a couple of cents per account to put into the account of the guy 
who burned. Is this not a more social and friendly way to live life? 
See large-database free self-insurance at:
On our final day in Washington, the big march past the IMF-World Bank 
site, demonstrators were everywhere. We had parked our truck but then 
eventually found we were boxed in, no way to get out. So out came the 
signs. As the demonstrators marched past, John was drawing large 
crowds, television, reporters, but mostly people stopping to get the 
literature. He recited poetry, they would cheer. I would tell people 
LETS is what we can do RIGHT NOW to help ourselves. During our stay in 
Washington we handed out close to 2,000 pieces of literature and had 
spoken to many groups. In all I felt it was a very successful trip. 
I spoke to groups about Ralph Nader and his Timedollars, most had 
heard of him but not to much about the Timedollars. When I explained 
the concept which is just like LETS and that we eventually wanted to 
connect all these systems world wide, they seemed to be in agreement.  
Why not? Especially the LETS Travel. I mentioned a tape that was made 
with Ralph Nader showing the spinster school teacher who was forced 
into retirement. She was still able to teach but now on a pension, had 
needs and no dependents to help her. She got on the Timedollar system 
and earned her timedollars by tutoring a child one-on-one who wasn't 
making it in the school system. The child would also earn timedollars 
by consenting to receive the lessons. Just one beautiful example of 
the social impact LETS Timedollarshas. Now she has her own driver to 
take her for groceries and carry them in for her plus other needs that 
she just could not afford on a pension are bartered by her service 
with dignity.
     At A16, we wanted a panel on alternative currencies. Every time 
John asked if something could be set up, he was shut down. The last 
great news we had was from a young man in Quebec who was proud to 
mention that he had started up his town LETS on his father's birthday. 
His parents were "skipping upside down." 
     All John wanted to do was to get this exciting news out there 
to the anti-poverty demonstrators on the a16-international-planning 
list, for like minded people to celebrate with this young man and they 
censored his article again. 
A lot of my conversation with people in Washington stemmed from my own 
experiences and knowledge that I have picked up over the years in 
other countries. If you find after reading this report, you would like 
to learn more, please feel free to go to Pauline Morrissettes reports 
Sunday morning, John and I were sleeping in our camper van when...
John said "Oh well, another victim of Rothschild and Rockefeller 
disease. R&R left him with no money so he has steal." 
We had to run around but replacement was going to cost $370US=$550CA 
on Sunday, $170US=$255CA on Monday and $50US=$75CA back home. So John 
and I couldn't protest together. I had to stay with the vulnerable 
vehicle. After two tours of picketing duty, John decided to try to 
drive closer to the parade route and I did get a chance to help 
passing out flyers to the passing crowds. 
A last night camping in the van and then we drove home to Ottawa. 
Another interesting adventure in LETS land. 
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