by Stephen Kobasa, Curator-in-Residence, Institute Library
“Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here” is on exhibit at the Institute Library March 1 through May 3. Opening reception and reading is Saturday, March 1, noon until 2 p.m.
On March 5, 2007, a car bomb was exploded on al-Mutanabbi Street, the historic center of Baghdad bookselling. More than 30 people were killed and over 100 were wounded. In response to this attack upon a cultural treasure of the Iraqi people, the poet and bookseller Beau Beausoleil founded the al-Mutanabbi Street Project which to date has assembled 130 broadsides by letterpress artists, 260 artist books, and a literary anthology Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here with contributions by over 125 writers from around the world.
Out of this larger collection, Stephen Vincent Kobasa has curated two exhibitions of material which will go on display consecutively for one month periods between March 1 and May 3.
There will be readings from the anthology during the opening reception on Saturday, March 1, and a panel discussion on books in a time of terror on Saturday, April 5, at noon.
The Institute Library, 847 Chapel Street, is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Info: (203) 562-4045, www.institutelibrary.org.
by Allan Brison, PAI
PAI, a community organization committed to reform of the criminal justice system, is active in the following areas:
- The change in the rules for the use of the New Haven Green. Several groups, including PAI, have been fighting the proposal for the new rules concerning use of the Green as proposed by Corporation Counsel Victor Bolden. This activism appears to have won a victory in that the new rules have apparently been temporarily withdrawn. But we can be sure that City Hall will come back with a similar proposal in the near future.
- The New Haven-produced film, The House I Live In. After screening this at the Wilson Library in December, we are now arranging it to be screened in the public school High School in the Community. More schools will follow.
- Decarcerate Connecticut. We are joining with this group in the important work of shedding light on the terribly punitive practices of the Department of Corrections in CT.
- Marijuana Laws Reversal. PAI urges readers to get hold of the Nov 18 issue of The Nation for a number of excellent articles on this subject.
- Support for Gerald O’Donnell. Gerald O’Donnell was recently found guilty of tampering with a witness in the George Gould murder case. Totally ignored during the trial was the far more egregious behavior that the prosecution commonly utilizes to get cooperation of witnesses.
Anybody interested in participating in any of these projects can call me, Allan Brison,, at (203) 782-6808.
PAR Planning Committee
Milada Marsalka, a founding member of the Progressive Action Roundtable, was perhaps best-known in New Haven for her dedicated work with the local branch of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. She passed on in 2000 and left behind her memoir. Entitled Pursuing Peace, it has recently been published by her nieces Regina Stevenson and Catherine Nathan. PAR is investigating buying a large order from the publisher so New Haven friends of Milada can buy it locally. If you want to order your own copy immediately, please call the publisher at (800) 827-7903, or visit the website https://wordassociation.com/memoir%20book%20page/pursuingpeace.html.
by Augusta Girard, PEP Program Coordinator
The 2014 Gandhi Peace Award will be presented to activist Medea Benjamin on Wednesday, April 16, by Promoting Enduring Peace, to honor her for her unyielding advocacy for social justice of more than 30 years. She has been described as “one of America’s most committed — and most effective — fighters for human rights” by New York Newsday, and “one of the high profile leaders of the peace movement” by the Los Angeles Times.
Recently Medea has been on the forefront of the anti-drone movement. She is the author of eight books. Her latest book is Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control, and she has been campaigning to stop the use of killer drones. Her direct questioning of President Obama during his 2013 foreign policy address, as well as her recent trips to Pakistan and Yemen, helped shine a light on the innocent people killed by US drone strikes. She also organized the first-ever international drone summit and led delegations to Pakistan and Yemen to meet with drone strike victims and family members of Guantanamo Bay Prisoners.
United Church on the Green, 270 Temple Street, New Haven CT, 7 p.m. A reception follows. To register for this free event, go to: events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=w9nytzkab&oeidk=a07e8wvlqjw8039c23d
by Chris Schweitzer, NH-Leon Sister City Project
Rock to Rock is New Haven’s biggest Earth Day celebration coming up on Saturday, April 26th. Here’s how it works: You and about a thousand of your neighbors travel from West Rock and East Rock, with celebrations on both sides of the city. Along the way, eat tasty food, hear great music, take on environmental service projects, and explore our city’s parks and neighborhoods.
All are welcome. Families and college students, serious riders and weekend warriors are all part of Rock to Rock. Join our rock band!
Looking for a challenge? Take our 20-mile, 40-mile, or metric century routes. Have a little kid in tow? Join us for part of the ride.
Support our local environment. Your registration fees support the organizing partners who make Rock to Rock run: Common Ground, New Haven Urban Resources Initiative, New Haven-León Sister City Project, CitySeed, Inc., and New Haven Parks Department.
When you collect pledges, you choose to support any one of 20+ great organizations, all working to create a greener and healthier community, including CitySeed, Inc., CT Folk, Common Ground, Connecticut Mental Health Foundation, Elm City Cycling, Farmington Canal Rail-to-Trail Association, Friends of Edgewood Park, Friends of Beaver Pond Park, Friends of East Rock Park, the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network, The Nature Conservancy, New Haven Bioregional Group, New Haven Farms, New Haven Inner City Outings, The New Haven Land Trust, New Haven-León Sister City Project, New Haven Parks Department, Schooner Inc., Solar Youth, Greater New Haven Green Fund, and Urban Resources Initiative.
To register or for more info: www.rocktorock.org.
by Judi Friedman, PACE
Please consider putting six community People’s Action for Clean Energy television shows from NutmegTV on your local community cable television station!
Spread the word…. Please!
PACE has six wonderful television shows produced by NUTMEG TV, an award winning community access cable station that serves over 82,000 subscribers in Avon, Berlin, Bristol, Burlington, Canton Farmington, New Britain, and Plainville.
Please consider taking the DVDs to your local cable station to see if it will air them. One set has already gone to Simsbury. The shows discuss green energy solutions, clean energy technology, a solar superstar, a no-energy-bill house, Connecticut energy security, and beyond nuclear.
If your cable station is willing to air these programs, please call Judi Friedman at (860) 693-4813. (Note: these programs may be viewed on demand by going to www.nutmegtv.org Look under PEG schedule and type in the word PACE.)
by Melanie Lozada, Graduate Assistant, Women’s Studies Program
64 Days of Nonviolence Program officially begins each year on January 30, the day Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated, and ends on April 4, the day we commemorate Dr. King. The Women’s Studies Program at Southern CT State University invites you to celebrate peace and justice, in many of our cultures and heritages, for the 64 Days of Nonviolence.
Upcoming highlights of the program include the following:
- March 6: “Black Girls Rock”
- March 13: “Gender Justice and Cyber Technology,” an evening with legal scholars and experts on intersections of gender justice and cyber technology
- March 22: The 18th Annual African American Women’s Summit, a Sisters’ Collective in New Haven
- March 25: “Yellow Dress,” A Performance against Violence Against Women
- March 27: “Women’s Appreciation Day,” in conjunction with “The Z Experience,” a spoken word event in memory of Zannette Lewis
- April 2: “Everyone Matters” Day
- April 3: A Panel on “Girls’ Feminism and Activism”
- April 6: “Tunnel of Oppression”
- April 17: “Understanding Disabilities through Song & Poetry,” with Elaine Kolb and Sarah Rizzuto
- April 23: “Take Back the Night”
- April 23: A program on Armenian art, culture, and history
- May 1: 10th OWL (Opportunity for Women’s Leadership) Symposium
21st Annual Women’s Studies Conference We also invite you to join us for the 21st Annual Women’s Studies Conference, “Ecology, Spirituality, Sustainability: Feminist and Indigenous Interventions” which will take place on the campus of Southern Connecticut State University Friday, April 11, 2014 and Saturday, April 12, 2014. We are pleased to announce the keynote speakers: Majora Carter, a visionary, urban revitalization strategist, and public radio host and Dr. Hyun Kyung Chung, a Korean eco-feminist, theologian, and associate professor of Ecumenical Studies, Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York.
For more information on the 64 Days of Nonviolence or the 21st Women’s Studies Conference, please go to: Southernct.edu/womensstudies or phone (203) 392-6133.
by Stanley Heller, Middle East Crisis Committee
Narrated by Alice Walker (author of The Color Purple), “Roadmap to Apartheid” shows the eerie parallels between old South African apartheid and the discrimination and racism in Israel/Palestine.
It’s directed by a white South African and an Israeli Jew. It’s won numerous awards at film festivals stretching from Manhattan to Milan. Naomi Klein called it, “A harrowing expose of Israel’s unique system of official discrimination.”
We’ll be showing it on Monday, March 3 in the (lower level) Program Room of the NH Free Public Library, 133 Elm Street. The event begins at 5:15 with a light supper (free to all), followed by the film at 5:45. Q. and A. and discussion to follow.
Excellent Max Blumenthal Event: The Struggle Video News is presenting the talk that author/journalist Max Blumenthal gave last month at Central Connecticut State University. Blumenthal is the best-selling writer of Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel.
Blumenthal talked about how he came to write so much about Palestine and Israel. He had formerly concentrated on political reporting and had written Gomorrah, about the right-wing takeover of the Republican Party. In 2009 in Jerusalem, he wanted to cover Israeli Jewish reaction to Obama’s Cairo speech. He did video interviews with Americans visiting in Israel and Israelis who had emigrated from the U.S. The comments were so racist against Obama and Palestinians that he started focusing on Israeli racism. The results were many articles and the book Goliath.
One of the things Blumenthal mentioned in his talk was Israeli racism against black Africans who have come to Israel seeking political asylum. They are being locked up in a desert camp at night and gradually being thrown out of the country despite international laws on asylum.
The video can be seen at www.TheStruggle.org.
by Stanley Heller, Peacenews, Feb. 17 update
Here’s what Trumka said about climate change and jobs at a “Good Jobs, Green Jobs”conference on Feb. 11: [M]erely saying that things should be shut down “poisons the well politically.” He didn’t utter the words “Keystone XL,” but what else? [….] Not one person shouted out “what about the pipeline?” Trumka didn’t say anything about phasing out coal burning plants and finding new work for coal miners. [H]e called for a “working and middle class climate.” WHAT?
Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO President, may not be in the 1%, but he’s close behind. He made a salary of $272,000 last year along with nearly $16,000 of “other disbursements.” If he retired tomorrow he’d get 60% of that as a pension for his 14 years of “service” as a top AFL-CIO officer.
I have the gall to connect his exalted position to his recent decisions to help destroy the climate.
In These Times reports, “On a recent conference call with reporters, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka endorsed two initiatives reviled by green groups: the Keystone XL pipeline and new natural gas export terminals.” ITT says he said, “There’s no environmental reason that [the pipeline] can’t be done safely while at the same time creating jobs.”
He’s talking the same way as the State Department report, only about the safety of the pipeline itself and ignoring the catastrophic danger of pouring umpteen gigatons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
And the number of jobs to be gained from the pipeline? Hold on to your hats. The State Department says there will be about 2,000 constructions jobs to build it and a whopping 50 permanent jobs to maintain it. (Of course, that doesn’t take into account all the jobs created when it bursts from time to time and requires a massive clean-up). For that pitiful number of jobs Mr. 2% is willing to risk what James Hansen has said will be “game over” for the climate. Trumka also boosted the idea of more natural gas exports. It’s a fracking shame.
The ITT piece said that Trumka is doing this to keep the AFL-CIO’s Building and Construction Trades Department happy. Maybe he’s angling for a position with the Natural Gas Alliance.
[….] Oh, before the pork choppers accuse me being “anti-union,” recall I’ve been a union member since 1969 and was teacher union president in West Haven, CT, for seven years.
For the complete article go to peacenews.org and search for Stanley Heller—he has a couple of great articles.