PAR coordinator Mary Johnson receives well wishes

Last month, PAR-New Haven wished a speedy recovery to our coordinator, Mary Johnson. She is doing much better and we thank everyone who called, visited or wrote cards to her.

In February, PAR received a very generous donation. The person said “This is in appreciation of Mary Johnson and all of her work to help New Haven and her inspiration to build a world based on peace and justice.”

Many dedicated activists have learned from Mary through the years. The PAR Planning Committee is grateful for her leadership as the PAR coordinator. She helped our newsletter to constantly improve. However, we could not succeed without all our readers who play their part in the struggle for peace and justice, and share their successes and aspirations in this newsletter.

Our deepest thanks to all of you.

Lula White Receives Thurgood Marshall Award

Lula White of New Haven holds the mug shot from her 1961 arrest.

Lula White of New Haven holds the mug shot from her 1961 arrest.

Lula White of New Haven, a former Freedom Rider during the Civil Rights Movement [and a long-time member of PAR], received the Quinnipiac U. Black Law Students Association’s Thurgood Marshall Award on Feb. 25.

The Marshall Award is given in honor of the first African-American appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Marshall epitomized individual commitment to civil rights.

White was born in Eufaula, Alabama, to parents who were farm workers. When she was young, her family moved to Birmingham, Alabama, and then to New Haven, where she attended Hillhouse High School.

In 1954 she became a civil rights activist after reading an article about the Brown v. Board of Education decision, which ended legal segregation in public schools. To read more about Lula White’s receipt of the award, visit The New Haven Register or Quinnipiac U News and Events. or WTNH.com.

‘Fracked Gas is Environmental Racism’: Balloon Banner Released at Bridgeport City Hall

by Dan Fischer, Capitalism vs. the Climate

On February 1, Bridgeport residents flooded a public hearing with opposition to PSEG’s proposed fracked gas power plant, which would replace its coal plant in 2021. As 10 year-old Jaysa Mellers urged, “No coal, no gas, go green!”, a Bridgeport-based member of Capitalism vs. the Climate released a banner tied to a bundle of balloons. The banner floated to the high ceiling, and city councillors and residents read its message: “Fracked gas is environmental racism! No coal, no gas!”

gracked-gas-enviro-racism-300x283“Environmental racism is when an unfair share of pollution is placed on communities of color and low-income neighborhoods. That’s what is happening in Bridgeport. PSEG is making it worse by trying to open a new gas plant, which would continue to release pollution in the air for decades,” said Gabriela Rodriguez, a nineteen year-old Bridgeport resident and a member of Capitalism vs. the Climate.

PSEG reports that its new gas plant would release into the air nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds, lead, and other pollutants, causing emphysema, bronchitis, learning deficits, heart disease, cancer, and asthma triggers. Moreover, fracked gas is highly flammable and known to frequently leak. The result can be deadly. From 1995 to 2014, there were 371 deaths and 1,395 injuries due to reported pipeline incidents.

PSEG wants to put the gas plant where the coal plant currently stands, locking in decades of fossil fuel infra-structure in an area where 30 percent of residents are black and 30 percent are Latino. To add insult to injury, PSEG’s proposed gas plant, like its existing coal plant, would stand adjacent to the Mary and Eliza Freeman houses, the oldest houses in Connecticut built and owned by African Americans. From 1821 until the Civil War, the neighbor-hood had been a prosperous community of free people of color including African Americans and indigenous Paugussets. Historians say it may have been a stop on the Underground Railroad.

“By putting a gas plant here, PSEG is basically saying that black lives do not matter to them,” declared Tiffany Mellers, a Bridgeport resident, mother of Jaysa. Visit http://capitalismvsclimate.org for more information.

RadiationNetwork

by Pam McDonald, People’s Action for Clean Energy

Welcome to RadiationNetwork.com, home of the National Radiation Map, depicting environmental radiation levels  across the USA, updated in real time every minute.  This is the first web site where the average citizen (or anyone in the world) can see what radiation levels are anywhere in the USA at any time.

How the Map Works: A growing number of radiation monitoring stations across the country (and world), using various models of Geiger counters, upload their radiation count data in real time to their computer using a data cable, and then over the internet to this web site. All of this is accomplished through GeigerGraph for Networks software. This system is completely automated — there is no manual posting of data required.

The site http://www.radiationnetwork.com gives you a list of compatible Geiger counters, maps of various locations around the world and where the readings are being recorded and sent to MineraLab, located in Arizona.

If you are taking readings and submitting them live to this project via their software, you have access to these advantages:

  • You can live chat with Mineralab online and by phone if you are are having difficulties.
  • The map itself has “layers” that you can turn on and off, that identify locations of airports, trains, roads, streets, rivers, secondary rivers, lakes, localized maps, city names.
  • You can see information about various reading stations including their maximum and minimum readings.
  • There is a button that equalizes readings (not all monitors are equally sensitive.)
  • There are various graph options (trending graphs, average graphs for entire network, etc.) that you can see with simple and instant selections.
  • You can search for sites, cities, etc. by name or state.
  • It posts alerts for reading stations that have sudden or dangerous spikes in readings.

For more information about RadiationNetwork, please contact Pam McDonald at pmcdonald772@gmail.com.

Critic of Israeli Government Speaking March 1 in New Haven, and March in 2 New Britain

by Stanley Heller, Promoting Enduring Peace

Professor Ilan Pappé is an Israeli who taught at Haifa University. He left his teaching position in Israel after he was isolated by an ever more right-wing faculty and even started receiving death threats. Pappé and other “new historians” examined Israeli army records and disputed the conventional excuses for the expulsion of over 700,000 Palestinians. They revealed that the Palestinian narrative about what happened to them in 1947-1948 was essentially correct.

Ilan Pappé

Ilan Pappé

Pappé now teaches at the University of Exeter (UK) and is author of many authoritative texts including “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” and “The Forgotten Palestinians: A History of Palestinians in Israel.”

He will be speaking at Yale on Tuesday, March 1, at 8 p.m. in Linsly-Chittenden Hall, Room 102, 63 High St., New Haven. He’s sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine (Yale).

The next day, Wednesday, March 2, he’ll be speaking at 7:30 p.m. at Vance Academic Center – Room 105, Central Connecticut State University, 1615 Stanley St., New Britain.

Campaign Ongoing to End Sieges in Syria

by Stanley Heller

In mid-January photos of skeletal men and boys from Madaya, Syria made news worldwide. Hundreds of thousands of civilians are under siege across Syria mainly from Assad-Hezbollah forces and some from ISIL and other Islamists. The U.N. Security Council declared the sieges illegal in 2014.
Promoting Enduring Peace http://www.pepeace.org and CODE PINK http://www.codepink.org have called for airdrops of food and medicine and had a joint letter to that effect printed in the New York Times. Thousands have signed the CODE PINK petition calling for the airdrops. A link to it is at the PEPEACE site.

In New Haven on Feb. 21, the Syrian architect/artist Mohamad Hafez spoke about his work and about his country at the United Church on the Green Parish House. He showed slides of his streetscapes that combined ruined areas topped by areas where the elite lived on in comfort. He explained that what is commonly called the Syrian Civil War started as a mass protest against the tyranny of the ruling family. For more info on this event visit http://peacenews.org/tag/mohamad-hafez.

 

Short Story Reading series at the Institute Library continues March 15

Listen Here! Short Story Reading series at the Institute Library. Join them for a night of classic short stories selected by the staff of the New Haven Review and read by cast members of the New Haven Theater Co.

Reading starts at 7 p.m., with a talk back at 8 p.m. that explores the background, meaning, and dramatic interpretation of that night’s stories.

Also, freshly baked cookies–a different batch at each reading–and tea are available.

Admission is free!

Join them every third Tuesday of the month at the Institute Library, 847 Chapel St. The next reading will be March 15.  The theme: “Say It Again.” Our stories: “Mudder Tongue” by Brian Evenson and “The King of Sentences” by Jonathan Lethem.

Please note the Institute Library is one flight up and, most unfortunately, not wheelchair accessible.

For more information, visit us at http://www.institutelibrary.org.

Best Video Film and Cultural Center March Schedule

  • Wednesday, Mar. 2. Singer-Songwriter: Ben Erickson, Stephen Hladun
  • Thursday, Mar. 3. Singer-Songwriter: Joy Ike
  • Friday, Mar. 4. Jazz: Jovan Alexandre
  • Sunday, Mar. 6. Film Screening & Q&A with screenwriter Donald Margulies (co-presented with The Institute Library): “The End Of The Tour.” 2 p.m., $15 in advance, $20 at the door
  • Monday, Mar. 7. Oscar Series Film Screening: “Suffragette.” 7 p.m., $7
  • Wednesday, Mar. 9. Singer-Songwriter: Pat Stone with Amanda Belitto
  • Thursday, Mar. 10. Experimental: Human Flourishing, Light Upon Blight
  • Friday, Mar. 11. Acoustic Guitar: Shawn Persinger Is Prester John
  • Sunday, Mar. 13. Free Afternoon Bluegrass Jam. 2-5 p.m. • Wednesday, Mar. 23. Experimental: Nick Di Maria, The Forest Room
  • Thursday, Mar. 24. Rock: Parker’s Tangent
  • Friday, Mar. 25. Singer-Songwriter: Dick Neal
  • Wednesday, Mar. 30. Indie Rock/Singer-Songwriter: Eugene Gallagher, Western Estates
  • Thursday, Mar. 31. Singer-Songwriter: Frank Critelli, Joe Flood

1842 Whitney Avenue, Hamden. (203) 500-7777. All events are at 8 p.m. and $5 except where noted.

March Events for 64 Days of Nonviolence

by Women’s Studies Dept., SCSU

The 64 Days officially begins each year on Jan. 30, the day Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated, and ends on April 4, the day we commemorate Dr. King. In our thirteenth annual observation of the 64 Days at Southern Connecticut State University, we continue to celebrate the peace and justice heritage in many of our cultures and heritages, including our observation of Black History Month, Women’s History Month, and Asian/Pacific Heritage Month.

  • Wednesday, March 2: An Interfaith Dialogue  1-2 p.m., Engleman A 120
  • Thursday, March 3: Alyssa Liles-Amponsah, “Portraits of American Moms. #BlackLivesMatter, and #SayHerName”  12:25-1:40 p.m., EN B 216
  • Monday, March 7: “Chops Beyond the Practice Room” with Jessica Meyer 1-2 p.m. Engleman C 112
  • March 7-17: SCSU Campus E-Waste Collection  Mon & Wed: 7:30-11:30 a.m., 1-2:30 p.m., Thurs: 7:30 a.m.-noon. Facilities Operations Warehouse, 615 Fitch Street
  • Tuesday, March 8: Screening of “Journey to the Bottom of the N-Word,” by Frank Harris III. Co-Sponsored by Multicultural Center, Anthropology Department, History Department, Sociology Department, VPAS and Women’s Studies.  7 p.m., Adanti Student Center
  • March 9-16: Week of Wellness
  • Tuesday, March15: NDN (American Indian) Women’s Cultural Production & Sustaining Turtle Island with Teresa Juarez and Ali El-Issa, 12:25-1:40 p.m. Engleman B 216
  • Saturday, March 19: The 21st Annual African American Women’s Summit, a Sisters’ Collective in New Haven 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Wexler-Grant School, 55 Foote St.
  • Monday, March 28: “Gender, Projected” 5:30-7 p.m. Adanti Student Center 301
  • Tuesday, March 29: The 7th annual “The Z Experience,” in memory of Zannette Lewis, in conjunction with Women’s Appreciation Day. 7:30-10 p.m., Adanti Student Center Ballroom
  • Thursday, March 31: Slut Walk at SCSU. Panel Discus-sion at 2 p.m.; One-Mile Walk on Campus, beginning at 3 p.m.

For more info: Office: (203) 392-6133; (203) 392-6864 http://www.southernct.edu/womensstudies

Plans for May Day 2016 Have Started! Help Bring this World-Wide Holiday to the New Haven Green

by Jeff Spalter, May Day Celebration Committee

It’s time to start planning May Day again. This will be our 30th May Day.

I hope everyone had a wonderful year and in the midst of melting snow you are ready to bring on Spring by focusing on our important event. The peace and social justice struggles at home and around the world bring hope and comfort and make life meaningful. It’s time again to wake up the Green with our demands, our solidarity and a magnificent multi-cultural festival.

maypole-smallThe 2016 May Day celebration will be on Sunday, May 1, from 12-5 p.m. on the New Haven Green. Please come to our meetings or contact me directly about what you would like to see at May Day or what you can do to help. This is a free space for expression where the people will be heard!

By the time you receive this newsletter, we will have had our second meeting. Please call or e-mail me about our next meetings and join us. If you are unable to attend meetings there are still lots of ways to participate. We need help fundraising, ideas for performers, help contacting area activists and groups, help to publicize May Day and lots of volunteers on the day to set up, staff tables and clean up.
Thank you!

Jeff Spalter (203) 843-3069 jeffreyspalter@netzero.net, http://www.maydaynewhaven.org

May Day’s mission statement is to organize a multi-cultural festival that honors and celebrates our labor history and the labor, peace, social service and social justice groups that today continue the struggle for peace and human rights.

Seniors at Risk in Seymour: Elder Abuse at Columbus Street Senior/Handicapped Housing

by Joseph A. Luciano, Disability Rights Action Group of CT

Kimberly Dulka, owner of the All-American Valley General Store, has become principal advocate for the safety and rights of 12 handicapped seniors living in senior housing at 16 Bank Street (entrance on Columbus St.). Inaction of town officials has these seniors in harm’s way.

Architect/builder/developer Joe Migani has begun construction of more senior/handicapped housing on the very parking lot that was originally designated as parking not only for these resident seniors, but also for the proprietors of three established businesses: the General Store, an antique shop and a tea and pastry restaurant.

A picture of the construction site by author Joe Luciano

A picture of the construction site by author Joe Luciano

During construction, which is expected to last 18 months, these seniors have been advised by town safety officials to use municipal parking lots that officials deem “convenient.” However, access routes are in violation of ADA and state safety standards. Going to the nearest lot forces seniors to travel over earth and rubble and areas where sidewalks and curb cuts are absent. Then seniors have to pass over a state highway gutter between parked vehicles and fast-moving traffic. Routes to the distant (more than 1,000 feet) lots, besides being without crosswalks and curb cuts, are heaved like a roller coaster and are impassable to wheelchairs because of broken sidewalks. Also sidewalks that begin with a ramp do not have curb cuts at the other end. Town officials have sparked the ire of businesses by giving these seniors placards or stickers entitling them to park anywhere, thus using spaces needed for customers.

Questionable, if not illegal, decisions or approvals at planning and zoning meetings (some informal) have been dis-covered in Dulka’s review of minutes. State auditors have been asked to investigate whether terms of grants and loans are being followed. Many town citizens are backing Dulka’s petition to call for a special town meeting to stop construction as they believe this project is violating zoning laws and will cause inestimable damage to economic development, parking, businesses, as well as the health and well being of these senior/disabled residents. PAR readers and members: please consider signing and commenting on the petition at http://www.change.org/p/dannel-malloy-special-meeting-for-38-columbus-st-seymour-project-affecting-seniors-businesses-parking.

For updates and to get involved, contact  Joseph A. Luciano, (203) 463-8323, DRAGconnecticut@yahoo.com.

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