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by Deborah Taylor, Greater New Haven Peace Council
Tuesday, March 7: 6:30-9 p.m. Kickoff event of International Women’s Day. SCSU’s Adanti Ballroom B. 501 Crescent St. Music by folk singer Lara Herscovitch. Keynote speaker Leora Kahn, executive director of PROOF, a Media for Social Justice organization. Sponsored by the GNH Peace Council.
Wednesday, March 8: 7-9 a.m. International Women’s Day Mindfulness Breakfast. NH City Hall, 165 Church St., Meeting Room #1, 2nd floor atrium. Speakers: Enola Aird, president of the Community Healing Network, and Theresa Crisci, founder of the Total-Balance Life Choice.
12-1:45 p.m. International Women’s Day panel discussion: “Women Working toward Peace.” Gateway Community College, 20 Church St. Panelists include Seila Bruno from Neighborworks, Sr. Mary Ellen Burns, director of Apostle Immigrant Services, Will Kneerim from IRIS, and Ann Greene who connects clinical scholars doing community-based research in New Haven.
2:30-4:30 p.m. Film screening of Every Mother’s Son. Sponsored by the GNH Peace Council. NH Free Public Library, Ives Branch, 133 Elm St.
5:30-7:30 p.m. “Continue the Conversation” for International Women’s Day at Musical Intervention, 23 Temple St.
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. All events are on the campus of Southern CT State University unless otherwise noted. Women’s Studies Program, SCSU, 501 Crescent Street. (203) 392-6133, firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 1: “Visioning” Sessions for the Reflection Garden Project. There will be three discussion/visioning sessions: Student Focus, 1-2 p.m.; Faculty/Staff Focus, 3-5 p.m.; Community Focus, 6-8 p.m. ASC Ballroom. All sessions are open to all participants.
March 2: A reading of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, with Iota, Iota, Iota, the SCSU chapter of the National Women’s Studies Honor Society. 7:30 p.m., Engleman Hall B 121.
March 3: Screening and Discussion of Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing. 12:30 p.m., TBA.
March 3: A reading of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, with Iota, Iota, Iota, the SCSU Chapter of the National Women’s Studies Honors Society. 7:30 p.m., Engleman Hall B 121.
March 6: Prayer Vigil for Nonviolence and Peace. 12:15 p.m., Buley Library Patio at SCSU.
March 7: Elm City Collective International Women’s Day Celebration Kick-Off at SCSU. 7 – 9 p.m., Adanti Student Center Ballroom.
March 8 (Tentative): Alex Wilson (Cree) on Two-Spirit and Queer Indigenous Feminism as Epistemology and Pedagogy.
March 21: Courageous Conversations on White Privilege. 5 – 7 p.m., Engleman Hall B 121.
March 22: An Interfaith Dialogue: “We Are All One: Interfaith Perspectives on the Diversity & Oneness of the Global Human Family.” 1 – 2 p.m., Engleman Hall A 120.
March 22: Screening of the Documentary, Adama, followed by a Q & A with Adama Bah and filmmaker David Felix Sutcliffe. 6 – 8 p.m., Adanti Student Center Theater.
March 24: Coalition of Women’s Studies in Connecticut & Rhode Island. 9 – 3 p.m., University of New Haven.
March 25-April 1st: SCSU Bike Week.
March 25: New Haven Social Justice Bike Ride: 13 mile bike ride through New Haven that celebrates current and historical social justice sites in our city. Bikes and helmets available for loan. Free! Limited to 25 people. 6:30-9:30 a.m., TBA.
March 25: The 21st Annual African American Women’s Summit, a Sisters’ Collective in New Haven. 8 – 3 p.m., Beecher School, 100 Jewell St., New Haven.
March 30: Wig and Clothing Drive for Transgender Day of Visibility. 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., SAGE Center.
March 30: Shoruq Debka and Hip Hop Theatre Performance. 7 – 9 p.m., Engleman Hall C 112.
by Shelly Altman, Jewish Voice for Peace
On Thursday, March 30, Jewish Voice for Peace New Haven will be partnering with SCSU Women’s Studies Department and Tree of Life to present the touring Shoruq Debka and Hip Hop. Shoruq, an initiative of Palestinian refugees, has two debka dance troupes (traditional Palestinian dance), one for adolescents and one for younger children. Participants are trained in dance techniques that allow them to express their thoughts, opinions and national identity. The troupe of dancers in the tour are age 13-16.
Shoruq envisions Palestinian refugees striving individually and collectively to attain and exercise their rights, especially the right of return to their original lands, and realizing dignified lives for themselves in the meanwhile until their return. It provides free legal aid and psychosocial support to refugee children in conflict with the law; owns and operates a media center that offers trainings and access to equipment to help children, youth and professionals generate media forms including music, online radio, video; uses art as a tool for advocacy; and creates many projects geared towards the social development of the refugee community.
Shoruq’s hip hop group is specialized for girls, currently 9 girls. The girls write about their feelings and experiences as refugees and as girls to share them with the world. They re-cord their original songs at Shoruq’s media center. Hip hop is a means for advocating and reinforcing children rights and refugee rights. They meet regularly to share new ideas and get training from Shoruq’s volunteers who have a good background in hip hop.
An excerpt from one of the Shoruq songs:
All I need in this life, is to be free
Free, from this cage, but I need a key
The key for a life waiting for me
If only you’ve seen what my eyes still see`
Problems after problems, yet in poverty
IDENTIFIED, without identity
I will fight for my country till eternity under the name of justice, humanity I want to live, I want to learn, and I want to be successful
Even if it’s stressful
Just for staying alive, for life I am grateful
I’m right here, and that’s what I rap for
All my life I’ve been paying them up prices
I’m depending on luck, so I’m just throwing dices
Details: March 30, 7:30 p.m. Engleman Hall, C112, SCSU, 501 Crescent St., New Haven. $15 general, $5 students, available at www.eventbrite.com/e/palestinian-debka-hip-hop-in-new-haven-tickets-31114730998 or email email@example.com Web: www.jvpnh.org Facebook: jvpnewhaven Twitter: @jvpnewhaven.
by Unidad Latina en Acción, firstname.lastname@example.org
We are deeply disappointed by the way the media has reported on the events of the peaceful No Ban No Wall rally on Saturday. We depend on the press to ensure that the entire story is made known, to hold accountable all authorities involved, to fact check statements, and to be unbiased in their reporting. This has not happened.
Our account of the events is as follows: After a gathering of around 300 people at City Hall, a peaceful march began walking through downtown New Haven. Prior to arrival to Route 34, protesters were reminded that ambulances and other emergency vehicles must be allowed through.
Nonviolent protestors held the highway for approximately 30 minutes during which time state police arrived with several canine units. At one point, at least one citizen was observed leaving their car and joining the protest. A legal observer was reminding at least three different state police officers that protestors would move off the roadway for any emergency, at which point she was jumped on by a police canine.
At no point were any lights or sirens observed from an ambulance. However, when protestors were informed of a potential medical situation in a civilian vehicle, protestors immediately cleared the lane of their own accord and did not reoccupy it. Simultaneously, state police pointed pepper spray and used canines to intimidate protestors who were already in the process of clearing the roadway.
Marchers left Route 34 after being given one verbal warning about leaving the state highway. Shortly thereafter, marchers were kettled on North Frontage Road between Orange and State Streets, an illegal tactic in which police attempt to surround protestors with the intent of limiting their mobility in order to arrest them en masse. The march was able to take an alternate route through a parking lot towards City Hall, its intended end.
The march was cut short on Church Street approaching Chapel Street. Local police, at the direction of state police and without verbal warning, started using force to push marchers towards the sidewalk. As marchers complied by making their way to the sidewalk, police aggression escalated rapidly. At this point the crowd was only around 50. Marchers were hurried to get on an already packed sidewalk by the threat of pepper spray, batons, and three aggressive canines. As marchers were trying to make room on the side-walk, one person got a concussion from being thrown on the pavement by police, an elderly woman was knocked down by police, and pepper spray was deployed into the crowded sidewalk without warning.
The police mishandled the situation from start to finish. State police recklessly escalated the situation. As a sanctuary city, local police should be protecting their residents rather than violating their rights. The coalition of organizations involved in this event invites local police to work with us on training in nonviolent de-escalation tactics.
Our message must be highlighted: at a time when individuals’ and families’ very existence is being threatened by the Muslim Ban and the threat of a wall along our border, we are standing together to oppose state sanctioned violence and xenophobia. Together we are working towards a world without oppression. Unidad Latina en Acción, ANSWER Coalition, PSL, New Haven Space of Encounter.
by Joan Cavanagh, a friend of Theresa Carr
The dedication of the tree and plaque in memory of Theresa Carr, an activist whose work spanned several communities and countries (including many years in New Haven), will take place in Jocelyn Square Park on Saturday, May 20, in the afternoon. (We’ve decided to hold it on the weekend rather than on Tuesday the 23rd, her actual 63rd birthday, to accommodate out of town visitors.)
Tree waterers Nesta, Jr. and Shiloh Sherwood-Allen will be present with their parents, Nesta Allen, Sr., and Amelia Sherwood, to water the tree for the first of many times. They are taking responsibility for its nourishment during its crucial first two years, while its roots deepen and grow. Hopefully, they and others will enjoy its shade and its beauty for many lifetimes.
The plaque was designed by Alessandra Nichols. (“Tharchin” was Theresa’s Buddhist name.)
More information and details of the event will be available in the April edition of the PAR newsletter. You can also email email@example.com or call (203) 668-9082.
Thanks again to the donors for making this happen!
Jay and Mildred Doody
Susan Klein and Henry
Pat Mikos and Jae Patton
Paul Mishler and Gerrie
Wishing a wonderful 95th birthday to Mary Johnson! The Progressive Action Roundtable and our newsletter team are indebted to Mary for her leadership in PAR as well as in many other New Haven and state organizations.
Planning Committee members Ruth Friedland, Elizabeth Neuse and PAR webmaster Chris Zurcher are all doing much better and mending from their various illnesses/accident/hospital visits January and February.
The convergence of health issues on the Planning Committee gave us a head’s up that we need more people to use their computer skills, proofreading and grammar expertise and sense of graphic design to help produce this newsletter. Are you interested? Our meetings are at the beginning of the month, and they’re never longer than two hours. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to become part of the PAR team!
EcoWorks/Creative Reuse presents a free screening of “Reuse! Because You Can’t Recycle the Planet,” at 5:30 p.m. March 2 at the New Haven Museum, 114 Whitney Ave. The free screening will be followed by a panel discussion with local reuse businesses in the New Haven area. The panelists are Joe DeRisi, Urban Mines; Lori Martin, Food Rescue US (formerly Community Plates); Lisa Spetrini, EcoWorks; and Melissa Gonzales, Vinanthromodern; with Sherill Baldwin, moderator.
The film isn’t about our waste problem. It’s about solutions. And they are everywhere!
Traditional recycling is NOT enough. The REUSE mission offers a more sustainable solution that everyone can be a part of. The film REUSE! follows reuse pro Alex Eaves’ cross-country adventure to all 48 states. He finds endless reuse solutions for our waste problems that are not only sustainable, but many of which are easy and fun!
Coordinated in collaboration with the NH Bioregional Group and the New Haven Museum.
by Lucy Gellman
Following protests over its namesake’s role in promoting slavery in the 19th century South, Yale’s residential Calhoun College has been renamed Hopper College, after a pioneering female mathematician.
The Yale Corporation voted to make the change Saturday after months of protest over the residential college being named after John C. Calhoun.
The new name honors Grace Murray Hopper, a computer scientist, engineer and naval officer who graduated with both a master’s and doctoral degree from Yale in the 1930s — three decades before the university’s undergraduate college became co-educational.
As a former U.S. senator, Calhoun served as a leading voice for slavery and against abolition. The residential college had been named after him since 1933, when Yale was seeking to woo more white Southerners to apply. When Yale decided to reach out to more black students decades later, the name became less of an attraction — and to some students, an insult.
Read the whole story here: “Calhoun” Becomes “Hopper” | New Haven Independent
by Lucy Gellman, New Haven Independent, Feb 16, 2017
Four protesters chained themselves together to block TD Bank’s doors at rush hour Tuesday and spread a Valentine’s Day message: If you love the environment, take your money elsewhere.
The demonstration took place beginning at 4:20 p.m. outside of TD Bank on Chapel Street downtown. It was part of a larger protest for which 50 or so New Haveners showed up, voicing their support for water protectors at North Dakota’s Standing Rock reservation a day after a federal judge denied a stay request from Native American Tribes trying to halt construction of the $3.7 billion, 1,172-mile Dakota Access Pipeline.This marks the latest of the local protesters’ divestment-geared efforts, which have included downtown rallies each month since October.
Read the entire report here: Four Arrested In Pipeline Protest | New Haven Independent
by Lucy Gellman, New Haven Independent, Feb 16, 2017
After a day of false alarms, over 100 people packed a downtown gathering spot to sign up to serve as legal observers, accompany defendants to court, get arrested at protests, and put a rapid-response hotline on speed dial in preparation of anticipated federal raids on undocumented immigrants.
That event took place Wednesday evening at the New Haven Peoples Center on Howe Street.
Starting at 7 p.m., over 100 New Haveners and people from surrounding communities — with dozens left waiting outside — packed the venue’s main room for “Resisting Deportation: A Workshop for Allies.” The two-hour event—part info session, part call-to-arms—was hosted by Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) New Haven, with several members from Unidad Latina en Acción (ULA) and Junta for Progressive Action.
Read the entire report here: Hundreds Pledge To Fight Deportations | New Haven Independent
by Stanley Heller, Middle East Crisis Committee
Imagine if your business or group supported Cesar Chavez grape boycott your state government put you on a blacklist, and you would be forbidden all state contracts and any pension fund investment. Or maybe state authorities punish you because you refused to buy Nestle products in the ’70s when it was dressing up saleswomen as nurses and pushing baby formula on women in the poorest countries in defiance of all good health sense. Imagine if when Macy’s and Woolworths boycotted Nazi German goods in the ’30s they would be sanctioned. What if the states did something similar to groups demanding action against Sudan because of what its government did in Darfur?
Senate Bill #170 proposes just that in regard to one boycott, the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement that works to end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law. It was proposed by Florida Sen. Rubio and has 28 cosponsors including CT Senator Blumenthal. It goes beyond boycotts. It punishes any “entity” that advocates “sanctions” so it could be triggered if a group called for a cut-off of cluster bombs to Israel. If passed SB #170 would be an outrageous violation of free speech and a very bad precedent for trade unions who use the weapon of boycott to support striking workers. An effort is being made to persuade CT Senator Chris Murphy to oppose the bill. Labor lawyer John Fussell wrote a terrific letter to Murphy about #170 and 194 CT residents signed on to a similar letter opposing #170 that was hand-delivered to him at his town meeting in West Hartford. Email him through his website or even better call his office in DC at (202) 224-4041. For details see www.TheStruggle.org.
Far from punishing people for advocating BDS, state governments should support it. A few years ago Connecticut’s Treasurer reported that the state had $32 million invested in State of Israel Bonds or stocks in Israeli companies.
by Henry Lowendorf, GNH Peace Council
The resolution to cut the military budget in order to fund New Haven human services and infrastructure passed the Board of Alders unanimously. The resolution submitted by the City of New Haven Peace Commission was presented at a hearing by the Human Services Committee of the Board and received input from various department heads of the city government.
The resolution called for a citywide hearing to “reveal what the extent of the city’s public and human services needs are, what the gaps are between the city’s needs and all funds provided by taxes, grants and debt, and how those gaps could be met by reducing the annual national military budget” which currently takes more than 55% of the federal discretionary budget and under the Trump administration is likely to dramatically increase.
Asked to imagine what they could do with greater funds, department heads and city workers enthusiastically spoke of providing more nurses and public health services to needy school children, encouraging business development for non-high-tech startups, provide high quality housing, end homelessness, fix potholes and sidewalks, replace outdated public works equipment, take care of the city’s coastline and harbor, replace laid-off park department workers, provide mechanics for the police fleet and build a green fleet garage – among other things.
New Haven Mayor Toni Harp approved of the resolution and offered to submit a similar one to the US Conference of Mayors calling on every medium to large city in the nation to hold such a hearing.
The resolution passed the evening of Feb. 21 calls on the Board of Alders to transmit a letter to federal elected representatives asking what they are going to do to reduce the military budget, i.e., cut spending on wars and move funds to human needs.