Next Deadline for Newsletter Articles: Friday, May 19, 2017

Please submit copy to PAR’s e-mail address: parnewhaven@hotmail.com.

No e-mail? Call Paula at (203) 562-2798 to find out how to submit your article. There is a 350 word limit.

Next Planning Meeting date is Tues., May 2 at 3:45 p.m. … all welcome … call (203) 562-2798 for location. Subscription: $13 (or $10 if paid before June 1) for 10 issues, check payable to PAR, P.O. Box 995, New Haven, CT  06504

Wells Fargo Middletown Shut Down for 2 Hours; Protesters Demand Divestment from Dakota Access Pipeline

Dan Fischer, Dragonfly Climate Collective

For nearly two hours on April 7, customers were unable to get into the local Wells Fargo branch. A police officer told people attempting to enter that they would not be able to do so. After all, 76-year-old climate protester Vic Lancia had locked himself to two trash bins, each filled with 500 pounds of concrete and rocks, blocking entrance to the front door. Around the corner, nine Wesleyan students linked arms in order to prevent cars from accessing the drive-thru. They chanted “You can’t drink oil, keep it in the soil!”

Local residents, students and members of climate justice groups–about 45 people in total–protested outside Wells Fargo in opposition to the bank’s funding of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The proposed $3.8 billion oil pipe-line would threaten the drinking water and land of the Stan-ding Rock Sioux and surrounding indigenous communities in so-called “North Dakota” and other states, posing dangers to the environment and to indigenous sovereignty. Wells Fargo has invested $120 million in the pipeline’s development.

Middletown residents and Wesleyan students have repeatedly protested at Wells Fargo over the past months, but this demonstration marked an escalation in local efforts, with people breaking the law in order to disrupt the bank’s activities.

“I will not stop letting my voice be heard as an indigenous woman. I stand here to protect water from being polluted,” said Katrina Harry, a Navajo woman who joined the demonstration.

“Settler colonialism is a structure that has displaced Native Americans from their land for hundreds of years, and the Dakota Access Pipeline is another violent colonial project endorsed by the United States government,” said Wesleyan student Angel Martin. “I am coming to show solidarity with the water protectors who resisted and are still resisting DAPL. I am coming because indigenous sovereignty matters and native lives matter.”

For the full report of the action and to see photos, please go to http://www.capitalismvsclimate.org/2017/04/wells-fargo-branch-shut-down-for-two-hours-protesters-demand-divestment-from-dakota-access-pipeline.

Barghouti and Nader Accept Gandhi Peace Award

by Stanley Heller, Promoting Enduring Peace

Hundreds gathered at Yale’s SSS building on April 23 to celebrate the Gandhi Peace Award being jointly given to Omar Barghouti and Ralph Nader. The award has been presented since 1960 by Promoting Enduring Peace (PEP).

Omar Barghouti

Omar Barghouti was introduced by Rebecca Vilkomerson, the Executive Director of Jewish Voice for Peace. She decried his Israeli arrest on March 19 as “politically motivated.” She called him a “charismatic speaker, a brilliant writer, savvy campaign strategist, and a principled thinker.”

Barghouti began his talk by noting Palestine “lingers on in colonial chains.” He dedicated his award to Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israel. He asked that his $2,500 prize money be given in equal shares to Black Lives Matter, Students for Justice in Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, and Friends of Sabeel North America. He talked about the “striking similarities” between Israeli treatment of Palestinians and that of blacks in the days of apartheid South Africa. He noted the recent decision of Barcelona, Spain, which ended its complicity with Israeli settlements and explicitly defended boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS). He also listed many other BDS victories.

Ralph Nader was introduced by activist and mediator Charles Pillsbury, who said he was inspired to be a lawyer by Nader and wanted to be one of the activists dubbed “Nader’s Raiders.”

Ralph Nader said he was a student of Gandhi’s thinking that “open non-violent disobedience be active and not passive.” He said, “Peace is desirable not just on philosophical, religious or argumentative grounds, but a survival mechanism which transcends cultures.”

He talked about terrorism, and said the worst terrorism was “state terrorism” which “is always legitimized as in the ser-vice of national defense.”

At the end of his talk, he mentioned Palestinians and Israelis.

He denounced settlements as “illegal colonies.” He talked about breaking the grip of the lobby AIPAC on Congress and categorized some of the resolutions it advances as “bloody beyond belief.” He asked “Who has killed more than 400 times the number of innocent men, women, and children than the other side? The answer is the Israeli government.”

The talks were warmly received with standing ovations.

For more on this year’s awards, visit http://www.pepeace.org/gpa-2017-video-and-photos.

Celebrate May Day May 1 with International Workers’ Day Rally and General Strike

Call for General Strike on May 1!

For full video coverage of the May Day festivities, visit http://www.thestruggle.org/Mayday%202017%20in%20New%20Haven.htm.

The rally begins with speakers and performers on the New Haven Green from noon to 5 p.m. on Monday, May 1, and will be followed by a Solidarity March starting at 5 p.m.

New Haven joins a call for a nationwide strike to demonstrate our economic power by not going to work, not going to school and stopping business as usual. We aim to highlight the economic power of workers: immigrants, women, Muslims, LGBTQ folks, Native Americans and African Americans and every other marginalized group that is currently under attack by the Trump administration.

We are asking you to join us and show solidarity: close your business on May 1; don’t go to work; don’t go to school.

Join the rally on the New Haven Green from 12 to 5 p.m. Speakers, live music, children’s activities, and a May pole! Join local justice, peace, equality, and labor groups as well as social service organizations, educators, students, healthcare workers, artists and ALL people on the Green.

Join the international workers’ march from the Green through Fair Haven at 5 p.m.

Funded in part by a grant from RESIST, Somerville, MA; web: http://resist.org; phone: (617) 623-5110.

Unity and Solidarity Can Win! The People’s World International Workers’ Day Program May 7

by CT Peoples’ World Committee

In May, 1886, in Haymarket Square, Chicago, workers died in a rally for the 8-hour day. The Haymarket riot became the start of the International Workers’ Day or May Day.

“We won’t go back” is the theme of the celebration at 5 p.m. May 7 in Hartford put on by the CT People’s World Committee. There will be a slide show of May Day celebrations around the world, a panel discussion of “Today’s Struggles: Voices from the Front Line,” live music and a homemade buffet. A donation of $5 is suggested or what you can afford. The celebration will be held at the King-Davis Labor Center, 77 Huyshope Ave., Hartford.

For more information or to inquire about carpooling, email ct-pww@pobox.com.

Legislative Actions Needed in Connecticut

by CT Sierra Club

In the remaining weeks of the 2017 Connecticut legislative session, two priority bills for the environment are winding through the legislature and need your advocacy:

Senate Bill (SB106): We need you to support amendments to SB 106 (1) to remove subsidies for nuclear and waste incineration because they are dangerous and dirty and (2) to increase the Renewable Portfolio Standard requiring use of wind and solar for electricity generation in the state because they lower wholesale energy costs and create jobs in Connecticut and New England. Our state RPS needs to call for far more renewable energy than it does currently.

Senate Joint Resolution (SJ39): Support the proposal to amend the state constitution to protect state lands. This will create a transparent review process for ensuring that a proposal to remove these lands from state ownership is in the public interest. The amendment will help Connecticut reach our goal of setting aside 21 percent of our land into protected open space. The amendment is expected to help restore public trust so individuals will be confident that bequeathing private land to the state is a good idea.

How can you help? Volunteer to help lobby these bills: participate in one or more Wednesday lobby days between now and June 7 at the state capitol in Hartford. Help pass these bills that we need to protect open space and to defend our land, air and climate.

For more information, contact Chapter Program Manager, John Calandrelli, connecticut.chapter@sierraclub.org or (860) 236-4405.

Thank you from the CT Chapter Sierra Club Legislative Team!

Neighborhood Housing Services Sponsors Family Festival on May 13

by Maria Martinez, Neighborhood Housing Services

From engineers to artists, from scientists to coders, women and girls are learning, excelling, and engaging in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math)! On Saturday, May 13, Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven will host our 8th Annual Multicultural Family Festival, Full STEAM Ahead: Celebrating Women & Girls in S.T.E.A.M.  The festival invites families and children of all ages to explore hands-on activities, exciting games, and inspirational performers geared toward highlighting professional women in S.T.E.A.M.

Bringing neighbors an opportunity to come together, build community, and have fun, NHS invites you to experience different careers led by female professionals and learn about how to encourage girls’ interest in STEAM. NHS strives to provide a space for people of all ages to enjoy and celebrate all that New Haven has to offer. Admission is free and includes games, food, and activities.

For more information, visit our Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/events/1143219752454569.

Resistance Thursdays at the People’s Center

by Andrea Kaiser, Yale U. Retirees Association

The Peoples Center is hosting an ongoing potluck supper event every Thursday evening at 37 Howe Street. It’s an informal occasion where progressive people of all ages get together to share ideas and experiences over a good homemade supper.

Everyone present has an opportunity to talk about something that they considered has been important recently. One event was a students’ walkout at the Metropolitan Business Academy, a New Haven high school. The students were protesting the history curriculum which only mentioned slavery in its history of African-Americans. The students were threatened with suspension for participating in the peaceful protest.

Another event was the rally in support of UNITE HERE Local 33 when 12,000 petitions were presented to Yale President Peter Salovey’s office. Several persons at the potluck had been there and told a lively account of petitions strung out end-to-end stretching for blocks. A spirited discussion followed after both stories.

Resistance Thursdays are held every Thursday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and are open to everyone of all ages. (There have been people from high school age to 95!) It’s a potluck supper; bring a dish if you can, or just bring yourself.

Discussion Series Talks Immigrant Rights

by Rocel Beatriz Balmes & Sara Tabin, Yale Daily News Staff

Over 50 New Haven residents and Yale affiliates gathered in the Yale Law School on Monday night to discuss immigrant and worker rights as part of the final installment of the Yale and New Haven Discussion Series.

The event, titled “Local Activism in the Trump Age: Protect Immigrant and Worker Rights,” began with a panel and then opened into a group discussion. Panelists included Fatima Rojas of Unidad Latina en Acción, Ana Maria Rivera-Forastieri of JUNTA for Progressive Action, Rev. James Manship of St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church and Michael Wishnie ’87 LAW ’93 of the Law School. Monday’s discussion, the fourth and final one in the series for this academic year, centered on current activism in New Haven and the role allies can play in the efforts to resist President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant policy.

“[Trump] has really created this heightened anxiety and depression in our community,” Rivera-Forastieri said. “[This] is something I have never seen before.”

During the panel, Rivera-Forastieri said many allies have come forward since November’s election to help, but that at times the outpouring of support can be overwhelming. Some have ended up creating more work for immigrant advocacy groups, who have to reply to emails and keep track of the new volunteers, she added.

Read the whole story here at Yale Daily News: Discussions series talks immigrant rights

City Launches Third Annual Bike Month

by Ashna Gupta, Staff Reporter, Yale Daily News

New Haven residents and bike-afficionados gathered at the Bradley Street Bicycle Co-op from 6 to 8 p.m. on [April 19] to celebrate the launch of the third annual New Haven Bike Month.

Caroline Smith, a co-organizer of New Haven Bike Month, kicked off the month with a launch event that included food, speakers and community art. The launch featured bike portraits by “Faces of Cycling,” a project partnering with New Haven Go that highlights the diversity of cyclists in the Elm City.

Once the annual bike month officially starts in May, events will include various open street events, bicycle clinics, prize giveaways and other celebrations of biking culture.

“At its core, its main mission is that every single person stays excited and empowered to ride bikes,” Smith said.

Source: City launches third annual bike month

Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege!

by Coalition For People

The Coalition for People is organizing for universal, comprehensive, single-payer health care. The following is from a flyer they created for this campaign.

Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and inhuman.
~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

What Is Single Payer Healthcare?

The United States is the only country in the developed world that does not guarantee access to basic health care for residents. Countries that guarantee health care as a human right do so through a “single-payer” system, which replaces the thousands of for-profit health insurance companies with a public, universal plan.

Does that sound impossible to win in the United States? It already exists – for seniors! Medicare is a public, universal plan that provides basic health coverage to those age 65 and older. Medicare costs less than private health insurance, provides better financial security, and is preferred by patients.

Under the single-payer legislation in Congress (H.R. 676):

  • Everyone would receive comprehensive healthcare coverage under single-payer;
  • Care would be based on need, not on ability to pay;
  • Employers would no longer be responsible for health care costs and coverage decisions;
  • Single-payer would reduce costs by 24%, saving $829 billion in the first year by cutting administrative waste and allowing negotiation of prescription drugs;
  • Single-payer would create savings for 95% of the population. Only the top 5% might pay slightly more.

For more information, call Robin Latta (203) 481-0894.

Call your Legislators NOW! Single-payer NOW!

Storysharing at the Institute Library May 19

The Institute Library, 847 Chapel St., is sponsoring a monthly story sharing group on the third Thursday of each month from 6 – 8 p.m.

The group gives its members an opportunity to share stories in a very informal atmosphere. The stories may be of any kind – traditional folk tales, myths, stories of personal experience, etc. The group is open to all levels of experience, so people with no formal experience of storytelling can try things out in a supportive atmosphere. No one is required to tell; if you simply want to listen for a while, that’s fine. If you feel so moved, come to the first session with a story ready.

We hope to encourage people to discover stories (their own or others), to become more skilled at telling them, and to build community. The group and the individuals in it will determine which is the most important. The group will be coordinated by Arnie Pritchard, local storyteller and Board Chair of the Connecticut Storytelling Center.

Meetings are from 6 to 8 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month.

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

PACE to Host House Tour and Electric Vehicle Show on June 10

by Mark Scully, President, PACE

People’s Action for Clean Energy (PACE) will host a tour of a beautiful, award-winning, energy-efficient home in East Haddam, CT at noon and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 10. In addition, the tour will include an electric vehicle show featuring EVs from the New England Electric Automobile Association.

The home, a winner of the 2015 Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge, is an example of how energy-efficient homes can also be beautiful and comfortable to live in. It features a dramatic open floor plan, passive solar design, an extremely tight building envelope, with close attention to air quality and state-of-the-art HVAC and solar technologies. Come experience this house in person.

For tickets, go online to www.pace-cleanenergy.org and click on EVENTS. For additional information, call (860) 217-3686.

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