Ruth D. Friedland, May 15, 1925-April 13, 2018

Our hearts full of sadness, we mourn the passing of Ruth Friedland, member of the PAR Planning Committee and Mailing Committee for over a decade. Until two years ago Ruth was also the PAR proof-reader. Ruth embraced the friendship and respect she received from the New Haven activist community, and, acknowledging there were at times differences and occasions for debate, reciprocated with friendship and respect. Beyond being on PAR committees, Ruth attended many of the local events that PAR-affiliated organizations sponsored, including Sunday peace vigils, programs about various world concerns, and PAR parties. Ruth’s regard for justice and fairness for all included how she used her superb office skills. For many years Ruth was the bookkeeper for the Coalition for People and the Greater New Haven Labor History Association.

Our condolences to Ruth’s family and to all who worked with her and loved her.

May Day 2018 — Fighting Together for Justice, Equality and Peace

by Joelle Fischman, People’s World CT

The lives of workers, their families and the 99% are on the line here and around the world, and people are in motion. On May Day 2018 we are “Fighting Together for Justice, Equality & Peace.”

The annual Connecticut People’s World rally for International Workers’ Day will be held on Sunday, May 6, at 4 p.m. at the King-Davis Labor Center, 77 Huyshope Ave, Hartford.

The event will be highlighted by a report back from partici-pants on the four UNITE HERE buses that traveled from New Haven to Memphis for the I AM 2018 conference and march held fifty years after Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated while supporting striking sanitation workers.

The occasion attracted 20,000 members of unions, faith, community, immigrant and youth groups exemplifying an approach to labor organizing that encompasses all working people.

The UNITE HERE choir and Ice the Beef Youth who traveled to Memphis will perform.

A solidarity panel will include group home workers and immigrant workers facing strike or recently on strike, and union members running for public office in 2018. The event will include an action in support of key worker-friendly bills still before the state legislature.

A PowerPoint of May Day Around the World will highlight the struggles of workers on every continent. A homemade buffet will be served.

On May 1, 1886, thousands of workers marched in Chicago to demand relief from brutal 12- and 14-hour workdays. A few days later, a suspicious bomb blast killed several Chicago police and protesters during a meeting in Haymarket Square. Four of the march leaders were framed up and executed. In their memory, May Day was set as a day of international workers’ struggle and solidarity. In the United States, May Day took on new life when immigrant workers from Latin America held mega marches for their rights in 2006. May Day 2018 is part of the resistance against the anti-people Trump/Republican agenda and the rising move-ments to put peace, planet and people before profits. Donation is $5 or what you can afford. A fund appeal for the People’s World will be made. For rides from New Haven email ct-pww@pobox.com or call (203) 624-4254.

And Take Away Guns from Most Cops, Too

Stanley Heller, Promoting Enduring Peace

In the March 24, 2018, “March for Our Lives” the emphasis was on taking military rifles out of the hands of civilians and other measures to curb the lust to sell weapons from the out-of-control gun industry. Absolutely right. Yet, there’s another demand that should be made: Sharply limit the number of police with guns.

A few days before the march a young man was shot to death in Sacramento. He was in his own backyard. It was dark and police were looking for someone suspected of break-ins. A policeman said he saw something and yelled, “Gun, gun, gun.” Police shot Stephon Clark 20 times. All he was holding was a cell phone.

Last May in Bridgeport, Conn., 15-year-old, Jayson Negron, evidently stole a car and went joyriding with some friends. He was chased by police almost immediately, drove the wrong way down a street, was stopped, a policeman challenged him and within a few minutes Negron is shot dead and a passenger wounded.

Angry protests broke out after these killings as they did after Michael Brown and so many others were shot. Demands were made for severe punishment of police, but in all but a few cases, the police were found by prosecutors or juries to have used “reasonable” force.

Read the whole story on Peacenews.org: And Take Away Guns from Most Cops, Too | Stanley Heller – peacenews.org

Protect Our Care Regional Meeting, Wed., May 2

by Rev. Teran Loeppke, Protect Our Care CT

Please join us for a regional kick-off meeting about the Protect Our Care CT Campaign on Wednesday, May 2, 6-8 p.m. at the International Union of Operating Engineers, 1965 Dixwell Ave, Hamden. Learn about a new statewide campaign to take on the way our state deals with health care.

The Protect Our Care CT Campaign is reaching out to people like you across the state — exploring how we can work together to change the way our state’s elected leaders deal with the challenge of making sure every state resident has access to quality health care they can afford. We ALL need health care we can count on. Learn more about what’s at stake right now and discuss how to take action!

Our issue priorities:

  • Preserve and strengthen the gains made by the Affordable Care Act, including protecting women’s health programs and essential health benefits;
  • Restore and protect CT’s highly effective Medicaid program;
  • Ensure affordability of prescription drugs and insurance;
  • Explore new ways to expand coverage including a Medicaid Buy-in Option!

Our campaign goals:

  • Build a diverse, educated, empowered group of health care activists in CT;
  • Launch a nonpartisan Health Care Voter campaign to hold candidates accountable;
  • Provide training and skill-building for health care activists.

RSVP to Teran at tloeppke@universalhealthct.org or call (773) 827-4366. Learn more about Protect Our Care CT at: www.protectourcarect.org.

April Coalition For People Meeting Focused on Homelessness

by Jeffry Larson, Coalition For People

At its April meeting, Coalition For People members were joined by members and representatives of Mothers & Others for Justice/ Christian Community Action and New Haven Legal Asssistance Association.

We heard reports from Robin Latta on standards of discharge from health centers in the wake of the death of a homeless man, just released from the hospital, on the New Haven Green, and from Merryl Eaton on Mothers & Others for Justice’s plans for action on affordable housing crisis in New Haven. The need for affordable housing was highlighted by New Haven alder Dolores Colon in an article in the New Haven Independent, April 17: Colon Slams Slumlords, Praises Hill Model. We agreed to keep in touch about our related projects.

Early Wednesday afternoons seemed most convenient for our group and we will meet again on Wednesday, May 16, at 2 p.m, in the Community Room of the Fair Haven Public Library, 182 Grand Ave. Please join us to share your ideas and enthusiasm.

AFSC Information and Seeker Session Sat., May 5

by Kim Stoner, New Haven Friends

You are invited to a meeting with the AFSC Saturday, May 5, from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a potluck lunch at the New Haven Friends Meeting, 225 East Grand Ave.

The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is a Quaker organization that promotes lasting peace with justice, as a practical expression of faith in action. Drawing on continuing spiritual insights and working with people of many backgrounds, we nurture the seeds of change and respect for human life that transform social relations and systems. There was an AFSC Office in Connecticut for many years, but it was shut down due to financial hardship of the AFSC on a national basis. At this meeting, we will explore how we in Connecticut (Quakers and others) can continue to engage with the AFSC and with the issues of peace and social justice for which it has been a leading voice for 100 years.

Featured presenters are:

  • Lucy Duncan, AFSC Director of Friends Relations, on Quaker Social Change Ministry;
  • Lori Fernald Khamala, AFSC No. Carolina Immigrant Rights Director, on AFSC Sanctuary Everywhere Initiative, of which she is interim director.

In addition, the session will include an overview of AFSC’s work and time to explore how we can engage with AFSC and with each other on issues of peace and social justice.

Our parking lot will be reserved for a Friends Center for Children event, so please use parking available on street. Valet parking for persons with disabilities will be available.

Please bring your potluck offering to the Fellowship hall downstairs by 10:15 a.m. so we can start on time. Please provide a label (if not obvious) to indicate whether dish contains meat, is vegetarian, vegan, has nuts, etc.

For further information on this meeting and to RSVP (not required but encouraged) contact Paul Hammer at (475) 201-3810 or via email at pauldhammer@yahoo.com. For more information about the AFSC, go to www.afsc.org.

Pay Attention to the Signs at the Public Library

by Robin Latta – Coalition For People

The Coalition For People was in the habit of meeting once a month in a cozy niche of the New Haven Free Public Library (Ives branch) for decades. One fall day in 2016, however, Mary Johnson, our elderly but forceful organizer/leader, declared that the library’s bathrooms were consistently in atrocious condition and “could we please meet elsewhere?”

Our following meetings were at Mary’s house, and we let the library know why its space was no longer suitable for our meetings. We learned the maintenance of the bathrooms was subcontracted out to a private company. This was the case in other City buildings as well, which angered us as these are jobs that should be done by City union employees.

That was the beginning of the changes to come… Upon further investigation, two members of the CFP team discovered no handicap accessible bathroom on the lower floor, while the potentially mobile metal sign standing in the front of the alcove of the handicap accessible bathroom on the main floor was perennially poised to deter entrance. The sign read “OUT OF ORDER.”

We knew the building was an older building and probably out of date, but we never realized the other “forces” at work. When we asked for an explanation of the sign, we were told that it was put there to avoid “hanky panky” in the bath-room. Upon further investigation, our “Supersleuth” found evidence of a prior handicap accessible bathroom in the women’s bathroom on the second floor that had actually been converted into an “inaccessible” stall.

When City Hall and the library were unresponsive to our pleas for accessibility, we finally made an ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] complaint which has been handled regionally through the Boston office. Currently, it has been placed in the hands of a lawyer who actually lives in Connecticut. Since the library and the City were given 180 days to “clean up its act,” their time was up on March 12, 2018.
We are saying all of this because of the stated excitement of the possibility of new renovations. We are sincerely hoping that everyone will benefit from those renovations, including the most underserved populations. (“I could have built a house by the time it took to fix the bathrooms” … so said one librarian, “and a garage.”)

But signage continues…one way or another. Now a big sign in the vestibule of the front entrance is posted and its reading “disallows” people coming in with more belongings than will fit under their seat. Is this a thinly veiled way of saying the homeless are unwelcome? Maybe instead, the library could (especially with new renovations) actually provide adequate accommodations for belongings.
Further, if the library is intent on making up new signs, maybe it could remind people that they are being surveilled inside the library by inconspicuous surveillance cameras. Even though it may be legally permissible to do so, some of us might feel intruded upon. So, folks…keep your eyes open when you use the New Haven Public Library and watch for the signs….

DAPL Protester Vic Lancia Arrested and Fined A Year After Wells Fargo Lock-Down

by Dan Fischer, Dragonfly Climate Collective

This an update and thank-you message for those who have supported our friend Vic Lancia. Almost one year after Vic shut down a Wells Fargo branch in Middletown in April 2017, Vic was arrested in February 2018 and fined in March 2018.

On April 7 of last year, Vic, then about to turn 77 years old, locked himself to concrete barrels blocking the entrance to a Wells Fargo branch in Middletown during a protest against the bank’s funding of the Dakota Access Pipeline and other fossil fuel infrastructure. Vic’s lockdown shut down the branch for nearly two hours. Meanwhile, nine Wesleyan University students blocked the drive-through ATM. Police were unable to extract Vic from the barrels and made no arrests.

At the time, Vic offered the following statement: “Wells Fargo is a major funder of the Dakota Access Pipeline. It’s full speed ahead for fossil fuels even as the destructive consequences of their use become more and more evident by the day. Their ONLY concern is profit! This is corporate tyranny! We, the people, will not continue to ignore this to the peril of the young, our planet, and its inhabitants. And that’s why I am here today disrupting business as usual at Wells Fargo. I am here to say no to profiting from climate destruction. We are part of a worldwide movement TAKING A STAND against greedy and parasitic people. We need to get in their way and tell them: ‘NO!'”

The demonstration was organized by Wesleyan Coalition for Divestment and Transparency, Students Against the Fossil Fuel Industry, and Dragonfly Climate Collective.

According to Vic’s attorney, Wells Fargo appears to have requested police action, and this explains why almost a year later on Feb. 20, 2018, a police officer approached Vic on the street, pulled out a badge, and arrested him. The arrest warrant found probable cause for four violations of Connecticut General Statutes: Breach of Peace in the Second Degree, Disorderly Conduct: Obstructing Free Passage, Trespass in the Second Degree, and Interfering with a Police Officer. [youtu.be/UckxZO1ZEr4]

Ultimately, the state attorney chose to charge Vic with the first three of these violations. As a result, Vic faced a maxi-mum penalty of nine months in jail and $2000 in fines. At Vic’s first court appearance on March 1, 2018, the state attorneys said they would get get in touch with the so-called “victim,” Wells Fargo.

At Vic’s second court appearance on March 26, the State offered Vic two non-criminal infractions as a plea deal, which he accepted: A non-criminal trespass (fee: $90) and a non-criminal Creating a Public Disturbance (fee: $90) with costs and fees imposed (amounting to a total of slightly over $2,000). Vic has raised just enough to be able to cover his fines. Anyone who was looking to contribute might instead donate to a number of ongoing sites of resistance against fossil fuel infrastructure. For example, at this link you can donate to the L’eau Est La Vie (Water is Life) Camp resisting the Bayou Bridge Pipeline: bit.ly/nobbp. capitalismvsclimate.org/2018/04/dapl-protester-vic-lancia-arrested-and-fined-1-year-after-wells-fargo-lock-down.

June 21, New Haven’s First Make Music Day

by Jennifer Gelband, Arts Council of Greater New Haven

The first annual Make Music New Haven, a wild and wonderful mix of hundreds of free outdoor musical events, will make its debut on Thursday, June 21, with performances 10 a.m.-10 p.m. throughout Greater New Haven in community centers, restaurants, backyards, front stoops, libraries, local businesses, parks, patios and auditoriums. The Arts Council of Greater New Haven is spearheading Make Music New Haven, a part of Make Music Day, a global music celebration that takes place on the summer solstice each year and brings people of all ages and skill levels together to make music.
This year, New Haven is among 52 U.S. cities across the country, and the entire states of Vermont and Rhode Island, to host thousands of Make Music performances as part of the world’s largest annual music event.

“New Haven is a rich, creative cultural hub with so many talented artists,” said Daniel Fitzmaurice, Executive Director of the GNH Arts Council. “This program is a fitting addition to our community, and we look forward to celebrating our local artists in every neighborhood. Make Music New Haven will give all of our residents and visitors a chance to experience the city’s diverse music in their own backyards – or explore the sights and sounds of other neighborhoods.”

Make Music Day began in France in 1982 as the Fête de la Musique, and has spread to over 750 cities across 120 coun-tries. Completely different from a typical musical festival, Make Music concerts are performed by anyone who wants to take part and enjoyed by everyone who wants to attend. From classical to folk, hip hop to opera, Latin jazz to punk rock, live music of all kinds resounds on streets, side-walks, porches, plazas, parks, gardens, store fronts, and other public spaces on the longest day of the year.

Make Music New Haven is currently seeking participants, venues, community groups, and arts organizations who want to be a part of this historic inaugural event. For more info, please contact newhaven@makemusicday.org. To get involved and to view the full schedule of events, visit makemusicnewhaven.org.

Rain Barrel Workshops to Harvest the Rain

by Lynne Bonnett, NH Bioregional Group

The New Haven Bioregional Group is hosting rain barrel workshops periodically throughout the summer and fall months, usually once a month on a Saturday late morning in the Edgewood neighborhood of New Haven. Bring a picture of the area where you want to install your rain barrel. We will give you a donated rain barrel with parts and show you how to install it at your home. The rain barrels with kits are provided by a volunteer from the GNH Water Pollution Control Authority. You can harvest rain water to use out-side in your garden and help keep our rivers and harbor clean from storm water runoff from your property — a win-win for everyone.

Email: rainbarrelsnewhaven@yahoo.com or call (203) 865-6507 for more information about the next workshop.

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