Gandhi Peace Award to Jackson Browne

by Stanley Heller, Promoting Enduring Peace Administrator

Promoting Enduring Peace is giving its Gandhi Peace Award this year to singer-songwriter Jackson Browne. He will receive the award on Friday, Sept. 14, at the John Lyman Center for the Performing Arts at Southern Connecticut State University, 501 Crescent St., New Haven. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Starting the program will be two speakers: Frida Berrigan, who has worked for years warning of the dangers of nuclear weapons, and Chris George, Executive Director of IRIS — Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services. Singers Ben Grosscup and Luci Murphy will provide entertainment. Tickets can be reserved online for a donation. The Eventbrite link is https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gandhi-peace-award-2018-tickets-48315261247.

Jackson Browne is the first artist ever to receive the Gandhi Peace Award. The award recognizes Browne’s extraordinary contributions of time and talent to the inseparable causes of world peace, environmental harmony, and social justice. The award comes with a cash prize and a medallion forged from “peace bronze” composed of metals salvaged from the control systems of U.S. nuclear missiles. Consistent with tradition, Browne has been invited “to present a message of challenge and hope” to those present. A reception will follow.

The Gandhi Peace Award, named after Indian anti-imperialist and nonviolence advocate Mohandas Gandhi, derives its international renown from those who have accepted it over the years. Among the 54 awardees are Martin Luther King, Jr., Benjamin Spock, Dorothy Day, Daniel Ellsberg, César Chávez, Amy Goodman, Bill McKibben, Medea Benjamin, Tom Goldtooth, Omar Barghouti and Ralph Nader.

Browne has organized or participated in thousands of benefit performances to support the environment, social justice, and human rights as well as causes such as music and arts education in public schools and has worked with two former Gandhi Peace Award recipients, Amnesty International (1978) and the Children’s Defense Fund (1990). Browne has composed and performed songs widely regarded as among the most literate and moving songs in popular music, defining a genre of songwriting charged with honesty, emotion, and personal politics. In 2004 he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

 

Rise Up for Climate, Jobs and Justice, Sunday, Sept. 9

by Melinda Tuhus, New Haven Stands with Standing Rock

With the global impacts of the climate emergency all around us – forest fires, heat waves, droughts, floods and more – people around the world are rising for climate action in September.

In Connecticut, we will gather on the New Haven Green on Sunday, Sept. 9, at 1 p.m. and Rise Up for Climate, Jobs and Justice. Representatives of labor, environmental justice, the faith community and more will speak and singers and rappers will perform. After the rally we’ll march to sites of progress as well as struggle, like the Sanctuary church, Chase Bank (biggest US funder of both oil and gas pipelines and private prisons and immigrant detention centers), State Street train station (trains and bike share), Omni Hotel (with its organized workforce), the City Hall fuel cell, and a war memorial to make the connection between climate destruction and the military.

Be inspired by grassroots leaders and musicians to take the next step in protecting our only home and fighting for jobs and justice for all. Groups are welcome to come at noon and set up information tables or put your information on tables that will be set aside for multiple groups. For more information, visit our Facebook event at 350ct.org or www.facebook.com/events/1741045752677608.

Chris Schweitzer, Director, New Haven/León Sister City Project, adds that on the weekend of Sept. 8-9, global grassroots organizations 350.org and the Peoples Climate Movement are planning thousands of rallies in cities and towns around the world to build awareness and support for the Global Climate Action Summit to be held in San Francisco on Sept. 12-14. Delegates to the Summit will celebrate the best work being done at all levels and then ratchet up those efforts to achieve net decreases in yearly greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner.

Center for Disability Rights’ Wheel-A-Thon a Success

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

The Center for Disability Rights of West Haven is celebra-ting another successful Wheel-A-Thon. Over 140 people took part in the Wheel-A-Thon held July 24 at Savin Rock.

Approximately $10,000 was raised for programs and/or services offered by the center. Programs include summer self-empowerment camps and scholarships for high school juniors and seniors with disabilities. Each of the 8 students who successfully completed the camps received $500 scholarships.

CDR is a membership organization of persons with disabilities that operates a Center for Independent Living (CIL). CDR advocates for people with disabilities and their issues on a local, state-wide, and national level. It also provides services to individuals and their families, as well as technical assistance and community education to businesses, government, and members of the community.

CDR offers limited services in the form of information & referral services, nursing facility transition services, augmented communication services, and the Helping Each Other Succeed (HEOS) cross-disability support group to persons living in West Haven, Milford, Orange, Wood-bridge, Madison, Clinton, and Westbrook.

For more information, visit www.wheel-a-thon.org. The Center for Disability Rights can be reached at cdr-ct.org or by phone at (203) 934-7077.

PCMH Plus and Changes to Husky Medical Care: What You Should Know

by Coalition for People

At the June meeting of the Coalition for People, Ellen Andrews of the CT Health Policy Project gave a presentation of some very important changes to HUSKY Health. She also introduced the work of the CT Health Policy Project, whose purpose is to ensure there is affordable healthcare for everyone in the state.

Since 2012 HMOs have not been involved in Connecticut’s Medicaid program. Primary care providers work directly with patients. It saves money and people get more care.

PCMH Plus is a new program; Person-Centered Medical Home Plus or PCMH+ provides person-centered, comprehensive and coordinated care to HUSKY Health members. Advocates are concerned it jeopardizes the progress made since 2012. It will allow medical practices to get back 50% of the money they save the Medicaid program. It incentivizes less care which can be achieved by eliminating duplicate tests and improving care to keep people out of the hospital. Savings can also be generated by denial of needed services, not following through and not referring people to specialists. These practices will save the state money and 50% of the savings will get kicked back to the medical practices. Patients can be “cherry-picked” and patients needing high-cost care can be dumped from their providers’ practice.

Patients have the choice to opt-out of PCMH+ and nothing will change with their current care. In fact, if people do not opt-out of PCMH+, they will lose access to Intensive Care Management, a program to help people with complex conditions. Many people who are covered by HUSKY Health don’t know about this program and what their options are. For more information, check the website at PCMHPlusFacts.org.

The next meeting of the Coalition for People is Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2 p.m. in the community room (lower level) of the Fair Haven LIbrary, 182 Grand Ave. All are welcome to attend.

Greater New Haven Labor History Association Annual Meeting Sept. 9, 1:30 to 4 p.m.

by Steve Kass, President, GNHLHA

The annual meeting of the Greater New Haven Labor History Association will take place at the New Haven Labor Center, 267 Chapel Street, New Haven. The group will present its Augusta Louis Troup “Pass It On” award to people and organizations that advance the labor movement agenda of decent working conditions at a good wage with hope for the future.

This year’s recipients are Norman Zolot, one of the most widely known and respected labor lawyers in Connecticut history and John Lugo with his organization Unidad Latina en Acción (ULA), a grassroots movement of immigrants defending labor, civil, and human rights in New Haven.

In addition, there will be presentations on the new Connec-ticut statewide labor history curriculum, the impact on the labor movement of the supreme court decision Janus vs AFCSME, an update on the teacher strikes in several states, and advocating for immigrant worker rights in New Haven.

Pizza will be served at 1:30 p.m., then at 2 p.m. the program and awards will start. Frank Panzarella will perform labor music.

The meeting is free and open to the public and membership costs annually only $25 or $10 for low income people. For more information about the GNHLHA, please visit our website at laborhistory.org.

Truth on Trial — Kings Bay Plowshares Court Report on Aug. 2 Hearing

by Bill Quigley, attorney

King’s Bay Plowshares Update

In the June newsletter, PAR informed our readers about the King’s Bay Plowshares action of April 4, on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. One of the seven, Mark Colville, is from the Amistad Catholic Worker House in New Haven. They were charged with four counts: Conspiracy, Destruction of Property on a Naval Station, Depredation of Govern-ment Property, and Trespass. On Aug. 2 they had a court hearing. The following was written by Bill Quigley, one of their attorneys, and published in The Nuclear Resister.

For four hours on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, the Kings Bay Plowshares appeared before U.S. Magistrate Stan Baker in federal court in Brunswick, GA, to argue that all charges against them be dropped. The peace activists set out six reasons why the charges of conspiracy, trespass, and two counts of felony damage to property should be dismissed. Detailed arguments are available at kingsbayplowshares7.org.

The theme of the hearing was clear: Thou shall not kill and these weapons will end life as we know it. Speaking to the court were Mark Colville, Stephen Kelly SJ, Anna Lellelid, Stephanie McDonald, Patrick O’Neill, Bill Quigley, and Carmen Trotta. Everyone who wanted to speak was given several opportunities to speak and truth was proclaimed.

The arguments were greatly assisted by sworn statements from Professor Francis Boyle, Physicians for Social Responsibility Director Jeff Carter, Catholic Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, and US Navy Captain Thomas Rogers.

What PAR Readers Can Do

We hope our readers will be able to help the Amistad Catholic Worker house while Mark is in prison. Luz Colville and others are continuing the work and have sent out the following list of supplies that are needed.

1) Donations of items for the community breakfast program: old-fashioned oats, grits, eggs, coffee, creamer, sugar, etc.

2) Gift cards for buying the above items

3) Checks made out to the Amistad Catholic Worker and mailed to 203 Rosette St., New Haven, CT 06519.

4) Volunteering: cook, serve meals, clean the yard, sort clothes, work in the garden, pick up donated furniture, etc.

Contact Luz at amistadcwh@yahoo.com about how you can help.

For more information about the Plowshares action and up-coming trial, see: facebook.com/Kingsbayplowshares.

CT Green Party Supports National Prisoner Strike, Green Candidates Demand Reforms to CT Criminal Justice

Owen Charles, Chair, Shoreline Green Party

From Aug. 21 to Sept. 9, 2018, prisoners around the United States will be participating in strike actions, calling for an end to inhumane conditions of confinement, including overcrowding, lack of rehabilitation services, labor at a fraction of the minimum wage, and the absence of any meaningful process by which prisoners may voice grievances.

The Connecticut Green Party and its candidates for public office express their solidarity and support for the prisoners’ strike and observe that here, in the “land of the free,” the U.S. has the largest prison population and the highest percentage of the population in prison of any country in the world. In this election season, with so much discussion about the role of voting in effecting change, there has been little discussion about those to whom the right to vote is denied. That includes millions of African American voters whose votes are suppressed through both legal and illegal means, as well as transgender voters who are prevented by antiquated ID laws from being able to vote.

Disenfranchisement is also a fact for 6 million citizens in the US who are presently or were incarcerated. When government deprives human beings of their right to peaceably and lawfully oppose unfair treatment, it forces those human beings to take up other means of protest. The national prisoner strike is the cry of resistance of a population that the government tries to keep silent.

The Green Party of Connecticut and its candidates for public office call on the State of Connecticut to implement the following measures that would help to address the over-incarceration that especially affects people of color and poor people in our state, and the dehumanizing conditions that exist in our prisons:

Abolish money fines and cash bail. Fines are a regressive tax on poor people, and cash bail is nothing less than the criminalization of poverty. Whether or how a person is treated when they are arrested should not depend on the size of their bank account!

  • Assign an ombudsperson to oversee the health care system in Connecticut’s prisons;
  • Provide genuine mental health treatment, not just pill-pushing.
  • Ensure educational programs are available in prisons as part of rehabilitative services;
  • Abolish slave labor. Guarantee the Connecticut minimum wage for all prison labor; and
  • Restore the vote. Enfranchise all prisoners and formerly incarcerated people.

UNPACKING RACE — A Workshop Sept. 14-16

by Citywide Youth Coalition

Are you challenged by how to deal with race issues in your practice, institution or in the classroom? Are you concerned about the impact of racism in your city and state?

The Undoing Racism/Community Organizing workshop is an intensive three-day workshop designed to educate, challenge and empower people to undo the racist structures that hinder effective social change. The training is based on the premise that racism has been systematically constructed and that it can be undone when people understand where it comes from, how it functions, why it is perpetuated, and what we can do to dismantle it.

The workshop is offered by the Peoples Institute for Survival and Beyond, a national, multi-racial, anti-racist collective of veteran organizers and educators dedicated to building an effective movement for social change. Since its founding in 1980, the Peoples Institute has trained over 200,000 people in hundreds of communities throughout the United States and internationally. It is recognized as one of the most effective anti-racist training and organizing institutions in the nation.

The workshop addresses the following areas:

  1. Analyzing Power: Effective organizing requires accurate analysis of the systems that keep racism in place. The training examines why people are poor, how institutions and organizations perpetuate the imbalance of power, and who benefits from the maintenance of the status quo.
  2. Recognizing The Internalized Manifestations Of Racial Oppression: The training explores how internalized racial oppression manifests itself both as Internalized Racial Inferiority and Internalized Racial Superiority.
  3. Defining Racism: In order to undo racism, organizers and educators must understand what racism is, and how and why it was constructed. The training explores how the idea of race was created to implement systems that benefit some people and oppress and disadvantage others.
  4. Understanding the Manifestations of Racism: Racism operates in more than just individual and institutional settings. The training examines the dynamics of cultural racism, linguistic racism, and militarism as applied racism.
  5. Learning From History: Racism has distorted, suppressed and denied the histories of people of color and white people as well. The training demonstrates that a full knowledge of history is a necessary organizing tool as well as a source of personal and collective empowerment.
  6. Sharing culture: The training demonstrates that even as racism divides people, sharing culture unites us. Cultural sharing is a critical organizing tool and is central to the training.
  7. Organizing to Undo Racism: The training explores principles of effective organizing, strategic techniques of community empowerment, the importance of community accountability and the internal dynamics of leadership development.

Dinner will be provided on Friday, Sept. 14. Breakfast and lunch will be provided on Sept. 15 and 16.
Costs: $350 (non CWYC members) Partial scholarships may be available; $100 (CWYC members). Info: justmoves.nationbuilder.com/sept_2018_application.

Note: There are 30 open seats available for this workshop. Please contact Addys Castillo, addys@cwyc.org or (203) 464-7838 for further information.

Reflections on the Past Green Year

by Owen Charles, Shoreline Green Party

A little over a year ago, we obtained official chapter-hood for our Shoreline Green Party. It was a joyous thing, springing forth from a rather unjoyous series of disappointments. Many were dismayed by the weakening of democracy in America, the championing of corporate interests by both major parties, and the 2016 election with its home-grown election fraud.

So we came together to see if the grass was greener on the other side—and it was!—Fertile with ideas and fresh perspectives, and inquisitive minds;— Open to citizen participation, running for office, and a shared and self-determined people’s agenda.—Not your typical political party owned, operated, bought and sold by large corporate interests.

On Feb. 26, 2017, we launched with the aim to “start preparing to run candidates, get involved an important issue and legislation advocacy and upturn the status quo of a troubled political system as an official regional chapter of the Green Party!”

I’ll briefly reflect on what we have done in a year, with pride and congratulations to a smart, vibrant, friendly, hard-working, dedicated, growing Shoreline Green Party team! Many more details can be found on our Facebook @shorelinegreenparty and website shorelinegreenparty.org.

  1. Visibility and Activism: We organized gatherings and protests (net neutrality, immigrants rights, May Day and others), marched in the Guilford Parade. Website, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube videos (check it out at Shoreline Green Party on Youtube).
  2. Inspiration and Solidarity: Our first annual Songs of Solidarity in Oct. 2017 at the Guilford Library was standing room only (70+), amazing performances and sing-alongs with a line-up of incredible local artists (stay tuned for “Second Annual!”). We sponsored a showing of “Requiem for the American Dream” at Guilford Library.
  3. Local Democracy in Action: Organized public support to stop privatization and development of the Academy School in Madison, ban fracking waste in a number of towns, and stop the development of a waste dump in Clinton.

Our first four candidates in 2017, in Clinton and Madison, each had impressive showings with over 1,100 votes. We now have four local candidates for this Nov. 6! with key campaign support and volunteering from dozens of people.

Clinton members have led the way in getting appointed to Town commissions and boards.

If you are interested in these kinds of actions, please join with us in the Shoreline Green Party! We welcome participants from all surrounding areas including New Haven and environs and are working with other local groups and welcome doing that more.

Please reach out to us by joining our Facebook group @shorelinegreenparty or contacting me! Owen Charles owencharles2003@yahoo.com or shorelinegreenparty@gmail.com; phone (203) 421-1094.