International Workers’ Day: Fighting for Our Future, May 1

by Joelle Fishman, CT People’s World

The People’s World in Connecticut is hosting its annual celebration of International Workers’ Day on Sunday, May 1 at 4 p.m. at the King-Davis Labor Center, 77 Huyshope Ave., Hartford. The lives of workers and the 99% are on the line here and around the world and people are in motion. On May Day 2016 we are “Fighting for Our Future.”

We are honored to welcome keynote speaker John Wojcik, editor of People’s World and vice president of the International Labor Communications Association who lives in Chicago.

A panel including representatives of state workers and immigrants and those struggling for jobs in Connecticut will highlight key demands of the moment.

The program includes a presentation of May Day Around the World, music and home made buffet. Donation is $5 or what you can afford. A fund appeal for the annual People’s World will be made. For more information, call (203) 624-4254.

New Haven Stood Up for Planned Parenthood

WORD (Women Organized to Resist & Defend) New Haven

New Haven stood strong with Planned Parenthood April 23 in a beautiful action of support and defense against hate! Over 80 people came out to stand up for healthcare and equality. We vastly outnumbered and drove away the anti-choice bigots who were threatening mass action against Planned Parenthood.

WORD and the people of CT say: we will not stand by while reproductive rights are under attack! As long as patients and workers are being attacked in the streets and legislature, we will be in the streets standing up to the bigotry.

planned-parenthood-protest

Seymour’s Public Comment Policy Discriminates Against Disabled Citizens

This article is written by Joseph A. Luciano, Disability Rights Action Group of CT about himself.

Seymour Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and elder rights advocate Joe Luciano, says his hometown treats public comments provided by citizens with disabilities differently than those given by citizens without disabilities. He has filed an ADA discrimination complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice against the Town of Seymour and its first selectman, Kurt Miller.

“Citizens who appear in person to speak their comments have an unfair advantage,” says Luciano. “Their comments are entered into meeting minutes in detail. Mine, however, are entered merely as ‘Correspondence received,’” Luciano says. “All state municipalities, including Seymour, must accommodate persons with disabilities,” he says.

Luciano is unable to travel to evening town meetings because there is no wheelchair transport when meetings begin and end. So he sends his public comment by email and snail mail. Paratransport services are not provided at night in Seymour. “While I use my wheelchair in daylight to ride to downtown places, I do so at risk of life and limb riding in streets and gutters. Absent crosswalks, an impassable sidewalk on DeForest, absent curbcuts—and unremoved snow—are mobility barriers blocking access to sidewalks. At night I cannot safely travel the block and a half to town hall to speak my public comment,” says Luciano.

According to Luciano, the pitfalls and shortcomings of the snow-removal ordinance addressed in his emailed public comment were not entered into the minutes, which show comments in detail spoken by other citizens who presented theirs. “The minutes omitted essential points of my comment. That is, the same property owners year after year flout the snow removal ordinance. They do so with impunity because town safety authorities do not monitor and enforce compliance of ordinance even though enforcement with fines of up to $100 a day is mandated. Sidewalks with unremoved snow are mobility barriers,” explains Luciano.

According to Luciano, barriers to public accommodations and public services have inflicted staggering economic and social costs on American society and have undermined our well-intentioned efforts to educate, rehabilitate, and employ individuals with disabilities. Municipalities that refuse to accommodate persons with disabilities equally in public meetings prevent society from benefiting from the knowledge, skills and of PWDs. “The ADA guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications.” DRAGconnecticut@yahoo.com (203) 463-8323.

History Lessons: U.S. Government Targeting of Activists. Al Marder to speak at New Haven Museum April 14

by Henry Lowendorf, U.S. Peace Council

Following World War I the government went after leftists and anarchists with the Palmer raids.
In the 1940s and 50s, following World War II, the government passed the Smith Act to attack Communists, trade unionists, filmmakers and other progressives.

In the 1960s the government created CoIntelPro to go after the Black Panther Party and anti-war activists.

In each case assassinations, arrests and expensive trials were used to protect the establishment from dangerous ideas spreading among the people. That the government violated the Constitution it was sworn to uphold? No matter. The press shouted approval.

A leader of the peace and civil rights movement today, Al Marder, the last remaining target of the Smith Act in CT, is interviewed by historian Mary Donohue in the spring edition of Connecticut Explored. Al will also be interviewed by Judge Andrew Roraback at the New Haven Museum on April 14 at 5:30 p.m. Marder is the President of the US Peace Council, President of the Amistad Committee, Chair of the CT Freedom Trail, former Chair of the City of New Haven Peace Commission, among others.

There are recognizable lessons for today.

For more information, contact Henry Lowendorf at (203) 389-9547, grnhpeacecouncil@gmail.com.

Thurgood Marshall Award Acceptance Speech by Lula White transcribed

Lula White Receives Thurgood Marshall Award

As reported in the last newsletter, Lula White of New Haven, a former Freedom Rider during the Civil Rights Movement [and a long-time member of PAR], received the Quinnipiac University Black Law Students Association’s Thurgood Marshall Award on Feb. 25. We are grateful that LouAnn Heller recorded the speech and transcribed it for our readers. Congratulations, Lula! You are an inspiration.

 

We give all the credit to all the leaders. But where would all the leaders be without the followers? And I was one of these followers.

I’d like to recognize some people who should be recognized. First of all, since we are in a law school, I’d like to recognize all the lawyers, black and white, who worked pro bono in the civil rights movement.
I want to also recognize a lot of the Southern black students who were part of the civil rights movement because they had more to lose than northern students had. Some were kicked out of the universities they attended, even the black universities that they attended. Some of them who planned to become teachers never got jobs, at least down South because they were blackballed.

I want to thank women Freedom Riders who were mothers. I was very young, but I don’t think I could have left my children even if I had a good husband to take care of them. I want to thank those women who stayed away from their children for two months so they could stand with us and march. And I want to thank their husbands too.

I also want to thank the Southerners who provided homes for civil rights workers at great risk to themselves. They could have lost their jobs, their homes could have been blown up. Yet they got no credit.

And last but not least I’d like to thank the clergy for being so supportive of the movement. I especially remember one clergyman who was a rabbi. He drove up to Parchman where we were incarcerated and spoke to each of us. He took each one of our names, our parents’ names and addresses and wrote to them. He said “I have seen your daughter today and she’s well and in good spirits”. That took a lot of courage because Jews were not liked in the South. In fact his synagogue was bombed.

And let’s not forget the children who took part in the movement. People said they were used, that they were pushed by unscrupulous adults.  They were not being used. Even a child knows what freedom is and they missed their laws too.

Tax Day Leafleting April 15 City Hall, Brewery Street P.O.

Nancy Eberg, Greater New Haven Peace Council

Join us on Tax Day! On Friday, April 15, we will have two opportunities to attempt to educate and connect with the tax-paying public. Efforts will be made to emphasize where our tax dollars are going. For example, that $350 billion is allocated for brand new, state-of-the-art nuclear weapons in this federal budget.

From 12-1 p.m. we will meet in front of New Haven City Hall, 165 Church St., and from 5-6:30 p.m. in the parking lot of the Brewery Street Post Office. Sponsored by the Greater New Haven Peace Council. Any questions, call Henry at (203) 389-9547, or e-mail grnhpeacecouncil@gmail.com. Hope to see you there!

Open Conversations about Racism and Privilege

Please join us for our “Chicago Dinners”: Open Conversations about Racism and Privilege on Thursday, April 28, 12-2 p.m. at the Fair Haven Library, 182 Grand Avenue. This will be a bilingual conversation with translation. A light meal will be provided. This event is sponsored by the Multicultural Advisory Council of the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the New Haven Free Public Library, the Connecticut Mental Health Center Committee on Diversity and Health Equity, and the Connecticut Mental Health Center Citizens Collaborative. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to Elizabeth Flanagan, (203) 764-7592 or elizabeth.flanagan@yale.edu. Please indicate if you will need a sign language interpreter.

May Day Celebration on the Green 2016!

by Jeff Spalter, May Day Celebration Committee

Come celebrate May Day, International Workers’ Day, from noon until 5 p.m. Sunday, May 1, on the New Haven Green. (Raindate: Sunday May 8.)

maypole-smallThis is the 30th consecutive year of May Day on the Green. May Day is a multi-cultural festival featuring live music, poetry, dance, children’s activities, speak-out time, a May Pole Dance, free vegetarian food and displays and information tables from local labor, peace, social service and social justice groups. May Day is a participatory event that is free and everyone is invited.

At a time when labor unions are being harassed around the country, we celebrate labor unions as being a workers’ best hope. At a time when immigrants are still struggling for their rights, we celebrate our immigrant heritage and culture. At a time when violence threatens our communities, we say tax the rich and give us jobs. At a time when US forces and drones are still deployed around the world, we say no more war.

Our featured performers on the Green include Coalition Hip Hop, N-Finity Muzik and Not Here.
For more information visit us at http://www.facebook.com/newhavenmayday or call Jeff Spalter (203) 843-3069, jeffreyspalter@netzero.net.

May Day mission statement: 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.

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.

1 10 11 12 13 14 17