Inauguration Day Strikers Show Solidarity | NHIndependent

by Markeshia Ricks, Jan 20, 2017

They were Latino, black, U.S. citizens and the undocumented. They were LGBTQIA and people with disabilities. They were white allies and women, immigrants of all nationalities. They were of no religion and they were Muslim.

And at a protest that marched from City Hall and through downtown New Haven, they were all welcome.

As one activist put it Friday afternoon, a political campaign season filled with racism, homophobia, Islamaphobia, xenophobia, sexism and ableism had one positive effect: It brought people out of the silos of their individual causes and brought them all together.

More than 100 people turned out to City Hall on the same day as the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump for a general strike against the incoming administration. Participants were encouraged to stay home from work and school in protest to demonstrate that the very communities that were singled out for derision in the recent presidential election also make valuable contributions to the United States too.

Source: Inauguration Day Strikers Show Solidarity | New Haven Independent

Mary Herron Takes Charge

by Brian Slattery, Jan 23, 2017

Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington inspired similar rallies from coast to coast, including a march in Hartford that drew several thousand people to the state capitol. In New Haven at 12:15 p.m., the Green was witness to its own rally. Set up by Yale liaisons to the D.C. march, it had begun at 11 a.m. at Beinecke Plaza on Yale’s campus, with chalk drawings and singing by an a cappella group.

By noon the group had made its way to the Green, where it marched the perimeter of its western half for an hour. Hundreds of people were involved in the protest, which at its largest stretched in a line on Church Street from the corner of Elm to the corner of Chapel.

With chants of “Fired up, ready to go,” “Women’s rights, human rights,” “Keep your hands off my sister,” and “Let’s dump Trump,” the march made a few laps around the Green. Bystanders smiled and waved. A city employee on her way to work yelled, “Thank you! We’re with you!” Cars honked as they passed by.

Source: Mary Herron Takes Charge | New Haven Independent

PROTESTS IN DC

by Joan Cavanagh

I drove down to join the Jan. 21 women’s march with my friend Greg, of my self-adopted Baltimore Neumann family. My home-made sign read: “The swamp is rising. Resist.”

Although some organizations were represented, the march was overwhelmingly one of families and friends joining in sorrow and outrage, with a commitment to protect one another and resist this escalation of the war by the 1% against the rest of us and our planet.

Greg joined the protests on both days. I am submitting with his permission the following email that he sent out on Sunday morning, January 22nd:

“I’m completely overwhelmed by what I saw yesterday and the day before (Jan. 20). Yes, I was there for both days, and frankly inauguration day was even more inspiring than the awesome day that followed, in that there was a brave outpouring from young and old, people who recalled the days of anti-Vietnam War marches, civil rights marches, the Dream speech, and many young people drawn into the political arena of the streets for the first time. Apart from a few anarchists who couldn’t wait in line for their Starbucks fix, so widely reported by the media, there were only brave angry peaceful hearts out there on the street, more numerous it seemed to me than the largely misguided citizens from the Republican camp who rode the train into DC (yes, I talked to quite a few on the train and elsewhere). The bulk of the ‘deplorable’ camp did not seem to be arriving by train, but were chauffeured into the Capitol in black limos and SUVs and talked to no one, but we need to talk to those whose frustration drove them into the hands of the sociopathic leader and his oligarchic government-for-the-rich-and-entitled, who are steadfastly refusing to see the disaster that is looming in front of them. My hat is off to the Black Lives Matter women who peacefully blocked an entrance to the inauguration and were arrested, as well as the group who were arrested, jailed and tortured several days earlier on the steps of the Supreme Court for ‘trespass’ and ‘failure to disperse’. So we have our work cut out for us while we are still free to show what democracy looks like. And my hat is off to all the people who gave up sleep and comfort to travel from the middle of the country and New England and everywhere, as well as those who organized in their home towns for events like Newark, Delaware and sleepy Hilo, Hawaii!”

Gregory Neumann, Baltimore, MD

Report Back from the Inauguration Protest

by Chris Garaffa, ANSWER Coalition

The enormous outpouring of anti-Trump protesters in Washington DC, and indeed the country and the world, on January 20 was a sight to behold. Tens of thousands came to Washington DC to inaugurate the resistance to Trump’s ultra-right wing, pro-Wall Street agenda. From Connecticut, a busload of 55 people, many new to the movement, headed down to DC to join others to protest Trump’s Inauguration. Many others traveled from Connecticut by car or by train.

Thousands of anti-Trump demonstrators filled Navy Memorial Plaza sidewalks and plaza right on the parade route. The Guardian newspaper reporter covering the route tweeted that demonstrators far outnumbered Trump supporters. The rally at the Navy Memorial was broadcast live on Pacifica Radio Network and by C-SPAN. It was an amazing day!

People came from everywhere. Tens of thousands were literally blocked from Navy Memorial for as long as five hours by Secret Service at the main checkpoint on 7th St. through which demonstrators had to funnel. By the time Trump passed the Navy Memorial at 4 p.m. the crowd had swelled and filled the entire area from 7th to 9th St. on Pennsylvania Avenue. The Secret Service and the government used the checkpoints to block anti-Trump demonstrators from entering the Navy Memorial site. Many waited for up to five hours before entering the site. Thousands of others never made it in. The Secret Service in several places also set up an express lane so that Trump supporters could go straight through the checkpoints quickly. As Trump’s motorcade drove by, thousands chanted in protest. The message was loud and clear: Trump and his government of oligarchs will face resistance from the people!

Then, on January 21st, over 2.9 million people joined the women’s march across the country and around the world to say No to Racism, No to misogyny and bigotry. No to the Trump Agenda!

This massive grassroots movement of resistance will continue to grow. The people have spoken. No to Racism! No to bigotry! NO to the Trump agenda!

Indian Point to Close

by Mark Scully, People’s Action for Clean Energy

Friends,

I want to share with you all the exciting news that a deal has been reached to close the Indian Point nuclear plant! This plant, which poses an existential threat to New York City and all of Connecticut, will cease operations in four years.

There are many caveats and causes for caution, but let us celebrate this moment! NY Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has prevailed in his push to remove this threat from New York City. Now we must ensure that the region moves aggressively to replace the substantial power these plants produce with clean, renewable energy. And, as we know, we must remain vigilant long after these plants cease to operate to ensure that all radioactive waste is handled and stored safely.

In related news, I want to share with you a wonderful letter written by Nancy Burton of the Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone. In this letter to our state legislators, Nancy argues cogently against a bailout for the Millstone nuclear plant. If our General Assembly appears to be ready to yield to the demands of Dominion Energy, we must be ready to light up the phone lines at the Capitol!

And … we all need to look for constructive, effective ways to promote a clean energy agenda. I recommend to you a document written by a group of former congressional staffers on how to organize ourselves in the difficult days ahead. It’s called “Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda,” and it has a lot of pragmatic advice for us all.

Most importantly, we need to move quickly to develop plans to move the state to 100% renewable energy so that we are ready to replace Millstone’s power with clean energy. Is your town already involved? If not, or you are not sure, let me know and we will get you started, and check out our new page on the 100PercentCT page of the PACE website.

Finally, I cannot help but think how thrilled Judi and Lou Friedman would be over the news that Indian Point will close. We owe them both a debt of gratitude for getting to this day, and I think they are smiling down on us.

Follow us on Facebook or on our website www.pace-cleanenergy.org.

Bus Tickets Are Available from New Haven to the Inauguration Day Protest in D.C.

Progressive people from all over the country will be descending on Washington, D.C. on Jan. 20 to stage a massive demonstration along Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration Day. The bus to D.C. will leave at 11:45 p.m. on the night of Thursday, Jan. 19 from New Haven Green at Church and Chapel streets. We will return from D.C. the following night and arrive back around 12:30 a.m., Jan. 21. All tickets must be purchased in advance and will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. Tickets are $55 round-trip.

To buy a ticket or for more info, email ANSWER in Connecticut at connecticut@answercoalition.org or call (203) 903-4480.

Greater New Haven Green Party Plans for 2017

by Patricia Kane, Organizer

The Green Party of New Haven, energized by new members as a result of this year’s Presidential election, is expanding the Chapter and gearing up to recruit people searching for a new party with a progressive agenda.

The expanded party, which will partner with neighboring towns, will reach out to potential members to develop a list of local priorities, plus identify and support GP candidates for local office.

The only requirement for membership in the Green Party is acceptance of the 10 Key Values that can be found online at http://www.gp.org/ten_key_values_2016.

  1. Grassroots Democracy.
  2. Social Justice And Equal Opportunity
  3. Ecological Wisdom
  4. Non-violence
  5. Decentralization
  6. Community-Based Economics
  7. Feminism And Gender Equity
  8. Respect For Diversity
  9. Personal & Global Responsibility
  10. Future Focus And Sustainability

On the national scene, Dr. Jill Stein has twice campaigned for President, despite being excluded from the national debates and despite the dismissal of her and Bernie Sander’s campaigns as insignificant. Many Greens became Democrats to work and vote for Bernie, but returned to the GP once his candidacy ended. Now many disaffected Democrats and Independents are turning to the GP because of their disillusionment with a rigged political system.

In the past, GP members Allan Brison, Joyce Chen & John Halley were elected to the New Haven Board of Alders. GP member Ralph Ferrucci earned 20 percent of the mayoral votes the year he ran under the Guilty Party banner. CT resident and long-time Green Ralph Nader continues to be an advocate on the local and national levels.

The opening event will be on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 3 p.m. with the screening of Michael Moore’s film “Where to Invade Next,” a lighthearted search for new ideas abroad worth bringing back to the U.S.–followed by refreshments and discussion. Email newhavengreens@yahoogroups.com or go online at http://www.facebook.com/NewHavenGreenParty/?fref=ts for more information. Reservations are requested to insure seating is available.

‘Syria: We Want Action’ public meeting 2 p.m. Jan. 7, Old Lyme

by Stanley Heller, Administrator, Promoting Enduring Peace

A group of Syrian-American women in CT are spearheading efforts for Syria. They are not giving up despite horrendous casualties and war crimes. They met with U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s staff in an effort to get airdrops to the million under siege in Aleppo. In mid-December some 60 Syrians and Egyptians and others marched in Hartford from CT’s Capitol building to the Federal building demanding justice for Syria.

On Saturday, Jan. 7 at 2 p.m. there will be a public meeting about Syria called “Syria: We Want Action” at the Sheffield Auditoium in the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, 2 Ferry Rd., Old Lyme.
The main speakers are Yasser Munif, a Syrian professor of sociology who teaches at Emerson college in Boston, and Dr. Ammar Traboulsi, a Syrian-American psychiatrist who is working on projects to help Syrian refugees in Jordan. The sponsors are also hoping for some music.

The main emphasis of the event will be to determine concrete proposals to help the Syrians in Syria and the Syrian refugees. There’s a big campaign in the UK to get airdrops of food to those under siege. Some 138,000 have signed a petition in favor of it and reportedly a majority of the Parliament is for it, but not the leadership of the parties at this time. We in the U.S. are far behind. The Left campaigned against U.S. bombing of the regime in 2013, but has generally dropped the ball since then. Under a misguided idea that only the U.S. and its clients can be imperialist, most of the Left has turned a blind eye to terrible human rights abuses by Russia and Iran. As Trump and Israel again stir up the pot of war against Iran, a just settlement in Syria would help pull the rug from under their plans. For more information, see http://www.pepeace.org and http://www.thestruggle.org.

Jews, Muslims Gather on New Haven Green to Protest Islamophobia, Hate Crimes

by Kate Ramunni, New Haven Register, Dec. 22, 2016

Two groups that have been the target of hate crimes joined together Wednesday [Dec. 21} night to jointly recommit to justice for both and urge others to do the same. Members of Jewish Voices for Peace and the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut gathered on the New Haven Green, where they sang songs, held signs and advocated for tolerance. More than 30 people huddled together and traveled from corner to corner around the Green as evening traffic rushed by. [….]

“It’s gotten difficult to be a Jew or a Muslim in American society,” said Patrick Korth. “They are irrationally targeting the wrong people,” he said as he stood with the others at the corner of Chapel and College streets.

Wednesday’s demonstration was organized by Jewish Voice for Peace’s Network Against Islamophobia and set on the backdrop of Hanukkah, which starts Saturday night and runs through Jan. 1. The eight-day “festival of lights” celebrates the re-dedication of the Holy Temple. Signs the demonstrators held laid out their beliefs: “We will not be silent when encountering Muslim and racist hate speech and hate crimes. We challenge through our words and actions institutionalized racism and state-sanctioned anti-black violence. We welcome Syrian refugees and stand strong with immigrants and refugees. We stand with Jews against Islamophobia and racism, rekindling our commitment to justice. We stand against U.S. policies on the ‘war on terror’ that demonize Islam and devalue, target and kill Muslims.”

“We need to change the direction of this country to address the problems of the world,” Korth said, “and we are not getting there with our politics.”

Read the whole story here at the New Haven Register’s website: Jews, Muslims gather on New Haven Green to protest Islamophobia, hate crimes

3-week Replica Solitary Confinement Cell Project opens Jan. 30

Join us at 1:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 30, at the New Haven Free Public Library, 133 Elm St., for the opening event of the 3-week Replica Solitary Confinement Cell Project for New Haven with Mayor Toni N. Harp; Will Ginsberg, President & CEO of the GNH Community Foundation; Hope Metcalf, Yale Law School; and others.

Together with Yale Law School, Yale Undergraduate Prison Project, Sterling Library, the Joint Project Committee of New Haven UCC congregations, Wilton Friends Meeting, and My Brother’s Keeper, the NH Free Public Library is organizing this project as part of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT), the nationwide interfaith campaign to expose and end the torture of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons, jails and detention centers.

More information and a full program schedule will be forthcoming including Judy Dworin Performance Project, films, community panels and more! Thank you to our generous sponsors including the GNH Community Foundation, Dwight Hall and the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at the Yale Law School!

Jewish Voice for Peace Gathering on Chanukah to Challenge Islamophobia and Fight Against Racism

by Shelly Altman, JVP New Haven

In this time of rising Islamophobia and racism, Jewish community members will gather at 5:30 p.m. on the Green at the corner of College and Chapel streets to publicly rekindle their commitment to justice during the Jewish holiday of Chanukah, Dec 21. Activists of all faiths will gather holding nine signs listing commitments to fighting injustice in the shape of a Chanukah menorah.

This action is organized by the Network Against Islamophobia, a project of Jewish Voice for Peace, inspired by the Jewish tradition to work for the freedom, equality, and dignity of all the people. JVP chapters across the country will be participating on Dec. 21.

The election of Donald Trump has contributed to the already rising Islamophobia and racism in the United States, both on interpersonal and systemic levels. Hate crimes against Muslims were already on the rise and have been accelerating in the wake of the election. Existing policies of heightened surveillance and policing of Muslims and other communities of color as well as U.S. state violence against communities of color both domestically and internationally, will soon be augmented by the even more blatantly racist policies proposed by President-elect Donald Trump.These include banning Muslim immigrants and limiting immigration from largely Muslim and/or Arab countries.

The members of Jewish Voice for Peace New Haven believe that challenging Islamophobia and fighting against racism are part of our obligation within our communities and as partners in the broader struggle for justice and dignity for all peoples.

  • We refuse to be silent about anti-Muslim and racist hate speech and hate crimes
  • We condemn state surveillance of the Muslim community
  • We protest the use of Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism to justify Israel’s repressive policies against Palestinians
  • We fully stand with the Vision for Black Lives Platform
  • We welcome Syrian refugees and stand strong for immigrants’ rights and refugees’ rights
  • We honor indigenous rights and support the courageous resistance led by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to protect their land and water.

Email: newhaven@jvp.org Online: http://www.jvpnh.org.

STAND AGAINST TRUMP – Get on the Bus! National Demonstration

by Deb Malatesta, ANSWER CT

Join the protest on Inauguration Day against war, racism and inequality. Defend immigrants and build workers’ unity!

Progressive people from all over the country will be descending on Washington, D.C. on Jan. 20, 2017 to stage a massive demonstration along Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration Day.

It is critically important that we keep building a larger grassroots movement against war, militarism, racism, anti-immigrant scapegoating and neo-liberal capitalism’s assault against workers’ living standards and the environment.

Real social change comes from the bottom, the mobilized grassroots, and not from the centers of institutional power, the professional politicians or the capitalist elites.

Hundreds of people in New Haven have joined tens of thousands across the country in protesting racism, sexism and bigotry. Join us to build a unified mass movement against Trump and the ultra-right attacks happening across the country! From coast to coast, including here in Connecticut, we are already seeing increases in attacks on Muslims, LGBTQ people, women, immigrants and many others. Only an organized and united movement can successfully fight back and repel these attacks.

How one voted on election day is one thing, but even more important is whether we succeed in building a mass movement that can truly change the country, and the world. Donald Trump is a racist, sexist bigot. We can not wait for the same politicians who led to the rise of Trump to now stop him. And we will. Tens of thousands of progressive people will be in the streets on Inauguration Day and in the weeks and months afterward to give voice to the millions of people in this country who are demanding systemic change.

Join us on Jan. 20, 2017 for a massive mobilization of the people to protest Trump in DC! ANSWER CT will be holding organizing meetings and work sessions leading up to Jan. 20. Get involved and get on the bus!

Call (203) 903-4480 or email connecticut@answercoalition.org for details. For more information on the Jan. 20 protest, go to http://www.answercoalition.org.

Christian Parenti — Upbeat Possibilities Upset by Science Denier

by Stanley Heller, Administrator, PEP

Christian Parenti gave the Mark Shafer talk for Promoting Enduring Peace on Nov. 17 and talked a lot about events that upended his ideas for strategies to avoid climate catastrophe. He tried to be upbeat about humanity and environment, saying that human and other species routinely shape the natural world and that it can be a good (he gave as an example how Native Americans would burn forests to increase soil fertility and eliminate pests like ticks).

He said humanity as a whole has all we need to turn the corner on climate: first, the technical know-how to get off fossil fuels; second, the cash ($3 trillion sitting idly in bonds and other such paper owned by the super-rich); and third, a way to make fossil fuel use too expensive by using the executive branch power of regulation.

I had interviewed Parenti a week before the election for The Struggle Video News on point #3 and he made a convincing argument that the government could “euthanize” fossil fuel production without a carbon tax and without approval of Congress. It could be done by the Environmental Protection Agency fining companies producing global warming gases. He says many court decisions have backed this up.
This all was thrown off course by the presidential election. Parenti says he assumes the new president will attempt to gut the regulatory state and starve the EPA. So we have to resist. “Standing Rock is the model. People have to attack these infrastructure projects in every way, with their bodies, with sit-ins, peaceful protests, lawsuits and with deals.” He referred to Native Americans in Bellingham, WA, who at first wanted a coal export terminal on their land, but ended by working with environmentalists instead. They killed the project after finding a different one that would create jobs.

That makes the Dec. 3 climate march in Hartford quite critical (email organizers@350ct.org for more information). It’s a way to show that we’re not giving up and that we will reject the science denier’s march to climate suicide. It’s directed at Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and his foolish methane projects as well as Trump and his love of unbridled development.

Action also needs to be directed at Obama. He has almost two months left in office and he can do a lot just by Executive Orders. He can go to Standing Rock, show solidarity. He could even put in federal troops at Standing Rock just as LBJ did in Alabama. He can settle the lawsuit inspired by James Hansen and filed by young people who realize the government is liable for destroying their future. He can do more. He can act now.

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