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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Next deadline for newsletter articles: Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016

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

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Next Planning Meeting date is Wed., Nov. 2, at 2:45 p.m….all welcome…call (203) 562-2798 for location.

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Ben Ehrenreich to Speak in New Haven Nov. 11

by Shelly Altman, Jewish Voice for Peace

Ehrenreich

Ehrenreich

Jewish Voice for Peace New Haven (JVPNH) is partnering with Shalom UCC to present a book talk by Ben Ehrenreich on Friday, Nov. 11 at 7:30 at the First Presbyterian Church in New Haven, 704 Whitney Ave. Ben is the author of the recently published book, The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine. His book was reviewed in the New York Times this past July. The review is available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/17/books/review/ben-ehrenreich-the-way-to-the-spring-palestine.html.

Over the past three years, Ben Ehrenreich has been traveling to and living in the West Bank, staying with Palestinian families in its largest cities and its smallest villages, including Nabi Saleh, Hebron, and Umm al-Kheir. Along the way he has written major stories for American outlets, including a remarkable New York Times Magazine cover story, “Is This Where the Third Intifada Will Start?”.

The book offers a first person view of life in the West Bank: the daily challenges, pain and triumphs of resistance while living under oppressive military occupation. Reviewer Andy Shatz wrote: “As heart-breaking as it is, The Way to the Spring is also a strangely joyful book, because Ehrenreich grasps the essence of the Palestinian struggle. It’s not Islam, nor even nationalism, but the stubborn refusal of injustice, the restless search for ‘how it would feel to be free.’”

Reach JVP New Haven on the web: http://www.jvpnh.org, by email: newhaven@jewishvoiceforpeace.org, or facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jvpnewhaven, or twitter: @jvpnewhaven.

PACE to Honor Judi Friedman at Annual Meeting Nov. 12

by Mark Scully, chairperson, PACE

People’s Action for Clean Energy (PACE) will honor the legacy of long-time chairperson Judi Friedman and her husband Lou at the organization’s annual meeting at 7 p.m. on Nov. 12 at the Unitarian Society of Hartford, 50 Bloomfield Ave. in Hartford.

friedman-judi-louJudi Friedman led PACE for forty-three years and was a strong, impassioned voice in support of clean energy and against nuclear power and weapons. Judi, her supportive husband Lou and the PACE team whom they gathered and inspired have been tireless promoters of clean energy through house tours, public testimony and local radio and television programs. PACE looks forward to honoring Judi at the annual meeting with a film tribute on her legacy.

PACE will continue to live out its mission by presenting awards on Nov. 12 to the Governor’s Council on Climate Change (GC3) as well as to Lynn Stoddard, Director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University. The evening’s keynote address will be given by Ms. Stoddard about the GC3 and its strategies to meet the state’s aggressive targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Mark Scully, PACE’s new chairman and leader in municipal efforts to achieve 100% renewable energy, will present on the future direction of the organization. The evening will close with a musical tribute by the acclaimed musician Paul Winter.

PACE is a public health and environmental organization formed in 1973 by a group of concerned Connecticut citizens to:

  • Promote the development of alternative, renewable sources of energy,
  • Encourage the efficient use of energy,
  • Develop a spirit of conservation among Connecticut residents, and
  • Challenge Connecticut’s commitment to nuclear power and nuclear weapons.

Through its house tours, publications, radiation monitoring and recognition of environmental leaders, PACE has educated countless members of the public on energy issues. PACE is the largest all-volunteer organization in the state to be engaged with these issues, and its members are active at public events, legislative hearings and environmental forums, both in person and on state and local television and radio. PACE is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. For further information on PACE and to reserve a free ticket to the annual meeting, go to http://www.pace-cleanenergy.org.

People’s World Amistad Awards 2016, Dec. 4: “If There Is No Struggle, There Can Be No Progress”

by Joelle Fishman, People’s World

This year’s People’s World Amistad Awards are dedicated to carrying on the torch of Arthur L. Perry, a great friend, union leader, and warrior for justice who received the People’s World Amistad Award in 2009.

The event is Sunday, December 4, 2016 at 4 p.m. at Wexler Grant Community School, 55 Foote St., New Haven, on the theme “If there is no struggle, there can be no progress — We march united for Racial Justice, Jobs & Peace.”

Awardees Alder Jeanette Morrison, Dan Livingston and Juan Brito are outstanding leaders who have devoted their lives to the fight for economic and social justice for all.

A cultural program will highlight the event.

Alder Jeanette Morrison was elected to represent Ward 22 in New Haven as part of a labor-community coalition. She led the successful movement to rebuild the Dixwell Q House, a youth center in the heart of the African-American community next to Wexler Grant school.  As a social worker she fights to bring families together and for opportunities for children. She is a member of AFSCME.

Dan Livingston is a groundbreaking labor attorney and life-long union and progressive activist. As a member of a firm of “trouble making lawyers” (Livingston, Adler, Pulda, Meiklejohn and Kelly), he represents many public and private sector unions. He represents, works with, and serves on the boards of many coalitions, community and progressive organizations fighting for social justice in our state.

Juan Brito is a School Social Worker at Burns Latino Academy in Hartford and a member of the Hartford Feder-ation of Teachers. He is a writer for La Voz Hispana de Connecticut and a musician who has been performing with his wife Rebecca Delgado since 1977. He has published two books of poetry about his country and his experiences before, during and after the coup d’etat that affected Chile in 1973.

The awards are presented to allies by the People’s World on the occasion of the 97th anniversary of the Communist Party USA.

Tickets are $10. Adbook deadline is Nov. 18, 2016.  Information: ct-pww@pobox.com.

Changes at the Labor History Association

by Joan Cavanagh, Archivist/Director, GNH Labor History Assoc.

2016 is a year of transition for the Greater New Haven Labor History Association. As of Dec. 31, I will be leaving my position as Archivist/ Director because there is no further funding available to maintain it. LHA will return to its roots as an all-volunteer organization, guided by the efforts of its Executive Board and membership.

To prepare for this change, I am spending this fall organizing our archival holdings (including the historical records of LHA) for transfer to Archives and Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at UConn in Storrs. They are establishing a Greater New Haven Labor History Association Collection. The materials we have already gathered will thus be preserved in a climate controlled facility and made available to researchers by UConn’s archivists. We encourage individuals, union locals and other relevant organizations to donate their papers, memorabilia and historical documents to the Collection. Contact Laura Katz Smith at laura.katz.smith@uconn.edu or (860) 486-2516 for information about it.

On a personal note: it has been my privilege and joy to work with the Board and the members of the Labor History Association for the past 16 years. We brought LHA into the 21st century along with its mission to collect, preserve, share and celebrate the history, culture and traditions of working people and their unions in our community and beyond.

Moving forward, LHA will help to ensure that current and future generations understand the heritage and struggles of workers through the creation of a labor history curriculum for Connecticut’s public schools as well as by carrying out other projects spearheaded by the Board and our membership. Please, get involved. If you haven’t yet become a member, please do. If you’re already a member, please consider joining the Board or a project committee. And, if you have a special project you’ve always wanted to see the organization undertake, now’s the time! Remember: We Are All Workers! (P.S. Check out the LHA exhibit on Winchester workers, now showing at Hagaman Memorial Library, East Haven until Nov. 15, and on line at http://exhibits.winchesterworkers.gnhlha.org.)

For a picture of Joan Cavanagh, director of the Greater New Haven Labor History Association, with Craig Gauthier, former president of Local 609 of the International Association of Machinists, visit the link below. They are holding one of the panels of an exhibit on Olin-Winchester labor history, outside Wells Fargo Bank in New Haven visit the link below

: Randall Beach: Winchester exhibit evokes New Haven era of union, community solidarity

New Haven stands with Standing Rock outside Wells Fargo Bank

Thirty-five people protested outside of Wells Fargo Bank across from the New Haven Green on Oct. 20 because of the bank’s support of the Dakota Access pipeline.

Melinda Tuhus, organizer of New Haven Stands with Standing Rock, reports: ” …we shut down the bank for the last 10 minutes of the day… We got 25 more names for future work and handed out 100 flyers. We sang and chanted for quite awhile and local activist Norman Clement (Penobscot) spoke about his visit last month to Standing Rock. Afterward some of us discussed potential future actions, most likely around Thanksgiving.”

From the flyer at the protest:

Wells Fargo is a major investor in the Dakota Access pipeline, being built by Energy Transfer Partners at the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation and on their historic territory in North Dakota. The tribe is leading a global campaign to stop the pipeline, which threatens their water source – the Missouri River – and that of millions of people downstream.

Wells Fargo is contributing $467 million to the $3.8 billion globally funded project; the bank needs to cut off its financial support for this pipeline. If you are a Wells Fargo customer, please ask the bank to pull its funding for the pipeline. You can back up your request by moving your money to a local bank or a credit union.

Thousands of indigenous “protectors” are putting their bodies on the line to stop the destructive fracked oil pipeline. Its 1,100-mile path would move 500,000 barrels a day of heavy oil across four states from North Dakota to Illinois, not only threatening the water but also – through its massive carbon emissions – contributing to the over-heating of the planet beyond its capacity to maintain life as we know it.

While the issue is tied up in court, construction continues, and the protectors are facing increasing arrests and more repressive police action in response to their militant but non-violent stance. They say this pipeline cannot and will not go forward, and we stand with them.

For more information go to http://www.nodaplsolidarity.org, or contact New Haven Stands with Standing Rock nhswsr@gmail.com.

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