Boycotting Saudi Arabia

by LouAnn Villani-Heller, Middle East Crisis Committee

A number of groups got together in February and called for an economic, cultural and entertainment boycott of Saudi Arabia. The groups are horrified by the Saudi regime war on Yemen, its murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and its imprisonment of feminists and others.

There are legislative efforts to force the Trump administration to stop its participation in the Saudi war on Yemen. A bill passed the House this year that invokes the War Powers Act to end U.S. involvement, but its future in the Senate is uncertain. The Senate Republican majority has increased after the election, and the new chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee appears to be a supporter of the Trump line. Even if it passes the Senate, Trump can veto the legislation so the whole effort may just “send a message” while the calamity in Yemen continues.

Popular efforts must be made. One possibility is to use the BDS tactics being used against Israeli apartheid. CODE-PINK has already campaigned to get Black Eyed Peas and Mariah Carey to cancel their appearances in Saudi Arabia. It’s appealing to VICE media to end its production of publicity videos for the monarchy. Campaigns to get MIT to break ties with Saudi Arabia and (our own) efforts to get the University of New Haven to end its work for the Saudi police college are other examples. More about this on SaudiUS.org.

On another issue, MECC is continuing to support the courageous stand of Texas teacher Bahia Amawi in refusing to sign a pledge that she would not boycott Israeli goods. Texas passed an outrageous unconstitutional law requiring that promise in 2017. Amawi was fired for her actions. At present, she is suing and is being supported by the Council on American-Islamic Relations. It appears that no trade unions are supporting her or even noticing what’s happening. MECC is gathering signers of a letter calling on unions to rally to support Amawi.

Details at TheStruggle.org.

Tweed Airport and Climate Change: The Environment Is Both Local and Global

by Jeffry Larson, PAR Subscriber, CT Green Party member

Tweed Airport astride the New Haven-East Haven city line has long been an environmental concern to its neighbors because of the noise and pollution it creates. So they have organized a group, stoptweed.org, to limit the airport’s adverse impact. Unfortunately, they have been dismissed as NIMBYs by the corporate and academic jet-setters who find Tweed a convenient amenity.

The City of New Haven has recently abrogated its agreement to limit the length of the runways at Tweed Airport, and, with the state’s permission, plans to increase air traffic there. So, in addition to more local noise and pollution, there will be an increase in the amount of jet fuel emissions–one of the worst greenhouse gases–being poured into the atmosphere.

Tweed is a low-lying shoreline facility, vulnerable to rising sea levels: this would be one of the risks of a proposal hastening catastrophic climate.

Last fall the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued another report on the state of climate change. Denialists predictably dismissed it as “alarmist.” Even climate change activists take its conclusions as somehow assuring us that we have 12 more years to mend our fossil-fuel ways. But the IPCC has been severely criticized by actual researchers for being consistently overly cautious and loath to emphasize the real urgency of our plight. We do not have a guaranteed 12 years to forestall or mitigate climate change. Some leading scientists even believe we’ve already passed the carbon budget turning point.

Apparently, no environmental group or politician or journalist has expressed concern about this. They need to join with local grassroots groups. It is the jet-setters who are the NIMBYs here. As the director of Transport & Environment, one of the mainstream anti-aviation groups in Europe, says, “Air travel is the fastest and cheapest way to fry the planet.”

Ask your local elected officials, environmental groups or reporters why they are not raising questions about this proposed increase in our carbon footprint.

jeffrylarson73@yahoo.com

Politics in Plain English at the Institute Library

by Bennett Graff, Institute Library

The Institute Library, 847 Chapel Street, is proud to announce the launch of a new monthly program Politics in Plain English. Following in the tradition of the Library’s one-time role during the Civil War — when it served as a lyceum where such luminaries as Frederick Douglass, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Herman Melville, Henry Ward Beecher, and Theodore Parker spoke — the Institute Library once more seeks to become New Haven’s center for a conversation about civics in the America at a time when such a conversation has never been more needed.

The discussions are hosted by John Stoehr, editor and publisher of The Editorial Board, contributing writer to Washington Monthly, and columnist at the New Haven Register. $10 suggested admission—free light refreshments served.

Politics is simpler and more complex than most realize. Fortunately, there are good people able to see through the haze and talk about issues plainly and honestly. Hosted by the Institute Library and sponsored by The Editorial Board, Politics in Plain English brings a panel of writers and thinkers to New Haven to debate current events and bring you into the conversation.

Tuesday, March 12, 7:30-9 p.m. What’s Up with Liberalism and the Left? Josh Holland, contributing writer for The Nation, and Batya Ungar-Sargon, opinion editor for The Forward, takes on the revived embrace of the once-maligned term “liberal” by the left and explore the pushes and pulls of the collection—or is it a coalition?—of interests and political leanings that now make it up.

Tuesday, April 9, 7:30-9 p.m. Peeking Under the Hood: The “Invisible Primary” of 2020. Our guests, Jacob Hacker of Yale and Francis Wilkinson of Bloomberg News, will look not only at the role primaries play in the rough and tumble of selecting candidates, but also at the early jockeying of the “invisible primary,” as candidates coyly deflect press inquiries, leak intel on primary opponents, and position themselves before the starting gate opens.

For more information, please contact John Stoehr at johnastoehr@gmail.com or (912) 247-0515 or Bennett Graff at bennett_lovett_graff@hotmail.com or (203) 640-3573.

What You Can Do About Climate Issues I

by Chris Schweitzer, New Haven León Sister City Project

Sign the New Haven Resolution Endorsing the Declaration of a Climate Emergency to Restore a Safe Climate: “I am very concerned that global warming has already set in motion disastrous changes to the Earth system, including accelerating ice mass loss from the Greenland and West Antarctic Ice Sheets, melting of the Arctic and thawing of the permafrost, ocean acidification, accelerating species extinction, and year-round forest fires. Also, 19,000 scientists in the 2nd Warning to Humanity (2017) agree that the only way to avoid “vast human misery” is to greatly change our quality of stewardship to the earth. As a result, I am asking New Haven to join with other cities across the country and declare a climate emergency–entailing the mobilization of programs to offer mitigation, resilience, and education on global warming.” Full resolution and petition at: newhavenclimatemovement.org/emergency-resolution.

What You Can Do About Climate Issues II

by Chris Schweitzer, New Haven León Sister City Project

Join the Rock to Rock Earth Day Ride, New Haven’s biggest Earth Day celebration. On April 27, 1,200 cyclists will travel between West Rock and East Rock, with celebrations on both sides of the city. Along the way, they will eat tasty food, hear great music, and explore the city’s parks. In 2019 there will be five rides: the 5-mile family-friendly parade and ride; a 12-mile adult ride; the 20-mile ride; the 40-mile ride; and a metric century (60+ miles), all traveling through scenic and park filled routes in the New Haven region. Live music at various stops and at the end at East Rock will be provided and include performances by local musicians. The event closes with a state-wide Climate Rally organized by 350 CT. All proceeds from Rock to Rock support over 25 high-impact environmental groups and projects. For more information go to www.rocktorock.org.

A Conversation & Community Dialogue With Corey Menafee

by Patricia Kane, Chair, New Haven Green Party

Corey Menafee

Corey Menafee

In June, 2016, Corey Menafee, a worker in the Hospitality Section of Yale University, assigned to Calhoun College, now renamed Grace Murray Hopper College, took a broom handle and smashed a stained glass window portraying an enslaved man and woman with a basket of cotton. He was arrested, charged with a felony, and forced to resign his job. Many people know about the incident, but few know much about either the man, a college graduate who majored in journalism, who did this act of protest, or the various community groups that joined to support him.

Please join us at Gateway CC on Thursday, March 28, to hear about Corey’s growing up in New Haven, how he grew in his college years and what the situation in New Haven was when he returned home to start a career.

A Community Dialogue will follow Corey’s interview. Learn which organizations are ready to use your energy and commitment to be part of the changes we want and need. Refreshments provided.

RSVP to the New Haven Green Party page on Facebook to ensure seating. Cosponsored by Gateway.

Readers want to know about your organization, what it’s doing and about upcoming events

Dear PAR Contributors,

Readers want to know about your organization, what it’s doing and about upcoming events.

We want to publicize the work groups have done and what they’re planning to do. We want to spread the word to others who will be inspired to join you.

Please send articles about your group’s recent and current activities and upcoming actions and events to parnewhaven@hotmail.com.

***Help inspire others through your commitment! ***

The deadline for the March Progressive Action Roundtable Newsletter is Sunday, February 17.

GUIDELINES FOR ARTICLES ARE EASY!

350 words.

Include a headline.

Indicate your name AND organization name.

Include information about your group’s purpose.

Do not use different fonts or sizes in your article.

Please keep in mind that as layout space permits, we can sometimes include photos.

Include your organization’s contact information.

If you mention an event in an article, please also send a calendar announcement with street address and complete location information and whether the venue is wheelchair accessible.

The PAR newsletter comes out approximately Thursday, February 28. Please consider this when submitting calendar items.

For more info visit par-newhaven.org

The Great Migration: Then and Now — 45th People’s World African American History Events Feb. 24

Joelle Fishman, CT People’s World

“The Great Migration: Then and Now — Fleeing Terror, Searching for Jobs and Equality,” is the theme of the 45th People’s World African American History Month celebration on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 4 p.m. at the Troup School, 259 Edgewood Ave., New Haven. The day includes a march at 2:30 p.m., arts and writing competition, guest speaker, drumming and dance.

Some stories will be told of the many African American families in New Haven who trace their roots in the city to the great migration from the South in the 1930s and 40s when companies like Winchester recruited workers to come up from North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama and Georgia. They were fleeing Ku Klux Klan terror and looking for a better life.

Stories will also be told of the migrants from Central American countries coming to New Haven and the United States today, fleeing terror and economic devastation in their countries and hoping to find new opportunities for their families.

The “Jobs for Youth — Jobs for All” march will call on Yale to meet its signed commitment to hire from neighborhoods with high unemployment such as Dwight, Dixwell, Newhall, Fair Haven and the Hill. The march leaves the New Haven Peoples Center, 37 Howe St., at 2:30 p.m. and will wind through the Dwight neighborhood to Troup School, 259 Edgewood Ave., for the 4 p.m. program.

Guest speaker Chauncey K. Robinson, journalist and social media editor of peoplesworld.org from Los Angeles, California, believes that writing and media, in any capacity, should help to reflect the world around us, and be tools to help bring about progressive change. She says she seeks to make sure topics that affect working-class people, peoples of color, and women are constantly in the spotlight.

The program will include drumming by Brian Jarawa Gray and African dance with Ice the Beef. Ice the Beef Youth supports each other through education, dreams, goals, and talent by meeting, sharing stories, laughing, joking, and expressing feelings. They are on Facebook.

Prizes and acknowledgments of entries to the Arts and Writing Competition grades 8 to 12 will be presented. Students are asked to reflect in artwork, essay, poetry, rap or song about grandparents or great-grandparents who came up from the South in the past, or about someone who came up from Latin America or elsewhere recently. “What did they find? How can we continue the struggle for good jobs and equal rights to fulfill the dreams of those who came and made New Haven home?  What are your dreams for a better life?” Entry deadline is Feb. 14. For information e-mail ct-pww@pobox.com.

During the Great Migration (1916 to 1970), six million African Americans left the South. They moved to cities like New Haven in the North and the West. They were fleeing discrimination, lynchings, denied rights and a lack of jobs. They were searching for a better life for themselves and their children.

As they settled they found that segregation and racism were not just in the South. The migration gave rise to the Civil Rights Movement and before that to the art, literature and music of the Harlem Renaissance that stirred the country and the world.

Artist Jacob Lawrence created a series of paintings about the Great Migration in 1940. He said, “And the migrants kept coming…their struggles and triumphs ring true today. People all over the world are still on the move, trying to build better lives for themselves and for their families.”

In 2018 famed activist and scholar Angela Davis said, “I believe that the major civil rights issue of the 21st Century is the issue of immigrant rights.”

Learn about New Haven Scholarship Fund Feb. 2: FREE Money for College!

New Haven Scholarship Fund has awarded over $8.5 million in scholarships to more than 8,500 New Haven public high school graduates. The funds can be used at any college or trade school, in or out of state. You do not need a specific GPA.

Awards are based on financial need. Please call to register (203) 946-8117. Breakfast will be served. Parents are highly encouraged to attend with their students.

Saturday, February 2, 10:30 a.m. at the Mitchell Library, 37 Harrison St.

Think Global–Run Local: Annual Run For Refugees Feb. 3

Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS) is accepting registrations now for its annual Run For Refugees. This 5 kilometer run/walk will take place on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 3 at 10 a.m. It begins and ends at Wilbur Cross High School, 181 Mitchell Drive.

Last year a record crowd of 3,000 were in the run. Be part of history as we attempt to break last year’s record!

Registration and sponsorship information is at www.RunForRefugees.org and Irisct.org.

Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children

Shelly Altman, Jewish Voice for Peace New Haven

Jewish Voice for Peace New Haven (JVPNH) and Tree of Life Educational Fund (TOLEF) are reaching out to organizations to endorse our resolution in support of the Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act. If you are affiliated with an organization, please see the resolution at www.tolef.org/pal-children, and get your organization to sign on. This can be done online.

JVPNH and TOLEF have been leading an effort to get our five CT congresspeople to co-sponsor the bill, which was introduced in the previous congressional session as bill HR.4391 by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN). It has 30 co-sponsors, including six from New England. We had in-person meetings with each of our congresspeople. Each expressed interest, but none signed on as co-sponsors.
Rep. McCollum is very likely to re-introduce the bill in the new Congress, and we are renewing our effort to get our CT delegation to sign on. At this point, we are reaching out to organizations to show support by endorsing the resolution, which calls on our CT delegation to sign on to the bill.

Please see the resolution at http://www.tolef.org/pal-children, and get your organization to join with the many others which have already signed on.

Institute Library Administration Restructures

The Board of Directors of the Institute Library has decided to restructure the administration of the library to operate with greater fiscal prudence and ensure the organization’s long-term sustainability. The executive director position has been eliminated, effective Jan. 11, 2019, and a new position of operations manager has been created.

The decision to restructure came after many months of analyzing the library’s financial and fundraising challenges. Finally, it became clear that repairing the physical structure of the building, including a leaking roof, needed urgent and costly attention. The library will continue to remain open and serve its membership while it works through these challenges.

The Board is pleased to announce that Eva Geertz, a New Haven resident, former board member, and longtime local bookseller, has accepted the operations manager position, effective Jan. 14, 2019. Eva has spent most of her career working with books, primarily as a bookseller specializing in out-of-print and rare books. A loyal library member since 2002, who has volunteered countless hours on the library’s behalf since 2008, she is pleased to be able to assist the library in this transitional phase.
“We look forward to a smooth transition as Eva takes on this newly created position next week,” stated Maryann Ott, chair-elect of the Board of Directors. “Members, volunteers, donors, and the Greater New Haven community are the life-blood of the library, and we will continue to depend on the support of all who value our beloved institution.”

The Institute Library, founded in 1826, is New Haven’s oldest independent lending library, one of 20 historic circulating libraries in the U.S. The library, located in its own 140-year old building on Chapel Street in downtown New Haven, has an extensive book collection, including many rare and first editions. The library hosts a number of programs, including Listen Here, a literary theater program co-presented with the New Haven Review; the Poetry Institute, a collective who present monthly open mic poetry sessions; Story Sharing, a program co-facilitated with the CT Storytelling Center; and more. The library also has a contemporary art gallery with rotating exhibits focused on words, language, collections and archives.

For more information about the Institute Library, please visit www.institutelibrary.org. Its address is 847 Chapel Street. The phone is (203) 562-4045.

Moving Towards a Healthier Future: Cut Your Transportation Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 20%

Chris Schweitzer, goNewHavengo

While the climate action movement is gaining momentum, carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. still rose a startling 3.4 percent in 2018. This increase exemplifies the need for immediate mitigation of climate change. As part of our mission to create a healthier future via sustainable transportation, goNewHavengo is starting off 2019 with the launch of our 2020 Campaign.

2020 is a two-year effort to reduce transportation green-house gas emissions in the New Haven area 20 percent by the end of 2020. The campaign emphasizes the use of alternative transportation, such as walking, biking, public transit, and carpooling. The benefits of these options are numerous; more exercise, cleaner air, and saving money are just a few. Participants can even earn rewards by tracking their greener trips in the NuRide app. Join goNewHavengo in our 2020 Campaign as we move towards a healthier future for ourselves and our planet; for more information, see www.gonhgo.org/2020.

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