Is Your PAR Subscription About to Run Out?

by PAR Planning Committee

The Progressive Action Roundtable newsletter publishes from September through June. Subscriptions from many of our readers will expire with the June issue.

We hope you enjoy your subscription and value the PAR newsletter as a community resource. To see if your subscription is due for renewal, please look at your address label. If “201906” is printed on the label to the right of your name, your subscription ends next month. Please send in $13 for 10 issues (Sept. 2019-June 2020) so that you can continue to read about what local organizations are doing and you can submit articles about your own organization.

The Progressive Action Roundtable was started in January 1993. After several months, this community Newsletter became the main activity of PAR, giving New Haven area organizations an opportunity for networking and for advertising their activities.

We hope to hear from you.

Needed: A Congressional Investigation of Saudi Arabia

by Stanley Heller, Middle East Crisis Committee

In view of the collaboration of the Trump Administration with every crime of the Saudi regime there needs to be a formal Congressional investigation launched by a House Committee. This article is written a day after the news broke that the regime has executed 37 people in one day, mostly Shia. Amnesty International said, “The majority of those executed were Shi’a men who were convicted after sham trials that violated international fair trial standards which relied on confessions extracted through torture.” More about the Saudi killing spree at www.saudius.org.

Some topics for the House committee to investigate:

a) Spying on Saudi students in U.S. universities as reported by NPR (National Public Radio);
b) What U.S. institutions are helping the criminal monarchy; c) possible bribery of U.S. foundations by Saudi gifts;
d) Uncovering those helping the Saudis in their war of aggression against Yemen;
e) Unanswered questions raised by the official U.S. report on the 9/11 massacres about possible collaboration by government-connected Saudis;
f) What U.S. companies are preparing to sell shares in the Saudi corporation Aramco, which has been an immense contributor to world fossil fuel emissions.

Pie Chart Flyers – Where Your Income Tax Money Really Goes | War Resisters League

Perfect for Tax Day leafletting, as a focus for forums and panels and workshops and more!

The new edition of the War Resisters League’s famous “pie chart” flyer, Where Your Income Tax Money Really Goes, analyzes the Federal Fiscal Year 2020 Budget (FY 2020 is 1 October 2019 – 30 September 2020. This FY2020 issue has just been published. Order now, and we’ll get them to you as soon as we can! 

Each year War Resisters League analyzes federal funds outlays as presented in detailed tables in “Analytical Perspectives” of the Budget of the United States Government. Our analysis is based on federal funds, which do not include trust funds – such as Social Security – that are raised separately from income taxes for specific purposes. What federal income taxes you pay (or don’t pay) by April 15, 2019, goes to the federal funds portion of the budget.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Leaflet with this flyer year-round and on Tax Day, April 15, 2019, and throughout the Global Days of Action on Military Spending, April 13 to May 9, 2019.

Get involved in WRL’s organizing and education work: No SWAT zone: campaign to end police militarization, nonviolent direct action training, internationalism, counter military recruitment, resisting airwars, and more. Visit WRL’s membership handbook. Find resources to challenge militarism, curb police power, strengthen nonviolent action and lift up community resilience!

Write elected officials  letters-to-the-editor, and posts online. Send and share copies of this flyer. Explain your budget priorities for a better world.

Divest from war! Refuse to pay all or part of your federal income tax. Though illegal, thousands of people openly participate in this form of protest. Sign up at wartaxdivestment.org. Whatever you choose to re- fuse—$1, $10, 48% or 100%—send a letter to elected officials and tell them why. Contact us for information or referral to a counselor near you. Contribute resisted tax money to groups that work for the common good.

For more about refusing to pay for war, sample brochures, and to watch the introductory film Death & Taxes, contact the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee, (800) 269-7464 or see nwtrcc.org. Support the Peace Tax Fund bill: peacetaxfund.org.

Order a DVD of NWTRCC’s film, Death and Taxes from WRL’s online store.

Read and use War Tax Resistance: A Guide to Withholding Your Support from the Military, a 144-page handbook with history, methods and resources. Available for $5 plus postage from WRL’s onlines store.

You can also download the flyers and print them locally. 

Fiscal Year 2020 (Released March 2019) Pie Chart Flyer
in English, lower resolution, in color (pdf)
in English, higher resolution, in color (pdf)
in English, lower resolution, black and white (pdf)
in English, higher resolution, black and white (pdf)
in Spanish, lower resolution, in color (pdf)
in Spanish, higher resolution, in color (pdf)
in Spanish, lower resolution, black and white (pdf)
in Spanish, higher resolution, black and white (pdf)

We offer these downloads free of charge, but we really appreciate your donation to support the work of producing this important resource each year.  If you can, donate today!

For Pie Charts from previous years, check out the Pie Chart Archives

Source: Pie Chart Flyers – Where Your Income Tax Money Really Goes | War Resisters League

Students Disrupt David Swensen Talk and Occupy Investments Office

(contributed photo)

NEW HAVEN, CT – Student demonstrators interrupted a public talk given by Yale Chief Investments Officer David Swensen and NPR correspondent Chris Arnold on Tuesday, calling on Swensen to meet the demands of students who were occupying the Yale Investments Office for the third time in the past five months. For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/FossilFreeYale.

Half an hour into the financial advice presentation described as “teaching students to invest like Yale does”,” more than 40 members of the Yale Endowment Justice coalition stood up, holding banners reading “Yale is Complicit” and “Inaction is not an option.”Lorna Chitty YC’20, a member of the Yale Democratic Socialists, interrupted Swensen to inform him that earlier that afternoon, 20 students and community members had begun a third sit-in in the Investments Office. She asked when Swensen would respond to the years of student activism calling for fossil fuel divestment and cancelling Puerto Rico’s debt.

As Swensen sat without replying, Arnold urged the protestors to bring their complaints at another time.. Chitty responded: “We have gone through all of your administrative channels, we have written countless reports, we have delivered our demands to your door, and you remain invested in the climate crisis that threatens all our futures and is already impacting the people of Puerto Rico.” The student organizers marched out of the lecture hall, chanting “Cancel the Debt,” leaving only about half of the original attendees. .

This isn’t the first confrontation between Swensen and student organizers. In March 2018, Yale’s legendary investments manager faced backlash following an email exchange with the Yale Daily News, in which Swensen called the editor-in-chief a “coward” and wrote, “Don’t you understand simple English?”

Students point to Yale’s holdings in the Puerto Rican debt crisis as an example of investments that aren’t consistent with Yale’s stated commitment to climate change. “As Puerto Rico struggles to recover from a climate change-fueled hurricane and a massive debt crisis, Yale’s fifth largest fund manager Baupost is suing the island to be repaid first. Our demands for bold moral action from Yale have been met with silence. That’s why we’re continuing to take direct action to hold our university accountable to principles of climate justice” said Adriana Colón-Adorno YC’20, a member of Despierta Boricua, the Yale Puerto Rican students association. Yale’s CIO David Swensen sits on the board of Baupost.

Fossil Free Yale has been working with the Yale administration for six years to divest the university’s $29 billion endowment from fossil fuels, but students’ frustration with administrative stalling and inaction has led them to take more drastic actions like disrupting an event. “Nonviolent direct action is a necessary and just response to a rigged and fraudulent democratic system of representation,” says Ross Pennock, DIV ’21, a member of the Endowment Justice Coalition.

While the students were walking out of the lecture hall, the Yale Police Department was issuing citations to 20 more students and community members for refusing to leave the Investments Office until Yale agreed to meet their demands. This sit-in follows a December action at which 48 students were arrested, the largest university fossil fuel divestment direct action in history, as well as a March sit-in at which 17 students were arrested. The activists promised they would continue to hold Yale accountable to principles of climate justice.

Students Occupy Yale Investments Office, Demanding Action on Climate Injustice in Puerto Rico

[Below are excerpts from the press release PAR received on March 4 regarding the action at Yale]

Yale University police arrested and issued citations to 17 Yale students who held an occupation of the Investments Office [March 4] demanding that Yale direct its fund managers to cancel their holdings in Puerto Rico’s debt and divest the endowment from fossil fuel companies. A total of 30 students and New Haven community members participated in the sit-in lasting the entire afternoon. They have emphasized that they will continue returning to the Investments Office until the University takes action on their demands.

In the face of hurricanes, devastating California wildfires and the latest UN climate report, bold and comprehensive action is needed to address climate change. Climate change exacerbates existing economic inequity, as seen in Puerto Rico, where several “vulture funds” that hold Puerto Rico’s considerable debt are demanding to be repaid before the island can rebuild and support its poorest residents. Research has shown that the intensity of hurricanes like Maria, which struck the island in September last year, is being exacerbated by climate change.

“As Puerto Rico struggles to recover from a climate change-fueled hurricane and a massive debt crisis, Yale’s fifth largest fund manager Baupost is suing the island to be repaid first. Our demands for bold moral action from Yale have been met with silence. That’s why we’re continuing to take direct action to hold our university accountable to principles of climate justice,” said Adriana Colón, a member of Des-pierta Boricua, the Yale Puerto Rican students association. Yale’s CIO David Swensen sits on the board of Baupost.

For six years, student and community organizers have worked with the Yale administration to advocate for the divestment of Yale’s $29.4 billion endowment from fossil fuel corporations. Yale would join 998 institutions that have committed to divesting $7.2 trillion from the fossil fuel industry worldwide. Most recently, Middlebury College announced it will divest its $1 billion endowment from fossil fuel companies. For more information, please contact Martin Man at martinmi5@hotmail.com or call (845) 505-9281.

Stand Up for Climate Action, Energy Equity April 14

by Efficiency For All

Come to the State Capitol in Hartford on Sunday, April 14, 1-4 p.m. We are standing up for climate & energy equity! This is part of our collaborative call for policy which supports responsible energy policies as they relate to our economy, environment, health, climate, public transportation, and local jobs.

We want to reduce energy waste and increase clean energy production.

We are calling on our elected leaders to:

Stop the diversion of the Energy Efficiency (EE) and Clean Energy (CE) programs.
Lower energy waste, lower pollution, close the affordability gap and invest in our clean energy future. Expand all programs that reduce waste and lower carbon emissions including: efficiency, conservation, renewable energy, and clean public transportation.

We call on community leaders & advocates to join us in the fight for our future.

Desired actions:

  • Restore & expand our efficiency programs and renewable energy programs and create a path for increased energy equity!
  • Ensure programs have an equity lens, including transportation.
  • Include underrepresented communities at the table and empower them with information.

Efficiency. Environment. Economy. Employment. Equity. Education. Reliable, Resilient, & Safe Energy for All!

“There is room for everyone at the table and everyone should get a plate.”

Educate. Motivate. Unite. Take Action. The Time is Now!

www.facebook.com/events/1635681326534913

Sponsored by Efficiency For All, Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, Clean Water Action Connecticut, 350 Connecticut, Chispa Connecticut, Connecticut Chapter Sierra Club.

Update on Plastic Bag Ban

From our friends at Citizens Campaign for the Environment

SB 1003–An Act Concerning Single-Use Plastic and Paper Bags has received a public hearing and now must be voted out of committee before the 3/29 deadline. There is an Environment committee meeting scheduled for this Monday, but the agenda has not been posted yet. We need everyone to contact the Environment Committee leadership and urge them to vote this bill out of committee as soon as possible!

Tell the Environment Committee to Pass a Bag Ban for the 21st Century! SB 1003 would ban plastic checkout bags in Connecticut, without addressing paper bags. This is a good first step, but it can create an unintended consequence—encouraging consumers to switch to paper bag use, which also adversely impacts our environment. The goal is not to switch from plastic to paper; the goal is to switch from single-use bags to reusable bags!

Additionally, we must push back against so-called “compostable” plastic bags! The Governor’s proposed plastic bag surcharge contained a loophole exempting “compostable” plastic bags from the charge. This is blatant green washing! ASTM D6400 compliant plastic bags are certified compostable in an anaerobic digester. This does not suggest that these plastics will ever break down if they escape into the environment. We must make sure that the committee does not create loopholes for this material!

Update on Offshore Wind

From our friends at the CT Roundtable on Climate & Jobs

Last week, the Energy & Technology Committee passed two bills that would strengthen CT’s commitment to offshore wind. As they were taking that critical step, legislators spoke out about the need for further improvements to the language before a bill moves to the floor of the House or Senate for a vote.

We were pleased that legislators specifically called out two of our priorities: (1) establishing a commitment to 2000 MW of offshore wind, and (2) making that commitment a “mandate” rather than just providing CT DEEP with procurement “authority.”

The revised committee bill (HB 7156) also includes strong labor provisions to ensure in-state jobs with good wages and safety standards, along with environmental protections designed to mitigate any negative impacts on wildlife and ecosystems, as well as the commercial fishing industry.

Liberty Community Services at New Haven Libraries

Liberty Community Services offers one-on-one consulta-tions at NHFPLs for those with basic needs (jobs, food, shelter, and health and wellness issues).
Ives Main Library, 133 Elm Street
* Mondays to Fridays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
* Saturdays, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Fair Haven Branch Library, 182 Grand Avenue
* Thursdays, 5-7 p.m. * Saturday, April 6, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Wilson Branch Library, 303 Washington Avenue
* Tuesdays, 5-7 p.m *Saturdays, April 13, 27, 10 a.m.-1p.m.

New Haven Free Public Library Tapped as Finalist for National Award

by Ashley Sklar, NHFPL Public Services Administrator

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced that the New Haven Free Public Library (NHFPL) is among the 30 finalists for the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.
The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to their communities. For 25 years, the award has celebrated institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service and are making a difference for individuals, families, and communities.

“The 30 National Medal finalists showcase the tremendous ability of libraries and museums to serve as vital community resources,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “The Institute of Museum and Library Services is honored to recognize these leading institutions.”

Open to all, the NHFPL is a community pillar of learning, exploration and inspiration. Through community engagement, inclusive growth, and equity of access to resources and opportunities, the NHFPL builds connections as one city with one future.

“We are honored that the New Haven Free Public Library is a finalist for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, and appreciate the inaugural nomination by U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut,” said City Librarian Martha Brogan. “We proudly share this nomination as recognition of our home, the community and the City of New Haven.”

“Share Your Story” about NHFPL on social media. IMLS is encouraging community members who have visited the NHFPL to share their story on social media. Please visit www.facebook.com/USIMLS or www.twitter.com/us_imls and use #IMLSmedals and #myNHFPLstory.

National Medal winners will be announced later this spring. Representatives from winning institutions will be honored for their extraordinary contributions at the National Medal Ceremony on June 12 in Washington, D.C.

To see the full list of finalists and learn more about the National Medal, visit the IMLS website www.imls.gov.

Ashley Sklar, nhfpl.org, asklar@nhfpl.org, (203) 946-8835.

UCONN Third Annual The Solution is Socialism Conference April 6

by UConn Youth for Socialist Action and Socialist Action CT

It is finally here! Socialist Action and the UConn Youth for Socialist Action present the third annual The Solution is Socialism Conference! Come Saturday, April 6, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. to the University of Connecticut Storrs Information Technology Engineering Building, Room C80. Join with students, workers, and activists to learn about the burning issues of today in labor, LGBTQI+ rights, ecosocialism, Marxist economics, feminism, anti-imperialism, anti-racism, and more! Capitalism can only continue to hurt working people; it’s time we take control!

Speakers include:

  • Holly Lewis, professor at University of Texas Austin, author of The Politics of Everybody: Feminism, Queer Theory, and Marxism at the Intersection.
  • Bryan Palmer, Professor Emeritus at Trent University, author of James P. Cannon and the Origins of the American Revolutionary Left and Revolutionary Teamsters.
  • Fred Moseley, professor at Mt. Holyoke College, author of a wide range of books and articles on Marxist economics, most recently Money and Totality: A Macro-Monetary Interpretation of Marx’s Logic in Capital and the End of the ‘Transformation Problem’.
  • Doug Greene, independent Marxist historian, writes deeply and accessibly on history and theory, including Communist Insurgent: Blanqui’s Politics of Revolution, as well as an upcoming critical biography of Michael Harrington, and the article Gramsci for Communists.
  • David Pijoan, a revolutionary socialist leader from France.
  • Donald Jean-Marie Bellman, shop steward, volunteer Executive Committee member of Unite Here! Local 217, a tirelessly energetic organizer inside and outside the Haitian community in Connecticut.
  • Lupita Agrado, blazing new meanings and pathways of rank-and-file militancy, shows how the leadership of women is central in efforts to organize hotel workers. A 20-year banquet server, she was a key leader in the drive to organize her own shop at the Hilton and the Sheraton in Stamford, CT.
  • Joe Hutchinson, a front desk agent and leader in the newly organized Sheraton Stamford hotel, will discuss his first-hand knowledge of worker-to-worker organizing and how it connects with the labor struggles that defined the 1930s.

Info: www.facebook.com/events/375671613279496/?ti=ia

Eventbrite: www.eventbrite.com/e/third-annual-solution-is-socialism-conference-tickets-57932794548

Additional questions can be directed to our Facebook:
www.facebook.com/SocialistActionCT. Or you can text or call Ernie: (860)967-9836

Coalition For People Annual Meeting, April 17

The annual meeting of the Greater New Haven Coalition For People will be on Wednesday, April 17, from 4:45-7:30 p.m. in the Program Room, lower level of the New Haven Free Public Library, 133 Elm St., New Haven.

Coalition For People through the years

Coalition For People led the successful campaign to have the downtown bus stops restored around the New Haven Green; demanded the hospitals adhere to the Hill-Burton Act and provide free health care to people who could not afford it; promoted universal, comprehensive single-payer health care; organized in neighborhoods to curb drug dealing and violence; won guarantees of jobs for New Haven residents at projects and businesses receiving city assistance; and worked with many other organizations in the New Haven area on issues of justice, racism, welfare rights, peace and the environment.

This past year we have taken on such issues as New Haven’s lack of affordable housing, the rights of the homeless, “hospital-dumping” of patients to the street who have no where to go after they are discharged from the hospital, lack of disability access to public places, and development of a program to provide resources for people with behavioral issues who would otherwise be put through the court system for creating a disturbance or other minor infractions or misdemeanors.

We are honored that our guest speaker will be Rev. Bonita Grubbs, Executive Director of Christian Community Action. Music will be performed by Flint Ladder. Our meeting and light dinner are free.
We invite you to become a member of Coalition For People and join our board. Annual dues are $5. Only members are eligible to vote during the business portion of the meeting.

RSVP is necessary. Please call (203) 468-2541, or e-mail coalitionforpeople@hotmail.com.

Environmental Film Festival at Yale April 3-6

The Environmental Film Festival at Yale is one of America’s premier student-run environmental film festivals. For 11 years now, EFFY brings incisive and ground breaking films that highlight the environmental and social issues of our time. Join us April 3-6 in downtown New Haven for this iconic movie experience. In addition to highlighting the brightest environmental storytelling of the past year, cele-brated directors and creatives from past festivals will return for discussion of how we move forward constructively as environmental storytellers. Films will be shown at various locations: Burke Auditorium, Kroon Hall, 195 Prospect St.; Criterion Cinemas, 86 Temple St.; Ives Main Library, New Haven Public Library, 133 Elm St. Please check the website for films, times and locations: https://effy.yale.edu.

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