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!

Women Roar Back to Trump on J21 and Pledge Resistance

by LouAnn Villani and Stanley Heller

Millions of women in the US and worldwide filled the streets in major and small cities to rebuke President Donald J. Trump for his contempt for women and threats to women’s basic rights over their bodies. It wasn’t just DC and NYC and LA. Numbers in smaller areas were astounding. 10,000 marched in Montpelier, VT, 12,000 in Oklahoma City, and thousands gathered in Columbia, SC. Rallies were held worldwide on seven continents, including Antarctica.

We were in NYC to march with Jewish Voice for Peace (CT). The JVP banner said “Resistance is the New Normal.” That was one of the key words of the day. People were not making appeals to Trump. Instead, there was a lot of anger and derision, much of it personal and some of it very vulgar. References to women’s private parts were on many signs and some referred to alleged Trump activities in Moscow like the sign that said “Urine Trouble.” Other signs read “A Woman’s Place Is in the Resistance,” “I Fight Like a Girl,” “Hands Off Our Bodies” and “United States of Nasty Mujeres.” Of course we just saw the signs in our area, a very small part of the sea of femininity.

Signs and chants weren’t limited to strictly women’s issues. Many chants talked about refugees, Black Lives Matter, the climate and the need to protect Muslim women. JVP and the Palestinian support group Adalah-NY chanted about Palestine. You can see a two-minute video of the signs with audio of a women singing a song from Adalah-NY at TheStruggle.org in its video section.

The question is what comes next. Some want to channel this back into the same old politics. That would be a disaster. If the warnings about Trump’s “fascist” ideas are true we don’t know if there even will be fair elections in our future. We also don’t want this to be seen as people disgruntled because Hillary and the Democrats lost. Truth be told that was much of the story of the last 8 years. Obama was at war every day of his presidency. His support for the Saudi and Israeli war-fare was disgusting, but so many gave him a pass because he was supposedly a progressive or someone who would listen sympathetically. During Obama’s presidency, rallies were small and very rarely was he mocked personally.

We need to discuss the ways people can resist without the politicians. We also need to talk about a far different future. For all the talk about the Obama “recovery” the election showed there are a lot of people in this super-rich country hurting badly, grasping at racist and women-hating solutions to their problems. The numbers people should have looked at were not the opinion polls, but the numbers on opioids, the numbers working three jobs to stay above water, and the number of “food insecure” children. If we call to go back to the warfare-welfare state we lose. We need to struggle for something far better.

Tony Dominski, Feb. 10, 1944-Sept. 8, 2016

by Susan Klein

A memorial gathering to celebrate the life of Tony Dominski will be held on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, 2-5 p.m. at the New Haven Peoples Center, 37 Howe St. Please come to share light refreshments and fond memories.

Tony arrived in New Haven in 1966 to study environmental science at Yale Forestry School. He joined the American Independent Movement, a local grassroots effort opposing the war on Vietnam and exposing the shortcomings of urban redevelopment. He led the effort to inject science into activism around urban ecology, and was a founder of the Science Action Group, which expanded the first Earth Day in 1970 into six weeks of actions called the Environmental Offensive, gaining national attention.

Tony taught at Pratt Institute and built a consulting firm that evaluated the environmental impact of urban and small-town development projects. He and pediatrician Morris Wessel published a groundbreaking study of lead poisoning in children, which helped force reduction of permitted lead levels in housing and the environment. In 1979 Tony moved to Santa Barbara, teaching at UCSB and becoming executive director of its first recycling enterprise. Later he moved to Tallahassee to evaluate environmental impacts for the state of Florida. He also wrote grants for Florida House in Sarasota, winning significant funding from Toyota for environmental projects.

Still consulting in Florida, Tony returned to New Haven and joined the Energy Task Force, which pressures the city and state to improve energy efficiency and sustainability. He helped save horseshoe crabs at three Connecticut preserves: Westbrook, Sandy Point, and Charles Island. In all his work, Tony constantly looked over the horizon, promoted the most far-reaching analyses and proposals for the environmental directions society must take, and brought people together with his thoughtful, cooperative and spiritual approach to life.

Tony was the first of twelve siblings. He married three wonderful women: Joelle Fishman, Donree Bruce, and Constance Amrita Joy. All who knew him cherished Tony for his offbeat, perceptive and irreverent sense of humor, infectious laugh and strong sense of caring for his family, friends and the planet.

Bethesda Dance: Free Ballroom Dance Classes for the Community

Bethesda Lutheran Church offers free ballroom dance classes for the greater New Haven community in the spring semester. Classes take place at 450 Whitney Ave., where free parking is available. Bethesda member Christina Castaneda is passionate about using dance to build comm-unity and promote well being. She has taught professionally for over twenty years and is excited to offer her gifts to Bethesda’s neighbors and friends. Singles and couples of all levels of experience are invited to join hour-long sessions on Tuesday nights at 6 p.m. Attendance is flexible and there is no commitment. Freewill donations of $5 per week to the church are always appreciated, but not necessary. The first weeks of the semester are dedicated to tango, followed by fox trot and rumba. The atmosphere is fun and casual. Find details and monthly schedule at www.BethesdaNewHaven.org/dance. For information and to sign up, email BethesdaDance@yahoo.com.

Christina Castaneda has studied dance since the age of 3 and has trained in various styles including Lyrical, Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Contemporary and American Style Ballroom. She received intense Ballroom coaching from Wanda Deagen, under whose direction she competed professionally in Las Vegas at the World Promotions Ballroom Competition. Christina then attended New York’s Summer Dance Fest
Teacher Workshop hosted by the Broadway Dance Center earning a Certificate of Recognition from Dance Teacher Magazine. Christina brings over 20 years of teaching experience to New Haven and is enthusiastic to be part of the local arts education community. Info: Lars Gjerde, Music Director, music@bethesdanewhaven.org, (585) 200-8903.

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.

21st Annual Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy of Environmental and Social Justice Jan. 15 & 16

by Josue Irizarry, Peabody Events Coordinator

The Yale Peabody Museum at 170 Whitney Ave. will open its doors for a free, 2-day festival in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Sunday, Jan. 15, noon to 4 p.m., and Monday, Jan. 16, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In his tireless efforts to work toward equality for, and harmony between, all people, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. strove to raise awareness about public health concerns and urban environmental issues that disproportionately affect communities. In recognition of the progress that has been achieved in these areas, and with optimism for the future, we will celebrate with music, dance, a teen summit, a community poetry open mic, a poetry slam and educational activities.

Join us on Sunday, Jan. 15 from 12 to 4 p.m. for our 8th annual Teen Summit event celebrating the legacy of Dr. King. In this interactive workshop, teens from all over Connecticut will come together to participate with dynamic youth leaders in an effort to promote social and environmental justice. The Teen Summit program will focus on the power of youth social activism and their role as advocates of social justice in their communities.

An important component of this celebration is our Zannette Lewis Environmental and Social Justice Community Poetry Open Mic and Poetry Slam. The Community Poetry Open Mic is on Sunday, Jan. 15 from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. and Monday, Jan. 16, from 11 a.m. to noon. The open mic is an exciting aspect of our festival that gives people an opportunity to honor the spoken word legacy of Dr. King by sharing original poetry or song. Pre-registration is required for the open mic. The Poetry Slam includes well-known poets from around Connecticut and the United States.

The New Haven Museum will open its doors for free on Monday, Jan. 16, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Storytelling takes place at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

For more information, visit http://www.peabody.yale.edu.

Public Talk by Paul R. Fleischman, M.D. – January 16, 3:30 p.m., Yale University

by Aruna Pawashe, event organizer

The Connecticut old student community is pleased to host a public talk by Dr. Paul R. Fleischman, M.D., entitled “Stepping Stones of Meditation: A Path Through a World of Uncertainty.” The talk will be on Monday, Jan. 16, at 3:30 p.m. (Martin Luther King Day). It is free and open to the public. The venue is Yale School of Medicine, Mary S. Harkness Auditorium, 333 Cedar St.

For more details and to register go to https://meditation-talk-yale.eventbrite.com.

Dr. Fleischman trained at Yale University, practiced psychiatry for over thirty years, and was appointed a teacher of Vipassana by S.N. Goenka. In the recent past he has lectured at numerous universities in the U.S. as well as in many countries around the world. In this year’s third annual lecture at Yale, he will discuss simple and practical methods to attain a good life. He is the author of Wonder: When and Why the World Appears Radiant and many other books. See http://www.pariyatti.org for a collection of his writings, many of which can be accessed for free.

The talk is co-sponsored by the Yale Chaplain’s Office, the Wellbeing Program at Yale, the South Asian Studies Council, the Hindu Students Council, the South Asian Graduate and Professional Association,the Yale Program for Medicine, Spirituality and Religion, and the New Haven Meditation Sangha.

In the event of cancellation due to inclement weather, the event will be held on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 4 p.m.
For more information, please contact Aruna Pawashe at (203) 824-8465.

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