People’s World Amistad Awards: Resisting Together

by Joelle Fishman, CT Peoples World

This year’s People’s World Amistad Awards are dedicated to “Resisting Together So We Can Move Forward.” The event will take place on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 4 p.m. at the First and Summerfield United Methodist Church, 425 College St., New Haven. Marco Reyes took sanctuary there in July to resist deportation and separation from his family. The event will honor the Reyes family and Unidad Latina en Acción. The unions at Yale have their offices at the church. The event will pay tribute to the ongoing struggle of Unite Here Local 33 for union recognition and a contract.

We are excited to announce this year’s awardees Peggy Buchanan, Rep. Robyn Porter, and Camila and Carolina Bortolleto. All are on the front lines of resisting the policies of white supremacy, hate, division and fear that threaten democracy and our future. All are fierce warriors in the forefront of demanding priorities for workers’ rights, peace and equality that put people and planet before profits.

  • Peggy Buchanan is Connecticut AFL-CIO campaign manager and former president of the Greater Hartford Labor Council who has dedicated her life to solidarity and organizing workers on the job, in the community and to run for public office.
  • Rep. Robyn Porter represents the 94th District and co-chairs the Labor Committee in the Connecticut General Assembly where she leads for social justice, equality and workers’ rights as an elected official and at the grass roots level.
  • Camila and Carolina Bortolleto are courageous twins who co-founded CT Students For a Dream which has become a statewide voice and organization of youth “undocumented and unafraid” and which organizes for the rights of all immigrants.

The annual Awards are presented to allies by the Connecticut Peoples World Committee on the occasion of the 98th anniversary of the Communist Party USA. We come together in hope and unity as increased economic and racial inequalities, climate change and war give rise to new organizing by youth, low-wage workers and the 99% toward a society that puts people and planet before corporate profits. Suggested donation: $10. For more information, contact People’s World Amistad Awards, (203) 624-4254.

Innovations in Alternative Energy and Power Generation in Cuba

On Saturday, Dec. 16, 10:30 a.m. to noon, join us at the New Haven Free Public Library, 133 Elm Street, for a discussion about Cuba’s energy future with Professor Luis Vazquez Seisdedos.

Luis Vazquez Seisdedos

Luis Vazquez Seisdedos, PhD., is a full professor in the Department of Automatic Control, part of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in the University of Oriente, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. He has more than 30 years’ experience as a professor with a multidisciplinary background that includes electro-mechanical conversion systems, energy-converting systems, using fossil sources and renewable re-sources, power electronics, electric drives, analog and digital electronics, system theory and systems modeling and identification. Previously, he was a skilled engineer of seismic instruments and seismic-telemetric networks for automated earthquake detection in Cuba.

This event is co-sponsored by: Alderman Jose Crespo— Ward 16, Alderwoman Dolores Colon—Ward 6, the City of New Haven Peace Commission, the Greater New Haven Peace Commission, New Haven/León Sister City Project. For more info email Seth at sgodfrey@nhfpl.org or call (203) 946-7450. We hope you can make it! To reserve a seat, go to www.eventbrite.com/e/innovations-in-alternative-energy-and-power-generation-in-cuba-tickets-40173606338.

Elm Energy Efficiency Project

by Chris Schweitzer, New Haven/ León Sister City Project

The Elm Energy Efficiency Project and New Haven/León Sister City Project are launching a new project called the Solar Solidarity Project. The Project will help families save more on home energy, and have them donate those savings to install solar panels in Puerto Rico (Cool It Here – Build It There!). This project will help reduce your carbon footprint, and help Puerto Rico become less dependent on a vulnerable power grid. All donations will go to Resilient Power Puerto Rico, a project of the Coastal Management Resource Center (a 501c3 organization). For more information, call (203) 562-1607 or go to elmenergyproject.org/solidarity-solar-project.

Holiday Gift Bazaar and Craft Show Dec. 2

by Patty Nuelsen, New Haven/León Sister City Project

Once again this year the Bioregional Group in conjunction with the New Haven/León Sister City Project will hold its annual gift bazaar from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of New Haven, 608 Whitney Ave., New Haven, CT, 06511.

Unique in the New Haven area, all items are handcrafted, locally produced or fair trade.
The local crafters and artists will be selling their products and you can talk with them adding more meaning to your purchases. Beautiful rubber stamped clothing and socks, dish towels, etc.; mounted photos of the New Haven area and cards; pottery; jewelry; hemp products; hats, scarves, etc…..all beautiful and created with skill and love.

The New Haven/León Sister City Project will be selling Nicaraguan coffee, woven goods and chocolate as well as Syracuse Cultural Workers calendars, Swords Into Plow-shares honey and beeswax candles, bowls from India made from recycled wire, Palestinian olive oil, CT produced soap and much more. All proceeds benefit the work of the NH/LSCP in New Haven and two rural communities in León, Nicaragua.

 

U.S. Foreign Military Bases Must Be Closed

by Henry Lowendorf, Greater New Haven Peace Council

Statement from the Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases:

  • The United States has around 1,000 military bases in more than 70 foreign countries.
  • For far too long the U.S. has used these bases to assert their military might, drive foreign policy, and intimidate and provoke other nations.
  • American military bases disrupt local economies and cause enormous environmental damage.
  • Nuclear weapons and nuclear powered ships and subma-rines are unwelcome and expose locals to needless risk.
  • Local citizens all over the world are working tirelessly to oppose the creation of new U.S. bases and to close those already in existence.
  • Now is the time for the U.S. antiwar movement to coalesce and work in unity to dismantle U.S. military bases abroad.

Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases invites you to attend the Conference on U.S. Foreign Military Bases, Jan. 12-14, 2018, at the Learning Commons Town Hall, University of Baltimore, 1415 Maryland Ave., Baltimore, MD  21201. For more information and to register please contact: info@NoForeignBases.org or visit NoForeignBases.org.

Barbados Peace Conference

by Henry Lowendorf, Greater New Haven Peace Council

In early October political, trade union and peace leaders and members of Parliament from the Caribbean organized the First Caribbean Peace Conference in Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados. The US Peace Council was invited to speak and I was pleased to be its representative.

It was refreshing to hear the strong convergence of opinion from the experience of many small, diverse nations and instructive as some of the colonial history was linked to today’s patterns of exploitation and violence.

Speakers denounced the presence of foreign military bases in the Caribbean – including Guantánamo in Cuba and the foreign military presence of MINUSTAH in Haiti – their significant contribution to environmental degradation and actual erosion of security and stability in the region. They demanded that the Caribbean be considered a Zone of Peace as proclaimed by the 2014 Havana Declaration by the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

A fundamental paradox of naming the Caribbean as a zone of peace is that its island states were founded in the most extreme violence – slavery, warfare, genocide, criminality and terrorism, according to Barbadian Pan-Africanist and founder of the Clement Payne Movement, David Comissiong. He pointed out that European nations fought wars against each other in the Caribbean but in 1559, when they signed a peace treaty among themselves, they agreed that further war was OK as long as it was fought in the Caribbean and not in Europe.

Hope McNish, head of the Jamaica Peace Council, called for an end to US attacks on Brazil and Venezuela and warned of an imminent outbreak of nuclear war between the US and North Korea. She connected wars, refugees and the toxification of the environment, raised the demand for reparations and linked the struggles for justice in the Caribbean with that of Black Lives Matter in the US.

Other speakers reminded us that the 1967 Tlatelolco Treaty, signed by the US, established the Caribbean as a nuclear-free zone.

Read the Final Declaration of the First Caribbean Peace Conference http://www.wpc-in.org/statements/bridgetown-declaration.

Did You Know? Services Noted by the New Haven Free Public Library

  • The Yale Peabody Museum is free (donations accepted) on Thursday afternoons from 2-5 from September to June.
  • The New Haven Free Public Library offers passes for free or discounted admission to Mystic Aquarium, Beardsley Zoo and more museums at all 5 branches!
  • You can check out cake pans from the Children’s Room at the Ives (Main) branch of the library.
  • Free books (to keep) are available at New Haven Reads and book boxes in Edgewood Park and other locations around the city. New Haven Reads also accepts book donations in good condition.
  • At home (with a library card) or at the library, families can watch and listen to stories through the library’s databases such as Tumblebooks and Bookflix.
  • The Eli Whitney Museum has free admission. For a fee, children can build projects at the museum.
  • Children can play board games, card games and with puzzles at the library, upon request. Ask in the Children’s Room (at Ives Main) or at the circulation desk (at Fair Haven, Mitchell, Stetson and Wilson).
  • The Yale Art Gallery and Yale Center for British Art are free and open to the public Tuesday-Sunday.
  • The Wilson Branch of the New Haven Free Public Library has a piano, which patrons can reserve time to play.
  • Friday Movie Matinees in December, 2-4 p.m. — Ives Main Library, 133 Elm St.
    • December 1 | Pieces of April
    • December 8 | The Nightmare Before Xmas
    • December 15 | The Best Man Holiday
    • December 22 | 8 Women
    • December 29 | Lovely, StillDecember is holiday movie month at the Ives Library!

 

New Haven Public Schools Parent Community Statement on the Appointment of Dr. Carol Birks

[The following article was sent to PAR in an e-mail from New Haven Public Schools parent community. We have edited it slightly. The organization can be contacted at newhavenpublicschoolparents@gmail.com.]

The organized New Haven Public Schools parent community is disappointed by the Board of Education’s decision to appoint Dr. Carol Birks as Superintendent. The Board made this appointment against the overwhelming objections of parents, students, teachers, and community allies. In two hours of testimony, nearly every speaker echoed the assessment of the Board’s three educators and two student members: in a choice between Dr. Pamela Brown and Dr. Carol Birks, Dr. Brown is the more qualified candidate and the better fit for our district. Over 1000 signers of an online petition, together with hundreds of signers of school-based petitions, arrived at an identical conclusion.

The Board’s vote deepens the perception already held by many parents that “parent engagement” is a buzzword to be deployed when convenient, but not reflective of district practice. We are shut out of our children’s classrooms, not given a defined role in school planning and decision-making, and we have been flagrantly ignored in our expressed preference for Superintendent. …

We question the motives behind last night’s vote, particularly those of the Mayoral appointees. In a recent hearing before the Board of Alders Education Committee, one appointee pledged to represent the interests of parents. That commitment was not upheld in this vote, as the New Haven Public Schools parent community overwhelmingly expressed support for one candidate over another. …

Regrettably, in voting for Dr. Birks, four of the seven Board members — Mayor Toni Harp, District 2 representative Darnell Goldson, Jamell Cotto, and Frank Redente — ignored the expressed preference of students, parents, educators, and the wider community. As parents, our commitment is to our kids. We are not aligned with political factions. We are organized toward the sole goal of improving our schools so that they better serve all of our children. Thus we stand ready to work collaboratively with anyone who demonstrates commitment to this goal.

On Bill McKibben’s Climate Address at Yale Oct. 10

by Julia Berger, New Haven Activist

On Oct. 10, 2017, Bill McKibben, the environmentalist and founder of 350.org, spoke to a large crowd at Woolsey Hall, New Haven, on “Simply Too Hot—The Desperate Science and Politics of Climate.” (See video link below.)

He began his talk declaring that there is almost universal consensus on climate change and global warming. Recent earthquakes, flooding and large-scale fires attest to the dangers caused by global warming. The U.S., Europe and Asia, among the major creators of climate change, are downsizing their use of fossil fuels—just not fast enough.

Scientists and others have known and warned for 30-40 years about the dangers of the depletion of the earth’s ozone layer due to fossil fuel extraction and use. In the 1970s Shell Oil scientists confirmed the dangers of a looming global warming disaster, but Shell, instead of acting on their own scientists’ warnings, publicly went the opposite way, denying climate change. President Jimmy Carter in the 1970s put solar panels on the White House; Reagan tore them down.

McKibben concluded that we’ve lost 40 years in our struggle against fossil fuel industries.

Are we past the point of no return? No one knows.

The Paris Accords definitely don’t go far enough—fast enough. When Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Accords stating he was the President of Pittsburgh, not Paris, the mayor of Pittsburgh phoned Trump that Pittsburgh was going 100% renewable as fast as possible.

Individuals can also fight the giants to get alternate renewable energy sources. While not everyone can get solar panels (they are now way down in cost), each of us can pressure local governments to acquire community solar panels, wind turbines, etc., to meet community energy needs. We can individually divest our money from banks and stocks and bonds that fund the fossil fuel industries.

We can protest by marching and rallying to push our cause. Already protesters all over the world are putting their bodies on the line to interfere with fossil fuel extraction and pipelines.

As part of a nation majorly responsible for creating this problem, we should be creative and more active in this fight to preserve the planet.

At his alma mater, Harvard, McKibben tried in vain to get the wealthy university to divest from fossil fuels. The Yale Corporation also refuses to divest even as several colleges work on information to counteract global warming and even when the stock value of fossil fuel industries decline. Members of universities can protest by getting arrested. (McKibben recommended that older and financially secure individuals, such as tenured professors, might go this route.)

The task, the challenge for us all, is to speed up this anti-fossil fuel trend. Make it a priority. Write to your local newspapers. Publicize, publicize, publicize. Note: there was very little coverage of McKibben’s talk in the Yale Daily News and none in the New Haven Register as far as this writer could determine.

This Chubb Fellowship Lecture featured Bill McKibben, an author and environmentalist who, in 2014, was awarded the Right Livelihood Prize, sometimes called the “alternative Nobel.” He is a founder of 350.org. More about Bill McKibben and the Chubb Fellowship at: http://chubbfellowship.org.

Watch the full lecture here:

Reflecting on Tyranny, Wars and Lies

by Stanley Heller, Administrator, Promoting Enduring Peace

Come Tuesday evening Nov. 28 to the United Church Parish House in New Haven to hear one of the most well-known and provocative thinkers of the decade. Yale professor Timothy Snyder will deliver the Mark Shafer lecture for Promoting Enduring Peace. His academic credentials and books would be reason enough for attendance. He speaks five languages, reads ten and is an expert about the rise and horrors of 20th century tyranny. Yet it’s his Facebook post that got our attention.

Less than a week after the presidential election Snyder made a long Facebook post reflecting on what had just happened.  Mincing no words he warned the public about how easy it would be for the United States to fall under dictatorial rule.  He made a list of practical measures for individuals to take.  This post from a distinguished Yale professor shook a lot of people. It was shared 18,000 times. In the months that followed he expanded it into a book: “On Tyranny.”

See more about Timothy Snyder in the insert. Please come to what should be an important lecture. The United Church Parish House is located at 323 Temple St., New Haven.  Doors open at 6:30 p.m. There’s free parking in the lot at 60 Wall St. It’s advised to come early to get a seat.

More information at www.pepeace.org.

Money Talks, and So Does Solidarity!

by Melinda Tuhus, New Haven Stands with Standing Rock

[As this issue of the PAR newsletter went to press, we received notice about the following event. We are printing it so people can be aware of the various local banks that are funding fossil fuel projects in the U.S. and other countries. For more information about this rally and future plans for New Haven Stands with Standing Rock, please e-mail nhswsr@gmail.com.]

Rally Wednesday, Oct. 25, 4:30-5:30 p.m., beginning on the New Haven Green, corner of College and Chapel streets. Then walk 3 blocks to visit 3 banks. The reason is that next week, 92 of the world’s largest banks are meeting in São Paulo, Brazil, to discuss environmental and social risk management policies regarding the climate and indigenous people’s rights to “free, prior and informed consent.”

Mazaska Talks (“Money Talks” in Lakota) is calling for global actions on October 23-25 focusing on banks that are funding fossil fuel projects that are endangering indigenous lands, water and cultures, and our global climate. Indigenous groups and the Fossil Free divestment movement started by 350.org have led individuals, organizations and local governments to withdraw billions of dollars from these banks. In the most recent success, in early October, BNP Paribas — Europe’s second largest bank — announced it is cutting funding to tar sands, all tar sands pipelines, fracking, LNG (liquefied natural gas), and Arctic oil projects. This kind of pressure works.

Join New Haven Stands with Standing Rock (NHSwSR) as we focus on banks in our community that are making these destructive investments. We will meet on the Green at the corner of College and Chapel streets, then pay a visit to TD Bank, Bank of America and Wells Fargo Bank, where we will highlight our campaign asking the city to move its $3 million a day operating budget out of Wells Fargo to a bank that prioritizes investments in our community. Wells Fargo just announced a drastic 18 percent drop in its third quarter earnings related to penalties it’s had to pay for its many unethical practices, putting taxpayers’ money even more in jeopardy.

Questions? Email us at nhswsr@gmail.com.

1 2 3 4 5 6 41