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.

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.

Amistad Awards Rally Calls for Justice for All

by Joelle Fishman, CT People’s World

From Ariel Johnson’s beautiful rendition of Change is Gonna Come to the closing performance by Ice the Beef Stop the Violence Start the Peace, the 2015 People’s World Amistad Awards inspired young and old alike with its message of unity and struggle.

Themed “Justice for All – In Solidarity with Black and Latino Youth – Stop the Right-wing Attacks,” the event greeted actions by youth to end racism and achieve a future with hope and dignity.

“The 2016 elections are the battleground for every democratic right we’ve ever won,” declared Joelle Fishman in the Call to Action. “We can stop….candidates who want to bring us back 175 years. We will not go back! We must go forward!”

Awardees included Jill Marks, a leader of New Haven Rising and Alder-elect in Ward 28; Ciro Gutierrez, member-leader of SEIU 32 BJ building cleaners union in Hartford, and Cindy Harrity, Communication Workers of America Local 1298 organizer, retired.

Marks said she was moved to become a grassroots leader after knocking on thousands of doors and hearing the problems of ordinary families. She urged those present to join the fight for good jobs and attend a New Haven Rising rally Dec. 12.

Gutierrez, born in Peru, described how he became involved in the social movement during the right-wing coup in his country. When his family came to U.S. after losing their public sector jobs to privatization, he continued his commitment to workers’ rights through his union.

Harrity, unable to project her voice due to illness, prepared comments read by husband John Harrity. Cindy, well known for her successes as a union organizer, urged those present to “be unreasonable” when confronted with exploitation, unfairness or any injustice.

The awards were held on the 96th anniversary of the Communist Party USA. Edie Fishman, who joined the YCL at 14, now in her 80th year in the working-class movement, received flowers from the youth. She recounted experiences which won social security, unemployment compensation, health and safety on the job, and ending Jim Crow racial segregation. “When we stick together and fight together we can win,” she said.

Performances also included Capoeira by Raca em Moviemento Dance Studio and poetry by Gaylord Slaters and Aaron Jafferis.