In Memoriam, Mitzi Bowman, Anti-Nuclear Activist and Founding Member of PAR

by PAR Planning Committee

On Feb. 14, Mitzi Bowman, dedicated activist, teacher and friend of the New Haven peace community, passed on. She was an integral member of many New Haven and state-wide organizations and for many years, she, with her husband Pete Bowman, through their organization Don’t Waste Connecticut, helped vast numbers of Connecticut residents understand the dangers of nuclear power plants and radiation exposure. Mitzi wrote many articles for PAR about the work of Don’t Waste Connecticut, the necessity of clean, sustainable energy and the importance of caring for the environment.

Mitzi with Ralph Nader

Mitzi with Ralph Nader (photo: Hearst CT media)

Mitzi was a member of the PAR Planning Committee, and she and Pete created our PAR mission statement. Pete died Feb. 14, 2006. Two years later Mitzi moved to Vermont to be close to family.

Mitzi had an incredibly sharp intellect. She was a determined, fearless and compassionate activist. In 2015 she campaigned for Bernie Sanders at her nursing home, handing out flyers and talking to all the residents and visitors about why they should vote for him in the primary. She continued to give out posters of “The Radioactive Woman,” which depicted where radiation is most likely to affect the body with various cancers.

She has papers archived in Brattleboro and at the University of Massachusetts. The UMass papers can be accessed at scua.library.umass.edu/umarmot/bowman-mitzi.

We’re grateful to have known her, learned from her, worked with her, and been friends with her. Our condolences to her children Lori and Jason and Mitzi with Ralph Nader (photo: Hearst CT media) their families.

Mitzi Bowman 1924-2020

Mitzi Bowman died at Barre Gardens, Montpelier, VT, with her family by her side. Born in New York City on July 27, 1924, she was 95 years of age. Over the years she also lived in New York State, England, Connecticut, Nova Scotia and Vermont. A dynamic, strong-willed crusader for anything to do with peace and justice, civil rights, solar energy and Bernie, she was also a passionate anti-nuclear activist beginning in the early 70s.

She went to Music and Art High School in NYC, and then became a Master’s level Librarian. She loved music, was an artist, hiker, lifeguard, animal lover, sailor, and organic gardener. She loved singing with her three sisters, and lively political arguments. She joined the Air Force at 19-years-old during WWII where, stationed in Alabama, she taught the soldiers to swim. Widowed twice, she died on Valentine’s Day, as did her second beloved husband, Pete.

She is survived by her daughter Lori Bowman and partner Andy Harris of Montpelier, Vermont, her son Jason Bowman and his wife Beth, her granddaughter Marin Bowman, her partner Chris Winter, and her great-grandchildren Fiona and Shea Winter of Plainfield, Vermont. She leaves a younger sister, a 106-year-old cousin, two nieces, one nephew, their partners, one grandniece and three great-grand nephews in New York City. She was predeceased by her parents Lena and Joseph Silver, first husband Hy Bogursky, second husband Peter Bowman, and her sisters Buelah Lehrman and Lucille Weinstat.

A small memorial for family and close friends will be held in the spring. In lieu of flowers, donations in her name would make her very happy if given to the Bernie Sanders Campaign, 1 Church Street, 3rd Floor, Burlington, VT  05401, or to 350.org VT environmental group at 179 S Winooski Ave. #201, Burlington, VT  05401.

To plant a tree in memory of Mitzi Selma Bowman, please visit the Tribute Store: www.tributearchive.com/obituaries/11238525/Mitzi-Selma-Bowman.

Volunteer Readers Needed for Commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King April 3

by James Pandaru, GNH Peace Council

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”

The above quote is from Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence,” which he gave on April 4, 1967, at Riverside Church, NYC. The following year, on April 4, 1968, while supporting striking sanitation workers, he was assassinated in Memphis, TN.

We will honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Friday, April 3, at noon in front of New Haven City Hall (165 Church St.). Dr. King’s words continue to be as relevant today as they were in 1967.

Volunteers are needed to read excerpts from Dr. King’s speech. Please join us in this event to commemorate Dr. King. To take part contact James Pandaru, (203) 933-4043, jpandaru@gmail.com. Thank you.

Nine Reasons to Oppose Assisted Suicide: What Progressives Need to Know

by Joan Cavanagh, Second Thoughts CT member

In the February 2019 PAR newsletter, Lisa Blumberg, of Second Thoughts Connecticut, wrote: “Trump wants the Affordable Care Act to implode. Republicans seem willing to swell the ranks of the uninsured and to cut Medicaid funding. There are corporate imperatives to reduce health-care costs even if quality is diminished. Many people are unable to access basic care and minorities, the old and people with disabilities are often subject to medical prejudices or ‘quality of life’ misconceptions. Legalizing doctor-assisted suicide in these times would be akin to taking coals to Newcastle.”

A year later, nothing has changed, only gotten worse. Yet the Public Health Committee of the Connecticut State Legislature is once again poised to consider an “Aid in Dying” (“Assisted Suicide”) bill. The dangers of such legislation should become more and more obvious every day.

Assisted suicide is fraught with peril for the most vulnerable among us–the elderly, disabled and poor, who are already viewed by the medical system and the insurance companies as too costly to treat and thus expendable. There are no imaginable “safeguards” that can change that fact. This legislation would only codify what we have experienced and had to fight in our daily lives—and which has already cost the lives of far too many.

Below are Nine Reasons to Oppose Assisted Suicide.

  1. In our cost-cutting health care system, it encourages the rationing of health care for the most “expensive” patients: the elderly, disabled, seriously ill and poor.
    2. It subjects the vulnerable to potential overt or covert abuse that can never be adequately monitored.
    3. It encourages a rush to judgment as to how “terminal illness” is defined.
    4. It promotes the idea of extreme individualism and self-sufficiency, the notion that being vulnerable and needing care is somehow “undignified,” the idea that we live in a vacuum with no responsibility for or to each other.
    5. It erodes patient confidence in our health care providers, causing justified fear that they will advocate for the suicide option in difficult cases.
    6. It requires doctors to lie about the facts of a patient’s death, citing the illness as the cause, not the ingestion of the lethal medication.
    7. It does not necessarily guarantee a “peaceful” or immediate end of life.
    8. It promotes suicide as an option in a time where suicide among the young is increasing and suicide prevention is public policy.
    9. It opens the door to involuntary euthanasia of those deemed “defective,” such as people with advanced dementia or severe disability that renders them unable to communicate.

For more explanation of these and other reasons to oppose assisted suicide, please go to www.notdeadyet.org and dredf.org/public-policy/assisted suicide.

Progressives and disability rights advocates have a compelling case to make here. We need to voice our opposition loudly and clearly, and to help educate others about the full implications of this legislation so that they will indeed have “second thoughts.”

There is a list of Public Health Committee members at cga.ct.gov. Please write to ask them to withdraw this bill. (It did not yet have a number as this newsletter went to press.)

Joan Cavanagh, a long-time peace and justice activist, is a member of Second Thoughts Connecticut, a bi-partisan organization composed of citizens with disabilities and advocates who oppose the legalization of assisted suicide.

Speak Out Against Environmental Injustice | Save the Sound (formerly CT Fund for the Environment)

Environmental injustices are a national problem, and our state is no exception. Connecticut’s less prosperous neighborhoods face unfair pollution and public health threats.

For example, the combined asthma hospitalization rate for Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, Stamford, and Waterbury is 3.4 times greater than for the rest of the state.

In 2008, Connecticut passed its first environmental justice legislation into law. It recognized the unjustly frequent placement of power plants, sewage treatment plants, waste incinerators, and landfills near low-income communities and communities of color. These toxic sites spew pollution into over-burdened neighborhoods and cause disproportionately high rates of asthma and other respiratory diseases.
The proposed bill strengthens this existing legislation by:

  1. Changing existing law from a voluntary to a mandatory requirement for polluting facility developers to conduct public engagement like notifying neighborhood and environmental groups of their plans in writing.
  2. Adding a new clause to invalidate any application for a new power plant, etc. if the applicant does not abide by the rules of public participation.
  3. Proposing the creation of a wellness clinic, and ongoing asthma screening, air monitoring, an ongoing traffic study, and watercourse monitoring to track impacts.

Let the Environment Committee hear your thoughts on this proposed bill! You can call (860) 240‑0440, e-mail https://www.cga.ct.gov/env/ or write the Environment Committee, Legislative Office Building, Room 3200, Hartford, CT 06106. Also, contact your local representative and senator to let them know you think this is important.

The Youth Transitions Program of the Children’s Community Programs of Connecticut

The Youth Transitions Program of the Children’s Community Programs of Connecticut is offering training for young adults, 17 – 24 years of age. There are ongoing opportunities for training as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) or a security guard. CCP-CT will pay the program costs once a client is enrolled as a student. Students may be eligible for childcare assistance and transportation assistance (bus passes). Please contact Thretha Green (information below) for other requirements. Also note that driver’s education is available, and there is assistance in paying for the learner’s permit and driver’s license. These training programs are offered year-round. For questions about classes, eligibility, etc. contact: Thretha Green, Program Coordinator. Phone: 203-786-6403, Ext. 160, or email tgreen@ccp-ct.org.

Telling the Palestinian Story – Palestinian Women Global Art Exhibit opening on Sunday, March 8

The exhibit features over 200 works of art from about 50 Palestinian women artists who have made significant contributions to the art scene in their immediate communities and around the world. Artworks that will be on display include paintings, sculptures, photographs, and embroidery pieces.

The exhibit will be unveiled during a ceremony on the afternoon of Sunday, March 8, and will be open on Sundays 1 to 5 p.m. through May 30, 2020.

“The exhibit will give dozens of Palestinian women artists an opportunity to exhibit their artwork in the United States for the first time,” said Museum founder, Faisal Saleh. “Our mission is to celebrate and showcase Palestinian artistic excellence – this event goes a long way in fulfilling that promise.”
Partial list of artists participating in the exhibit are:

  • From the US & Canada: Samia Halaby, Manal Deeb, Samar Hussaini, Rawan Anani
  • From Europe: Laila Shawa, Jacqueline Bejani, Halima Aziz
  • From Jordan: Raida Shahin, Dalia Ali, Reem Khader, Nadia Al Khateeb, Aya Abu Ghazaleh
  • From Palestine: Nameer Qassim, Sana’ Tahboub, Hya Kaabneh, Reen Natsheh
  • From Africa: Kholoud Subhi (Kenya)
  • From South America: Ruby L. Yunis (Chile), María Eugenia Akel (Chile)

Palestine Museum, 1764 Litchfield Tpke, Woodbridge, CT 06525 Museum Hours: Every Sunday 1 – 5 p.m. Admission fees: Adults: $8; Students and seniors (age 65+): $5; Children 12 or under: Free. Maximum $20 per family.

Part-Time Position Advancing Health Care with POCCT

Protect Our Care CT is adding a part-time staff person to work on outreach and organizing for the next 4 months.

We are seeking an Organizer/Coordinator to work 20 hours a week from March 1 through June 30. Organizer/Coordinator would be responsible for working with POCCT partner organizations to advance state and federal health care initiatives and with the POCCT Steering Committee and other staff to build the organization. We are interested in sharing a staff person with another organization but could also work with an individual. Job description here.

If you or your organization are interested, send a resume or questions to Jane McNichol, jmcnichol@universalhealthct.org.

Source: Part-Time Position Advancing Health Care with POCCT — Protect Our Care CT

Yale Rebellious Lawyers Conference 2020 announcement and link to more info

Keynotes Fri at 5:30 and Sat at 10.

Workshops with Robyn Porter, CT rep for 93rd district and Barbara Fair, former member of PIA and ACLU, now working to stop solitary confinement in CT.

https://reblaw.yale.edu/sites/default/files/reblaw_program.pdf

Pirzada Ahmad (he/him/his) tries to approach the practice of law from a critical race perspective and has a deep appreciation for the movement lawyering framework. When Pirzada is not busy with his clinics, he is probably playing with his cat, Mo.

Rhea Christmas (she/her) is a second-year law student from New Jersey. She believes in the power of community organizing to effectuate change. A list of Rhea’s favorite things in no particular order include: smoothies, bad Netflix shows, CrossFit, trivia and hanging out with two of the most adorable bunnies in New Haven.

Brooke Dekolf (she/her) is a second-year law student from New Jersey. She believes the law should be responsive to the needs of the communities it impacts; and she is passionate about climate politics and reproductive justice. In between responding to emails, Brooke spends her time baking bread and hanging out with her two bunnies.

Eli Feasley (they/he) loves collective liberation and mutual aid and hates prisons and policing. Eli has a long and storied past as an anti-fascist, a builder of adorable educational software, a subject of brutal arrests and a felony charge, and being a sweet transsexual. Eli is in too many clinics and teaches high school students Constitutional Law.

Olympia Karageorgiou (she/her) is a second-year law student from Dallas, Texas. Olympia is now part of the Reentry Clinic, where she works on school discipline and special education cases in the K-12 space. Olympia is a proud member of the Black Law Students Association, Women of Color Collective, Clinical Student Board, and a first-generation college student.

46th Annual People’s World African American History Month Event Sunday, February 23

by Joelle Fishman, CT People’s World

Voting Rights Are Worth the Fight! Join us Sunday, Feb. 23, for a Dump Trump Unity March & Motorcade at 2:30 p.m., starting at the New Haven Peoples Center, 37 Howe St. and ending at 4 p.m. at the Troup Middle School, Edgewood Ave. Starting at 4:30 p.m. the event “Voting Rights Are Worth the Fight!” includes a panel discussion, performances and a presentation of prizes in the Arts and Writing Competition Grades 8 to 12, “Harriet Tubman and the Right to Vote.” A tribute to Lula White, Freedom Rider and a past judge of the competition will be included.

The 2020 elections are crucial for the future of the African American freedom struggle and the freedom struggle of all peoples, our country and our planet. This 46th annual march and event will serve as a call to action to organize against heightened racism, militarism and exploitation toward a future of solidarity, justice, peace and sustainability where all persons can reach their full potential.

Throughout the decades of struggle for civil rights, peace and economic justice, People’s World has reported and stood on the side of freedom fighters.

For information about the arts and writing competition, deadline Feb. 13, e-mail ct-pww@pobox.com or leave a message at (203) 624-8664.

Hundreds Rally To Oppose War With Iran

by Paul Bass, New Haven Independent, Jan 5, 2020

“Trump says more war! We say no war!”

That chant filled the air on the southeastern corner of the New Haven Green Sunday afternoon as hundreds rallied to criticize President Donald Trump’s decision to assassinate top Iranian General Qassim Suleimani through a drone strike in Baghdad.

The local chapter of the ANSWER Coalition organized the rally, one of many around the country this weekend (over 80 on Saturday alone) and around the world calling for peace as the fears of war mount in the wake of the assassination.

Local activist Norm Clement called the assassination “an act of war and a war crime.” He said it follows in a line of four centuries of land theft and occupation and death forged by the U.S. “This country is the biggest thief ever in the history of mankind,” Clement told the crowd. “They steal everything.”

“Nobody wants war. Nobody wants to be slaughtered,” Fahd Syed of The Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) of CT said in another speech at the rally.

Read the complete article at: www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/rally_to_opposes_war_with_iran.

Rally Held in New Haven for Teen Shot by Connecticut Police

by Davis Dunavin, WSHU.org, Jan. 23, 2020

Hundreds of people demonstrated outside New Haven City Hall on Tuesday and chanted “Justice for Mubarak!”

The rally, meant to honor 19-year-old Mubarak Soulemane, became a larger rally for justice in police shootings. News broke the day before that a third man had been shot by law enforcement in Connecticut in less than a month.

Kira Ortoleva, a close friend of Soulemane’s, organized the event. She says the timing of his death could not be more heartbreaking.

“He told everyone that 2020 was going to be the year where he made big moves in his life, where he focused on school, where he focused on his work and he helped his family,” Ortoleva says. “And he didn’t even get to make it to February.”

Connecticut State Trooper Brian North shot Soulemane on Wednesday, January 15, after a car chase on Interstate 95 near West Haven. State police released footage from North’s body camera that shows North fired seven times through a car window as Soulemane sat in the driver’s seat. Police said he was armed with a knife.

Read the entire article at www.tinyurl.com/v7zjawp.

Puerto Rico Devastated! Again!

Excerpts from flyer of GNH Peace Council, Jan. 24, 2020

Twenty-eight months after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, the federal government continues in its failure to adequately take care of the island’s needs. The latest indignity to residents who have yet to fully recover from damages caused by the hurricanes and now the earthquakes is the government’s continued pathetic responses and a sudden cut to food stamp benefits. Congressional neglect and animus from the administration are responsible for hardships that would never be tolerated if the American citizens being harmed lived on the mainland and not in a U.S. territory that lacks voting representation in Washington.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined calls on Jan. 9, 2020, for the Trump administration to release $18 billion in disaster aid to the island more than two years after the money was appropriated.

The funds were meant to go to the U.S. territory after Hurricanes Irma and Maria caused nearly $150 billion in damages to Puerto Rico. Maria killed nearly 3,000 people and left 1.5 million Puerto Ricans without power, including hundreds whose electricity wasn’t restored for nearly a year. On Jan. 7, 2020, about two-thirds of the island once again had no power and hundreds of thousands of people were without running water following back-to-back earthquakes and aftershocks.

“We call upon the White House to stop its unlawful withholding of funds from Puerto Rico,” Pelosi said at a press conference on Jan. 9, “There are needs that need to be met, there has been a disaster designated, but the ongoing withholding of funds appropriated by Congress to Puerto Rico is illegal.”

“Puerto Rico has been through too much already. We should forgive their debt, make them a state and rebuild in earnest,” presidential candidate Andrew Yang tweeted in one of the bolder responses from the candidates.

Meanwhile, thousands of Puerto Rican families remain in makeshift dwellings following these recent quakes. grnhpeacecouncil@gmail.com.

The Liberation of Auschwitz and the Liberation of Syria

by Stanley Heller, Promoting Enduring Peace

Fifty world leaders joined Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem for the World Holocaust Forum, or perhaps it should be called the World Hypocrisy Forum as many of these heads of state are engaging in massive human rights violations and killings. It was held to celebrate the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Certainly the liberation of the camp by the First Ukrainian Front of the Soviet Army is indeed something that should be celebrated, but not by Netanyahu, Putin and Pence in the capital of apartheid.

Now about the death camp itself, there’s something that only Fox News and PBS brought up, the question of why Auschwitz wasn’t bombed by the Allies. As early as May 1944 Allied bombers were in range of the camp. As former Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg wrote, the allies were “indifferent” to the plight of the Jews. And Jewish leaders in the U.S. hardly made an issue of it. Top leaders like Rabbi Stephen Wise rejected any efforts to save European Jews that weren’t tied to bringing them to Palestine. As dissenter Peter Bergson wrote at the time, it was as if people were in a burning house screaming for help and rescue would only be attempted if it was agreed that the fire victims would be taken right away to the Waldorf-Astoria.

Bergson in 1943 rented out Madison Square Garden and filled it to display the pageant “We Will Never Die.” That year he organized 450 rabbis to march to the White House. Roosevelt didn’t meet with any of them, but in the next year, he approved a War Refugee Board which by some estimates saved 100,000 lives. Bergson’s efforts should be a model for those concerned with Syria.

March 15 marks the 9th anniversary of the start of mass demonstrations in Syria. Their bloody suppression led to the uprising against the Assad tyranny. RPM, Revive the Peace Movement (network) is calling for people to mark the date in some way, by demonstrating, films, webinar, etc. and to call attention to the 3 million people being slowly overcome by Assad-Iranian ground forces and Assad-Putin bombing. More at www.rpm.world.

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