New Haven Peace Council Webinar on Syria from Damascus Friday Nov. 20

Please join the Peace Council’s upcoming webinar that updates the war on Syria and the vast propaganda campaign that promotes that war.

Join the free Webinar with independent journalist Vanessa Beeley from Damascus on Friday November 20, 4:00 PM Eastern for an update on the shooting, propaganda and economic war on Syria.

There are many advocates for US Imperialist aggression against the sovereignty of the Syrian people. They perpetuate the lies of the State Department and align themselves with the ultimate goal of overthrowing and replacing the Syrian government with a US puppet.

Yet a wealth of information exposes the details and personnel behind the policies that continue to bring such suffering to the Syrian people. This at a time when the Syrian people are successfully regaining their sovereignty and destiny.

Donald Trump’s and the United States’ credentials as humanitarian are pretty thin as the devastated peoples of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, among others, would affirm. In its war to overthrow the Syrian government and replace it with a puppet regime, the US helped create and fund the White Helmets whose “links to extremist Salafi-jihadist groups, including ISIS and al-Qaeda, have been thoroughly documented. What’s more, the group has participated in recent Turkish onslaughts in northern Syria where Kurds and other minority groups faced ethnic cleansing.”

“Between 2013 and 2016, USAID donated at least $23 million to the group. The governments of Britain, France, Canada, the Netherlands, and Japan added tens of millions more to this substantial ‘humanitarian’ regime-change slush fund.”
https://thegrayzone.com/2019/10/28/trump-million-syria-jihadist-white-helmets

Join the free Webinar with independent journalist Vanessa Beeley from Damascus on Friday November 20, 4:00 PM Eastern for an update on the shooting, propaganda and economic war on Syria.

Attached is a flier with registration for the Webinar on Syria Friday, Nov. 20 at 4:00 PM Eastern.

Peace /\ Justice

Henry Lowendorf
Greater New Haven Peace Council
With the Hands Off Syria Coalition

Call for articles and calendar items for PAR-NewHaven

Dear PAR Contributors,

Been to any rallies lately? Please send us reports about activism you’re involved with, and what your organization’s upcoming plans are for our next issue of the Progressive Action Roundtable newsletter.

Thank you for your continued readership and support of the Progressive Action Roundtable newsletter. Readers want to know: What is the purpose of your organization? How are you building your group? What campaigns are you organizing? What events are you planning?

We want to publicize the workgroups have done and what they’re planning to do. We want to spread the word to others who will be inspired to join you, support your activism and build the struggles. Send us articles (even a paragraph or two) about what your group wants to do and any ideas for organizing! 350-word limit, please!

Please send articles about your group’s recent and current activities and upcoming actions and events to parnewhaven@hotmail.com.

***Help inspire others through your commitment! ***

The deadline for the December Progressive Action Roundtable Newsletter is Tuesday, November 17.

Please keep in mind that as layout space permits, we will include photos.

IMPORTANT: Don’t neglect to add your organization’s contact information such as phone number, e-mail address or website, so our readers can get more information about what your group is doing.

ABOUT CALENDAR ITEMS

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VERY IMPORTANT: Please indicate whether your event location is wheelchair accessible.

You can also send us SAVE THE DATE items about future events, even if you do not yet have all the details in place.

The PAR newsletter will come out approximately Monday, November 30. Please consider this when submitting calendar items.

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PAR looking for writer

PAR readers:

The Progressive Action Roundtable is looking for someone who knows how to write clearly and has a good command of spelling and grammar.

This person must also be interested in talking to local organizers about their groups and plans, and writing a couple of short (up to 300-word) articles for the monthly (except for July and August) PAR newsletter. A small stipend will be available. If interested, please contact Paula with a writing sample at parnewhaven@hotmail.com.

Thank you!

Dwight’s Kensington Playground Is About to Be Sold for $1 to Build Housing

by Jane Comins, Friends of Kensington Playground

Kensington Playground is the largest green space and the only public playground in the Dwight neighborhood. It is about to be sold by the City of New Haven for $1 to non-profit housing developer The Community Builders/TCB. TCB plans to build a 15-unit apartment building and a 15-space surface parking lot on the playground. A diverse group of neighbors has organized to stop this sale.

The proposed deal was approved by the full Board of Alders on Monday, October 19, 2020. Only three alders, Douglass, Festa, and Roth, stood with the neighborhood. Others relied on old stereotypes of Kensington Street to hijack our only playground to benefit TCB, a non-profit developer that has not been a good landlord. Kensington Playground is a major success story for policing in New Haven. Lt. John Healy made it his top priority when taking over this police district. As a result, it is now a place we can use. The City did not follow the law. The Dwight Central Management Team never gave its support. Housing can be built without taking this playground from our children. We call upon the Mayor to reject this plan.

For updates, visit: KensingtonPlayground.org

 

Book on Workers at Winchester Now Available

by Joan Cavanagh, former Archivist and Director, GNH Labor History Association

Our Community at Winchester: The City and Its Workers at New Haven’s Gun Factory is now available for purchase online at https://octoberworks.com/our-community-at-winchester. Based on a traveling exhibit produced by the Greater New Haven Labor History Association in 2013 about workers at the plant and the community they created there while struggling for fairness in the workplace, this new book includes updated information and much additional research.

Here is the book description on the October Works website:

From the late 19th century through the early 21st, the Winchester Repeating Arms Company was an important employer in New Haven, Connecticut. The legendary guns it produced and their role in American expansionism at home and abroad were celebrated, largely uncritically, in movies, books, and songs. But the stories of those who worked there and of the company’s impact on its host community have received little attention.

The tale includes elements familiar to students of United States economic, social and labor history: workers’ struggles to win collective bargaining rights and to achieve equity in the workplace across all job classifications, ages and ethnicities; relentless management efforts to divide them and prevent, then undermine, union representation; a ruthless company’s repeated threats to leave town in order to force union concessions and win economic incentives and tax abatements from city government; and the gentrified aftermath of the loss of working-class jobs in an American city.

The story of New Haven’s experience unfolds in Our Community at Winchester through interviews with former workers and their families as well as material from union newsletters, archival records, and city publications.

Please visit octoberworks.com/our-community-at-winchester to read reviews of the book and information to purchase the book.

Indigenous Day Shifts from Columbus

by Thomas Breen, New Haven Independent, Oct 12, 2020

Richard Cowes lifted a wooden bear claw filled with smoldering white sage up to one side of Gary Tinney’s face and, whispering a prayer for peace, wafted the fragrant plume of smoke with a hawk feather.

Cowes and Tinney were celebrating Indigenous People’s Day along with 50 people late Monday afternoon on the New Haven Green.

Both Cowes and Tinney live in West Haven. Both are members of the Golden Hill Paugussetts. And both braved the blustery cold not just to celebrate Native American history and culture with a community of peers, but also to reflect on an extraordinary year of symbolic shifts.

In New Haven as elsewhere around the country this year, many of those changes have centered around a reappraisal of the legacy of the 15th-century explorer Christopher Columbus, with an eye towards the role he played in a white, European settler-led genocide of Native people.

Those local changes have included the Board of Education’s vote to rename Christopher Columbus Academy on Grand Avenue; the tumultuous removal of the Christopher Columbus statue from Wooster Square; the ed board’s renaming of Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples’ Day; the Board of Alders’ renaming of the second Monday of October as Italian Heritage Day; and the alders’ formal recognition of racism as a public health crisis.

“This struggle has been a long one,” said Norm Clement, a member of the local Quinnipiac tribe. “It’s been 528 years since colonization in this country.

“But we’re starting to win back who we are. We’re starting to be recognized. Some of the mascots are disappearing. The statues are disappearing. That is all part of the decolonization of this nation. We have to continue to celebrate who we are and what we represent and to do that in a good way.”

Read the full article here: www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/indigenous_peoples_day1.

State Launches $9 Million Arts Relief Fund

by Thomas Breen, New Haven Independent, Oct. 19, 2020

Arts nonprofits that have been pummeled by the COVID-19 pandemic have a new $9 million state relief fund to turn to for support in helping pay staff, cover student scholarships, and generally stay afloat during the ongoing economic downturn.

State Director of Arts, Preservation and Museums Liz Shapiro announced the imminent launch of the new financial aid effort Monday morning during a press conference held on the front steps of Neighborhood Music School on Audubon Street.

Flanked by Gov. Ned Lamont, Mayor Justin Elicker, and a host of state legislators and New Haven arts leaders, Shapiro said the COVID Relief Fund for the Arts will provide a baseline grant of $5,000 each for eligible recipients.

The fund will also provide a matching grant worth up to $750,000 each, as calculated at 50 percent of total private donations raised by an eligible organization between the start of the pandemic in early March and Nov. 1.

“Is this going to fix all things for all people?” asked Shapiro. “I don’t think we’re in a situation where we can fix all things for all nonprofits, all arts agencies, or all businesses. Is this going to help? Yes. Absolutely.”

The fund—which is made up of federal CARES Act money allocated by the state and which will be open to applications starting Friday and ending Nov. 3—is reserved for three specific types of arts nonprofit organizations: performing arts centers, performing groups, and schools of the arts.

Eligible organizations must show a documented loss of earned income of at least 20 percent year-to-date as of Sept. 30 in comparison to the same period last year. They have been established by Oct. 1, 2019. And they must have at least one full-time paid staff member, either salaried or contractual.

The complete article can be read online at https://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/state_arts_grant.

Help Make Thanksgiving Special This Year

Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen

For almost 30 years, the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen has participated in a community-wide effort to deliver meals to people in need on Thanksgiving morning. Although the COVID-19 pandemic is limiting the scale of this annual program, we’re determined to get at least 500 meals out to those most in need on Thanksgiving Day, focusing on people experiencing homelessness and staying in warming centers, hotels, and shelters. In addition, we will once again be providing plenty of Thanksgiving foods at our weekly pantry on the Wednesday before the holiday.

Here’s how YOU can help:

Donate Food!

Help us make Thanksgiving special for those in need in your community by donating food from our Thanksgiving Shopping List.

  • Frozen turkeys (Nov. 15 drop-off only)
  • Stuffing (boxed)
  • Green beans (canned)
  • Cranberry sauce (canned)
  • Yams (canned)
  • Corn (canned)
  • Broth (turkey, chicken, or vegetable)
  • Butter (1-lb. boxes)
  • Reusable shopping bags

Please drop off frozen turkeys on Sunday, Nov. 15, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. All other items can be dropped off during DESK’s regular receiving hours (Sun. – Thu., 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.) through Sunday, Nov. 22. Drop-off Location: 311 Temple Street.

Questions? Call us at (203) 624-6426, ext. 6137, or email info@deskct.org.

Donate Money!

Your financial support will ensure that DESK can serve those in need on Thanksgiving and all year-round! Show your support and we’ll be able to purchase supplies to keep everyone safe and protected during these difficult times. Contact us with any questions at (203) 624-6426, ext. 8557.

Donate Your Time! Volunteer!

While we won’t need all 250+ volunteers who typically take part in Thanksgiving for All, we still need some folks to make this happen! If you’re interested in helping out onsite or delivering meals, email us at volunteer@deskct.org, and we’ll be in touch in the weeks leading up to let you know how you can help.

Thanksgiving for All is a community partnership of Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen, Interfaith Volunteer Care Givers, Yale Hospitality, and Chabaso Bakery.

People’s World Amistad Awards on Saturday, Dec. 12

by Joelle Fishman, Connecticut People’s World

This year’s People’s World Amistad Awards will take place on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, at 4 p.m. as a virtual concert program, with printed greeting book mailed out to participants. The theme is United for the World We Want: Celebrating Resilience, Solidarity and Vision.

This year’s awardees are:

  • Barbara Vereen, staff director Unite Here Local 34 and Unite Here Black Leadership Group;
  • Rob Baril, president SEIU District 1199 New England;
  • Jan Hochadel, president AFT Connecticut; and
  • Councilwoman Wildaliz Bermudez, Working Families Party, Hartford.

We pay tribute in the fight for the rights of essential workers and all workers irregardless of immigration status during the COVID pandemic, the rise of the movement for Black lives, and the fight of our lives in the 2020 elections.

For information about logging on to the virtual concert, tickets or placing an ad in our greeting booklet, please email ct-pww@pobox.com or call (203) 624-4254.

City Unveils Statue of William Lanson, Black Engineer and Activist

Simisola Fagbemi, Yale Daily News, Sept. 28, 2020, Contributing Reporter

On [Sept. 26] the Elm City dedicated a new statue on Farmington Canal to William Lanson –– a prominent 19th-century Black engineer, entrepreneur and civil rights activist in New Haven.

On Saturday morning, city leaders and community members gathered at the Farmington Canal Trail to unveil a 7-foot bronze statue commemorating the life and legacy of Lanson. Oakland-based sculptor Dana King created the statue as part of an effort —coordinated by the New Haven City Plan Department and the Amistad Committee, a Connecticut based non-profit that educates the public about African American history —to celebrate oft-overlooked accomplishments by the city’s Black residents. […]

The Amistad Committee has been envisioning such a project for ten years. In 2010, the committee received a grant to expand the Connecticut Freedom Trail, which is a group of historic sites that offer a glimpse into the African-American experience in the state. […]

According to Connecticut History’s website, William Lanson was a formerly enslaved man who moved to New Haven with his family at the start of the 19th century and quickly became one of the city’s leading innovators. In 1810, he led a successful effort to expand the city’s Long Wharf by 1,350 feet –– a move that made it possible for larger ships to dock in New Haven and stimulated the city’s economy.

[Read the whole article at https://yaledailynews.com/blog/2020/09/28/city-unveils-statue-of-william-lanson-black-engineer-and-activist]

We Will Miss Mike DeRosa

by David Bedell, Green Party of Connecticut

Mike DeRosa died October 16 at Hartford Hospital after battling an extended illness. Mike was a founding member of the CT Green Party, working on the Nader for President campaigns back in 1996 and 2000. Even before that, he had a history of activism; he volunteered for the Eugene McCarthy campaign of 1976 and for Barry Commoner’s Citizens Party campaign of 1980.

Together with his wife Barbara Barry, Mike organized the Hartford chapter of the CT Green Party, and he served as co-chair of the state party from 2003 to 2020. As co-chair, he drew criticism for continually running for re-election and for holding the party to a strict set of ethical principles, but he was dedicated to the survival of the party, organizing meetings month after month for years, tape recording the proceedings to ensure transparency, and speaking forcefully against proposals that he felt would be harmful to the party’s integrity. He served on several national party committees, notably the Ballot Access Committee and the Peace Committee.

From 2000 to 2018, Mike ran ten times for public office, winning as much as 11% of the vote: four times for State Senate, twice for Congress, and four times for Secretary of State. In 2009-2010, he partnered with the ACLU to spearhead a legal challenge to CT’s Citizens Election Program, which discriminates against minor party candidates.

Mike produced a weekly public affairs radio program, “New Focus Radio,” for many years at WHUS, WWUH, and WESU, interviewing political activists and analysts both locally and nationally known.

Mike’s persistence, loyalty, and commitment to democracy will be missed in Connecticut’s political circles.

Unions Are Beginning to Talk About Staving Off a Possible Coup

by Barbara Madeloni, Labor Notes, Oct. 15, 2020

“Therefore, be it finally resolved that the Rochester Labor Council, AFL-CIO calls on the National AFL-CIO, all of its affiliate unions, and all other labor organizations in the United States of America to prepare for and enact a general strike of all working people, if necessary, to ensure a Constitutionally mandated peaceful transition of power as a result of the 2020 Presidential Elections.”

These words conclude a resolution passed October 8 by the Rochester Central Labor Council. In calling for all of labor to prepare to strike for democracy, the Rochester CLC may be the first out of the gate to call for direct action over concerns many share: will there be a peaceful transfer of power after the November election? Will votes be fairly counted, and will the outcome be determined by the voters—not the courts?

A few nights later the representative assembly of the Seattle Educators Association (SEA) passed a resolution stating that its board will call an emergency meeting within seven days of the election and, if it determines there has been election interference, call a meeting of the representative and general assemblies as soon as possible to vote on a work action.

And on October 20, the Emergency Workplace Organizing Committee will host a discussion among labor leaders including Flight Attendants President Sara Nelson: “What Can Workers Do to Stop Trump from Stealing the Election?” EWOC is a pandemic-era collaboration between the Electrical Workers (UE) and the Democratic Socialists of America.

Ready on a Minute’s Notice?

In Rochester, the discussion began with concerns about whether or not Trump would step down if he lost the election. Then it moved to talk of the appointment of Louis DeJoy as Postmaster General, the subsequent mail delays, and Trump’s efforts to undermine faith in mail-in ballots.

The resolution was passed unanimously by the executive board and the full delegate body.

What if Trump refuses to accept a loss? “If he doesn’t, we need a plan already in place, ready to implement on a minute’s notice, to remove him from office,” wrote Rochester CLC President Dan Maloney in an email. “A national general strike, if joined by all democracy-loving Americans, can be the impetus the Congress and judiciary need to fulfill their role as co-equal branches of government.”

[Read the entire article here: labornotes.org/2020/10/unions-are-beginning-talk-about-staving-possible-coup

The Yale Cross Campus Occupation Oct. 22-24

Facebook Yale Endowment Justice Coalition

The Yale Endowment Justice Coalition demands Yale’s complete divestment from fossil fuels and Puerto Rican debt! They held an in-person COVID-safe occupation on Cross Campus from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day on October 22, 23, and 24. There were speakers and events throughout, and time designated for calling University President Peter Salovey, Chief Investments Officer David Swensen, and other members of the Yale Corporation to demand that they divest. They ended on International Divestment Day—Oct. 24—when hundreds of youth organizations around the world call on their institutions to stop profiting from climate change.

For years, Yale students and New Haven community members have demanded that Yale listen to scientists, stop profiting from the extraction and burning of fossil fuels and cancel its holdings in exploitative and imperialist Puerto Rican debt. Last year hundreds of students and community members stormed the field at the Harvard/Yale game in support of those demands. Yet our administration still refuses to listen to student voices. Now, as New Haven struggles with the worst public health crisis and the worst economic downturn in living memory, it could not be more important that Yale invest its $30 billion endowment in the New Haven community, not fossil fuel companies or predatory debt collectors. Join us as we continue to demand that our university curb the violence of their financial practices and become a more equitable, accountable institution. (See up-dates at: yaledailynews.com/blog/2020/10/23/endowment-justice-student-protesters-occupy-cross-campus.

Opinion: Vote “Yes” to Move Military Money to New Haven

Kim Stoner, NH Independent, Oct. 20, 2020

I mailed my absentee ballot today, and I almost missed it. I was so focused on the people I wanted to vote for—and certain people I wanted to vote against—that I almost missed the block of text on the right-hand side of the ballot:

“Shall Congress prepare for health and climate crises by transferring funds from the military budget to cities for human needs, jobs and an environmentally sustainable economy?”

Fortunately, I noticed it as I was folding my ballot to stuff it inside the inner envelope, stopped, and energetically marked the oval for “Yes!” I testified to the Board of Alders last June, asking them to put this on the ballot, and they unanimously agreed. I am a scientist, so I like facts. My testimony to the alders was a compilation of facts:

  • Direct military spending in the fiscal year ending in September 2020 will amount to $746 billion — more than $2 billion per day, more than $1 million per minute.
  • The U.S. military is the largest institutional consumer of fossil fuels in the world. Since the beginning of the “War on Terror” in 2001, the U.S. military has emitted 1.2 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases. This is more than double the annual greenhouse gas emissions of all the automobiles in the U.S.
  • Green manufacturing—the kind of work that would employ the technical skills used in defense manufacturing in Connecticut—creates 28 percent more jobs per dollar spent than defense spending.
  • Retrofitting buildings for energy efficiency —work we desperately need to do in New Haven, with our older and less energy efficient buildings—would create twice as many jobs per dollar spent as defense spending, and would immediately benefit the people of New Haven in reducing our energy bills and improving our health and comfort.
  • Our endless wars all over the world since 2001 have killed over 800,000 people and have not added to the peace or security of our country.

Why do we have such a huge military—bigger than those of the next 10 countries combined? The events of the last six months have shown that our status as a military superpower cannot keep us in New Haven safe from disease, from economic collapse, from gun violence, and from our divisions along racial and economic lines. Neither can it protect our country from the wildfires, floods, and hurricanes that seem never to end—and that are only a foretaste of the climate disasters to come.

We can’t solve our most pressing problems here in the city of New Haven, in the state, in the country, or in the world through military domination. COVID-19 is a global problem. The solution will ultimately be a global solution. We need to do everything we can locally to prevent the spread, to support the vulnerable and to prepare for fair and rapid mobilization when vaccines and treatments become available. In the meantime, the solutions lie in cooperation, not domination.

Climate change is also a global problem. We are way behind in grappling with the complexities and the will to implement global solutions, so just as with COVID-19, we need to do everything we can locally to make sure that those most vulnerable have the resources they need to adapt to the heat, the flooding, the increases in disease and the massive economic shifts that we know are coming. We also need to radically change our city in cooperation with the state and the rest of the world to stop putting the gases into the air that will make climate change worse.

Shifting money from the military would provide enormous practical benefits—making money available for human health, jobs, and environmental sustainability in our city. It would also represent a paradigm change in the federal government by raising the focus on human needs, not just in response to a crisis, but in supporting the community to reduce and prevent the crises of the future. And maybe—just maybe—it could lead to more cooperation and less domination in our relationships with the rest of the world.

Music and Art to Honor Gandhi Peace Award Honorees Nov. 21

by Stanley Heller, Administrator, Promoting Enduring Peace

Promoting Enduring Peace will have notable Syrian and American artists and musicians on the program on Saturday, Nov. 21 as it honors Dr. Zaher Sahloul and Mayson Almisr with the Gandhi Peace Award. The event will take place online at 1 p.m.

Examples of the work of artists Akram Swedaan, Molly Crabapple, Marc Nelson, Adeebah Alnemar and New Haven’s own Mohamed Hafez will be shown with narration. Songs will be sung in English and Arabic by Marc Nelson and Wafsi Massarani.

You can see Marc Nelson’s twenty variations on the work of Goya on the PEP website, PEPeace.org. Like Goya, he entitled them Disasters of War.

Famed Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour will introduce Dr. Sahloul. She’s known for her work with the Women’s March and for immigrant rights.

PEP chose its 2020 honorees to recognize the amazing work done by Syrian medical workers and rescue workers. Unfortunately, after nine years their work is still vital. A bomb in Al-Bab in October killed a score of people and injured several hundred.

The award comes with a $5,000 prize (shared by both honorees) and a medal made of “peace bronze.” The peace bronze is made from metal melted down from decommissioned nuclear facilities.

To get admission to the event go to PEPeace.org and register through Zoom. Zoom will then send you the link for the event. We’re hoping those who are able can make a donation to help us stage the event. $10 is recommended, but it’s completely optional.

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