Do You Struggle to Pay Your Monthly Heat and Electricity Bills?

by Annie Harper, Program for Recovery and Community Health, Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine

We are recruiting people living in New Haven to participate in focus groups. During the focus groups, we will ask them about their experiences with energy bills and energy efficiency upgrades. We plan to hold 6-8 focus groups with tenants, and 1 or 2 focus groups with landlords. We will pay people $50 for their time.

With the links below you will be able to enter your information on a form and someone will get back to you (the forms are in both Spanish and English). You can also call 203-868-0137.

tenants:  https://forms.gle/dw841ntBwjNJaCsw9

landlords:  https://forms.gle/Hf4WsWkketvccJf7A

 

Dozens Protest Israel’s New Massacre

by LouAnn Villani, Middle East Crisis Committee

Sixty or more people held signs and banners in Middletown on August 17 in outrage over Israel’s new massacre in Gaza. Many held the pictures and names of Palestinians killed in Israel’s brutal early August “Op.” One person held a picture of a Palestinian girl who lost two legs and an arm in the assault.

The cosponsors of the event were the Middle East Crisis Committee, the Bristol Anti-Racism Brigade (BARB), Bristol Advocates for Marginalized Families (BAMF), Workers’ Voice CT, the Tree of Life Education Fund, Promoting Enduring Peace, and Jewish Voice for Peace (New Haven). Most of the turnout came from local Islamic centers.

Besides expressing horror and anger, protesters expressed disgust at Connecticut members of Congress who vote immense amounts of money to Israel each year without question. This year it was $1 billion on top of $3.8 billion in regular money approved during the Obama presidency.

Favorite chants were “Gaza, Gaza, don’t you cry, Palestine will never die”; “Not another nickel, not another dime, no more money for Israel’s crimes”; and “Free Palestine.” Ghoufran Allababidi from Tree of Life Education Fund, Dan from Workers’ Voice and Phil Brewer from Jewish Voice for Peace spoke to the crowd.

People were especially encouraged by the many honks from cars and trucks passing by.

To see video of the protest, go to thestrugglevideo.org. For more info on how to be involved, email mail@thestruggle.org or call 203-444-3578.

Petition to Lamont to Stop Using Gas-Powered Equipment on State Land

Stanley Heller, Promoting Enduring Peace

Gas-powered equipment gives off exhausts dangerous to the workers who use the tools daily and anyone in the immediate area. The two-cycled engines are the worst. A large part of their fuel is not even burned. Instead, it gets aerosolized. The stink is unpleasant but more important are the toxic chemicals that are released along with microscopic particles. Tiny particles can go deep into the lung and can cause lung cancer, heart disease, strokes, asthma, and other respiratory ailments.

The noise from gas-powered machines ranges from irritating to hazardous. Some lawn mowers and leaf-blowers give off sound comparable to that of a nearby jackhammer or motorcycle. Even when it’s not causing direct harm the noise can bother babies and others who sleep during daylight hours, those who study and the increasing number of people who work from their homes. Quiet and fresh air shouldn’t be considered luxuries!

There’s also the amount of global warming gases given off by the equipment. In CT 40 million gallons of gas are burned just for lawn care! We at PEP started a petition asking the governor to take the lead by stopping the use of gas-powered equipment on land the state owns directly. Use electric power or rewild. See the petition at: tinyurl.com/petition-CT-owned-land.

On the 77th Anniversary of the Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

by Henry Lowendorf, Greater New Haven Peace Council

The current threat of nuclear war – and the critical efforts to dismantle nuclear weapons arsenals and the need for all of us to engage in the struggle to demilitarize our society – has motivated both commemorations of the 77th anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, August 6th and 9th.

Henry Lowendorf Photo

We were reminded by the words that Secretary General of the UN António Guterres handed to the latest review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) at the UN that conventional wars, such as the one in Ukraine and the one that US efforts are trying to provoke in China, where the belligerents possess thousands of nuclear weapons, are but one misstep away from nuclear catastrophe.

We were reminded in words, poetry and song, that our own action, or inaction, today determines whether our government continues to spend most of our limited resources on weapons and war, or changes course to fund human needs; whether we assure our children and their children a livable future or not.

We were reminded that General Leslie Groves, the head of the Manhattan Project which generated the first atomic bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki, lied that it was pleasant to die by radiation poisoning. And that government leaders today, who are spending $2 trillion on building more and more “usable” nuclear weapons, continue to lie to make us believe that these weapons of mass destruction – the destruction of most life on planet earth – provide us with any kind of security.

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker spoke of ensuring the security of the future of his two small children. Former mayor Toni Harp explained how as a young girl she discovered her birthday was not the same as some famous movie star but the day the lives of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children were brutally snuffed out in the faraway city of Hiroshima.

Veterans for Peace Connecticut leader Jim Brasile informed us that the sailing ship Golden Rule will visit New Haven and other cities in Connecticut next spring. The Golden Rule has a marvelous history sailing the Pacific to highlight the threat of nuclear weapons and encourage action to abolish them. It will be here in May and June, 2023, to help us celebrate, contemplate and defend the right to live free of nuclear war.

As we commemorated the atomic destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and diplomats from around the world debated how to get the nuclear-weapons states to abide by their obligations under the NPT, our own government is spreading nuclear weapons technology to new territories in the Indo-Pacific. Peaceful Ocean indeed!

As residents and citizens of the only nation that has ever purposefully used nuclear weapons against civilians, we are obligated to actively demand that our leaders lead in rapidly abolishing them.
grnhpeacecouncil@gmail.com, https://nhpeacecouncil.org, 203-389-9547.

‘This Time It Must Be Different’: Hundreds March Through New Haven and Yale After Black Man Is Paralyzed in NHPD Custody

Yash Roy, Yale Daily News, Jul 11, 2022

A June 19th arrest resulted in the serious injury and paralysis of Randy Cox, a 36-year-old Newhallville resident. Hundreds marched through downtown New Haven Friday evening [July 8] to demand structural changes to New Haven Police Department policy and criminal charges against police officers after a Black man was paralyzed in their custody.

Randy Cox, a 36-year-old Newhallville resident, was attending a block party on June 19 when he was arrested for illegal possession of a firearm. He was injured while being transported by New Haven police officers after they put him in the back of an NHPD transport vehicle that did not have seatbelts and abruptly stopped the car to avoid an accident. Cox remains paralyzed from the chest down and cannot speak, according to his family.

“I want justice for my son,” Doreen Coleman, Cox’s mother, told the News at the protest. “I want the cops to be held to account, whether that be their dismissal or criminal charges. My baby can’t speak, he has a tube in his mouth and he can’t walk.”

The rally was organized by the state NAACP chapter and Cox’s family, who demanded that officers involved be criminally prosecuted. Ben Crump, who was a lawyer for George Floyd’s family, is the Cox family’s lead attorney.

Cox was paralyzed after NHPD officers put him into the back of a police van without a seatbelt. According to body cam footage released by NHPD and posted online by the New Haven Independent, transport officer Oscar Diaz abruptly stopped the vehicle and Cox was thrown to the front of the holding area in the back of the van.

Cox called out, saying he was hurt and banged on the dividing wall. The officer checked on him almost four minutes later, called an ambulance and then continued driving to central holding, in contravention of NHPD policy, which requires officers to stay put after calling for medical assistance for a detainee.

At holding, after Cox told the officers he could not move, he was forcibly carried to a holding cell. At one point in body cam footage, Cox says he can’t move and is told by another officer that “you weren’t even trying.” One officer suggested that Cox could not move because he “drank too much,” according to body cam footage.

Read the entire article at https://yaledailynews.com/blog/2022/07/11/this-time-it-must-be-different-hundreds-march-through-new-haven-and-yale-after-black-man-is-paralyzed-in-nhpd-custody

New Haven Peace Commission, New HOPE Housing Program, Newhallville Neighborhood to Celebrate International Day of Peace

by City of New Haven Peace Commission

In 1981 the United Nations General Assembly declared September 21 as the International Day of Peace. The Assembly established it as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.

To bring attention to the importance of this day, the City of New Haven Peace Commission for more than a decade has planted a tree on the grounds of a city school, library, or public space. This year, the New Haven Peace Commission, New HOPE Housing Program, and Newhallville neighborhood will join together with the international community to recognize the International Day of Peace by co-hosting a program at the new home of HOPE, 660 Winchester Avenue, New Haven.

The program has been planned jointly by Newhallville neighborhood organizations, Alder Devin Avshalom-Smith, Peace Commission members, Rev. Bonita Grubbs and staff of Christian Community Action, and new residents of HOPE. [The date of the program was not chosen before our newsletter went to print. The event will be during the week of Sept. 18. Contact the City of New Haven Peace Commission at nhpeacecommission@gmail.com.]

During the program, a permanent memorial to recognize International Day of Peace will be installed on the grounds of HOPE, near a specially-chosen tree, provided and planted by URI (Urban Resources Initiative) and the placement of a plaque nearby to commemorate the day. The tree is planted to remember those killed by gun violence in our communities and in wars abroad and to affirm the commitment of New Haven as a Peace Messenger City, for action toward peace and justice everywhere.

2022 Theme: End racism. Build peace. From the United Nations website for 2022 International Day of Peace: https://www.un.org/en/observances/international-day-peace.

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.

But achieving true peace entails much more than laying down arms. It requires the building of societies where all members feel that they can flourish. It involves creating a world in which people are treated equally, regardless of their race.

Roe Reversal Protest Slams Supreme Court 

by Thomas Breen, New Haven Independent, June 24, 2022

Hundreds of abortion rights protesters filled the federal courthouse steps downtown to decry the U.S. Supreme Court’s “outrageous” and ​“unacceptable” overturning of Roe v. Wade.

That rally took place Friday afternoon [June 24] on the steps and sidewalk outside of 141 Church St. Organized by a coalition of social justice activists and faith leaders called the New Haven Reproductive Justice Mobilization, the protest slammed the top court’s 6 – 3 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned the 50-year-old precedent set in Roe that established a constitutional right to abortion.

Thomas Breen Photo

“The court has stripped away the freedom and agency of millions, especially Black, brown and indigenous women, girls, LGBT, and gender-nonconforming people,” said local immigrant rights activist Kica Matos, who emceed Friday’s protest. “The court has so brazenly chosen to set the clock back in this, the 21st Century … This ruling is about power. It is about control. And it is about taking away our freedoms. To this ruling, I say: ​‘Hell, no! We will not go back!’ ”

Read the entire article at newhavenindependent.org/article/roe_reversal_protest

The 18 minute video of the June 24 Reproductive Rights Rally is at https://youtu.be/bZ-OiIUa2BU

 

 

A Conversation with Dmitry Muratov, 2021 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, at SCSU, Sept. 9

Southern CT State University Calendar

Dmitry Muratov, an independent Russian journalist who covers Russian politics and policy and an open dissenter of the war in Ukraine, will be speaking at Southern Connecticut State University on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022 at 7 p.m. in the John Lyman Center for the Performing Arts.

With U.S./Russian relations at their most contentious since the Cold War, Muratov’s visit is well-timed to deliver a unique insider perspective on the hostage situation involving WNBA star Brittney Griner and the escalating civil unrest in Russia, which most recently includes the raiding of anti-war protest journalist Marina Ovsyannikova’s home.

Upon the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Muratov released editions of his newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, in both Russia and Ukraine in defiance of the Russian media watchdog’s rules. The paper was forced to suspend publication in March amid repression of critics of the offensive in Ukraine, and in July was set to be stripped of its license under court order.

Seven Novaya Gazeta journalists have been murdered since 2000, in connection with their investigations.

Muratov has established himself as a highly regarded advocate for an independent press and is well-known for investigating abuses of power. He was awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for his “efforts to safeguard freedom of expression.” In June 2022, Muratov auctioned off his Nobel Peace Prize for $103.5 million, with all money going to benefit Ukrainian refugees.

Muratov is the co-founder of Novaya Gazeta, established in 1993, and served as its editor-in-chief from 1995 to 2017, and once again in 2019. Muratov was the recipient of various honors, including the International Press Freedom Award in 2007 from the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Sponsored by SCSU Integrated Communications & Marketing, the Judaic Studies Program, and the departments of Political Science, History, Journalism, and English.

Tickets: https://tickets.southernct.edu/eventperformances.asp?evt=914

Friends of Kensington Playground Updates

by Jane Comins, FKP

Neighborhood Cookout: We hosted a fun neighborhood cookout in August to celebrate the opening of the splash pad and the 5 new, colorful trash receptacles painted by artists at Fellowship Place. Free food, refreshments, and games were enjoyed by 60 people on a hot summer August afternoon.

Splash Pad is Working! Kensington Playground’s splash pad has been fixed and is working from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily! We’d like to thank Mayor Elicker and the New Haven Parks Department for repairing the splash pad and cleaning the clogged drain pipe. Kensington Playground, with the working splash pad and grove of mature trees, is now the coolest spot in the Dwight neighborhood and the perfect place for kids and their families in the summer heat!

Lawsuit: Earlier this summer, the court struck down the City’s motion to dismiss our lawsuit, so our case continues.

Youth@Work Grant for Neighborhood Survey: We had 3 High School students from the Dwight Neighborhood working with us for 5 weeks this summer through the City of New Haven’s Youth@Work program. The students surveyed residents on parks, air quality, and human health. Their report on the outcomes of their survey will be available this fall.

501(c)(3) status: We are now a 501(c)(3), so all donations are tax-deductible retroactively to 2020. Please reach out to us if you need an updated receipt. We would like to thank UConn’s CT Urban Legal Initiative for assisting us with our application.

Fundraising: We hope that you will make a donation to legal costs now to keep our work moving forward, as we expect another legal bill soon. All donations will be used towards legal expenses unless you specify that your donation is to be used for an event.

Learn More. Get Involved. Donate: We remain hopeful that our efforts will result in the city reclaiming/saving this valuable and irreplaceable neighborhood greenspace. Please visit our website to get involved, sign our petition, and donate toward our lawsuit to save Kensington Playground at: KensingtonPlayground.org.

The Peace Garden Is Blooming!

by Frank Panzarella, volunteer at the Peace Garden

Great progress is being made in the West River neighborhood of New Haven in restoring the Peace Garden. Gladiolas, Echinacea, roses, butterfly flowers, flowering bushes, milkweed and more now adorn the site and new mulch is currently being spread to keep down the stubborn weeds.

All this requires many volunteers to weed, water and distribute the mulch. The Peace Garden sits at a gateway crossroad for New Haven and will be adjacent to a new housing construction project in the West River neighborhood.

Our thanks to members of the Peace Commission, URI, the West River Watershed Coalition, and residents of the West River neighborhood for their ongoing work at the garden.

We want to see this garden become a jewel in the revival of New Haven attractions and a portrait of our values in promoting world peace and peace within our own city. We are currently looking for ideas from the community as to what they would like to see in improving the layout of the garden.

Included in this garden is a significant donation from the City of Hiroshima: a Ginkgo tree taken from a cutting of a tree that survived the destruction of Hiroshima — a symbol of the tenacity of life.

We need your help to restore the beauty of this garden. Please come and volunteer to work. We meet every Friday from 9:30 to noon. The garden is located at the end of the Route 34 connector between Martin Luther King Boulevard and Legion Avenue, where they meet Ella Grasso Boulevard. For more information call 203-562-2798 or email frankpanzarella@hotmail.com.

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