Hundreds March to Demand Citizenship for Essential Immigrant Workers on May Day

Megan Fountain, Unidad Latina en Acción

Banging pots and pans, three hundred marched to demand a path to citizenship for essential immigrant workers in the streets of downtown New Haven.  There were speeches and live music by salsa and mariachi groups on the New Haven Green till 7 p.m.

“People should have a living wage no matter where they come from, their race, their ethnicity, whether they have documents or not,” Mayor Justin Elicker told the crowd in Spanish. “People should have health insurance and paid sick days so that they can care for their families, so that they can support the community. Until we have that, we don’t have a full community that supports everyone.

“We may be essential in your words, but we are dispensable in your actions,” said Max Cisneros of the New Haven Pride Center. “We maintained your society in the worst days of the pandemic, and we deserve equal rights and citizenship. It’s only right. It’s only fair.”

“We want Biden to move forward with immigration reform,” said Kica Matos, former deputy mayor of New Haven and currently Vice President of Initiatives at Vera Institute for Justice. “We are tired of platitudes. I want the President of the United States to affirmatively move forward to fight for legalization, protection and justice for immigrants.”

Undocumented immigrants are disproportionately represented in the “essential” industries that have suffered the highest rates of COVID mortality.[1] These deaths are not accidental, but they have been produced by anti-worker and anti-immigrant policies that have been deliberately advanced at the federal, state, and local levels to ensure that immigrant labor is super-exploitable and to exclude immigrants from health protections and safety nets including the CARES Act stimulus payments.

As President Biden makes the case for a national economic recovery that will invest in life-saving public infrastructure, protesters on May 1 responded by demanding a recovery that includes citizenship and full equal rights for the immigrant workers who have sacrificed for this country.

[1] National Day Laborer Organizing Network. “Honoring The Fallen: An NDLON Report on the Impacts of the Global COVID-19 Pandemic on Immigrant Workers and People of Color in the United States.” April 28, 2021. https://ndlon.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Honrando-a-los-Caidos.-Honoring-the-Fallen..pdf

Contact: megan@ulanewhaven.org, (203) 479-2959.

Fair Haven Community Rises Up Against COVID

by Charla Nich, Vaccinate Fair Haven!

COVID struck people of color differently, devastating entire families and communities. COVID hospitalizations and deaths in Connecticut have disproportionately affected people of color – and the vaccination rollout is the same.

During the worst months of the pandemic, hospitalization rates were 3 times as high for people of color and death rates were 2 times as high compared to whites.  Currently. while 45% of white residents in Connecticut have been fully vaccinated, only 24% of Black and Latino residents have.

The state’s response to the crisis in communities of color has been horribly inadequate, highlighting the structural inequities that continue to exist. Since the outset of the pandemic, the state’s response to the hardest-hit communities of color has been neglectful and woefully inadequate. People of color continue to face structural barriers that the state has largely ignored – lack of access to vaccines, language barriers (a state website that continues to be largely in English), access to wifi, access to computers, and transportation challenges. This has led to the existing disparities that currently exist and that the state has failed to address.

Fair Haven fought back! Vaccinate Fair Haven! is a community-led effort and a response to the state’s neglect. It targeted a low-income zip code – a New Haven section rich with culture and largely populated by Latines and African Americans. This is the only such canvassing project in the country with the objective of knocking on every door in an entire zip code to bring trained bilingual health promoters to talk with residents about the importance of vaccination and schedule eligible residents on the spot – offering free transportation to those who needed it and in-home shots to the homebound.

Over 400 volunteers and 16 community groups tackled the disparity together. Volunteers were trained, “turfs” were assigned, and people walked and knocked on doors. From the March 13th launch and many days since, volunteers walked, knocked, called, and staffed the vaccination site. They left informational flyers behind at every single house. On May 5, VFH accomplished its mission – knocking on every single one of the 5,648 doors in Fair Haven.

Did Vaccinate Fair Haven! impact the COVID vaccination rates? Early results are promising. In January, 30% of the vaccinations the Fair Haven Community Health Center provided were for people of color, and in April 79% of those vaccinated were people of color. Across the state, 17% of first-time vaccinations were administered to people of color. In Fair Haven, 52% of first dose vaccinations were administered to people of color.

The Vaccinate Fair Haven! efforts to address the racial/ ethnic disparities by reducing the systemic barriers – language, transportation, information access, internet access – have resulted in greatly improved vaccination rates for our neighbors.

Tax Information from the War Resisters League

Pie Chart Flyers – Where Your Income Tax Money Really Goes

Where Your Income Tax Money Really Goes FY2022

ORDER NOW!

Perfect for Tax Day leafletting, as a focus for forums and panels and workshops and more!

The  new War Resisters League’s famous “pie chart” flyer, Where Your Income Tax Money Really Goes, analyzes the Federal Fiscal Year 2022 Budget (FY 2022 is 1 October 2021 – 30 September 2022.  This FY2022 issue was published in March 2021.

Each year War Resisters League analyzes federal funds outlays as presented in detailed tables in “Analytical Perspectives” of the Budget of the United States Government. Our analysis is based on federal funds, which do not include trust funds – such as Social Security – that are raised separately from income taxes for specific purposes. What federal income taxes you pay (or don’t pay) by April 15, 2020, goes to the federal funds portion of the budget.

HOW THESE FIGURES WERE DETERMINED

These figures are from the FY2022 column in the Analytical Perspectives book of the Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2021, issued last year, as the new budget with Covid relief has yet to be released this year. The figures are Federal funds, which do not include Trust funds — such as Social Security — that are raised and spent separately from income taxes.

What you pay (or don’t pay) by May 17, 2021, goes to the Federal funds portion of the budget. The government practice of combining Trust and Federal funds began during the Vietnam War, thus making the human needs portion of the budget seem larger and the military portion smaller.

Analysts differ on how much of the debt stems from the military; other groups estimate 50% to 60%. We use 80% because we believe if there had been no military spending, most of the national debt would have been eliminated.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Leaflet with this flyer year-round and on Tax Day, May 17, 2021, and during the Global Days of Action on Military Spending, April 13-May 9, demilitarize.org, and year round.

Get involved in WRL’s organizing and education work: nonviolent direct action training, counter-military recruitment, internationalist work, and more. Visit WRL’s membership handbook at warresisters.org/joinwrl. Find resources to challenge militarism, curb police and border patrol power, strengthen nonviolent action and lift up community resilience!

Write elected officials  letters-to-the-editor, and posts online. Send and share copies of this flyer. Explain your budget priorities for a better world.

Divest from war! Refuse to pay all or part of your federal income tax. Though illegal, thousands of people openly participate in this form of protest.  Whatever you choose to refuse—$1, $10, 48% or 100%—send a letter to elected officials and tell them why. Contact us for information or referral to a counselor near you. Contribute resisted tax money to groups that work for the common good.

For more about refusing to pay for war, brochures, and other resources, contact the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee, (800) 269-7464 or see nwtrcc.org.

Order a DVD of NWTRCC’s film, Death and Taxes from WRL’s online store.

Read and use War Tax Resistance: A Guide to Withholding Your Support from the Military, a 144-page handbook with history, methods and resources. Available for $5 plus postage from WRL’s online store.

You can also download the flyers and print them locally:

Fiscal Year 2022 (Released March 2021) Pie Chart Flyer
in English, in color (pdf)
in English, black & white (pdf)
in Spanish, in color (pdf)
in Spanish, black & white (pdf)

We offer these downloads free of charge, but we really appreciate your donation to support the work of producing this important resource each year.  If you can, donate today!

For Pie Charts from previous years, check out the Pie Chart Archives

Discounts applied at check out:

1-199        $.15
200-499    $.12
500 +        $.10

ORDER NOW!

Mark Colville Sentenced to 21 Months, Informs Court of Its Own Criminality

by Kingsbayplowshares7.org

Luz and Mark Colville

More than three years after he and six other anti-nuclear activists entered Kings Bay Naval Base, home to six Trident nuclear submarines, a federal judge sentenced Mark Colville, a New Haven resident from Amistad Catholic Worker, to 21 months in prison.

Over a video conference, Judge Lisa Godbey Wood sentenced Mark to the minimum of the recommended guidelines provided by prosecutors. Mark is the last of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 to be sentenced. Five are now in prison. Prior to the trial, Mark had already served about 15 months of his sentence, which will count towards his 21 months.

Mark told the court that its refusal to recognize the right of his family and community “to live without a nuclear gun on hair-trigger alert held perpetually to our heads… (has) placed it firmly in a posture of criminality.”

“This government, in its lawlessness, has hidden first strike weapons with enough firepower to kill six billion people,” he read from his sentencing statement today. The court has a responsibility “to allow the law to be applied beyond the fence at Kings Bay… a fence that I and my loved ones, with much fear and trembling, freely answered the call of faith, the call of conscience, and the call of generations yet unborn, to breach.

“In a very real sense, then, this hearing today is itself irrelevant. The court has already pronounced a sentence on me, on my family, and on my neighborhood. We are hereby condemned to live as members of a rogue state, which, in the face of a global consensus that outlaws nuclear weapons, has budgeted what amounts to $100,000 per minute over the next ten years to upgrade its stockpile of these useless, poisonous idols.”

As with all six of his co-defendants, Mark was also ordered to share payment of restitution of $33,503.51. He was also sentenced to three years of supervised probation.

Mark called on teacher and activist Stephen Kobasa as his sole character witness.

“Mark Colville doesn’t need me here,” Stephen said. “His consistency, his passion, his fierce commitment to hope are completely apparent to anyone who has encountered him.

“There is nothing in the world of more seriousness than what Mark and his companions in the Kings Bay Plowshares demand that we face. The weapons at Kings Bay condemn us to living each and every moment in fear of losing everything we believe matters, everything we have, in a single flash of unbearable light.”

Mark was given 60 days to report to prison.

Full article and more information at kingsbayplowshares7.org.

Also see The Nuclear Resister for its coverage and Mark’s sentencing statement to the court. https://tinyurl.com/colville-plow-7-sentence]

May Day, International Workers’ Day Events

Saturday, May 1, New Haven, noon – 4 p.m. rally and march
May 1 is a critical time to take to the streets in a broad coalition for migrant justice and worker justice. Unidad Latina en Acción is convening a “Day Without Immigrants” massive rally on the New Haven Green, and a march at 4 p.m. For information go to ULA’s Facebook page or call (475) 323-9413.

March & Rally to Demand a Long Term Caregivers Bill of Rights at 12 p.m. Event at the Governor’s Mansion, by SEIU District 1199 New England, 15 Trinity St, Hartford. They call us heroes, but on the job – Home Care, Group Home, and Nursing Home workers – we are treated like we’re expendable. May 1st is International Workers’ Day – and we’re calling on Governor Lamont to CARE FOR CAREGIVERS by ending the cycle of structural racism that devalues the work of predominantly Black, Brown, and working class white women who work in long term care.

We are gathering in the northwest corner of Elizabeth Park in West Hartford and marching the half-mile up Asylum Ave. and turning onto Prospect St. to rally in front of the Governor’s mansion.

Free parking and socially distanced shuttle bus beginning at 11:15 from the 1199 office at 77 Huyshope Ave, Hartford. More info: www.facebook.com/events/466564707915332

Workers of the World Unite for an Equitable RECOVERY FOR ALL Sunday, May 2, at 4 p.m. EDT (US & Canada) via Zoom. Host Contact Info: ct-pww@pobox.com.

May Day 2021, International Workers’ Day, comes one year into the COVID-19 crisis, as workers resist racial and economic inequalities and demand fundamental change and a Recovery for All. Come together in unity & solidarity for a special rally hosted by CT People’s World.
Spanish language interpretation will be provided.

Rally Program:

  • Special Guest: RECOVERY FOR ALL Coalition Members;
  • Panel discussion with 1199 workers, Husky For Immigrants, Yale Union workers, also public workers from AFT on the front lines of the fight for essential workers and all workers;
  • Slide show of resistance and victories by workers on all continents, including in CT during COVID-19, challenging giant corporate profits from the impoverishment of working people;
  • Solidarity actions and demands.

Register now using the link below. After registering, you will get a confirmation email with information about joining the rally.

PeoplesWorld.org has extensive coverage of the COVID-19 crisis and struggles for racial, economic and climate justice on the side of the multi-racial working class. Contributions are welcomed to help People’s World get over economic problems due to the pandemic, and continue to contribute to the labor and people’s movements and thrive. Please mail donations to CT People’s World Committee, 37 Howe St., New Haven, CT 06511.

For more visit https://tinyurl.com/FB654654may-day-2021

Car Caravan and Rally for Respect at Yale May 5

Join us Wednesday, May 5 at 5 p.m. for a Car Caravan and Rally for Respect, an event with Local 34 UNITE HERE, Local 217 UNITE HERE, Local 33 UNITE HERE, Students Unite Now and New Haven Rising, starting at 1 Prospect St., New Haven.

For the last year, many Yale workers have been essential workers on the frontlines of higher education. We have worked to provide health care, to keep the Yale community safe, to facilitate online learning, and to ensure successful University operations.

It’s been over five years since Yale committed to hiring 1,000 New Haven residents into good jobs at the university—and we are still waiting.

Meanwhile, Yale’s wealth continues to grow every day. And on May 5 at 5 p.m, we’re going to show Yale that it’s time — time for Yale to step up and pay its fair share. Now is the time for Yale to commit to protecting our union standard and our job security. Now is the time for Yale to honor its commitments to New Haven and help ensure the city recovers from this crisis.

Come out to join other Yale workers, New Haven Rising, and our allies on 5/5 at 5 p.m. on the corner of Prospect and Grove to demand respect for our union and the New Haven community. All are welcome to join by car, bike, or by foot. Social distancing, masks, and all other necessary safety precautions will be followed. When we fight together, we win! https://www.facebook.com/events/209241147274412

A Virtual Conversation with Emily Bazelon at Fellowship Place May 13

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, Fellowship Place presents a virtual conversation with Emily Bazelon, Thursday, May 13, 6-8 p.m. She will discuss the critical need for criminal justice reform and how people of color and people living with mental illness have been failed by the courts and the prison system, Social check-in begins at 6 p.m. The program begins promptly at 6:15 p.m., free and open to the public.

African Americans are incarcerated in state prisons across the country at more than five times the rate of whites. More than one-third of inmates in state and federal prisons suffer from a mental illness. Emily Bazelon will lead a conversation about the disparities in the criminal justice system and the reforms that are urgently needed; she will be joined by a panel of formerly incarcerated individuals served by Fellowship Place.

Ms. Bazelon is a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine, the Truman Capote Fellow for Creative Writing and Law at Yale Law School, and a co-host of the Slate Political Gabfest. She is the author of two national best-sellers: Charged, about the power of prosecutors, and Sticks and Stones, about how to prevent bullying. Charged won the 2020 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the current interest category and the Silver Gavel Book Award from the American Bar Association. She is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School.

Fellowship Place’s mission is to serve adults living with mental illness by offering a full range of therapeutic support and rehabilitation services that promote independence, wellness, and meaningful life. Open 365 days a year, our campus community serves over 800 people annually who are living with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression. Services include day programming, permanent supportive housing, vocational services, homeless engagement services, and support for individuals transitioning out of incarceration. Fellowship’s programs complement and enhance traditional psychiatric care provided in hospital and clinic settings.

If you have any questions about the event or sponsorship opportunities, please contact mholroyd@fellowshipplace.org.

The Truth About Medical Assisted Suicide

by Joan Cavanagh, member, Second Thoughts CT

Cartoon created by Amy Hasbrouck of Not Dead Yet Canada

“Countries that have enabled euthanasia or assisted suicide have claimed that it has to be totally voluntary, cannot be due to financial or family pressures, cannot be due to untreated or unrecognized depression and cannot be due to untreated, poorly managed pain. They state that, and yet there is no evidence that those are not the major factors driving this.

“What it takes to adhere to those guidelines is incredibly expensive and time-consuming and doesn’t happen. That’s the situation in the Netherlands and Belgium and Canada. All the heartfelt adherence to restrictions that are announced when you first get the public to vote in favor of this go up in smoke once the practice is validated. And it’s always with the talking points that it’s about relief of suffering, that the person, even though he cannot say this, would agree that he would be better off dead.

“Ethically, do I think people should have the right to control the timing of their death? I do. [But] I think it’s dangerous public policy. It’s a dangerous path to go down with the claim that it is all about respect for autonomy, when the real drivers are getting rid of a painful and expensive burden on society…

“There was a recent case in Canada: a guy with neuro-degenerative disorder who was cognitively intact. In order to go home from the hospital, he needed 24-hour care, and the government would not pay for 24-hour care. He recorded hospital staff offering him medical aid in dying as an alternative. You think that doesn’t create pressure on people who already feel like burdens? They need to be met with a resounding commitment to continued relationship. Not: ‘You’re right. I agree you’d be better off dead. Here’s a prescription.’ That pushes someone who is struggling right over the cliff.”

–Excerpt from an interview with Dr. Diane Meier, Director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care, Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York Times Magazine, March 24, 2021.

Please contact your State Representatives and Senators and tell them to vote “NO” on H.B. 6425, “An Act Concerning Aid in Dying for Terminally Ill People.”

Libraries Expand In-Person Services

by Gina Bingham, NHFPL

The New Haven Free Public Library has expanded its in-person services with limited hours for technology use and short browsing visits at the Ives Main Library, Fair Haven Branch, Mitchell Branch and Wilson Branch. The Stetson Branch will continue to offer curbside services until further notice.

The following services will be available:

  • Picking up holds and requests
  • Opening or renewing a library card
  • Browsing and checking out new materials for all ages (limit to one 30-minute session per day)
  • Using a library computer by appointment (limit to one 90-minute session per day)
  • Photocopying/printing and faxing (self-service)
  • Check out of Wi-Fi hotspots and Chromebooks to New Haven residents with adult cards
  • Research assistance

In addition to offering materials on-site and through curbside pick-up, the Library provides access to virtual programming, e-books, e-audiobooks, streaming video, information resources, and research assistance by phone and chat via the Library website nhfpl.org.
The Library has implemented a number of visitation and safety guidelines:

All patrons over the age of two are required to wear a mask and maintain a six-foot distance from others at all times. Due to a limited occupancy rate, it is recommended that visitors make an appointment ahead of time by calling the location they wish to visit.

No food or drink will be allowed in the Library to ensure that masks are worn at all times for the safety of customers and Library staff.

Access to computers is available with a 90-minute time limit. Library staff may not be able to provide extensive assistance. Should visitors have any special needs, please call ahead to alert staff for possible options.

New Haven residents can get library cards over the phone or in person at our locations. Please call any branch for assistance. NHFPL no longer charges late fees for materials returned.  Material replacement fees for lost materials can be paid via debit/credit cards online or inside a branch with cash, check or card.

Ives Main Library, 133 Elm St., (203) 946-8130. Call for information about all the branches, or visit nhfpl.org.

Home Health Care Workers from New Haven Lobby for Insurance, Sick Time, as Hartford Protest Prompts Mass Arrests

by Ben Lambert, New Haven Register, April 9, 2021

Anthony Ligon and Terrell Williams, both New Haven residents, provide comfort and care for others as home health care workers. But they don’t have health insurance of their own. They and fellow members of SEIU District 1199, a chapter of the New England Health Care Employees Union, called for legislators to grant them that level of support and stability Thursday at the state Capitol in Hartford, staging a protest that ended with the arrests of 20 people, according to state police.

Ligon and Williams said Friday they attended the rally in hopes of securing benefits such as health insurance, sick time, vacation time and other benefits. The union has called for the state legislature to pass legislation that raises the minimum wage for such workers to $20 per hour by 2023 and create a pathway to affordable health care.

“We are long-term home care (workers) without long-term benefits,” Ligon said. “We were pretty much there to fight for some basic human rights.”

Read the entire article at https://www.ctinsider.com/news/nhregister/article/Home-health-care-workers-from-New-Haven-lobby-for-16089557.php.

Articles, video and photos are on Facebook page of SEIU 1199 New England

The Friends of Kensington Playground May Update

by Jane Comins, Friends of Kensington Playground

Taking the Dwight neighborhood’s only public playground for housing, when there are other building sites available, amounts to environmental injustice. Our efforts to save Kensington Playground from development continue.

Friends of Kensington Playground lawsuit in State court: no updates. We are waiting to hear if the City of New Haven’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit (on the grounds of lack of standing) is granted.

The City of New Haven posted a legal notice in the New Haven Register on 4/18/21:

  • Notice of Intent to Request Release of Funds: $250,000 from Housing and Urban Development HOME funds to The Community Builders for both renovation of existing units as well as the new construction on Kensington Playground.
  • Finding of No Significant Impact: Development of Kensington Playground will have no significant impact on surrounding human environment, and an Environmental Impact Statement under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) is not required. We have 15 days to appeal this.

Friends of Kensington Playground hosted two events in April: At the Food Panty and Easter Basket Giveaway, 30 bags of food and 48 Easter baskets were given to local residents. And at our Kid’s Bike Safety Clinic, 13 kids received free bikes, locks, and helmets, and learned how to ride a bicycle safely.

To get involved, donate, and sign our petition, please visit our website: KensingtonPlayground.org.

Protecting Dwight’s only playground from sale and development is costly, even though we have done as much of the work as possible ourselves. Please be as generous as you can. Don’t let the City take this playground for $1 with an illegal process. Take a stand for Democracy. Fight environmental injustice. Require our city, state and federal governments to follow the law.

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