Bolivia in Crisis! Another Military Coup in Latin America

by Henry Lowendorf, GNH Peace Council

US-supported rightwing fanatics just orchestrated a military coup against the constitutional government of Bolivia headed by Evo Morales. We must view this coup as one in a long train of US-engineered coups in Bolivia, throughout Latin America and the world.

Bolivian voters on Oct. 20 gave President Evo Morales a substantial plurality, 47.1% of the vote, enough to forestall a runoff, but the opposition refused to accept the results. Rightwing opposition gangs torched the homes of Morales and other government leaders, destroyed government buildings, assaulted a socialist female mayor. Then military generals demanded Morales step down. He and some other leaders fled to Mexico, others took refuge in the Mexican embassy.

“Bolivian coup leader Luis Fernando Camacho [can be described] as a far-right multi-millionaire who arose from fascist movements in the [largely white, affluent fossil-fuel rich] Santa Cruz region, where the US has encouraged separatism.”

“Bolivia’s self-proclaimed president Jeanine Áñez Chavez is on records as having said, ‘I dream of a Bolivia free of satanic indigenous rites. The city is not for Indians; let them go back to the highlands or the Chaco.’ Apart from everything, this was a racist coup.” President Trump immediately recognized Chavez.

WHY DID THIS COUP OCCUR NOW?

Bolivia has been one of the poorest countries in South America. The election in 2006 of Evo Morales began to change that. His government is of course not above criticism. But the military deposed him without a doubt at the instigation of the US 1%, not because of his failures but because of his successes.

Morales is the first indigenous leader of Bolivia – indeed any American state – a country whose majority is indigenous. Since Morales’ first victory in 2006

  • “…Poverty plummeted from a boggling 60% to 35% by 2018, with those in extreme poverty declining from nearly 38% to 15% in the same period.”
  • “Bolivia has seen per capita income increase threefold and has rapidly transitioned from a low-income country to a lower-middle-income country in the eyes of the World Bank. Inflation and the exchange rate have remained exceptionally stable. And all the while, Bolivian levels of inequality went from well above the Latin American average to well below it.”
  • “Redistributed [land] to landless peasants. He placed the natural gas, oil, telecommunications and electricity industries under state control. And he continually raised the minimum wage, which has tripled since he entered office.”
  • “Dramatically increased social spending. He poured money into building roads, schools, and hospitals, an expansion of infrastructure that was particularly transformative in the countryside.”
  • Bolivia contains the world’s largest reserves of the mineral lithium that is used in electronics and batteries. Morales nationalized Bolivia’s incredibly valuable lithium deposits. The rich despise the idea that the vast expected income from sales of lithium would under Morales be fairly distributed to benefit all Bolivians.
  • The corporate media have, as always, described this coup according to the perspective of the billionaires.
  • President Donald Trump has threatened Venezuela and Nicaragua with similar coups.

RESISTANCE:

“Huge demonstrations in el Alto, La Paz [the capital], Cochabamba and other places, thousands and thousands of indigenous people in the streets proudly displaying the Wiphala [checkered rainbow flag]. Some police and military appear to have disobeyed their officers and joined the pro-Evo demonstrations.

The self-proclaimed President Jeanine Áñez Chavez has legalized free-fire zones and military forces have been shooting demonstrators from bridges and helicopters.

“The Bolivian congress, in which Evo’s MAS party has a two-thirds majority, is refusing to recognize the coup government. [It has] chosen one of [its] own to head the Congress.”

Trade union leaders internationally, including AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, have denounced the coup and the military’s role. They urge an end to political repression and violence. Political leaders Bernie Sanders, Ilhan Omar, Alexandra Ocasio Cortez in the US and Jeremy Corbyn in the UK have denounced the coup. Too many others, including our own Congressional representatives, are silent.

ACTION:

  • Hands Off Bolivia; Hands Off Venezuela; Hands Off Nicaragua; Hands Off Cuba; No Sanctions, No Wars.
  • Letters to the Editor or Op-eds.
  • Utilize social media to call for the coup to be reversed and Morales safely reinstalled.
  • Call Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro: Condemn the coup, begin an investigation into the US role: (202) 224-3121.

References: The Nation; The Grayzone; The Tricontinental; The People’s World; Fair.org. For exact issues and websites, please contact the author at gnhpeacecouncil@gmail.com.

In Memoriam, Joan Whitney, 1929-2019

(May Day 1995 photo)

(May Day 1995 photo)

It is with great sadness that we inform our readers that New Haven activist Joan Whitney passed away on Saturday, Nov. 9, at age 90.

Joan was a member of many activist organizations as well as neighborhood and cultural associations. Among the groups she worked with, gave leadership to, and supported are: Progressive Action Roundtable, Greater New Haven Labor History Association, Greater New Haven Cat Project, Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen, Parkfriends, Twenty-Twenty Vision, May Day Celebration Committee, Cherry Blossom Festival, New Haven Coalition Against War in the Gulf, Peace and Justice News and Views, Connecticut Peace Coalition/New Haven, Pledge of Resistance, Amistad Catholic Worker, New Haven/León Sister City Project, Creative Arts Workshop, New Haven Green Party, Long Wharf Theater and Yale Repertory Theater.

In addition to being part of many peace groups, for about 20 years, from 1990 on, she handed out flyers against war on a weekly basis on New Haven street corners.

Joan was born in Springfield Mass., and grew up as an “army brat.” She lived in many places as the family moved to wherever her father was stationed, including Geneva, NY, where her dad took command of the Seneca Ordnance. Several decades later, after her father passed, Joan was arrested for Civil Disobedience at the Seneca Ordnance as she climbed the fence with a No Nukes sign.

Joan was a 1950 graduate of Wellesley College and received a Master’s in Social Work at UConn in W. Hartford. She was a founder of Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC) and worked at its community outpatient program in Bridgeport and New Haven.

She was a contributor to many charities. After her cat Phoebe passed in 1999, she created the Phoebe Foundation and generously funded it for the welfare of people and cats.

Joan generously offered her home as meeting space for many of her groups to plan their actions. She was a gracious hostess and livened up the meetings with her wry sense of humor and sharp perceptions.

For about 30 years she hosted an open house on New Year’s Day, featuring many varieties of soup and other appetizers. This gentle, loving way to welcome in a new year became a much-loved tradition for her friends.

Her daughter Dana predeceased her this past March as did her sister Jane in 2010. Our deepest sympathy to her son Christopher and daughter Rosemary.

We are grateful to have known Joan, worked with her, learned from her and laughed with her.

Funding Requests for Environmental Projects Wanted

The Greater New Haven Green Fund’s Request for Applications (RFA) is now available to be downloaded from their website at: www.gnhgreenfund.org/small-and-large-grants.html.

Our mission is to promote environmental quality, public health and equity in our community by providing grants and other incentives to support initiatives that contribute to a more environmentally sustainable future and reduce air, water and land pollution.

The Fund seeks innovative proposals from committed organizations and individuals for activities that advance our mission.

On Jan. 11, 2020 we will have an informational out-reach session where some members of our Board of Directors will help answer questions about our application process and also talk about possible measurement tools that you can incorporate into your project proposal. Most likely it will be held in the late morning or early afternoon on the campus at Southern CT State University. We will announce it as soon as we have the exact time and location. You can email info@gnhgreenfund.org to ask about the time/location as we get closer to January 2020.

GNH Green Fund, Care of CFGNH, 70 Audubon St., New Haven, CT  06510

Call for Proposals for SCSU Women’s & Gender Studies Conference Due Dec. 16

PAR readers are invited to send in proposals for panels, workshops or lectures for the Southern Connecticut State University 2020 Women’s & Gender Studies Conference. The theme is “Gender, Race, Community, & Conflict: Pursuing Peace and Justice.” The conference will take place ​Friday and Saturday,​ ​April 24 ​and 25​, 2020. Submission deadline is Dec. 16​, 2019.

The world is right now witnessing the unprecedented destruction of communities—mostly Indigenous—and their habitats, including the ongoing fires raging across the Amazon rainforest, the Dakota Pipeline construction, and the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea. Major conflicts have been exacerbated among genders, races and cultural groups, resulting in unspeakable suffering and violence in communities, from the desecration of Indigenous lands and sacred spaces to climate strikes and the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, two-spirit people, and trans women of color.

How do feminists and their communities, Indigenous and settler-colonial, address these problems and heal the breaches that have divided and torn communities apart? How have feminists and activists creatively used the existing power structures to reverse the fragmentation of peoples and break down hierarchies? In the pursuit of peace and justice, what are feminist activists doing within their families and communities to stop the divisions and violence and counter the hatred and demonization against “the other”? How are peace and justice achieved through the intersectional and transnational coalitions across gender, race, class, sexuality, religion, nationality?

Please submit proposals and supporting materials to womensstudies@southernct.edu, with attention to “Conference Committee.” If you have any questions, please call the Women’s & Gender Studies Office at (203) 392-6133. Include name, affiliation, e-mail, and phone number. Proposals should be no longer than one page (250-400 words). Panel proposals are encouraged.

The Women’s & Gender Studies Conference at SCSU is self-supporting; all presenters can pre-register at the dis-counted presenters’ rate. The registration includes all costs for supporting materials and all meals and beverage breaks. For more information, visit the SCSU Women’s & Gender Studies page, or contact Women’s & Gender Studies Program: womensstudies@southernct.edu or (203) 392-6133.

Baby Library Cards to Newborns: New Partnership Feathers the Nest–NHF Public Library and YNH Hospital

by Lauren Bisio, NHFPL

The New Haven Free Public Library (NHFPL) and Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH) are pleased to announce a new partnership distributing baby library cards to all newborns residing in New Haven—with an estimated reach of 1,500 newborns annually.

“The New Haven Free Public Library is excited to provide library cards to new babies in our City in partnership with Yale New Haven Hospital,” said Martha Brogan, City Librarian. “We know that reading aloud is enjoyable and has significant benefits even to our youngest infants.  We are thrilled to promote the practice of whole family reading and look forward to sharing our collections and regular storytime hours with our newest residents.”

“We are very excited to partner with the New Haven Public Library to help bring the world of reading and learning to our families here at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital,” said Cynthia Sparer, senior vice president, Operations at Yale New Haven Hospital and executive director, Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital and VP for women’s and children’s services. “This is a wonderful opportunity for the families we serve and we are grateful to the New Haven Public Library for providing us with these valuable resources and educational materials.”

The library cards will be distributed, along with other welcoming materials, to new parents who give birth at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital.

Each library card is valid for at least one year and offers access to online resources at NHFPL, including e-books, music and videos. Each postcard includes the five NHFPL locations and contact information, along with encouragement for parents to visit their favorite library branch and upgrade their cards to full-service library cards.

For more information, please contact Lauren Bisio, (203) 947-7454, lbisio@nhfpl.org.

Winter Gardening Workshops at Neighborhood Housing Services

Advanced Certified Master Gardener Rachel Ziesk will teach classes that will help you prepare your garden for the upcoming season. The perfect gift for any gardener (or wanna-be gardener) in your life! 6 sessions for just $100! Scholarships available! Find out more at: NHSWinterWorkshops2020.EventBrite.com.

All classes take place on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon at Neighborhood Housing Services, 333 Sherman Ave., Building #3.

Jan. 25: Soils and Composting – The most important component for a successful garden is soil health. Learn how to make your own compost and everything else you need to keep your soil healthy for the most productive garden.

February 8: Garden Planning & Season Extenders – Ensure a long and productive growing year with row covers, organic mulch, cold frames and more! Get the most out of even a small garden space.

February 22: Cool Weather Crops – Start your garden as soon as the soil thaws, even in mid-March! This class covers how and when to plant cool weather crops and manage their pests and diseases.

February 29: Warm Weather Crops – Learn how to make the best of our growing season including which warm-weather crops are best started indoors, which can be direct-seeded, what conditions and fertilizers each crop prefers and how to fight their pests and diseases organically.

March 14: Seed Starting – Start your own seedlings! Learn about when to start indoor seedlings, watering, using lights, and dealing with common problems. Everyone will get to plant a six-pack of seedlings to take home. We will also review which crops can be planted directly outdoors and when.

March 28: Weeds: the Good, the Bad, and the Tasty – Some weeds are actually native wildflowers benefitting your vegetable garden’s pollinators. Some are invasive horrors with plans to take over your garden. And some are edible, delicious little morsels that can be harvested and enjoyed.

Scholarships available. Please contact Kathy at (203) 562-0598, Ext. 225, or at kfay@nhsofnewhaven.org for details.

REMINDER: Due Date for December Articles for PAR Newsletter: Monday, Nov. 18

Dear PAR Contributors,

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 work that groups 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!

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

The deadline for the December Progressive Action Roundtable Newsletter is Monday, Nov. 18.

GUIDELINES FOR ARTICLES

Please limit articles to 350 words.

Please include an enticing headline/title for your article so our readers will focus on your work right away.

Be sure to indicate your name and organization as they should appear in your byline.

Please include information about your group’s purpose.

Do not use different fonts or sizes in your article.

Please keep in mind that as layout space permits, we may 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
If you mention an event in an article, please also send a SEPARATE calendar announcement.
Please give street addresses for any events or meetings, even for “well-known” public buildings.

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.

Please email us if you have any other questions.  parnewhaven@hotmail.com

Nov. 2 Book Launch, Zionist Betrayal of Jews, New Haven

News release

On Saturday, Nov. 2, Stanley Heller will talk about his new book “Zionist Betrayal of Jews: From Herzl to Netanyahu.” It’s a history of the many, many times Zionist groups and Israel put their state-building project ahead of the vital interests of Jews. The event will take place in the Community Room in the lower level of the New Haven Public Library, 133 Elm St., at 2 p.m. Free and open to the public, there will be light refreshments. Sponsored by the Middle East Crisis Committee and co-sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace (New Haven), part of the meeting will be about their projects.

Most people know something about the disastrous effects of the Zionist movement on Palestinians and other Middle Eastern peoples, but the story of the cost of Zionism to Jews is less well known. The account ranges from Theodore Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, making a deal with the notorious anti-Semitic Imperial Russian minister von Plehve to Israel’s current Prime Minister Netanyahu declaring friendship with authoritarians who use dog whistles of anti-Semitism to appeal to their bases. The book describes the Zionist destruction of the powerful anti-Nazi boycott of the ’30s, Israel’s friendly relations to Argentina under the rule of Jew-hating generals and Israel’s sale of weapons to modern Ukraine whose army includes a neo-Nazi Azov Brigade.

One of the reasons for writing the book was to expose the Zionists who constantly accuse critics of Israel for being anti-Semitic. Again and again a sentence is taken out of context or a political cartoon is taken to task for resembling something anti-Semitic from the ’30s. Heller’s book exposes the hypocrisy of the Zionist movement which made deals with anti-Semites and in some cases killers of Jews, deals that put Jews in peril.

This is Heller’s second book. His first was titled “The Uprising We Need” (2017), which was a collection of his articles that appeared in newspapers and media. The book is available for a donation of $10 or more to the Middle East Crisis Committee.  See ordering information about both books at stanleyheller.com.

Retooling the Connecticut War Economy Nov. 9

by Henry Lowendorf, Greater New Haven Peace Council

We are totally accustomed to Connecticut’s two Senators and five Congressmembers crowing every time the Penta-gon doles billions of dollars to Connecticut’s merchants of death to build new killing machines.

It’s all about jobs, jobs, jobs. At one time CT had a hugely diverse manufacturing base. CT manufacturing now depends on subsidies from the Pentagon.

Similarly, they rationalize huge military spending, now 69% of the annual budget they vote on and the President signs. That leaves 31% to be split among transportation, labor, health, education, housing, environment and so on. CT’s governor and most state legislators regularly applaud every “gun” that is made here.

These electeds argue “national security.” They never admit that “national security” really refers to the security of giant corporate profits. The U.S. corporate media continually cheerlead war-making and weapons spending. They rarely ask what the downsides are in pouring so much of our national treasure into war.

Connecticut’s cities are running on empty. State government is desperate for funds. CT, one of the richest states in the richest country in human history, maintains the greatest wealth gap in the nation.

UMass studies show that every job funded for manufacturing weapons displaces two jobs creating civilian goods and services. Weapons spending is a job destroyer.

The Pentagon is the world’s biggest polluter and contributor to greenhouse gases. The climate-scorching crisis demands that we convert from fossil fuels to sustainable energy. The crisis demands that we move the money to civilian needs. To save ourselves and the planet from these two scourges we must retool the weapons and fossil-fuel industries into a green-peace economy.

Please join the conversation and design actions at the 4th Annual CT Peace Conference: Retooling the CT War Economy: How We Can Build Good, Green Jobs & Infrastructure for Human Needs & Peace.

Keynote: CodePink Co-Founder Medea Benjamin

Panelists: Miriam Pemberton, Dave Ionno, Mitch Linck, Jeremy Brecher, Denise Tillman, Henry Lowendorf, Bahman Azad.
Saturday, November 9, 12 – 4 p.m. Free and open to all, lunch provided. Middlesex Community College, Chapman Hall, 100 Training Hill Rd., Middletown, CT.

Conference Information: skrevisky@mxcc.edu, Steve: (860) 759-3699.

CT Peace & Solidarity Coalition, peacect.org.

Meet the Author Nov. 8: Green Strategy — Path to Fundamental Change

by Joelle Fishman, CT People’s World

Meet author Marc Brodine at a presentation and book signing of Green Strategy – Path to Fundamental Change on Friday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. at the New Haven Peoples Center, 37 Howe Street, New Haven. Green Strategy advocates a massive worldwide movement to create fundamental change as the only way to solve environmental crises. Linking environmental issues to allied social and political movements can transform our politics, economy, and protect our species from devastation. The book was published this year by International Publishers and is $14.99.

Marc Brodine lives in Washington State and is currently on a book tour. He has been a union and community organizer and activist, writer, teacher, hospital orderly and technician, office manager, guitar player, and woodblock print artist. He has written extensively on environmental issues and politics and is the author of Blood Pressure, a hospital-based mystery. Born in St. Louis, he has lived most of his life in the Pacific Northwest. He is a member of the Communist Party USA National Committee and has presented at conferences in the U.S., China, and Finland.

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