To Our Readers

In the past three months, thousands of people in the New Haven area have been out in the streets. Black Lives Matter New Haven, People Against Police Brutality, Unidad Latina en Acción, CT Bail Fund, Ice the Beef, Social Justice Collaborative and the Semilla Collective are some of the organizations that have led protests, spoken out against police brutality, and demanded an effective civilian review board, removal of the Christopher Columbus statue, a moratorium on rent, as well as taken on many other issues of racial, social and economic justice. High school students, New Haven alders and other politicians, peace activists, elders and representatives of various places of worship have been supportive and/or part of this upsurge. Meetings and conferences have continued to take place through Zoom. Not even a pandemic can hold people back from the struggle for justice!

Much of this current organizing and networking is with a few days’ notice through e-mail and social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. As our newsletter is a month-ly, we suggest our readers go to the websites and Facebook pages of various groups to be notified directly of their quickly-planned events.

Anti-Police Violence March Shuts Down Grand Avenue | New Haven Independent

New Haven anti-police-brutality activists marched in support of survivors of police violence — they heard a call for action from Emma Jones at the Fair Haven spot where an East Haven police officer shot and killed her son 23 years ago.

“You must continue this struggle,” she implored the crowd, including newer activists in a cause she has championed for decades.

Roughly 70 demonstrators gathered on the Green at 2 p.m. Saturday and shut down Grand Avenue as they marched to the spot where Malik Jones was killed in 1997 after a high-speed cross-border chase.

Police accountability activist Jewu Richardson organized Saturday’s unity walk in collaboration with Building It Together, CT Bail Fund, The Malik Organization, People Against Police Brutality and Black Lives Matter New Haven.

On the Green, Richardson (pictured), who was shot by New Haven police in 2010, said police violence isn’t only the brutality that people see on TV, but is deeper and more systemic: “People are in jail decades because of false charges. A lot of people don’t see that trauma that people are going through and the stuff behind those walls, but it’s real.”

He stated that police and prosecutors work together with “legal tactics” to convict innocent people in Connecticut and nationwide. “When the system we’re supposed to trust and believe ends up abusing and murdering us, we’re left with communities that are suffering from decades of trauma,” Richardson said.

Read the whole story here: Anti-Police Violence March Shuts Down Grand Avenue | New Haven Independent

New Haven Climate Movement: Past Successes and New Projects

by Grace Laliberte, New Haven Climate Movement

The New Haven Climate Movement (NHCM) is a grass-roots collection of youth and individuals in the New Haven area pushing for action regarding the current climate emergency. The group has worked with New Haven officials to implement city-wide reform in the past year and has been successful in many ventures, such as the passing of the New Haven Climate and Sustainability Framework in 2018, which provided a specific framework for acting on the climate emergency, as well as passing the New Haven Climate Emergency Resolution in 2019, where the city agreed to reduce New Haven’s carbon emissions to zero by 2030 and to implement a Climate Mobilization Task Force.

This year, NHCM was able to compel New Haven to invest $560,000 in capital funding towards climate infrastructure projects through our 0.1% for the Future proposal, which requested that 0.1% of the city budget be set aside for climate action. Although these successes are monumental and praiseworthy, NHCM continues to mobilize to ensure New Haven follows through on these promises required to address the growing urgency of the climate crisis.

Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, NHCM is working on a set of inspiring initiatives, such as our Climate Justice Schools Proposal, to improve the implementation of quality climate-based education in New Haven Public Schools. Our Electric Future committee is also striving for electrification for all buildings, vehicles, and appliances in New Haven, which would allow the city economic gain, increased social equity, less air and noise pollution, and other benefits. NHCM is also working towards spreading awareness and educating those who reside on Connecticut’s shoreline about the threatening climate through a CT Green New Deal, which urges state representatives to address pressing issues like flooding, beach erosion, and future heightened natural disasters.

Overall, NHCM is committed to ensuring New Haven does its part in securing a just future while amplifying essential youth voices.

Join us this Saturday for our climate-themed virtual Trivia Night and Poster Making contest! Click the link in our bio to sign up and compete for the chance to win a $25 Patagonia gift card and $25 Artists and Craftsman gift card. More info on how everything works to come. We hope to see you there!!! #climatechange #globalwarming #climateeducation #climatecrisis #trivianight #trivia #quizlet #art #artcontest #patagonia #artisancrafts #newhaven #climatemovement #nhv #youth #connecticutevents

To stay updated on NHCM events such as the Sept. 25 official global climate change strike day and get more involved, you can check our website: www.newhavenclimatemovement.org, along with our Instagram and Facebook @newhavenclimatemovement.

Kings Bay Plowshares 7 – Update on Sentencing Dates Sept. 3 and 4

Seven Catholic plowshares activists entered Kings Bay Naval [nuclear] Submarine Base in St. Mary’s, Georgia on April 4, 2018. They went to make real the prophet Isaiah’s command to “beat swords into plowshares.”

The seven chose to act on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who devoted his life to addressing what he called the “triple evils of militarism, racism, and materialism.” Carrying hammers and baby bottles of their own blood, the seven attempted to convert weapons of mass destruction.  They hoped to call attention to the ways in which nuclear weapons kill every day, by their mere existence and maintenance.

Liz McAlister was sentenced by video conferencing with the court on June 8, 2020. She was sentenced to time served, 3 years of supervised probation and a portion of the $33,000 restitution.

On September 3, Carmen Trotta is scheduled for sentencing at 9 a.m., Steve Kelly at 1 p.m., and Clare Grady at 4 p.m. On September 4, Mark Colville at 9 a.m., Patrick O’Neill at 1 p.m. and Martha Hennessy at 4 p.m. These dates may yet again be pushed back depending on the course of the virus. The defendants prefer to be sentenced in person in open court with family and supporters present as is their right. It is not sure when it will be safe for all parties to be present.

For more information on this and other actions against nuclear weapons, visit https://kingsbayplowshares7.org.

NO New Tridents: Announcing a Campaign Against the Columbia Ballistic Missile Submarine

by Stephen Kobasa, NO New Tridents

Seventy-five years after the horrors visited upon Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the first use of nuclear weapons, the United States continues to construct new threats to all creation.

Machines age, and grow useless. The Trident ballistic missile submarines are no exception. First put into service in 1981, they are approaching the end of their expected operational life. But instead of allowing them to simply pass into obsolescence and remove the threat which they pose to all creation, our government is undertaking to replace them with a new weapon to assure that the threat continues with-out intermission. The Columbia class of submarines has been described as the Navy’s top priority program, which will be funded even if that comes at the expense of other Navy programs. Each sub will carry sixteen missile tubes, eight fewer than the current Ohio-class Tridents, but will also have updated propulsion and stealth capabilities which will magnify their threat. They will initially carry the existing Trident II D-5 missile, but designs for both a new missile and warhead are now underway.

Plans are for the production of twelve boats at a projected cost that is presently estimated at $103 to $109 billion. Initial construction has already begun at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia, with final assembly to take place at Electric Boat in Groton, CT, beginning this year, ahead of schedule. A new facility for that exclusive purpose is now being built in the Groton shipyard.

Why Russia and China Should Fear America's New Columbia ...At a time when the consequences of global warming and pandemic are being experienced in the lives of all humanity on a daily basis, we condemn the reckless and immoral commitment of human creativity and treasure to these weapons which threaten to erase all creation, and by their mere existence deny fundamental rights to human freedom and community. It is obviously clear that they would constitute a crime against both humanity and the environment.

The NO New Tridents campaign proposes to undertake programs of public education, lobbying and nonviolent civil disobedience calling for the immediate abandonment of the Columbia submarine, and the diversion of funds set aside for its construction to policies which will realize the rights of all the world’s people to healthcare, housing, education, income equity and racial justice.

The Norfolk Catholic Worker will be the primary organizer around the Newport News Shipyard, while the Hartford Catholic Worker will coordinate the witness at Electric Boat. For further information, contact: stephen.kobasa@gmail.com.

Statue Readied to Honor ‘Black Governor’

Thomas Breen, New Haven Independent, July 10, 2020

A seven-foot-tall bronze statue of William “King” Lanson will soon stand along the Farmington Canal — giving a permanent, public, and highly visible form to a Black New Havener who helped build the modern city. The Lanson statue represents the culmination of a decade’s worth of advocacy by the Amistad Committee, working in recent years with the City Plan Department to make the memorial a reality.

The public artwork will honor the early 19th-century local engineer, entrepreneur, and Black political leader who freed himself from slavery, built a section of the Farmington Canal, and constructed an extension of Long Wharf that allowed for the local port to rival New York’s.

He was also elected “Black governor” in 1825, helped found what is now Dixwell Congregational Church, owned land and ran businesses on what is now Wooster Square — and, after encountering opposition from white authorities and the business establishment, died in the poorhouse.

The plan is for the statue to be unveiled Sept. 26 at 11 a.m. on a grassy, city-owned plot near the Farmington Canal and Lock Street, in between the Yale Health Center and Yale’s Benjamin Franklin and Pauli Murray Colleges.

According to a presentation by City Plan Director Aïcha Woods during Monday’s Cultural Affairs Commission meeting, the city-commissioned statue will be one part of an “interpretative landscape” and larger memorial along the Farmington Canal that will be “dedicated to the history of William Lanson.”

Read more at the NHIndependent: www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/william_lanson_sculpture

Medicare for All CT News

by Stephan Ramdohr, Medicare for All CT

We believe that healthcare is a right, not a privilege, and that a single-payer type model, like Medicare, is how we achieve it. Medicare for All CT is pushing our state’s federal legislators to sign the single-payer bills in the U.S. House and Senate.

Join us for the upcoming Medicare for All CT virtual monthly meeting! Tuesday, Sept. 8, at 7 – 9 p.m. for our Zoom meeting, hosted by Medicare For All CT, Quiet Corner Democratic Socialists of America and 5 others.

Register here to receive the Zoom link to join via computer, or info how to dial in via phone: us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMtc-yhqz4vG93KTnLTdgqP-T1OjI2SRFRw.

Just a few months ago, New London was the first municipality in Connecticut to pass a Medicare for All resolution. Now we plan to discuss how we’ll continue to advocate for Medicare for All, even when due to current restrictions we cannot meet up in person.

Activists from all across the state are invited to join us from the comfort of their home! Bring your questions! Bring your ideas! Let’s meet on Tuesday, September 8, 7 p.m., to continue our fight for guaranteed healthcare for all!

For more information, e-mail Stephan Ramdohr at medicare4allct@gmail.com. At this time, our meetings are online. Please contact us with your ideas and suggestions by phone at (857) 472-0694 or on Facebook at Medicare for All CT.

It’s Time to Demand Gender Parity in Our Governance! Demand Equality Now!!

by Frank Rohrig, Octogenarian/Feminist and PAR subscriber

[Frank Rohrig is in the process of forming a 501(c)(3) organization to ensure that in all levels of government, women and men will be represented equally: “complete unequivocal gender equality/parity in the decision-making process in the governance of your community-state-federal government.” He has asked PAR to print his article so that our readers can become familiar with his work and help him with his organizing.]

The time has come to recognize that the evolution of humanity, nations and nation-states require the immediate transformative transition towards Egalitarian virtues and the full and equal participation of women in the governance of all civilized societies for their very future salvation. Our Democracy has been hijacked and pillaged to satisfy the insatiable need for power and greed by a segment of our society that has maliciously disregarded the circle of virtuosity that helped create this nation’s “middle class.”

The mutually-beneficial collaborative efforts by our financial sector and Corporatocracies have ruthlessly over a period of several decades converted a once-proud, growing society into an unequivocal corrupt Plutocracy.

The denial of women by males in every sector and facet of societal involvement shall no longer be a consideration of our forbearance because it has proven to be somewhat chauvinistic and wrong-headed, along with twenty-seven other amendments to the Constitution that required change to comport to more Egalitarian virtues.

In light of the extreme ideological and theocratic movements to reverse the rights long ago fought for and won, including Civil Rights and Women’s Rights, the zealots amongst us continue with their underhanded, discriminatory and unjustified quests to deny others that Egalitarian Society promised within our Constitution at its inception.

The justified essential movement for Gender Parity has never been as important as it is today given the intentions and actions of a growing segment of the male population that won’t be content until the return of a Patriarchal Society that enables them to dictate to others because of their perceived superiority. This kind of thinking isn’t confined to just other distant cultures but remains within the Puritanical thinking of religious zealots amongst us. Nothing less than GENDER PARITY (50% male and 50% female) in the makeup of all taxpayer-funded areas of governance and oversight within the smallest of communities, state houses and U.S. Senate and Congress shall suffice. It shall be through the equally-weighted voices of our females where we can attain a society with greater shared interests beneficial to all our citizenry.

For more information, please call Frank Rohrig at (203) 877-2492. Mail can be sent to 541 Naugatuck Ave., Milford, CT 06460.

Gandhi Peace Award Ceremony, Nov. 17

by Stanley Heller, PEP Administrator

Promoting Enduring Peace has been holding back on its ceremony for this year’s honorees, Dr. Zaher Sahloul and Mayson Almisri, in hopes that we could have a big event in an auditorium, but since the pandemic shows no sign of letting up the PEP Board decided to hold the event online. It will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 17, exactly two weeks after Election Day. The time has not yet been decided.

This year we’ve chosen two people of Syrian origin to hon-or the work of Syrian doctors and Syrian rescue workers.

Syrian-American Zaher Sahloul was a longtime Senior Advisor to the Syrian American Medical Society, SAMS. He is currently the president of MedGlobal which sends teams of doctors and nurses to war and disaster zones from Ecuador to Lebanon. He works as a pulmonary specialist at a hospital in Chicago and is involved in treating COVID-19 patients. He himself fell victim of the virus and suffered from it for weeks. He’s been to Syria many times and has worked with the doctors whose medical facilities were bombed with abandon by Assadist and Russian forces.

Mayson Almisri is a member of Syrian Civil Defence, better known as the White Helmets. The group started informally as people who rushed to bombed-out buildings to try to save the injured and to recover bodies. As the years passed the group became more organized and received training and funds from foreign NGOs and governments including that of the U.S. The White Helmets try to video and photograph their rescues as a way of alerting the world to the viciousness of the regime, its allies and their militaries. For that they are demonized by the Assad regime and slandered as “terrorist supporters.” The rescue workers have rescued some 100,000 people during the last 9 years of war and have been the subject of several films.

In addition to the acceptance speeches, we hope to have art, music and song to entertain and inspire. Holding it on Zoom allows for more international participation. If you’d like to work on the project contact office@pepeace.org or call (202) 573-7322.

Tell us, tell New Haven, about the progressive work your organization is doing

Dear PAR Contributors,

The world has changed quite a bit since our June newsletter. The brutal murder of George Floyd exposed the ugliness of power in the hands of the police and the entrenched racism against people of color. As Black Lives Matter rallies against police brutality were joined with demands for removal of racist and oppressive historic symbols, the Columbus statue in Wooster Square was removed, and the City formed a committee to rename Columbus Academy. Black Lives Matter marches of over a thousand people blocked highways and rallied at police stations. A thousand people marched in West Haven to demand justice for Mubarak Soulemane, who was killed by a state trooper. Many hundreds demanded Yale pay millions of dollars more to New Haven to make up for so much property being tax-exempt because of Yale University and Yale New Haven Hospital. Two “elder rallies” in support of Black Lives Matter were held on the Green for people wanting to make their voices heard while wearing masks and maintaining appropriate distance from others because of coronavirus. Mayor Elicker reiterated that New Haven is a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants. City and town councils of New Haven, Hamden, Hartford, Windsor, West Hartford and Bloomfield declared racism a public health crisis. In addition, our work for peace and justice around the world has not stopped. Plus we are still in the midst of the pandemic! Quite a busy time!

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 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! 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 September Progressive Action Roundtable Newsletter is Wednesday, August 19.

 

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

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.

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 Saturday, August 29. Please consider this when submitting calendar items.

Progressive Action Roundtable is on Facebook

For automatic PAR updates, sign up on our website:  par-newhaven.org

If your group has a website, please add our link to your webpage.

 

To renew your own subscription or to buy a subscription for a friend, the rate is $13 for 10 issues. Please make the check out to PAR and mail it to

PAR, P.O. Box 995, New Haven, CT  06504

Activism and Twitter

by LouAnn Villani, Middle East Crisis Committee

With social distancing making in-person rallies impossible, people are looking for ways to get their message across. Virtual rallies via Zoom now take place in addition to ‘Twitter Storms.’ Participants are asked to go on their Twitter Feed and message their representatives all at the same time.

Since Trump took it up and won such a following all politicians and media people have taken to it. It’s easy to use and it’s easy to see which of your messages are popular (being retweeted).

Supposedly politicians and the media think the remarks they see on Twitter and the volumes of approval and disapproval there really reflect what the U.S. public thinks. It’s probably not true (only 1 in 5 Americans use Twitter regularly), but if it influences political discourse, activists should use it.

Twitter is free and it takes just minutes to make an account at twitter.com. It will want a first and last name, an email and date of birth. You’ll have to verify the email by responding to its email. Twitter gives you a user-name based on the name you gave it. So if you enter John Smith you may get @jsmith493. You’ll need to create a password and to “follow” the Twitter Feeds of a couple of people and then you’re in.

Twitter messages are no more than 280 characters (about the size of the second paragraph of this article. You can also attach photos and memes (they don’t count as characters). Usually you include in your tweet user-names of people or media that you are trying to influence. Example: @nytimes @GovNedLamont Politicians and the media search for their twitter handles to see what people are saying to them. The media @NickKristof will sometimes respond to people who are trying to contact them.

The easiest thing to do is to follow certain people or media sources and retweet the things you like. To “retweet” means to click on the double-curved arrow button below the tweet. This puts the message into your Twitter Feed with a tiny message that you retweeted it. Your follower gets to see it and the creator of the original tweet gets a bit of support. More at pepeace.org/twitter-techniques.

Where to Turn for Help

There are a number of agencies and websites to turn to for information about the coronavirus and places to go for help. Here are some of them:

Call 211 for resources, information on food pantries, medical assistance, and various hotlines.

Yale New Haven Health has set up a call center to respond to questions about COVID-19, give assessments to patients by phone or video, and determine whether someone needs to be tested. The number to call is (833) ASK-YNHH. That’s (833) 275-9644.

https://medicine.yale.edu/intmed/news-article/23180/

https://covid19.newhavenct.gov/

Regional Groups and Support Networks:

New Haven Area Mutual Aid

https://www.facebook.com/groups/639466263512268

Mutual Aid/Support Waterbury, Bridgeport, New Haven and Surrounding Areas https://www.facebook.com/ groups/501197987165893/?fref=nf

Document for sharing resources that helps you connect with others around physical, emotional, educational and social needs. http://bit.ly/2Wg2pvc

It is available in Arabic: المساعدة المتبادلة في ووتربيري، بريدجبورت، نيو هافن

And Spanish: ESPAÑOL — Ayuda Mutua Hartford, Waterbury, Bridgeport, New Haven

Awarding Syrians the Gandhi Peace Award

Stanley Heller, PEP Administrator

Promoting Enduring Peace (PEP) will give its 2020 Gandhi Peace Award to two people born in Syria. One is Dr. Zaher Sahloul, a Syrian-American, the other is Mayson Almisri, a refugee living in Canada. The award has been given out since 1960 by PEP, a peace and environmental organization. It comes with a medal made of peace bronze forged from the metal of retired nuclear weapons and with a $5,000 cash prize that will be shared by the two honorees.

The Board of PEP decided that our best contribution this year would be to give the prize in hopes it would help reorient the peace movement and the Left on an issue where many progressives have gone astray. It’s said that most generals prepare for their last war. Most of the peace movement has done the same with Syria, making simple-minded comparisons with the U.S. war against Iraq. Most have ignored the agency of Syrians and their efforts for a democratic uprising. Our award this year is to the medical workers and rescuers of Syria.

Dr. Zaher Sahloul is past president of the Syrian-American Medical Society which has built and rebuilt hospitals in Syria, in recent years underground or in caves. He’s now president of Medglobal which helps not just in Syria, but in 14 countries. He’s a pulmonary specialist in Chicago where he’s currently helping treat patients with the COVID-19 virus. He caught the virus himself, but after weeks of isolation is back at work.

Mayson Almisri is from Deraa, where the mass demonstra-tions began in Syria in 2011. She is a leader in the Syrian Civil Defense, known in the West as the White Helmets. They are the heroes who dig out survivors and bodies from under the rubble of Assad’s or Russian bombs. They have enraged the Assad regime by making videos of their work, showing devastation caused by the barrel bombs. During the recent ceasefire, they work at disinfecting, hoping to ward off the virus inside the remnant of Idlib province.

We always present the award in a big public ceremony, but because of the coronavirus we cannot make plans for the date or location of the ceremony.

U.S Military Threat Against Iranian Tankers: An Act of International Piracy That Can Escalate into a War

by Al Marder, for the Executive Committee of the U.S. Peace Council

Iran’s daring decision to dispatch five oil tankers carrying the much-needed fuel for the struggling people of Venezuela is a definitive challenge to U.S. government’s illegal policy of unilateral economic sanctions and its naval blockade of Venezuela. Iran’s action has created a decisive test of the Trump administration’s willingness to continue its violations of international law and the UN Charter by taking military action against Iranian tankers.

The U.S. Peace Council strongly condemns any military actions against the Iranian tankers and calls upon the Trump administration and the U.S. government to put an end to its violations of the UN Charter immediately.

As Iranian tankers approach Venezuelan waters — the first tanker is expected to enter Venezuelan territorial waters on Sunday [May 24] — the Trump administration is scrambling to decide how to respond to a challenge that can determine the future of its policy of unilateral coercive measures against one-quarter of humanity. “We’ve got it [Venezuela] surrounded, it’s surrounded at a level that nobody even knows but they know. We are watching to see what happens,” he commented on the situation on May 20th.

Indeed, this has created a serious dilemma for the U.S. government. A military action against these tankers would be a clear case of international piracy that could lead to military confrontations, not only with the Venezuelan armed forces who are planning to escort these tankers in Venezuelan waters, but also in the Middle East as Iran would be expected to respond to such an act. It would also lead to increasing tensions with Russia. The Russian Foreign Ministry has already warned against any U.S. actions to block the Iranian tankers.

Allowing Iranian tankers to port, on the other hand, would be the first sign of inability of the United States government to enforce its sanctions policy even near its own shores, and would trigger numerous additional acts of defiance by other sanctioned states. This could mean the beginning of the unraveling of U.S. unilateral sanctions policy, something that would have significant negative repercussions for U.S. imperialism’s policy of “full-spectrum dominance” of the world.
The outcome of the current challenge posed by Iran and the resistance of Venezuela — if the U.S government does not act irrationally — will have determining effects on the future of international relations and world peace. It will pave the way for a new phase of peoples’ struggle against illegally-imposed unilateral coercive measures and for restoring peoples’ rights to national sovereignty and self-determination throughout the world.

We call upon all supporters of peace and international law around the world to contact the U.S. White House at (202) 456-1111, and demand that the U.S. Government respect international law and not interfere with the porting of the Iranian oil tankers.

U.S. Peace Council
PO Box 3105
New Haven, CT 06515
(203) 387-0370
USPC@USPeaceCouncil.org
www.uspeacecouncil.org

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