Progressives Against Medical Assisted Suicide

Based in Connecticut, we oppose medical assisted suicide from the perspective of disability justice and human rights. Medical assisted suicide is a threat to the poor, disabled, people of color and the elderly. These are the people who now are marginalized and devalued in the system of healthcare as we know it today. They stand the greatest danger of being further victimized by medical assisted suicide.

Currently, one’s finances and insurance coverage determine the help that one receives, whether for medical treatments, mental health support, assistive equipment, personal care attendants, a secure living situation, improved palliative care, pain management, enhanced hospice care, etc. Members of Progressives Against Medical Assisted Suicide have seen firsthand the insistence with which some in the medical community deem people not worthy of treatment because there would “only be another hospital admission down the road,” or “they have no quality of life” because they are disabled or elderly. We have heard medical people try to inflict guilt on patients for staying alive, implying, or stating directly, that they should “think of how much they’re making their families suffer” by continuing treatments and “dragging out the inevitable.”

Supporters of medical assisted suicide often claim that their only opposition comes from the ultraconservative “religious fringe.” This is simply wrong. As progressives, we recognize that this is a human justice issue that lies at the heart of what kind of society we want to live in.

Progressives Against Medical Assisted Suicide supports LGBTQIA people’s rights and women’s reproductive rights. If you also believe in fighting for the human, civil and economic rights of LGBTQIA people and for reproductive justice, organize with us in ending euthanasia and medical assisted suicide where they exist, and in preventing their legalization elsewhere.

Let us share information and build a progressive, disability justice and human rights-based movement to end medical assisted suicide and euthanasia. Email us at: progressivesagainstmas@hotmail.com.

A Panther Passes On

by Paul Bass, New Haven Independent, Sept. 21, 2022

The state tried to frame George Edwards and lock him up for life. His fellow revolutionaries tortured him and tried to kill him. They didn’t know whom they were messing with.

He survived — and kept at his Black Panther mission for another half century long after generations of fellow fighters left the theater.

George Edwards at a 2016 Hip-Hop Conference. Photo David Yaffe-Bellany

It was kidney cancer that finally claimed the life of George Edwards. He died late last Friday in Connecticut Hospice at the age of 85. Until his final months, he remained one of New Haven’s most visible and engaging voices, challenging power and supporting grassroots social justice crusades.

Perhaps the most spied-on and messed-with political activist in New Haven history, he combined theatrical training with an unshatterable suspicion of government power to speak out wherever people gathered: on city buses, at library gatherings, at outdoor protests. You may or may not have agreed with his assertions about imperial power, CIA connections to Yale, black helicopters or the moon landing. It was impossible not to listen. Or to appreciate the man speaking.

Edwards also possessed a gentleness and kindness that endeared him to people whether or not they shared his intense convictions.

“He lived a full life,” said his daughter, Elizabeth Dickerson, who had a Sunday pancake breakfast date with her dad at the Hamden IHOP in his later years. …

Edwards grew up in Goldsboro, N.C., where he engaged in his first protests with fellow high school students demanding that officials comply with the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board desegregation ruling.

He worked on B52 bombers as an engineer for the U.S Air Force from 1955 through 1961, when he was ceremoniously removed for his role in antimilitarism protests. He later said a recording of a speech by Malcolm X had made him question his service to the United States: ​“I had a serious confrontation with history, politics, racism. I was becoming conscious of the world. This man had shown a light to the darkness of my brain.”

Yale School of Drama brought Edwards to New Haven, where he became a stalwart performer in the local Black Arts Movement. When the national Black Panthers opened a chapter here in 1968, Edwards was one of its first members. Local cops and the FBI under its deadly COINTEL-PRO spying-and-disruption initiative were already keeping tabs on him. He appeared on the FBI ​“Agitator Index’ and ​“Rabble Rouser Index.” His FBI file #124 – 310G would expand to 1,000 pages. It revealed how, if Edwards went to the store for a quart of milk, an agent made sure to follow.

[Article can be read in its entirety, with videos at www.newhavenindependent.org/article/panther_passes_on.

See also 1992 NYT interview at https://www.nytimes.com/1992/11/22/nyregion/once-a-black-panther-always-a-cause.htm]

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.

New Haven Hiroshima/Nagasaki commemorations; Averting a far worse repeat.

You are invited to participate in this year’s annual New Haven commemoration of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki:

  • Saturday Aug. 6, 8AM, New Haven Green Flagpole; and
  • Tuesday Aug. 9, 10:45AM, Amistad Statue next to City Hall 165 Church St.

Please see attached flier.

Sadako Sasaki (Sasaki Sadako, January 7, 1943 – October 25, 1955) was a Japanese girl who became a victim of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States. She was two years of age when the bombs were dropped and was severely irradiated. She survived for another ten years, becoming one of the most widely known hibakusha—a Japanese term meaning “bomb-affected person”. She is remembered through the story of the more than one thousand origami cranes she folded before her death. She died at the age of 12 in October 1955. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadako_Sasaki)

A terrible, grave danger today comes with the bloody war in Ukraine with the two nuclear-weapons superpowers, Russia and the USA, on opposite sides of the conflict, which could escalate into the use of nuclear weapons. The US government and the US media are ignoring the real potential that the longer this conflict continues, the greater the possibility that such weapons will be used.

Let us warn our elected officials in Washington to take actions to stop this war, insist on urgent, honest negotiations for peace.

When the Supreme Court decides, we’ll rally for reproductive justice and LGBTQ Freedom

The day is fast approaching when the Supreme Court will make a decision that could ban abortion in over half of the country and take away LGBTQ+ rights as well.

New Haven Reproductive Justice Mobilization is a coalition of people-powered organizations and individuals who are protesting and raising our voices in New Haven, CT since the Supreme Court leak. We can’t sit back and wait for politicians and lawyers to change things. It takes all of us, women, LGBTQ+ people, workers, feminists, immigrants, and all kinds of people to build our power and tell our stories. Join the national day of action on the Day of Decision. In New Haven, we will occupy the steps of the Federal Courthouse from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

There is no way to predict when the Day of Decisions will occur. Sign up to get a text message alert on the day of the ruling! (You can unsubscribe at any time. We will send occasional emails & texts about related protests and meetings.)

PAR Is Growing!

by PAR Planning Committee

The Progressive Action Roundtable is planning to become an official nonprofit organization. Please help us develop ideas for our growth and build our board of directors.

We are grateful for the solidarity and support from our many loyal readers and want your ideas on how PAR can continue to be relevant and grow as a print newsletter with an electronic presence.

Email us at parnewhaven@hotmail.com, or call Paula at 203-562-2798.

100 Rallied May 15 for Nakba and Justice for Shireen Abu Akleh on New Haven Green

by Stanley Heller, Middle East Crisis Committee

Around 100 people marched and rallied in New Haven on May 15 to mark the 74th anniversary of Nakba — the displacement of Palestinians from their homeland. The main sponsor was the Democratic Socialists of America. A new outrage protested on that day was the May 11 killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh who was on assignment in the occupied West Bank. Marchers took the streets on College, Crown and Elm streets.

Witnesses to Abu Akleh’s killing said she was shot in the head by Israeli military. Israel denies this and declared there will be no investigation. On May 24 a CNN forensic-level audio and video analysis made it pretty certain that Abu Akleh was killed by Israeli soldiers. Fifty-seven members of the U.S. Congress have called for a US investigation of her killing and a determination of whether US laws were violated.

On May 21 in New Milford there was a memorial service for Abu Akleh. Signs were held in a solemn ceremony. The Middle East Crisis Committee has created the website JusticeforShireen.webador.com. Let your member of Congress know about it.

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

Friends of Kensington Playground News

by Jane Comins, Friends of Kensington Playground

Easter Event: More than 80 children and their families attended our fun, festive event in Kensington Playground in April. Kids participated in an egg hunt, egg dyeing, making and decorating bonnets, free books, and received an Easter basket full of chocolate. Renee’s Closet was also in the park with a pop-up shop of clean, ready-to-wear clothing and jewelry.

Park Proposal: All Community Management Teams in the City of New Haven have approved a resolution calling on the Parks Department to adopt a policy that every neighborhood should have a public playground. We would like to publicly thank them.

Tax-Exempt Status: We are applying for 501(c)(3) status, with the assistance of the CT Urban Legal Initiative. (Although we incorporated in 2020 as a nonprofit organization, we did not apply for tax-exempt status at that time.)

Legal Update: As of mid-April, we are still awaiting the judge’s ruling regarding our March 9 hearing, in which the City asks the court to dismiss our CEPA (CT Environmental Protection Act) claim.

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 and/or gofundme.com/f/save-kensington-playground
[Read the whole article at www.newhavenindependent.org/article/kensington_park_lawsuit]

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