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

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.

New Haven Peace Vigil Continues Every Sunday, Noon-1 p.m.

by Joan Cavanagh, New Haven Sunday Vigil

The New Haven Sunday Vigil, ongoing since 1999, began again on July 5 after a four-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 shutdown. We’ll keep going every Sunday for as long as possible under the current circumstances and invite you to join us. The war continues on every front. So must the resistance! Below are excerpts from our August flyer:
WHY WE’RE STILL STANDING OUT HERE IN 2020– IN THE MIDDLE OF A PANDEMIC

The amount the [current National Defense Authorization Act] would allocate to the military is more than half the total federal spending budget for FY 2021. $22.3 billion alone is provided for nine new navy ships–the Columbia class submarines to be built at Electric Boat in Groton to replace the current Tridents. (1) At a time when the state of Connecticut faces a $2.3 billion budget deficit and contemplates drastic cuts to social services in 2021, the entire Connecticut congressional delegation voted for this funding.

Overall, a huge proportion of the military budget goes to the “modernization” of the U.S. nuclear arsenal–that is, the replacement of its every component with something “brand new.” This 30-year “upgrade” is projected to cost $1.7 trillion in total.(2)

A terrible legacy: weapons of mass destruction

75 years ago, on Aug. 6 and Aug. 9, 1945, the United States ushered in the nuclear age with its use of the atomic bomb against civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, destroying those cities and killing approximately 120,000 (by a conservative estimate) of their inhabitants, with repercussions from the results of radiation sickness that persist even to this day. The nuclear arms race that followed and threatened all life in the second half of the 20th century has caused ongoing destruction and deprivation and did not end with the end of the Cold War.

The U.S. and Russia today possess an estimated 12,600 nuclear weapons combined, other nuclear nations a much smaller arsenal. U.S. policy embraces first-use of nuclear weapons if the government deems it necessary in order to advance its strategic global interests. Pentagon planners have long pursued the ability to fight a “limited nuclear war,” a contradiction in terms. Our government has never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It appears likely that the Trump administration, if re-elected, will not even renew S.T.A.R.T. II (the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) signed by the United States and Russia.

Trump has openly threatened the use of nuclear weapons against other countries. In January of this year, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists set its Doomsday Clock at 100 seconds to midnight–closer than it has been since the height of the Cold War.

In addition to the existential threat posed by their very nature, the continued mining, testing, production and deployment of nuclear weapons over the last 75 years has caused environmental destruction, the desecration of native lands, and the theft of our tax dollars from health care, disease prevention, housing, education, and infrastructure, all the things we need to live in a just, functional society. We cannot accept or tolerate this any longer.

Since 1999, the New Haven Sunday Vigil has been held here every week from 12-1 p.m. at Broadway, Park and Elm Streets in New Haven, CT, to emphatically say NO to the state of permanent, ongoing war against the world being waged by our government and its allies, a war which is terrorizing the planet and destroying lives in order to consolidate enormous power and wealth in the hands of a very few people.

1 and 2 https://atthebrink.org/podcast/modernizing-doomsday-the-true-cost-of-our-nuclear-arsenal/

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

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.

Progressive Action Roundtable statement on the latest happenings of 2020

Dear PAR Subscribers:

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!

The Progressive Action Roundtable welcomes articles from organizations around these and other issues of concern to our readers, who not only want to know what’s going on, but read about “report backs” and analyses of their various actions.

Please send in articles and calendar events for our next newsletter before Wednesday, Aug. 19 to parnewhaven@hotmail.com.

The struggle continues!

Update from Nicaragua as the Pandemic Arrives

by Susan Bramhall, New Haven/ León Sister City Project

In March and April, as the world began to face the historic public health crisis caused by COVID-19, the Nicaraguan government flagrantly ignored recommendations of health and human rights organizations by encouraging mass gatherings and requiring school attendance. During the April holidays, people were encouraged to celebrate semana santa as usual with trips to the beach and large gatherings. As of this writing, there are still no recommended social distancing measures and professional sports events continue to draw fans.

In the last few weeks, reports of the coronavirus illness have begun to emerge in the larger cities and there is now an outbreak in Chinandega – not far from our Sister City, León. There is still no acknowledgment that the pandemic is the cause but hospitals are reporting many cases of atypical pneumonia and a rise in sudden deaths from heart attack and stroke. Nicaraguans are reporting that when patients die, the bodies are buried immediately, often before families are notified. Testing, treatment and results are kept secret leading to more fear and suspicion.

The staff of the New Haven/León Sister City Project are currently healthy and trying to work from home but it is difficult to do social distancing or self-isolation. It is common for homes to contain large extended families and multiple generations and often a small store open to the public. During March and April, our staff was able to continue visiting the rural communities bringing some protective gear (masks) and, most important, information about the facts of the situation. As the community has begun to hear of the cases in nearby areas they are becoming more fearful of people from the city and our staff are now doing as much as they can from their homes.
Our León Director, Erendira Vanegas, reminds us that this is a new crisis within the existing crisis created by the 2018 crackdown against protest and the devastating effect that was already having on the Nicaraguan economy. The crisis created by the pandemic on top of the economic challenges already in play have been overwhelming and has created increased food insecurity. Our Nicaraguan team advises that an urgent need is enhanced access to food for the rural population. The Sister City Project has long been supplementing the meal that children get at school – a meal they may miss if they are not in school. We are currently researching organizations we can partner with to ensure food security for Goyena and Troilo.

If you would like to make a special donation to bolster our programs please visit our website at newhavenleon.org/get-involved/give.

As always, muchisimas gracias to all our supporters in the area.

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

21-year New Haven Sunday Vigil Paused Until Further Notice Due to Covid-19

Ponder this: in a crisis of this magnitude, there aren’t close to enough ventilators and
other medical supplies including personal protective equipment to go around. The federal
government and the hospitals are talking about rationing health care. As always, the
elderly, poor, disabled and otherwise vulnerable are the ones whose lives will be
sacrificed first.

Yet the military manufacturers remain open, grinding away at the production of weapons
of mass destruction.

If this disturbs you, do something about it. Among other things, let your senators and
representatives know that they will not be re-elected unless they act now to ensure
production and distribution of all necessary equipment to save everyone’s life that
can be saved.

The government must act immediately:

  1. USE THE DEFENSE PRODUCTION ACT TO MOBILIZE AMERICAN
    MANUFACTURERS TO SWITCH TO MAKING MEDICAL EQUIPMENT.
    2. USE THE DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY TO HELP COORDINATE
    EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION OF THESE SUPPLIES AND A MASS ROLL-OUT
    OF COVID-19 TESTING.

PLEASE, SPEAK OUT NOW. Call: U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy: (860) 549-8463;
Sen. Richard Blumenthal: (800) 334-5341; U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro: (203) 562-3718
TWO WAYS TO CONTACT THE PRESIDENT Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
White House Switchboard: (202) 456-1414; For email: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
Always leave your name, address and phone number.
ALL OUR LIVES DEPEND ON THIS.
CONTINUE TO PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING. THINK AND ACT FOR
THE COMMUNITY.
Stay strong. We hope to see you soon.
RESIST THIS ENDLESS WAR
The New Haven Sunday Vigilers
March 2020
https://newhavensundayvigil.wordpress.com

Resources and Information from SURJ

Stand Up for Racial Justice put together the following. If you want to receive the SURJ newsletters on a regular basis, please e-mail surjnewhaven@gmail.com.

This is a special issue with links to community response and mutual aid resources, webpages and groups.

Hope you’re doing well – stay safe!

We want to share regional resources for mutual aid, support for those who are the most affected on the basis of health but also by the economic impacts of the spreading disease.

Donate to a food bank! Don’t stockpile groceries! When everyone only takes what they need, there’s enough for everyone!

Think of supporting your local businesses by buying a gift-card or a voucher that you can use in the future. Put a dollar in a jar if you’re having a drink at home and send the money to your favorite bartenders or donate to an emergency fund!

Regional Groups and Support Networks:
Mutual Aid/Support Waterbury, Bridgeport, New Haven and Surrounding Areas
https://www.facebook.com/groups/501197987165893/?fref=nf
document for sharing resources:
http://bit.ly/2Wg2pvc

New Haven Area Mutual Aid
https://www.facebook.com/groups/639466263512268

CoronaVirus CT Community Support / Apoyo Comunitario – link

Handbooks:
Internet Book of Critical Care (IBCC)
https://emcrit.org/ibcc/covid19/

Corornavirus Tech Handbook
https://coronavirustechhandbook.com/

Coronavirus Community Care Resource Guide
https://www.ctznwell.org/coronavirus-care-guide

Mutual Aid Disaster Relief – When Every Community is Ground Zero: Pulling Each Other Through a Pandemic

Things To Do (at home for free!)
Collection of free resources – link
Time magazine and National Geographic for kids
Museums offering virtual tours
Free films from Indigenous film makers
Storytime for children

Fundraisers and Solidarity Campaigns:

Solidarity with Incarcerated People:

SURVIVING INSIDE: commissary payments for incarcerated people

http://www.ctbailfund.org/surviving-inside
https://www.facebook.com/donate/1003206333413384/639728416819386/

Urgent Action Needed to Protect Individuals in Connecticut’s Prisons and Jails from Coronavirus-19 Pandemic

The Coronavirus Could Spark a Humanitarian Disaster in Jails and Prisons

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Response & Resources from The Justice Collaborative

Homelessness:
‘Stay home?’ 500,000 homeless Americans can’t follow coronavirus advice

Perspective from disabled folks

National Fund for bartenders
https://usbgfoundation.networkforgood.com/projects/95524-covid-19-relief-campaign

Fund for musicians impacted by Covid-19 shutdowns:
https://www.sweetrelief.org/covid-19-fund.html

Online Meetings:

ACTIVIST SONGBOOK audition process is now entirely online. (March 14th & 28th library auditions are canceled) You can submit video or audio of you performing a song or rap here
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeNspw3HnYruXaOi7fFcIlvlsYedwHoV4U69WyhZw9_5g-ceg/viewform

Sat Mar 28th 1pm The Annual Meeting of Promoting Enduring Peace (PEP)
More Details coming at www.PEPeace.org
Including Exclusive Video of Naomi Klein’s Lecture at Harvard AND we will announce the winner or winners of the 2020 Gandhi Peace Award

Opportunities to Get More Involved

To hear about more opportunities, join the SURJ New Haven General Body Google Group. We use this group to let members know about last-minute events and actions, as well as to coordinate SURJ’s presence at actions. Go to groups.google.com, search for our google group, and click “join.”

Another way that SURJ members can get more involved is by volunteering with our committees and working groups to organize and facilitate events. These groups often meet outside of general body meetings. If you see a project you might be interested in, email surjnewhaven@gmail.com to get connected with the co-chairs.

Recommended Media of the Week:
Tiny Pricks Project
the material record of Trump’s presidency
LINK
by Diana Weymar


SURJ is a national network of groups and individuals organizing White people for racial justice. Through community organizing, mobilizing, and education, SURJ moves White people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability. We work to connect people across the country while supporting and collaborating with local and national racial justice organizing efforts. SURJ provides a space to build relationships, skills and political analysis to act for change. Join us!

In Memoriam, Mitzi Bowman, Anti-Nuclear Activist and Founding Member of PAR

by PAR Planning Committee

On Feb. 14, Mitzi Bowman, dedicated activist, teacher and friend of the New Haven peace community, passed on. She was an integral member of many New Haven and state-wide organizations and for many years, she, with her husband Pete Bowman, through their organization Don’t Waste Connecticut, helped vast numbers of Connecticut residents understand the dangers of nuclear power plants and radiation exposure. Mitzi wrote many articles for PAR about the work of Don’t Waste Connecticut, the necessity of clean, sustainable energy and the importance of caring for the environment.

Mitzi with Ralph Nader

Mitzi with Ralph Nader (photo: Hearst CT media)

Mitzi was a member of the PAR Planning Committee, and she and Pete created our PAR mission statement. Pete died Feb. 14, 2006. Two years later Mitzi moved to Vermont to be close to family.

Mitzi had an incredibly sharp intellect. She was a determined, fearless and compassionate activist. In 2015 she campaigned for Bernie Sanders at her nursing home, handing out flyers and talking to all the residents and visitors about why they should vote for him in the primary. She continued to give out posters of “The Radioactive Woman,” which depicted where radiation is most likely to affect the body with various cancers.

She has papers archived in Brattleboro and at the University of Massachusetts. The UMass papers can be accessed at scua.library.umass.edu/umarmot/bowman-mitzi.

We’re grateful to have known her, learned from her, worked with her, and been friends with her. Our condolences to her children Lori and Jason and Mitzi with Ralph Nader (photo: Hearst CT media) their families.

Volunteer Readers Needed for Commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King April 3

by James Pandaru, GNH Peace Council

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”

The above quote is from Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence,” which he gave on April 4, 1967, at Riverside Church, NYC. The following year, on April 4, 1968, while supporting striking sanitation workers, he was assassinated in Memphis, TN.

We will honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Friday, April 3, at noon in front of New Haven City Hall (165 Church St.). Dr. King’s words continue to be as relevant today as they were in 1967.

Volunteers are needed to read excerpts from Dr. King’s speech. Please join us in this event to commemorate Dr. King. To take part contact James Pandaru, (203) 933-4043, jpandaru@gmail.com. Thank you.

Hundreds Rally To Oppose War With Iran

by Paul Bass, New Haven Independent, Jan 5, 2020

“Trump says more war! We say no war!”

That chant filled the air on the southeastern corner of the New Haven Green Sunday afternoon as hundreds rallied to criticize President Donald Trump’s decision to assassinate top Iranian General Qassim Suleimani through a drone strike in Baghdad.

The local chapter of the ANSWER Coalition organized the rally, one of many around the country this weekend (over 80 on Saturday alone) and around the world calling for peace as the fears of war mount in the wake of the assassination.

Local activist Norm Clement called the assassination “an act of war and a war crime.” He said it follows in a line of four centuries of land theft and occupation and death forged by the U.S. “This country is the biggest thief ever in the history of mankind,” Clement told the crowd. “They steal everything.”

“Nobody wants war. Nobody wants to be slaughtered,” Fahd Syed of The Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) of CT said in another speech at the rally.

Read the complete article at: www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/rally_to_opposes_war_with_iran.

In Memoriam, Anne Hall Higgins, 1921-2019

by Lesley Higgins-Biddle

Anne Higgins died on October 21, 2019, at her home in North Haven, Connecticut. Known for her commitment to social justice and racial equity, Anne was active in greater New Haven as a founding leader of People Against Injustice (PAI), with a special concern for prison reform and changes to Connecticut’s drug policy. She was active in New Haven/León Sister City Project after traveling to Nicaragua in her 60s and in the United Church of Christ state conference Peace and Social Concerns committee, which led her to be arrested for protests against nuclear weapons in Groton at the submarine base and in Washington, D.C. As an ordained minister, Anne believed unequivocally in “talking the talk and walking the walk.”

Anne was born in Bridgeport where her grandfather had been a progressive minister at Park Street Congregational Church on the city’s East Side. She attended a new, John Dewey-based elementary school that encouraged young girls to play sports, explore their intellectual gifts, and challenge social norms. She graduated from Smith College (1943) with a major in art and then became one of the first women to graduate from Yale Divinity School with a Master of Divinity, subsequently becoming an ordained Congregational minister. At Yale Anne met the love of her life, Arthur Higgins, with whom she co-pastored small rural churches in upstate New York, Colorado and Maine, at a time when the profession was almost entirely dominated by men.

Anne and Arthur moved back to Connecticut to serve parishes in Chester and Wilton, and raise their four children. While in Wilton they became very active in civil rights, with Arthur attending the March on Washington and Anne becoming active in SNCC and CORE chapters in nearby Norwalk. Anne’s critique of the American power structure was a major inspiration for her art and she created many paintings that expressed both oppression and hope, often at the same time.

Throughout her life, Anne remained indomitably committed, both aesthetically and ethically, to a life well lived and that ‘spoke truth to power.’ From her friend Paula Diehl: “Her last years of ministry took the form of programming for elders in affordable housing. She always tried to increase residents’ world-view and help them to better tolerate and understand those who were not like them.”

Anne is sorely missed by her sons, Bart and Gerry, and her daughters, Lesley and Ethel, who are pictured here with her at an exhibition of her paintings at the New Haven Friends Meeting in 2018. Anne’s friends from PAI, the Nicaraguan Prayer Group, and the Friends Meeting, are grateful for having known her. The sparkle in her eyes will be missed by everyone who knew her.

Advocates Applaud AG Tong’s Action to Halt Courthouse Immigration Arrests

by Unidad Latina en Acción

Advocates applauded William Tong after he filed an amicus brief with 14 other state attorneys general supporting the Washington State lawsuit against ICE enforcement in and around the state courthouses.
“In recent months, ICE has interrupted justice in our Connecticut courts, jeopardizing public safety and the rule of law in the entire state,” said Catherine John, a member of Unidad Latina en Acción (ULA). “The state of Connecticut must continue to fight to halt ICE arrests in and around our courthouses.”
An estimated 120,000 undocumented immigrants live in Connecticut. Many of them have been unable to appear at court appointments for fear of hostile encounters with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). When called to courthouses for housing, family, civil, or criminal court, plain-clothes ICE agents have arrested and detained immigrants for civil immigration violation.

One recent example is that of Mario Aguilar, an 18-year-old Wilbur Cross junior who was arrested last September while entering the Milford courthouse to answer to misdemeanor charges stemming from a car accident in August. He spent over 100 days in ICE detention in Bristol, MA, before getting a positive ruling on his asylum case and coming home to New Haven on New Year’s Eve. In October, Domar Shearer went to Derby Superior Court to face charges and was alerted by the Public Defender’s Office that plain-clothes ICE officers were looking for him. After a 7-hour stand-off, in which Shearer stayed in the Public Defender’s Office, while ICE agents and immigrant rights’ advocates waited in the court hallways, ICE left the building and Shearer was able to return to his community.

National immigrant rights advocate Kica Matos added, “Our courthouses are meant to be places where due process and justice are delivered to our community. Using our judicial buildings to hunt down undocumented residents is shocking to the conscience and a gross miscarriage of justice. Our communities are less safe when immigrants who witness crimes are afraid to speak out for fear of going into a state building. No one is served when courthouses become places where people are terrorized and prevented from accessing justice. We are pleased that AG Tong has joined in this amicus brief to prevent ICE from using our courthouses to hunt down immigrants.”

Contact: Catherine John, (203) 887-3788 or John Lugo, (203) 606-3484.

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