Roe Reversal Protest Slams Supreme Court 

by Thomas Breen, New Haven Independent, June 24, 2022

Hundreds of abortion rights protesters filled the federal courthouse steps downtown to decry the U.S. Supreme Court’s “outrageous” and ​“unacceptable” overturning of Roe v. Wade.

That rally took place Friday afternoon [June 24] on the steps and sidewalk outside of 141 Church St. Organized by a coalition of social justice activists and faith leaders called the New Haven Reproductive Justice Mobilization, the protest slammed the top court’s 6 – 3 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned the 50-year-old precedent set in Roe that established a constitutional right to abortion.

Thomas Breen Photo

“The court has stripped away the freedom and agency of millions, especially Black, brown and indigenous women, girls, LGBT, and gender-nonconforming people,” said local immigrant rights activist Kica Matos, who emceed Friday’s protest. “The court has so brazenly chosen to set the clock back in this, the 21st Century … This ruling is about power. It is about control. And it is about taking away our freedoms. To this ruling, I say: ​‘Hell, no! We will not go back!’ ”

Read the entire article at newhavenindependent.org/article/roe_reversal_protest

The 18 minute video of the June 24 Reproductive Rights Rally is at https://youtu.be/bZ-OiIUa2BU

 

 

100 Rally for Abortion Rights

by Maya McFadden, New Haven Independent, May 4, 2022

In the wake of a reported pending U.S. Supreme Court decision to outlaw Roe v. Wade, New Haven activists are demanding that the nation follow in the footsteps of countries like Colombia, Argentina, and Mexico where abortion is a protected human right.

Those cries from protesters echoed over the New Haven Green Tuesday during a city rally calling for “Safe and Legal Abortion “and “Bans Off Our Bodies” organized by Unidad Latina en Acción (ULA), Workers’ Voice CT, and Socialist Revolution.

More than 100 demonstrators stood on the steps of the federal courthouse on 141 Church St. to protest the recent draft of a majority opinion written by conservative Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito suggesting that the nation strike down Roe, which established a federal constitutional right to an abortion. If the court issues that decision in final form, abortion will become largely illegal or access greatly restricted in states throughout the nation.

Leading the speaking program were ULA organizers Rosalba Montoya, Megan Fountain, and Nayeli Garcia.

The rally leaders reminded the crowd of the mass protests in Poland, Ireland, Colombia, Argentina, and Mexico in recent years that resulted in laws allowing safe access to abortions for all.

Together the crowd chanted: “Abortion is a human right,” “Health care is a human right,” “Mi cuerpo, mi decisión” (“My body, my choice”), “What do we want? Free abortion. When do we want it? Now!”

Speakers included a “pro-choice gynecologist,” nursing students, and others, some of whom told stories about being assaulted and needing to get an abortion as a result. Dozens took the microphone one by one in support of free, safe, and legal abortion for their friends and families.

Party for Socialism and Liberation member Kirill Staklo took the mic to add that “we need a new system that defends people’s human rights.”

“And in the state of Connecticut, where we might feel safe, this [decision], if it happens the way that it is threatening to be happening, sets a very dangerous precedent for anybody who cares about privacy and anybody who cares about bodily autonomy,” Staklo added. “No Supreme Court is supreme enough to be supreme over the law of the people.”

[To read the whole article, go to newhavenindependent.org/article/abortion_rights_rally]

May Day! Sunday, May 1, 12-6 p.m. New Haven Green

by Unidad Latina en Acción

United we are powerful! This May Day we are inviting all struggles to join us on the New Haven Green. It’s time to work together so that another world is possible:

  • Immigration reform now
  • Recovery for all
  • More money for education
  • Abolish solitary confinement
  • No to war
  • No to wage theft

Participate, so we can have a great May Day!!!

SUNDAY, MAY 1, 12 – 4 p.m. – Music, food, speakers, kids’ activities, and more!
4–6 p.m. — March for our rights!

Contact 203-606-3484, https://ulanewhaven.org, facebook.com/ULANewHaven.

Thank You, Senator Mae Flexer

by Joan Cavanagh, Progressives Against Medical Assisted Suicide

Senate Bill 88, An Act Concerning Aid in Dying for Terminally Ill Patients, was defeated on April 11 by a 5-4 vote of Senators on the Judiciary Committee of the Connecticut State Legislature. Sen. Mae Flexer, a progressive Democrat from the 29th District, cast the tie-breaking fifth “No” vote. Flexer has consistently fought against cuts to much-needed social programs and has a stellar record as a champion of reproductive and women’s rights, the rights of immigrants, and the right to comprehensive health care coverage.

In a long conversation after the fact, the Senator explained that she sees her opposition as consistent with her commitment to protecting the vulnerable, heightened by her experience as the mother of a one-year-old daughter and the child of a disabled Vietnam veteran concerned about her father’s ongoing health care. She understands the threat that this legislation would be to those among us who are already marginalized by the medical system’s prejudices and cost-cutting mandates.

It isn’t often that we find someone in politics who is willing to vote their conscience and to face censure and criticism for doing so. Progressives Against Medical Assisted Suicide urges readers to write to thank Sen. Flexer for this courageous vote. You can do so on the message page of her website, http://www.senatedems.ct.gov/Flexer-contact, and/or at her government email address mae.flexer@cga.ct.gov, or by a phone call to the office of her legislative aide, Isabella Langlois, 860-240-8634.

Legislative Battle in Misguided Bill for Aid in Dying

by Paula Panzarella, Progressives Against Medical Assisted Suicide

The Public Health Committee of the State Legislature is considering S.B. No. 88, An Act Concerning Aid in Dying for Terminally Ill Patients. I urge PAR readers to contact their state legislators. If this bill is to pass, it would be disastrous for individuals and society.

Below is a shortened version of my article in the CT Mirror:
https://ctmirror.org/2022/02/22/considerations-against-medical-aid-in-dying/

Considerations Against Medical Aid in Dying

We need more medical care and research, not less. It’s horrible that our medical system cannot adequately manage people’s pain, and that far too many diseases have no cures or treatments.

Long before the COVID pandemic, we had an overburdened, understaffed and inefficient medical system where all too often the cost-effectiveness of one treatment over another determined the patient’s care. Sometimes an insurance company takes the cheap route, sometimes the doctor or hospital, sometimes the patient who can’t afford the most effective treatment.

Doctors are not always right in their diagnoses and prognoses. I’ve seen patients’ wishes for care being ignored. I’ve seen attempts to pressure family members to agree to palliative care or hospice care instead of treatment for their loved ones’ conditions.

The elderly, people of color, disabled, and the impoverished already fight not to be marginalized in the medical system. We all need to fight together for increased research in pain management, treatments, and quality of life issues for as long as a person is alive.

This is a larger matter than individual rights. If S.B. 88 passes, others are threatened to have care denied. Like upholding as “freedom of choice” an individual’s right to not wear a mask during a pandemic, so too “freedom to choose death” puts others at risk.

A doctor takes an oath to heal, comfort and care for a patient. Assisted suicide casts suspicion not only on the doctors involved, but on the entire medical profession as they relinquish their responsibility to try to restore the patient to health.

The medical aid in dying bill is part of healthcare deform, not healthcare reform.

Justice for Omar As’ad

by LouAnn Villani, Middle East Crisis Committee

On February 3, 2022 in a cold rain we protested in front of the office of Congresswoman Jahana Hayes in Waterbury. We were there trying to get her attention about the Israeli killing of Palestinian-American Omar As’ad.

Soldiers had taken the 78-year-old man from his car within a Palestinian village, handcuffed him, blindfolded him and gagged him. The Israeli soldiers held him for a while and put him on the near-freezing ground and drove away. An autopsy showed he had died of a heart attack from stress caused by assault. We had told Hayes about this killing fully, but she’s never said a word, and continues to be silent about this.

Over 500 people have signed a petition calling for justice for Omar As’ad. It’s up on Change.org. We link at thestrugglevideo.org/the-struggle. Or contact us at mail@thestruggle.org and we’ll send you the direct link to it.

What we’ve said about Hayes can be said about Congress-woman DeLauro. She has said nothing about the death of Mr. As’ad who was a grocer in the U.S. for some 40 years. She should be protested too. In fact she’s worse. She had her Appropriations Committee sponsor a bill to give Israel an extra $1 billion for missile defense on top of the half-billion they get for missile defense each year which is on top of the $3.3 billion they get for “defense.”

Neither Hayes or DeLauro have signed on Betty McCollum’s bill which would take money away from Israel’s annual gift to the extent that they use that money to mistreat children. At our protest we also held signs calling her out for this. You can learn more about this bill and other ways you can help the Palestinian cause at our website thestrugglevideo.org.

Passport Services to Become Available at the New Haven Free Public Library

by Gina Bingham, New Haven Free Public Library

The New Haven Free Public Library is pleased to announce passport services will be available at the Ives Main Library. The NHFPL Passport Office is open to public appointments at the Main Ives Library located at 133 Elm Street. Services include processing new U.S. passports or passport cards and photographs for both U.S. and international passports.

Services are available in both English and Spanish.

The Ives Main Library Passport Office will be open by appointment Wednesdays, 3-7 p.m.; Thursdays, 3-7 p.m.; Saturdays, 11-3:30 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling 203-946-2280 or online at https://nhfpl.org/passports. Application forms can be downloaded from the Department of State website travel.state.gov, can be picked up at the library, or can be requested when making an appointment.

City Librarian and New Haven Free Public Library Director John Jessen said, “Increased accessibility was central to our decision-making as convenient access to passport services is becoming more important than ever. It made sense to add a passport office to our list of services because of our centralized location, and we can offer hours outside those provided by other passport offices. As many residents already use the library as a source of information when researching travel or asking questions about government services, this makes a passport office an ideal addition to the robust services of the New Haven Free Public Library.”

For questions regarding the Library’s passport services, passport fees, and information on how to apply, visit our website at nhfpl.org/passports or call 203-946-2280.

COVID-19 and Global Injustice

by Andy Piascik, freelance writer and PAR reader

After two years, COVID-19 continues to ravage planet Earth. Over 5.5 million people have died, millions more have suffered major health consequences and millions beyond that have experienced severe economic hardship. In the United States, the official tally is 850,000 and the real toll is probably over one million.

Much media attention has focused on large segments of the population who refuse to get vaccinated and/or wear masks in public. In both cases, millions of people are downplaying the seriousness of COVID-19 and asserting individual rights in a thoroughly irresponsible manner, egged on by reactionary politicians and media figures. According to all data, the roughly 95% of current cases are the unvaccinated.

The pandemic has highlighted the destructive ramifications of a grossly unjust economic system. Domestically, a health care system based on profits led to hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths. Millions of workers in the United States lost their jobs and, when normal unemployment benefits proved inadequate, the federal government was forced by popular outrage to provide a short-term supplement. When the pandemic ebbed somewhat, working-class parents faced the terrible dilemma of fearing to send their children back to school while not being able to keep them home because of having to return to work.

Internationally, hundreds of millions in the global South are unvaccinated because elites in control of the vaccines have primarily only made them available on a for-profit basis. Millions of doses remain warehoused in the US because of those who refuse to get vaccinated and as many as 100 million doses will soon expire. The richest of the rich, meanwhile, have prospered so much that 2020 saw the introduction of a new word to the English language: centi-billionaire.

While we will hopefully get a handle on COVID-19, we nonetheless confront a planet more unstable and dangerous. As in every other instance of human progress, organized collective action is key. All individuals, organizations and movements have a role to play. No one in power is going to do it for us.

Help Counter the Upcoming Effort to Pass Medical Assisted Suicide Legislation

by Joan Cavanagh, Progressives Against Medical Assisted Suicide

In the middle of a pandemic that has killed close to a million people in this country, in the face of a medical system that repeatedly shows itself unable and unwilling to try to save the lives of the most vulnerable, members of the CT State Legislature are gearing up once again to try to legalize Medical Assisted Suicide. The session begins in February, and “Compassion and Choices” has already hired at least one extra lobbyist to help push it through. You may remember that they got it out of the Public Health Committee for the first time last year.

Incredibly, some of the same leaders who say they are planning an all-out effort to reform Connecticut’s mental health system by increasing funding and staffing (see https://ctmirror.org/2022/01/11/ct-legislative-leaders-mental-health-system-in-deep-crisis-is-priority-in-2022-session/) will also be pushing for this legislation.

Constituent pressure is the only thing that will cause the liberal Democrats in favor of this to change their minds. New or seldom heard voices are especially important to weigh in on this!

PLEASE: 1. If you have a personal connection to any of the Democratic legislators (not limited to those members of the Public Health Committee, where this legislation is likely to be introduced), start talking to them now to let them know of your objections. And prepare to keep talking to them as the bill with its specific language takes shape.

2. If you’re part of a political organization or religious group whose membership identifies as largely liberal or progressive, introduce this as a topic on their agenda. Speak up about it yourself and invite members of Progressives Against Medical Assisted Suicide (which formed in New Haven in August) to address them in person or via Zoom. We are interested in meeting with these folks as soon as we can.

Joan Cavanagh is also a member Second Thoughts CT and the New Haven Sunday Vigil for Peace and Justice.

Victory! ICE will Stop Immigration Raids at US Workplaces

by Megan Fountain, Unidad Latina en Acción, Oct. 18, 2021

Big news!  Thanks to our efforts, the Biden administration took action on one of our top priorities: ensuring that employers stop using immigrant status to silence workers.

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it will no longer carry out mass immigration raids at U.S. workplaces.  Instead, DHS says they will crackdown on employers who exploit workers, rather than locking up workers who are victims of exploitation.

We demand that DHS include immigrant workers in every step of the new workplace enforcement program.

That’s why ULA’s worker leader Hermelinda Gutierrez has joined together with other workers from Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, and more to form a Blue Ribbon Commission (BRC) that will issue recommendations to the Biden administration.  The BRC are people who have experienced workplace abuse firsthand, and their voices must be heard.

We are close to winning good jobs and immigrant protections in Congress. But we need to keep the pressure on Senators to make sure that they include full funding for homecare services AND a path to citizenship in the Build Back Better act.

That’s why we’re calling our Senators. To add your voice, just dial: 1 (855) 637-5982. You’ll hear a recording – with options in English or Spanish – with instructions and talking points, and then you’ll be connected to your Senator’s office to leave your message. Once you hang up you’ll receive a text message asking you to dial again to be connected to your other Senator’s office. Please make both calls!

Unidad Latina en Acción, 37 Howe Street, New Haven, CT 06511. Building the power of immigrants to defend labor, civil, and human rights since 2002.

1 2 3 17