George Edwards Memorial Event Scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 29

Staff, New Haven Independent, Sept. 30, 2022

New Haveners will have a chance to share their memories of the late Black Panther and social justice advocate George Edwards at an event set for Saturday, Oct. 29.

Edwards, possibly the most spied-on and messed-with activist in town and omnipresence at public events, died Sept. 16 at the age of 85. (Read a full story about his life at

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

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.

It was kidney cancer that finally claimed the life of George Edwards. Until his final months, he remained one of New Haven’s most visible and engaging voices, challenging power and supporting grassroots social justice crusades.

The memorial event in his honor will take place at the Q House, 197 Dixwell Ave from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. His daughter Elizabeth Dickerson asks anyone wishing to speak at the event to contact her in advance at [email protected] Attendees are also encouraged to bring gently used clothing to the event to be distributed to the needy.

A GoFundMe drive at has been established to help pay for funeral costs. Some money will also go toward placing Edwards’ name on a brick at the Q House.

[George Edwards was an extraordinary and compassionate activist. Many, if not most, of PAR’s readers, worked with him on justice and community issues in New Haven. In almost six decades, we have no doubt he touched the lives of tens of thousands of New Haven residents, activists and Yale students. “The students are here for only four years and then they go all over the world. I’m going to train them
to be activists while I have this chance.” George was a mentor to many and held steadfast to the principles of the original Black Panthers. In addition to his work in the Black Panther Party, he played a core role in New Haven’s struggle against apartheid in South Africa, organized many annual May Day celebrations on the New Haven Green, spoke out and organized against police brutality, was a
supporter of Palestinian rights, demonstrated against the various wars, bombings and invasions the U.S. carried out — Panama, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Afghanistan, etc., demanded the release of Leonard Peltier, Mumia Abu-Jamal and all other U.S. political prisoners, had a weekly show on CTV where he introduced viewers to activism, history and the current events of the day and taught them how to analyze, protested against nuclear power, was an AIDS-prevention activist and worked at the New Haven Needle Ex-change Project, and when the pandemic began, he gave out masks, condoms, water bottles and gloves to people from his front porch. In addition to the New Haven Independent, George has been featured in the New Haven Register many times through the years and the New York Times. This is a brief description of the work George did and the causes he took on.]


George Edwards, Black Panther and Lifelong Revolutionary July 31, 1937-Sept. 16, 2022

Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of George Edwards, an extraordinary and compassionate activist. Many, if not most, of PAR’s readers, worked with him on justice and community issues in New Haven. In almost six decades, we have no doubt he touched the lives of tens of thousands of New Haven residents, activists and Yale students. “The students are here for only four years and then they go all over the world. I’m going to train them to be activists while I have this chance.” He was a mentor to many and held steadfast to the principles of the original Black Panthers. In addition to his work in the Black Panther Party, he played a core role in New Haven’s struggle against apartheid in South Africa, organized many annual May Day celebrations on the New Haven Green, spoke out and organized against police brutality, was a supporter of Palestinian rights, demonstrated against the various wars, bombings and invasions the U.S. carried out — Panama, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Afghanistan, etc., demanded the release of Leonard Peltier, Mumia Abu-Jamal and all other U.S. political prisoners, had a weekly show on CTV where he introduced viewers to activism, history and the current events of the day and taught them how to analyze, protested against nuclear power, was an AIDS-prevention activist and worked at the New Haven Needle Exchange Project, and when the pandemic began, he gave out masks, condoms, water bottles and gloves to people from his front porch. This is a brief description of the work he did and the causes he took on.

In Memoriam: Hazel Williams, Newhallville Organizer. Oct. 18, 1944-Aug. 27, 2022

Hazel Williams, a native of Brunswick, Georgia, moved to New Haven in 1968. She was a top-notch organizer in the Newhallville community, and deeply concerned about helping the well-being of all. Our sympathy to her family, her friends, and to everyone whose lives she touched.

The following excerpts are from the New Haven Register article of Sept. 3, written by Mark Zaretsky. Read the entire article at

Hazel V. Williams

Hazel V. Williams, founder of Newhallville’s Pond Street Block Watch, was a passionate advocate for neighbors taking responsibility for their neighborhoods, a gardener extraordinaire and — not to be minimized — master of all things baking and dessert-like.

“She was a fierce advocate for people in the community standing up and taking ownership of their block,” and was adamant “that people should participate” in the political process, said Barbara Vereen, the city’s 20th Ward Democratic Committee co-chairwoman.

“We have a lot of people who stand up and talk about it,” Vereen said. But Williams “actually did the work. She told you like it is. She did not hold back,” but she always gave advice “in a caring, loving way.”

“‘Fierce’ is the first word that comes to mind when I think of my dear friend Hazel,” who could be a “mom, aunt, sister all rolled up in one,” said friend Letitia Charles. “To me, Hazel embodied a Sister Warrior and Mother Earth!”

Williams and the block watch also collaborated with the Yale School of Forestry and the Black Student Alliance at Yale to plant daffodils throughout the neighborhood.

The work they did together helped reduce crime in the Pond Street neighborhood, located on the Newhallville-Hamden line, to zero for 26 straight years. The success of the Pond Street Block Watch was one of the cornerstones of the city’s presentation when New Haven won the national All-America City designation in a competition in Mobile, Ala., in June 1998.

Read the entire article at


In Memoriam: Semi Semi-Dikoko, ‘The Mayor of Westville,’ July 27, 1953-Sept. 8, 2022

by Lucy Gellman, Arts Council of Greater New Haven, Arts Paper

Semi Semi-Dikoko was born in Congo, worked in many countries and moved to New Haven in 1991. Our condolences to his family and to his large community of friends. He was an artist, a computer analyst with IBM, played flute and trombone, lived in Brussels, Belgium, and Bremen, Germany. In addition to English, he spoke German, French, Japanese, Bantu, and Swahili. He was president of the Friends of Edgewood Park, and he had a pilot’s license. He was friendly, warm and engaging, and had a wide and deep presence in New Haven, especially in Westville.

The following excerpts are from the article Lucy Gellman wrote for the Sept. 14, 2022 Arts Paper. You can read it in its entirety at

Semi Semi-Dikoko, a tireless advocate for the arts who blessed New Haven with three decades of a gentle and gen-erous spirit, died at Smilow Cancer Hospital. The cause was prostate cancer, which Semi-Dikoko had been fighting bravely and often quietly for four years. In the past decade, he also battled lymphoma, which was until recently in remission. He was 69 years old.

Semi Semi-Dikoko with David Sepulveda and Aleta Staton at the Arts Awards in December 2012. Photo: Judy Sirota Rosenthal. Photo used with permission from the photographer.

“Semi just touched so many lives,” said his friend and studio mate David Sepulveda. The two, who shared a studio at West River Arts, were so close they often seemed like two halves of the same, vibrantly beating heart.

He was trained as a systems architect and consultant, who worked for IBM, Fujitsu Americas, Deutsche Bank, NASA, and Southern New England Telecommunications (SNET) among others. He was a dedicated public servant, whose thousands of volunteer hours spanned Friends of Edgewood Park to Artspace New Haven to the Westville Village Renaissance Alliance. For most of his friends, he was Semi, a warm and constant presence who always had time for the people in his life.

“His art was human connectivity,” said Aaron Goode, who met him over a decade ago when the two enrolled in the city’s first Democracy School class. “That was his medium. He was a painter of civic canvases. Westville, that was one of his canvases, but so was New Haven and so was New York.”

Memorial for Activist Heiwa Salovitz

We hope you can come to this memorial for our dear friend Heiwa Salovitz, who died so suddenly at the beginning of this year, at his home in Austin, Texas.

If you know of others who were his friends for the many years he lived in CT,  please feel free to pass this along to them as well.

June 11, 1 p.m., Community Room at John Prete Savin Rock Housing, 1187 Campbell Ave., West Haven.

Bring your memories and stories to share!

Info: email Joan at [email protected] or Elaine at [email protected].

CT People’s World May Day 2022: Art Perlo Presente

by Joelle Fishman, CT People’s World

CT People’s World May Day 2022: Art Perlo Presente on Sunday, May 1, 6:30 p.m., at the New Haven Peoples Center and also virtually on FB Live at 7 p.m.

Come together in solidarity for the launch of the Art Perlo Presente website carrying his legacy forward for a just society. 6:30 p.m. for pizza will be followed at 7 p.m. with the program launching of the Art Perlo Presente website, including clips from three videos (30th-anniversary Local 34, Black History Month Youth March honoring Art Perlo, and May Day Around the World 2021). Then enjoy at 8 p.m. “United to Fight Back,” a virtual celebration with the national People’s World.

Art Perlo Presente includes selections from Art’s writings, videos, recipes, tributes, photos, and organizing as well as “Building the Movement Today,” with an opportunity to add a post. It promises to be a valuable and lively resource for education and action.

Sunday, May 1, at the New Haven Peoples Center, 37 Howe Street and also virtually on FB Live at

Contributions can be made at:

Then watch “United to Fight Back,” a virtual national People’s World celebration:

For more information, email [email protected]

Heiwa Salovitz in His Own Words

Why Oral History Matters, an Interview

by Erica Suprenant and Shannon Elizondo, ADAPT of Texas

“What brings me to oral history? Well as a person with a disability — I’ve had my disability all my life — people with disabilities tend to be seen as the invisible people. We tend not to document their stories; we tend not to listen to them; we tend not to think their lives are interesting. So that’s what brings me to oral history, ’cause I want people to learn about my story. I want to learn about theirs, and so we can see the commonality in the struggle, because we all have struggled. We all have things we can learn from each other, things we can contribute to society, and hopefully change society for the better. And it’s just interesting to hear different people’s perspectives on their life and their world experiences.” ~ Heiwa Salovitz, October 11, 2011, a member of ADAPT of Texas,

Speaking Out Against Voting Restrictions 

Heiwa’s testimony at the Texas Legislature against SB 1 (which unfortunately passed, imposing severe and racist voting restrictions)

Rembrances of Heiwa Salovitz

From email sent by Elaine Kolb, Jan. 11, 2022

First met Heiwa Salovitz when he was in his late teens and I was almost 40. Back then, my partner, Patti Deak, was President of the Greater New Haven Disability Rights Activists (GNHDRA). Heiwa occasionally attended some of our events, sometimes held at SCSU. Patti & I agreed that Heiwa had great leadership potential.

Sometime after Patti died in 1999, Heiwa and I bonded more directly, both involved with social justice struggles. Over these years, our connection & trust deepened profoundly. Just visited him for a week in September. His personal care assistant (PCA) found him dead, sitting in his power wheelchair on January 3, 2022.

Heiwa, Japanese word meaning “peace”or “harmony.” The only “Heiwa” I’ve ever known was surely one of a kind. Yes, that’s partly why we became so close. Takes one to know one…

~ From email sent by Joan Cavanagh on Jan. 4, 2022

Heiwa Salovitz, Presente!

Dear Friends and Fellow Travelers,

This isn’t the sort of New Year’s email I’d choose to write. In sorrow and shock I have to report the passing of a dear friend, Heiwa Salovitz, over the weekend in Austin, Texas. Heiwa was a stalwart and principled fighter for disability justice, peace (the meaning of his name), and human rights whom many of you knew. A member of the Muslim community, he was part of the work of the New Haven Sunday Vigil for Peace and Justice, the Greater New Haven Coalition for People, the New Haven initiatives of Amman Imman (Water is Life) and many other local groups and organizations before moving to Austin to work with Texas ADAPT.

We will have a local memorial gathering at some time in the future.

Heiwa’s life was unique, courageous and important. May his memory be for a blessing.

~ Joan Cavanagh

My Friend Heiwa Salovitz

By Paula Panzarella

Needing a wheelchair didn’t keep Heiwa from being involved with community actions or peace rallies. He was on the May Day Celebration Committee, helping plan the yearly International Workers Day festival on the New Haven Green. He joined Fight the Hike and traveled to Hartford to give public testimony at the State Legislature about the hardships CT’s electric rates caused the disabled community and lower-income residents. Every Sunday he would come to the peace and justice vigils in the rain, snow or freezing weather. He was intent on making a difference in this world.

In all the groups we were in together, he helped broaden our perspective on how we needed to improve our outreach and accessibility to include more people in the various struggles for justice.

Heiwa was courageous, smart, patient, modest, and had a great sense of humor. In 2010, he left New Haven to join the Austin chapter of ADAPT. He was intent on working with others in the disability rights community who, like him, were not afraid of pushing the envelope, risking arrest and fighting for recognition of their human rights and dignity. Unfortunately, New Haven wasn’t radical enough for him.
His mother was Italian and French and raised Catholic, his father was Jewish, and Heiwa was a converted Muslim. His name means “Peace” in Japanese – in all ways he embodied his multi-cultural appreciation of the world.

I’m glad we met, grateful for his friendship, and heartbroken about his passing.

Lynda Faye Wilson March 24, 1946-Jan. 31, 2022

With great sadness, we are letting our readers know of the passing of Linda Faye Wilson. She was part of many New Haven organizations through the years, and a number of PAR activists worked with her on many issues.

Lynda was a member of People Against Injustice, Sisters with a New Attitude, Survivors of Homicide, the Ryan White AIDS Council, and Hill North Community Management Team, to name a few. She also took on a number of responsibilities for her church. She fiercely worked and advocated for her community, and maintained her optimism and humor through many hardships.

A favorite saying of hers was, “I’m blessed in all this mess.”

She was a warrior, fighting for justice on all fronts for all people. A true community leader and activist, generous and kind, she will be missed by all who knew her.

Joe Luciano Sept. 28, 1938-Feb. 1, 2022, at Monument Health Hospice House

Joe Luciano (Facebook)

Joe Luciano (Facebook)

A staunch advocate for disability rights has died. Joe Luciano led demonstrations against his local post office in Seymour that was not wheelchair accessible. He was the founder of Disability Rights Action Group, and the creator of the 2014-2018 Underground Travel Guide, listing accessible places to visit in New Haven County via Connecticut ADA paratransit providers.

In 2019, he moved to Rapid City, South Dakota. As he wrote in the Oct. 2020 PAR newsletter, “Last year I moved west from Downtown Seymour Ct after realizing it would never become a Livable Community in my lifetime.”

Unfortunately, South Dakota didn’t live up to his expectations, as you can read in his PAR article Don’t Move to South Dakota.

A true humanitarian, Joe was concerned about all issues of injustice and focused his fight on the rights of the disabled.

The PAR Planning Committee is grateful for the struggles he led, and the articles he wrote so we could bring the issues to our readers’ attention.

You can read a New Haven Register article about him at:

Heiwa Salovitz, June 10, 1969 – January 3, 2022

Heiwa was a New Haven activist until 2010 when he moved to Austin to work with its chapter of the disability rights organization ADAPT. His involvement in many New Haven organizations for peace, justice, disability rights, human rights, equity and respect for all impacted everyone who knew him. Heiwa was Muslim, had cerebral palsy, and used a wheelchair. He was active, outspoken and effective in making change. The PAR Planning Committee extends our deepest condolences to all his family and to his many friends.

From The Record-Journal, Jan. 7, 2022

Heiwa Salovitz, of Austin, Texas, formerly of Wallingford and New Haven, passed away January 3, 2022.
He is survived by his mother Elaine Harris (late Richard Harris), his siblings Charlie, Robin, Amy (Gary), Larry (Debra). He was the beloved uncle to Autumn (Marvin), Heather, Noah, Ava, and Sophie, great-uncle to Harmony, Jadyn, Shaelynn, Brooklyn, and Sirene. He was predceased by his bio parents Simon Salovitz and Dee LeDoux.

He will be missed by his many friends and extended ADAPT family, where he was a fierce advocate of change and reform for people with disabilities.

Art Perlo, 74

by Paul Bass, New Haven Independent, Dec. 23, 2021

Art Perlo, Ward 24 co-chair and executive board member of the Yale Unions Retirees Association, passed away on Dec. 18, 2021, after a year-long battle with bladder cancer.

Alder Evette Hamilton called him a “gentle giant” for his kindness, commitment, humor and broad knowledge that touched the lives of so many in the city, state and around the country.

Born in New York on November 2, 1947, son of Marxist economist Victor Perlo and artist Ellen Perlo, Art moved to New Haven in 1975 after living in Chicago and Portland, Oregon, to join his life partner Joelle Fishman, participating in her People before Profits campaigns for Congress and mayor.

As an independent economist and activist, Art devoted his talents to the cause of the rights and equality of working class people of all races, genders and national backgrounds.

An IT worker at Yale’s Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry lab for 35 years, he helped organize and was a founding member of the clerical and technical workers union Local 34 Unite Here in 1984. Although not eligible for the union with his managerial and professional job classification, he was appreciated for honoring the strikes of Local 34 and Local 35, joining his co-workers on the picket line for respect and improved wages and benefits. He was an early proponent for restructuring Yale’s hiring practices to open job opportunities for Black and Latino New Haven residents.

Since the 1990s ….


Contributions to the causes closest to Art’s heart can be made at:

Due to the rise in COVID a gathering will not be held at this time. On January 1, 2023 an open house continuing the annual tradition of Art and Joelle will be held to celebrate Art’s life and carry on the movement-building his life exemplifies.


Tribute to Art Perlo

by Barbara Vereen, UNITE-HERE

On Dec. 11, New Haven organizer and activist Art Perlo was honored at the Connecticut People’s World Amistad Awards. On Dec. 18, after a long battle with cancer, he passed on. The PAR Planning Committee extends our condolences to his wife Joelle Fishman and all their family, friends, and comrades. The following is the tribute given to Art on Dec. 11 at the Amistad Awards. It is excerpted from the presentation by Barbara Vereen, staff director for UNITE-HERE in CT.

Since the inception of our union, the Communist Party has been a part of our growing, doing work in the community. Whether we’re fighting for immigrants’ rights, whether we’re fighting for worker rights, whether we’re organizing in the community in other unions, the Communist Party has been there.


I’d like to give a special thanks and acknowledgment to Art Perlo, who, when I first met him, was a part of the Yale Club, and then I was amazed – it was the Yale Club, the Winchester Club, the Harvard Club – everywhere you’d go they would be there.


A special recognition for Art Perlo for all the work he has done in the Communist Party and also all the unions here at Yale. One of the things that I have heard over the years is how Art was an M&P [Managerial & Professional classification at Yale], not even a part of the union, but he honored our picket line when we were forming our union. Not only did he honor our picket line, he also helped organize our workers so that we could become our union.


He sat on our first executive board and he wasn’t even a union member. Now Art sits on YURA, our retirement board for our retirees at Yale. I have to thank him for all the wisdom and knowledge he has bestowed upon me personally but also always being willing to give and educate people on the movement.


So, Art, I hope you get well, a speedy recovery.

Joelle and Edie, we love you!

For more about Art:

Art Perlo, Ward 24 co-chair and executive board member of the Yale Unions Retirees Association, passed away on Dec. 18 after a year-long battle with bladder cancer.   Art Perlo, 74 | New Haven Independent

In Memory of Robin Latta Tweedy (1950-2021)

On October 23, after a 20-month battle with ovarian cancer, our friend, sister activist, humanitarian Robin Latta Tweedy passed on. Many PAR readers knew her and worked alongside her for years in numerous campaigns for peace, disability rights, affordable housing, universal single-payer healthcare, prison reform, immigrant rights, etc.

Although Robin lived in Branford, she was often in New Haven to be part of rallies and actions. Through the years she would buy PAR subscriptions for friends so they could learn more about the various struggles of the activist communities and find opportunities to become involved.

Robin was a pace-setter, one of the first women to work at United Illuminating, first as a meter reader, and later in “the Underground.” The men on her job learned that their chauvinism was no longer to be tolerated. Thank you, Robin, for making the way easier for all the women who followed you in the previously-called “non-traditional jobs.”

She later got a degree in social work, and merged her career with her concerns for bettering people’s lives and fighting for justice.

When her parents could no longer care for themselves in Florida, she moved them to her home and was the caregiver for them both. She will always be remembered for her love, sense of justice, and willingness to help people on all levels.

When Mary Johnson, one of PAR’s founding members, was in CT Hospice in March, 2016, Robin asked for, and received, permission to have an International Women’s Day party there. Because of Robin’s stellar idea, twenty people celebrated International Women’s Day with Mary (who was discharged from Hospice later that week and lived until August, 2017).

Robin led the Coalition for People’s campaign in demanding the main branch of the New Haven Library do the necessary upkeep for the handicapped-accessible bathrooms, and that they also remove the extra set of very heavy glass doors that were in front of the wheelchair-accessible doorway.

Robin was part of Fight the Hike, which demanded an end to exorbitant electric rates. She met with Branford legislators as well as state legislators, and presented testimony in public hearings in Hartford, often referring to corporations’ practices of waste and ineptitude that she witnessed when she worked at United Illuminating.

Robin was also a dedicated animal lover and had a number of pets. For years she rescued feral cats and found homes for them. Robin believed every creature deserved a home, comfort and love.

She was a supporter of union struggles, demonstrated in peace rallies, stood up to racists, fought for justice, and in all ways loved being an activist. She took part in the weekly vigil of the New Haven Peace Council with activist Jim Pandaru. We at PAR thank Jim for allowing us to reprint his condolences when he learned of Robin’s passing.

We are heartbroken to learn that Robin, our dear friend, sister activist, and a uniquely spiritual human being, has passed away. I believe that the sad emptiness we now feel without her presence will soon be replaced by all the wonderful memories and her lasting legacy of who she was and what she stood for in life. Carrying on where Robin left off will be a lasting tribute to her.

We in the Peace Council will surely miss her friendship and unwavering commitment, presence and camaraderie in helping us distribute flyers at our Friday vigils every single week for over two years before COVID-19 hit. May she rest in peace and her memory be eternal.

At this time the date for a memorial gathering has not been finalized.

Her husband James Tweedy predeceased her. Our condolences to Robin’s sister, Pat Latta of Thornton, Colorado, dear friends Debbie Elkin and Janis Underwood, devoted caretakers of her cats (and of Robin) Jennifer Ford and Gary Cimmino, and all who knew and loved her.

In Memory of Marge Van Cleef (1935-2021)

Many PAR readers from New Haven during the ’80s through early 2000s worked with and were greatly influenced by long-time New Haven activist Marge Van Cleef. On October 26, Marge passed on in Philadelphia.

Marge was an organizer and activist in many peace and justice groups and international solidarity organizations, a teacher and a church organist. She introduced many activists to the need for non-violent civil disobedience in the course of various protests, and wrote many articles and leaflets. She was tenacious and consistently urged people to pay attention in the struggle for justice.

In the 1980s, Marge was in Educators for Social Responsibility, and, along with Sally Joughin (who helped found PAR years later), visited classrooms to discuss with the students the views of Soviet children, nuclear weapons, how government decisions impact the students and how students can impact the government. Marge and Sally developed a full curriculum and got permission from social studies teachers to talk with over 100 classrooms.

Marge was active in many groups and was looked to as a leader. Some of the groups are the Pledge of Resistance, the Coalition to Stop Trident, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, New Haven Coalition Against War in the Gulf, and Peace and Justice News and Views.

Her activism continued when she moved to Philadelphia in 2004. The Brandywine Peace Community shared these words from Tina Shelton, Marge’s colleague in the Philadelphia branch of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom:

Marge died on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, at the age of 86. Our friend, leader, challenger, organizer, valiant and tireless peace activist has breathed her last.

Her intellectual prowess was admired as much as her steadfast hold on her ideals. She read widely and integrated her constant learning into her action. She challenged our opinions and helped us to take another look, while staunch-ly advocating for anti-capitalism, anti-racism, and against all war and violence.

She and her partner, Bill Dyson, created a monthly vigil against drones, recognizing that drones were potentially able to gain acceptance as a less lethal form of warfare, a view that she was determined to work against.

Her communities, including Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom [WILPF], Greater Philadelphia Branch and the National Disarm Committee, Brandywine Peace Community, Bryn Mawr Peace Coalition, Catholic Peace Fellowship and others, valued her political and intellectual expertise, consistently speaking truth to power through civil disobedience and demonstrations…

The following excerpts are from her obituary notice. It can be read in its entirety at details/876/Marjorie-Van-Cleef/obituary.html

Marge was a teacher and advocate for social justice. She was committed to a world without weapons, to the protection of the environment, and to equal justice. This led her to vigil and demonstrate, and to be a witness through civil disobedience when necessary. She participated fully in many peacemaking groups – as an organizer, strategist, teacher, and friend. These groups are too numerous to mention, but included Women Against Military Madness, the Trident Coalition, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, the Atlantic Life Community, Witness for Peace, and SANE/Freeze. She amassed several collections of significant documents related to this work and those collections are housed at colleges and universities in the United States.

In lieu of flowers please send donations to The Native American Rights Fund, 1506 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80302-6217; Partners in Health (identify Haiti), P.O. Box 996, Frederick, MD 21705-9942; and Women for Women International, P.O. Box 9224, Central Islip, NY 11722-9224.

Our condolences to her partner, Bill Dyson, her children Christopher Van Cleef and Elizabeth Van Cleef and their families, her stepchildren Sonia Mack, Will Dyson, Eric Dyson, Michael Dyson and their families, and her brother David Noll and his family.

A memorial gathering in New Haven is being organized.

Remembering Tim Craine

Although Tim lived in Windsor, he was known to many New Haven-area activists as he often participated for decades in state-wide and local rallies and programs for peace and justice. He was enthusiastically optimistic in the struggle for a better world and will be greatly missed. Below is the obituary printed Oct. 3 in the New Haven Register.

Timothy V. Craine, 77, died peacefully at home in Windsor on Sept. 25 after a several-month battle with leukemia. He was born Oct. 6, 1943, to Asho Craine, nee Ingersoll, and Lyle Craine.

Tim graduated from Oberlin College in 1965. He spent two years in the Peace Corps teaching math in Ghana. He taught in public high schools in New Haven and Detroit. He earned a Ph.D. in math education from Wayne State University in 1984. That year he also received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching. He joined the math department at Central Connecticut State University in 1993 and chaired the department from 2000 until his retirement in 2009. He was highly regarded as a teacher of high school and elementary math teachers, and continued teaching part-time through 2020. He co-authored several textbooks and numerous academic articles.

Tim was active as a member and later supporter of the Socialist Workers Party for five decades and was the party’s candidate for governor of Michigan in 1982. He was a leader of the Greater Hartford Coalition on Cuba, organizing to oppose Washington’s economic war against Cuba. He was active in the defense of framed-up Puerto Rican independence fighters and in 2000 participated in a delegation to Vieques, Puerto Rico, demanding the closure of the US bombing range there.

Tim is survived by his wife Leslie; two daughters Naomi Craine (Dean Hazlewood) and Rachel Craine (Liz Craine); brother Steve Craine (Rachel Skvirsky) and sister Ellen Craine; grandchildren Chelsea, Emily, Niko, and Maeve; dear friend Tony Proto; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Donations in his honor can be made to the math department at CCSU, the Simsbury Community Band, or the Socialist Workers Party. A celebration of his life will be organized in the spring. To leave an online message of condolence for his family, please visit

Paul Hammer memorial celebration postponed; new Spring date TBD

We are sorry to announce that Paul Hammer’s memorial celebration at the Unitarian Society of New Haven (USNH) has been postponed due to Covid restrictions. Currently, people attending indoor events in Hamden are required to wear a mask. In addition, under USNH protocols, attendees at a service may not sing, and consumption of food or beverages is not allowed in the building. These do not seem to be conditions conducive to a vibrant celebration of Paul’s spirit.

A new date in April 2022 is being considered and will be announced as soon as possible.


Peace Prophet Paul Hammer Dies At 64

Paul Bass, June 30, 2021, New Haven Independent

[Paul Hammer has been an integral part of the New Haven community for decades. He was in peace groups, justice groups, did prison reform organizing, was involved with theater, environmental groups, homeless and mental health advocacy, etc. Many PAR readers have worked with him at one time or another. He died by suicide on June 27. Below are excerpts of the article posted at]

Paul was 64, and touched the lives of innumerable New Haveners over the last 40-plus years. He was much loved, and his death has sparked an outpouring of tributes.

Paul wanted people to know he struggled with mental illness so that others in similar straits could find support and help. He spoke about a previous suicide attempt off East Rock to the Register’s Randall Beach with that in mind.

Paul also wanted kids to ride bikes safely. He wanted immigrants to find a welcoming new home in New Haven. He wanted community theater to thrive. He wanted to see an end to violence in wars abroad and violence in the street wars at home. He wanted to help people stay out of prison. He dedicated his life to working with others to help make that happen, and found daily joy in doing so.

Paul endeared himself to all of us with his warmth, openness, energy, and enthusiasm; with his love of music, politics, community, all wrapped in a smile.

Over the years Paul has continually approached me — and probably hundreds if not thousands of others around town — with his latest urgent idea for a special project. His advocacy never involved promoting himself. It never involved competing with others for attention or power. It was always about spreading caring and love, sprinkled with humor and melody, envisioning a better world. I can’t remember Paul ever insulting or getting angry at anyone. It was people like Paul, I came to realize, who rather than making headlines, make cities like New Haven warm, lively, caring communities.

This past April he helped the Friends of Kensington Playground with a bicycle event for kids. As usual, he was pitching in with ideas and hustle. He connected organizers with a donor to get all the kids free bikes. Then he conducted bike safety training for the kids at the event.

“He was in his element,” recalled one of the event’s organizers, Paul’s lifelong friend Patricia Wallace. “Nobody had a better time that day.”

(Note: The suicide prevention hotline number is (800) 273-8255.)

[Paul’s Facebook page remains active for friends to post their photos and stories about him. The Arts Paper also wrote about Paul. You can view that article here:]

The celebration of Paul Hammer’s life that was scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 19, 3 p.m. has been postponed and will likely take place in April 2022. Details to be announced.

  (See this link for more information

On Sept. 19, Elm City Cycling will honor Paul with a bike tour. Meet at the flagpole on the New Haven Green at 1 p.m. The bike ride will finish at the Unitarian Society.
On Saturday, Oct. 16, 3 p.m., New Haven Friends Meeting will host a Quaker Memorial Meeting for Paul by Zoom, and held in the manner of Friends – that is, silent waiting worship until each person is moved by Spirit to give a message. Details will be in the next issue of the PAR newsletter.

Vigil Honors Lives Lost to COVID in New Haven

by Megan Fountain, Unidad Latina en Accíon

In a vigil to commemorate one year of the COVID crisis, on March 22 the immigrant organization Unidad Latina en Acción (ULA), along with Black & Brown United in Action, and Hamden Action Now remembered 186 lives lost in New Haven, including two of their loved ones, Nora Garcia and Ignacia Teniza.

photo: Frank Panzarella

To the crowd of sixty people, ULA announced a Rental Relief Fund and called for an economic recovery for immigrants. ULA released a report documenting the needs of their community and the urgent demand for an economic recovery to include immigrants. Since the pandemic began, ULA has mobilized nearly a dozen car caravans to the state capitol and governor’s mansion calling for COVID relief for “essential” undocumented workers, who have been excluded from unemployment insurance and federal stimulus payments.

While US Congress has failed to provide any relief to undocumented workers, the state of Connecticut last week launched UniteCT, a $235 million rental assistance program that is open to all residents regardless of immigrant status. At the same time, the state legislature is considering Senate Bill 956, which would open Husky health insurance to immigrants. The rental assistance fund comes after ULA and partner organizations negotiated for nearly one year with the Connecticut Department of Housing and distributed $2.5 million in a pilot program.

“Today as we remember Nora and Ignacia and the 186 lives lost in our city, we will call for a new day in Connecticut, when healthcare and economic security will be a right for all of us, not just for a few of us,” said John Jairo Lugo, Community Organizing Director of ULA.  “As we mourn the dead, we must denounce the deadly racial and economic inequities in this state, and we must fight for the living by creating a recovery for all that includes undocumented workers and families.”

For more information: Megan Fountain, (203) 479-2959, [email protected].

1 2 3 4