US Money for Human Needs Conference Sat., Jan. 9

Henry Lowendorf, Greater New Haven Peace Council

We who believe in peace have no choice. We must urgently act to press the new administration to change the current equation that the only road to good jobs is through mass murder.

Join the Connecticut Peace and Solidarity Coalition on Saturday, Jan. 9, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., in a free webinar featuring a variety of impressive viewpoints:

  • Professor Richard Wolff offers the new Secretary of Labor: “How … to initiate conversion of a war economy to a peace-and-environmentally-responsible economy.”
  • Danny Sjursen, moderator, provides us the urgent peace perspective of an Army officer and Iraqi war veteran, member of Veterans for Peace and AboutFace.
  • Middletown Mayor Ben Florsheim addresses how the desperate needs of our cities can be met by transferring funds from the war budget.
  • First-year college student and organizer of the New Haven Climate movement Adrian Huq describes why climate activists and youth must create a peacetime economy.
  • Joe Jamison, labor and peace activist, explains how the nationwide Move the Money to Human Needs Campaign, which he coordinates, can move Congress to act.

Connecticut’s cities and towns are gasping for breath. Families don’t have food, are losing housing, lack health care. COVID-19 has made things worse. Water and sewage systems, streets and sidewalks, parks cannot be maintained. Are the only solutions to tax more, borrow, lay off, suspend pension payments?

  • Not building one F-35 nuclear bomber would provide food for over 21,000 3-person families for one year.
  • Not building one modern nuclear-missile sub would provide housing for over 29,000 families for one year.
  • Not funding the new Space Force for 2021 would provide 2.2 million families with medical care for one year.
  • Cutting Connecticut‘s annual IRS War Tax by half would provide 35 thousand infrastructure jobs for four years.

Speakers:

  • Prof. Richard Wolff, Economist
  • Danny Sjursen, Veterans For Peace leader, Moderator
  • Ben Florsheim, Mayor Middletown, CT
  • Adrian Huq New Haven Climate Movement Youth Activist
  • Joe Jamison, Coordinator, Move the Money To Human Needs

Sponsored by

  • the Connecticut Peace & Solidarity Coalition
  • Veterans For Peace 42 CT
  • Greater New Haven Peace Council.

    To register for this free webinar,
    contact: Steve Krevisky at skrevisky@mxcc.commnet.edu

Nuclear Weapons Will Be Illegal by International Law

New Haven Sunday Vigil (every Sunday 12-1 p.m. at Broadway, Park and Elm streets, NH)

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons [TPNW] opened for signature at United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 20, 2017. On Oct. 24, 2020, the treaty reached its 50th ratification, meaning that on Jan. 22, 2021, it will enter into force.

Nuclear weapons are the most destructive, inhumane, and indiscriminate weapons ever created. Both in the scale of the devastation they cause and in their uniquely persistent, spreading, genetically damaging radioactive fallout, they are unlike any other weapons. A single nuclear bomb detonated over a large city could kill millions of people. The use of tens or hundreds of nuclear bombs would disrupt the global climate, causing widespread famine.

This is a historic milestone for this landmark treaty. Prior to the TPNW’s adoption, nuclear weapons were the only weapons of mass destruction not banned under international law, despite their catastrophic humanitarian consequences. Now, with the treaty’s entry into force, we can call nuclear weapons what they are: prohibited weapons of mass destruction, just like chemical weapons and biological weapons.

— International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, https://www.icanw.org/. (ICAN is the international campaign to stigmatize, prohibit & eliminate nuclear weapons, a coalition of non-governmental organizations promoting adherence to and implementation of the United Nations nuclear weapons ban treaty.)

AND YET…

In the middle of a global pandemic, with all the desperate human needs it has created, General Dynamics’ Electric Boat Shipyard in Groton began construction in October of the first of two initial Columbia class ballistic missile submarines. Like its Ohio class predecessors, the fleet is designed to carry nuclear weapons. Several sections of these deadly weapons conveyors will be produced at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia. The Pentagon is spending 9.5 billion dollars from our taxes to produce these first two in a planned fleet of twelve. All of Connecticut’s Senators and Representatives have repeatedly lobbied for these contracts for many, many years. They never broach the issue of Connecticut’s economic dependency on an industry that produces weapons of mass destruction.

45 Groups Join to Hail Gandhi Peace Honorees

Stanley Heller, Administrator, Promoting Enduring Peace

With a mixture of art, music and film, Mayson Almsiri, a Syrian White Helmets leader, and Dr. Zaher Sahloul, president of MedGlobal, were honored with the 2020 Gandhi Peace Award.  Forty-five groups joined with Promoting Enduring Peace in publicizing the award.  They ranged from Syrian groups, to Muslim organizations, to Left activist groups to bodies supporting human rights for Rohingya to Uighurs.

The renowned artist and journalist Molly Crabapple contributed many of her Syria drawings as did Akram Swedaan, an internal refugee in Syria.  The latter artist takes exploded ordinance and paints on them.  “Art on Death” as he calls them.  Both their works were accompanied by music from Palestinian performer Tamer Sahouri of Beit Sahour.

CT native Dylan Connor performed his “If Only You’d Listen” which has received viral attention on Facebook. Syrian Wasfi Massarani contributed two powerful songs, one dedicated to the White Helmets.

Mayson Almisri was introduced by Orlando von Einsiedel, the Academy Award-winning director of “The White Helmets” and PEP President James van Pelt added his reflections. Almisri talked about working  for Syrian Arab News Agency [SANA], giving out government propaganda which she combined with attending protests of the tyrant.  After her brother was shot dead by a government sniper she said she fell apart until she heard about the White Helmets and joined in their work.  She herself was not a rescuer but helped with first aid and civic education.

The famous Palestinian-Muslim-American activist Linda Sarsour introduced Dr. Sahloul.  Sarsour is best known for her leadership of the 2017 mammoth Women’s March in DC.  She complimented PEP on giving the Gandhi Peace Award some years ago to Palestinian Omar Barghouti for his BDS work and lauded Dr. Sahloul not just for his work for Syrians, but for his treatment of Palestinians in Gaza and victims of warfare around the world.

In his address, Sahloul warmly embraced the Palestinian cause before talking about the terrible toll barrel bombs and other indiscriminate weapons were taking on the Syrian population and Syrian doctors. Dr. Sahloul dedicated his award to physicians he knew who were killed in attacks on hospitals and ambulances.

We in PEP were gratified that Palestinians and Syrians were standing together at the event despite efforts by the dictator’s agents to divide them.  To see the whole ceremony and hear how Syrians themselves describe the carnage go to PEPeace.org.

Help the Progressive Community. Become an Active Part of the PAR Newsletter Team!

To Our Readers:

The Progressive Action Roundtable is looking for someone who knows how to write clearly and has a good command of spelling and grammar. This person must also be interested in talking to local organizers about their groups and plans, and writing a couple of short articles (of approximately 300 words) for the monthly PAR newsletter. A small stipend will be available.

In addition, we would like more of our readers to become involved in working on the newsletter. We want to expand our Planning Committee and Production Team. Enhancement of our Facebook presence is also needed. Would you like to gather articles about local activities? Can you help with graphics? Are you a good proofreader?

If you’re interested in helping the PAR newsletter provide news about New Haven-area activism, please send an e-mail to parnewhaven@hotmail.org and let us know what you’re able to do to keep PAR promoting the work of the many wonderful progressive organizations in the New Haven area.

Thank you!

War Resisters League Commends Kings Bay Plowshares

by War Resisters League

WRL thanks and honors the Kings Bay Plowshares 7, three of whom (Carmen Trotta, Martha Hennessy, and Clare Grady) were sentenced last week for their bold Trident disarmament action at the Kings Bay nuclear submarine base in south Georgia. Several of the Kings Bay Plowshares are WRL members and have participated in WRL organized nonviolent actions. All are war tax resisters.

50 years to the day after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., on April 4, 2018, over two and a half years ago, the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 cut a lock and entered the base where nuclear-armed US submarines are home-ported, in a plowshares action which included pouring blood, posting an indictment which charged the US government for crimes against peace, posting crime scene tape and hanging banners, one of which said, “The Ultimate Logic of Trident is Omnicide,” and damaging Trident D5 monuments. Plowshares actions seek to enact the prophecy in the Biblical book of Isaiah that nations will beat swords into plowshares and study war no more. [see their website at https://kingsbayplowshares7.org]

[This entire article can be read at www.warresisters.org. In October, all were convicted on three felonies and one misdemeanor. Six have been sentenced. Mark Colville of the Amistad Catholic Worker House in New Haven is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 18. More information is at the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 website at https://kingsbayplowshares7.org]

Gandhi Peace Award presented to two via Zoom

Dr. Zaher Sahloul, co-winner of the Gandhi Peace Award with White Helmet Mayson Almisri, holding his medallion made from “peace bronze,” metal recycled from nuclear weapons facilities. The award was given Nov. 21, 2020 via a Zoom program and was recorded. A link to the event is at the Promoting Enduring Peace website pepeace.org.

From Sahloul’s Twitter page:

I will be dedicating the #Gandhi peace award to the doctors and nurses who were killed in #Syria while on duty including Dr. Hasan Alaaraj, Dr. Majed Bari Dr. Wasim Moaz and 930 other healthcare workers @PEPeace #Gandhiaward @P4HR @hrw @MedGlobalOrg @UNOCHA

Stanley Heller talks about the Gandhi Peace Award ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 21 which this year was given jointly to Syrian-American Dr. Zaher Sahloul of Chicago and Mayson Almisri of the Syria Civil Defense, honoring the brave work of Syrian medical and rescue workers. The public worldwide could view the ceremony on Zoom without charge. The link to register is at the website PEPeace.org.

Source: 2020 Gandhi Peace Award Honors Syrian Humanitarian Aid Workers – BTL

Is There Any Hope for the USA?

by Mazin Qumsiyeh, former New Haven human rights activist, currently teaches and does research at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities

When I lived in the US, I occasionally was shocked listening to right-wing talk shows like those of Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity or the vulgar non-sense of Howard Stern & Jerry Springer. Hollywood movies glorified violence and vilified Arabs and Muslims. Owners of the corporations that ran these media had two agendas: making money and helping Zionism. Now Fox News owned by Zionist Murdoch is even outflanked on the right by Newsmax and One America News (essentially fascist in orientation)! It is very sad. Palestinian and other Arab Americans who were/are visible or tried to do something were targeted. I was one of those. If you want to read a little about this, see http://qumsiyeh.org/thecaseisclosed/ and the below [see popular-resistance.blogspot.com 7/30/03] from fellow academic Thomas Nagy who decided to leave the (perhaps hopeless) USA to live abroad in 2003. I left the US in 2008 not because of pressure but because I thought I could serve humanity better in Zionist-occupied Palestine than in Zionist-occupied USA. In retrospect, that was the best decision of my life. But I still care about the US where I have family and thousands of friends and followers.

The mass movements like Black Lives Matter remind us of the movements in the 1960s that did change the US (after much turmoil). But the establishment gurus learned from these things and are certainly far more entrenched today than say at the time of Nixon and Kissinger. Obama’s first appointment as president-elect was for Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, a bigoted Zionist who put Israeli interests ahead of US interests. That is why in eight years, the Obama administration bombed many countries in the Arab world…

What is needed in the US is a system change so that politics respects the will of the people. The 350 million US citizens should not be forced by a rigged system to chose “the lesser of two evils”! The majority of citizens would not want the US to remain the “biggest purveyor of violence in the world” (words of Martin Luther King Jr.). They do not want billions of their tax money going to Israel.

[See popular-resistance.blogspot.com on Nov. 19, 2020 for the entire post reprinted here with permission from the author.]

We Will Miss Mike DeRosa

by David Bedell, Green Party of Connecticut

Mike DeRosa died October 16 at Hartford Hospital after battling an extended illness. Mike was a founding member of the CT Green Party, working on the Nader for President campaigns back in 1996 and 2000. Even before that, he had a history of activism; he volunteered for the Eugene McCarthy campaign of 1976 and for Barry Commoner’s Citizens Party campaign of 1980.

Together with his wife Barbara Barry, Mike organized the Hartford chapter of the CT Green Party, and he served as co-chair of the state party from 2003 to 2020. As co-chair, he drew criticism for continually running for re-election and for holding the party to a strict set of ethical principles, but he was dedicated to the survival of the party, organizing meetings month after month for years, tape recording the proceedings to ensure transparency, and speaking forcefully against proposals that he felt would be harmful to the party’s integrity. He served on several national party committees, notably the Ballot Access Committee and the Peace Committee.

From 2000 to 2018, Mike ran ten times for public office, winning as much as 11% of the vote: four times for State Senate, twice for Congress, and four times for Secretary of State. In 2009-2010, he partnered with the ACLU to spearhead a legal challenge to CT’s Citizens Election Program, which discriminates against minor party candidates.

Mike produced a weekly public affairs radio program, “New Focus Radio,” for many years at WHUS, WWUH, and WESU, interviewing political activists and analysts both locally and nationally known.

Mike’s persistence, loyalty, and commitment to democracy will be missed in Connecticut’s political circles.

Vote “YES” This Fall

by New Haven Peace Commission

The following non-binding referendum question will be on the November 3 ballot in New Haven:

“Shall Congress prepare for health and climate crises by transferring funds from the military budget to cities for human needs, jobs and an environmentally sustainable economy?”

To learn more about this resolution or to get involved, email the New Haven Peace Commission at nhpeacecommission@gmail.com.

Statement from Green Party of Connecticut Candidate Justin Paglino

by Ronna Stuller, Secretary, Green Party of CT

A unity of local Green Party chapters, the Green Party of Connecticut is committed to grassroots democracy, social justice, non-violence and ecological wisdom. These are the Four Pillars of all Green parties worldwide.

Green Party candidates accept no PAC contributions, only donations from individuals. In this year’s election we are running over a dozen candidates in municipal, state, and federal elections all across Connecticut.

In this PAR article we feature a statement by Justin Paglino MD, PhD, of Guilford, who is our nominee for US House of Representatives in the Third Congressional District, the seat currently held by Rep. Rosa DeLauro. We invite readers to visit our website https://www.ctgreenparty.org to learn more about our positions and our candidates. We also invite readers to consider changing their voter registration to Green Party, and/or to consider visiting your local Green Party of Connecticut chapter to learn more and get involved. You will be most welcome.

Statement by Justin Paglino M.D. Ph.D., Green Party of CT candidate for US House of Representatives, CT-3:

This year I decided to run for US House of Representatives so that voters in my congressional district would have the option of voting for a representative who supports Medicare for All, Ranked Choice Voting, Reduced Military Spending, a bold Green New Deal with Carbon Pricing, Fracking Ban and Federal Jobs Guarantee, and other policies that my opponents in this race do not support. Many voters do, however, support these policies, and these issues need at least one candidate on the ballot who supports them, so that voters can show where they stand on these issues.

Unlike my opponents, but like most Americans, I support Medicare for All.   Single-payer healthcare will not only provide comprehensive healthcare without charge to all Americans, but will also save up to $500 billion a year thanks to efficiencies of scale and removing the profit motive from healthcare insurance.

Unlike my opponents, I am a strong advocate for Ranked Choice Voting (RCV), an electoral reform that ends two-party dominance by eliminating the spoiler effect.  RCV accomplishes this by allowing voters to rank their candidates in order of preference on the ballot. This reform exists now in Maine, where Lisa Savage is running as a Green Party candidate for US Senate; because of RCV, she will not act as a spoiler.

Unlike my opponents, I seek to rein in overblown Pentagon spending and redirect these funds towards the needs of Americans, including a Federal Jobs Guarantee. Rep. DeLauro, in contrast, this year voted YES for the $740 billion dollar Pentagon budget, and voted AGAINST a modest 10% cut (the Pocan amendment).

Unlike my opponents, I am willing to support bills that would enact the bold greenhouse gas-reducing policies that science calls for, such as HR763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019 (Carbon Tax and Dividend), or such as HR5857, the Ban Fracking Act. Neither bill is supported by our current representative.

I encourage PAR readers: always vote for what you want, not only against what you fear. If you want something, you have to vote for it, or you’ll never get it. There is a way out of the two-party system – it’s Ranked Choice Voting – but first you have to show you are willing to vote for it.

Please visit me at justin4all.org, e-mail me at justin@justin4all.org. Follow me on facebook/justin4all, twitter/justin4all2, insta/justinpaglino, youtube/justin4all.

And thank you to all you progressive activists!

– Justin Paglino M.D. Ph.D.

From the New Haven Sunday Vigil: Resist this Endless War – Why We’re Still Standing Out Here in the Middle of a Pandemic

This vigil for peace and justice has been observed every Sunday from 12 until 1 p.m. since May of 1999. Twenty years and four U.S. presidential administrations later, we are still here.

Often people ask us what we mean when we say “Resist this Endless War.” What we mean is that the serial wars fought by the U.S. and its allies are one war being waged on many fronts. Men, women, and children are being slaughtered, maimed, traumatized and driven from their homes all over the world so that immense wealth and power can be concentrated in the hands of a very few people.

As we approach this crucial election, we ask you to think about the issues this vigil has been trying to address in a very modest way over the past 20 years. The war we now face on all fronts transcends partisan politics, as we didn’t get here merely as the result of one terrible election in 2016. Vote in 2020 as if you life depends on it – it does! But remember that simply voting, while important, will not resolve this existential crisis or lead us to a just, peaceful and healthy world. Only a truly engaged citizenry, able and willing to think critically and to use every nonviolent tactic we can muster, will be able to make the serious, deep, systemic changes that are so very long overdue, changes upon which our very survival depends.

We invite you to join the conversation any Sunday, here at Broadway, Park and Elm streets in New Haven, 12 to 1 p.m.

http://newhavensundayvigil.wordpress.com

Oct. 7, 2020, marks the 19th year since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East began

Reclaiming the Prophetic Voice will return to remembering the cost of the continuing violence in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East by placing the September stone on the Memorial Cairn at the intersection of Broadway, Elm and Park streets in New Haven on Wednesday evening, October 7, at 6 p.m. That date will mark the 19th year since these wars began. We will practice social distancing and expect all participants to wear masks.

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.

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