Remembering Lula White

by Joan Cavanagh, former Archivist/Director, Greater New Haven Labor History Association (2001-2017)

Lula White poses with the Thurgood Marshall Award she received in 2016 (file photo)

Lula White poses with the Thurgood Marshall Award she received in 2016 (file)

I was with Lula White at many gatherings in 35 or so years: peace actions to oppose the endless U.S. wars; Sunday night potluck discussions; Labor History Association meetings and events; union protests at Yale; even the occasional holiday party. With Mary Johnson, she often spoke of teaching, organizing and being jailed during the teachers’ strikes in the 1970s. Her story as a youthful freedom rider in the South unfolded more slowly.

When we decided to document the history of workers at New Haven’s Winchester Repeating Arms Company, Lula and her sister, Dorothy White Johnson, both long time members of the Labor History Association Executive Board, contacted former Winchester employees, conducted interviews and borrowed artifacts for the exhibit, “Our Community at Winchester: An Elm City Story.”

After the plant closed in 2006, we transferred the files, artifacts and photographs of the workers’ union, IAM Local 609, to the office I shared with the late Nicholas Aiello, then LHA president. The plan was to inventory and preserve them. As Nick witnessed 65 boxes slowly taking over our space, he became, not unreasonably, upset. We had a heated exchange. Lula arrived just as I left to take a breath. When I returned, Lula was smiling—and so was Nick, who congratulated us for having secured custody of these important historical records. Whatever she said or did, she had, typically, transformed the situation.

At Fairfield University, where the exhibit was displayed in 2017, I introduced Lula after a short history of the project, and began asking questions. The audience, mostly students, soon took over. Lula spoke quietly and without drama about her life as the daughter of a Winchester worker, growing up in the Newhallville section of New Haven, then becoming a teacher of history and union activist. She also shared the terrifying, brave experience of being jailed in Mississippi as a young Black woman, one of hundreds of freedom riders trying to integrate the buses in 1961. In an evaluation of the session, a student wrote that she was “cool.” She had shared her hope for a future based on engaged citizenship at a moment when it was desperately needed, just following the 2017 presidential inauguration.

During my only visit to the Intensive Care Unit where Lula was confined in June, not expected to survive, I whispered to her to “Keep fighting.” It wasn’t necessary. Fight she did. Over the summer, she slowly got better. She almost made it.

Despite Lula White’s inner calm, peace and strength, it cannot have been easy being fully “woke.” May she find the joy and rest she has earned.

Excerpt from the obituary notice of the New Haven Register, Sept. 16, 2019

Ms. White was frequently jailed as a freedom rider trying to desegregate public transportation. In addition, she was arrested for striking to raise salaries for teachers, and jeered for marching to protest injustice. She was recognized by the Quinnipiac University School of Law in 2016, was awarded the Thurgood Marshall Award for her activism and commu-nity service, and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree from Albertus Magnus College in 2010. Lula fought the good fight.

18 Years of Endless War: Please Join Us to Remember and Protest, 10/7

“There must have been a time, somewhere near the beginning, when we could have said no.” ~ Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

October 7, 2019, will mark 18 years of the endless war that continues to be waged by the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East.

Reclaiming the Prophetic Voice will mark the cost of the ongoing violence by placing the September stone on the Memorial Cairn at the intersection of Broadway, Elm and Park streets in New Haven, Monday evening, Oct. 7, at 6 p.m.

The stone will be inscribed with the September death toll of US military personnel and the approximate documented numbers of civilians killed during that same period of time.

Towards a New Paradigm of Creative Revolution — Part One

by Owen Charles, environmental, peace and community activist

We are in a time of great innovation, some say, mostly speaking of computer technology, “AI,” microparticle physics, genetic science, and other man-made detritus.

We are in a time of great crisis, meanwhile, as we soak in a toxic environment and begin to experience looming climate destruction borne of man-made garbage–hydrocarbons, plastics, pesticides, and other technologies.

It is time to recognize that we are in a downward spiral. As a species, we are clearly incapable. That is why it is up to SOME of us to recognize we are in a downward spiral… and do something about it.

No, not come up with some technological solution or grand design that will “save the world” but independent, creative, revolutionary ways of disconnecting from and unplugging from the destructive dystopia around us, so that we may build a new future. Tapping into our own creative revolutions, inviting and engaging, and welcoming those around us.

Is this a revolutionary idea? – YES and NO. YES, in that it is the answer towards upending the Existing Order (Capitalism, carnism, consumerism, etc.) that will likely implode as destructive forces it has unleashed grows in Tsunami fashion and drowns (most of) us all.

NO, in that it is already late to be getting to the party. Revolutionary work has started all around. Not cults of 150-year-old revolutionists or other political goings-on…. But, in the almost anonymous goings-on of growing autonomous movements — Bioregionalism groups, independent local movements of people living off the grid, tiny houses, living in vans & other vehicles, autonomous agricultural innovations, “gig economy” pursuits, bartering and new economies, and in the rise of cooperatives, collectives, and back-to-earth communalism–it is no longer enough to say “No”! In fact, it is counter-productive to spend much time doing this–opposing the facets and faults that in aggregate comprise the Existing Order.

While Bob Marley was right that “Total destruction is the only solution (no one can stop them now),” there will not be a turning point among humans to turn around the destruction of the planet (and each other) through our out-of-control hydrocarbonism, consumerism, and Capitalism… not until after climate destruction has so disrupted our lives that the great majority live in constant struggle to survive amidst the new environment of the planet. We ARE beyond… beyond the point of no return. Thus, we don’t say NO… We don’t say INCREMENTALISM. Thus, we say YES!

The clear answer for a monumental transition lies before us… lies in our embracing this, and saying “YES”.

Yes, to new paradigm.

Yes, to new ideas, ways of living, ways of helping each other, ways of creating anew.

Yes, to positive action.

Yes, to communes- bounding together to create new economies, new healthcare and educational possibilities, new ways of moving forward from where we are now.

And in this “new” paradigm there certainly may be echoes of the past… indigenous and ancient ways of basic, communitarian existence in a more balanced harmony with each other and with nature…

You can look at it as saying NO to the toxic culture and capitalism, and war, and… BUT it is important not to look at it this way and to instead approach it as SAYING YES.

Yes, first off to each other.

We need to unleash ourselves from the paradigm of individualism and that it is a dog-eat-dog world… and instead embrace that we are all IN THIS TOGETHER. This is one of the first rules used to sublimate us, is the rule of “divide and conquer”.

Thus fighting each other is abandoned as a mode of revolution, and in fact is Counter-revolutionary. Let’s continue to look around and find and support those who represent a new paradigm hidden in plain sight all around us!

We say YES to each other in the mode of improvisational group creation… “YES, And” … Your idea AND mine… “BOTH AND” (not Either / Or)… this way we do not tear ourselves apart and tear each other down, but we BUILD TOGETHER new ways, new organizations, new creative revolutions.

YES to cooperatives, YES to collectives, YES to unplugging and working, YES to more DOING and less TALKING, YES to CREATING, YES TO BIOREGIONALISM, YES to MUNICIPALISM, YES to YES to YES to YES to YES.

YES to down-sizing, YES to living more ruggedly with less, YES to helping others to do so (not shaming them), YES to creating ways to communicate independently YES to BEING the CHANGE we want to see. YES to worrying less about fear, division, disagreement, and looming destruction, and YES to focusing more on creative revolution to create the new ways of living that sustain us, save us, inspire us, give us some hope, some unity, and rebuild our interior and human goodness from the first step of the first individual, in a chain that has the potential to be unending, and free us from the chains of our dystopia.

Please reach out to us by joining our Facebook group @shorelinegreenparty or contacting me! Owen Charles at owencharles2003@yahoo.com

Coalition for People Update

We continue to work on healthcare for all, affordable housing, the environment, concerns of unfair energy prices, care for the homeless and residents of sober houses. Our next board meeting is on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2-4 p.m. on the lower level of the Fair Haven Library, 182 Grand Ave. All are welcome to attend.

Annual membership dues for Coalition for People is $5. We would like more people to become members, as well as to consider joining our board. For more information, please call (203) 468-2541 or e-mail coalitionforpeople@hotmail.com.

In the last issue of PAR we notified readers of the passing of our board member Geraldine Poole. At the time of printing we were not able to include a photo. For all who remember Geraldine, we thought you would like to see her once more.

Sept. 20 Strike for the Climate

by Stanley Heller, Administrator, Promoting Enduring Peace

We are in a desperate situation, with awful climate news coming nearly every week and with just a decade or so to drastically cut exhausts of carbon in the air. At the same time, climate science deniers are at the helm in the U.S. and other major governments. City and state governments are trying, but it’s not nearly enough.

In May, millions of students took part in a school strike for the climate. Friday, Sept. 20 will hopefully be a renewal of that kind of action along with strikes and other kinds of action from other sectors in the global society.

We are learning from Puerto Rico and Hong Kong that mass mobilizations are the way to get things done. In Connecticut, the Connecticut Climate Crisis Mobilization (C3M) is organizing a week of actions starting Sept 20. There will be a demonstration in Hartford 12-3 p.m. at the Capitol Building, 210 Capitol Ave. More info at actionnetwork.org/events/ct-climate-strike. The best way to reach C3M is by email: C3Mobilization@gmail.com. Also see the site www.350ct.org.

The New Haven Climate Network is organizing an event later in the day, 3 p.m. on the New Haven Green, 250 Temple St. Look for them on Facebook (New Haven Climate Movement).

Trade unions worldwide are taking action in support of Sept. 20. See pepeace.org/climate-and-nature-work for details and the website of Connecticut Roundtable on Cli-mate and Jobs at ctclimateandjobs.org. If your union is planning anything bring it up with union officers or at a union meeting.

Visit the tables of Promoting Enduring Peace (PEP) and the Sierra Club at the CT Folk Festival/Green Expo, noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7 at Edgerton Park in New Haven. Entrance to the festival is free.

PEP will be talking about its bold new calls for:
1) worker/community takeovers of fossil fuel industries, and
2) planning the economy for a smokestack-free future.

Read about it at www.PEPeace.org.

People’s Mobilization to Stop the US War Machine and Save the Planet

by Nancy Eberg, Greater New Haven Peace Council

Because the UN officially opens Sept. 23 with many world leaders attending, a variety of peace events will be held in NYC. This coincides with the International Day of Peace (Sept. 21). On Sept. 22, a march and rally will begin in Herald Square at 2 p.m. (more details will be forthcoming).

On Sept. 23 at 6:30 p.m., a forum will be held at the New York Community Church, 40 East 35th Street: The Path to International Peace Realizing the Vision of the UN Charter. Representatives from countries impacted by US sanctions and efforts to force regime change will speak. Sponsors include Code Pink, UNAC, Veterans for Peace, many local Green parties, ANSWER, and the US Peace Council.

As they develop, more details will be communicated. Questions: email the grnhpeacecouncil@gmail.com/.

Interfaith Peace Waged in New Haven

Volunteers from multiple interfaith organizations painted a new billboard Thursday that will tower over I-95 right northbound before Exit 45 .

The 50-foot billboard was one of numerous projects completed by over 100 volunteers from across the world who gathered for New Haven Interfaith Service Day.

The effort was led by Rev. Nicholas Porter from Jerusalem Peacebuilders and Bruce Barrett from IWagePeace.org with local clergy members Rabbi Brian Immerman (Congregation Mishkan Israel), Imam Omer Bajwa (Yale Chaplin), Father Stephen Holton (Christ Episcopal Church), and Rev. Bonita Grubbs (Christian Community Action).

Source: Interfaith Peace Waged | New Haven Independent

Coalition for People Updates and Plans for a Medicare for All Workshop

Many PAR readers who were at Coalition for People events through the years have come to know Geraldine Poole. She always greeted everyone and made them feel at home within the group. Geraldine was on the Board of Directors of Coalition for People for many years and passed away on June 19. We miss her smile, encouragement, and enthusiasm for working with as many people as possible for a world of justice and peace. CFP made two donations in Geraldine’s memory: one to the building fund of the new Stetson Library on Dixwell Avenue and the other to the African-American Historical and Cultural Society of the Ethnic Heritage Center. She was a gentle, loving, determined woman who was a true inspiration to all who knew her and worked with her.

At our August board meeting, we discussed having workshops on universal, single-payer, comprehensive healthcare followed by a conference. We recently learned of the group Medicare for All CT and some CFP members attended its conference the previous week. We are looking forward to continuing our networking with them to organize for an effective healthcare policy for everybody: universal, single-payer, comprehensive healthcare. Our next board meeting is on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 3-5 p.m. on the lower level of the Fair Haven Library, 182 Grand Ave. All are welcome to attend.

Annual membership dues for Coalition for People are $5. We not only would like more people to become members but would like members to consider joining our board. For more information, please call (203) 468-2541 or e-mail coalitionforpeople@hotmail.com.

Anti-Nuclear Vigils Commemorate Hiroshima and Nagasaki

A few days ago President Trumpy abrogated the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) agreement with Russia. The amount of time European and Russian nuclear forces have to make a decision about launch on warning drops dramatically to a handful of minutes. The nuclear weapons industry is licking its lips at the expected contracts and profits to be made on rebuilding the US nuclear arsenal at a cost of nearly $2 trillion, all approved by Congress. Grave danger.

A year ago Trumpy shredded the multinational nuclear deal with Iran and has since turned the economic screws on that country in order to get it to surrender its sovereignty to the billionaires and oil giants, or suffer another US-initiated war of aggression in the Middle East. Grave danger.

In 2002, George W. Bush killed the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty with Russia. The US has since installed first-strike nuclear missiles in Poland and Rumania and moved US/NATO forces up to the Russian border. Grave danger.

These treaties the US has so readily scrapped were designed to help safeguard us from nuclear war, nuclear annihilation.

If climate scorching is slowly suffocating us, a nuclear exchange will vaporize billions of us in an instant. Any survivors will likely either die of radiation poisoning or starve during a prolonged nuclear winter.

Our commemoration of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki this year is also a call for the US to stop the nuclear madness. The US is leading the world into catastrophe and those of us who understand this have to lead in the other direction.

Tuesday, 8:00 AM (church bells @ 8:15). New Haven Green.
Friday, 10:45 AM (church bells @ 11:00). Amistad Statue adjacent to New Haven City Hall, 165 Church St.

74th Commemoration Hiroshima Nagasaki 2019 flyer.

Anger Over Coast Guard Academy’s Choice of John Bolton as Featured Speaker

Many CT organizations condemned the choice of John R. Bolton, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, as the featured Coast Guard Academy, commencement speaker on May 22. Bolton is notorious for demanding military solutions to international disputes.  He ruined the Korea talks by advising the president to take an all-or-noth-ing approach.  He stoked interference in Venezuelan affairs and helped incite the attempted coup. In 2015 he wrote the infamous New York Times op-ed entitled “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran.”  His militarism would plunge this coun-try into useless and unjust wars and would endanger the lives of millions of people in the world including U.S. soldiers and Coast Guard officers.

Among the groups that spoke out against Bolton’s appearance are the Greater New Haven Peace Council, Central CT Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), Promoting Enduring Peace, Middle East Crisis Committee, Tree of Life Education Fund (CT), We Refuse to Be Enemies (CT), ANSWER Coalition (CT), Unidad Latina en Acción (ULA), CT Peace and Solidarity Coalition and the War Resisters League.

Why We’re Still Standing Out Here in 2019: Sunday Vigil for Peace Mission Statement – Join With Us Noon-1 p.m.

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, 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.

The weapons of this war are many. Here are just some examples: drone attacks against human beings many thousands of miles away (targets whose bodies the bombardiers, operating their weapons by remote control, will never have to see); the mass deportations of immigrants and refugees (condemning them, in many cases, to a future of torture or death); the systematic dismantling of infrastructure and social programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security that most of us not only depend upon but have funded with our hard-earned tax dollars all our lives; the destruction of our environment; the undermining of workers’ rights and the refusal to pass a national minimum wage that is a living wage.

In 2016, we had a presidential election in which the issues of war, peace and economic justice were never seriously addressed. The state of endless war was accepted as the norm. Now we are dealing with an administration that, during its more than two years in power, has exponentially escalated on all fronts this war that we have been describing and resisting for years. And the 2018 “mid-term” elections largely ignored these issues.

With its blatantly racist and xenophobic rhetoric and policies, its utter disregard for the U.S. Constitution and international law, its attempt to roll back even the modest attempts at addressing climate change that are embraced in the Paris Agreement, its utter disregard for human rights at the borders, and its unapologetic war against poor, working-class and non-white people on behalf of the billionaire class it represents, the Trump administration has made transparent the existential threat posed by the 1% to all our lives and to the future of our planet.

RESIST THIS ENDLESS WAR. Join the conversation any Sunday here at Broadway, Park and Elm Streets, New Haven, 12-1 p.m. newhavensundayvigil.wordpress.com

Syrian Revolution to Be Examined June 15

Stanley Heller, Promoting Enduring Peace

Save the date Saturday, June 15 for a talk by Yasser Munif, a Syrian professor of Sociology at Emerson College in Boston.  He has been to Syria several time during the last eight years of turmoil. He’ll be speaking about reports of hideous treatment and murder of tens of thousands of regime prisoners. We’ll also be talking about the call from Amnesty International for the U.S. to pay compensation to Syria for its brutal bombing campaign in Raqqa, the Putin/Assad bombing of Idlib province and the struggles between democratic forces and the HTS extremists.

Professional singer Dylan Connor will sing some of the songs he’s written about Syria. Connor is on the Syrian-American Council and traveled to Syria just last year. We should also have some photos of Syrian political art.

Final details about location and time of the event have not been set. Look at the sites pepeace.org and thestruggle.org for details in coming days.

Legal Escalation Against Catholic Activists Facing 25 Years for Anti-Nuclear Weapons Action | Accuracy.Org

Seven Catholic peace activists are facing 25 years in jail for entering the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia last April to protest U.S. nuclear weapons policy.

The activists are knowns as the Kings Bay Plowshares 7. They sought to “nonviolently and symbolically disarm the Trident nuclear submarine base at Kings Bay, Georgia” on April 4, 2018, the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

On Friday, a magistrate moved to hinder their motion that the charges against them be dismissed under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. See the group’s statement: “Anti Nuclear Activists, Kings Bay Plowshares 7 Respond to U.S. Magistrate Cheesbro’s recommendation that our Motions to Dismiss be denied.” They are appealing this decision in the next 30 days.

Source: Legal Escalation Against Catholic Activists Facing 25 Years for Anti-Nuclear Weapons Action | Accuracy.Org

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