Alternative News Site for West Haven Forms

Stanley Heller, activist, West Haven resident

Faced with stony-hearted politicians and police in West Haven and virtually no coverage in the local free paper of the killing of Mubarak Soulemane in January or the July 5 use of police dogs on protesters, I decided to start a West Haven news site, The West Haven Call. Right now the modest sections are Justice, Climate, Schools, UNH, Health, Photos, Feeds, Instagram, Riseup, Jigsaws, and Memes. The site is found at https://westhavencall.com. We tweet @WestHavenC.

I’m looking for volunteers to help out with the site.  Reach me at westhavencall@gmail.com.  We’re a news site that salutes the Black Lives Matter Uprising and calls for an end to white supremacy and a world ruled by greed and climate destruction.

Statue Readied to Honor ‘Black Governor’

Thomas Breen, New Haven Independent, July 10, 2020

A seven-foot-tall bronze statue of William “King” Lanson will soon stand along the Farmington Canal — giving a permanent, public, and highly visible form to a Black New Havener who helped build the modern city. The Lanson statue represents the culmination of a decade’s worth of advocacy by the Amistad Committee, working in recent years with the City Plan Department to make the memorial a reality.

The public artwork will honor the early 19th-century local engineer, entrepreneur, and Black political leader who freed himself from slavery, built a section of the Farmington Canal, and constructed an extension of Long Wharf that allowed for the local port to rival New York’s.

He was also elected “Black governor” in 1825, helped found what is now Dixwell Congregational Church, owned land and ran businesses on what is now Wooster Square — and, after encountering opposition from white authorities and the business establishment, died in the poorhouse.

The plan is for the statue to be unveiled Sept. 26 at 11 a.m. on a grassy, city-owned plot near the Farmington Canal and Lock Street, in between the Yale Health Center and Yale’s Benjamin Franklin and Pauli Murray Colleges.

According to a presentation by City Plan Director Aïcha Woods during Monday’s Cultural Affairs Commission meeting, the city-commissioned statue will be one part of an “interpretative landscape” and larger memorial along the Farmington Canal that will be “dedicated to the history of William Lanson.”

Read more at the NHIndependent: www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/william_lanson_sculpture

It’s Time to Demand Gender Parity in Our Governance! Demand Equality Now!!

by Frank Rohrig, Octogenarian/Feminist and PAR subscriber

[Frank Rohrig is in the process of forming a 501(c)(3) organization to ensure that in all levels of government, women and men will be represented equally: “complete unequivocal gender equality/parity in the decision-making process in the governance of your community-state-federal government.” He has asked PAR to print his article so that our readers can become familiar with his work and help him with his organizing.]

The time has come to recognize that the evolution of humanity, nations and nation-states require the immediate transformative transition towards Egalitarian virtues and the full and equal participation of women in the governance of all civilized societies for their very future salvation. Our Democracy has been hijacked and pillaged to satisfy the insatiable need for power and greed by a segment of our society that has maliciously disregarded the circle of virtuosity that helped create this nation’s “middle class.”

The mutually-beneficial collaborative efforts by our financial sector and Corporatocracies have ruthlessly over a period of several decades converted a once-proud, growing society into an unequivocal corrupt Plutocracy.

The denial of women by males in every sector and facet of societal involvement shall no longer be a consideration of our forbearance because it has proven to be somewhat chauvinistic and wrong-headed, along with twenty-seven other amendments to the Constitution that required change to comport to more Egalitarian virtues.

In light of the extreme ideological and theocratic movements to reverse the rights long ago fought for and won, including Civil Rights and Women’s Rights, the zealots amongst us continue with their underhanded, discriminatory and unjustified quests to deny others that Egalitarian Society promised within our Constitution at its inception.

The justified essential movement for Gender Parity has never been as important as it is today given the intentions and actions of a growing segment of the male population that won’t be content until the return of a Patriarchal Society that enables them to dictate to others because of their perceived superiority. This kind of thinking isn’t confined to just other distant cultures but remains within the Puritanical thinking of religious zealots amongst us. Nothing less than GENDER PARITY (50% male and 50% female) in the makeup of all taxpayer-funded areas of governance and oversight within the smallest of communities, state houses and U.S. Senate and Congress shall suffice. It shall be through the equally-weighted voices of our females where we can attain a society with greater shared interests beneficial to all our citizenry.

For more information, please call Frank Rohrig at (203) 877-2492. Mail can be sent to 541 Naugatuck Ave., Milford, CT 06460.

Progressive Action Roundtable statement on the latest happenings of 2020

Dear PAR Subscribers:

The world has changed quite a bit since our June newsletter. The brutal murder of George Floyd exposed the ugliness of power in the hands of the police and the entrenched racism against people of color. As Black Lives Matter rallies against police brutality were joined with demands for removal of racist and oppressive historic symbols, the Columbus statue in Wooster Square was removed, and the City formed a committee to rename Columbus Academy. Black Lives Matter marches of over a thousand people blocked highways and rallied at police stations. A thousand people marched in West Haven to demand justice for Mubarak Soulemane, who was killed by a state trooper. Many hundreds demanded Yale pay millions of dollars more to New Haven to make up for so much property being tax-exempt because of Yale University and Yale New Haven Hospital. Two “elder rallies” in support of Black Lives Matter were held on the Green for people wanting to make their voices heard while wearing masks and maintaining appropriate distance from others because of coronavirus. Mayor Elicker reiterated that New Haven is a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants. City and town councils of New Haven, Hamden, Hartford, Windsor, West Hartford and Bloomfield declared racism a public health crisis. In addition, our work for peace and justice around the world has not stopped. Plus we are still in the midst of the pandemic! Quite a busy time!

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

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

The struggle continues!

Resources and Information from SURJ

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

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

Hope you’re doing well – stay safe!

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

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

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

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

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

CoronaVirus CT Community Support / Apoyo Comunitario – link

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

Corornavirus Tech Handbook
https://coronavirustechhandbook.com/

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

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

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

Fundraisers and Solidarity Campaigns:

Solidarity with Incarcerated People:

SURVIVING INSIDE: commissary payments for incarcerated people

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

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

The Coronavirus Could Spark a Humanitarian Disaster in Jails and Prisons

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

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

Perspective from disabled folks

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

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

Online Meetings:

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

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

Opportunities to Get More Involved

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

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

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


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

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

by James Pandaru, GNH Peace Council

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

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

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

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

In Memoriam, Anne Hall Higgins, 1921-2019

by Lesley Higgins-Biddle

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

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

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

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

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

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

by Unidad Latina en Acción

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

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

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

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

Hear about the Plight of the Rohingya Dec. 7

by Stanley Heller, Promoting Enduring Peace

The Rohingya people are Muslims who lived in the Rakhine section of Myanmar. For decades they’ve faced persecution, displacement and violent repression. Since 2017 over 700,000 have fled Myanmar by sea or on foot. Myanmar (which was once called Burma) is mainly Buddhist. Some Buddhist religious leaders incite the people against the Rohingya on religious grounds. The Myanmar government claims the Rohinghya are “illegal immigrants.” According to Doctors without Borders, over 6,000 Rohingya have been killed in mob violence. Nearly 300 villages have been burned to the ground. The United Nations has described the military offense in Rakhine, which provoked the exodus, as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”

Hear about their dire situation on Saturday, Dec. 7 in New Haven from a member of this persecuted people. The speaker will be Ossamah Siddique, a Rohingya activist and a member of Rohingya Welfare Association, Save Rohingya Children (Canada), and Rohingya Welfare Act School (Bangladesh).

His talk takes place at Linsly-Chittendon Hall, Room 101, 63 High Street, New Haven, Saturday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to all. The sponsors are the Dwight Hall Peace Initiative and Promoting Enduring Peace.

There may also be a speaker about the treatment of the Uighurs, a Muslim people in China. Some one million of them are in “re-education” camps.

In the 1930s Jews were being persecuted all over Europe. In this decade Muslims are facing mistreatment in Myanmar, China, Kashmir and in many countries of the West.

There may also be a speaker about the treatment of the Uighurs, a Muslim people in China. Some 1 million of them are in “re-education” camps.

In the 1930s Jews were being persecuted all over Europe. In this decade Muslims are facing mistreatment in Myanmar, China, Kashmir and in many countries of the West.

Ossamah Siddique is the son of Rohingya genocide survivors from Rakhine and is an engineer. He is an active member of Rohingya Welfare Association and other advocacy and refugee support groups

Adem Carroll , a New York based Irish Muslim and a human rights activist. He directly provided emergency legal and financial help to over 825 Muslim detainees and their families in the years after 9/11. He is part of the Burma Taskforce and Adili Yilihamu, a Uighur activist who will talk about the imprisonment of a million Uighur by the Chinese government. He was part of this New York Times video presentation about what is happening.

https://www.nytimes.com/video/opinion/100000006649712/uighurs-children-china.html

7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7

Yale University, Linsly-Chittenden Hall, Room 101
63 High St., New Haven

Free *** Open to All

Call for Proposals for SCSU Women’s & Gender Studies Conference Due Dec. 16

PAR readers are invited to send in proposals for panels, workshops or lectures for the Southern Connecticut State University 2020 Women’s & Gender Studies Conference. The theme is “Gender, Race, Community, & Conflict: Pursuing Peace and Justice.” The conference will take place ​Friday and Saturday,​ ​April 24 ​and 25​, 2020. Submission deadline is Dec. 16​, 2019.

The world is right now witnessing the unprecedented destruction of communities—mostly Indigenous—and their habitats, including the ongoing fires raging across the Amazon rainforest, the Dakota Pipeline construction, and the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea. Major conflicts have been exacerbated among genders, races and cultural groups, resulting in unspeakable suffering and violence in communities, from the desecration of Indigenous lands and sacred spaces to climate strikes and the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, two-spirit people, and trans women of color.

How do feminists and their communities, Indigenous and settler-colonial, address these problems and heal the breaches that have divided and torn communities apart? How have feminists and activists creatively used the existing power structures to reverse the fragmentation of peoples and break down hierarchies? In the pursuit of peace and justice, what are feminist activists doing within their families and communities to stop the divisions and violence and counter the hatred and demonization against “the other”? How are peace and justice achieved through the intersectional and transnational coalitions across gender, race, class, sexuality, religion, nationality?

Please submit proposals and supporting materials to womensstudies@southernct.edu, with attention to “Conference Committee.” If you have any questions, please call the Women’s & Gender Studies Office at (203) 392-6133. Include name, affiliation, e-mail, and phone number. Proposals should be no longer than one page (250-400 words). Panel proposals are encouraged.

The Women’s & Gender Studies Conference at SCSU is self-supporting; all presenters can pre-register at the dis-counted presenters’ rate. The registration includes all costs for supporting materials and all meals and beverage breaks. For more information, visit the SCSU Women’s & Gender Studies page, or contact Women’s & Gender Studies Program: womensstudies@southernct.edu or (203) 392-6133.

After Week of Occupation of ICE Building, Activists Announce Next Steps

by Constanza Segovia, CT Immigrant Rights Alliance

For one week, under cold rain and wind, community members have been occupying the front of the ICE Office, demanding the release of a Hartford mother from ICE custody.

On Tuesday, Oct. 22, community members and leaders from across the state ended a week-long continuous occupation of the ICE building on a powerful note at a closing rally. The coalition of immigrant and racial justice groups have occupied space outside of the ICE offices in Hartford in support of Wayzaro “Tazz” Walton, a local Hartford mother, who has been in detention since March despite receiving an unconditional pardon by the State of Connecticut and having her US citizen wife petition for her. Each day, the team has spoken to people walking by about the unfair detainment of Tazz, and about the need for CT residents to learn about and protect the state pardon system. They have mobilized the public to contact their elected officials. They have received widespread support, sharing supplies with neighbors. Although the tents have come down, activists are stepping up their efforts to get Tazz released. On Oct. 22, a coalition of immigrant rights groups, led by Hartford Deportation Defense, announced an effort to ask our CT US Senators and Representatives to step in and take action.

“We will continue our fight to demand that our neighbor and friend is released. Tazz is a Queer Black Woman, a demographic that is not well represented in immigration justice. It is important for me as a Queer Black Woman to stand behind and support Tazz, Tamika and family. We will not stop screaming FREE TAZZ until she is out of detention and can live her life in peace,” said Ashley Blount from Hartford Deportation Defense.

Connecticut has one of the most progressive pardon systems in the country and we cannot let that be threatened by this rogue agency. We fight for Tazz but this is also about Richard Thompson who also has a CT pardon and has been detained for two years in Alabama. This is about every person who might be in this situation in the future. This kind of collective effort and joyful resistance that includes children, elders, folks with varying abilities, makes me feel like another world is possible like we can abolish ICE. We commit to continue to envision and PRACTICE ways to keep up the fight while living in joy and love and in relationship with each other.

The New Haven Debt Map: How can we reduce the burden now?

by Annie Harper, CMHC/PRCH Financial Health Project

The New Haven Debt Map is learning from New Haven residents about their debt burden and working to collectively develop local policy reforms to reduce that burden.

People are struggling with student loans, car loans and credit card debt. Many people are behind on rent and bills, or have unpaid taxes, fines, and tickets. Close to 50% of New Haven residents have delinquent debt; rates are much higher in neighborhoods of color than in white neighborhoods. People with debts in collections may have their wages, bank accounts or tax refunds attached. More than 3,000 New Haven households are behind on their UI bills. Many owe property taxes, parking tickets, or can’t afford registration. Their cars may be towed, with retrieval fees too high for some to recover their vehicles.

People also owe mortgage arrears, medical debt, online/TV retail installment loans, tax refund advances, online payday loans, rent-to-own stores, pawnshops, bank overdrafts, child support, IRS taxes, library fines, Medicaid/DOC liens, bail bonds, loans from friends and family, credit from neighbor-hood stores, loans from loan sharks……the list goes on.

The consequences of debt go beyond a person’s finances. People with debt and arrears are more than twice as likely than others to have mental and physical health problems.

We need to know more about how debt affects New Haven families. Is debt a problem? What types of debt burden people most? What can we do in the city to reduce the burden? Can we help people save to avoid going into debt in the first place, and help them repair and build their credit? What policy reforms could help, such as municipal rules around property taxes and parking tickets, or utility bills and disconnections? Could employers help workers avoid and better manage debt?

We need to hear from experts by lived experience when it comes to debt so that we fully understand the situation, and to work together to push for policy reforms that will make a difference. If you are interested in knowing more, please contact Annie Harper, at annie.harper@yale.edu or (203) 295-4143.
Annie Harper is Project Director of the Financial Health Project of CMHC/PRCH (CT Mental Health Center and Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health).

Towards a New Paradigm of Creative Revolution — Part Two

by Owen Charles, environmental, peace and community activist

[Part One of this article appeared in the October issue of the PAR newsletter. The article in its entirety is available at our website par-newhaven.org]

The clear answer for a monumental transition lies before us… lies in our embracing this, and saying “YES.” Yes, to a 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–bonding 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, 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 BIOREGIONAL-ISM, YES to MUNICIPALISM, 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.

In Memory of Caroline Bridgman-Rees and Lula White

The PAR Planning Committee mourns the passing of Caroline Bridgman-Rees (Dec. 31, 1922-Aug. 28, 2019) and Lula White (died at the age of 80 on Sept. 10, 2019), two women with deep ties to the greater New Haven peace community and the world who dedicated their lives for peace, equality and justice for all humanity.

Caroline was an NGO representative of the United Nations and member of a multitude of peace organizations — international, national and local. She was involved with the Progressive Action Roundtable right from its beginning in 1993.

Caroline’s memorial service will be held on Saturday, Nov. 2, at 11:30 a.m., at the Unitarian Society of New Haven, 700 Hartford Turnpike, Hamden.

Excerpt from Lula’s obituary notice in the New Haven Register, Sept. 16, 2019

Most people knew Lula White as a retired New Haven school teacher, board member of the Greater New Haven Labor History Association and member of the PAR mailing committee. For many of us in New Haven, we didn’t realize the scope of her bravery and profound sense of justice until she told us her history of being a freedom rider.

Family members have set Lula’s memorial service for Saturday, Dec. 14. Inquiries should be directed to Lulamwhitememorialservice@gmail.com.

We cherish the friendship, wisdom and inspiration Caroline and Lula shared with us. Our condolences to the families of these two remarkable, brave women who gave so much of themselves for a better world.

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.

1 2 3 4