Over $1,000 Raised for Ukrainian Union at New Haven Event

by Dan Piper and Stanley Heller. Promoting Enduring Peace

Union members and supporters met on February 25 in a fundraiser for a branch of the Independent Trade Union of Ukrainian Miners. Despite New Haven’s first snow of the year, they gathered and heard over Zoom from Yuri Samoilov, the president of the Kriviy Rih City Branch of the miners’ union. He had to be translated from Ukrainian to Spanish and from Spanish to English, but it was done swiftly and without a hitch.

Frank Panzarella, a former president of a Connecticut Machinists local and professional singer, entertained with a verse he wrote to the tune of Neil Young’s song “Rockin’ in the Free World” and later sang the traditional labor hymn “Solidarity Forever.” Over Zoom we also heard from Pavel Polska, who was in Mexico and Fabio Bosco, a unionist from Brazil. Rachel Lonchar, a member of Teamsters Local
1150, gave her analysis combining support for the miners’ union and Ukraine’s resistance, but explaining that U.S. government support is being given to weaken Russia in a battle of empires, and warning that U.S. officials would like to entangle Ukraine in U.S. imperial ambitions.

Raffle tickets were sold and winners got everything from Ukrainian tea to cups with Ukrainian colors to a copy of Ukrainian artist Kataya Gritsvea’s depiction of the Russian invasion. An auction was held for a donated print from noted artist and journalist Molly Crabapple, made from a sketch of a main square in Kyiv during her 2022 trip to Ukraine. Bidding went on for a while and a hefty sum was raised for the Ukrainian union.

Teamsters were the biggest group attending the fundraiser, but members and retired members of five or six other unions took part. There was applause when it was announced that John Olsen, the former president of the Connecticut AFL-CIO (who was not able to attend), had made a donation.

The event was sponsored by Workers’ Voice and Promoting Enduring Peace and co-sponsored by the Ukrainian Socialist Solidarity Campaign, the New Haven Federation of Teachers (933R) Retired Teachers Chapter, the Ukraine Solidarity Network and around 15 individual union members.

Contributions can still be sent online via “Chuffed” at  https://chuffed.org/project/workersaidtoukraine or by check to Promoting Enduring Peace, 39 Goodrich St., New Haven, CT 06517.  Make checks to “Promoting Enduring Peace” and be sure to add in the “Memo” line “for Ukrainian miners.”

Donations for Earthquake Victims

The Feb. 6 earthquake in Turkey and Syria devastated parts of those countries. Over 46,000 people were killed. Hundreds of thousands of people are now homeless. Ahmet Kangal, owner of Elm Diner in West Haven and Three Brothers Diner in Hamden, is collecting donations for the earthquake victims.
In addition to cash donations, the following items are needed: winter clothes, hygiene products, tents, sleeping bags, baby diapers and formula, wet napkins, aspirin and portable phone chargers.

Elm Diner
111 Elm Street
West Haven, CT 06516

Three Brothers Diner
1038 Dixwell Avenue
Hamden, CT 06514

Medical Equipment Charity Opens on Whalley Avenue

Staff, New Haven Independent, Feb. 6, 2023

New Haveners needing wheelchairs, bath seats, walking sticks and more can now borrow those supplies for just a dollar from a Whalley Avenue pharmacy, thanks to a newly opened outpost of a medical equipment charity.

That organization is called Mae’s Closet. On Monday, the group opened a new medical equipment-lending site at True-Care Pharmacy at 1300 Whalley Ave.

“Anyone with a need for Durable Medical Equipment may borrow items from Mae’s Closet,” Interfaith Volunteer Care Givers Executive Director Daniel Camenga told the Independent by email Monday. “This assumes the inventory is available to match their specific need.”

He said that the new location at True-Care accommodates walk-in requests. “Alternatively, community members may schedule a pick-up time from our Hamden-based operations.”

[Article can be read in its entirety at newhavenindependent.org/article/maes_closet]

Help Ensure that No One Goes Hungry on Thanksgiving

Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen (DESK)

For 30 years, DESK has partnered with Interfaith Volunteer Care Givers, Yale Hospitality, and others to deliver meals to people in need on Thanksgiving morning. This year, we’re determined to get at least 850 meals out on Thanksgiving morning. In addition, we will once again be providing plenty of Thanksgiving food — including TURKEYS! — at our weekly pantry on the Wednesday before the holiday.
Help us make Thanksgiving special for those in need in the community by donating frozen turkeys, reusable shopping bags, boxed stuffing, and any of the following canned items: green beans, yams, cranberry sauce and corn.

Frozen turkeys should be dropped off on Sunday, Nov. 13, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at 311 Temple St. All other donations can be dropped off during our regular drop-off hours, Sun.-Thurs., 1-4 p.m. through Nov. 20. Questions? Email us at [email protected] or call 203-624-6426, ext. 6137.

Your financial support will ensure that DESK can serve those in need on Thanksgiving and all year round! Show your support and we’ll be able to purchase supplies to keep everyone safe and protected during these difficult times. Questions? Send us an email at [email protected] or call 203-624-6426, ext. 8778.

We have a number of volunteer spots this year. If you’d like to help onsite (sorting donations, packing meals, organizing our shelves), please email Ashley at [email protected] or call 203-624-6426, ext. 6170. If you’d like to be one of our drivers and deliver meals to homes, please sign up at ivcg.typeform.com/driveturkeys22. If you can’t volunteer for Thanksgiving, please don’t forget that we need your help 52 weeks per year!

Our mailing address is:
Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen
PO Box 1478
New Haven, CT 06506-1478

DESK to provide free Thanksgiving dinners Wednesday, Nov. 24

The Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen will provide free Thanksgiving dinners on Wednesday, Nov. 24 at 311 Temple St. For information on how to pick one up, or to volunteer or donate (time, money or food), please call (203) 624-6426 ext. 6137, or email [email protected].

Know someone who is homebound this Thanksgiving and could use a meal or two? Contact Interfaith Volunteer Care Givers at (203) 230-8994 for more information on how to sign someone up for Thanksgiving for All.

Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS) Stands with Afghan Families

Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS) is currently welcoming evacuated Afghan families and are ready on 24-hour notice to receive as many as needed.

Please help us:

Donate to defray costs of essentials upon arrival emergent costs.  Irisct.org/donate.

Join a local community group in towns around the state and work with IRIS to welcome families in your community. irisct.org/communitycosponsorship.

Collect backpacks, school supplies, winter coats and waterproof winter boots. Our storage is limited at this moment. Please email [email protected].

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 [email protected] 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!

Mutual Aid in 2020

by Andy Piascek, peacenews.org, posted Dec. 18, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an increase in mutual aid activity and organizations. In Bridgeport, Connecticut where I live, a dozen or so people came together in March of 2020 to form Bridgeport Mutual Aid (BMA). A large percentage of Bridgeport’s residents are poor and many others who are not categorized as such were nonetheless struggling even before the pandemic. Their situations became more precarious when the state ordered many businesses to close, jobs were lost and people were advised not to socialize even with relatives living nearby. The elderly who are most vulnerable found themselves cut off from their usual social network of sons and daughters and grandchildren. When Bridgeport officials also suspended the city’s bus service, those without cars found it much more difficult to shop for groceries and other essentials.

BMA decided to provide food and other items like toilet paper, diapers and sanitary napkins to as many of those in need as possible. Most members had contacts of all kinds throughout the city, especially in poor and working-class neighborhoods, and drew on those contacts to spread the word about the project. Because of social distancing requirements and restrictions on travel, a decision was made to deliver the food since it was too dangerous to set up a central gathering place for people to come and pick up whatever they needed.

Anyone who requests aid gets it. New people have joined the effort and stores and retailers contribute food and other goods. Supporters contribute money that is used to buy any items that aren’t contributed and BMA also secured a small grant. People work whenever they can, whether it’s four times a week every week or once every four weeks. BMA members belong to the Bridgeport chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America and other organizations and participate in the work those and other groups in the area are doing.

One prime example of organizational overlap occurred in June when activists working to end police brutality established an encampment in front of police headquarters for ten days and nights. BMA folks have also been involved in the organizing against police brutality so it was only natural that BMA participated in both the encampment and in making sure the 50 or so people who were camping out every night had sufficient food. BMA members also helped to ensure that the encampment included portable bathrooms, a first aid tent, a library and entry points where face masks were given to anyone not wearing one.

The above is an excerpt. Read the entire article at http://peacenews.org/2020/12/18/mutualaidin2020andypiascik

Kensington Playground: The Fight Is Not Over! Donations Needed to Support Legal Fight to Keep Playground from Being Sold

by Jane Comins, Friends of Kensington Playground

Friends of Kensington Playground is seeking donations to support our legal fight against the construction of housing and a parking lot on our largest public parkland.

The group is fighting the sale of Dwight’s Kensington Playground to The Community Builders for $1, which was approved by the New Haven Board of Alders in October so that 15 units of affordable rental housing and a surface parking lot can be built on the parkland.

The Friends group filed a complaint against the City of New Haven in Connecticut State Court. The complaint was based on the Connecticut Environmental Protection Act and Conn. Gen. Stat. §7-131n, known as the Park Replacement Statute, which requires that when a municipality takes park or open space land for other purposes, it must be replaced with parkland of equal size and value. §7-131n also requires a dedicated public hearing on the subject.

In addition, The Friends are also pursuing historic preservation and environmental issues under federal law because the playground is in the heart of the Dwight Street National Historic District and federal monies are being used by The Community Builders in the construction of the apartment building. The Friends asked the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to review the proposed sale. The Hartford HUD Office has directed the City of New Haven Office of Management and Budget to consider the matter.

While the Friends understand that there is a need for affordable housing, we believe there is no reason to take our parkland for it. Loss of the mature trees in the Playground will hurt our air quality. Adults as well as children enjoy this outdoor space. The non-profit developer receiving the gift of this land has had a poor track record for decades.

The group is appealing to the community for donations to our GoFundMe Campaign to Save Kensington Playground to help with legal costs, and if they win, with a playscape. GoFundMe campaign link is: https://gf.me/u/y89852 or search for “Save Kensington Playground” on GoFundMe.com.

See www.KensingtonPlayground.org for additional details, and to sign our petition.

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

Help Make Thanksgiving Special This Year

Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen

For almost 30 years, the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen has participated in a community-wide effort to deliver meals to people in need on Thanksgiving morning. Although the COVID-19 pandemic is limiting the scale of this annual program, we’re determined to get at least 500 meals out to those most in need on Thanksgiving Day, focusing on people experiencing homelessness and staying in warming centers, hotels, and shelters. In addition, we will once again be providing plenty of Thanksgiving foods at our weekly pantry on the Wednesday before the holiday.

Here’s how YOU can help:

Donate Food!

Help us make Thanksgiving special for those in need in your community by donating food from our Thanksgiving Shopping List.

  • Frozen turkeys (Nov. 15 drop-off only)
  • Stuffing (boxed)
  • Green beans (canned)
  • Cranberry sauce (canned)
  • Yams (canned)
  • Corn (canned)
  • Broth (turkey, chicken, or vegetable)
  • Butter (1-lb. boxes)
  • Reusable shopping bags

Please drop off frozen turkeys on Sunday, Nov. 15, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. All other items can be dropped off during DESK’s regular receiving hours (Sun. – Thu., 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.) through Sunday, Nov. 22. Drop-off Location: 311 Temple Street.

Questions? Call us at (203) 624-6426, ext. 6137, or email [email protected].

Donate Money!

Your financial support will ensure that DESK can serve those in need on Thanksgiving and all year-round! Show your support and we’ll be able to purchase supplies to keep everyone safe and protected during these difficult times. Contact us with any questions at (203) 624-6426, ext. 8557.

Donate Your Time! Volunteer!

While we won’t need all 250+ volunteers who typically take part in Thanksgiving for All, we still need some folks to make this happen! If you’re interested in helping out onsite or delivering meals, email us at [email protected], and we’ll be in touch in the weeks leading up to let you know how you can help.

Thanksgiving for All is a community partnership of Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen, Interfaith Volunteer Care Givers, Yale Hospitality, and Chabaso Bakery.

Tell us, tell New Haven, about the progressive work your organization is doing

Dear PAR Contributors,

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!

Readers want to know: What is the purpose of your organization? How are you building your group? What campaigns are you organizing? What events are you planning?

We want to publicize the work groups have done and what they’re planning to do. We want to spread the word to others who will be inspired to join you, support your activism and build the struggles. Send us articles (even a paragraph or two) about what your group wants to do and any ideas for organizing! 350 word limit, please!

Please send articles about your group’s recent and current activities and upcoming actions and events to [email protected].

***Help inspire others through your commitment! ***

The deadline for the September Progressive Action Roundtable Newsletter is Wednesday, August 19.


Please keep in mind that as layout space permits, we will include photos.

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