Israel-Gaza War’s Grief Spills onto Church St.

by Thomas Breen, New Haven Independent, Oct. 9, 2023

Half an hour into a tense and loud and flag-filled standoff between pro-Palestine and pro-Israel protesters on the front steps of City Hall, city police brought in barricades to physically separate the two sides….

That was the scene outside of City Hall at 165 Church St. Monday afternoon during an at-times combustible, but never violent, set of dueling rallies sparked by the horrific bloodshed of the ongoing war in Israel and Gaza.

photo: Thomas Breen

Several hundred people from across the city and the state turned out for the parallel protests … The two sides took turns, and shouted over one another, about the Israeli occupation, Hamas terrorism, open-air prisons and blockades, the kidnapping and murder of civilians, the righteous uprising of a dispossessed people, the righteous defense of democracy….

“Free, free Palestine!” one side cheered over and over again at Monday’s rally. “From Hamas!” cheered the other side in response.

The pro-Palestine protest was organized by a number of student and local lefty political groups, including the Connecticut Democratic Socialists of America, Yalies for Palestine, the Party for Socialism and Liberation-Connecticut, and Wesleyan Students for Justice in Palestine….

The pro-Israel contingent, meanwhile, saw a mix of New Haveners and Connecticut residents, many of whom are members of the Chabad Lubavitch Hasidic community, and nearly all of whom have close ties to and family and friends currently living in Israel….

Joshua Pernick, the rabbi in residence and director of Jewish life and community relations at the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, told the Independent about his brother, who after a weeklong vacation in the United States returned to his home in Holon, Israel, this weekend just hours after Hamas began its attack. He and his wife and six-month-old child have been shuttling between shelters ever since, Pernick said. … ​“The problem of terrorism is it doesn’t discriminate….”

Faisal Saleh, the founder and director of Woodbridge’s Palestine Museum, showed up to the other side of City Hall’s steps Monday to support those rallying for Palestine.

Saleh was born and raised in the West Bank. He moved to the U.S. when he was 17, in 1969. He said he’s been communicating with Palestinian artists in Gaza who he knows through his museum work every few hours, just to make sure they are still alive amid the Israeli army’s strikes.
“Everybody is waiting to see what will happen,” he said….

[The article can be read in its entirety at]

Oct. 18 Rally: Hundreds Demand Action to Prevent Genocide of Palestinians

by Shelly Altman, Jewish Voice for Peace New Haven 

Hundreds of Jews and friends of Jews assembled at New Haven City Hall and at the office of Rep. Rosa DeLauro to urge our elected officials to call for a ceasefire in Gaza, and to call on the U.S. government to stop supporting the Israeli military’s genocidal war on Gaza. Talks were delivered on the catastrophe in Gaza caused by Israeli bombing and forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of Gazans who are trapped in the locked-down Gaza Strip. Letters were delivered to Mayor Justin Elicker and to Rep. DeLauro. The protest was organized by Jewish Voice for Peace New Haven and the Mending Minyan Solidarity Committee.

In her remarks, Mikveh Warshaw of the Mending Minyan noted, “We are strong and wise enough to hold up the sacredness of all life; to mourn for our Palestinian and Israeli family, friends, and comrades. It is our sacred task as Jewish people in the US to fight for the humanity of everyone.”

On Friday [Oct. 13], the Israeli military called for all civilians of Gaza City — 1.1. million people — to relocate within 24 hours, as it amassed tanks for an expected ground invasion. The UN said evacuating everyone was impossible with power supplies cut and food and water in the Palestinian enclave running short after Israel placed Gaza under total siege, and said it would have “devastating humanitarian consequences.” The Gaza Health Ministry reported that over 3,000 Palestinians have been killed and over 9,000 have been wounded as of yesterday. A thousand of those killed have been children.

Israel has openly stated an intention to commit mass atrocities and even genocide, with Prime Minister Netanyahu saying the Israeli response will “reverberate for generations.” President Biden has indicated his full support, sending additional weapons to the Israeli military. Today, he planned a highly unusual personal visit in support of the military.

In his remarks, Shelly Altman responded to this, saying, “Never again. The ‘again’ of our lifetimes is underway in Gaza right now. And we refuse to stand by and watch.”


Volunteers Lay Foundations for Six Tiny Homes to Serve Unhoused New Haveners

Maggie Grether & Natasha Khazzam, Yale Daily News, Oct. 10, 2023

Leaders of the Rosette Neighborhood Village Collective are building the tiny homes to provide additional privacy and stability for residents.

Volunteers broke ground last Saturday at the Rosette Neighborhood Village Collective, clearing wheelbarrows of damp earth to lay the foundations for six tiny homes that will be operational by Thanksgiving.

The tiny homes will provide shelter for between eight and 12 unhoused people currently living in tents at 203 Rosette St., located in activists Mark Colville and Luz Catarineau’s backyard….

To clear space for constructions, the Collective moved tents previously erected in Colville and Catarineau’s backyard, which have been there since 2022, to a community garden directly next to the house. Volunteers from various organizations including Amistad Catholic and Benicasa Community gathered Sunday to construct the foundations….

Colville said he has been in communication with the City Planning Department and is currently working with the city to secure permits for the tiny homes. Colville said the city has expressed support for the tiny homes, which he sees as “the first real substantive cooperation that the city has expressed towards this movement.”…

Colville started helping set up makeshift tent cities in 2014. In 2020, during the outbreak of the pandemic, Colville helped form the West River encampment.

[The article can be read in its entirety at]

National Protest in Atlanta to Block Cop City

Melinda Tuhus, Stop Cop City Connecticut

Block Cop City will take place in Atlanta on Nov. 13, when hundreds of people from the city and beyond will attempt to peacefully occupy the Atlanta (Weelaunee) Forest. It’s the site of the proposed Atlanta police training facility known to its opponents as Cop City.

The forest was occupied for two years in an effort to stop the project, which has the support of the City Council and the Mayor, all Democrats. A forest defender, Manuel Este-ban Paez (“Tortuguita”), was killed by police back in January; in March, 41 people at a music festival in the forest were arrested with no proof of wrongdoing and charged with domestic terrorism, a felony carrying decades in prison upon conviction; in September those 41 and 20 more were charged under RICO (the Georgia organized crime law).

An effort to put the issue on the ballot garnered 116,000 signatures over the summer, twice the number needed, but city officials refused to verify them so the earliest it can be on the ballot is next March, when construction will be well underway.

Some CT residents are heading down for the Days of Action Nov. 10–13, including two days of non-violent direct action and de-escalation training culminating in the occupation. Others will be providing support like cooking and child care. If you are interested in going or have questions, text or call Melinda Tuhus at 203-623-2186. If you would like to take action locally (being determined, but all legal actions like a rally, vigil, etc.), email [email protected].

Charter Revision Will Be on the Ballot for New Haven Voters on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023

The Question on the ballot: “Shall Charter changes as recommended by the Charter Revision Commission and adopted by the Board of Alders be approved and adopted?”
What the charter revision recommendations would do:

  • Four-year terms for mayor, alder, and city clerk,
  • Increase annual stipend for Alders from $2000 to $5000,
  • Explicitly clarify that alders must approve all city contracts of at least $100,000,
  • Extend the window for alders’ approval of appointees to city boards and commissions from 60 to 90 days,
  • Move most requirements for department heads out of the Charter and into the Code of Ordinances, making them easier to change.
  • Make language in the charter gender-neutral.

    The Registrar of Voters confirmed that the referendum question will be placed on the far right-hand side of the ballot, as they have typically been in the past. We need to work hard reminding voters: “Look to the right-hand side—because on charter revision you decide!” Learn more: New Haven Votes Coalition, PO Box 207063, New Haven.

CT Green Energy News

News and events for advocates of clean energy, energy efficiency, and climate action at the state and local levels, focusing on Connecticut. Brought to you by People’s Action for Clean Energy (PACE). Visit

CT energy assistance needs more state funding, advocates say:
CT Mirror. “With federal heating assistance projected to drop and oil prices rising, advocates say CT officials should use state funds for heating aid. Energy assistance advocates are renewing their call for Connecticut to tap its robust coffers to help keep poor families warm this winter. The alarm intensified after a Hartford-based nonprofit closed its summer/fall energy assistance program one month early due to high demand. With projected federal heating assistance projected to drop as much as $970 per household this winter—and with home heating oil prices rising steadily since mid-June—advocates say things could turn ugly this winter unless state officials end their reluctance to use state funds.”

No hydrogen hub for CT and the Northeast:
CT Mirror. “Connecticut and the Northeast came up losers Friday in the high-stakes competition for regional hydrogen hubs—part of the Biden administration’s Bipartisan Infra-structure Law’s focus on hydrogen as an important clean energy source to fight climate change. A seven-state consortium of Connecticut and the rest of New England, except New Hampshire, plus New York and New Jersey, were not among seven hubs selected to share $7 billion … Among the hubs selected were several in swing presidential race states as well as ones with difficult senate races for Democrats looking to maintain control, including West Virginia and Montana. And many of them are in heavy fossil fuel-producing areas that face potential negative economic impacts as the country transitions towards clean energy.”

Blumenthal urges increased LIHEAP funding as CT families face chilly winter:
CT News Junkie. “The winter heating season has already started, Operation Fuel has stopped taking applications, and Congress level funded the Low Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program… ‘Applications for heating assistance are up by about 20%,’ Blumenthal said. However, the funding is still only about $4 billion nationwide. … Operation Fuel’s Gannon Long said, ‘the affordability gap between what people can pay for their energy needs and what they’re being asked to pay has increased 37% in just two years.’ … Last year, the nonprofit approved around 3,900 applications during its Summer/Fall application period. Two years ago, the program received only around 2,000 applications during that same period.”

Evergrow completes first IRA tax credit transfer through solar project in Connecticut:
Solar World. “Evergrow, a clean energy finance company, has successfully completed the funding of a clean energy tax credit transfer on its platform, the first of its kind to be announced … Under the IRA, developers and owners of clean energy projects can sell their tax credits to raise funding. With demand for clean energy tax financing expected to exceed $80 billion by 2031, this funding helps pay for the cost of building clean energy projects, such as solar power, battery storage, electric vehicle chargers and more … Developers of clean energy projects often struggle to access tax credit funding, particularly for projects on the smaller end of the scale. By using technology to build a modern platform for clean energy finance, Evergrow is unlocking greater access to funding for developers of all sizes.”

For a complete listing of clean energy events, visit the on-line Calendar: You can submit an event to the PACE Calendar and also subscribe to it.

Updates to Furnace Efficiency Standards for First Time in 16 Years:
Last updated in 2007, the U.S. Department of Energy has announced final rules for residential gas furnaces to go into effect in late 2028. Non-weatherized gas furnaces and those used in mobile homes will require 95% efficiency. Read more:

Rules for electric vehicle instant rebates at dealerships are here:
Treasury lays out rules for instant EV rebate – E&E News by POLITICO ( Starting Jan. 1, 2024, EV buyers can transfer their Inflation Reduction Act electric vehicle credits to dealerships and receive cash or apply the credit toward the cost of the car. The IRA provides a tax credit of up to $7,500 for certain electric vehicles and used EVs are eligible for a $4,000 credit.

Outrageously High GAS RATE HIKES Proposed by CNG and SCG

by Kathleen Fay, Neighborhood Housing Services

Please see the email below from Thomas Wiehl. Then,

  • Respond directly to Tom if you would like to be part of the discussion.
  • Share widely to members of your task forces and other networks including other municipal staff.
  • Consider drafting letters for your group to sign onto and submit to the media and/or to Office of Consumer Council or Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA). Or individual letters.
  • If you or your organization wish to be interveners in the PURA docket, please note the deadline for filing is Nov. 15.

For additional details or support: Kathleen Fay, Director of Community Sustainability, Neighborhood Housing Services, 203-562-0598, Ext. 225,, 333 Sherman Ave, New Haven.

Hello all,


CT Natural Gas and Southern CT Gas have filed their notices of intent in their pending rate cases, seeking ten percent and TWENTY PERCENT increases to delivery revenues, respectively. You can see the notices here:

OCC will be directly engaging in this proceedings and would certainly welcome collaborative discussions with anyone with an interest in critically analyzing these upcom-ing rate applications. Contact: Thomas Wiehl, Director of Utility Oversight & Regulatory Reform, State of CT, Office of Consumer Counsel, 860-827-2906, [email protected],

Updates from the Movement for the CT Environmental Rights Amendment

Kim Stoner, CT Environmental Rights Amendment Alliance

Big news! The lawsuit in Montana, where a group of young people established their right to a stable climate, based on the environmental rights in the Montana state constitution, drew attention to the power of constitutional environmental rights across the country and here in CT.

Most important action you can take now: Sign our petition to key state legislators to move the CT Environmental Rights Amendment forward in the coming session:

We already have more than 300 signatures!

Wed., Nov. 1, 4 p.m. Want to get more deeply involved? We are offering a training webinar, “Get Up to Speed to Lead, Part 1.” Register at

Kim Stoner had an opportunity to talk over the Held v. Montana case with Paul Bass of the New Haven Independent and WNHH radio. You can find the interview here:

The national movement had a great webinar with legal experts on constitutional rights and environmental justice. Ready for a deep dive? See the recording on YouTube at

Thanks to Eluned Li, we now have our own state website. Check it out:

Change a Charter, Change a Community, Change a Nation = Changing the World

by Frank C. Rohrig, The Egalitarian Quest

Dear Fellow Citizens,

I’m writing this letter as a matter of societal urgency to implore your participation in a movement/cause absolutely critical to the very salvation of our democracy, as well as the world’s future stability and security….

In spite of all the advances women have made through decades of fighting for fairness and equality, the most important and significant area of disparity that affects all of their lives every single day is the political arena. The ratio of male to female representation in all areas of governance is roughly 75% to 25%. “Having a seat at the table” or “being in the game” has never been so desperately important as it has become entering the twenty-first-century “global world.” This disparity is a detriment to the majority of the citizenry….

Gender parity in governance is the first step in countering the greed and corruption that have decimated this nation’s economy and a further step towards the Constitution’s promised aspirations of an Egalitarian Society. We as a nation can no longer wait for promises made and broken. We can and must begin the movement together (men and women) for GENDER PARITY (50%-50%) throughout our entire nation and world. Every house, as well as every nation, needs a strong foundation; so we must attain parity in the smallest of communities, in statehouses, and throughout the federal government, until every taxpayer-supported entity is governed with a shared purpose in betterment for all its citizens. Nothing short of 50/50 male/female representation shall suffice in a nation/world that is so presently divided and ineffective.

Good Jobs Are a Human Right

Sarianna Sabbarese, CT Jobs and Human Rights Task Force

In our lifetimes, we have seen the rapid deterioration of once robust union protections. Even as social conditions have improved for many, economic disparities grow. Despite artificially low criteria for poverty, the threadbare American social safety net creaks and groans. We watch in anxious horror as a new cast of hard-right chaos agents in-filtrate Washington’s highest offices, wondering if democracy is on the brink of collapse. What can we do― besides shop―to hop off this doom spiral? Even if we feel driven to create a better future, where do we begin?

In 2021, Sarianna Sabbarese and Dr. Stephen Tomczak worked as representatives of the National Jobs For All Network to organize a Town Hall Meeting, holding these concerns and sentiments in mind. NJFAN has long operated as the premiere organization in the United States seeking to advance Full Employment via a large-scale, direct government job creation program: the jobs agenda to which FDR aspired when he called for a “second, economic Bill of Rights.”

The Town Hall explored the economic and social justice work of many different representatives from the New Haven community―including educators, students, activists, and people with lived experience of economic and social inequities―and the intersections of that work with Full Employment. It was a meeting place and a reminder that, despite necessarily limited sets of personal priorities, all present were engaged in a single, shared project.

Out of this event, the Connecticut Jobs and Human Rights Task Force formed, organized by macro social work practitioners Jennifer Perez and Sarianna Sabbarese, and advised by Logan Martinez and Dr. Stephen Tomczak. The group works to advance the right of people across the state to living wage remuneration, laying local infrastructure for direct government job creation so that jobs are created where they are actually needed―and not merely to serve the interests of wealthy individuals and corporations. As a group built on the supposition that economic justice is the bedrock on which social justice rests, they are committed to interjecting people-oriented priorities into economic policy.

If you are interested in joining the Task Force, please email Jennifer Perez ([email protected]) or Sarianna Sabbarese ([email protected])

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