Picket at Goodfellas for Wage Theft Leads to Arrest of Protest Leader

by Unidad Latina en Acción

On Nov. 20, 2015, New Haven Police arrested John Lugo, one of the leaders of Unidad Latina en Acción (ULA), during a workers’ rights protest outside Goodfellas Restaurant. “You have no right to be here,” said the police to ULA. (Video at http://www.facebook.com/ULANewHaven/videos)

Stand with us: We will not be silenced. We will not be intimidated.

We have been picketing Goodfellas for 6 months. We have been picketing businesses that steal wages from workers for 10 years, and we will not stop. Arrest the owner of Goodfellas, not the peaceful protesters. Wage theft is a crime. Protesting for our human rights is not a crime. The CT Department of Labor and US DOL have found Gerry Iannaccone, owner of Goodfellas, guilty of stealing from dozens of workers. Yet this crime goes unpunished.

New Haven gets a lot of credit for being a welcoming city for immigrants. Is New Haven a welcoming city when immigrants are criminalized for peaceful protest and wage theft goes unpunished? Unidad Latina en Acción is currently supporting workers in cases of wage theft and discrimination in Goodfellas, Gourmet Heaven, 116 Crown, Thai Taste, Fair Haven Clam & Oyster, El Buen Gusto, La Carreta, among other local businesses.

In a press conference in 2014, Chief Esserman stated that wage theft is a crime under Connecticut law and that the NHPD is willing to act to enforce that law. In spite of those good words, the NHPD is doing the opposite: punishing the victims of wage theft and their advocates. On Nov. 6, 2015, Esserman walked into Goodfellas to eat dinner while ULA was picketing the restaurant, ignoring our attempts to speak with him. On Nov. 20, after the NHPD arrested John Lugo, one of the officers entered the restaurant and came out with a bag of food for the police. NHPD, which side are you on?

This is not the first time that the NHPD has colluded with the owner of Goodfellas to intimidate workers. In 2011, ULA filed an internal affairs complaint against NHPD after a sergeant demanded that protesters show ID at a workers’ rights picket outside Goodfellas, and he threatened that the owner of Goodfellas would use the IDs to create a “blacklist” so that protesters would not be employed by other restaurants. [See: http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20110122/complaint-filed-against-new-haven-cops-over-goodfellas-protest.]

Dec. 10 Rally for Peace in New Haven: UN Human Rights Day

by Mary Compton, Greater New Haven Peace Council

The International Coordinating Committee of the Peace and Planet Conference, held in New York recently, called for public expressions on Dec. 10, United Nations Human Rights Day.

Many U.S. Peace organizations nationally have agreed to organize public expressions on Dec. 10, heralding the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights to create a peaceful world.

The Greater New Haven Peace Council and the City of New Haven Peace Commission have initiated a call for peace and will sponsor a public meeting on Thursday, Dec. 10 at noon, at the Amistad Statue in front of the New Haven City Hall. Speakers from a broad range of community organizations have been invited.

We call on all our friends who cherish peace to join us, to engage in creative peaceful, militant actions in our communities calling for ceasefires, an end to these wars, and peaceful inclusive negotiations including Syrian government. No U.S. troops to Syria. The human right to peace must be honored. Families, villagers and citizens have the right not to be violated by war. The enormous and irreplaceable resources spent on war are far better spent to address desperate human needs.

The surging dangers to world peace, including sending U.S. troops to engage in Syria, have created a crisis that with the slightest misstep can lead to World War 3. The bombings in France by terrorists are a blowback to the policies of accelerated aggression in the Middle East. The continued relations with the funders and sponsors of the various terrorist groups by the CIA and U.S. so-called allies, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have created a situation where U.S. weapons are fueling the terrorists and millions are fleeing for safety from the bombs for which the U.S. has a responsibility.

We must raise our voices for peace, against war! Insist on diplomacy and negotiations to end the wars in Syria, including the governments of Iran, Russia and Syria. Let us demand the Human Right to Peace.

Kathy Kelly & Tom B. K. Goldtooth awarded 2015 Gandhi Peace Award

Promoting Enduring Peace

goldtooth-kkellyThe 38th presentation of the Gandhi Peace Award by the national organization Promoting Enduring Peace, located in New Haven, honored two world renowned peace leaders, Kathy Kelly and Tom B.K. Goldtooth. The ceremony was held at the United Church on the Green in New Haven on October 30.

Kathy Kelly is nationally known for her outspoken activism protesting the use of drones by the U.S. military. She co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence, a national campaign to end U.S. military and economic warfare. She has led protests in Gaza and is an international leader against the war in Iraq. She has served several prison sentences for her non-violent, militant activism against nuclear weapons and war. On April 21st Kelly was released from federal prison after serving a three month sentence for non-violently protesting drone warfare at Whiteman AFB which operates weaponized drones in Afghanistan.

Tom B. K. Goldtooth is Dine’ and Mdewakanton Dakota. He is the first Native American recipient of the Gandhi Peace Award. He is the national director of the Indigenous Environmental Network (http://www.ienearth.org) at Bemidji, Minnesota, and has been a leader in Native social, economic, and environmental justice issues for over 35 years. He works with Indigenous Peoples and organizations around the world advocating for environmental and climate justice. He is co-producer of the award winning documentary film, “Drumbeat For Mother Earth,” which has received critical acclaim for its exposure of the effects of bio-accumulative chemicals on Indigenous communities. In 2010 he was honored by the Sierra Club and by the NAACP as a “Green Hero of Color.”

Voices for Creative Nonviolence: http://www.vcnv.org
Indigenous Environmental Network: http://www.ienearth.org

Come to a Free Viewing of Roadmap to Apartheid

by Shelly Altman, Jewish Voice for Peace

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The New Haven Peace Council and Jewish Voice for Peace New Haven are presenting the film Roadmap to Apartheid. In this award-winning documentary, the directors take a detailed look at the apartheid analogy commonly used to describe the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Narrated by Alice Walker (author of The Color Purple), and directed by white South African Ana Nogueira and Jewish Israeli Eron Davidson, Roadmap to Apartheid is as much a historical document of the rise and fall of apartheid in South Africa as it is a film about why many Palestinians feel they are living in an apartheid system today, and why an increasing number of people around the world agree with them.

The film will next be presented Saturday, Dec. 5, 2 p.m., at the New Haven Free Public Library, 133 Elm St. Help us bring the issue of Israeli apartheid to public attention. We are ready to bring this documentary and a speaker to community groups that want to learn more about this issue. You can see a trailer of the film at http://roadmaptoapartheid.org.

Reach JVP New Haven at:
web: http://www.jvpnh.org,
email: newhaven@jewishvoiceforpeace.org,
facebook: jvpnewhaven, twitter: @jvpnewhaven.

Remaking Connecticut’s Energy System to Embrace Community Energy Dec. 16, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Acadia Center invites Connecticut residents to a discussion at the NH Free Public Library that will focus on how the energy needs of communities in particular can be better served by changes in policy and decision making. How do we make sure that the current clean energy revolution puts Connecticut’s communities at its center?

The gathering will feature an expert discussion on how communities can be empowered to take control of their energy costs and needs through new approaches and policy innovations.  Our expert panelists will be: Scudder Parker, Senior Policy Adviser, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation; Jonathan Glass, President & Co-Founder, Wise Labs; Jamie Howland, Director, Energy Efficiency and Demand-Side Initiative, Acadia Center.

Select topics will include: (1) creating a sustainable energy utility to better serve community energy needs, (2) exploring the community benefits offered by smart LED streetlights, and (3) identifying notable community energy trends in the Northeast.  This discussion will be followed by breakout groups of attendees to further explore specific issues in depth. We hope you will join us at the NH Free Public Library, 133 Elm St.

Acadia Center is a non-profit, research and advocacy organization committed to advancing the clean energy future. Acadia Center is at the forefront of efforts to build clean, low-carbon and consumer-friendly economies. Acadia Center provides accurate and reliable information, and offers a real-world and comprehensive approach to problem solving through innovation and collaboration. http://www.acadiacenter.org

At the Main Public Library, 133 Elm St.

Monday, Dec. 7, 6 – 7 p.m.
A Child’s Christmas In Wales. A special holiday treat! A dramatic reading with actor Colin Lane and musician Becca Zaretzky, who performed at the library two years ago to a standing-room-only crowd. Originally written for radio, Dylan Thomas’ poem is told from the viewpoint of a young child and celebrates Christmases past, portraying a nostalgic and simpler time. Info: Marie Jarry (203) 946-8129.

Thursday, Dec. 10, 6 – 7 p.m.
New Haven Guitar Quartet. a newly-formed ensemble of guitarists from Yale University dedicated to exploring the expressive possibilities of the guitar quartet. Members Daniel Corr, Katrin Endrikat, John Kossler and Trevor Babb perform both original and transcribed works, ranging from the Renaissance to the Contemporary. Info: Ashley Sklar (203) 946-8835.

Monday, Dec. 21, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Dignity Music Concert Series: A Program of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and Albrechtsberger. Ravenna Michalsen, a cellist and active participant in the CT musical scene, received a Mayor’s Community Arts Grant for the Dignity Music concert series which brings classical music to homeless shelters, breakfast programs, soup kitchens and other New Haven venues. Bethany Wilder joins her for this concert on viola and cello. Info: Ashley Sklar (203) 946-8835.

For a complete schedule, go online to http://calendar.nhfpl.org/cal/main/showMainEnd.rdo.

Selected Writings of Fred Cervin Now Available!

The New Haven Bioregional Group has announced that a volume of writings by New Haven Bioregional Group co-founder Fred Cervin (1940-2013) has just been published.

The book, Earth Loyalty and Bioregional Practice, arrived just in time for the 10th anniversary of the Bioregional Group this fall.

The book is on sale for $12 each. Contact Maria Tupper (mariatupper@gmail.com) for details or to order a copy. http://www.newhavenbioregionalgroup.org

Listen Here! Short Story Reading Series

by Bennett Graff, Publisher, New Haven Review

The Institute Library is proud to host the Listen Here Short Story reading series. Join us for a night of classic short stories selected by the staff of the New Haven Review and read by cast members of the New Haven Theater Company. Reading starts at 7 p.m., with a talk back at 8 p.m. Also, freshly baked cookies and tea are available. $5 suggested admission, but no obligations!

Join us every 3rd Tuesday of the month at the Institute Library, 847 Chapel St, New Haven. Our next reading will be Dec. 15.

Our theme: “That Special Place.”

Our stories: “Cherubs” by Justine Dymond and “The Room” by William Trevor.

Please note that the Institute Library is one flight up and not wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit us at http://www.institutelibrary.org.

A Call to All Peace Activists! Oct. 12

by Alfred L. Marder, President, US Peace Council, amistad.nai@rcn.com

On Monday, Oct. 12, the coordinating committee of Peace and Planet held an International Conference in New York which coincided with the United Nations’ meeting to review the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Among other matters, we discussed our concerns about the present conflicts in Ukraine and Syria. There are 15 countries already involved in the fighting. Two nuclear weapon powers are facing each other. THE DANGER OF WORLD WAR 3 IS NOT UNREALISTIC!

We agreed that we would call for the following of the global peace movement:

  1. Aim for Dec. 10, United Nations Human Rights Day with the slogan PEACE IS A HUMAN RIGHT!
  2. Global actions on the local, regional and national level, leading up to Dec. 10.
    The US Peace Council convened several peace organizations immediately after the meeting to call for actions. We agreed that Nov. 11, the day World War 1 ended, should be a Day of Global Actions.

We are united on these demands:

  1. Immediate diplomatic negotiations to end the conflict in Syria involving all interested parties, especially the Syrian government.
  2. Removal of all NATO forces from the states bordering Russia. Dismantle NATO!
  3. Remove ALL foreign troops from Afghanistan.

There will be a vigil at 11 a.m. Nov. 11 on the New Haven Green, at the corner of Chapel and College streets. Nov. 11 is the day World War I ended. The overarching slogan will be STOP WORLD WAR 3.

The Climate Stewardship Summit Nov. 5

The Climate Stewardship Summit sponsored by the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network will take place frmo 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5, at Congregation Beth Israel in West Hartford. Building on the moral vision articulated in the Pope’s encyclical, we will examine how we can build an integrated approach to seeking solutions.

Through an action oriented agenda, the Climate Stewardship Summit will promote the concept that we are “Standing on Holy Ground.” Speakers include celebrated climate activist Tim DeChristopher, Jacqui Patterson, Director of the NAACP’s Enviromental & Climate Justice Program and Allan Johnson, Founder of Christians for the Mountains. Deacon Art Miller, featured in the Hartford Courant’s Hometown Heroes series for his work in the Black Lives Matter and Moral Monday CT movements, will be our  morning keynote speaker!

The Interreligious Eco-Justice Network is a faith-based environmental organization that works to inspire and empower religious communities in Connecticut to be  faithful stewards of the planet.

CT Network to Abolish the Death Penalty Annual Meeting, Wednesday, Nov. 11

by Sheila Denion, Project Director

The Connecticut Network to Abolish the Death Penalty (CNADP) has been working to abolish the death penalty in Connecticut since 1986. We stand strongly opposed to the death penalty as it is poor public policy. The death penalty does not deter crime, it is not cost efficient, it kills the mentally ill, it is economically and racially biased, it kills the innocent, and it does not provide closure to families – it is simply revenge, not justice.

CNADP invites you to our 2015 Annual Meeting and celebration of the CT Supreme Court’s ruling that the death penalty in Connecticut was unconstitutional. The  celebration will be begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11, at Raintree Condominiums Clubhouse, 45 Hickory Lane, Rocky Hill.

This decision moves us beyond the prospective repeal we achieved in 2012 to total abolition of capital punishment in our state. It’s time to party!

Come and reconnect with old friends within the movement and meet new ones. We will present our new board of directors and program platform for approval, so your attendance is important. And we will present awards to former State Representative Michael P. Lawler and to Public Defender Thomas J. Ullmann. Please join us in thanking and honoring both of them for their contributions to the success of our movement.

Refreshments will be available at 7 p.m., and our short program will begin at 7:30. Reservations are appreciated but not necessary. You can email sheila@cnadp.org or call (860) 231-1489.

The meeting site is convenient to both Hartford and New Haven, just off Exit 23 from I-91. Please mark this date on your calendar now, and invite friends and family to join you at this free event. There is plenty of convenient parking.

Directions to Raintree Condominiums clubhouse:

From I-91 North – Exit 23 West St. Rocky Hill, turn right onto West St. From I-91 South – Exit 23, turn left onto West St. Turn left into Raintree Condos (Butternut Lane), first right onto Hickory Lane. The clubhouse is at the end of the street; parking in front of clubhouse.

CT Green Party News

by Barbara Barry, Secretary, GPCT

The next SCC (State Central Committee) meeting of the GPCT will be Tuesday, Nov. 17, at Portland Waverly Center, 7 Waverly Ave., Portland.

Social time is from 6 to 6:30 p.m., meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. The estimated length of meeting is two hours.

Agenda includes review of November 3 election results of our GPCT municipal candidates; preparation for our 2016 petition drive for GPUS (Green Party of US) candidates for president, VP and U.S. Senate and the Congressional Districts where GPCT wish to run but will need to petition to acquire ballot access; results of our fundraiser Oct. 21, “The Organic Farm to Table” dinner at Wheeler’s Restaurant in Woodbridge with Jeff Cordulack, executive director of CT NOFA (Northeast Organic Farming Association).

Other agenda items: ongoing efforts to promote our 2015-2016 proposals to the CT Legislature; interactions with other organizations with similar values/concerns; other events, forums and activities by GPCT members, chapters, the GPCT itself; and GPCT interaction with the GPUS.

More information:  http://www.ctgreenparty.org or on Facebook.

PACE Presents ‘Wake Up, Connecticut’ Nov. 21

by Judi Friedman, People’s Action for Clean Energy

Saturday, Nov. 21, People’s Action for Clean Energy will present WAKE UP, CONNECTICUT, featuring Connecticut leaders who are successfully working on renewable energy investments; Connecticut clean energy legislation; solar community-building; and solar panel installation. The 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Lucas Hixson (MI), who has just returned from inside the Chernobyl nuclear plant. He will showcase the ongoing dangers that this accident still represents and compare it to present and possible US nuclear plant scenarios.

Beginning at 6 p.m., homemade Stromboli, desserts and beverages will be available for purchase, with opportunities to view exhibits and literature. After a brief meeting at 7 p.m., opened by former State Rep. and PACE President Timothy Bowles, awards to unique Connecticut leaders will include State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg; the leaders of the Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs; Bernard Zahren of Clean Feet Investors; Allied Printing; and Beyond Nuclear board member Lucas Hixson.

This timely and special free public event will conclude with evocative songs sung by beautiful Teryn Kuzma with bandura accompaniment.

The program will take place at the Hartford Friends Meeting House, 144 S. Quaker Lane, West Hartford. For more information, go to http://www.pace-cleanenergy.org or call (860) 693-4813.

 

Fair Trade Holiday Gifts Dec. 5, Standing Up for Women’s Lives in Our Sister City

by Megan Fountain, New Haven/Leon Sister City Project

On Dec. 5, get your fair trade holiday gifts — organic coffee, hand-made crafts, and more — from the New Haven/León Sister City Project at the Bioregional Holiday Bazaar (Dec. 5, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., 608 Whitney Ave).

Be sure to stop by the Bioregional Holiday Bazaar to chat with us and buy fair trade: handwoven scarves, blankets and housewares from a women-owned business in León; organic Nicaraguan chocolate and coffee; embroidered purses and olive oil from Palestinian co-ops; natural soaps from Flatbrook Farm in Connecticut; local honey, and more! The Bioregional Bazaar features not only NHLSCP, but also a variety of local craftspeople selling their diverse wares. Info: mfountain@newhavenleon.org, (203) 562-1607.
We also invite you to plan your own delegation or internship in Nicaragua based on a theme that interests you, or join the Teacher’s and Educator’s Delegation in summer 2016. To learn more, please contact nh@newhavenleon.org.

Then consider joining our first Women’s Rights & Gender Justice Delegation to Nicaragua. Nicaragua is home to one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world, and the state fails to protect women and girls from sexual and physical violence. Rural women in NHLSCP are organizing to change that reality. The delegation, an 8-day trip to Nicaragua, will take place in spring or summer 2016, and the dates will be determined according to your availability. No Spanish is necessary.

Delegates may:

  • Learn how rural Goyena women are addressing domestic violence, reproductive and sexual rights, “unlearning” sexist roles, and more
  • Get to know daily life through home stays in León and activities in Goyena, which may include storytelling and community theater exercises
  • Visit León’s historical murals and sites to learn about the dictatorship, revolution, civil war, and current economic and political realities, with a focus on women’s participation
  • Experience the natural landscape and learn about environmental concerns via outdoor excursions
  • Activities will be selected to fit your interests (for example, visiting LGBTQ organizations or visiting a women’s health center)

Info: mfountain@newhavenleon.org, (203) 562-1607.

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