Lunarfest 2024: Year of the Dragon. Join us on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 10 a.m. on Whitney Avenue to ring in the New Year with our lion dance parade. After the parade, attend workshops, performances, and more at our partner venues. See our full schedule for 2024: www.yalechina.org/year-of-the-dragon/#schedule
by Yale Peabody Museum
Join the Yale Peabody Museum, CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and the New Haven Museum for the 28th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy of Social and Environmental Justice with two days of free events open to all, on Jan. 14 and 15. Space is limited. Free registration is strongly recommended. Live ASL interpretation is available upon request on or before Jan. 7.
Free parking is available in Yale Lot 22 at 260 Whitney Avenue. For more information, call 203-432-8987, or visit the website peabody.yale.edu/events/mlk-celebration,
WYBC Radio, 94.3 FM
Join WYBC and Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in New Haven for the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Love March on Monday, January 15, at 11 a.m. The MLK Love March in New Haven has been going strong for over 50 years and it celebrates the life and work of the late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The Love March will begin and end at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, located at 100 Lawrence St., and continue to Whitney Ave., Edwards St., State St., and back to Lawrence St. We will march on this day rain or shine to commemorate the dreams and aspirations of MLK. The Love March, which was started by Shiloh’s late Founder and Pastor, Rev. George W. Hampton Sr., has been a positive force in the community of New Haven for more than 50 years. The Love March was created to preserve the notion of nonviolence. Come out and lend your voice of support to the community in making New Haven a better place to live. Scheduled to attend will be some of our political leaders from New Haven and the State of Connecticut.
Remembering Alfred Marder, Jan. 18, 1922-Dec. 19, 2023: A Century of Struggle for Peace, Justice and Socialism
by Henry Lowendorf, contributor to People’s World
The PAR newsletter committee is greatly saddened to inform our readers of the passing of Al Marder. Al was a member of the PAR community from its inception over thirty years ago. He was active in dozens of peace and justice organizations and instrumental in the founding of many New Haven groups. Our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and all who worked with him.
Al Marder, a stalwart of the U.S. peace movement and prominent figure in the Communist Party USA, passed away Dec. 19, 2023, at the age of 101. In some ways, the story of his life reads like a serial thriller, with plenty of comedy and tragedy, victories and defeats.
As a teenager, he would sneak out of his parents’ house in a working-class neighborhood of New Haven, early in the morning to meet his good friend Sid Taylor, pushing the family car down the road before starting it so as not to waken his parents. They would distribute fliers and Daily Worker newspapers to workers arriving and leaving plant gates at Sargent and Co. … Years later, his mother revealed that his parents were in fact aware of his goings-on….
Al Marder entered the fight for justice and peace when he was 14 years old, the height of the Great Depression. He saw families being evicted, his own included, and he saw Communists moving their furniture back into tenants’ houses. He wasn’t alone. The nation was demanding peace. Workers were struggling for their rights and moving unionization to the fore. Peace, he said, was a central demand of the Communist Party in the 1930s.
He became an organizer for the Young Communist League (YCL), becoming a leader in the group at age 16. Al began to connect the anti-Semitism that his family, Jewish immigrants from Ukraine, experienced with the prevalent anti-Black racism. He found that Communists modeled equal treatment of everyone.
At the New Haven Peoples Center, Al found his milieu. The community center had been bought by immigrant, socialist-oriented Jewish tradesmen for their own families and the broader community. … Eventually, Al would become the president of the non-profit that runs the Peoples Center….
After the war, the U.S. turned its big guns on its former ally, the Soviet Union, and with McCarthyism, attacked the progressive movements at home. In 1954, one of eight charged in the Smith Act witch hunts in Connecticut for thinking communist thoughts, Al had to leave his family and go underground. Eventually caught, he was tried and acquitted, but not without serious consequences to many lives.
In the 1970s and ’80s, Al became a leader in the peace movement as the president of the U.S. Peace Council and vice president of the World Peace Council, positions he actively held until the end of his life.
A prime organizer of the anti-apartheid struggle in Connecticut, Marder helped create and lead the City of New Haven Peace Commission in 1988 and the years that followed….
The Peace Commission introduced resolutions into the New Haven City Council, the Board of Alders, calling for abolition of nuclear weapons and moving money from war spending to human needs. On three occasions, the resolutions became ballot initiatives that won overwhelming approval from the city’s voters.
As a result of these activities, New Haven was invited to join the U.N.-sponsored International Association of Peace Messenger Cities, of which Al Marder was president for 12 years, the only non-mayor to hold that position.
Urged in 1987 by African American school board president, minister, and friend Rev. Edwin Edmonds, Al founded the Connecticut Amistad Committee, Inc., in the spirit of the original 1839 Amistad Committee, the first integrated abolitionist organization….
With his amazing memory, wry sense of humor, and easy laugh, Al was known to all as a great storyteller, attending to detail and drawing basic lessons. He shared many of those lessons with those who knew him—lessons they will carry with them forever.
A memorial service will take place at Beaverdale Memorial Park, 90 Pine Rock Ave., on Saturday, Jan. 6 at 9:30 a.m. The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to one of these causes: Hospice Foundation of America, hospicefoundation.org/Donate; Jewish Voice for Peace, jewishvoiceforpeace.org; and US Peace Council, uspeacecouncil.org.
[Read the full article online from People’s World: www.peoplesworld.org/article/remembering-al-marder-a-century-of-struggle-for-peace-justice-and-socialism/]
[Read an article by Paul Bass for the New Haven Independent and the Marder family’s obituary: www.newhavenindependent.org/article/al_marder_crusading_true_believer_to_the_end_dies_at_101]
Greetings! This season’s Milk Jug Winter Sowing workshops are scheduled for early January, in all three Hamden Library branches:
* Brundage Library, 91 Circular Avenue, Wednesday, January 3, 6–7:45 p.m.
* Miller Library, 2901 Dixwell Avenue, Saturday, January 6, 2–4 p.m.
* Whitneyville Library, 125 Carleton Street, Thursday, January 11, 6–7:45 p.m.
These lively sessions will include an overview of planting for pollinators, and then we will each put together a mini greenhouse that will spend the winter outdoors, a practical method for starting the seeds of a wide range of native perennial plants.
As in years past, we will make these seeds available during the three workshops, and also by request through a website form.
We are cleaning and sorting our collection of native and pollinator seeds to make them available to you. Our updated list of native seeds will be on the website close to the end of the year. Each year we have been fortunate to have more and more seeds from local residents, as well as several types of ecotype 59 varieties.
The SCSU Women’s & Gender Studies Department is looking for proposals for our 24th Annual WGS Conference: Continuities, Ruptures, Resurgences: Still in Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens. Proposals can be on a wide variety of topics and in a wide range of mediums. We are happy to announce that the deadline for submissions has been extended until January 18, 2024!
Five decades after publication, Alice Walker’s womanist essays In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens … continue to be a vision for those of us engaged in feminist studies and intersectional justice work: “Guided by my heritage of a love of beauty and a respect for strength – in search of my mother’s garden, I found my own.”… Fifty-plus years later, we are still in search of our mothers’ gardens, sites and sources of our nourishment. Urged by Walker’s search and guided by Haudenosaunee and other Black, Indigenous, Latinx, women of color, and queer feminist visionaries (“for the next seven generations”), we ask ourselves questions for our collective futures:
- Why are we still in search of our mothers’ gardens?
- How do we recognize/embrace our feminist legacy/ legacies while staying vigilant/attentive to/around old and new challenges? What are some collective strategies?
- How do we continue to create/innovate despite the legal/social setbacks we have recently experienced?
- How and when does a body become a subject in the eyes of the law, the public, communities, institutions, corporations, nation states?
- What can we do to support communities struggling to align with the feminist agendas of peace, justice, and unity while honoring differences?
- How is the feminist body involved in community, conflict and the pursuit of peace and justice?
- How does feminism contribute to the pursuit of equity and equality?
- How has feminist storytelling narrated these struggles and contributed to/reshaped intellectual discourse?
WGS Graduate Assistant Team, Women’s & Gender Studies Department, SCSU. Office Email: [email protected]; Web: www.southernct.edu/wgs; Phone: 203-392-6133; Fax: 203-392-6723. Call for Proposals: inside.southernct.edu/womens-and-gender-studies/wgs-2024/call-for-papers
by Sierra Club Connecticut
Connecticut has been actively expanding the use and transport of methane or “natural” gas in the state for over ten years, and the results are not good. We pay the highest price for electricity of anybody in the continental U.S., we have the worst air pollution in New England, and the state continues to release greenhouse gas emissions at unsustainably high levels. While emissions from transportation constitute a large percentage of the air pollution released in our state, approximately 40 percent, pollution from energy generation is the next largest source at about 39 percent.
At the same time as the state invested public funds to construct corporate-owned methane infrastructure, it also passed laws and regulations that put up barriers to solar development. Although more solar energy on the grid is associated with improved reliability and fewer greenhouse gas emissions, state agencies and legislators have actively blocked the solar industry. There is only one benefit of reducing people’s ability to access clean energy: it ensures larger profits for Connecticut’s gas and electric monopolies Eversource and UI/Avangrid.
Sierra Club Connecticut is leading the fight to stop fossil gas expansion and to demand that the state convert to a renewable energy-powered economy. There are multiple gas expansion projects we are opposing: the Enbridge gas pipeline expansion from New York to Massachusetts that will cut across the entire state of Connecticut; the Milford and Brookfield gas compressor station expansions that will bring additional methane to NYC, which recently passed a law to phase methane out of new construction; and a brand new Eversource pipeline in Wilton to connect houses to fracked gas rather than to clean, efficient and affordable renewable thermal technology. For more information, see our website: connecticut.sierraclub.org. To get involved, contact Nick at [email protected] or Martha at [email protected].
The Southern Connecticut Gas Company wants to raise its rates. The average monthly residential bill will be approximately $10 to $13.50 more per month.
Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) has scheduled Public Comment Hearings for this application (Docket 23-11-02) on Wednesday, January 17, at the West Haven Library, 300 Elm St., West Haven, at 5:30 p.m. Testify in person about what this rate hike will mean to you! You can also write to PURA at 10 Franklin Square, New Britain, CT 06051, or send an email to [email protected].
There will also be a Zoom hearing on Friday, Feb. 16 at noon. The schedule for the docket is available on PURA’s website portal.ct.gov/pura. For additional public hearings on the proposed rate hike, call 800-382-4586 or email [email protected].
For questions about the proposed rates, the public hearing, or how to submit comments on the application, contact PURA at 800-382-4586 or [email protected].
by Nora Wyrtzen, Endowment Justice Coalition
On Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, 175+ Yale students and allies shut down and occupied the College St./Grove St. intersection, a central traffic hub on Yale University’s campus, for nearly two hours.
Organizers of the action are demanding that Yale Corporation immediately divest Yale’s endowment from war and weapons manufacturing in light of the ongoing genocide in Gaza….
Friday’s demonstration was part of an extensive student mobilization on campus in response to the Corporation’s closed-door conversations.
Following are excerpts from Yale Daily News article by Ben Raab, Dec. 1, 2023
More than 20 demonstrators gathered outside Woodbridge Hall early Friday morning to tape a 60-foot banner to the building’s front door and call for the Yale Corporation — the University’s principal governing body — to divest Yale’s endowment from weapons manufacturers.
The banner read “Yale Corp Divest From Weapons” and was rolled out over the steps and onto the building’s walkway. It displayed the names of thousands of Palestinians who have been killed in Gaza during the Israel-Hamas war.
Demonstrators stood in front of the building with signs reading “Divest Now!” and “Yale Divest.” One banner read “It’s Your Yale. They’re Your Bombs….”
The demonstration also comes on the morning of the Yale Corporation’s scheduled visit to campus for meetings that will last through the weekend….
On Nov. 2, University President Peter Salovey told the News that the University is “revisiting” its policy on weapons manufacturing under the University’s ethical investment framework. In 2018, Yale divested from assault weapons retailers, citing violence in communities across America. …
Since Thursday night, community members have sent over 600 letters to the Corporation calling for divestment from all weapons manufacturing via an online campaign sponsored by the Endowment Justice Coalition. …
[For links and the full YDN article: https://yaledailynews.com/blog/2023/12/01/students-call-for-yale-corp-to-divest-from-weapons-manufacturers-in-front-of-woodbridge-hall]
by C. D. Carlson and Jahmal Henderson
December 14, 2023 NEW HAVEN, Conn.—Solidarity and joy filled the air, along with a determination to continue the struggle for justice, at the 2023 People’s World Amistad Awards held in New Haven on Dec. 10. Under the theme, “It’s an ‘Enough is Enough’ Moment—Time to Organize,” a diverse crowd of union and community leaders, grassroots activists, elected officials, and youth from across Connecticut came together at the annual event, which also marks the anniversary of the Communist Party’s founding….
Barbara Vereen and Ken Suzuki, leaders of Local 34, announced the 40th anniversary celebration of their union. Paul Seltzer, a leader of Local 33, announced to a standing ovation that the 3,000-member graduate workers union just signed a tentative agreement with the university for its first contract after a 30-year organizing effort.
[For an article on Local 33 and the new agreement: yaledailynews.com/blog/2023/12/08/local-33-and-yale-reach-historic-tentative-agreement]
The Amistad Awards bear the symbolic name of the 50 men of the Amistad … who broke their chains, fought their captors, and seized their freedom … and affirmed their freedom in a legal battle that reached the Supreme Court, a result of the Black and white unity forged in their defense.
In this spirit, the awardees are chosen because they embody solidarity against the politics of hate, bigotry, and division while embracing bold solutions to transform our country and put people, peace, and planet before profits.
The three working-class champions honored this year for their achievements and hard-fought struggles for dignity, unity, and solidarity were State Sen. Gary Winfield, Stacie Harris-Byrdsong, President of AFSCME Council 4, and Luis Luna, coalition manager of Husky 4 Immigrants….
Renowned jazz drummer and reggae percussionist Pheeroan akLaff and his band kept the energy upbeat during the event with lyrics calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and no war….
Following the awards presentation, event attendees stood in solidarity with members of the Blake Street Tenants Union, who revealed the fantastic results of their organizing, which has forced mega-landlord Ocean Management in New Haven to stop eviction proceedings, recognize the union, and negotiate a contract, now being finalized, that governs rent increases and protections. The Connecticut Tenant Union said they are organizing renters across the state….
Each awardee provided warnings from their organizations that the working class is confronting a period of fascist danger….
The event opened and closed with a call for a ceasefire in the ongoing Israeli war on Palestine, with those in attendance signing postcards to Congress demanding a ceasefire.
[Read the full article here: peoplesworld.org/article/peoples-world-amistad-awards-honor-connecticut-fighters-for-justice-and-solidarity/]
[For a video of the full event: www.facebook.com/CTPeoplesWorld/videos/338322185614918.]