Petition to the New Haven Board of Alders: Support a Ceasefire in Gaza

At least 30,000 Palestinians have been murdered by Israel in the last 3 months, including more than 10,000 children.

This ongoing genocide is supported by US military and with your tax money. $69,076,862 of Connecticut residents’ federal tax dollars are given annually to Israel. New Haven alone supplies $1,838,975 per year.

We call on our alders to pass an emergency resolution calling for:

  • an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza and the West Bank
  • unrestricted entry of immediate humanitarian aid into Gaza
  • an end to US funding of the violence done by the Israeli military & illegal settlements
  • release of all hostages including Palestinians arbitrarily detained by Israel
  • immediate restoration of electricity, water, food and medical supplies to Gaza
  • an end to the siege and blockade of Gaza
  • reaffirming our Board of Alders’ commitment to combat anti-Palestinian and anti-Arab racism, antisemitism and Islamophobia in all forms, and to ensure the dignity and safety of all its residents

35+ CITIES AND TOWNS ACROSS THE COUNTRY HAVE CALLED FOR A CEASEFIRE – INCLUDING BRIDGEPORT, CT

NEW HAVEN: IT’S YOUR TURN!

2024 Organic Vegetable Gardening Series

Advanced Certified Master Gardener Rachel Ziesk will return to Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven as the series instructor. This class series includes 6 sessions, and all classes are hybrid. Classes will be held on 2/3, 2/10, 2/17, 2/24, 3/2 and 3/9 (Saturdays) from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Gardeners of all experience levels are welcome.

  • Soils and Composting – 2/3/24
  • Cool Weather Crops – 2/10/24
  • Warm Weather Crops – 2/17/24
  • Garden Pests and Diseases – 2/24/24
  • Seed Starting, When and Where to Plant – 3/2/24
  • Essential Flowers & Herbs – 3/9/24

A Green Gift for the Gardener in Your Life: $35 for individual classes, $98 for all 6 classes.
We offer the classes to community gardeners for free with code “honor.”

Register via link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2024-nhs-of-new-haven-organic-vegetable-gardening-tickets-774407121547?aff=oddtdtcreator.

For more information, https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2024-nhs-of-new-haven-organic-vegetable-gardening-tickets-774407121547?aff=oddtdtcreator, or contact me: Junyi Wang (she/her/hers), Marketing Communications Manager, 203-562-0598 Ext. 212;  [email protected].

After Weeks of Telling Israel Not to Widen Gaza War, US Widens It to Iraq and Yemen

by Dave Lindorff, a 2019 “Izzy” winner who has written for Rolling Stone, NY Times, Nation, FAIR, Salon, London Review of Books.

Americans are finally getting sick of US warmongering. For weeks we’ve been reading articles and hearing broadcast reports about how the Biden administration, including President Biden himself and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, as well as US Ambassador to Israel Jacob Lew and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, have been warning Israel not to cause or allow the war on Gaza to spread across the borders of Israel and its occupied territories into other parts of the Middle East.

Suddenly, the US Navy ships based in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf, along with some British ships and planes (added no doubt to be able to call it a “coalition” effort), have hit suspected Houthi militia targets in Yemen, making it the US itself, not Israel, that is “expanding the war.”

This act of war, ordered by President Biden without so much as a consultation with Congress, where progressive Democrats and Republicans are expressing outrage, is doubly dangerous because the Houthi militia being pummeled by the US and Britain are allies or/and are supplied by Iran.

The US also rolled out another provocation — a rocket attack that killed the leader of a Hezbollah militia unit right in central Baghdad. As the headline over that story in the Washington Post put it: “US Strike in Baghdad Raises Specter of a Wider War.”

“Raises the specter,” indeed, and not just outside Israel’s and Palestine’s borders but potentially all the way across Europe and the Atlantic to the US.

Now, admittedly, the US has long dismissed the laws of war, at least when it comes to applying them to its own actions. But however cavalier Washington is about those laws, they are universal and they do say that when a country does violate them, using certain banned weapons for example, or invading a country that doesn’t pose an immediate threat to the attacker, the country that is the target of such violation has the right to respond in kind. So Americans ought to know that attacking a Hezbollah target who is under the protection of the Iraqi government in central Baghdad is actually inviting Iraq, the host country, or Hezbollah, the victim, to attack leaders in the US, either where its troops are based abroad (for example in Iraq) or in DC. Same goes for the US attacks on Houthi militia sites in Yemen. After enduring attacks against their forces and the Yemeni people by Saudi Arabia for years (with US-supplied weapons and direct assistance), the Houthis, at this point, are warning that “US interests” will now be retaliated against.

It’s easy to see how this kind of tit-for-tat, started by a hubristic USA leadership, could quickly spiral out of control. Suppose the Houthis were to launch an anti-ship missile and sink or heavily damage a US Navy vessel in the Persian Gulf…

For the rest of this article, please go to: https://thiscantbehappening.substack.com/p/after-weeks-of-telling-israel-not. For this and other articles: https://thiscantbehappening.substack.com.

Resisting the War on Gaza: An Appeal from the New Haven Sunday Vigil

Joan Cavanagh, vigil participant

We are witnessing, in real-time, ongoing genocide against the people of Gaza. It could not occur without US military aid and financial support. We urgently appeal to you to join the New Haven Sunday Vigil for Peace and Justice as part of your other efforts to end this atrocity.

The vigil began in May of 1999 as a project of the Connecticut Peace Coalition/ New Haven in response to the US bombing of Kosovo. Similar to the postal service before privatization, defunding, and DeJoy, we’ve vigiled most Sundays since, in sun, rain, snow and sleet, in temperatures ranging from several degrees below zero to 95 degrees above. Our message is simple: Resist this Endless War. By this we mean, resist our permanent state of war and preparations for it, overseas and at home.

Participant numbers have fluctuated from a “high” of 15 to 20 during the initial post-911 invasion of Afghanistan and the 2003 war on Iraq to a “low” of three to four in recent years. Occasionally, we’ve been told by a dismissive passerby that the US is “at peace.” Not exactly. Consider our ongoing nuclear weapons buildup; our drone bombings against many countries of the world; our “covert” operations and global regime change maneuvers; and our funding of wars conducted by client states. Consider our government’s war on poor and vulnerable populations to benefit a smaller and smaller number of global ultra-rich. Remember that these are ongoing, bipartisan issues.

When our regular vigil participants dwindled to a new low at the end of last summer, we figured we’d had a good run and considered ending it. Then came the terrible October 7 attack by Hamas on Israel, followed immediately by an orgy of collective punishment supported by US funds and materiel against civilians in Gaza. It has, as of this writing, taken the lives of over 25,000 people, an estimated two-thirds of whom are children.

We continue with more urgency than ever. We need your help. For more information about the content of the vigil and how to join, please call 203-668-9082 or contact [email protected] or  [email protected].

Climate Promise March and Rally in Hartford Feb. 2

by the Sierra Club CT

Calling All Earth Defenders, Justice Champions, and Activists for a Better Connecticut! Climate chaos is upon us and Connecticut is lagging behind on meaningful and equitable climate action. After a lackluster session in 2023, folks who care about the climate, the planet, and the well-being of all people in the state are coming together to plan on how to put pressure on our elected officials and regulatory agencies to Keep Connecticut’s Climate Promise. Focusing on issues like greenhouse gas reduction, clean energy, housing, job creation, and corporate responsibility, we will come together at the Old State House, 800 Main Street, at noon to march through Hartford on Feb. 2 and we will keep up pressure on the legislature throughout the 2024 session. We are hoping for an enormous turnout to remind the powers that be of who they work for and of our inalienable rights to a safe, healthy, and sustainable world.

For more information, please contact Ann Gadwah, Sierra Club CT at 860-733-2249, or [email protected]. Old State House, 800 Main Street, Hartford CT.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Celebration

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,

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Love March Jan. 15

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.

For further information, please call 203-776-8262, email [email protected], or visit www.smbcnh.org.

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, in his capacity as Amistad Committee President, welcoming the president of Sierra Leone to New Haven City Hall in 2019. Thomas Breen Photo.

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 poses with New Haven peace activist and Peace Council member Mary Compton at the Peace Day celebration at the Amistad Memorial statue outside New Haven City Hall Sept. 21, 2015. The statue was built thanks to his guidance and supervision. Marder is chairman of the Amistad Committee. (photo: cjzurcher)

Al Marder poses with New Haven peace activist and Peace Council member Mary Compton at the Peace Day celebration at the Amistad Memorial statue outside New Haven City Hall Sept. 21, 2015. The statue was built thanks to his guidance and supervision. Marder is chairman of the Amistad Committee.
(photo: cjzurcher)

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]

Milk Jug Winter Sowing Workshops

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.

24th Annual Women’s & Gender Studies Conference seeking proposals

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

Connecticut Using More Fracked Methane Gas to Power the State

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].

Southern CT Gas Proposed Rate Increase

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].

Students Call for Yale Corp to Divest from Weapons Manufacturers

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….

Illustration 1: Ben Raab photo

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]

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