Two Renowned Peace Leaders for this Year’s Gandhi Peace Award Oct. 30

by Mary Compton, Promoting Enduring Peace

The 38th presentation of the Gandhi Peace Award by the national organization Promoting Enduring Peace, located in New Haven, will honor two world renowned peace leaders, Kathy Kelly and Tom B.K. Goldtooth. The ceremony will be held at the United Church on the Green in New Haven, on Friday, Oct. 30, at 7 p.m.

The Gandhi Peace Award recognizes the outstanding contributions to world peace by its recipients.
Tom B. K. Goldtooth is Dine’ and Mdewakanton Dakota. He is the first Native American recipient to receive the Gandhi Peace Award. He is the national director of the Indigenous Environmental Network (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.”

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.

Tickets available at the door: $10; Students-Free

Advance tickets available online at www.pepeace.org

Contact: Mary Compton (203) 230-1312

gandhipeaceaward.org

Listen Here! Classic Short Stories Read Live

by Bennett Graff, 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. that explores the background, meaning, and dramatic interpretation of that night’s stories. Also, freshly baked cookies — a different batch at each reading — and tea are available. $5 suggested admission. Join us every 3rd Tuesday of the month at the Institute Library, 847 Chapel St, New Haven. Our next reading will be October 20. Our theme is “Holding on for Dear Life.” Our stories: “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner and “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson. Please note that the Institute Library is one flight up and unfortunately not wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit us at www.institutelibrary.org.

Nonviolent Direct Action Training for Climate Justice (Willimantic)

by Dan Fischer, Capitalism vs. Climate

Nonviolent direct action training will be held at the Covenant Soup Kitchen at 220 Valley Street in Willimantic, one Saturday in October (date not yet confirmed) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.. This is a training for people in Connecticut interested in taking direct action for climate justice this fall as part of Rising Tide North America’s Flood the System mobilization. #FloodtheSystem is a callout this fall to flood, blockade, occupy and shut down the systems that jeopardize our future! Read more about it here: floodthesystem.net.

The training is being organized by Capitalism vs. the Climate, a Rising Tide chapter.
Please register at goo.gl/forms/S4qHjDu36B. Share this event by emailing friends. The following agenda is subject to change based on feedback you provide us directly through the registration form. For specific questions about the training, please email dfischer@riseup.net.

Flood the System Training – What is Flood the System? What would an intersectional movement look like? Critique and strategic analysis. Offer the opportunity for participants to join in an existing Action Council or encourage them to start their own.

Introduction to Nonviolent Direct Action & Affinity Group Building – An introduction to the history of NVDA and implementation as well as examples of intersectionality within our community, affinity groups and their formation, consensus decision making, self-care and community care, action roles, and introduction to blockading.

Traditional Media and Social Media in Action – Training on how traditional media and social media intertwine with one another going into an action. How to create a media time line, write a press advisory and release, media action roles; how to use social media to amplify your action and create a narrative; online editing tools and social media logistics.

Continued Strategy & Research – This is an opportunity for participants to continue the conversation from the morning FTS Training and to transition into a workshop on strategy and research. Participants can talk about what they hope to see during Flood the System, how to build an intersectional movement leading into a discussion on choosing shared targets, research, and scouting.

SCSU Women’s Studies Program Events

by Alisha Martindale, Women’s Studies Program

The Women’s Studies Program of Southern Connecticut State University will host two events this month. They are free and open to all.

“He Hits Me the Normal Amount”: Confronting the Culture of Violence and Impunity in Nicaragua. This will be a presentation by Erendira Vanegas, Coordinator of the Women’s Prevention Program and the New Haven León Sister City Project. This event will be held Wednesday, September 30 from 1- 2 p.m. in Engleman Hall, B206 at 501 Crescent Street, New Haven 06515. Wheelchair Accessible.

It is co-sponsored by The Women’s Studies Program, The Department of World Languages and Literatures & The Multicultural Center. (203) 392-6133.

“Title IX and Campus Anti-Sexual Violence Movement”: An evening with Simona Sharoni, Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at State University of New York and Heather Turcotte, Professor of Political Science and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Connecticut. Thursday, October 15, 5 p.m. in Engleman Hall, B 121A&B, 501 Crescent Street, New Haven. Wheelchair Accessible.

Reception to follow. Sponsored by the Women’s Studies Program and SCSU Women’s Center. (203) 392-6133.

Announcing New Haven’s Energy Task Force and Environmental Advisory Council

by Paula Panzarella, Energy Task Force

Since this past March, a number of New Haven residents and representatives of environmental organizations have been meeting once a month to develop an Energy Task Force (ETF). On Sept. 21, the New Haven Board of Alders unanimously approved the creation of an Environmental Advisory Council (EAC). Once the EAC is developed, it is hoped the ETF will be empowered to 1) become the expert on all aspects of the production, use and conservation of energy in New Haven, 2) evaluate the best methods for all segments of the city to become energy efficient and carbon neutral as quickly as possible, 3) inform the administration, Board of Alders and residents on these issues and 4) propose, encourage and evaluate actions to achieve the goals of energy efficiency and end our reliance on fossil fuels as quickly as possible.

Until then, programs that ETF members have been working on include popularizing solar power and the different programs that make it affordable for low-income communities and others; working with the City and State legislature to have more clean energy and energy-efficient programs in place; and networking with Energy Task Forces in other CT towns and businesses and organizations that promote clean energy to discuss how their successes may work in New Haven.

For more information, you can e-mail newhavenenergytaskforce@gmail.com, or phone Annie Harper at (203) 668-1213, or Paula and Frank Panzarella at (203) 562-2798.

A Doorbell Would Be a Nice Touch | Joe Luciano

by Joe Luciano, Founder, Disability Rights Action Group of CT

Seymour’s inaccessible post office continues to be unresponsive to its customers with disabilities unable to climb the mountainous steps to its public lobby.

Channel 8 News and the New Haven Register covered the May 13 rally to bring attention to the postmaster’s refusal to provide equal access to customers with disabilities. (The post office facility at 91 Main St. has a long steep staircase at its entrance with no ramp, lift, or other means for persons with limited mobility to get inside. For years, customers with disabilities used a service ramp at the rear of the building but the postmaster suddenly shut it down.)

The USPS valley supervisor established only one way for handicapped customers to obtain service: customers must telephone a “dedicated” number to request sidewalk service. This is unacceptable: there is no sign with instructions visible to arriving customers; the number is not publicized; this does not work for people without cell phones or unable to use one; the sidewalk area is hazardous; and the dedicated number is not dedicated; it’s the general number, often busy.

“The Postmaster is hiding behind the letter of the ADA, ignoring the fact that the USPS is required by Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act to make its services accessible to customers with disabilities,” said Marc Anthony Gallucci, Executive Director of the Center for Disability Rights.

Disability Rights Action Group  has sent multiple requests to local and federal USPS officials asking, in the very least, for a door bell and signage telling the handicapped how to obtain service. No USPS official has responded to DRAG’s requests, in keeping with their customer service attitude.

PAR readers interested in joining our next rally should email their contact information to DRAGconnecticut@yahoo.com.

Standing Up for Women’s Health and Women’s Lives Sept. 30

by Megan Fountain, NH León Sister City Project

Join us for a conversation with Erendira Vanegas, who is visiting from León, Nicaragua, and Gretchen Raffa, advocacy director at Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. This is a critical time to stand up for women’s health and women’s lives. In 2008, Nicaragua made abortion a crime punishable by jail, even in the case of rape or of risk to a woman’s life.

In 2015, Connecticut marks the 50th anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court decision that legalized birth control after Planned Parenthood director Estelle Griswold was jailed for providing birth control. Yet women’s lives are at risk now more than ever because of attacks on women’s health, like the recent vote to defund Planned Parenthood.

Join New Haven León Sister City Project and Planned Parenthood to hear the untold stories of an international movement and find out how you can get involved locally and internationally!

For more info, contact Megan at (203) 479-2959 or mfountain@newhavenleon.org.

PAR Articles and Calendar Items Due Sunday, September 20

Dear PAR Contributors-

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?

The deadline for the October Progressive Action Roundtable Newsletter is Sunday, September 20. Please send in to this e-mail address – parnewhaven@hotmail.com – articles about your group’s recent and current activities and upcoming actions and events.

We are asking everyone to limit her/his article to 350 words. Be sure to indicate your name and organization as they should appear in your byline.

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

IMPORTANT: Don’t neglect to add your organization’s contact information such as phone number, e-mail address or website, so our readers can get more information about what your group is doing.

If you haven’t written recent articles for PAR, please include information about your group’s purpose. Do not use different fonts or sizes in your article.

About calendar items:
If you mention an event in an article, please also send a SEPARATE calendar announcement.
Please give street addresses for any events or meetings, even for “well-known” public buildings.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please indicate whether your event location is wheelchair accessible.
You can also send us SAVE THE DATE items about future events, even if you do not yet have all the details in place.

The Newsletter will come out approximately Saturday, October 31. Please consider this when submitting calendar items.

Here are other suggestions about submitting copy to the PAR Newsletter:
1. If you ask or encourage new groups to submit articles or calendar items to PAR, please give them a copy of these tips.
2. Submit copy by e-mail, either as regular text or as an MS Word or attachment (.doc or .docx).
3. If you are a first-time author for the PAR Newsletter, thank you! We hope you will subscribe and encourage others in your organization to do so.
4. If you know of someone who wants to write an article but does not use e-mail, send an e-mail to us with that person’s name and phone number or call Paula at (203) 562-2798.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT INSERTS:
We prefer to carry articles and calendar listings rather than inserts. But if you have an insert to include in the Newsletter, we ask you to send the information contained in the flyer to this e-mail address as well so that it can be easily added to the PAR calendar.

Your organization must make and pay for the inserts. We will be able to handle only those inserts that are a full sheet (8.5 x 11) or half-sheet (8.5 x 5.5) of paper. We cannot accept postcards or cardstock flyers. There is a fee of $7 for inserts.

Please call Mary at (203) 387-7858 if you want an insert in the next newsletter.

E-mail us if you’d to join our monthly planning meetings or help with the mailings. We always welcome more helpers and new ideas!

Many thanks! We’re looking forward to your articles!

Thank you for your help in creating this community newsletter

– PAR Planning Committee

To renew your own subscription or to buy a subscription for a friend, the rate is $13 for 10 issues. Please make the check out to PAR and mail it to
PAR, P.O. Box 995, New Haven, CT 06504

This issue of PAR is dedicated to Anne Somsel and John Hiller

This issue of PAR is dedicated to Anne Somsel and John Hiller, two exceptional New Haven people who passed on in August. Anne was active in many peace, solidarity and justice groups that bridged borders between nations and classes. Her kindness was known by most of our local PAR readers.

anne-somselAnne Elizabeth Somsel, 63, of New Haven, passed away Aug. 6, 2015 in Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale. She was the beloved wife of Stephen Vincent Kobasa. Born in Dayton, Ohio on June 10, 1952, she was the daughter of Clarence Somsel, M.D. and Rita Kessler, one of seven sisters. She held degrees in nursing from the College of Mt. St. Joseph in Cincinnati and Arizona State University. She pursued her vocation in many communities, including the Hospital California in Comalapa, Guatemala; the Frontier Nursing Service in Hyden, Kentucky; the Migrant Health Project in Dover, Delaware and for 29 years at the Fair Haven Community Health Center. Most recently, she was Director of Public Health Nursing for the City of New Haven. For several years, she has served as a Eucharistic Minister at St. Thomas More Chapel at Yale. Besides her husband, she is survived by two daughters, Clare Marie Kobasa and Rachel Becket Kobasa; her sisters, Joan, Jane, Michelle, Peggy and Katie; and her brother-in-law, Paul Kobasa. Gifts in Anne’s honor may be made to Breast Cancer Action, 657 Mission St., Suite 302, San Francisco, CA. 94105. or to Partners in Health, P.O. Box 845578, Boston, MA 02284-5578.

john-hillerJohn R. Hiller of New Haven died on Saturday, August 15 at Yale New Haven Hospital.

John was active in many local labor, peace and environmental organizations, and was an editor during the early years of the PAR newsletter and continued to be on our mailing committee. The PAR Planning Committee sends condolences to Anne’s husband Stephen Kobasa and their daughters Clare and Rachel, and to John’s wife Marge and their daughters Asa and Illa, and Illa’s husband Charles.

He was the husband of Marge Morann Hiller of New Haven and the father of Asa Paradis of Wallingford and Illa Hiller (husband Charles Tirrell) of Northford. He was the brother of Carol Holloman of Hamden and the grandfather of Clara Margery Hughes. John was born in Chicago on July 23, 1941, a son of Cletus and Mabel Beery Hiller. He resided in New Haven for the past 50 years, coming from Chicago. He worked for the New Haven Parks Department for more than 30 years. After retiring, he was a lifeguard and taught swimming for many years. With his daughters, he was very involved with the Girl Scouts of America.

Read the Obituary and view the Guest Book, leave condolences or send flowers. | SOMSEL, ANNE E. Anne Elizabeth Somsel, 63, of New Haven, passed away Aug. 6, 2015 in Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale. She was the beloved wife of Stephen Vincent Kobasa. Born in Dayton, Ohio on June

Source: ANNE ELIZABETH SOMSEL’s Obituary on NHRegister.com

 

Read the Obituary and view the Guest Book, leave condolences or send flowers. | HILLER, JOHN R. John R. Hiller of New Haven died on Saturday, August 15 at Yale New Haven Hospital. He was the husband of Marge Morann Hiller of New Haven. He was the father of Asa Paradis of

Source: JOHN R. HILLER’s Obituary on NHRegister.com

ACT to Get Congress to Support the Iran Agreement

by Henry Lowendorf, Greater New Haven Peace Council

Prompt action is needed to move Senator Blumenthal to support the Iran agreement and to counter the opposition he is hearing from constituents. At least $20 million is being spent by AIPAC to oppose the agreement. Specific actions are proposed below. A Senate vote will take place in early September.
In a meeting Aug. 10, Blumenthal said he will vote for or against the Iran agreement based only on facts. He’s still gathering them. Blumenthal states he will take a course to avoid war. He says he is listening to his constituents – and to his credit he spent an hour with our delegation.

We don’t have to be disarmament experts to readily see that the President is right: either we accept this agreement or we will see Israeli and US war hawks pushing for an attack on Iran. They have been calling for a war on Iran for decades. The war hawks disliked the agreement before it was signed, before they saw it, before it was negotiated. In Congress. This bellicosity comes largely, but not exclusively, from Republicans, who also want to sink anything progressive coming from the Obama White House. They are bombarding our representatives with calls to stop the Iran Agreement.

Whatever we think of the Iranian government and its policies, Iran consistently every year since 1974 has called for a nuclear-weapons free Middle East. The US, Israel and a very few allies have opposed such a zone. Currently only Israel and the US have nuclear arsenals in the region.

The intelligence and disarmament agencies state that Iran has no nuclear weapons program. Iran’s clerical leaders have continually stated that possessing nuclear weapons is a sin. For over 200 years Iran has attacked no other country. The same cannot be said for the US or Israel.

The peace agreement, a diplomatic success, is the surest way to prevent another escalation of war in the Middle East. The war hawks want diplomacy to fail. If a policy of diplomacy rather than war is to be given a chance, then we must support this agreement. 29 nuclear physicists, including 4 Nobel laureates, wrote Obama supporting the agreement. Ambassadors, world leaders and the UN support it. HELP this peace agreement. Call Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s office to support the agreement: (860) 258-6940. Urge friends to do so. We must not miss this chance to prove diplomacy works.

Say NO! to Spectra Energy’s Fracked-Gas Pipeline Expansion

by Dan Fischer, Capitalism vs. the Climate

vic-lancia-spectraNorth Windham, CT —  In celebration of his 75th birthday today, Middletown resident Vic Lancia locked himself to two giant “birthday cakes” — actually concrete-filled barrels decorated with candles and frosting — on the sole road leading up to a site where Spectra Energy stores construction equipment and materials for use across Connecticut. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reports posted at capitalismvsclimate.org confirm what local residents have seen: Spectra trucks regularly using the facility to expand fracking infrastructure.

By blocking Spectra workers from accessing the site, Vic aimed to disrupt Spectra’s ongoing construction of its “AIM Project,” a billion-dollar fracked-gas pipeline expansion affecting communities across the state.

“It’s simple,” Vic explained. “Capitalism and the burning of fossil fuels are destroying our beloved and beautiful planet, the habitat for all humanity and life, all for profit and convenience. Isn’t it time to resist? Do we not care for our children, the generations beyond our lives, and for life itself?”

After blocking the entrance to the site for over two hours, Vic negotiated with the police and unlocked. Vic wasn’t arrested, and he got to keep the concrete “birthday cakes.”

Vic is a member of Capitalism vs. the Climate, a horizontally-organized, Connecticut-based group that takes direct action against the root causes of the climate crisis. About ten other members and supporters joined Vic, sharing chocolate cake and waving balloons. Beneath the festivities, however, they expressed outrage at Spectra’s pipeline expansion.

“Spectra’s pipeline expansion is catastrophic in many ways. It creates incentives for fracking in the shale fields. It transports highly flammable gas just one-hundred feet from a nuclear power plant in New York, potentially endangering tens of millions of people. It accelerates global warming, since fracked gas has an even higher impact on the climate than coal does,” said Willimantic resident Roger Benham.

Please share the Facebook meme: //on.fb.me/1WGLJFV

Donate to cover “cake” ingredient costs: bit.ly/CVC-Action

Photos at capitalismvsclimate.org.

Showing Up for Racial Justice

by Jennifer Griffith, SURJ

In the mid-century struggle for civil rights, white anti-racist activist Anne Braden worked in alliance with African American leaders and later expressed that “the battle is and always has been a battle for the hearts and mind of white people in this country. The fight against racism is not something we’re called on to help people of color with. We need to become involved as if our lives depended on it because, in truth, they do.” In the past two years, we have collectively witnessed painful reminders that we do not live in a post-racial society. Today, as we experience a resurgence in activism against racism on a structural and individual level, white people are called to join these critical efforts again.

Alicia Garza, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, asserts: “We need you defecting from White supremacy and changing the narrative of White supremacy by breaking White silence.”

With this call to action in mind, Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), “a national network of groups and individuals organizing White people for racial justice,” will be holding its first planning meeting for the New Haven-area affiliate. This meeting will bring together local organizers, activists, educators, and concerned people who want to get involved in a larger community with racial justice as its primary goal. SURJ prioritizes ongoing relationships with local and national People of Color (PoC) activist groups focusing on police brutality, workers’ rights, and other racial justice issues. To maintain accountability, stay informed, and plan aligning efforts, the first meeting will identify current and potential connections within the local activist community. While promoting accountability, SURJ also strives to “call in, not call out” and to offer support to people at different experience levels.

In addition to the New Haven-area group, CT SURJ will also have a Hartford-based group, which is currently planning a film screening and a door-knocking campaign in the fall. For more information about SURJ in general, go to http://www.showingupforracialjustice.org.

For questions about the upcoming meeting and the New Haven-area affiliate, contact Jennifer Griffiths, jennifergriffiths68@gmail.com. For Hartford-area inquiries contact Cathy Rion Starr, crionstarr@uuma.org.

Learning Democracy

by Mary Johnson, Coalition for People

On Monday, Sept. 21, Coalition for People is hoping PAR readers and all others who are alarmed by the increasing loss of democracy in this nation and who want to reverse it will join us in that effort. We meet in the lower level of New Haven’s main library at the corner of Temple and Elm Streets at 5:45 p.m. You will find us in the northwest (rear left) corner.

Even though we think we should focus on New Haven and its schools (Pre-K to 12) as a start, some of you may want to start in other towns. The possibilities are great and we believe that sharing ideas, plans and energy can be achieved. We all realize that this project will take a long time. (The simple return of the bus stops in New Haven took 12 years.)

Back in the 1930s, 7th graders in New Haven not only learned about the infrastructure of the government on all levels and how they were supposed to work, but they began to understand the concept of democracy by exposure to the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence. We can go beyond that.

If you welcome this challenge or are just curious, let us know if you and/or friends can come on Monday, Sept. 21 at 5:45 p.m. We can be reached at (203) 387-7858 or at coalitionforpeople@hotmail.com.

Environmental Videos on Your Computer

by Judi Friedman, PACE

Enjoy the wonderful work of Connecticut Environmental SUPERSTARS discussing issues with People’s Action for Clean Energy!

Go to www.nutmegTV.org. At the top of the page click on VIDEO ON DEMAND. In the space “Title Contains” write PACE and click on SEARCH. Scroll down.

Interviews include Paul Gunter of Beyond Nuclear, Bernie Zahren of Clean Feet Investors, Jeffrey Macel of Lodestar Energy, Bill Freeman and Alicia Dolce of Celebration Contracting, Chris Phelps of Environment Connecticut, John Humphries of The Connecticut Roundtable On Climate Change and Jobs, Mike Trahan of Solar Connecticut, and Bob Wall of the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund and The Green Bank.

PACE applauds these fine people doing critical and difficult work to improve the health, safety and economic welfare of all our Connecticut population. Please let us know if you would like copies of these programs for your local cable stations. Email Judi Friedman at jfriedeco@aol.com.

Also PACE President Tim Bowles is discussing PACE issues on WHPX-TV Public Affairs TV show For the Record. Once the show is aired you can go to Google.com and type ftrctri in the search to see recent shows. www.pace-cleanenergy.org.

International Day of Peace — Sunday, Sept. 20

by Frank Panzarella, board member, WRNSC

The West River neighborhood has been home to the United Nations dedicated peace garden for many years. The community has taken to heart its role and every year has sponsored an International Day of Peace Festival.

Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015 will see the 10th anniversary celebration and it will be a great day. All New Haven peace groups are urged to participate with tables or just come by and help make the day a success for all of New Haven. Contact Frank Panzarella for more information and to set up a table at (203) 562-2798 or by emailing frankpanzarella@hotmail.com.

A full day of activities will start at noon and run until 5 p.m. with music by Boogie Chillun, I.N.I.T.Y., free food, meditation, health screenings, activities for young people and much more.

The Nation Drill & Drum team will perform as well as Kode Red, poet Baub Bidon and singer Samantha Boisvert and statements will be read by clergy and community leaders.

The day is sponsored by the West River Neighborhood Services Corporation with help from Yale New Haven Health, Yale University, Continuum of Care and others.

In case of rain, the event will be held Sept. 27.

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