‘This Is Our Continent’: ULA Honors Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Green

by Noel Sims, New Haven Independent, Oct. 13, 2022

“Our people live without borders,” John Lugo said in Spanish to a small crowd gathered on the corner of Church and Chapel to celebrate both migrants and indigenous people who call this land home.

Noel Sims Photo

Noel Sims Photo

That was the scene Wednesday afternoon during an Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebration hosted by the local immigrant rights advocacy group Unidad Latina en Acción.

As Lugo spoke, smoke from sage burning at an altar set up in front of the Bennett Memorial Fountain wafted through the air. Among the group listening intently to his words were women in traditional Mexican and Guatemalan garb, young children, and a few curious passersby walking across the Green. Lugo, who helms ULA, welcomed family, friends and neighbors to join in a celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

The rally wasn’t the only celebration of native people and culture that was held on the Green Wednesday. On the Elm Street side, a second group led by longtime local activist and Indigenous Peoples’ Day event organizer Norm Clement gathered for a separate ceremony. (City government, meanwhile, now recognizes the second Monday of October not as Columbus Day or as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, but instead as Italian Heritage Day.)

According to a flyer passed out by organizers, the ULA event had an additional purpose: to criticize a lack of action by Democrats and other elected officials to make pathways for migrants to stay in the United States.

Oct. 12 has long been recognized and celebrated in this country as the date that the Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus first arrived in the Americas. On Wednesday, Lugo recognized the date as an anniversary of something much different than a first encounter between two cultures. He described it instead as the beginning of violence and genocide of Indigenous people on this continent. He said today’s immigration policies are a continuation of that violence.

[Read the entire article at www.newhavenindependent.org/article/indigenous_peoples_day_2?fbclid=IwAR2uW49HA6S6d6ZV7Eu1edDDFdjYK9sCXX7rU9eXvn_u22cF_thCLYdnXA]

 

 

May Day! Sunday, May 1, 12-6 p.m. New Haven Green

by Unidad Latina en Acción

United we are powerful! This May Day we are inviting all struggles to join us on the New Haven Green. It’s time to work together so that another world is possible:

  • Immigration reform now
  • Recovery for all
  • More money for education
  • Abolish solitary confinement
  • No to war
  • No to wage theft

Participate, so we can have a great May Day!!!

SUNDAY, MAY 1, 12 – 4 p.m. – Music, food, speakers, kids’ activities, and more!
4–6 p.m. — March for our rights!

Contact 203-606-3484, https://ulanewhaven.org, facebook.com/ULANewHaven.

Planning for May Day Has Begun!

by Rosalba Montoya Gaviria and John Lugo, ULA

Unidad Latina en Acción is preparing for May 1st (International Workers Day) and we want to count on each one of you. Current plans include a march starting from the New Haven Green at noon and a 4 p.m. rally at Yale. This is a statewide event. There is a connection between immigration reform and the climate emergency, which creates refugees and draws people to the U.S. because they are displaced due to their activism in their own countries. Change comes only when the people force politicians to do the right thing.

For anyone wishing to be part of May Day planning, email melinda.tuhus@gmail.com and put “MAY DAY” in the subject line. Please join our meetings Saturdays at 3 p.m. and Mondays at 7 p.m. at New Haven Peoples Center, 37 Howe St. and on Zoom: us02web.zoom.us/j/78915076091

Thanks again for all your help, United We Are Stronger!

Rosalba Montoya Gaviria
203-981-4023

Groups Ask Rep. DeLauro to Withdraw Aid for Police Brutality in Colombia

by Megan Fountain, Unidad Latina en Acción 

On May 10, the Colombian community and organizations Unidad Latina en Acción (ULA), Colombian Action CT, and Black and Brown United in Action visited the offices of Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro to deliver a letter asking her to stop military aid in the wake of 39 killings of civilians by Colombian forces.

Since April 28, Colombians have been on strike after the government announced tax reform that would raise the cost of living of the middle class and poorest sectors who were already devastated by the COVID crisis. Four days into the protests, the government withdrew the reform. However, the protests continued since the demands were much more: mass vaccination, economic aid to the poorest, demilitarization of the country, and dismantling of riot police forces.

In ten days of protest, human rights organizations have documented 49 protesters killed, 37 of them by state forces; 548 disappeared; 963 people arbitrarily detained; 12 victims of sexual violence by state forces; and 278 wounded, including 28 shot in the eyes, by Colombian forces.

The weapons, tanks, and training come from the United States, paid for by U.S. taxpayers. Colombia is one of the top 10 recipients of U.S. military aid, following countries including Afghanistan, Israel, and Iraq.

Connecticut residents asked Rosa DeLauro to raise her voice and join with her colleague, James P. McGovern (MA-02), who said, “I am deeply disturbed by the brutal Colombian National Police (PNC) response to peaceful protests over the weekend. This is part of a disturbing pattern of excessive use of force, killings and human rights violations against protestors in Nov. 2019, Sept. 2020 and April-May 2021… Peaceful protest and freedom of expression must be respected everywhere. U.S. aid to the PNC needs strong human rights protections and conditions. We should apply Leahy Law. No U.S. aid to Colombian riot control police that engage in gross human rights violations.”

“We hope that our congresswoman will use her influence and help us recruit more colleagues here in the state of Connecticut,” said John Lugo of ULA Connecticut. “We also asked her for an urgent meeting with the recently formed Committee of Solidarity with the Strike in Colombia, so that she can hear directly from the Colombian community and understand the gravity of the moment. In the past we applauded her when she voted against military aid in the 2000s.”

Unidad Latina en Acción, 37 Howe St, New Haven, CT 06511, (203) 606-3484 or (203) 479-2959
https://ulanewhaven.org.

Vigil Honors Lives Lost to COVID in New Haven

by Megan Fountain, Unidad Latina en Accíon

In a vigil to commemorate one year of the COVID crisis, on March 22 the immigrant organization Unidad Latina en Acción (ULA), along with Black & Brown United in Action, and Hamden Action Now remembered 186 lives lost in New Haven, including two of their loved ones, Nora Garcia and Ignacia Teniza.

photo: Frank Panzarella

To the crowd of sixty people, ULA announced a Rental Relief Fund and called for an economic recovery for immigrants. ULA released a report documenting the needs of their community and the urgent demand for an economic recovery to include immigrants. Since the pandemic began, ULA has mobilized nearly a dozen car caravans to the state capitol and governor’s mansion calling for COVID relief for “essential” undocumented workers, who have been excluded from unemployment insurance and federal stimulus payments.

While US Congress has failed to provide any relief to undocumented workers, the state of Connecticut last week launched UniteCT, a $235 million rental assistance program that is open to all residents regardless of immigrant status. At the same time, the state legislature is considering Senate Bill 956, which would open Husky health insurance to immigrants. The rental assistance fund comes after ULA and partner organizations negotiated for nearly one year with the Connecticut Department of Housing and distributed $2.5 million in a pilot program.

“Today as we remember Nora and Ignacia and the 186 lives lost in our city, we will call for a new day in Connecticut, when healthcare and economic security will be a right for all of us, not just for a few of us,” said John Jairo Lugo, Community Organizing Director of ULA.  “As we mourn the dead, we must denounce the deadly racial and economic inequities in this state, and we must fight for the living by creating a recovery for all that includes undocumented workers and families.”

For more information: Megan Fountain, (203) 479-2959, megan@ulanewhaven.org.

To Our Readers

In the past three months, thousands of people in the New Haven area have been out in the streets. Black Lives Matter New Haven, People Against Police Brutality, Unidad Latina en Acción, CT Bail Fund, Ice the Beef, Social Justice Collaborative and the Semilla Collective are some of the organizations that have led protests, spoken out against police brutality, and demanded an effective civilian review board, removal of the Christopher Columbus statue, a moratorium on rent, as well as taken on many other issues of racial, social and economic justice. High school students, New Haven alders and other politicians, peace activists, elders and representatives of various places of worship have been supportive and/or part of this upsurge. Meetings and conferences have continued to take place through Zoom. Not even a pandemic can hold people back from the struggle for justice!

Much of this current organizing and networking is with a few days’ notice through e-mail and social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. As our newsletter is a month-ly, we suggest our readers go to the websites and Facebook pages of various groups to be notified directly of their quickly-planned events.

May Day 2020: International Worker Solidarity: COVID-19 and Beyond, Sunday, May 3, 3 p.m.

This year May Day, International Workers Day, comes in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. Come together in solidarity and unity for a special one-hour May Day 2020 Rally hosted by CT People’s World:

INTERNATIONAL WORKER SOLIDARITY: COVID-19 AND BEYOND

Sunday, May 3 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. via Zoom and phone.

Register here: us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_uEEDPXkeS4ybRusFhWFR9g

See on Facebook at May Day 2020: International Worker Solidarity: COVID and Beyond
Rally Program:
* Special Guest: Steve Noffke, UAW Local 600, Dearborn, Michigan
* Panel of Connecticut workers on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 and for workers rights
* Special slide show presentation of working-class struggles around the world
* Solidarity actions and demands
* Staying physically distant, but socially organized to put

People and Planet before Profits!
Register in advance:
us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_uEEDPXkeS4ybRusFhWFR9g
After registering, you will get a confirmation email with information about joining the rally.

Building the Power of Immigrants to Defend Labor, Civil, and Human Rights Since 2002

by Megan Fountain, Unidad Latina en Acción

When we fight… we win!  2019 highlights:

  • 20+ immigrants met with 26 New Haven alders… and we won a new sanctuary city executive order.
  • 9 immigrants produced 81 radio shows… and we activated hundreds of listeners to defend their rights.
  • 50+ immigrants produced an art exhibit and an original theater performance.
  • 100+ allies were trained by ULA in nonviolent direct action… and ULA mobilized 100s to keep ICE out of our neighborhoods and courts.
  • 60+ community meetings united 80+ families fighting deportations and workers’ rights cases.

ULA, 37 Howe Street, New Haven, CT 06511. (203) 606-3484, admin@ulanewhaven.org.

Visit our website at ulanewhaven.org for information on making a tax-deductible donation for our work.

Sanctuary Order Issued; New Law Sought

A month after immigration activists heckled her at a rally, Mayor Toni Harp surprised them Wednesday night by announcing a new sanctuary-style executive order to protect the legal rights of the undocumented.

Activists praised the move — and called on the Board of Alders to take the next step by passing a law to make official New Haven’s status as a “sanctuary city.”

Harp announced the executive order on City Hall’s steps Wednesday evening, in front of nearly 150 sign-carrying protestors who’d turned out for a rally organized by Unidad Latina en Acción (ULA) and New Haven Rising to call on the Board of Alders to pass the proposal to formally define New Haven as a “sanctuary city.”

Under the proposed legislation that alders are expected to take up soon, New Haven’s approach would be “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Arrest.”

Policies already require cops and teachers to follow most of those rules. Harp’s new executive order extends them to the rest of city government.

(Click here to download a copy of Harp’s executive order.)

Source: Sanctuary Order Issued; New Law Sought | New Haven Independent

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