Monday, September 15, 2008

Sept. 15, 2008, Activist Newsletter

Sept. 15, 2008, Issue #139

Editor's Note

1. The Part 1 news and articles portion of the Hudson Valley Activist Newsletter will be emailed later in the month. Included will be a geopolitical analysis of the Georgia events, focusing on U.S.-Russia relations; a survey of U.S.-Latin America relations in view of the elections and the Bush Administration's latest efforts to subvert progressive governments in the region; a full account of the crisis in Bolivia; and a look at the presidential campaign, among other articles.

2. There seem to be fewer activist events than usual from mid-September throughout October. Part of this is because in presidential election years liberal activists focus their efforts on electing Democrats to the exclusion of much else. But the antiwar movement has been fairly quiet as well, more so, it seems to us, than usual.

3. At the very end of this calendar is a special treat.


Wednesday, Sept. 17, POUGHKEEPSIE (Vassar College campus): The well-known British-Pakistani progressive intellectual Tariq Ali will deliver a public lecture on "The Deadly Triangle: The U.S., Pakistan and Afghanistan." He will speak on campus at 5 p.m. in Sanders hall, room 212. Enter at 124 Raymond Ave. Ali, an historian and a journalist associated with the UK's New Left Review, has just published the latest of his several books, titled "The Duel: Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Power." The event is sponsored by Vassar Green Party. Information,

Thursday, Sept. 18, PLEASANTVILLE: The 2008 documentary, "The New 'Selling of the
President' 2008," will be shown at 8 p.m. followed by a discussion with David Schwartz (Museum of the Moving Image), Allison Fine (author, Rebooting America), Micah Sifry (author, activist), and Steve Apkon (Jacob Burns Film Center). It will be an evening of political commercials and Internet clips from the Obama/McCain contest interspersed with conversation, speculation and interpretation. The venue is the Jacob Burns Film Center, 364 Manville Rd. Information, (914) 773-7663,

Friday, Sept. 19, PURCHASE: A discussion on "Access to Health Care:
Westchester & Putnam Counties" will last from 8:30-10-30 a.m. in the Performing
Arts Center, at Purchase College. Speaking will be Lillian Jones (Access to Health Care
Coalition), Rep Nita Lowey (D-NY), many others. Sponsors include American Cancer Society, BALCONY, Purchase College, United Way of Westchester & Putnam, Westchester Visiting Nurse Services, Westchester/Putnam AFL-CIO Central Labor Body, Westchester Community Foundation.

Friday, Sept. 19, NEW PALTZ: The documentary "Hacking Democracy" will be shown at the Elting Library, 93 Main St., at 8 p.m. The film demonstrates how election machines were rigged in Florida in 2000, the difficulty in obtaining information about such violations, and the ease of hacking into such voting systems, one type of which is approved for use in New York State. Public and free.

Saturday, Sept. 20, YONKERS: A forum on police brutality is to be held at the Yonkers Riverfront Library, 1 Larkin Ave., 12 noon-3 p.m. The sponsor is the Westchester chapter of Blacks in Law Enforcement. Information,

Saturday, Sept. 20, ALL OVER: Thousands of activists across the United States will be knocking on doors soliciting signatures for petitions to Congress to end the unjust, illegal war in Iraq and to bring the troops home within a year. Groups participating in the "Million Doors for Peace" campaign include Catholics United, Cities for Peace, CodePink, Democracy for the America,, Pax Christi USA, Peace Action, Progressive Accountability, Progressive Democrats of America, Organic Consumers Association, United for Peace & Justice, Voters for Peace, and Win Without War. The project has been initiated by and USAction Education Fund. For information and to participate, To view the petition,

Monday, Sept. 22, ALBANY: Today is a national day of action against health insurance companies and to promote a single payer healthcare solution. In the Capital District, meet in front of the NYS Insurance Department, 99 Washington Ave., 5-6 p.m. Sponsored by Hunger Action Network, Capital District Alliance for Universal Healthcare and the Solidarity Committee, HealthCare-NOW! Information, (518) 426-0883

Friday, Sept. 26, MILLBROOK: The disappearance of a substantial portion of the bee population in America is the topic of a discussion beginning at 7 p.m. David Hackenberg, former president of the American Federation of Beekeepers, will read from and comment upon author Michael Schacker's recent book "A Spring Without Bees: How Colony Collapse has Endangered our Food Supply." The free public event will be held at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Route 44A at 7 p.m. Sponsored by the institute and Merritt Books. Information (845) 647-6487,,

Saturday, Sept. 27, ALL OVER: Today is the National Day of Action to Stop War on Iran before it begins. Marches, rallies, teach-ins, and vigils will be held in up to 100 cities, according to the organizers, the Stop War On Iran Campaign. In NEW YORK CITY, activists will meet at 12 noon for a march at Times Square, 42nd St. and Broadway, a few blocks from Hudson Valley train and bus connections. In WAPPINGERS FALLS, participants in the weekly antiwar vigil will carry "No War in Iran" signs as part of the national action. This local event takes place 12 noon-2 p.m. at the intersection of Rts. 9 and 9D in Wappingers Falls, near the South Hills Mall and across from Staples. Other weekly vigils may also be dedicating this day t o Iran. Information,, For the Wappingers Falls vigil,,

Saturday, Sept. 27, ALBANY: Before he was elected president of Bolivia in December 2005 — the first indigenous president in all the Americas — Evo Morales was a union leader. The 2007 documentary Cocalero, which will be shown tonight at 7 p.m., focuses on "the union formed by Bolivian farmers in response to the Bolivian-U.S. government effort eradicate coca crops, and the man who would come to represent them." This free public event takes place at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Albany, 405 Washington Ave. Sponsored by the Solidarity Committee of the Capital District, Upper Hudson Peace Action, Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace. Information,, (518) 426-0883,

Sunday, Sept. 28, NEW YORK CITY: Animal rights activists may wish to travel to NYC today to take part in the Annual Farm Sanctuary Walk for Farm Animals, which has been organized in scores of cities. It's intended to raise both consciousness and funds. Vegan food provided by the Groovy Baker, live music, and guest speakers. Register at 10 a.m.; walk through Central Park begins at noon from Merchant's Gate, Columbus Circle (59th St.). Information and advance registration,,

Sunday, Sept. 28, BEACON: Clearwater's Annual Gathering from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. at the former University Settlement Camp, 724 Wolcott Ave. (Rt. 9D). Information, (845) 454-7673 and

Wednesday-Sunday, Oct. 1-5, WOODSTOCK, RHINEBECK AND ROSENDALE: The annual five–day Woodstock Film Festival will be held on these days at several locations. A full schedule of events and all the information you need is at this website: We will mention only one of the many films of interest to residents of the Hudson Valley, especially the Mid-Hudson region, who have experienced (or may soon experience) Lyme Disease from a deer tick bite. The title is "Under Our Skin," directed by Andy Abrahams Wilson and released this year. It will be at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck Oct. 4 at 3:30 p.m. It is described on the website, along with scores of other most interesting films.

Friday, Oct. 3, POUGHKEEPSIE: The wonderful 2007 documentary, "Pete Seeger: The Power of Song," will be shown tonight at 7:30 p.m. at The Muddy Cup, 305 Main St. It's public and free, sponsored by he Dutchess Peace Coalition. Information, (845) 876-7906,

Sunday, Oct. 5, NEW PALTZ: Brian Becker, the founder and leader of the nationwide ANSWER peace coalition, will speak tonight on the topic of sharply increasing world tensions, the U.S. elections and the American antiwar movement tonight at 6 p.m. Becker, who was arrested Sept. 12 at an event in front of the White House, has organized most of the largest peace protests during the Iraq-Afghan war period. The meeting will take place at New Paltz Village Hall on Plattekill Ave., one block south of Main St. (Rt. 299), a mile or so west of Thruway exit 18. (When you reach Starbucks corner, Plattekill Ave., turn south one block. It’s just past the firehouse on the right.) Park in the Village Hall parking lot. All are invited and it’s free. A potluck dinner begins at 5 p.m. for those who wish to partake. The meeting is sponsored by the Caribbean and Latin America Support Project, and strongly recommended by the Hudson Valley Activist Newsletter. Information and directions, (845) 255-5779 or email

Saturday, Oct. 11, BEACON: The third annual Dissident Folk & Arts Festival will hold forth tonight, 6-11 p.m. at The Howland Cultural Center, 477 Main St. The event "will feature a wide array of topical musicians, protest poets, radical theatre artists," including Bev Grant and the Dissident Daughters; alternative protest song group The Flames of Discontent; Michael Strong's Tribute to Bertolt Brecht; musician/activist Chris Ruhe and the vocalist Alvin Bell; and many others. Admission $8. Information, 845-831-4988,,

Saturday, Oct. 11, WOODSTOCK: Palestinian "Nakba" vigil 2:30-4 p.m.Village Green at 12 Tinker St. Sponsored by: Middle East Crisis Response. Information 845 876-7906. Information,,

Saturday, Oct. 18, YONKERS: A discussion on "Rethinking Race, Power and
Politics in Westchester County Through the Lens of Civil
Liberties" will take place 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at Yonkers Riverfront Library, 1 Larkin Center. Speakers David Billings and Ron Chisom will discuss the analysis of racism
developed by New Orleans-based People's Institute for Survival and
Beyond. There will be a light lunch.
Registration is required. Call (914) 682-4690. Information,

Saturday, Oct. 18, PITTSFIELD, MA: A day-long conference on "How To Prevent War On Iran AND On The U.S. Constitution" will be held at the Susan B. Anthony Lounge of Berkshire Community College. Pittsfield is only a few miles from New York's Colombia County, and a few more from Rensselaer County. There are two main speakers, among many others: (1) UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter, the man who insisted before the U.S. invasion that Iraq already got rid of its weapons of mass destruction. He will have just returned from a long trip to Iran. (2) Joseph Gerson, Program Director for the American Friends Service Committee in Cambridge, MA, who has written numerous books on global affairs and has traveled widely in the Middle East. There will be workshops and various small-group discussions throughout the day as well as plenary meetings. Admission for the day is $10, Seniors $8, Students $5. Registration takes place between 8:30-9 a.m. The sessions last from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The event is sponsored by Global Issues Resource Organization of Berkshire Community College, Berkshire Citizens for Peace and Justice and Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace. Lunch may be purchased in the cafeteria. Full details and directions, Information, Don Lathrop (518) 781-4681,, George Desnoyers, (413) 443-4298, and


Here's a link to a brief video of Gov. Sarah Palin's first rehearsal of the speech she made at the GOP Convention. It's titled "The Logic of Change'" and may be accessed at