Monday, December 7, 2009

12-7-9 Activist Calendar

ACTIVIST CALENDAR, Dec. 7, 2009, Issue #153
Of the Hudson Valley Activist Newsletter
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The Activist Newsletter's been delayed for another week because we've been tied up in organizing demonstrations. Our latest one was the Saturday, Dec. 5, "Snowstorm" protest in New Paltz against the escalation of the Afghanistan war. The storm began at 1:30 p.m. and the vigil-picket on Main St. began at 2 p.m. Despite the windy, cold, snowy, and miserable afternoon 40 people took part before the 4 p.m. closing. Some stayed the entire two hours, many for an hour or so before their hands froze. Spirits were quite good, and a lot of car horns were honked in approval. We wrapped our signs in transparent plastic sheeting, so they survived the storm and will be fit for duty for the next eight years of Afghan war protests. Thanks to all who took part. We'll try to arrange for a lightening storm at the next demonstration.

Enjoy the winter holidays friends. Activism through the region will pick up near the end of January, unless there's a new crisis earlier, as there was in late December last year.




Tuesday, Dec. 8, ALBANY: A number of healthcare vigils are taking place across the country today, initiated by MoveOn, with the title, "Cost of Delay Candlelight Vigil: Shine a Light on an American Tragedy!" Help "shine a light" on the number of Americans who cannot afford healthcare, while the Senate delays passing a meaningful bill. The Albany vigil will be stationed at Central Ave and Wolf Rd. at 5:30 p.m. Sponsored by Capital Region Council. Information (518) 393-8913, (518) 583-4326,,

Tuesday, Dec. 8, NEW PALTZ: Here's another Cost of Delay Healthcare Vigil (see above). It begins at 7 p.m. in front of the Elting Library at 93 Main St., diagonally across from Starbucks. Say the local organizers Linda and Barbara: "We are at the eleventh hour and a real health care reform bill with a public option is within reach. But Blue Dog Dems are now threatening to block any real reform. Meanwhile, people are losing their homes trying to pay for health care bills and others are suffering and dying because they have no insurance. Let's get out once more and let the government know that we demand a strong bill now. Please bring candles (must be in holders to prevent wax on the sidewalk). Bring signs (and we'll have some too) telling Congress we need a health care bill with a strong public option now!"

Tuesday-Thursday, Dec. 8-10, RHINEBECK: The documentary "Crude" will be screened at Upstate Films, 6415 Montgomery St. (Rt. 9), just north of the traffic light. This film documents the Amazon River oil spill by Chevron at the headwaters of the Amazon River. Much larger than the Exxon Valdez, Chevron's spills have been going on in this area for almost 30 years. Tens of thousands of lawsuits have been filed against the corporation. For times consult Admission is $7.50 for adults, $6.50 for seniors. Sponsored by Amazon Watch. Information, (917) 418-4133,,

Tuesday, Dec. 8, ALBANY: An Afghan-American woman, Fahima Vorgetts, discusses "Paths to Peace in Afghanistan: The Impact of the U.S. Military Presence" at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany, 405 Washington Ave. at 7 p.m. The speaker fled from Afghanistan in 1979, and travels back several times a year, working to improve the position of women in Afghan society. Rugs and crafts for sale to benefit women's projects in Afghanistan. Sponsored by Women Against War and the Social Responsibilities Council of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany. Information, (518) 426-0710,

Wednesday, Dec. 9, BEACON: A discussion, "Our Fight Against Global Warming," will be held at Bank Square Coffeehouse, 129 Main St., 7:30-8:30 p.m. Dr. Sacha Spector, Scenic Hudson's director of Conservation Science, will discuss what some of the latest climate change projections mean for the communities of the Hudson Valley, and what can be done to prevent negative impacts. Information, Anthony Coneski (845) 473-4440 ext. 273,

Thursday, Dec. 10, DELMAR: In conjunction with the recent 10th anniversary of the dramatic 1999 protests in opposition to the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle, there will be a screening tonight of the 98-minute 2007 film, "The Battle in Seattle." This free public showing starts at 6:45 p.m. at the Bethlehem Public Library, 451 Delaware Ave. The protest was in opposition to WTO trade regulations that harm developing nations. The film is a dramatization of the events that took place when tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Seattle for five days of protest outside the WTO Ministerial Meeting. A peaceful demonstration to stop the talks quickly escalated into a full-scale police riot, with a State of Emergency declared by the city's mayor. Following the showing, Brooke Newell of the N.Y. Citizens Trade Campaign will lead a discussion of the 2009 Trade Act. The event is sponsored by Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace. Information, (518) 466-1192,

Thursday, Dec. 10, OSSINING: A benefit consisting of a cultural evening with fashion, music and dance will take place at the Ossining High School Auditorium, 29 S. Highland Ave., 7-9 p.m. Fashions by Nime Jamal and Vershawn London will be shown, including cruelty-free and sweatshop-free clothing. The event will benefit a college fund for African-American and Latina women. Admission: $20/$10 for students. Sponsored by NY-based fashion designers and WESPAC Foundation. Information, (914) 449-6514,

Friday, Dec. 11, SARATOGA SPRINGS: A Climate Change vigil will take place in front of the Post Office, 475 Broadway, 6:30-7:30 p.m., to support the framework for an agreement at the Copenhagen Summit. Participants are encouraged to bring a candle and a sign. Information, (518) 587-2661.

Saturday, Dec. 12, BEACON: A candlelight walk and vigil in solidarity with the UN Climate Change Conference — taking place in Copenhagen Dec. 7-19 — will begin at 5:30 p.m. from the east end of Main St., across from City Hall. Participants will walk to the Howland Cultural Center at the west end of the street. The organizers advise: "Bring friends and family, candles or flashlights, and signs and leaflets, if you wish. And wear warm clothing." Sponsored by Mid-Hudson Progressive Alliance, Beacon Sloop Club, River Pool at Beacon, Philipstown for Democracy and Climate Crisis Coalition.

[REPEAT FROM LAST CALENDAR] Saturday, Dec. 12, WASHINGTON: An Emergency Rally Against Escalating the Afghan War will be conducted in Lafayette Park, across from the White House, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. The event has been called by more than 100 leading U.S. peace activists from most major national and regional antiwar organizations. Former Rep. Cynthia McKinney is a leading initiator of the event. In addition to McKinney, speakers include Sen. Mike Gravel, Kathy Kelly, Chris Hedges, David Swanson, Rev. Graylan Hagler, Gael Murphy, Coy McKinney, Debra Sweet, Brian Becker, Mathis Chiroux, Lynne Williams, Hon. Betty Hall, Elaine Brower, Marian Douglas, Dr. Michael Knox, Ralph Lopez, and ( Ret.) Capt. Ron Fisher. In addition there will be music by Jordan Page, Head-Roc, Emma's Revolution and Precise Science. We're told: "Rally organizers are calling for the left to end its support for Obama now that he has committed to a troop surge, and to condemn and oppose Obama’s war policy." Organizers also note that "This is a peaceful demonstration. We are committed to nonviolence and do not condone illegal acts of any kind, including civil disobedience." Information: (207) 604-8988,,

Sunday, Dec. 13, WOODSTOCK: Woodstock Peace Economy, a local group opposed to the arms manufacturing industry, is screening a short 1960s documentary titled "Rotron in Woodstock" at 4 p.m. in The Colony Cafe, 22 Rock City Rd. It's an old promotional film for the military contractor Rotron, which is still located in Woodstock. It will be followed by a slideshow presenting some of Rotron's products at work, and a discussion of the issues raised by the presence of the company in the region. Free and public. Information, Laurie Kirby at (845) 679-9140,

Sunday, Dec. 13, STAATSBURG: A discussion, "Bread Not Bombs: Funding Human Security First," will take place at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, Old Post Rd. and E. Elm Ave., 4-6 p.m. The featured speaker is Frida Berrigan, the senior program associate of the Arms and Security Initiative at the New America Foundation, and senior research associate at the Arms Trade Resource Center. She is an expert on the arms trade and human rights, and on Washington's policies concerning nuclear and space weapons, and missile defense. Sponsored by the Justice for All Speakers Forum, Universalist Fellowship of Poughkeepsie, St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, Hyde Park United Methodist Church, Poughkeepsie Friends Meeting, Christ Episcopal Church, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills, Freedom Plains Presbyterian Church, Rural & Migrant Ministry, and the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life at Vassar College, with a grant from Trinity Wall Street. Information,,

Sunday, Dec. 13 to Sunday, Dec. 20, NEW YORK CITY & NEARBY: Attention Animal Rights Advocates. There will be a number of anti-fur protests sponsored by Caring Activists Against Fur, including today, 1-3 p.m. outside Macy's department store, 151 W. 34th St. in Manhattan. For a full listing visit Information,

Monday, Dec. 14, GUILDERLAND: The new documentary by progressive filmmaker Robert Greenwald, "Rethink Afghanistan," will be shown 7-9 p.m., following the monthly meeting of Guilderland Neighbors for Peace. All are invited admission free. This critical look at Washington's unnecessary Afghan war will be followed by a discussion led by photojournalist Connie Frisbee Houde, who recently returned from a visit to Afghanistan. It's sponsored by Guilderland Neighbors and takes place at the Public Library, 2228 Western Ave. Information, (518) 464-6788,,

Wednesday-Saturday, Dec. 16-19, NEW PALTZ: Hudson Valley Materials Exchange will be holding their Winter Solstice Sale, at the New Paltz Recycling Center, Clearwater Rd. from 12-5 p.m. Find holiday gifts from recycled craft and building materials from this non-profit community warehouse that keeps many useable items out of the waste stream. Information, (845) 567-1455,

Saturday, Dec. 19, NEW ROCHELLE: Women in Black Palestine Solidarity Vigil, 2-3 p.m. at Main St. and Memorial Hwy. Wear black if you wish. Men are also welcome. Sponsored by Code Pink Westchester and WESPAC. Information,, (914) 654-8990.

Saturday, Dec. 19, ALBANY: Consumer societies are the target of a documentary that will be shown at 7:30 p.m. at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany, 405 Washington Ave. The title is "Surplus: Terrorized into Being Consumers." According to the film notes, "Shot in the United States, India, China, Italy, Sweden, Hungary, and elsewhere, this very unusual 2003 film explores the superficial nature of what has become the major 'freedom' encouraged in many societies: the freedom to consume." A discussion will follow the free public showing. The event is sponsored by the Solidarity Committee of the Capital District, Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace, and Upper Hudson Peace Action. Information, (518) 426-0883