Monday, February 22, 2010

02-22-10 Activist Calendar

ACTIVIST CALENDAR, Feb. 22, 2010, Issue #155A
Of the Hudson Valley Activist Newsletter,
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Progressive events in the Hudson Valley pick up steam in mid-February and March. Our next full calendar will be available March 1.

Our cost for hiring buses to bring local activists to the March 20 antiwar action in Washington is $60 a seat. This is too expensive in these recessionary times for many low income workers and students who wish to oppose the war. But we must stop these expanding wars, so we are offering them substantial discounts because we won't leave anyone behind. We need your assistance in helping these people get to Washington. In most cases, low income activists will pay $30, and several are traveling free. Make out your contribution check to Activist Newsletter and mail to the newsletter at P.O. Box 662, New Paltz, NY 12561. Mark it "donation."

The Activist Newsletter and Peace and Social Progress Now have chartered several buses from the Hudson Valley to the nation's capital Saturday, March 20, to join many thousands at the big march and rally against the widening wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. They are leaving from Kingston, New Paltz, Poughkeepsie, probably Spring Valley, and perhaps another location in the mid-to-lower Valley if there are enough people to join a new departure location. We pull out in the early morning hours and return at night following our protest. The roundtrip cost is $60 per person. Discounts are available for students and low-income people thanks to contributions from readers for that purpose. Let us know if you require a discount. To reserve a seat, send us an email at with your name, town, email address, phone number, and boarding location of those listed. After emailing, make out your check to Activist Newsletter and promptly mail to Activist Newsletter, P.O. Box 662, New Paltz, NY 12561. Your check will secure your reservations.


Wednesday, Feb. 24, NEW PALTZ (SUNY campus): A free public showing of the 2009 docudrama "The Age of Stupid" will be shown at 7 p.m. at the Coykendall Science Building Auditorium. This critically acclaimed 92-minute film is about a man living in the devastated future world of 2055, looking at old footage from 2008 and asking: Why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance? Sponsored by SUNY New Paltz Environmental Task Force/NYPIRG. Campus map, (Click on "full map" and zoom in). Information, (845) 257-3447.

Wednesday, Feb. 24, WATERFORD: Labor activist, author, journalist and lawyer Steve Early will speak on "Contract Bargaining in Tough Times: Lessons from the Recent Past" beginning at 5 p.m. at Costanzo's Riverside Restaurant, 405 Hudson River Rd. He will discuss ways to respond to the crisis situation facing organized labor in the Capital District and beyond. The talk will also touch on several significant regional labor battles within the last year. After the talk, there will be a discussion concerning how the Capital District progressive community can strategically and effectively assist in upcoming labor struggles. Early was a Boston-based international representative or organizer for the Communications Workers of America for 27 years. His book "Embedded With Organized Labor: Journalistic Reflections on the Class War at Home" was published last year by Monthly Review Press. Early is presently on the editorial advisory committees of three independent labor publications: Labor Notes, New Labor Forum and Working USA. This event is sponsored by the Troy Area Labor Council and IUE-CWA Local 81359. It is free, including food. An RSVP is required so that sufficient food is available. RSVP and information, (518) 279-3749,

Wednesday, Feb. 24, ALBANY: A "right, left and in between" forum on the topic "War: Do the Peace Movement and Tea Party Movement agree?" will begin at 7 p.m. at The Linda, WAMC's Performing Arts Studio, at Central Ave. and Quail St. We're informed: "Local leaders of the tea party and peace groups will be coming together for a civil dialogue to discuss war, peace and related issues. The public is invited to join in exploring these issues, and participate in this discussion. Mike Spain, associate editor of the Times Union, will moderate the discussion. The speakers will include: "Left" — Mabel Leon, Joe Lombardo and Jason Peterson. "Right" — John Minehan, Steven Vasquez and Patrick Zeigler. The sponsor is the Right, Left and In Between Dialogue Planning Committee, which consists of members active in these local organizations:, Capital Region Council, Campaign for Liberty, Interfaith Alliance of NYS, 9-12 project, Capital District Greens, We The People, Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace, John Birch Society, Labor-Religion Coalition, and ARISE (A Regional Initiative Supporting Empowerment). Information,

Wednesday, Feb. 24, USA: Care to join what MoveOn calls a "Virtual March for Real Health Care Reform?" We've been told: "MoveOn is spearheading an effort to flood Senate offices with one million messages from constituents, urging Congress to pass significant health care reform. Contact methods include phone, fax, email, tweet, and social networking. Their message is 'It's time to stop stalling and get real health care reform done now.' This electronic action is set to coincide with hundreds of health care activists who will be marching through Washington, D.C., to Capitol Hill." You can also send your message via MoveOn at

Wednesday, Feb. 24. ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON (Bard campus): Yonatan Shapira, former Israeli Blackhawk helicopter pilot and captain in the Israeli Air Force reserves, will speak about Zionism, his experiences in the Israeli Defense Force, and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement against Israel. There will be tabouleh, hummus, pita and other festive foods. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Campus Center Multipurpose Room. It is sponsored by Bard Students for A Just Peace In Israel/Palestine and Middle East Crisis Response. Information,

Thursday, Feb. 25, ALBANY: "One Night for Haiti," a benefit including music, comedy, and an auction, begins at 6 p.m. at the Dublin Underground (formerly Savannah's), 1 South Pearl St. The event will feature the local bands IMI, Ill Funk Ensemble, Justin Allen Trio and Smittix as well as local comedians Greg Aidala, Brian Kiernan, Dan Rossi, and Josh Sperber. There will also be a silent auction with local and international artwork on display. Tickets at the door at $20, $50, or $100. A donation of $100 comes with a free drink, event T-shirt, and entry into a raffle. We're told, "100% of the donations will directly fund a freshwater project in Haiti. $20 can give one person clean and safe drinking water for 20 years." Tickets, (518) 763-6185. Information,,

Thursday, Feb. 25, WOODSTOCK: The Middle East Crisis Response group of Hudson Valley residents opposed to Israeli and U.S. policies toward the Palestinians meets 7-8:30 p.m. at the Library, 5 Library Lane, just off Tinker St. All welcome. Information, (845) 876-7906,,

Thursday, Feb. 25, NEW PALTZ (SUNY Campus): The Shawangunk Regional Biodiversity Partnership Lecture, "Bats on the Wane," will be given by Carl Herzog in Lecture Center 100 at 7 p.m. Find out why several species of native bats are experiencing a rapid decline in the Northeast. Information, (845) 255-0752. Campus map,

Friday, Feb. 26, GUILDERLAND: The 2008 documentary "Vietnam: American Holocaust," will be screened at 7 p.m. at the Guilderland Public Library, 2228 Western Ave. The film covers the history of the Vietnam conflict starting from the Japanese occupation of WWII, to the defeat of the French, and then focuses on the long-term American military involvement. Say the organizers: "During the Vietnam War the U.S. dropped more bombs on Vietnam than had been dropped by all countries in World War II. They also used chemical weapons on the people, including Agent Orange and White Phosphorous. The film exposes one of the worst cases of sustained mass slaughter in history. Our generals and foot soldiers, knowingly or unknowingly, killed 3 million people, mostly using incendiary bombs. Actor Martin Sheen, who played the leading role in 'Apocalypse Now' almost 30 years ago, has generously lent his powerful voice to this actual history of the War in Vietnam." A discussion will follow the screening. Guilderland Neighbors For Peace is the sponsor of this free public 87-minute film. Information, (518) 464-6788,, http://guilderland.neighbors4peace.

Saturday, Feb. 27, WOODSTOCK: A Benefit For The People of Haiti will be held between 3-9 p.m. at the Woodstock Reformed Church, on the Village Green. A large array of singers, musicians, and speakers are taking part. Admission is a suggested $7 donation. The funds raised will be divided between two groups: The Haitian People's Support Project, which sponsors orphanages with over 400 children in Haiti; and Partners in Health, which has worked in Haiti for over 20 years, supplying mobile health clinics, nurses, doctors and community health workers. We're told: "Those who cannot attend the event may donate at or mail a check made out to Haitian Peoples Support Project to P.O. Box 496, Woodstock, N.Y. 12498."

Saturday, Feb. 27, ALBANY: A documentary on universal health care — in Cuba and the world and titled "Salud!" — will be shown free at 7:30 p.m. at First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany, 405 Washington Ave. This film discusses how Cuba provides universal health care to its citizens and helps other developing nations do the same. We’re told: "The film travels with some of the 28,000 Cuban health professionals who serve in 68 countries, and explores the thoughts of young international medical students in Cuba. These students now number 30,000, including nearly 100 from the U.S." According to former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, "Salud!" provides a "deeply moving portrayal of a healthcare system designed to keep people healthy rather than the 'sickcare' system that currently exists in the United States." The film is sponsored by Solidarity Committee of the Capital District, Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace, and Upper Hudson Peace Action. Information,, (518) 426-0883.

Sunday, Feb. 28, KINGSTON: A panel titled "The Prince of Peace: A Discussion on Just War and Pacifism" will take place 3-5 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 207 Albany Ave. The featured panelists are Rev. Bruce Chilton, professor of religion at Bard College, director of the Institute of Advanced Theology, and noted author; Deacon Tom Cornell, founder of the Catholic Peace Fellowship, and member of the Catholic Worker Movement with Dorothy Day; and Rev. Tom Margrave, rector of St. John’s Church in Cornwall, N.Y., a West Point graduate and Vietnam War veteran. The program, sponsored by the Mid-Hudson Chapter of Episcopal Peace Fellowship, was prompted by President Obama’s recent Nobel Prize acceptance speech in which he spoke of Just War in his decision to send more troops into Afghanistan. Information, (845) 331-2252.

Sunday, Feb. 28, CROTON-ON-HUDSON: One of America's most notorious race riots took place in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on May 31, 1921. The Red Cross estimated that 300 blacks were killed but other sources claimed the death toll was much higher. A film about the riot, "Before They Die!," will be shown at 2 p.m. at Croton Free Library, 171 Cleveland Dr. A discussion will follow, featuring Dr. Olivia Hooker, 95-year-old Westchester resident — riot survivor and litigant. Public and free. Information, (914) 271-6612.

Monday-Wednesday, March 1-3, ALBANY: The Labor-Religion Coalition is organizing a march and fast to support a Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act in the State legislature. The event begins with a "Procession to the Capitol" beginning at 12:30 p.m. from Westminster Presbyterian Church (85 Chestnut St./262 State St.) to the Legislative Office Building at Empire State Plaza (State St. and South Swan St.), where it will join a Senate Agricultural Committee hearing on the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act until 2 p.m. This is the kickoff event for the 15th Annual 40-hour Fast for Economic Justice that begins at 8 p.m. March 1 and ends at noon March 3. Jobs With Justice has endorsed this event. Information, (518) 482-5595,,

Monday, March 1, OLD CHATHAM: "Waiting for Mercy," a short documentary about a 2004 FBI "anti-terrorist" sting operation in Albany, will be shown at 7 p.m. at the Powell House Quaker Conference and Retreat Center, 524 Pitt Hall Rd. off County Rt. 13. The film shows how the government sought to entrap Yassin Aref, 37, a refugee from Kurdistan in northern Iraq, and Mohammed Mosharref Hossain, 51, a U.S. citizen and an immigrant from Bangladesh. Both men eventually were convicted of money laundering and material support of terrorism, and were each sentenced to 15 years in prison. Questions remain about the case. Using material recorded over many months by an FBI informant, the documentary shows the documents and the lawyer’s responses to the charges and asks the audience to judge for themselves. Film director Ellie Bernstein, and author Shamshad Ahmad (who wrote a book about the case, "Rounded Up, Artificial Terrorists and Muslim Entrapment after 9/11") will be present at the showing. A moderated discussion will follow. Free, public and sponsored by Old Chatham Quaker Meeting. Information, (518) 766-2992, Directions,

Wednesday, March 3, ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON (Bard campus): Ten residents of the Hudson Valley took part in the Gaza Freedom March Dec. 25-Jan. 4, and members of the delegation will discuss their experiences at a free public meeting tonight, 7-10 p.m. They will also talk about the emerging International Coalition to End the Illegal Siege of Gaza. The Freedom March was an act of solidarity with the people of Gaza, who continue to be under siege by the government and armed forces of Israel. This free public event will be held at Bertelsmann Campus Center's Weis Cinema. Sponsored by Middle East Crisis Response. Campus map Information, (845) 876-7906,,

Sunday, March 7, NEWBURGH: A critical analysis of the New York State prison system is the topic of a meeting tonight co-sponsored by CLASP (Caribbean and Latin America Support Project) and Latinos Unidos (a Hudson Valley advocacy program for Latinos). Speakers include Diana Ortiz (community liaison at Exodus Transitional Community), Felipe Vargas (Doe Fund's director of programs) and Joseph Hayden (founder of All Things Harlem). The event will take place at 280 Broadway, 4th floor, at the corner of Rt. 9W next to the courthouse. The event begins with an optional potluck at 5 p.m. followed by the 6 p.m. meeting. The hall is wheelchair accessible. (CLASP will return to its usual meeting place at New Paltz Village Hall in April.) Information, (845) 542-0481 and (845) 542-0557 en EspaƱol.