Thursday, March 4, 2010

03-04-10 Activist Calendar update

ACTIVIST CALENDAR, March 4, 2010, Issue #157A
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1. NEW EVENTS: A supplement March 2 Activist Calendar
2. CHECK THIS OUT: A new Internet video
3. SIXTEEN DAYS: To Washington.


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.

Wednesday, March 10, NEW PALTZ (SUNY campus): "Women of Color in the Media" is the topic of a presentation by Sofia Quintero, the author, activist and independent film maker, 7-9 p.m. This free public event will be in Lecture Center 100, and is sponsored by the student group Community Roots. Campus map,

Saturday, March 13, MT. KISCO: The documentary "The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil" will be shown at 7 p.m. at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Westchester, 236 South Bedford Rd. This is an account of what happened in Cuba when half its gas and oil supply was abruptly cut off, along with 80% of its food imports in 1990 after the implosion of the USSR, its supplier. The crisis, which lasted a decade, was compounded by the U.S. trade embargo. Cubans had to figure out how to survive with only a small percentage of the gas and oil that fueled transportation, factories, agriculture — everything. They managed by becoming one of the most energy efficient, ecologically sustainable societies in the world. Even though oil supplies have now resumed, Cubans have continued to be energy savers. And their 10-year experience of having little gas for tractors and no chemical fertilizer for crops, has turned Cuba into the global leader in organic farming. There will be a discussion after the film led by Cameron Kelly, who has studied firsthand Cuba's response to Peak Oil conditions. This free public event is sponsored by Transition Westchester. Information, (914) 941-4349,,

Sunday, March 21, WHITE PLAINS: "The Power of Community" (see above) will be shown at 7 p.m. in the Community Unitarian Church at White Plains, 468 Rosedale Ave. Information, (914) 941-4349,,

Saturday, March 27, KINGSTON: Dr. Virginia Hlavsa will discuss "Thorstein Veblen’s Theory of Conspicuous Consumption" at 2 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills, 320 Sawkill Rd. The event is sponsored by Hudson Valley Humanists, which notes that American economist Veblen's insightful 1899 book, 'Theory of the Leisure Class,' criticized conspicuous consumption as a wasteful method of gaining social power and prestige." Admission, $4, $3 members, includes refreshments. Information, (845) 247-0098.


"Why are we in Afghanistan," an important new video, has just been made accessible free on the Internet in three versions — 2 minutes, 11 minutes and 28 minutes. The story is written by SUNY (Stony Brook) Professor Mike Zweig with illustrations by Mike Konopacki. It was produced by the university's Center for Study of Working Class Life. CodePink's Medea Benjamin says the film is "clear, concise and compelling. I hope it gets shown widely!" A DVD of the long version is available for $10 for those who want to show it more widely on a larger screen. Click on


A stronger U.S. antiwar movement will have the potential for halting Washington's seemingly endless warfare, dependence on a war economy, and a growing warrior mentality among the people.

The Pentagon budget is higher than ever, and the wars are spreading. Our post-Bush peace movement must become strong again — and the March 20 rally in Washington is a crucial first step in this direction.

To paraphrase Albert Einstein, nothing will end unjust wars unless the people themselves refuse to support such wars. Join us in the effort to make our movement stronger than ever. Sign up for our peace buses to Washington from Kingston, New Paltz, Poughkeepsie, and Spring Valley.

The roundtrip cost is $60 per person. Discounts are available for students and low-income people thanks to contributions from readers. To reserve a seat, send us an email at with your name, town, email address, phone number, and boarding location. 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 reservation. To contribute to our discount fund, make out and send your check the same way, noting it's a donation.