Friday, May 14, 2010

05-14-10 Activist Calendar

May 14, 2010, Issue #640
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Editor's Note:
• This calendar is a supplement to the main May 4 calendar available below, so there are a lot more events taking place for the rest of the month. Check them out.
• In the off chance you notice that this issue of the calendar is number #640, and that it follows issue #159, here's why: We have changed our numbering system. In the past the calendar was tied to the number on the newsletter, but since there are about three times more calendars than newsletters, we resorted to #159, 159A, and 159B. This is actually the 640th calendar, which began in late 1999, and it is old enough to get a number of its own from now on.
• For several years when President Bush was in office each issue of the calendar included a listing of all the weekly antiwar vigils in the Hudson Valley — over 65 of them, week after week, until the movement began to decline after the 2006 election which gave the Democrats control of Congress. Now, with the Dems in both Congress and the White House, about a dozen regular vigils remain in the Valley. If you want us to post an occasional reminder in the calendar about your vigil, let us know, along with the facts, including how long it has been in existence (see May 17 Middletown item).


Saturday, May 22, HIGHLAND FALLS: It's graduation day today at the U.S. Military Academy, and President Obama will officiate at the ceremonies welcoming the new officers to the wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Yemen, and — as Defense Secretary Robert Gates declared recently — the "wars to come." Nearby, at the "Thayer Gate" to West Point adjacent to this village, peace advocates from several Hudson Valley counties will be demanding an end to the wars.

The antiwar events begin at 10 a.m. with a rally at Veterans' Park on Main St. (Rt. 218), followed by a march to the gates. After a brief rally, the marchers will then return to the park for some final words. The main demand will be withdrawal from Afghanistan. (Bring your own signs, if you wish.)

The demonstration was initiated by Orange County groups, and endorsements of the action are still coming in. So far the Valley sponsors include (alphabetically) Activist Newsletter, Dutchess Greens, Dutchess Peace Coalition, Hudson Valley BDS, Middle East Crisis Response, Orange County Democratic Alliance, Orange County Peace and Justice, Rockland Coalition for Peace and Justice, WESPAC, Peace and Social Progress Now, and Veterans For Peace (Maury Colow Chapter 058, Woodstock). National endorsers include ANSWER Coalition, CodePink, and World Can't Wait.

Several of these same groups organized a protest that drew 300 people to Highland Falls and the Thayer Gate Dec. 1 when President Obama went to West Point to deliver a speech informing the American people that he was greatly expanding Bush's Afghan war.

Highland Falls is about 32 miles south of New Paltz and 16 miles south of Newburgh. Driving from the north, Rt. 9W is your best bet. There are two entrances to the town from 9W. From the north the first one is where Rt. 218 cuts into Highland Falls and it will take you directly (after 1.1 miles) to Main St. and Veterans Way, where the park is located. (If you are coming from further north it may be quicker to take the Thruway to exit 17 Newburgh, and switch to 9W south.) If you approach from the south, there's another entrance about a mile and a half below the first which connects directly with Main St. (Rt. 218) which you take for a mile or so to the park. (Traffic may be heavy near Highland Falls because of the graduation, so leave somewhat earlier.)

For information, or if your group is sending some people and wants to be listed as a co-sponsor, contact Bennett Weiss at (845) 569-8662,, or Nick Mottern (914) 806-6179, Contact the Activist Newsletter,, for information about possible car pools from Ulster and Dutchess counties.


Saturday, May 15, NEW ROCHELLE: A Women in Black Vigil in observance of Nakba Day, will take place 2-3 p.m. at Main St. and Memorial Highway. Nakba Day is the "day of the catastrophe," commemorating the Palestinian people's expulsion and flight from their villages and, for many, their homeland, after Israel's declaration of independence.

Saturday, May 15, GOSHEN: There will be a Teach-in on Military Spending beginning at 2:30 p.m. at the main square — the green at the five corners. A number of speakers will take the microphone during the afternoon. According to attorney and activist Michael Sussman, who leads the Democratic Alliance which is sponsoring the event, "The teach-in will focus on broadening our outreach so as to make the May 22 West Point rally better and bigger, and on educating people on the ongoing costs of war." Information,

Sunday, May 16, BEACON: John Curran, author of "Peekskill's African American History: A Hudson Valley Community's Untold Story," will discuss the Revolutionary War, the Underground Railroad and the town's right-wing riots of 1949. The free public event starts at 4 p.m. at the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, 199 Main St. Information, Jo Merchant, (845) 838-1600, ext. 10,,

Monday, May 17, MIDDLETOWN: Vigil reminder — The Orange County Peace and Justice Coalition's seven-year vigil is held every Monday evening 7-7:30 p.m. at the Firemen's Monument by Thrall Library, North St. and Orchard. It's a "demonstration for peace in Iraq and Afghanistan and a vigil for the fallen — join us." Thanks to Vicki Matovic for this reminder, and to OCP&J for the commitment to keep it going all these years. We urge our readers in the region to stand with these dedicated people.

Tuesday, May 18, ALBANY: "Do Corporations Own Our Government?" This is the topic of a debate between speakers representing political views from the right and left. It begins at 7 p.m. at the Linda Norris Auditorium/WAMC Performing Arts Studio, 339 Central Ave. (at Quail St.). Speaking on the "left" are Bill Peltz, Dennis Karius, and Pete Looker, and on the "right" are Steven Vasquez, and Earl Williams. This will be followed by a one-hour audience Q&A. The meeting is free "with contributions accepted." It is sponsored by the Right, Left and In Between Dialogue Planning Committee, consisting of active members of the following 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, Sons of Liberty, and ARISE (A Regional Initiative Supporting Empowerment). Note that these organizations do not necessarily endorse this event. Information, Dennis Karius,, (518) 456-5721.

Friday, May 21, MILLWOOD: Felice Gelman will be speaking on her trips to Gaza at a 7:30 p.m. meeting of Pax Christi at the Maryknoll Sisters, 10 Pinesbridge Rd. She will be showing some recent videos.

, May 21, ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON (Bard Campus): A picket line will greet Canadian author Margaret Atwood when she arrives to attend the President's Awards Ceremony and Dinner to receive the Mary McCarthy literary award. The pickets will assemble 4:30-6:30 p.m. along River Rd. leading to Fisher Center on campus. The demonstrators will protest the fact that on May 9 Atwood accepted the Dan David Prize at Tel Aviv University despite a global plea launched by the Palestinian Students Campaign for a Cultural and Academic Boycott of Israel for her to reject the prize. In addition to writing many books of fiction, including The Handmaid's Tale, Atwood — who is considered to be progressive — has authored 15 books of poetry. Bard campus map: An article about Atwood and the Dan David Prize, Information, Tarak Kauff,

Saturday, May 22, ALBANY: The humorous anti-corporate documentary, "The Yes Men Fix the World," will be screened at 7:30 p.m. in Emerson Hall at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany, 405 Washington Ave. (between Robin and Lake Sts., across from the downtown SUNY campus). We're told: "Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno continue to pose as top executives of giant corporations, lying their way into big business conferences and news interviews to turn conventional corporate and political perspective upside down. As their industrious alter-egos, the duo expose the people profiting from Hurricane Katrina, the faces behind the environmental disaster in Bhopal, and other shocking events." This free presentation is sponsored by the Solidarity Committee of the Capital District, Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace, and Upper Hudson Peace Action. Information, (518) 426-0883,,

Saturday, May 22, BEACON: Michael Moore's latest documentary, "Capitalism: A Love Story," will be shown free to the public at 3:30 p.m. at the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, 199 Main St., sponsored by the Mid-Hudson Progressive Alliance. A discussion will follow. Information, (845) 440-7345, (845) 838-2415.

Tuesday, May 25, KINGSTON: A free showing of the 2009 documentary "No Impact Man" will start at 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills, 320 Sawkill Rd. "Follow the Manhattan-based Beavan family as they abandon their high consumption 5th Ave. lifestyle and try to live a year while making no net environmental impact." Information, (845) 331-2884.

Tuesday, May 25, WHITE PLAINS: A "Report Back from Pakistan" by two local residents who have just returned from a 10-week visit to that country will be given at 7 p.m. by Rehana and Khusro Elley. The event will be held at the WESPAC office, 255 Martin Luther King Blvd. We're informed the talks will discuss "the impact of U.S. policies from the perspective of ordinary Pakistanis, the allegations that Pakistan is training militants to harm U.S. interests, and the status of women in Pakistan." Refreshments to be served. Contributions to WESPAC will be requested at the door. Information, (914) 449-6514,,

REMEMBER: This calendar is a supplement to the main May 4 calendar available below, so there are a lot more events taking place for the rest of the month.