Thursday, October 28, 2010

10-29-10 Activist Calendar

Oct. 29, 2010, Issue #650,
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Dedicated to Helping Activist Movements in the Hudson Valley
Editor's Note:

A total of 165 people, more than half of whom were students, attended our public meeting Oct. 27 on "The Perfect Storm: Environmental Crisis Plus Endless Wars and Global Poverty." Texts of some of the talks will be published in the next issue of the Activist Newsletter.

Our next public meeting is a collaboration with Middle East Crisis Response. It's Wednesday, Nov. 10 (below), titled "Crisis in Israel/Palestine — What do Americans Need to Know? What is the Palestinian Side of the Story?"


Friday, Oct. 29, POUGHKEEPSIE
: The documentary film, "The Dark Side of Chocolate" will be shown at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 67 S. Randolph Ave., 7-9 p.m. The film documents the trafficking of children, slavery, and child labor in the international chocolate industry.  Donation is requested.  Non-complicit chocolate will be served. Information, (845) 471-6580, (845) 452-4013,,

Friday, Oct. 29, NEW PALTZ:
A fundraiser for Charity Water will be held at the Slash Root Tech CafĂ©, 60 Main St. Starting at 7 p.m. there will be music (Sophia Wortzel, Sekanjabin, Marigo Farr) and a costume contest. The cost is $4 at the door. Proceeds go toward providing safe drinking water to a village of 250 people suffering from water-borne illnesses. Information,, (845) 633-8330,

Friday, Oct. 29, CATSKILL: Green Party candidate for governor Howie Hawkins will speak and answer questions 4 p.m. election rally at Leggio Park at the corner of Water and Main Sts. For information about his campaign,

Saturday, Oct. 30, KINGSTON
: Join others in a "Walk for a Free Palestine" starting at 12:30 p.m. at Dietz Stadium parking lot. People in Kingston will join others in 45 cities across America in the Second Annual Free Palestine Walks, sponsored by the American Association for Palestinian Equal Rights. The aim of this silent walk is to raise awareness about the movement, and to raise funds.  Registration fee is $20, and you will receive a T-shirt.  Information,

Monday, Nov. 1, POUGHKEEPSIE: Author,  historian and peace activist Lawrence Wittner will discuss "How to Grow Local Organizations" in a 7 p.m. talk at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall, 67 South Randolph Ave. Wittner, a professor of history at SUNY Albany and a board member of Peace Action, will discuss how to expand the membership of grassroots activist organizations. "All Mid-Hudson activists and organizations are welcome to attend" this free event sponsored by Dutchess Peace. Information,

Monday, Nov. 1, NEW PALTZ (SUNY Campus): The documentary, "Freeing Silvia Baraldini" will be shown at Lecture Center 102 at 6 p.m., followed by a Q&A with the director.  This award winning film tells the story of an Italian immigrant who became an American radical when she was convicted of helping to free a Black Panther from prison. Co-sponsored by the Departments of History, Black Studies, Foreign Languages, Women's Studies, Sociology and Political Science, and the Progressive Academic Network. Information, Campus map,

Monday, Nov. 1, OLD CHATHAM: A free public showing of the documentary "Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai," followed by a moderated discussion, will take place  7-9 p.m. at the Powell House Quaker Conference and Retreat Center, 524 Pitt Hall Rd. (off Columbia County Rt. 13). Here is what the film notes say about this one hour 20 minute 2008 production: "Planting trees for fuel, food and timber is not something usually associated with winning a Nobel Peace Prize. Yet with that simple act, Wangari Maathai helped spark a movement to reclaim Kenya's land from a century of deforestation while providing new sources of livelihood to rural communities. The tree-planting groups that formed were a community-building context for women to come together and become involved in resolving their local challenges. The documentary tells the story of Kenya's Green Belt Movement, a grassroots organization encouraging rural women and families to plant trees in community groups." The sponsor is Old Chatham Quaker Meeting. Information, (518) 766-2992, The film's at Directions,

Monday, Nov. 1, ALBANY: The film, "Amreeka" will be screened at the Pine Hills Branch of the Public Library, 517 Western Ave. at 6:30 p.m. This comedic drama tells of the happenings of a single mother who leaves the West Bank with dreams of a better future in the promised land of Illinois. This is a free event, with refreshments to follow. Information, (518) 465-5425,,

Thursday, Nov. 4, NEW PALTZ: The PBS documentary "Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet" will start at 7 p.m. at Elting Library, 93 Main St. at North Front St. (The free parking lot is behind the library.)The program notes for the 2002 film say it's "The story of the seventh century prophet who changed world history in 23 years, and continues to shape the lives of more than 1.2 billion people. The film takes viewers not only to ancient Middle Eastern sites where Muhammad's story unfolds, but into the homes, mosques and workplaces of some of America's estimated 7 million Muslims, to discover the many ways in which they follow Muhammad's example." This free showing is sponsored by New Paltz Neighbors for Peace. Information, (845) 255-4815,

Thursday, Nov. 4, CATSKILL: Amy Goodman, the host of the hour-long weekday Democracy Now! TV/radio/internet program, will appear 6:30-8:30 p.m. at this Hudson River town's Community Theatre of Catskill, 323 Main St., as part of a fundraiser for the new Community Radio station WGXC. She will give a talk on Promoting Social Justice Through Independent Media and sign copies of her new book "Breaking the Sound Barrier." Tickets are $25. WGXC is online and expected to launch its FM signal on 90.7-FM this fall. It's located at, where you can order tickets for the Goodman talk. Information,

Friday, Nov. 5, TROY: Author Scott Christianson will discuss his new book, "The Last Gasp: The Rise and Fall of the American Gas Chamber," at a 7 p.m. public meeting at The Sanctuary for Independent Media, 3361 6th Ave. and 101st St. in North Troy. We're told: "The Last Gasp takes us to the dark side of human history in the first full chronicle of the gas chamber in the United States,... originally touted as a 'humane' method of execution." Admission  is by donation ($10 suggested, $5 student/low income). Information, (518) 272-2390,, http//

Sunday, Nov. 7, NEW PALTZ: Progressive editor/journalist Ben Dangl will discuss his new book about social movements in Latin America titled "Dancing with Dynamite" in a 6 p.m. free public meeting at New Paltz Village Hall, 25 Plattekill Ave. (a block south of Main St. (Rt. 299). We're informed the book will address the internal and external dynamics of "grassroots social movements that played major roles in electing left-leaning governments throughout Latin America" during the last decade, suggesting that "subsequent relations between the streets and the states remain uneasy." Democracy Now's Amy Goodman says "Ben Dangl breaks the sound barrier, exploding many myths about Latin America that are all-too-often amplified by the corporate media in the United States. Read this much-needed book." It should be a good meeting. The free event sponsored by the Caribbean and Latin America Support Project (CLASP) begins after an optional potluck starting at 5 p.m. Information, (845) 255-0113,

Sunday, Nov. 7, POUGHKEEPSIE (Vassar College Campus): A Fair Trade Bazaar and Ethical Shopping Experience will be held at The Aula at Ely Hall, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. An international marketplace with crafts, clothing, food, live music and more. Information, (845) 452-4013,, Campus map,

Tuesday, Nov. 9, ROSENDALE: The documentary "Gasland" will be screened at 7 p.m. at the Rosendale Theater, followed by a discussion featuring Democratic State Assemblyman Kevin Cahill.  This new film by Josh Fox exposes the extreme dangers of the fracking (horizontal hydraulic fracturing) process of extracting natural gas. The State Senate has issued a temporary moratorium in New York State and the Assembly has yet to vote. The cost is $6. (Gasland will also be shown at SUNY New Paltz Nov. 17.) Theater information, (845) 658-8968.

Wednesday, Nov. 10, NEW PALTZ (SUNY campus): A public meeting titled "Crisis in Israel/Palestine" will  take place in the auditorium of the Coykendall Science Building on campus. The subtitle asks two questions: What do Americans Need to Know? What is the Palestinian Side of the Story? This 7 p.m. event is co-sponsored by the Hudson Valley Activist Newsletter, Middle East Crisis Response, and Peace and Social Progress Now. The campus sponsor is the Muslim Students Association. A main purpose of the educational event, according to the organizers, will be to discuss "the Palestinian side of the story because the great majority of Americans have only been exposed to the views of Israel and the United States and not to those of the Palestinians.  A clear understanding of the Israel/Palestine crisis is possible only by knowing the actual  facts about both sides of this question." Speakers at the meeting include Ann Wright, a retired U.S. Army colonel and now a tireless peace and justice activist who took part in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla; Joel Kovel, a retired professor and author of a dozen books, the latest being "Overcoming Zionism";  Jack A. Smith, editor of the Activist Newsletter; Nada Khader, executive director of the WESPAC Foundation, and a Palestinian American who has served as a consultant for the UN Development Program in Gaza; Jane Toby, who teaches at SUNY/NP and founded the first Hudson Valley branch of Women in Black; Mariam Haris, a Muslim student at SUNY New Paltz; Faris Giacaman, a Palestinian student at Bard College; Hannah Schwarzchild, representing the organization "American Jews for a Just Peace"; and Paul Rehm, a Christian pacifist who took part in a recent peace mission to Hebron in the West Bank. The MC is Donna Goodman. Information, (845) 255-5779, Campus map, Directions,

Wednesday, Nov. 10, DELMAR: A potluck dinner and fundraiser to support the legal defense of Pfc. Bradley Manning will take place 6:30-9 p.m. at Delmar Reformed Church, 386 Delaware Ave. Manning is accused by the U.S. military of leaking the video called "Collateral Murder" to the WikiLeaks web site. Manning was charged in June with being the source of the leak last April. The 22-year-old intelligence analyst is accused of disclosing a classified video showing U.S. Army Bravo Company 2-16 in Iraq shooting civilians from an Apache helicopter in 2007. Twelve people were killed, including two Reuters employees. Two children were critically injured. No charges, of course, have been filed against the soldiers who did the killing. We're told: "Participants are asked to bring a dish to share, and are asked to consider bringing an appropriate book, CD, DVD, baked goods or services to donate toward a silent auction. A number of local merchants are donating gift certificates for this event. The suggested donation is $10, "more or less as per your ability." This event is sponsored by Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace and Tom Paine Chapter of Veterans for Peace. Information,, (518) 466-1192,

Friday, Nov. 12, SAUGERTIES: "Sonando-12th Annual Benefit Dance and Art and Craft Sale for Haiti's Reconstruction" will take place at Ric Orlando's New World Home Cooking, 1411 Rt. 212, 7:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Suggested donation for dance is $20, arts and crafts fair is free. Sponsored by Haitian People's Support Project and New World Home Cooking. Information, (845) 679-7320,

Friday and Saturday, Nov. 12-13, ALBANY: A working conference to build the Northeast food system will take place at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center, 660 Albany Shaker Rd., with pre-conference trainings taking place on Friday, Nov. 11.  Join others to build sustainable agriculture in the Northeast region of the U.S. A full agenda, schedule and registration can be found at  Registration fee is $180.  Information, and to find out about sponsorships, or become a sponsor, contact Amy Little at (845) 255-0822, (845) 853-3440,

Saturday, Nov. 13, RHINEBECK: The Mid-Hudson Larreynaga Sister City Benefit Dance will be held at the Church of the Messiah Parish Hall at 6436 Montgomery St. at 7:30 p.m., with the band Cuboricua. Admission is $20 per person. Proceeds will benefit the children and village of Rhinebeck's sister city, Larreynaga, Nicaragua. Free door prize ticket to donors of non-perishable food items for the church food pantry. Sponsored by Mid-Hudson Larreynaga Sister City and Dutchess Peace. Information (845) 876-3779,,

Monday, Nov. 15, DELMAR: Tom Ellis, a member of the regional Palestinian Rights Committee, will discuss the book "Rounded Up: Artificial Terrorists and Muslim Entrapment After 9/11." The book details the FBI's terrorism case of Albany immigrants/residents Yassin Aref and Mohammed Hossain. Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace is the sponsor. Information. (518) 466-1192,

Wednesday, Nov. 17. ALBANY (SUNY Uptown Campus): Norman Finkelstein, the author and critic of Israeli policies, will speak on Israel/Palestine After the Gaza/Flotilla attack at 8 p.m. in Lecture Center 18 on campus, 1400 Washington Ave. This free public meeting is sponsored by the Palestine Rights Committee, Justice and Peace in Palestine Alliance, and University at Albany Amnesty International. Information,, Campus map:

Wednesday, Nov. 17, POUGHKEEPSIE: A free screening of the classic 1964 film, "The Americanization of Emily" will be shown at the Adriance Library Community Room, 93 Market St., at 6 p.m. This free film features James Garner, Julie Andrews, Melvin Douglas, and James Coburn.  It is a charming antiwar comedy set during the lead up too D-Day in Europe. Part of Dutchess Peace's "Give Peace a Film" series. Sponsored by Dutchess Peace. Information, (845) 876-7906,

Wednesday, Nov. 17, NEW PALTZ (SUNY campus)
: A free and public 7 p.m. screening of the documentary "Gasland" will be held at a campus location to be announced soon (email Ryan at for information). This new film by Josh Fox exposes the extreme dangers of the fracking (horizontal hydraulic fracturing) process of extracting natural gas. The State Senate has issued a temporary moratorium in New York State and the Assembly has yet to vote. The event is sponsored by NYPIRG and the Environmental Task Force.

Thursday, Nov. 18, NEW PALTZ: A "Hydro-Fracking Mini Forum" — a good follow-up to "Gasland" — will begin at 7 p.m. at New Paltz Village Hall, 25 Plattekill Ave., a block south of Main St. (Rt. 299). The free event is  sponsored by the New Paltz Climate Action Coalition, which says "bring your questions and ideas." (The coalition meets every Thursday at Village Hall, 5-6:30 p.m., and encourages local residents to "join and learn about our programs.") Information, (845) 255-9297.

Thursday, Nov. 18, RHINEBECK: Dr. Sacha Spector, Scenic Hudson's director of Conservation Science, will discuss how the latest climate predictions will affect Hudson Valley residents in a discussion titled, "Our Fight Against Global Climate Change," to be held at the Starr Library, 67 W. Market St. at 6:30 p.m.  Information, contact Anthony Coneski at (845) 473-4440, ext. 273,

Wednesday, Dec. 1, PORT EWEN: Dr. Sacha Spector will discuss "Our Fight Against Global Climate Change (see Nov. 18 just above), at the Town of Esopus Library, 128 Canal St. at 7 p.m.