Thursday, January 27, 2011

Jan. 27, 2011, Issue #656
Send event announcements to
Dedicated to Helping Build  Activist
Movements  in  the  Hudson  Valley

Editor's Note: This supplements our larger Jan. 21 Calendar below that contains additional forthcoming activities in late January and February.

SPECIAL EVENT: The Activist Newsletter/Calendar and Peace and Social Progress Now are organizing a regional public meeting of community people and students in New Paltz titled "Washington's 'Endless' Wars in the Middle East — 20 Years and Counting." This indoor event takes place Tuesday, March 15, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at SUNY's Lecture Center 104. There will be speakers, music and a brief video. If you wish to volunteer (leafleting, postering, other tasks) or if your organization is willing to become one of the endorsers of this important demonstration, contact us at

You might ask, 20 years? Yes, and counting. Our event coincides with the eighth anniversary of George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq. But his father, President Bush Sr., also invaded Iraq, in January 1991. Over the following 12 years, approximately 1.5 million Iraqis died from the war and U.S. killer sanctions — largely from mass starvation, lack of medical supplies, disease and periodic bombings by the American and British air forces. Iraq was a ruin and virtually helpless when Bush Jr. re-invaded this poor but oil-rich country in 2003 on the pretext of saving the world from Iraq's nonexistent weapons of mass destruction. At least another million Iraqis died in the last eight years of war in Iraq, and there are 4 million refugees.

In addition to Iraq, of course, there is the expanding Afghanistan War, which will be 10 years old in October and will last years longer. Then there is the two-year old extension of the Afghan War into western Pakistan, and nearly two years of U.S. intervention in Yemen. And this doesn't count a possible future war with Iran — and who knows what Washington will do if some of its dictatorial clients running Egypt and Jordan are overturned in progressive revolutions?

Please save the date March 15 and join us in this revival of regional peace activities. Only a powerful movement of the American people can stop these wars.

[We originally considered the date of March 19, to coincide with the call for nationwide protests around the Iraq anniversary, but most local college students will be out of town on spring break, so our event will now be one of the first of the week-long anniversary meetings.]

Friday, Jan. 28, NEW PALTZ: A free public screening of a powerful documentary — "The World According to Monsanto" —  will take place at 8:15 p.m. at the Elting Library, 93 Main St. (across from Starbucks; park behind library). This film demonstrates how one multinational corporation holds the keys and patents to much of the world’s food supply. Monsanto, which started out as one of the planet’s largest chemical companies, is also responsible for Agent Orange, Bovine Growth Hormone, PCBs and genetically-engineered crops. Activist Barbara Upton will be part of the discussion following the film. Sponsored by New Paltz Neighbors for Peace. Information, Petition from Food Democracy Now, About Monsanto,

Monday, Jan. 31, NEW PALTZ (SUNY campus): A celebration of the life of Martin Luther King Jr. will begin at 7 p.m. in Lecture Center 102. Since the actual birthday takes place during winter break this annual event is held later. The community is invited as well as students, of course. Dr. Major Coleman will deliver the keynote address. Additional speakers include Dr. A. J. Williams-Myers, Dept. of Black Studies; and Dr. Salvatore Engel-DiMauro, Geography Dept. Voices of Unity, the dynamic SUNY New Paltz Gospel Choir, will also be on hand to sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and "Happy Birthday.” The event is preceded by a letter writing Campaign at 6 p.m. to raise money for the Dr. Margaret Wade Lewis Memorial Scholarship Fund. Free t-shirts, pizza and drinks will be given to participants. Sponsored by the Department of Black Studies, the Black Student Union, African Women’s Alliance, All People United, Fahari-Libertad Magazine, Men of All Nations and Voices of Unity. Information,

Thursday, Feb. 3, DELMAR: A discussion titled "Questions Remain: a reexamination of the tragedy at the World Trade Center," is set for 6:45 p.m. at the Bethlehem Public Library, 451 Delaware Ave. Speakers at this free public meeting include Raymond Aumond, Steve Wickham, and Michael Rice. The moderator is Mary Finneran. Information, (518) 439-4673, The sponsors are Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace and Veterans for Peace.

Tuesday, Feb. 8, ALBANY: The local "" group meets every second Tuesday of the month at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany, 405 Washington Ave. Participants plan events and other means of spreading the word about the dangers of climate change. The meetings are sponsored by Capital Region Climate Action, an affiliate of the worldwide group founded by Bill McKibben. Information, (518) 466-9339,,

Wednesday, Feb. 9, NEW PALTZ (SUNY campus): Amnesty International's senior director for International Law and Policy, Widney Brown, will deliver a talk on "Gender and Human Rights: The Vulnerable Flank of the Human Rights Movement." This free public event takes place 7-9 p.m. at the CSB Auditorium. We're informed: "Despite the rhetorical commitment made by political leaders from around the world to respect women’s human rights, the struggle for gender equality is highly contested at the global, regional and national level." Information, Campus map:

Thursday, Feb. 10, WOODSTOCK: Middle East Crisis Response — a group of Hudson Valley residents joined in protest against policies of Israel and the United State —meets at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month at the Woodstock Public Library, 5 Library Lane. Information, (845) 876-7906,