Thursday, March 24, 2011

03-24-11 Activist Calendar

March 24, 2011, Issue #660
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Dedicated to Helping Build  Activist
Movements  in  the  Hudson  Valley

Thursday, March 24, NEW YORK CITY: A "Day of Rage" against the proposed New York State budget cuts will take place in Manhattan this afternoon. There are two segments.
#1 — Starting at 5 p.m. there will be a large "Student-Labor-Community rally against the cuts," sponsored by over 50 organizations, followed at 6 p.m. by a march to Wall St. Here are the demands: Jobs, Not Layoffs!,  Affordable Housing Now!, No Cuts to Social Services!, No Union-Busting or Privatization!, Stop the School Closings!, End Mayoral Control and Fire Cathleen Black!, Extend the Millionaire’s Tax!, Close Corporate Tax Loopholes!, Bring Back the Stock Transfer Tax! Information,
#2 — A group of Mid-Hudson residents and others will demonstrate against Gov. Cuomo's budget cuts in front of the New York Stock Exchange, 11 Wall St., starting at 3 p.m., then will join the 5 p.m. rally at City Hall. Information, Transportation from the Hudson Valley, (845) 255-5482.

Thursday, March 24, ALBANY: A rally against fracking (hydraulic fracturing to obtain natural gas) will take place at 12 noon at the  State Capitol (West Capitol Park, Swan St. Steps). Specifically the demonstrators will call upon Gov. Andrew Cuomo to expand the scope of the Marcellus Shale Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS). We are told: "This is a crucial requirement for fulfilling Executive Order No. 41's mandate to 'analyze comprehensively the environmental impacts associated with high-volume hydraulic fracturing combined with horizontal drilling...' as well as 'ensure that such impacts are appropriately avoided or mitigated.'" Cuomo needs to hear loud and clear that we expect him to protect all New Yorkers and not allow fracking for natural gas, which will not only poison the people in drilling areas but also permanently ruin our precious water supplies, turn a large and beautiful area of our state into a toxic wasteland, and degrade land values where drilling takes place. Information,

Thursday, March 24, NEW PALTZ: A public forum on financing education through income taxes will be held 7-9 p.m. at New Paltz High School, 130 South Putt Corners Rd. Assemblyman Kevin Cahill 101st A.D. (Kingston) will discuss his proposed education legislation, Assembly Bill A447. These experts will be responding to Cahill’s bill: C. Frank Mauro, executive director, Fiscal Policy Institute; Martin Reid, deputy director of government relations, NYS School Boards Association; Gerald Benjamin, director, CRREO @ SUNY New Paltz. Sponsored by New Paltz Central School District Board Legislative Action Committee, SUNY New Paltz School of Education, Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach (CRREO). Childcare will be provided in Room 174 by the Duzine-Lenape PTA. Information, (845) 257-2901,

Saturday, March 26, NATIONWIDE: ANSWER and other peace and left organizations have been calling for demonstrations all week in opposition the U.S.-NATO bombardment of Libya. More will be taking place today — including in Washington, Boston and Seattle — and probably next week. The organizing groups involved support the democratic uprisings in the Arab world, but maintain that the responsibility belongs to the people of each nation, not to the U.S. which is already fighting in four Muslim countries, or Britain and France, two imperialist states with horrendous colonial history in the Arab countries. If the U.S. is so interested in aiding people in rebellion why did it wait until the last minute before turning on its pet dictators in Egypt and Tunisia? Why does it support  exceptionally repressive Saudi Arabia against oppositional forces in that country? Why does the Obama Administration turn its back to the extraordinary and brave uprising in Bahrain, where the royal family — backed by thousands of Saudi troops — mercilessly murders demonstrators? What has Washington said about Yemen, where another pet  dictator has killed hundreds of unarmed protestors? It is noteworthy that none of the rebel masses in these countries have called in NATO bombers. Today's "humanitarian intervention" in Libya is no better than the cruel U.S. bombings of Yugoslavia in 1999 or the "shock and awe" lesson Bush taught Iraq. But once again a sector of the U.S. antiwar movement is dithering —  either remaining silent or in fact supporting this blatant act of imperial aggression that is intended to bring about regime change in Libya. Does anyone in the peace movement still think — after Iraq and Afghanistan, and maybe two dozen other examples — that the world's  military superpower has the "humanitarian" duty to bomb or invade yet another small country in order to put a government in power that will follow Washington's orders? We wonder what they would think if Bush did it. Or suppose China, Russia, India, and Brazil decided to bomb royalist forces and their Saudi allies in Bahrain, and to bring a leader of their choice to power, in the name of protecting the civilian population. What would our movement's pro-interventionists have to say about that?

Sunday, March 27, ALBANY (SUNY Campus): A "Summit for a Statewide Ban on Fracking" will take place 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on campus, 1400 Washington Ave., at the lecture center. The event is in preparation for a scheduled May 2 anti-fracking march in the state capital. From the organizers: "With only a few months until the moratorium on horizontal hydraulic fracturing is lifted — and with vertical fracking already causing problems across Western N.Y. — we need to seize current momentum and widespread public concern to advocate loud and clear for what we all know we need: a BAN! We know that when the public hears the truth about fracking, the vast majority of the population will stand with us in calling for a ban. If you're ready to take a step towards organizing your communities this summit was made for you. Goals of the day-long meeting include: Establish coordinated People's Advocacy Network; Share advice on effective advocacy; Create a plan for building coalitions in our communities; Establish regional organizing networks for gathering statewide ban petition signatures; Help to coordinate logistics for mobilizing people to come to Albany on May 2nd." Sponsored by Frack Action, More information on the Summit:
To register:
Carpool & caravans leaving New Paltz Village Hall at 7:45 a.m. returning at 8 p.m. contact Rosalyn Cherry
For Kingston Park and Ride near circle 8 a.m. contact Alexander Lines (845) 810-0205.

Sunday, March 27, WOODSTOCK: A benefit for the people of Haiti will be held 2-6 p.m. at the Harmony Café, 52 Mill Hill Rd. Several musical groups will perform, including Half Naked, N.Y. Funk Alliance and the Flash Band, Princes of Serendip, Gaiawolf,  Parrots for Peace, and the One Sky family dance band with Mighty Xee and T.G. Vanini. Sponsored by the Haitian People's Support Project, Information, (845) 688-5012.

Tuesday, March 29, POUGHKEEPSIE (Marist Campus): The socially conscious and worthwhile Indian film "Pink Saris" will be screened at 7:30 p.m. in the Henry Hudson Room, Fontaine Hall, on campus. This 2010 endeavor from director Kim Longinotto tells the story of a pregnant, homeless 14-year-old untouchable child in India abandoned by her husband. She seeks out her only hope — an Indian women's vigilante group known as the Pink Gang. A British reviewer wrote: "Just one of the catchy aphorisms uttered by the formidable Sampat Pal Devi, leader of the Gulabi Gang (Pink Gang), the center of this stirring film, is 'If you’re shy, you’ll die.' Her base is northern India’s state of Uttar Pradesh, where entrenched tradition continues to condone child marriages, dowry deaths and abuse inflicted upon wives by husbands and in-laws. The Gulabi Gang seeks to help women from the lowest caste, known as dalits or 'untouchables.' The female gang members assert their presence by wearing bright pink saris and make good on Sampat Pal’s assertion that 'there is no higher power than a woman.' We see Sampat Pal’s more vulnerable side, as she endures family pressures and struggles to support her growing circle of dependents. Still, Pink Saris reverberates with feelings of hope and empowerment against the odds. We should all be so fortunate to have a gang of pink saris on our side." Free, public event.  Audience discussion to follow. Presented by the Marist College Public Praxis Program, with the help of Women Make Movies and Dutchess Peace. Campus map Information,

Tuesday, March 29, WHITE PLAINS: The Lower Hudson Valley Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union will meet for a panel discussion with community members at 7 p.m. on attempts to alter the 14th Amendment to revoke birthright citizenship. The keynote speaker is NYCLU Advocacy Director Udi Ofer. The event at the Ethical Cultural Society, 7 Saxon Wood Rd.
Free and public. Information,, (914) 997-7479.

Wednesday, March 30, ALBANY: As of this writing, a demonstration by students, faculty and others from various parts of the state will take place in the State Capital today — two days before Gov. Cuomo's cutback budget is supposed to be decided — including a march and two rallies. Exact plans are still being decided. The event is being sponsored by student groups at the City University of New York (CUNY), Albany University, and SUNY New Paltz, as well as the CUNY Professional Staff Council, CUNY Communications Workers of America, Community Voices Heard (NYC), Save Our SUNY, and groups of K12 students and teachers. Tentatively there will be a rally 12:30-1 p.m. at Albany U, followed by a march arriving at the Capitol building around 2 p.m. This will be followed by a press conference, then a speak out and teach-in. According to one of the organizers, Caitlin Ryan: "While this schedule is for the earlier parts of the day, we are strongly encouraging people to come at any time. We plan on staying into the night and would love the support of community members and faculty. If you have any questions please feel free to hit me up. You can call (917) 607 6178 or email"

Wednesday, March 30, ALBANY: A discussion entitled "Solitary Confinement and Isolation in Federal Prisons: Cruel and Inhuman, or Necessary?" will be held at 7 p.m. at Albany Law School, 80 New Scotland Ave., Rochester Moot Court Room 209 in the Main Building. Featured speakers are Aysha Ghandi of Muslims for Justice, and Rachel Meeropol from Center for Constitutional Rights.  Sponsored by The Center for Constitutional Rights, Project SALAM/Muslim Solidarity Committee, N.Y. Civil Liberties Union (Capitol District Chapter), Masjid As-Salam, Dr. Dhafir Support Committee. Information,,

Thursday, March 31, NEW PALTZ (SUNY campus): A public performance of "City That Drinks the Mountain Sky" by the Arm-of-the-Sea Theater's Mask and Puppet Theater troupe will start at 8 p.m. in the Student Union Building. The event is sponsored by the New Paltz chapter of Students for Fresh Water in Developing Nations, a group working towards providing "the inalienable right of water to all who lack it." Their goal this year is to raise $5,000 that will cover the cost of drilling a well in an African village of about 250 people. (More info about the project is at We're told: "The performance is about the epic story of New York City's water supply told in the elemental beauty of puppet theater. Heralded as one of the wonders of the world, the city's ingenious system of aqueducts and reservoirs provides clear mountain water from the Catskills to nine million downstate residents. And though the struggle over these water resources has, at times, bitterly divided city managers and watershed residents, it has also irrevocably united them." Information,

Thursday, March 31, TROY (Russell Sage Campus): "Saving Civilization: The Global Fight Against Devastating Climate Change" will be presented at 7 30 p.m. at 45 Ferry St. (and Congress St.) in Bush Memorial Hall. The speaker is Steven A. Leibo, professor of international  history and politics at the Sage Colleges. Sponsored by Sage Climate Crisis Center.  Information, (518) 244-2330,,

Sunday, April 3, NEW PALTZ: What is the situation in Haiti a year after the earthquake and days following the return of former President Aristide and the new election? This is the topic of a 6 p.m. talk by Dahoud Andre, co-host of  the of the daily Haitian community radio program Lakou New York. This free event will be in New Paltz Village Hall, 25 Plattekill Ave., a block south of Main St. (Rt. 299). Sponsored by the Caribbean and Latin America Support Project (CLASP), the evening begins with an optional potluck starting at 5 p.m. Information, (845) 255-0113.

Monday, April 4, ROCK TAVERN: A meeting on "The Complete Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. — A Community Gathering," will be held 7-9 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House, 9 Vance Rd. (off Rt. 207, a half-mile west of Rt. 747, Drury Lane). The gathering is being convened "to remember, revisit and rededicate  ourselves to the creation of the just and peaceful world Dr. King  envisioned." The program will include the spoken word, video, music, and readings. Speakers include Dr. Zelbert Moore, professor of  Black Studies at SUNY New Paltz; Marge Bell, social worker for the  Newburgh School District and a Newburgh City Councilwoman; Rae Lainer and Brenda  McPhail, organizers from Community Voices Heard; and Rabbi Michael Laxmeter of Temple Agudas Israel in Newburgh. (Snow date April 5.) Information, Verne M. Bell (845) 569-8965, Alison P. Fornes (845) 231-3592, Bennett Weiss (845) 569-8662.

Tuesday, April 5, POUGHKEEPSIE (Marist Campus): The new documentary, "Mrs. Goundo's Daughter," will have a free public screening at 7:30 p.m. in the Henry Hudson Room of Fontaine Hall. The movie depicts Mrs. Goundo's fight to remain in the U.S. after being threatened with deportation. We're told: "Bridging two worlds, this film tells the moving story of one Malian mother’s fight for asylum in the U.S. to protect her two-year-old daughter from female genital cutting in their African homeland. Expertly interweaving scenes from Mali of girls preparing for an excision ceremony and scenes from Philadelphia where those who have survived the ceremony share their stories, the film demonstrates precisely why and how Mrs. Goundo fights for her daughter and her future." Presented by the Marist College Public Praxis Program, with the help of Women Make Movies and Dutchess Peace.  Information, Campus map

Thursday, April 7, WHITE PLAINS: The Westchester Chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace  invites you to a discussion and book signing of "The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict" — 7 p.m. at Memorial United Methodist Church, 250 Bryant Ave. Goldstone, a well-known South African judge (who is Jewish) criticized Hamas but put the greater blame on Israel for the winter 2008-09 invasion of Gaza that took 1,400 Palestinian lives (mostly civilians and children), while losing 14 of its own soldiers, several by friendly fire. The Israeli government denounced the UN report. Two of the book's editors will field questions about the report and its reception around the globe. Lizzy Ratner has written for the New York Times, the Nation, the New York Observer, and other publications. Philip Weiss is the coeditor of the web site Mondoweiss. Thomas G. Weiss, Director of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Affairs at the CUNY Graduate Center, will moderate. RSVP,

Thursday, April 7, MILLBROOK: One year after the great Gulf oil spill, the president of the Natural Resources Defense Council will discuss whether the U.S. has made headway in preventing another oil spill.  Frances Beinecke will speak at the Cary Institute auditorium, 2801 Sharon Turnpike, (Rt. 44) at 7 p.m. Space is limited for this free and public event; doors open at 6:30 p.m. Information, (845) 677-7600, ext. 121,

Saturday, April 9, NEW YORK CITY: "Rally Against the Wars at Home and Abroad," 12 noon- 3 p.m. at Union Square, 14th St. and Broadway in Manhattan.  This event is being organized by the United National Antiwar Committee (UNAC) with many co-sponsors. From the organizers: "Who are the Warmakers? They are the government, corporate, and financial powers that wage war, ravage the environment and the economy and trample on our democratic rights and liberties. Who are the Peacemakers? We are the vast majority of humanity who want peace, a healthy planet and a society that prioritizes human needs, democracy and civil liberties for all." Protest issues: Bring U.S. troops home now: Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan; End the sanctions and stop the threats of war against the people of Iran, North Korea and Yemen; No to war and plunder of the people of Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa; End U.S. aid to Israel; End U.S. support to the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the siege of Gaza; Trillions for jobs, education, social services; End to all foreclosures; Quality single-payer healthcare for all; A massive conversion to sustainable and planet-saving energy systems and public transportation; Reparations to the victims of U.S. terror at home and abroad; End FBI raids on antiwar, social justice, and international solidarity activists; End the racist persecution and prosecutions that ravage Muslim comminutes; End to police terror in Black, Latino and Native American communities; Full rights and legality for immigrants; End all efforts to repress and punish Wikileaks and its contributors and founders; and an immediate end to torture, rendition, secret trials, drone bombings and death squads. Information, (518) 965-2935,, Information about buses from Albany: $30 round trip transport available, and travelers can register at

Sunday, April 10, NEW PALTZ: "Communities in Transition: Exploring the Issues of Peak Oil, Climate Change and How We Can Create a Locally Based Resilient Future" is the title of a 3-6 p.m. public forum at Mohonk Mountain House, 1000 Mountain Rest Rd. There will be a panel presentation and group discussion. The sponsor is Mohonk Consultations. Suggested donation, $10, $5 students/seniors. Reservations required, (845) 256-2726.

Tuesday, April 12, WORLDWIDE: The Institute for Policy Studies (U.S.), and the International Peace Bureau (Switzerland) is calling today a Global Day of Action on Military spending — a day to protest the trillions of dollars wasted on wars and preparations for wars around the world. Protests are taking place today in dozens of countries, including the U.S. In the Valley, Upper Hudson Peace Action has scheduled a 12 noon vigil outside the State Capitol building on the next day, April 13. This project has been endorsed by Peace Action, Religions for Peace, Code Pink, Fellowship of Reconciliation, War Resisters International, Food Not Bombs, Pax Christi International, and other organizations.. A list of actions, and information for groups that wish to organize protests is

Tuesday, April 12, POUGHKEEPSIE (Marist Campus): The 2010 documentary "Countdown to Zero" will be screened at 7:30 p.m. in the Henry Hudson Room of Fontaine Hall on campus. We are told this 90-minute film "traces the history of the atomic bomb from its origins to the present state of global affairs where nine nations possess nuclear weapons capabilities with others seeking to join them. Written and directed by acclaimed documentarian Lucy Walker, the film makes a compelling case for worldwide nuclear disarmament." Free and public, and an audience discussion follows the show. Presented by the Marist College Public Praxis Program, with the help of Women Make Movies and Dutchess Peace. Campus map Information,

Thursday, April 14, WOODSTOCK: The Middle East Crisis Response group of Hudson Valley residents opposed to Israeli and U.S. policies toward the Palestinians meets on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month 7-8:30 p.m. at the Library, 5 Library Lane, just off Tinker St. All welcome. Information, (845) 876-7906,,

Thursday, April 14, TROY (Russell Sage Campus): A lecture entitled "Reparations and the Armenian Genocide" will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Art Wing B, Schacht Fine Arts Center, 7 Division St. The speaker is Prof. Henry Theriault of the Worcester State University Philosophy Department and chair of the Armenian Genocide Reparations Study Group. Information,,

Friday, April 22, MATTYDALE: A protest against the war in Afghanistan will take place in this suburb of Syracuse at the Hancock Air National Guard Base from 2:30-5:30 p.m. Hancock is a particular target of antiwar actions because it is one of several venues in the U.S. where military employees handle remotely controlled pilotless Reaper drones over the western Pakistan extension of the stalemated Bush-Obama Afghan war. The ACLU and Amnesty International condemn drone attacks for violating the rules of war by illegally killing noncombatants and others in places where war has not been formally declared. Sen. Schumer has proposed making Hancock Field a test site which would involve flying drones over the Adirondacks. The event is sponsored by Syracuse Peace Council, Brooklyn For Peace, Buffalo Interfaith Peace Network, Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, The Peace Education Project, Peace Action of Central New York, Western NY Peace Center, The Upstate Antiwar Network, Rochester Against War, The Gandhi Institute, Broome County Peace Action, Ithaca Catholic Worker, Peace Now Ithaca , Veterans for Peace (Buffalo Chapter 128 & Ithaca Chapter) Vietnam Veterans Against the War (Ithaca Chapter), Military Families Speak Out, and others. We do not yet have a reliable schedule of events but one should become available soon. Information, Syracuse Peace Council (315) 472-5478,,,