Wednesday, September 21, 2011

09-22-12 Activist Calendar

September 21, 2011, Issue #668
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Dedicated to Helping Build  Activist
Movements  in  the  Hudson  Valley

Editor's Note:

Today (Sept. 21), as we write the Activist Calendar, is the UN-declared International Day of Peace — an observance approved by the General Assembly in 1981. Events marking the occasion have taken place in many locations around the globe. Unfortunately, the United Nations has been virtually impotent when it comes to stopping aggression by big powers. Indeed, it has been complicit in the regime-change bombings by NATO in Libya, as it also has in the U.S. government's continuing imperial misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the drone attacks in western Pakistan and elsewhere.

So as we observe World Peace Day let's remember that good intentions not accompanied by corrective actions are fruitless or worse. If governments cannot act to bring about peace it's up to the people to do so by their activism. With this thought in mind we resume publication of the Activist Calendar after an unavoidable interruption of a few months.

Thursday, Sept. 22, NEW YORK CITY: The movement to "Occupy Wall Street" in Manhattan, ala Tahrir Square, may continue into the weekend and perhaps beyond, and spread to other cities as well. Reports of participation vary considerably. It's said that a total of about a thousand to several thousand demonstrators have taken part in the protest over the past several days, with relatively few arrests. Police have tried to contain the protest to Liberty Park on Broadway, two blocks north of Wall St. and about four blocks south of City Hall, where many participants remain overnight, but actions take place outside as well.  According to the organizers, "Occupy Wall Street is a leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. The original call for this occupation was published by Adbusters in July; since then, many individuals across the country have stepped up to organize this event, such as the people of the NYC General Assembly and U.S. Day of Rage ." We're told reinforcements are always welcome for a couple of hours, overnight or days. Information,

Friday, Sept. 23, POUGHKEEPSIE: "A Green New Deal" rally for green energy and economy will take place 4:30 p.m. in front of the Dutchess County Office Building, 22 Market St. sponsored by  the Real Majority Project. Information, (845) 876-2488

Saturday, Sept. 24, WORLDWIDE
: Rallies in support of a clean, safe environment will be taking place today in well over a thousand locations in 170 countries, titled Moving Planet — "a day to put our demands for climate action into motion by marching, biking, skating, etc., calling for the world to go beyond fossil fuels." Bill McKibben's group is the principal organizer. In addition to the following three actions, check out for other actions, about the day and other information. Additional information,
Saturday, Sept 24, NEW PALTZ: Moving Green Day (as it's called here) will be observed 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Water St. Market, on Main St. near the Wallkill bridge, and 1-4 p.m. at Hasbrouck Park just southwest of the SUNY campus near Village Hall. We're told there will be "games, music, bikes, and more, plus a huge group photo shoot at 3:50 p.m." The sponsors are New Paltz Climate Action Coalition and New Paltz GreenWorks.

Saturday, Sept. 24, ALBANY: Moving Planet Day in the state capital will consist of a bicycle ride and environmental rally. Starting at 11 a.m., bicyclists from the capital region will assemble at Capitol Park West and ride to Henry Johnson Blvd. and Rt. 9 where, at 11:45 a.m., they will meet up with a contingent from Glens Falls and ride back to Capitol Park West for a rally with music and speakers. The rally will include the cyclists, as well as pedestrians, skateboarders, transit riders and other citizens. The event is sponsored by Capital Region 350 Climate Action. Information, (518) 466-9339,

Saturday, Sept. 24, POUGHKEEPSIE and HIGHLAND: The Cornell Cooperative Extension of Dutchess and Ulster Counties and local partners support a "Get Moving Hudson Valley" event at the Walkway over the Hudson Park, or anywhere on the local trail system. Adults, youth, families, and community groups are encouraged to "Go for a Walk or Ride, Just don't Drive" to raise energy and climate change awareness. CCE and local partners will provide information on sustainable transportation, walkable and bikeable communities, local trails, alternative energy and energy conservation, climate change impacts in New York, and ways for citizens to get involved, at the Poughkeepsie and Highland entrances of the Walkway over the Hudson Park from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Join the Dutchess County 4-H Outdoor Education Club for Free children's activities: a coloring station and a chance to ride the CCE energy bike. Join us at 11 a.m. in the middle of the Walkway over the Hudson Bridge for a brief press conference and photo opportunity. Information, (845) 677-8223 or

Saturday, Sept. 24, PURCHASE (Manhattanville College campus): Celebrate the public reopening of the Connie Hogarth Center for Social Action at the center's 9th annual peace concert featuring a number of musical artists. It will be held outdoors at the mini-quad on campus 2-5 p.m. Information, (914) 323-7156.

Saturday, Sept. 24, ALBANY: A free pubic documentary about striking miners — "Locked Out" — will be screened at 7:30 p.m. at First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany, 405 Washington Ave., sponsored by Solidarity Committee of the Capital District, Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace, and Upper Hudson Peace Action. The film focuses on California miners and the Rio Tinto Group, the third largest mining company in the world. The bosses threatened to lock the miners out of work unless they accepted cutbacks in a new contract. In January 2010, the workers voted unanimously to reject the company's offer, and were locked out the following day. In the ensuing 107-day struggle, the workers of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union defeated the multinational corporation. According to the filmmakers, "Their story provides an inspiring example of union resistance to today's corporate and government attack upon workers' rights." Information, (518) 426-0883,

Saturday, Sept. 24, KINGSTON: Ulster County Democrats and liberal support groups are holding a political rally 1-4 p.m. in Waterfront Park at Broadway and West Strand (near the Rondout Landing Dock and  Mariner's Harbor). The theme is "United we win." Featured speakers include: Rep. Maurice Hinchey, District Attorney candidate Jon Sennett, Ulster County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach, Area Labor Federation representative Beth Soto, Ellenville NAACP's Maude Bruce, Ruth Molloy of Medicare for All, and Rosalyn Cherry of Citizens Against Fracking, among others. Among the sponsors are the Ulster County Democratic Committee, Ulster County Democratic Women, Working Families Party, Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation, Organizing for America, and Hudson Valley for Obama 2012. Information, (646) 279-3179,

Sunday, Sept. 25, PLEASANTVILLE: "The Big Uneasy," a  film about why New Orleans flooded, and why it could happen in other cities across America, will be screened at 6 p.m., followed by an appearance by director Harry Shearer and then talks by two WESPAC members about their group's activities. The venue is Jacob Burns Film Center, 364 Manville Rd., (914) 747-5555. About the film, Tickets and Theater information,

Sunday, Sept. 25, SARATOGA SPRINGS: A peace fair will be held 12 noon-4 p.m. at 24 Circular St., Presbyterian-New England Congregational Church. There will be some 50 exhibitors, several musical groups and various activities for children and adults. Admission free, rain or shine. Sponsored by the Congregational Church, the Saratoga Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, the Saratoga Peace Alliance and Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Saratoga Springs. Information, (518) 584-6091,

Sunday, Sept. 25, ALBANY:
"The Future of Our Healthcare: Medicare for All vs. a Private Insurance Based System" is the topic of  2-4:30 p.m. address by Dr. David Ansell, a Chicago-based physician and health activist, and author of "County: Life, Death and Politics at Chicago's Public Hospital." He will speak about his experiences with our private insurance based health system, its shortcomings in delivering adequate healthcare to all, and his thoughts about solutions. A panel discussion will follow to address the current status of healthcare reform in Massachusetts, Vermont and New York State. This free public event takes place at First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany, 405 Washington Ave. The sponsors include Capital District Alliance for Universal Healthcare, Single Payer New York, Physicians for a National Health Program Capital District Chapter, Troy Area Labor Council, Capital District Area Labor Federation, League of Women Voters of Saratoga County, NY StateWide Senior Action Council, Social Responsibilities Council of FUUSA, and the New York State Nurses Association. Information,( 518) 482-0420.

Tuesday, Sept. 27, RHINEBECK:
A free screening of the Academy Award winning Best Documentary "Inside Job" begins at 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall, 80 East Market St. We're told the film provides a comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, which at a cost over $20 trillion, caused millions of people to lose their jobs and homes in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and nearly resulted in a global financial collapse." The sponsors are Dutchess Peace and the Real Majority Project. Information,

Saturday, Oct. 1, NEW YORK CITY and ELSEWHERE: Rallies will take place in several states today demanding "Clean, Safe, Nuclear-Free Energy." In this flagship New York City event of The Coalition Against Nukes, Dr. Helen Caldicott will be the keynote speaker at the rally at Pier 95 and the Hudson River Park (55th St. and 12th Ave.). Also speaking 12 noon-3:30 p.m. will be John Hall, Brent Blackwelder, Alice Slater, Harvey Wasserman, Kevin Kamps, and Karl Grossman, among others. According to the organizers: "An earthquake just caused two reactors in Virginia's North Anna plant to shut down and 12 others reported 'unusual events.' Indian Point in the Hudson Valley is near two faults in a densely-populated area. The unfolding tragedy in Fukushima, Japan must be our wake up call. Stand with the people of Japan and say 'not here.'" Sponsored by: Friends of the Earth, Sierra Club NYC, NYPIRG, Clearwater, Ralph Nader, Helen Caldicott, Beyond Nuclear, IPSEC, Shut Down Indian Point Now, Westchester Citizens Awareness Network, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, ECOFEST, Rock the Reactors, Time's Up. Information,,

Saturday, Oct. 1 to Saturday Oct. 8, WORLDWIDE:  The International Week of Protest to Stop the Militarization of Space begins today. Actions are taking place in 32 different parts of the world, including 14 venues in the United States, from a nuclear missile site in California, to Shriever Air Force Base in Colorado, the Strategic Command at Offut AFB in Nebraska, the Lockheed Martin weapons corporation in Pennsylvania, and  Fort Mead in Maryland to name a few. The worldwide event is sponsored by the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, with co-sponsors Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (UK), Swedish Peace Council, Drone Campaign Network (UK), United Against Drones (U.S.), and Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. The main website is Information, (207) 443-9502.

Wednesday, Oct. 5, LOCAL and NEW YORK STATE:
State University of New York students from Albany, Buffalo, Binghamton, New Paltz and Stony Brook, joined by students from some City University of New York campuses are planning a statewide walkout/teach-in today in opposition to increased tuition and fees, and cutbacks in services and staff. They are part of a new organization titled New York Students Rising. Information, http://nystudentsrising/.

Thursday, Oct. 6, WASHINGTON:
  "Stop the Machine! Create a New World!" is the call to a mass nonviolent action beginning today at Freedom Plaza (13th St. and Pennsylvania Ave. NW) and continuing for as long as activists are willing to sustain the protest — days, weeks or much longer. Some will offer civil disobedience, others will not. People are attending from throughout the U.S. We're told dozens of people from the Hudson Valley will take part. Politically, the specific demands upon the U.S. government are: "Tax the rich and corporations; End the wars, bring the troops home, cut military spending; Protect the social safety net, strengthen Social Security and improved Medicare for all; End corporate welfare for oil companies and other big business interests; Transition to a clean energy economy, reverse environmental degradation; Protect worker rights including collective bargaining, create jobs and raise wages; Get money out of politics." This action is being organized by the October 2011 Coalition, composed of "groups who advocate for peace and social, economic and environmental justice, in a sustained occupation and nonviolent resistance to Stop the Machine! Create a New World! What is the machine? Corporatism and militarism. What new world is possible? One in which people's needs are more important than corporate profits, in which we unite our struggles for jobs, education, housing, healthcare and human rights in which we are freed to implement solutions for a peaceful, just and sustainable world." A great many details are available at the coalition's website,, from a schedule of events to FAQs, information about sleeping arrangements, transportation and much more. Information,

Friday, Oct. 7, SEVERAL CITIES:
The Bush Administration launched its unjust invasion and occupation of Afghanistan exactly 10 years ago today. The ANSWER Coalition has organized a number of demonstrations demanding an immediate end to U.S. aggression, which has been widened by the Obama Administration, in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and elsewhere. ANSWER is also organizing for UNAC's Oct. 15 protests in several cities.

Thursday, Oct. 13, WOODSTOCK: Middle East Crisis Response, a group of Hudson Valley residents joined in protest against policies of Israel and the United States, will hold its meeting tonight at the Woodstock Public Library, 5 Library Lane. Information, (845) 876-7906.

Saturday, Oct. 15, SEVERAL CITIES: Local Protests will take place in a dozen or so U.S. cities today to demand the immediate withdrawal of American troops, contractors and bases from Afghanistan and Iraq, an end to the war on Libya and Pakistan, a halt to Washington's aid to Israel, an end to threats against Iran and "Money for jobs and education, not for war and incarceration." The sponsor is United National Antiwar Coalition.

Saturday, Oct. 15, ALBANY: There will be a peace march and rally to mark the 10th anniversary of the unjust U.S. invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and drone attacks in adjacent western Pakistan. There will be speakers and live music. Peace and justice organizations are welcome to table at this event, which will be held 12 noon-2 p.m. in Townsend Park — the triangle where Central Ave. converges with Washington Ave. adjacent to Henry Johnson Blvd. (across from the Social
Justice Center). The sponsor is Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace. Information, (518) 439-1968,

Monday, Oct. 17, NEW PALTZ (SUNY campus): Kristin Kimball, author of "The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love," will offer a free public lecture 7 p.m. in the Coykendall Science Building Auditorium. She will be speaking along with her husband, farmer Mark Kimball, a central character in her autobiographical book, which chronicles Kristin Kimball’s transition from a Harvard-educated New York City journalist to a partner in an ambitious sustainable agriculture experiment. The event is sponsored by the SUNY New Paltz Environmental Task Force, the Department of English, the Department of Sociology, and the Environmental Studies Program, with the support of the Provost’s Office and Campus Auxiliary Services.  Information, (845) 257-3447.