Tuesday, March 2, 2010

03-02-10 Activist Calendar

ACTIVIST CALENDAR, March 2, 2010, Issue #157
Of the Hudson Valley Activist Newsletter
Send event announcements to jacdon@earthlink.net.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Newsletter will be emailed next week with an analysis of the Pentagon's Quadrennial Defense Review (preparations for two concurrent big wars PLUS innumerable simultaneous wars in small poor countries) among other articles.


As Washington's wars keep expanding, and the highest military budget ever presented is now before Congress, isn't it time at last — after all these years of fruitless and unnecessary fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now Pakistan and Yemen, too — to say "No, no more, not in my name"? Isn't it time to bring our troops home and to invest all that money and labor in rebuilding a better America?

We can't do both. It's either war and destruction, or peace and construction.

In 18 days, a mass peace demonstration will take place in Washington. This is your chance to take a stand for peace, not war, if you are so inclined. We'll take you there. The Activist Newsletter and our group Peace and Social Progress Now have chartered several buses from the Hudson Valley to the nation's capital Saturday, March 20, to join many thousands at the big march and rally for peace.

We are leaving from Kingston, New Paltz, Poughkeepsie, probably Spring Valley, and perhaps another location in the mid-to-lower Valley. It depends on demand. We pull out in the early morning hours and return at night following our protest. The roundtrip cost is $60 per person. Discounts are available for students and low-income people thanks to contributions from readers. Let us know if you require a discount. To reserve a seat, send us an email at jacdon@earthlink.net with your name, town, email address, phone number, and boarding location of those listed. After emailing, make out your check to Activist Newsletter and promptly mail to Activist Newsletter, P.O. Box 662, New Paltz, NY 12561. Your check will secure your reservation.

Our own cost for hiring buses is $60 a seat, the same as we charge. This is too expensive in these recessionary times for many low income workers and students who wish to oppose the war, so we are offering them substantial discounts because we won't leave anyone behind. We need your assistance in helping these people get to Washington. In most cases, low income activists will pay $30, and several are traveling free. Make out your contribution check to Activist Newsletter and mail to the newsletter at P.O. Box 662, New Paltz, NY 12561. Mark it "donation."


Wednesday, March 3, PURCHASE: (Manhattanville campus): A Climate Seminar on "Understanding and Combating Climate Change and Its Crippling Consequences" begins at 7:15 p.m. in the campus library periodicals room. Speakers include Cecil Corbin-Mark (WEACT); Shabazz Jackson and Josephine Papagni (Greenway Environmental Services of Dutchess County); John Cronin (Pace Univ. Environmental Center); Mannajo Greene (Hudson River Clearwater); and Ross Gould, (Environmental Advocates of N.Y.). The seminar stresses the importance of the 2009 Copenhagen conference on climate change, green jobs, community efforts and public policy changes, and environmental justice. Subsequent Wednesday events take place March 10, 24, and 31 (see below). Sponsored by the Connie Hogarth Center for Social Action. Information, (914) 323-7156.

Wednesday, March 3, to Saturday, March 13, ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON (Bard College campus): The Bard International Solidarity Movement is participating in the 6th annual international "Israeli Apartheid Week" with a series of educational and action events. So far, here's the lineup: March 3: Participants in the recent Gaza Freedom March will speak about their experiences (see below). March 4: ISM presents Apartheid Week on the National Day to Defend Education with the Radical Students Union. March 6 (tentative): Video Conference with Palestinian victims of Israeli ethnic cleansing. March 7: Bard ISM sponsors a workshop on nonviolent action. March 9: Bard ISM presents the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions Movement. March 10: Norman Finkelstein, the political scientist and critic of Tel Aviv's policies toward the Palestinian people, will speak. March 13: Rally for Palestine, presented by Bard ISM and supporting student groups. Information, http://clubs.bard.edu/ism/, http://www.palsolidarity.org/. For activities in NYC, see http://newyork.apartheidweek.org/.

Wednesday, March 3, ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON (Bard campus): Ten residents of the Hudson Valley took part in the Gaza Freedom March Dec. 25-Jan. 4, and members of the delegation will discuss their experiences at a free public meeting tonight, 7-10 p.m. They will also talk about the emerging International Coalition to End the Illegal Siege of Gaza. The Freedom March was an act of solidarity with the people of Gaza, who continue to be under siege by the government and armed forces of Israel. This free public event will be held at Bertelsmann Campus Center's Weis Cinema. Sponsored by Middle East Crisis Response. Campus map http://www.bard.edu/campus/maps/pdfs/campusmap.pdf. Information, (845) 876-7906, http://www.mideastcrisis.org, http://www.hudsontogaza.blogspot.com.

Thursday, March 4, NATIONWIDE: Today is the National Day of Actions to Defend Education, sponsored and endorsed by hundreds of organizations around the country. Rallies and other actions are taking place in some 30 states and the District of Columbia. California leads in the number of protests — nearly three dozen, mostly in area colleges. In New York State there will be a number of protests in the NYC area, as well as Syracuse and Stony Brook. In the Hudson Valley SUNY Purchase in Westchester is listed as participating. According to the organizers: "As people throughout the country struggle under the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, public education from pre-K to higher and adult education is threatened by budget cuts, layoffs, privatization, tuition and fee increases, and other attacks. Budget cuts degrade the quality of public education by decreasing student services and increasing class size, while tuition hikes and layoffs force the cost of the recession onto students and teachers and off of the financial institutions that caused the recession in the first place. Non-unionized charter schools threaten to divide, weaken and privatize the public school system and damage teachers’ unions, which are needed now more than ever. More and more students are going deep into debt to finance their education, while high unemployment forces many students and youth to join the military to receive a higher education." The principal demands of the NYC organizers are: "Stop the school closings and privatization of public education; Stop the cuts to K-12 and higher education; Restore the free student MetroCard; Full funding for all educational needs; Education is a right — Free, high-quality education for all." Information, http://www.defendeducation.org/. Click on local/regional events and scroll to New York State. For more information about the NYC protests, including a 4-6 p.m. rally at Gov. Paterson's office, 633 Third Ave. (between 40-41 Sts.), http://march4ny.wordpress.com/.

Friday, March 5, PLEASANTVILLE: WESPAC Poetry Cafe presents a performance and benefit with poets Ralph Nazareth, Vivian Bergenthal and Janet K. Bloom. Bring your own poem if you wish. At WESPAC Pleasantville, 17 Marble Ave., 7-9 p.m. Admission $10/$20. Information, (914) 449-6515, info@wespac.org, http://www.wespac.org.

Friday, March 5, ALBANY: "Sleep-a-thon in the Park," a fundraiser for the homeless, will be held from 7 p.m. Friday, to 5 a.m. Saturday at Townsend Park, at the corner of Henry Johnson Blvd., and Central Ave. The sponsor is the Homeless Action Committee. Information (518) 426-0554, homelessaction@verizon.net, http://www.homelessaction.com.

Friday, March 5, MILLBROOK: Why are you five times more likely to encounter a Lyme disease-bearing tick in a small woodlot than in a large state forest? This will be one of the topics touched upon by disease ecologist Dr. Richard S. Ostfeld at a free public meeting at 7 p.m. in the Cary Institute auditorium, 2801 Sharon Turnpike (Rte. 44). We're told Ostfeld "will explore the role that biodiversity plays in protecting human health. He and his research team have spent more than a decade unraveling how ecological conditions influence the risk of human exposure to infectious disease." Information, (845) 677-7600, ext. 121, freemanp@caryinstitute.org.

Friday-Saturday, March 5-6, BRONXVILLE (Sarah Lawrence campus): A Hip Hop Feminist conference will feature, Riot Grrrl, Latina Music, Carmen Ashhurst, Mimi Nguyen and Fiona Ngo, Christa D’Angelica, Shanna Benjamin and Manny Moore at various locations on campus, Events Friday begin at 6 p.m. (Registration from 4:30 p.m.) Saturday's session begins at 10 a.m. and the closing reception ends at 8:30 p.m. This free event is sponsored by the Women's History Graduate Program. For information, full schedule and to register, http://www.slc.edu/graduate/programs/womens-history/conference/schedule.html.

Saturday, March 6, NEW PALTZ (SUNY campus): A day-long "Global Food Crisis Conference" for campus and community residents will be held at the Coykendall Science Building (CSB) featuring speakers, workshops and a film. Workshops include "Permaculture Basics," "Eating locally," "Food Choices and Climate Change," " Traditional Diets: Relearning Nutrition from our Ancestors," and "Water in the World and the Hudson Valley." The keynote speakers are Eric Holt-Gimenez, executive director of FoodFirst Institute for Development and Policy, and Molly Anderson, director of Food Systems Integrity. The movie "Fresh" will be shown at 5:15 p.m. Registration starts at 9 a.m. Admission is $5.50 for students and $10.50 for the public. The sponsoring group is Students for Sustainable Agriculture. Campus map, http://www.newpaltz.edu/map/. Full information about the conference is at http://npgfcc.weebly.com/index.html, (646) 316-8579.

Saturday March 6, NEW YORK CITY: A "tribute performance" of the late Howard Zinn’s "Marx in Soho" — with Brian Jones, and hosted by Amy Goodman — begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Society for Ethical Culture, 2 West 64th St. in Manhattan. The event is sponsored by Haymarket Books, Voices of a People's History of the U.S., Brecht Forum, Indypendent, Beacon Press and the N.Y. Society for Ethical Culture. Information, http://www.marxinsoho.com/, http://www.nysec.org/, http://www.haymarketbooks.org/.

Saturday, March 6, NEW YORK CITY: A teach-in on the question ) “Why Is the U.S. Still in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan?” begins at 1 p.m. at Judson Memorial Church Assembly Hall, 239 Thompson St. (just south of Washington Sq. Park West. Speakers include Glenn Ford (Black Agenda Report), Ray LaForest (Haiti Action Network and DC 1707), Adaner Usmani (Action for a Progressive Pakistan), and a representative of Al-Awda. Sponsors: National Assembly to End the Iraq & Afghanistan Wars & Occupations, Pakistan USA Freedom Forum, Green Party (Manhattan), Asia Pacific Action, Queer People of Color, Harlem Tenants Council, Harlem Anti-War Coalition, Int’l Socialist Organization, World Can’t Wait, Socialist Action. RSVP: (646) 898-7328, spewnyc@aol.com and http://www.natassembly.org.

Monday, March 8, NEW PALTZ (SUNY Campus): A free public forum on the controversial subject of gas drilling in New York State will be held in Lecture Center 100, 5:45-8 p.m. Participants include members of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Dept. of Environmental Conservation, and the gas industry. The keynote speaker is Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY). Sponsored by Schein Media and the SUNY New Paltz Environmental Task Force. Campus map, http://www.newpaltz.edu/map/loc_lc.html. Information, (845) 626-2999, greenadvocate@scheinmedia.com

Monday, March 8, ALBANY: Women Against War will be gathering on the Henry Johnson Bridge 4-5:30 p.m. to demonstrate for peace and protest the high cost of war for women and children, who they say "... make up about 75% of the civilian victims of wars." The event is part of a global series of "Meet Women on the Bridge" protests organized by Women for Women International. The bridge is at the Central Ave. end of Central Ave. and Henry Johnson Blvd. Sponsored by Women Against War. Information, (518) 283-5353, mhopple@nycap.rr.com, http://www.womenagainstwar.org.

Monday, March 8, ALBANY: The local chapter of the faith-based New Sanctuary Movement group gathers 7-8:30 p.m. on the 2nd Monday of each month in support of local immigrants who are at risk of deportation, and generally assisting families affected by immigration laws. All are welcome to attend at Emmaus House, 45 Trinity Place. Sponsored by New Sanctuary Movement and Albany Catholic Worker. Information (518) 482-4966, fred.acw@gmail.com, http://NewSanctuaryMovement.org/.

Tuesday, March 9, YONKERS: A free showing of the Film "Rethink Afghanistan" takes place 7-9 p.m. at the Grinton I. Will Library, 1500 Central Park Ave., followed by a discussion of the real reasons Washington continues to wage war in this poorest of world nations in Central Asia. We're told, "This ground-breaking documentary shatters the perceived truths given for the war in Afghanistan, including the false claims that our security will be improved and that we are fighting to save Afghan women from the hands of the Taliban. The film also explores the staggering costs of this war and its effects on the lives of ordinary Americans." Sponsored by the WESPAC Foundation, Peace Action New Rochelle, Westchester Peace and Justice Coalition, and CODEPINK/Westchester. Information, Steve (914) 263-3479 or Ted (914) 235-1744.

Tuesday, March 9, ALBANY: A meeting on "Climate Action — Next Steps" will be held at 7 p.m. at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany, 405 Washington Ave. "The goal is to plan continued steps and community outreach, spreading the word about energy system change on both a local and global level." Information, (518) 466-9339, http://www.350/org.

Tuesday, March 9, NEW YORK CITY: A protest and march against the $1,000-a-plate fundraising dinner for the Israeli Occupation Forces will take place outside the Waldorf Astoria hotel, 49th St. and Park Ave. in Manhattan at 6 p.m. Appearing at the event will be Chief of the Israeli Defense Force General Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, whom the protestors describe as a war criminal. Demonstrators will meet at 53rd St. and Lexington Ave. at 5 p.m. Signs will be provided. Participants are asked to wear something black. Sponsors include Jews Say No!, Adalah-NY, Gaza Freedom March, Judson Church, Women In Black (Union Square), Committee for Open Discussion of Zionism, CODEPINK, Brooklyn For Peace, Women of a Certain Age, Center for Immigrant Families, WESPAC, Middle East Crisis Response, Regeneración Childcare NYC, National Lawyers Guild N.Y. Chapter, Post Road, American Jews for a Just Peace, Jewish Voice For Peace, Woodstock Veterans For Peace, and Activist Response Team. Information, jewssayno@gmail.com.

Wednesday, March 10, PURCHASE (Manhattanville campus): Climate Seminar, 7:15 p.m., in the East Library, Reid Castle (see March 3). This session focuses on creating a zero waste society and a green economy. Sponsored by the Connie Hogarth Center for Social Action. Information, (914) 323-7156.

Thursday, March 11, WOODSTOCK: The Middle East Crisis Response group of Hudson Valley residents opposed to Israeli and U.S. policies toward the Palestinians meets 7-8:30 p.m. at the Library, 5 Library Lane, just off Tinker St. All welcome. Information, (845) 876-7906, http://www.mideastcrisis.org, gale@mideastcrisis.org.

Saturday, March 13, POUGHKEEPSIE: A woman known to many only as the "Peace Pilgrim" crisscrossed the United States on foot for over 25,000 miles from 1953 until her death on the road in 1981, carrying nothing but her peace message and what fit in the pockets of her blue tunic. A documentary about this extraordinary individual will be shown starting at 7 p.m. at Poughkeepsie Friends Meeting, 249 Hooker Ave., followed by an audience discussion. Her internationally known book "Steps to Inner Peace" will be available. The screening will be followed by an audience discussion. This event is part of the "Give Peace a Film" series sponsored by the Dutchess Peace Coalition and Poughkeepsie Friends Meeting. Information, (845) 454-6431, (845) 454-2870, http://www.dutchesspeace.org, http://www.poughkeepsiequakers.org.

Saturday, March 13, WHITE PLAINS: The film Silent Screams will be shown at 7 p.m. at WESPAC, 255 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. (corner E. Post Rd.) with filmmaker Karla Hansen and her husband, Prof. Ismael Hossein Zadeh. We're told: "Silent Screams deftly interweaves the lives of Iranian, Afghani and Pakistani villagers with those of America’s forgotten poor. Hansen ties the plight of defenseless civilian victims abroad with the hardships of countless Americans whose vital needs remain unmet as a result of America’s spiraling military spending. In 35 minutes, the documentary examines the crucial question 'What is real security?'" Sponsors: American Iranian Friendship Committee and WESPAC. Donation at door (No one turned away). Information, (914) 273-8852, (914) 449-6514, ellieomm@optonline.net, info@wespac.org, http://www.iranaifc.com, http://www.wespac.org.

Sunday, March 14, ROSENDALE: A Pancake Breakfast to benefit the Rosendale Farmers' Market, will be held at the Rosendale Community Center, Route 32, from 8 a.m. to noon. $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, $4 for kids 5-12, children under 5 eat free. Live music, real maple syrup, etc.

Monday, March, 15, TROY (Russell Sage Campus): Professor Mohammad Amjad will discuss "The Iranian Presidential Election of 2009 and the Emergence of the Democratic Resistance" at Bush Memorial, 45 Ferry St. at 7 p.m. Public and free. Information, leibos@sage.edu.

Tuesday, March 16, ALBANY: A "Vigil in Honor and Memory of Rachel Corrie" will
convene 4:30-5:30 p.m. at 195 Washington Ave. (at Lark St.). Corrie was a 23-year-old peace activist from Olympia, WA, who was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer seven years ago today while offering nonviolent direct action to protect the home of a Palestinian family from demolition. Sponsored by the Palestinian Rights Committee. Information, tellis@cetoxic.org, (518) 453-8874, http://www.peaceact.net/prc.htm.

Tuesday, March 16, ELMSFORD: A public meeting on immigration starts at 7 p.m. at Greenburgh Public Library, 300 Tarrytown Rd. The N.Y. Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) will discusse its fight for comprehensive immigration reform that respects fundamental civil rights and liberties. Hear personal stories of several immigrants now resident in the Lower Hudson Valley. Sponsors of this free public event include the NYCLU, Hudson Valley Community Coalition, WESPAC Foundation, and others. Information and directions, (914) 449-6514, http://www.wespac.org, http://www.nyclu.org/immigrationreform.

Friday-Sunday, March 19-21, NEW YORK CITY: The theme of Left Forum 2010 is "The Center Cannot Hold: Rekindling the Radical Imagination." This annual event is a must-attend for many regional left activists (except for those who are traveling to Washington on Saturday for the big peace demonstration). It takes place at Pace University, 1 Pace Plaza, in Manhattan just south of the Brooklyn Bridge. The times are Friday 7-9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. The Left Forum gathers intellectuals and activists from around the world to address the key political, economic and social issues of our times. There will be up to 200 workshops, hundreds of speakers and thousands of attendees. In addition there are two international art shows, a film festival, book sale, and theater arts performances. This year's speakers include, Michael Moore, Jessie Jackson, and Noam Chomsky, to mention a few. Registration, $15-$70, check http://leftforum.org/node/23 for registration details. List of speakers and other information is at http://leftforum.org.

Saturday, March 20, WASHINGTON: Today will determine whether our peace movement is well on its way to becoming strong again. People from throughout the East Coast are heading to the nation's capital for a noon rally across from the White House. This will be followed by a march through downtown, stopping for mini-rallies in front of selected corporate and government buildings connected to the wars. Flag-draped mock coffins will be deposited at the front entrances of each building, as speakers explain over loudspeakers why the action is taking place. A large coalition of American national and regional peace groups is organizing this event, which is calling for the withdrawal of all U.S. and NATO forces from Afghanistan and Iraq. To take the peace buses from the Hudson Valley to DC and back that evening, see the first item in this calendar, which contains all the details, and/or email jacdon@earthlink.net.

Saturday, March 20, NEW PALTZ: The local Hudson Valley Materials Exchange reopens today (12-5 p.m.) for the 2010 season. It is located at the New Paltz Recycling Center, 3 Clearwater Rd. HVME is a community resource "for educating the public about reducing consumption and redirecting material that usually enters the waste stream. In celebration of the opening, all of our materials are 25% off! In addition to offering useful items to the community for prices that simply cover the cost of operation, we are also partnering with other local non-profit organizations to provide them with incredibly low cost office supplies and crafts materials. The exchange is open Wednesday through Saturday 12-5 p.m. during the spring, summer and fall. Information, (845) 256-8636, HVMaterialsExchange@gmail.com.

Wednesday, March 24, NEW PALTZ (SUNY campus): What’s Really Behind U.S. Actions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran? That's the topic of a talk tonight by a man who knows: former CIA analyst — turned peace activist and writer — Ray McGovern. He will speak at 7:30 p.m. in the Coykendall Science Building Auditorium. The event is sponsored by the Office of the Provost, Progressive Academic Network, Departments of Educational Studies, English and Foreign Languages. Campus map, http://www.newpaltz.edu/map/.

Wednesday, March 24, PURCHASE: (Manhattanville Campus): Climate Seminar, 7:15 p.m., in the East Library, Reid Castle (see March 3). This session focuses on the World Crisis of Water. Sponsored by the Connie Hogarth Center for Social Action. Information, (914) 323-7156.

Thursday, March 25, WOODSTOCK: The Middle East Crisis Response group of Hudson Valley residents opposed to Israeli and U.S. policies toward the Palestinians meets 7-8:30 p.m. at the Library, 5 Library Lane, just off Tinker St. All welcome. Information, (845)876-7906, http://mideastcrisis.org, gale@mideastcrisis.org.

Wednesday, March 31, PURCHASE: (Manhattanville campus): Climate Seminar, 7:15 p.m., in the East Library, Reid Castle (see March 3). This session focuses on Alternatives to Fossil Fuels: solar, wind, geothermal, hydro as well as a critique of nuclear power, oil, gas, coal. Sponsored by the Connie Hogarth Center for Social Action. Information, (914) 323-7156.