Monday, November 28, 2011

10-28-11 Activist Calendar

November 28, 2011, Issue #672
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Dedicated to Helping Build  Activist
Movements  in  the  Hudson  Valley
1. Activist events usually slow down around mid-December for the holidays and the academic winter break and pick up again at the end of January unless there are exceptional circumstances.
2. Note we have repeated the early December "Howard Zinn" events from our last calendar.
Tuesday, Nov. 29, Loch Sheldrake (Sullivan County Community College campus): Opponents of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract natural gas plan to attend a regional public hearing taking place at the Seelig Theatre on campus, 112 College Rd. There will be two meetings, 1-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m., organized by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. We understand an anti-fracking rally will take place in late morning before the 1 p.m. meeting. A moratorium on drilling expired July 1 but further action has been delayed until after several public meetings are held and the results are evaluated. Gov. Cuomo favors drilling, as do a number of business interests. A developing movement of New Yorkers is opposed on the grounds that extracting natural gas, a fossil fuel contributing to global warming and other environmental degradations, is a particular danger to the water supply. The process involves injecting deadly chemicals into the ground under high pressure. A number of groups, such as Catskill Mountainkeeper, Frack Action, Food & Water Watch and United for Action, are involved in encouraging activists to attend the public meetings, which have drawn many opponents to a series of such events around the state. A number of people are car pooling, and a couple of seats remain leaving from New Paltz around 10 a.m. Carpool phone, (845) 255-5779. Information,

Tuesday, Nov. 29, NEW PALTZ (SUNY campus): A free public viewing of "You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train," the biographical film of the late progressive activist Howard Zinn, will be screened at 7:30 p.m. in Lecture Center 104. Campus map:

Wednesday, Nov. 30, POUGHKEEPSIE (Vassar Campus): Author, television commentator, and Princeton Professor  Cornel West will discuss poverty, economic injustice and social change in the U.S. during a lecture titled "The End of Oligarchy: On Spirituality, Citizenship, and the New Democracy." West, a well known left political activist, co-hosts a nationally syndicated radio show "[Tavis] Smiley and West" and frequently appears on various TV news programs. He has written 19 books, including "Race Matters" (1993)  and "Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight Against Imperialism" (2004). This free public event will be held at the Vassar College Chapel at 8 p.m. Free tickets are available on a first come, first served basis at the information desk in the College Center of Vassar's Main Building Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Directions,

Wednesday, Nov. 30, NEW PALTZ (SUNY Campus): The documentary, "The City Dark" will be screened at 7:30 p.m. in Lecture Center 102. The film examines the effects of light pollution and a disappearing night sky throughout the planet. While exploring the threat of killer asteroids in Hawaii, tracking hatching turtles on the Florida coast, rescuing injured birds on the streets of Chicago, filmmaker Ian Cheney asks the question, "Do we need the dark?" He unravels the implications of 24/7 light worldwide, which include an increase in breast cancer rates due to exposure to light at night, and a generation of children without a view of the universe above. The film features beautiful astrophotography, with a cast of scientists, historians, philosophers, and lighting designers. Following the screening, telescopes will be available outside the Lecture Center for public use, with the planet Jupiter being the brightest object in the current night sky. Other bright objects include Orion's Belt, Rigel, Betelgeuse, and the Pleiades. All of them are visible in a dark sky with only the human eye. This is a free public event, sponsored by the Physics and Astronomy Dept. Campus map,

Wednesday, Nov. 30, COBLESKILL: The documentary, "Capitalism Hits the Fan - Richard Wolff on the Economic Meltdown" will show at 7 p.m. at Golding Park Community Center, 103 High St. (off N. Grand St.).  In the film, University of Massachusetts Economics Professor Wolff chronicles the events causing the current financial crisis, while examining the structures of American style capitalism. Wolff traces the genesis of the crisis to the 1970s, when middle class wages came to a standstill, and workers were forced into the downward spiral of debt that culminated in the recent mortgage meltdown. Tracing a larger historical and methodological architecture, the professor argues that the current bailouts, stimulus packages, and calls for market regulation insufficient, suggesting that more fundamental change is necessary to avoid future catastrophes. This is a free and public event, with a discussion to follow. Sponsored by Peacemakers of Schoharie County. Information, (518) 287-1771,

Wednesday, Nov. 30, ALBANY: "The Militarization of American Society and the Erosion of Civil Liberties" is the topic of a 6:30 p.m. panel discussion in Emerson Hall, First Unitarian-Universalist Society of Albany, 405 Washington Ave. Since 9/11 Americans have witnessed and been the victims of a serious erosion of civil liberties in the name of "national security" through the Bush and now the Obama Administrations. The panel will focus on areas of our society that have been the most affected by militarization. A Q&A period will follow the panel discussion. Panelists include: Tom Burke of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression; Jeanne Finley, a writer/editor/photographer who was an original member of the Muslim Solidarity Committee; Colin Donnaruma, president of the Capital Region Chapter of the NYCLU; Marwa Elbially, a 2010 graduate of Albany Law School, where she was student editor of the Government Law and Policy Journal. Information, Cathy Callan at, (518) 439-8115.

Wednesday, Nov. 30, ALBANY: A free public showing of the film "Miral" begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Albany Public Library, Pine Hills Branch, 517 Western Ave. The movie is based on the autobiographical novel by Rula Jebreal, and stars award-winning actress Freida Pinto ("Slum Dog Millionaire"). It provides "deep personal insight into life and conflict in Israel and Palestine." The drama is centered on an orphaned Palestinian girl growing up in the wake of Arab-Israeli war who finds herself drawn into the conflict. At the age of 7 following her mother's death, Miral is sent to an orphanage by her father. Brought up safely inside the institution's walls, she is naive to the troubles that surround her. Then, at the age of 17, she is assigned to teach at a refugee camp where "she is awakened to the reality of her people's struggle." The showing is sponsored by the Palestinian Rights Committee. Information, (518) 465-5425,,

Wednesday, Nov. 30, NEW PALTZ (SUNY campus): "The People Speak," a film screening of the dramatic staging of Howard Zinn’s "People’s History of the United States," directed by Anthony Arnove, will begin at 4:30 p.m. in CSB Auditorium (public and free). Campus map:

Thursday, Dec. 1, NEW PALTZ (SUNY campus): "Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media" — a film screening with presentations by Profs. Donna Flayhan, Jerry Persaud and Daniel Schackman  (Communication and Media) — takes place in CSB Auditorium starting at 5 p.m. (public and free). Campus map:

Thursday, Dec. 1, POUGHKEEPSIE: Dutchess Peace Coalition will screen the documentary, "Inside Job" at Crafted Kup, 44 Raymond Ave. at 7 p.m. This Academy Award-winning film exposes the architecture of the financial crisis of 2008, which resulted in millions of people losing their homes and jobs, at a cost of $20 trillion to the American public. The film is described by director Charles Ferguson as being about the consequences of the systemic corruption in the financial services industry. Ferguson explores how changes in the policy environment and banking practices helped create the financial crisis. "Inside Job" was well received by film critics who praised its pacing, research, and exposition of complex material. Though this is a free and public event, there will be a collection taken up for the Occupy Poughkeepsie encampment. Information, (845) 876-7906.

Thursday, Dec. 1, PITTSFIELD, Mass.: Occupy Berkshires presents John C. Bonifaz, a constitutional and voting rights attorney, who will speak about a Constitutional Amendment which will declare that corporations are not people. The talk, entitled, "We The People, or We The Corporations? — A Constitutional Amendment Campaign to Restore Democracy to the People," will take place at ITAM Lodge, 93 Waubeek Road, at 7 p.m. Bonifaz is the co-founder and director of Free Speech for People, a national campaign to enact a 28th Amendment to the Constitution, which makes it clear that corporations are not people with Constitutional rights. The speaker will also discuss the Occupy Wall Street movement, and the conversation it has created nationwide about corporate greed and its subversion of democracy. A suggested donation of $10 is recommended. Information (413) 528-0248.

Thursday, Dec. 1, NEW PALTZ (SUNY campus): "Howard Zinn and Racial Justice" — a  panel discussion by the  Black Studies faculty — starts at 7:30 p.m. in Lecture Center 102. Campus map:

Friday, Dec. 2, ROCK TAVERN:
The Social Action Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation will conduct a forum on "Fossil Fuel — Looking Deeply At Who We Are, And What We Are Doing," at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House, 9 Vance Rd, at 7 p.m. If you are concerned about fossil fuels, mountain-top removal, gas drilling, hydrofracking, tar sands pipelines, and the lack of initiatives to seek alternatives to this destruction of our environment, this meeting's for you. Information, Verne M. Bell at (845) 569-8965.

Saturday, Dec 3, NEW PALTZ (SUNY campus): "Intervals of Change: Students, Music, Protest" — musical performances by student groups — will start at 4 p.m. at the Honors Center in College Hall. Campus map:

Sunday, Dec. 4, NEW PALTZ (SUNY campus): There will be a "Puppet Procession Across Campus" starting at 2:30 p.m. by the Redwing Blackbird Theater and students, culminating in a puppet show based on Howard Zinn’s "People’s History" and inspired by Occupy Wall St. Campus map:

Sunday, Dec. 4, NEW PALTZ (SUNY campus): "Honoring Howard Zinn: An Historian Who Made History" —  Talks by Noam Chomsky and Anthony Arnove begin at 4 p.m. in Lecture Center 100. This will be Chomsky's first local talk in least 20 years, and we anticipate a large crowd. Campus map: Sponsors of this event and most of the SUNY NP programs from Nov. 14: College of Liberal Arts & Sciences; Departments of Anthropology, Art, Black Studies, Communication and Media, English, History, Political Science and International Relations, Secondary Education, Sociology, Theatre Arts; The Honors Program; Programs in Linguistics and Women’s Studies; Major Connections Program. Campus map,

Monday, Dec. 5, OLD CHATHAM:
The Old Chatham Quaker Meeting will present the documentary, "Inside Job," at the Powell House Quaker Conference and Retreat Center, 524 Pitt Hall Rd. (off County Rt. 13). This film exposes the truth behind the economic crisis of 2008. It traces the rise of a rogue industry, and destructive relationships which have corrupted politics, regulation, and academia. Narrated by Matt Damon, Inside Job attempts to provide a comprehensive portrayal of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. This film reveals the progressive deregulation of the financial sector since the 1980s, whose "innovations" have produced crisis upon crisis, each worse that its predecessor. Despite the fraud and abuse of the system not one person has been incarcerated for these crimes. The director, Charles Ferguson, hopes that his film will enable everyone to understand the fundamental nature and causes of these crimes. There will be a discussion, with refreshments served, after this free public film. Information, (518)766-2992. Directions,

Tuesday, Dec. 6, ROSENDALE:
The Mid-Hudson Valley Amnesty Club will host the screening of the documentary, "Which Way Home" at the Rosendale Theatre, 408 Main St., at 7:15 p.m. This event focuses on the human rights of immigrants, with particular emphasis on the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, first proposed in the Senate in August 2001, and reintroduced in May this year. This bill provides conditional permanent residency to certain illegal aliens of good moral character who graduate from American high schools, arrived in the U.S. as minors, and lived in the country continuously for at least five years prior to the bill's enactment. The film follows several unaccompanied child migrants as they travel north from Mexico on a freight train called "The Beast." The filmmaker tells the stories of children like Olga and Freddy, 9 year old Hondurans who are trying to reach their families in Minnesota, and Jose, a 10 year old El Salvadoran who has been abandoned by smugglers, only to end up in a Mexican detention center. As the U.S. builds a wall between itself and Mexico, "Which Way Home," shows the personal side of immigration through the eyes of these courageous and resourceful children. The film will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Ilgu Ozler, Associate Professor of Political Science at SUNY New Paltz, Sunita Bose, Associate Professor of Sociology at SUNY NP, and Betsy Palmieri, Executive Director of the Hudson Valley Community Coalition. The event's sponsors will also have materials on hand for attendees to write letters for Amnesty International's global "Write for Rights" campaign. Information, Ilgu Ozler at

Saturday, Dec. 10, POUGHKEEPSIE: The Climate Justice Summit and Showcase of Possibilities will take place at the Catharine St. Community Center, 69 Catharine St., 9 a.m.-1:15 p.m. This networking event will showcase eight projects in climate change mitigation and adaptation developed by Climate Justice Councils in Poughkeepsie, Kingston, Beacon and Peekskill. It will feature inspiring examples of green jobs which effectively address the challenges of climate justice and difficult economic times. To register online, Contact Karla Raimundi at (845) 265-8080, or for more information.

Tuesday, Dec. 20, BEACON:
Scenic Hudson kicks off its Naturalist Lecture Series with, "The Genesis of our River from Ice Age to Invasion," at Scenic Hudson's River Center at Long Dock Park, Long Dock Rd. from 6:30-8 p.m.  This presentation features the NYSDEC's Hudson River Estuary Program Naturalist Tom Lake, who will reveal the geological forces that shaped the Hudson Valley from the height of the last Ice Age, 20,000 years ago, to the first Native Americans and Europeans whose interaction impacted the evolving landscape. Information, contact Scenic Hudson Parks Event and Volunteer Coordinator, Anthony Coneski at (845) 473-4440, ext. 273,