Monday, April 1, 2013

04-01-13 Activist Calendar

April 1, 2013, Issue #667
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NOTE — This calendar goes up to April 15. The calendar from April 16 to early May will be posted around April 12. PS: we hope to see you at the anti-drone event April 13 (below).

Monday, April 1, OLD CHATHAM: “The First Grader,” a biographical drama film, will be screened at 7 p.m. at Powell House Quaker Conference and Retreat Center, 524 Pitt Hall Rd., off County Route 13.  A moderated discussion will follow. Here’s what it’s about: “In a small, remote mountain top primary school in the Kenyan bush, hundreds of children are jostling for a chance for the free education newly promised by the Kenyan government. One new applicant causes astonishment when he knocks on the door of the school. He is Maruge , an old Mau Mau veteran in his eighties, who is desperate to learn to read. He fought for the liberation of his country and now feels he must have the chance of an education so long denied — even if it means sitting in a classroom alongside six-year-olds.” We haven’t seen this film but it sounds wonderful. Free and public.  Information (518) 766-2992. 

Tuesday, April 2, NEW PALTZ (SUNY campus): The Sociology Department and Inquiring Minds book store will host a discussion with Nathanael Johnson, author of “All Natural: A Skeptic’s Quest to Discover if the Natural Approach to Diet, Childbirth, Healing, and the Environment Really Keeps us Healthier and Happier.” The event starts at 6:30 p.m. in Student Union Building rooms 62/63. Information,

Thursday, April 4, ROCK TAVERN: When do we go to war? Why do we go to war? Is there an alternative to protect ourselves and resolve conflict? These questions are the topic of a forum starting at 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House, 9 Vance Rd. The speakers are Mark C. Johnson, executive director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, and  Dr. Lucian Mott. Free. Sponsored by the Social Action Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Rock Tavern. Information, Verne M. Bell, (845) 569-8965.

Friday, April 5, KINGSTON: The Palestinian documentary Where Should the Birds Fly?” will be screened at 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills, 320 Sawkill Rd. We’re told: “This extraordinary film was made on location in Gaza during and after Israel's Cast-Lead invasion. The film highlights the experience of a young girl and the events seen through her eyes. Fida Qishta, the 27-year-old Palestinian filmmaker, will be present at the showing and there will be an audience discussion with her after the film. In addition, there will be a short film by Eva Lewis on her trip to Gaza.” This is the beginning the upcoming series “Films of Palestine,” scheduled for the first Friday of every month through September. Guest speakers involved with the films will be part of the series. Sponsored by Middle East Crisis Response, Hudson Valley Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. Free and open to the public. Information, (518) 678 2076,

Saturday, April 6, ALBANY: An anti-fracking rally demonstrating the connection between local food production and the dangers of hydro-fracking will be take place 1-5 p.m. in Townsend Park at the corner of Henry Johnson Blvd. and Central Ave. New Yorkers Against Fracking, the sponsor, says: “Our state has a long history of agriculture, and today it is our main economic engine. To protect our food, water, and air, we are raising awareness about the specter of fracking and building power to demand that Governor Cuomo ban fracking statewide. Join us and area groups for a rally that connects our food with the need to keep fracking out of our state." Information, (518) 285-1990,

Monday, April 8, TROY: "Depletion of the World's Resources: What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism" is the title of a talk by Fred Magdoff , an Emeritus Professor of Plant and Soil Science at the University of Vermont.  The title of his talk is also that of a recent book he co-wrote with John Bellamy Foster, editor of Monthly Review. This event, sponsored by Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace and others, is well worth attending. It begins at 7 p.m. at Oakwood Community Center (former Presbyterian church) at 313 10th St. Donation of $5 requested, $2 unemployed and students. Information, (518) 505-0948,

Thursday, April 11, POUGHKEEPSIE: A demonstration against the Keystone XL Tar Sands project, which would bring super greenhouse-causing oil into the U.S. from Canada, will be held 4-6 p.m. in front of the TD Bank, 21 Market St. This bank is pipeline corporation TransCanada’s top shareholder. Dirty Tar Sands oil will become a major contributor to global warming should it be shipped by pipeline through the U.S. President Obama will soon rule on whether or not to allow construction of the pipeline. He leans toward approving the project, so it is important for the environmental movement to demonstrate its disapproval before it’s too late. Information (503) 704-3635,

Thursday April 11, ALBANY: British author Victoria Brittain will read from her new book, “Shadow Lives: The Forgotten Women of the War on Terror.” According to IPS, “The book reveals the impact the post-9/11 wars have had on the wives and families of men incarcerated in Guantanamo, or in prison or under house arrest in the U.K. and the U.S. The author shows how these families have been made socially invisible and a convenient scapegoat for the state in order to exercise arbitrary powers under the cover of the War on Terror.” The event begins at 7 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 85 Chestnut St./262 State St. The sponsors are Masjid As-Salam, Muslim Solidarity Committee, National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms (NCPCF) and Project SALAM. Co-sponsored by Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Dr. Dhafir Support Committee, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Upper Hudson Peace Action, Veterans for Peace (Chapter 10), and Women Against War. Information, (518) 438-8728,

Friday, April 12, NEW PALTZ: Marxist activist Fred Goldstein will discuss and sign his new book, “Capitalism at a Dead end,” starting at 7 p.m. at Inquiring Minds Bookstore, 6 Church St. “ We’re told, “This book explains that the economic crisis, which began in August 2007, marked a turning point in the history of capitalism. This is more than just another severe capitalist crisis. The author contends that the system will not bounce back; it will not return to the normal capitalist boom-and-bust cycle.”

Saturday, April 13, NEW PALTZ: A demonstration against pilotless drone warfare abroad and intrusive domestic drone surveillance at home will take place today starting at 11 a.m. with a rally and vigil in front of the Elting Library (93 Main St.). At 12 noon the participants will march with signs and leaflets through the downtown area, returning to the library. Many will stand with signs visible to heavy weekend traffic until 1:30 p.m. The event is being organized by the Hudson Valley Activist Newsletter and is co-sponsored by New Paltz Women in Black, Occupy Southern Ulster, Middle East Crisis Response, Real Majority Project, Dutchess Peace, Dutchess Greens and other regional groups. Bring your own sign if you wish. Some signs and lots of leaflets will be available. There’s parking on Plattekill Ave., just south of main street and further down the street at Village Hall. Information,,