Wednesday, November 20, 2013

11-20-13 Activist Calendar

November 20, 2013, Issue #676
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Editor’s note: 1. In mid-December activism subsides until the end of January, unless there are emergencies. Happy holidays. 2. We unavoidably missed a few events last week, sorry.

Thursday, Nov. 21, ALBANY: Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University, will discuss his new book, “Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East,” at 7 p.m., Albany Law School, 80 New Scotland Ave. He will be welcomed by school Dean Penny Andrews, and introduced by Rabbi David Gordis, past president of Hebrew College. This free public event is sponsored by the Palestinian Rights Committee of Upper Hudson Peace Action, Albany N.Y. Chapter, National Lawyers Guild, The Solidarity Committee of the Capital District, Women Against War, Muslim Solidarity Committee, and Project Salam. Information, (518) 465-5425,

Thursday, Nov. 21, NEW PALTZ (SUNY campus): A rally for women's equality will take place on campus at 12:15 p.m. outside the Student Union Building. (In case of rain, indoors at SUB room 100.) The keynote speaker will be Tracey Brooks, President and CEO of Family Planning Advocates of N.Y. State. The rally was organized by Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley, Family Planning Advocates, the SUNY NP Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and the Feminist Collective, in support of passage of the Women's Equality Agenda.

This is the 10-point program for women's rights that the Cuomo administration, backed by a statewide coalition of women's rights activists, tried to get passed in the spring 2013 session of the state legislature. The Assembly passed all 10 points, but the Senate refused to pass the part of the bill that would have codified into state law provisions of Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion and would have strengthened the reproductive rights laws that are now on the state’s books. Since this was an all-or-nothing piece of legislation, the 10-point Women's Equality Agenda was not passed in 2013. The NY Women's Equality Coalition -- of over 850 organizations -- is gearing up to get this passed in 2014. Information,,

Sunday, Nov. 24: WOODSTOCK: In recognition of the Nov. 29 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, activists here will demonstrate against the illegal Israeli occupation, 12 noon -1 p.m. at the Village Green, 6 Tinker St. The Day of Solidarity is a UN-organized observance. Events are held at UN offices in New York, Geneva and Vienna, as well as observances by solidarity groups around the world. The sponsor is Middle East Crisis Response and Hudson Valley BDS. Information, (845) 876-7906.

Monday, Nov. 25, POUGHKEEPSIE (Vassar Campus): The extraordinary 2011 award-winning documentary “Miss Representation” will be screened 5-6:30 p.m. at the College Center Bookstore.
We’re told: “The film examines the powerful influence of mainstream media in our contemporary culture... showing how it creates a generation of women defined by beauty and sexuality and not by their capacity as leaders." The campus main entrance is at 124 Raymond Ave. As you enter, the Main Building is straight ahead. The Campus Center is in the back of Main. The bookstore is hosting this free, public event. A campus map is at Information, Susan Vinett,, (845) 437-5870. A film trailer is at

Thursday, Nov. 28, AMERICA: We don’t proselytize much for animal rights and vegan/vegetarianism in the calendar, except around Thanksgiving, which is today. We’d like to talk turkey about turkeys. All told throughout the year, about 300 million turkeys are raised for slaughter, nearly 47 million for this single day of gluttony. Their lives are short and brutal. Many never leave the cruel factory “farm” until they are about to be killed. “The symbolism surrounding the Thanksgiving turkey, much like the modern domestic turkey itself, has been largely manufactured by cynical commercial interests. There is neither compelling historical precedent nor meaningful rationale for associating the butchered carcass of a turkey with our national day of thanksgiving.” This information comes from a brief article titled “The History of Thanksgiving” on the Farm Sanctuary website, The Catskill Animal Sanctuary has a new and disturbing piece about raising turkeys for slaughter at Google “Vegetarian and vegan recipes for Thanksgiving” and you will find some very delicious recipes.

Sunday, Dec. 1, WHITE PLAINS: Protests are taking place in a number of cities in opposition to the sale of SodaStream carbonation products which are produced in an illegal Israeli settlement through the exploitation of Palestinian land, labor, and resources. In White Plains, demonstrators will gather at 2 p.m. at the kitchenware entrance to Macy’s, 100 Main St. and Court.  “We will hold posters outside the store and give handouts to shoppers. Some of us will go into the store to distribute handouts and ask to meet with the manager. Afterward, depending on time, we will walk to Target and/or Walmart to repeat our action. We will sing carols with SodaStream lyrics as part of the holiday shopping event.”

For more than a year, Palestine solidarity organizations have been challenging Target and other U.S. vendors asking them to stop selling SodaStream. Activities are taking place between Nov. 29 (the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People) and Dec. 10 (Human Rights Day). A two-minute video explaining the action is at A petition is at Sponsored by the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation,

Monday, Dec. 2, OLD CHATHAM: The Quaker Meetinghouse at 539 County Rt. 13 is the venue for a 6 p.m. potluck and 7 p.m. showing of “In the Family” — a documentary about “Chip, a precocious six year old, who has only known life with his two dads, Cody and Joey. And a good life it is. When Cody dies suddenly in a car accident, Joey and Chip struggle to find their footing again. Just as they begin to, Cody's will reveals that he named his sister as Chip's guardian. The years of Joey's acceptance into the family unravel as Chip is taken away from him. In his now solitary home life, Joey searches for a solution. The law is not on his side, but friends are. Armed with their comfort and inspired by memories of Cody, Joey finds a path to peace with the family and closer to his son. Free and public. A moderated discussion will follow. Information, (518) 766-2992. Directions,

Tuesday and Friday, Dec. 3 & 6, ROSENDALE: In recognition of International Human Rights Week, the Amnesty International USA Mid Hudson Valley Chapter is organizing two events. On Tuesday, Amnesty’s 3rd Annual Human Rights Film showing starts at 7:15pm, at the Rosendale Theater (408 Main St.). “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” is a documentary film inspired by the widely acclaimed book of the same name by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. (Contributions requested.) On Friday at 8 p.m. in the Rosendale CafĂ©, 434 Main St., DJ Michael Wilcock will be spinning a mix of funk, soul, top 40 and classics. Information,

Wednesday, Dec. 4, ROSENDALE: “The Wisdom to Survive: Climate Change, Capitalism and Community,” a new 56-minute documentary, will premiere at 7:15 p.m. at the Rosendale Theatre, 408 Main St. Present for the screening will be the filmmakers, Anne Macksoud and Ulster County local John Ankele. We’re told: “In discussions with thought leaders and activists, the film explores how unlimited growth lies behind climate disruption, and is devastating the planet’s life support system, the social fabric, and the lives of billions of people. The film features Bill McKibbin (, author Joanna Macy, whale scientist Roger Payne, Herschelle Milford (Surplus People Project), Quincy Saul (Ecosocialist Horizons), and more. They provide insights, answers, and hope. What becomes clear is, we already have the tools we need to change our economy and lifestyle. Our attention must focus on taking action and building community.” Tickets are $7 general admission, $5 for members. A trailer for the film is at

Friday, Dec. 6, KINGSTON: Media critic and journalism professor Jeff Cohen will discuss “My Inspiring Trip to the Occupied West Bank” at 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills, 320 Sawkill Rd. The program will also include "My Neighborhood," a 25-minute film about a Palestinian teenager, Mohammed El Kurd, whose home in East Jerusalem is taken over by Israeli settlers.Information, Jane Toby,, http://

Thursday, Dec. 17, NEW PALTZ: The Mid-Hudson Valley Chapter of Amnesty International holds its monthly meeting at 5:30 p.m. at New Paltz Village Hall, 25 Plattekill Ave. (a block south of Main St., Rt. 299). “We welcome new members.” Information,