Wednesday, October 29, 2014

November Calendar 11-1-14

Hudson Valley Activist Calendar, Issue #685
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Attention Readers: We update each calendar online as new events are announced until the next full calendar is posted. The additional items will begin with this mark: √√. In October we added 15 items in the days after publication .
Protests Against Michael Brown 

Decision All Across America 
KINGSTON, N.Y. — TUESDAY, NOV. 25, 2:30 p.m., in front of Civil Hall, 420 Broadway. Info: (914) 388-3092 
ALBANY, N.Y. —NOV. 25, 5 p.m., in front of City Hall, 25 Eagle St.
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — TUESDAY, NOV. 25,  6 p.m. in front of the Dutchess County Jail, 150 N. Hamilton St. 

Rachel Corrie, never to be forgotten.
Sunday, Nov. 2, POUGHKEEPSIE (Vassar campus): A live stage production of the play “My Name is Rachel Corrie” begins at 7:30 p.m. in Rockefeller Hall, Room 200, 124 Raymond Ave. Corrie, a 23-year-old American volunteer, was crushed to death by an Israeli Army bulldozer in Gaza as she tried to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home. The play, starring Ashley Malloy, recounts the young woman's life from journal entries, letters, and emails she left behind. This current production has been touring colleges across the country to excellent reviews. A significant portion of funds raised will go to support The Freedom Theatre located in the Jenin Refugee Camp in the West Bank. A discussion with Malloy will follow the 90-minute performance. Tickets may be purchased at the door. The sponsors are Vassar Students for Justice in Palestine, Middle East Crisis Response and Hudson Valley BDS. Information,, (845) 876-7906.

Monday, Nov. 3, OLD CHATHAM: A 7 p.m. free public screening of “A Small Act” starts at 7 p.m. at Old Chatham Quaker Meetinghouse, 539 County Rt.13, across from Pitt Hall Road and Powell House. Here’s what it is about: “When Hilde Back sponsored a young, rural Kenyan student in Mukubu primary school, she certainly never expected to hear from him. However Chris Mburu, now a Harvard graduate and a Human Rights Lawyer for the United Nations, decides to find the stranger that changed his life. Inspired by her generosity, he starts a scholarship program of his own and names it for his former benefactor. The students in Mukubu primary school are in the exact same situation as Chris once was. They can’t afford to pay school fees. With the creation of Chris’ fund, these students have new hope. But the program is small.” A moderated discussion will follow the film. Information, (518) 392-9686. Directions:

Tuesday, Nov. 4, USA: Today is Election Day. The right wing Republican candidate for governor of New York is out of the running, according to the polls. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, seeking reelection, behaves more like a Republican than a Democrat.  His latest reactionary statement a few days ago was to undermine the public school system that he dismissed as “one of the only remaining public monopolies,” which he’d evidently like to change with the help of the charter schools and non-union teachers he so admires. Cuomo did a few good things during his first term but his overall record is conservative. The alternative is Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate, who will get our vote. In our New York 19 CD, where we live, the race is between right wing Republican Rep. Chris Gibson, and newcomer centrist Democrat Sean Eldridge. In the absence of a left candidate, center tops the right by default. On Proposition One, the ACLU said vote no because it "just makes a bad system worse."

Tuesday, Nov. 4, NEW PALTZ (SUNY campus): Malea Otranto, a representative from UNICEF USA's End Trafficking program, will deliver a lecture on “Human Trafficking: Locally and Internationally" at 5:30 p.m. in the Coykendall Science Building Auditorium. Sponsored by the Political Science Dept. with backing from the United Nations Association of the Hudson Valley. Public and free. Campus map: Information

Wade Rathke.
√√ Wednesday Nov. 5, NEW PALTZ (SUNY campus): Wade Rathke, long-time progressive activist organizer on the regional, national and international level, will lecture on the topic, “Is Grassroots Organizing Dead Or Just Dying? — There Won’t Be A Facebook Revolution!” Rathke is the founder of ACORN — America’s largest community organization of low and moderate-income families seeking economic and social justice. The group became a prime target of the right wing that ultimately helped shut down the organization in 2010 — leaving most of its 175,000 member-families across the country without an advocate. This free public event will begin at 8 p.m. aty the CSB Auditorium on campus. It is sponsored by the SUNY New Paltz Student Associatiion.

√√ Wednesday, Nov.5, CANAAN:  A proposed pipeline for the transmission of natural gas in Columbia County by Kindeer Morgan, the third largest energy company in North America, is the subject of a public informational meeting starting at 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall on County Rt. 5. The gas would be obtained through fracking, which is opposed by many New Yorkers because of its risks to health and the water supply. The meeting is sponsored by the Town of Canaan and there will be a 20 minute Power Point presentation by “Stop NY Fracked Gas Pipeline” with a question and answer period to follow. It is suggested that people arrive early. Information, Bob Connors, (518) 781-4686,

√√ Friday, Nov. 7, NEW PALTZ (SUNY campus): The Ulster County Human Rights Commission is holding a forum on the topic “Ending the School-to-Prison Pipeline.” Speakers and panelists will focus on the role of restorative justice as an alternative to school suspension, expulsion and prison. The forum take place from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Student Union Multi-Purpose Room. The keynote speaker is Judith S. Kaye, former chief judge of New York State and chair of the NYS Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children.  According to the ACLU: the "school to prison pipeline is a disturbing national trend wherein children are funneled out of public schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. Many of these children have learning disabilities or histories of poverty, abuse or neglect, and would benefit from additional educational and counseling services. Instead, they are isolated, punished and pushed out.”
Young women, drafted at 18, serve in Occupied Territories.

Friday, Nov. 7, KINGSTON: Films of Palestine Series presents “To See If I’m Smiling” at 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills, 320 Sawkill Road. We’re told this free public film “is the personal account of six women in the Israeli Defense Force who served in the Occupied Territories. The documentary explores the moral challenges female soldiers face in being part of the oppression of the Palestinian people.” This film by writer/director Tamar Yarom is the winner of six festival awards for best documentary. The sponsor is Middle East Crisis Response. Information,, (518) 291-6808,,

The New Jim Crow.
Monday, Nov. 10, KINGSTON: The End the New Jim Crow Action Network! (ENJAN), a Hudson Valley group dedicated to fighting racist policies of racial profiling, police brutality, and mass incarceration (the "new Jim Crow"), meets 6-8 p.m. at the New Progressive Baptist Church, 8 Hone St. (Also meets here Nov. 24.) Information, (845) 475-8781,

Wednesday, Nov. 12, POUGHKEEPSIE: The End the New Jim Crow Network will meet 6-8 p.m. at the Sadie Peterson Delaney African Roots Library, Family Partnership Center, 29 N Hamilton St. (Also meets here Nov. 26.) Information, (845) 475-8781,

√√ Wednesday, Nov. 12, NEW PALTZ: Local activists inform us  that the “Village of New Paltz may vote to convert to fracked gas (which includes methane), though it has banned fracking.” Please come to the large meeting room, Village Hall, 25 Plattekill Rd. at 7:30-9:30 p.m. to advocate for geothermal energy or the renewable solution of your choice to keep the lights on at the Village Hall.” Information,

√√ Thursday, Nov. 13, NEW PALTZ: Income inequality in the United States is the topic of a talk by Pavlina Tcherneva, an Assistant Professor at Bard College and Senior Scholar at the college’s. Expanding inequality is perhaps America’s  biggest economic and social problem, but it was hardly mentioned at all by either of the right wing Republicans or the center right Democrats during the recent election. The Department of Economics invites students, faculty and the community  to attend this discussion. It will take p[lace 5-6:15 p.m. in LC100.

Thursday, Nov. 13, WOODSTOCK: Middle East Crisis Response, a group of Hudson Valley residents joined together to promote peace and human rights in Palestine and the Middle East, will hold its regular meeting tonight, 7-8:30 p.m. at Woodstock Public Library, 5 Library Lane. (Next meeting Nov. 27). Information, (845) 876-7906,

Friday, Nov. 14, USA:  All four postal unions and their members are calling a National Day of Action today in opposition to plans to cut back on mail delivery and other postal services. They urge the public to “Tell the Postmaster General and Board of Governors: Stop Delaying America’s Mail." The unions point out that on Jan 5, the U.S. Postal Service is slated to lower ‘service standards’ to virtually eliminate overnight deliveries – including first-class mail from one address to another within the same city or town. All mail throughout the country — letters, publications, and packages —will be delayed. On the same day, 84 mail processing and distributions centers are scheduled to close. Six-day delivery is also being threatened. More details are to come. Mid-Hudson information from organization and legislative director Diana S. Cline (APWU, local 3722), The Activist Calendar strongly supports the cause of the postal workers.

√√ Friday, Nov. 14, MILLBROOK:  A lectcure by by Dr. Stephen Kellert, a research scholar at Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, will tcake place at 7 p.m. in the Cary Institute auditorium, located at 2801 Sharon Turnpike (Rte. 44). Kellert has spent his career investigating the connection people have with the natural world, writing extensively about the value of exposing children to nature, the relationship we have with animals, and sustainable design. His newest book, “Birthright: People and Nature in the Modern World,” explores how contact with nature shapes our capacity to think, create, communicate, and find meaning in life. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Books will be available for purchase at the event. Pubclic and frsee. Information, (845) 677-7600, ext. 121,

√√ Friday, Nov. 14, NEW PALTZ: New Paltz Neighbors For Peace is sponsoring a free screening of tdhe movie “Happy,” which it describes at “An inspiring up-lifting documentary about the various factors that add up to human Joy. It covers the U.S., Japan, Okinawa, India, Bhutan, Sweden, Latin America in a cross-cultural investigation on the purpose of life in terms of happiness.”

√√ Sunday Nov. 16 to Sunday, Nov. 23, NEW PALTZ: Events connected with the One Book One New Paltz reading project will take place every one of the eight days, often two and three different events a day. This year’s book is  Philip Roth’s “Nemesis.” For all the information you want about what it is all about, the dramatic presentations, community discussions, roundtables, films, lectures, academic gatherings, dramatic presentations, the Hudson River Playback Theater and much more, go to

POSTPONED  Monday, Nov. 17, NEW PALTZ (SUNY  campus): “The Problem with Carceral Feminism: Race, Gender and Mass Criminalization” is the topic of  a free public lecture by Dr. Beth E. Richie, Professor of African American Studies, Gender and Women's Studies, Criminology, Law and Justice, and Sociology at University of Illinois Chicago. It takes place at 3:30 p.m. in Lecture Center 100. The emphasis of Richie's scholarly and activist work has been on the ways that race/ethnicity and social position affect women's experience of violence and incarceration, focusing on the experiences of African American battered women and sexual assault survivors. This event is supported by CAS, the Office of the Provost, the Departments of Black Studies, and History, the Scholar's Mentorship Program, the Honors Program, and Residence Life. Co-sponsors include the Native American Studies Program and the Humanistic and Multicultural Education Program. Information, (845) 257-3756.

√√ Monday, Nov. 17, NEW PALTZ (SUNY campus): A public forum takes place at 7 p.m. to discuss a proposed oil pipeline from Albany, NY, to Linden, NJ, that is encountering criticism from residentcs of both states in proximity to the project. Pipeline construction by Pilgrim Pipeline LLC could have negative effects on the environment and public health and safety, passing through  highlands, open spaces and densely populated communities. Tonight’s meeting, in Lecture Center 104, will critically explain the issues.The sponsors are Citizens for Local Power, Catskill Mountainkeeper, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Hudson Valley Smart Growth Alliance, NYPIRG, Riverkeeper and others.

√√ Tuesday, Nov. 18, ALBANY: “Growing a Green Economy” is the topic of a talk by Dr. Robert Pollin of UMass Amherst, a  nationally known expert on  clean, green energy issues. This free public 7-8:30 p.m. event will b e held at Albany Unitarian Church , 405 Washington Ave. The sponsor is PAUSE, “a grassroots group of individuals who have come together to promote safe, sustainable energy and fight for environmental justice.” Information,,

Tuesday, Nov. 18, HYDE PARK:  There will be a talk and book signing by Richard Norton Smith, author of “On His Own Terms: 
A Life of Nelson Rockefeller” at 7 p.m. in the Henry A. Wallace Center 
of the FDR Presidential Library and Home on Rt. 9. Map and directions, Information, (845) 486-1142.

Wednesday, Nov. 19, ALBANY: Women Against War is holding its Annual Meeting — Pot Luck Dinner, Honor Women of Peace 2014, and a live performance of the play, "Grounded." It begins at 5:30 p.m. at Academy of the Holy Names School, Upper School Cafeteria, 1074 New Scotland Rd. For potluck bring a dish to share and a donation, $5-20 suggested. This year’s Woman for Peace award goes to Maureen Aumand, honored as “a moving force for peace in the Capital District.” A reviewer wrote “Grounded is a heartbreaking, beautiful, necessary, and perfectly-structured solo drama…an essential story for our times.” There will also be a silent auction. Wheelchair Accessible.  Please RSVP by Nov.17 to Maud Easter, 

Vijay Prashad.
Thursday, Nov. 20, NEW PALTZ (SUNY campus): Renowned Indian historian Vijay Prashad will appear in a panel discussion titled "U.S. Foreign Policy in Regard to ISIL/ISIS/IS" at 7 p.m. in Lecture Center 102. Joining him will be James Ketterer (Bard College), and Lewis Brownstein (SUNY New Paltz). Prashad is Chair in South Asian History and Professor of International Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, and the Edward Said Chair at the American University of Beirut. He has authored 15 books, including his most recent (2013), “The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South.” Information for this free public event:

√√ Friday Nov. 21, NEW PALTZ (SUNY campus): Educators, students, parents, and community members are invited to the 20th Anniversity Multicultural Education Conference, 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. in the Student Union. We're told: “The conference is intended to celebrate past work, share current initiatives, and gather new perspectives and ideas for taking action. We will examine the ways inequity in our schools due to race, gender, class, sexual orientation, language, religion, ability, and more can be transformed to inspire greater learning and engagement for all. In addition we will examine ways to overcome the debilitating effects of the current standardized, data-driven, and privatizing approaches to education to reclaim the potential and power of both multicultural and public education.” Speakers include: Enid Lee is a writer, teacher educator and consultant in the area of antiracist and equity-centered education. Stan Karp, an editor for Rethinking Schools. Christine E. Sleeter is Professor Emerita at California State University. Schedule: 8 a.m., Registration. 8:30 a.m. Keynote. 10 a.m., Workshops. 11:15 a.m., Lunch and book signings. 12 Noon-1p.m., Cultural performance. 1:15.-2:30 p.m, Workshops. Her research focuses on anti-racist education and multicultural teacher education. Registration fee (before Nov. 7 if possible): General $40; students $8. Sponsors include: SUNY New Paltz, Mid-Hudson Migrant Education Tutorial and Support Service Program, Mid-Hudson Teacher Center, Ulster County Boces, New York State Center For School Safety, Mid-Hudson School Study Council. Information, Nancy Schniedewind

√√ Friday, Nov. 21, ROCK TAVERN: “Mothers of Bedford," an award winning documentary, will be shown at 7 p.m. in the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House, 9 Vance Rd. (off Rt 207). This film takes us inside the Bedford Hills (NY) Correctional Facility for Women and follows five women of diverse backgrounds and imprisoned for various reasons as they strive to  engage in their children's lives and become their better selves. Donation $5-10 welcomed; no one turned away.  Discussion afterwards.  Information, (845) 569-8965.

√√ Saturday Nov.22, ALBANY: The new movie,“Cesar Chavez,” will be screened at 7:30 p.m. in Channing Hall of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany, located at 405 Washington Ave. (across the street from the downtown SUNY campus). This dramatization of the life of the famed American labor leader focuses on the organizing of the United Farm Workers, especially the UFW’s struggles in the 1960s and early 1970s for union recognition and, more broadly, social justice. This free showing is part of the film series of the Solidarity Committee of the Capital District. The sponsers are Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace, the Social Justice Center, and Upper Hudson Peace Action. The trailer is at

Short, brutal lives in factory "farm." 
√√ Thursday, Nov. 27, AMERICA: Happy Thanksgiving. We’d like to talk turkey about turkeys. All told throughout the year in the U.S., up to 300 million turkeys are raised for slaughter every year, 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. Turkeys are frequently confined so tightly that each bird has only between 2.5 to 4 square feet of space each. This space only gets tighter as the turkeys grow. “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, Google “Vegetarian and vegan recipes for Thanksgiving” and you will find some very delicious recipes.

27 October 2014, Truthout
By Michael Meurer,

Ritual national elections now offer a choice between heavily marketed neoliberal political brands rather than competing aspirational visions. Both parties are dependent on massive special interest funding that ensures they represent the financial class over the working class. Faced with a choice between straight neoliberalism (Republicans) and neoliberalism with a human face (Democrats), voters are simply opting out, with 51 million people who are eligible to vote not registering, and 42% of registered voters declaring themselves independents.

Yet the public is clearly open to an agenda of real, and possibly radical, change. In January 2014, Pew Research published a State of the Union poll that showed:

a) 67% of Americans are dissatisfied with the way wealth and income are distributed in the United States.
b) 73% support raising the minimum wage.
c) 71% support a path to legalization for immigrants.
d) 67% say there is solid evidence of climate change due to human activity.
e) 78% say it is more important for the president and Congress to focus on domestic rather than foreign policy.

Pew also reported in March 2014 that much-coveted younger voters between the ages of 18 and 29 are the only age bloc in which self-described "liberals" outnumber conservatives. They vote over 60% Democratic in national elections.

Demographics notwithstanding, neither Democrats nor Republicans are speaking to public aspirations for change because their campaigns are paid for by a flood of untraceable "dark money." The New York Times reports that 55% of 2014 advertising by outside groups for both parties is funded by super PACs that do not fully disclose their donors. The Times reports that at least 80% of Republican ads by outside groups have been paid for by "secret money," while 75% of Democratic ads by non-party groups have been paid for by super PACs. It should not be a surprise when the national post-election political agenda continues to be tailored to the interests of the ultra-wealthy who fund the elections irrespective of the outcome for either party.