Saturday, April 30, 2016


May 1, 2016, Hudson Valley Activist Calendar, Issue #697
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The Calendar is updated with new events every few days throughout the month. Quite a few more are expected this month. New items begin with this mark: √√.
The new Activist Newsletter will be posted by mid-May at
For the April 23 Newsletter click on 04-23-16 NEWSLETTER

One hundred and thirty years ago today, on May 1, 1886, more than 300,000 workers in 13,000 businesses across the United States walked off their jobs in the first May Day celebration in history. They demanded that the long workday be shortened to eight hours. The organizers of these strikes included socialists, anarchists, and others in organized labor movements.

      This photo's  from the huge May Day 1936 march in New York City 80 years ago.


Sunday, May 1, NEW PALTZ, SAUGERTIES, CATSKILL: Three May Day protests against the proposed Pilgrim oil pipelines adjacent to the N.Y. State Thruway will take place 3-5 p.m. Demonstrators will gather at New Paltz Exit 18, Saugerties Exit 20 and Catskill Exit 21. Each group will then conduct a legal protest in proximity to the Thruway. The Coalition Against Pilgrim Pipelines (CAPPNY), with over 70 organizational supporters, backs these protests. Pilgrim has applied for a permit to use the Thruway right of way for two 18-inch oil and refined petroleum products pipelines between Albany, New York and Linden, New Jersey. The New Paltz Climate Action Coalition (CAC), a member of the coalition, states, "This unneeded oil, whether refined in the U.S. or exported to be refined and used overseas, would further increase global warming." CAPPNY also notes, "In addition to the climate emergency, we are all out to protect our waterways and drinking water, public health and safety, homeowners, local and regional economies, and air quality." Information,

Sunday, May 1, TROY: Celebrate May Day from 4-8 p.m. gathering that begins with an open mic and free food and refreshments, followed by the Solidarity Singers, a 6 p.m. talk by author Jeffrey Halper, a film and other events. Halper, an American-born Israeli anthropologist, who will speak about the topic of his book, War Against the People: Israel, the Palestinians and Global Pacification. He is the co-founder and director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, and coordinator of the Wars Against the People project. He has lived in Israel since 1973. This free event will be held at the Oakwood Community Center, 313 10th St. It is sponsored by the Capital District May Day Committee.

Sunday, May 1, NEW YORK CITY: The big May Day-International Worker's Day march and rally of labor, immigration rights, anti-imperialist and other movements will begin at 12 noon in Manhattan's Union Square Park (East 14th to East 17th St., one block east of 5th Ave.). The rally is first, followed by the march around 3 p.m., with events lasting until 5 p.m. This year marks the 10-year anniversary of May Day 2006, which was the largest political strike in U.S. history. It was in essence a general strike, as immigrant workers across all industries in the U.S. united to shut down large sections of the economy in defiance of anti-immigrant legislation. Those actions are scarcely brought up in the mass media today, but they were a major landmark in the history of the people’s struggle. Now Donald Trump's campaign is fueling the anti-immigrant forces once again — and a large number of Latino/Latina demonstrators will be at today's event, including a large Puerto Rican contingent. The New York May 1 Coalition is as main sponsor of the activities. Information,

Sunday, May 1, WOODSTOCK: Two young people who have refused to serve in the Israeli military will give talks 2-4 p.m. at Town Hall, 76 Tinker St. Yasmin Yablonko will explore the refusal movement and the effects of militarism on Israeli society. Khaled Farrag will discuss Druze history in Palestine. This free event is sponsored by Middle East Crisis Response (, Catskill Mountain Veterans for Peace (, and the American Friends Service Committee ( Information, Nic at (845) 706-5500,

Monday, May 2, ALBANY (Albany Univ. downtown): Jeff Halper (see Troy above) will speak about the topic of his book, War Against the People: Israel, the Palestinians and Global Pacification, at 7:30 p.m. in Husted Hall on campus, Western Ave. between Lake Ave. and Robin St. The Palestinian Rights Committee sponsors this free public event.

Monday, May 2, NEW PALTZ: (SUNY campus): The pro-choice documentary Trapped will be screened at 6:30 p.m. in Coykendall Auditorium. In this free public film, lawyer-turned-documentarian Dawn Porter chronicles the lives of medical professionals who work at clinics subject to so-called TRAP laws. The acronym stands for "targeted regulations of abortion providers," statutes that limit access to abortion in the guise of promoting safe health practices. Hundreds of abortion laws have been significantly toughened in dozens of conservative states in the last few years. The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to decide this year, in the case of Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, whether individual states may essentially outlaw abortion. This timely film showing is sponsored by Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley, The Sea Change Program, the Feminist Collective at SUNY New Paltz, and Social Pioneering Monthly.

Tuesday, May 3, ROSENDALE: The documentary "Red Lines," about the war in Syria, will be screened at 7:15 p.m. at the Rosendale Theater, 408 Main St. This film focuses its attention on the desperate plight of the civilian population after over five years of war. The documentary blames this situation on the Assad government in Damascus, which is a one-sided evaluation that does not take into account the intense religious, regional and above all geopolitical interests involved in this tragedy that have established a quite different narrative of principal responsibility. This showing is sponsored by the U.S. branch of Amnesty, which campaigns for the U.S to significantly increase the number of refugees allowed to resettle in our country and also asks Congress to appropriate sufficient funds to support Syrian refugee humanitarian needsInformation,

Women union workers of Bangladesh demand better pay and conditions.

Thursday, May 5, DELMAR:  The documentary Udita (Rise) follows a turbulent 5 years in the lives of the women at the grass roots of the garment workers struggle in Bangladesh. From 2010, when organizing in the workplace would lead to beatings, sacking and arrests; through the tragedies of Tazreen and Rana Plaza, and to the present day, when the long fight begins to pay dividends. We see this vital period through the eyes of the unions' female members, workers and leaders. This  free 75-minute offering was produced by Rainbow Collective and Openvizor. Following the film, local activist Greg Giorgio will lead a discussion. View the trailer at Information, (518) 466-1192.

√√ Thursday, April 5, -HUDSON VALLEY LOCATIONS: Today is a national day of action to support the Verizon strikers. The N.Y. State AFL-CIO and the Hudson Valley Labor Federation are asking Valley residents to "Please stop by and show your support for the CWA & IBEW workers on strike at Verizon locations." If you are driving honk your support  honk when you pass the strikers.
Rockland County:
    6:30 am - 9:00 am - Local 1107 Picket - Verizon Garage - 33 Route 304 Nanuet, NY 10954
    10:00 am - 7:00 pm - Local 1103 Picket - Verizon Wireless - 130 Route 303 West Nyack, NY 10994
    10:00 am - 7:00 pm - Local 1107 Picket - Verizon Wireless - 5101 Fashion Drive Nanuet, NY 10954
Orange County:
10:00 am - 7:00 pm - Local 1120 Picket - Verizon Wireless 1278 Route 300 Newburgh, NY 12550
10:00 am - 7:00 pm - Local 1120 Picket -Verizon Wireless - 61 Orange Plaza Road Middletown, NY 10940
Dutchess County:
10:00 am - 7:00 pm - Local 1120 Picket - Verizon Wireless 2544 South Rd Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
10:00 am - 7:00 pm - Local 1120 Picket - Verizon Wireless 11 Merritt Blvd Fishkill, NY 12524
Ulster County:
    7:30 am - 7:00 pm - Local 1120 Picket - Verizon Wireless 1200 Ulster Ave. Kingston, NY 12401
Columbia County:
    7:30 am - 7:00 pm - Local 1120 Picket - Verizon Wireless 462 Fairview Ave. Hudson, NY 12534
Westchester County:
    7:00 am - Local 1103 Picket - Valhalla - 500 Summit Lake Dr.
Valhalla, NY 10595
    10:00 am - 8:00 pm - Local 1103 Picket - Verizon Wireless - 447 Boston Road Port Chester, NY 10573
    10:00 am - 8:00 pm - Local 1103 Picket - Verizon Wireless - 1773 E Main Street Mohegan Lake, NY 10547
    10:00 am - 8:00 pm - Local 1103 Picket - Verizon Wireless - 355 N Central Avenue Hartsdale, NY 10530.

Valentino's Ghost, a film about misunderstanding Arabs

Friday May 6, KINGSTON: The important documentary Valentino's Ghost will be screened at 7 p.m. at Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills, 320 Sawkill Rd. Narrated by Mike Farrell and directed by Michael Singh, this film exposes how the U.S. foreign policy agenda in the Middle East influences Hollywood and mainstream media portrayals of Arabs and Muslims. This free offering in the Films of Palestine Series is sponsored by Middle East Crisis Response ( and Hudson Valley Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions ( or (518) 291-6808.

Friday, May 6, OLD CHATHAM: The 2015 film The Armor of Light will be screened at 7 p.m. at the Old Chatham Quaker Meetinghouse, 539 County Rt. 13, across from Pitt Hall Rd. and Powell House. The film follows the journey of an Evangelical minister trying to find the courage to preach about the growing toll of gun violence in America. The film tracks Rev. Rob Schenck, anti-abortion activist and fixture on the political far right, who breaks with orthodoxy by questioning whether being pro-gun is consistent with being pro-life. (More about the film at For those interested there is a potluck at 6 p.m. The event is free and public. Refreshments will be served and a moderated discussion will follow. Information, (518) 766-2992. 

Saturday May 7, NEW PALTZ: Every Saturday, 12:45 to 1:30 p.m., New Paltz Women in Black conducts a vigil for peace and justice in front of the Elting Library, corner of Main and North Front Streets. This is their 15th year. Join them. (Also Saturday May 14, 21, 28.) Information,

Monday, May 9, KINGSTON: The End The New Jim Crow Action Network (ENJAN) will meet 6-8 p.m. at the New Progressive Baptist Church, 8 Hone St. ENJAN is a Hudson Valley network dedicated to fighting racist policies of racial profiling, police brutality, and mass incarceration. (The next meeting is May 23) Information, (845) 475-8781 or

√√ Monday, May 9, KINGSTON: A screening of the new feature film Disobedience, about the global movement to break free from fossil fuels, will take place at 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills, 320 Sawkill Rd. It tells the story of communities in Canada, Germany, Turkey, and the Philippines, who are united by a shared purpose and a shared moment for action —  stopping the greed of the fossil fuel industry and keeping coal, oil and gas in the ground. Disobedience is being shown as a lead-in to participation in the Break Free Action in Albany on May 14, part of global day of action May 14 (See below on that date). Information, (845) 331-2884.

Wednesday, May 11, POUGHKEEPSIE: ENJAN (End The New Jim Crow Action Network) will meet 6-8 p.m. in the Sadie Peterson Delaney African Roots Library, Family Partnership Center, 29 N. Hamilton St. ENJAN is a Hudson Valley network dedicated to fighting racist policies of racial profiling, police brutality, and mass incarceration. The next meeting is May 25. Information, (845) 475-8781 or

Wednesday, May 11, DELMAR: Pilgrim Oil pipelines traversing Albany County will be discussed at the Delmar-Bethlehem Town Board meeting at 6 p.m. on the first floor of Bethlehem Town Hall Auditorium, 445 Delaware Ave. Organizers say: "Please plan to attend this meeting and tell the Town Board that you do not want the pipeline running through the Town of Bethlehem.  Please ask what the Town of Bethlehem plans to do to stop or delay the Kinder Morgan "Connecticut Expansion" storage loop emanating from Bethlehem." Information,

Thursday, May 12, WOODSTOCK: Middle East Crisis Response (MECR) will meet from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Woodstock Public Library, 5 Library Lane. MECR is a group of Hudson Valley residents joined together to promote peace and human rights in Palestine and the Middle East. (The following meeting is May 26.) Information, (845) 876-7906 or

Ismail Shabazz proclaims innocence.
Friday, May 13, WOODSTOCK: An evening of entertainment and commentary in support of human rights activist Ismail Shabazz begins at 7 p.m. at the Woodstock Community Center, 56 Rock City Rd. Shabazz was arrested in Kingston last year and indicted on 16 counts, including selling illegal weapons to an FBI informant, and criminal possession of a weapon. He and his supporters maintain he is the victim of a frame-up. Shabazz will appear at the meeting along with his lawyer, the well-known  civil rights attorney Michael Sussman. Also on the program will be comics Mikhail Horowitz and Gilles Malkine, and actor/playwright Michael Monasterial. The suggested donation is $15. This event is sponsored by Woodstock’s MLK Planning Committee. Information, (845) 679-5884 (Ann) or (845) 679-7320 (Terry).

Mat Callahan and Yvonne Moore.

Friday, May 13, TROY: Celebrate James Connolly and the 100th Anniversary of the Irish Easter Rising with Songs of Freedom sung by Mat Callahan and Yvonne Moore. The event begins at 7 p.m. at the Troy, New York Oakwood Community Center 31310th St. (Hoosick). Donation of $10 requested, $5 unemployed and students. Information: (518) 407-3582.This event is sponsored by the James Connolly, Irish Republican Club and Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace. (For background, see the brief article "Long Live The Easter Rebellion" at 4-23-16 NEWSLETTER.)

√√ Saturday, May 14, ALBANY: This is big — a "Break Free Action."  Supporters of 350.Org and about 70 to other environmental groups have joined forces and declared: "On May 14 We will stand in the way of the fossil fuel industry in North America. Albany has been a key center for fossil fuel distribution. Representing a coalition of communities and organizations across the northeast, we will gather for an act of mass civil disobedience against oil trains, fracked oil and gas pipelines, and other fossil fuel projects, while standing up for frontline communities like Ezra Prentice Homes and others in the oil train blast zone who deal with these trains in their backyard everyday. Many of us will participate in direct action and many more will come to rally and stand in solidarity. How you participate is up to you, but we are asking you to please be there." On Friday May 13 6 p.m. – Mass Action Training – St. John’s Church, 94 Herkimer. (Parking available at the Department of Motor Vehicles at 260 Pearl St.) Saturday May 14th: 10 a.m. – Gather in Lincoln Park, between Morton and Park Ave. We will be welcomed and informed of the details of the day. 11a.m. – March from Lincoln Park to the Port of Albany. 12 Noon – take action to 'Keep It In The Ground and Stop the Bomb Trains' at the Port of Albany. There will be clear opportunities for those willing to risk arrest and for others to rally in support.The main activities of the day will wrap up by 6 p.m. or when arrests are made, whichever comes first. Please read our action agreements and about our expectations for training." All information is at

√√ Sunday, May 15, WOODSTOCK: Today marks the 68th anniversary of what Palestinians refer to as al Nakba (the Catastrophe). This was a time (1947-49) of the mass dispossession and expulsion of Palestinian Arabs from British Mandate Palestine during the creation of the State of Israel. A vigil will be held 2-3 p.m. at the Village Green in solidarity with the Palestinian call to commemorate the 1948 Nakba and to stand against its continuation. Over 750,000 Palestinian men, women, and children were driven from their homes and land and were made refugees. More than 400 Palestinian cities, towns, and villages including homes, businesses, and houses of worship were systematically demolished to prevent the return of their Palestinian owners. The Nakba was a deliberate act, essential for the creation of a Jewish majority state in historic Palestine, which, prior to 1948, was overwhelmingly Arab (Muslim and Christian). Zionist leaders used the term "transfer" when they discussed their plans.  Today, we use the term ethnic cleansing to describe what Zionist paramilitaries did. Sponsored by Middle East Crisis Response. Information, Information, (845) 876-7906 or

√√ Tuesday, May, 17, ALBANY: The acclaimed play Mariposa & the Saint will be staged at 5:30 p.m. in Hearing Room C of the Legislative Office Building, 198 State St. beginning at 5:30 p.m. It is public and free. The New Yorker wrote: "The play presents solitary confinement as a particularly egregious failure on the part of the prison system to approach prisoners — not just the good and the innocent but also the guilty and the bad — as complete human beings." In 2012, Mariposa was sentenced to 15 months in isolated confinement. Years later, she is still there. Through letters with long-time friend and current collaborator, Julia Steele Allen, Sara (Mariposa) Fonseca brings her experience to the stage. The play, which is based on the letters, is directed by Noelle Ghoussaini
 and preformed by Julia Steele Allen & Ray Huth.

Sunday, May 17, WOODSTOCK:  A Vigil for Palestine takes place 12-1 p.m. on the Village Green, sponsored by Middle East Crisis Response.

Wednesday, May 18, ALBANY: "Defending the Revolutionary Gains of Cuba and Venezuela" is the title of a lecture by author and scholar Steve Ellner. A slide show on the topic starts at 5:30 p.m. followed by the talk and then a discussion. We're informed that "Ellner is one of the most prominent Venezuela experts, and as a reviewer of one of his dozen books said, 'one of our most insightful interpreters of Latin American politics.'  Since 1977 he has taught at the Universidad de Oriente in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela, and has been a visiting professor at some of the most prestigious American Universities." This free event is sponsored by Albany Cuba Solidarity and co-sponsored by Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace. Information: For map and directions, For the Activist Newsletter's article on "The Future Of U.S.-Cuban Relations" click on 04-23-16 NEWSLETTER.

√√ Friday to Sunday, May 20 to 22, NEW YORK CITY (Manhattan): The Left Forum is back in town with over 1,000 speakers, 400 workshops, panels, comedy events, music, film screenings, a book and grassroots organization fair, discussions, debates, exhibitors "while socializing with an amazing diversity of great thinkers, artists, and activists from around the world." This year's theme is "Rage, Rebellion and Revolution — Organizing Our Power." The event will be held at John Jay College, 524 West 59th St. Friday's events begin at 3 p.m. (the opening plenary is 7-9 p.m.). Saturday, 8 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. Sunday, 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. This is perhaps the most important event of the year for all who considered themselves on the U.S. political left. All information — prices, workshops, speakers, topics, etc. — is  available at

√√ Friday, May 20, KINGSTON: The acclaimed play Mariposa & the Saint will be staged the at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills, 320 Sawkill Rd. beginning at 7 p.m. Public and free. See Aay 17 for details about this play. Information, (845) 331-2884.

√√ Saturday, May 21, TROY: Amy Goodman, host and executive producer of the progressive radio/TV program Democracy Now will speak at 7:30 p.m. at the Sanctuary for Independent Media, 3361 6th Ave. in North Troy.  She will discuss her new book, Democracy Now! —  Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America. Her appearance is co-sponsored by Women Against War as they to celebrate the tenth anniversary of The Sanctuary and their many collaborations on programs related to peace and justice. A donation of $10 is suggested. More information at

Friday, May 27, HYDE PARK: As part of Memorial Day Weekend events at the Henry A. Wallace Center of the FDR Presidential Library there will be a an evening of World War II-era entertainment starting at 7 p.m. The Library will host a "USO Show" that will provide an evening of comedy and entertainment, historic film footage, and music from the 1940s." The event is free and public. For map and directions, directions. Information, (845) 486-7745.

√√ Monday, May 30, NEW PALTZ: There will be a Stop the Pilgrim Pipelines demonstration 3-5 p.m. near Elting Library on Rt. 299, North Front and Main Sts. Information, (845) 255-9297,