Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Voting Rights are Worth the Fight & Black History Month "Dump Trump" Unity March & Motorcade

46th Black History Month "Voting Rights are Worth the Fight" Event begins with a "Dump Trump" Unity March and Motorcade Sunday February 23.

"Voting Rights are Worth the Fight," is the theme of this year's 46th Annual People's World African American History Month celebration, to be held Sunday February 23, 2020.

The day will serve as a call to action and unity against rising open racism and white supremacy, making the 2020 elections crucial for the future of the African American freedom struggle and the freedom struggle of all peoples and the planet.

A Black History Month "Dump Trump" Unity March & Motorcade will leave at 2:30 pm from the New Haven Peoples Center 37 Howe St. and proceed to Troup School 259 Edgewood Ave. where there will be a program at 4:00 pm.
The program will feature a panel discussion opening with a 1963 Video by the SNCC Voter Project in Mississippi and remarks by Brian Steinberg, a participant in Mississippi Freedom Summer; Barbara Vereen,, Staff Director Local 34 Unite Here at Yale; Sulemy Cordova, Connecticut Students for a Dream,Wilbur Cross High School; and concluding remarks by Judge Clifton Graves, Professor of African American History.

Also on the program will be presentation of prizes in the Arts and Writing Competition Grades 8 to 12, "Harriet Tubman and The Right to Vote." and a tribute to Lula White, freedom rider and former competition judge. Also, drumming by Brian Jarawa Gray and Friends and music selections by Kompozure and Ice the Beef youth,

The march and event will bring together groups organizing against heightened racism, militarism and exploitation in the elections and beyond, toward a future of solidarity, justice, peace and sustainability where all persons can reach their full potential.

In advance of the march, the feature length documentary "Freedom Summer" will be shown at the Peoples Center on Friday, February 21 at 7 pm. Released in 2014, the film tells the story of the courageous students who came to Mississippi in the summer of 1964 to work with local organizers and African American residents to claim their right to vote and shatter the foundations of white supremacy Poster making for Sunday's march will also be part of the evening.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Arts and Writing Competition: Harriet Tubman and the Right to Vote

African American History Month 2020
Arts and Writing Competition for Students Grades 8 to 12 Sponsored annually by Connecticut People's World Committee to remember the lives and dedication of Dalzenia Henry and Virginia Henry to the youth of New Haven and to make a better future.

Harriet Tubman and the Right to Vote

If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If there's shouting after you, keep going. Don't ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going." -- Harriet Tubman
Harriet Tubman (c. 1822-1913) was born into slavery in Maryland. She was an extraordinary abolitionist and freedom fighter. After escaping to the North for freedom, she repeatedly risked her life and returned to the South as a conductor on the Underground Railroad. She rescued more than 300 from bondage. During the Civil War, she was the first woman officer in the Union Army. After the war, she became a passionate champion for the right to vote for African Americans and for women as part of the Suffrage movement.
Harriet Tubman's remarkable courage and determination is a powerful lesson for us in the ongoing freedom struggle. The democratic right to vote is currently under assault. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 has been undermined. The fight for Black voting rights and voting rights for people of color and poor people continues in the courts and on the streets, and is heating up with the approach of the 2020 elections.
In May the Treasury Secretary said as long as Trump is in office the scheduled Harriet Tubman $20 bill will not take place. It will replace the image of slave-holder Andrew Jackson,. Until he died, civil rights leader Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland led the demand to issue the Harriet Tubman $20 in 2020 as scheduled.
Express in artwork, essay, poetry, rap or song:
Respond to two or more questions

  • How does suppression of voting rights, directed at keeping people of color from voting, affect our quality of life? 
  • What is the impact of voter suppression on government policies for education, housing, healthcare, climate change and spending priorities? 
  • How does voter suppression affect the freedom struggle for equality today?
  • What would Harriet Tubman do in the 2020 elections? How can I as a young person make a difference for freedom and equality in 2020?

Requirements + Art work – Two dimensional (Drawings, paintings, collage, prints, photographs, etc.) Paper size not larger than 18” x 24”
+ Essay, poem, rap or song – Not longer than 2 pages

Deadline Entries must be received by 5 pm on Thursday, February 13, 2020 MUST INCLUDE:
Name, address, phone, e-mail, age, school, teacher's name (where applicable)

Submission Electronic:
Mail: CT People's World, 37 Howe Street, New Haven. CT 06511

Prizes Gift certificates ($100 first place, $50 second place, $25 third place) and books

Presentation Prizes and recognition for all entries will be presented on Sunday, February 23,
2020 at 4:00 pm at Troup School during the 46th Annual African American History Month Celebration hosted by the Connecticut People's World Committee.

Information e-mail to: Phone messages can be left at: 203-624-8664

Monday, December 30, 2019

Remarks by Rochelle Palache, People's World Amistad Awardee

Thank you Joelle and Art. Thank you to the entire CT People’s World Community. I am honored to join the ranks of the esteemed group of past awardees, including member leader Ciro Guitterez, and my leaders Alberto Bernardez and Juan Hernandez. 

It is with grace and great humility that I accept this award in honor of the thousands of hardworking men and women of my union, SEIU Local 32BJ.

The vast majority of these freedom fighters are now in contract negotiations, and today, December 14, hundreds voted unanimously to authorize a strike if we do not reach a favorable agreement by December 31. 

I am incredibly honored to serve and fight alongside these amazing warriors. They teach me every day that, regardless of our differences, we have one struggle and we have to remain united against our common enemy. I carry their passion, their energy, their stories with me and it provides me with the fuel I need to keep going. 

Quite fittingly, on this day that I am honored, those who inspired me showed me their power by gathering by the hundreds in New Haven, Hartford and Stamford to say NO to the bosses’ attempts to intimidate them and to roll back the progress we have made over the years. We emphatically said NO to any GIVEBACKS and YES to fair wages, affordable healthcare and a decent pension.

Our members work extremely hard and they deserve to thrive and to live with dignity and respect.
At these meetings, our members and our President Kyle Bragg spoke passionately about the legacy of our great, late president Hector Figueroa. Hector devoted his life to ensure that the labor movement expanded and that labor used its influence to fight for economic, racial, environmental, and immigrant justice for all working people.

A huge thank you to you our community champions who have stood side by side with us in this struggle. Our members will continue to hold strong, and I know you will be there every step of the way, and so I have no I have no doubt that we will win a strong contract this year. Can we do it? ¡Sí, se puede!

I am a black woman, an immigrant, a woman of faith, a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend and a proud labor organizer.

It’s been my lifelong passion to empower, serve, defend and help others but sometimes it gets difficult to stay strong. Sometimes you feel like throwing in the towel. Sometimes you feel like giving up. In a world filled with so much despair and hate, it’s easy to get weary in well-doing. As we face the daily struggles against a system designed to oppress our most vulnerable, we have to remember that no matter how hard the obstacles we face in the fight for justice, it’s important to know who you are and to remain true to your passions. 

I know that this fight for justice is bigger than I am. It’s about leaving this world a little bit better for my two amazing children. It’s about staying united and strong in the face of what sometimes feels like insurmountable obstacles and speaking directly to that mountain of despair that "we will remain resolute in this fight, we will not give up!" Hate, greed and division will not prevail. 

So, in closing, don’t let nothing or no one put out your FIRE. Find the source of your power. For me, it’s my family, my church family, and my union family. I am reminded about a quote by Laura Esquival: "Each of us are born with a box of matches inside of us but we can’t strike them all by ourselves, we need oxygen, we need a candle" — we need each other. 

Today I watched hundreds of members standing together to join forces and declare that if we don’t get what we deserve at the table we will be going on strike come January 1,st and I can’t fully describe to you the mood and the feeling in the room. It’s a beautiful thing to watch people coming together for one common struggle, each of us igniting the passion within each other that creates an explosion and that’s what creates a movement — a movement that our hero Hector Figuroa would be proud of. Hector presente. We will win this for you!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Presentation of People's World Amistad Award to John Humphries by John Harrity

Remarks on Presenting JOHN HUMPHRIES the Amistad Award – John Harrity 12/14/19
First, I want to congratulate all the honorees, and thank everyone who has come here today to celebrate them and our collective solidarity. And I want to especially celebrate the recognition given to my great friend of many years, Joelle Fishman. Joelle and I have worked together for many, many years and I have always valued her perspective, her advice and her friendship.
But on to the main event – John Humphries.
I am honored to be asked to honor John. I do not have a lot of time so I will get right to it. John is perhaps the most remarkable, effective and dedicated person I have ever worked with. That’s not hyperbola, and that’s not from a novice; I say that sincerely with more than 40 years of activism in people’s struggles. John – believe me when I say you are among the best.
John has a long history of organizing for progressive causes – in Appalachia, the Naugatuck Valley, with Sheff vs, O’Neill – but I am not going to focus on that. I met John maybe 7 years ago, when some environmentalists asked John Olsen if he could convene a meeting of labor folks concerned about climate change. This led to a continuing dialogue, and John Olsen’s request that I keep tabs on it.
That evolved into the CT Roundtable on Climate & Jobs a coalition of labor, environmental and faith groups, focused on climate change. Our working thesis is that the fight against climate disaster is crucial, and opens up opportunities for new, local, good-paying jobs in a revamped renewable energy economy. This transformation also mandates addressing and correcting decades of racial injustice embedded into the fossil fuel economy
But you can have the greatest perspective, and the keenest analysis, and not get anything done. The difference for the Roundtable has been our Executive Director and Lead Organizer, John Humphries.
I will just state a few of the Roundtable’s many achievements. In an early fight with utilities, we got restrictions put on the amount utilities could charge rate payers for fixed costs, which were a deterrent to energy conservation and renewables. We convinced the Malloy administration to revive and utilize the Governor Council on Climate Change and assisted the in the development and holding of stakeholder meetings across the state on climate change.
That process led to Connecticut setting some of the toughest standards in the country as goals for carbon reduction. Those goals were then further tightened by incoming Governor Lamont.
We led the way in establishing a state goal to construct 2,000 MW of offshore wind by 2035. Offshore wind projects promise the creation of thousands of jobs under project labor agreements – so that they are union jobs. Most important, they will generate electric power without carbon emissions, to help keep our planet safe.
Now we are involved in working with the Lamont administration to ensure that climate change is a primary factor in determining elements of a strategic transportation plan.
Through it all has been the leadership of John Humphries. His understanding of the climate crisis, and what needs to be done, is visionary. His work ethic is unmatched – meticulous, focused, disciplined and knowledgeable.
But it is his humanity, and genuine love of people that shines through always, and helps move people to our cause. John is a person with strong faith and strong personal values. He and his wife Debbie are a strong team, bound by love and a desire to do good in the world.
John leads by example, as well as by a sharp intellect, great listening skills and an ability to synthesize diverse opinions into concrete plans and real action.
John treats people with respect and dignity, and with an essential kindness that people feel and draws them in. If you know John, you know – and I mean this in the best, most appreciative way – that there is a little bit of Mr. Rogers to John, except focused on climate change instead of the Land of Make-Believe.
I am truly honored to be able to work with and learn from John Humphries. I am thankful to call him my friend. But I am most thankful that, at this crucial moment in history, when we are fighting to the survival of the world, John Humphries is on our side.
Let me read the citation on the award we are about to give John:
People's World Amistad Award
John Humphries
Director Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs
In recognition of your life long commitment
to social, racial, environmental and economic justice for all people, 
through community organizing and diverse alliance building 
bringing together labor, faith and community leaders 
from Appalachia to Connecticut to save our planet earth 
from devastation due to climate change and militarism and
to create good, green jobs and an equal and sustainable future
Your outstanding leadership is an inspiration
December 14, 2019 at 
City Hall Atrium
New Haven, Connecticut

Monday, December 23, 2019

Photos of People's World Amistad Awards Rise Up - Unite 2020

Photos of the People's Wrold Amistad Awards event held Saturday December 14, 2019 at New Haven City Hall Atrium are posted at the Face Book event page for the rally:

Remarks will be posted at this site as they arrive.  Already posted are the welcome remarks by Mayor Toni N Harp and the remarks by Joelle Fishman on receiving special recogntion for the 100 year anniversary of the Communist Party USA.