Friday, March 26, 2010

People's World / Mundo Popular Newsmaker Awards

"A Call for United Action to Create Jobs for All with Equality and Peace" is the theme for this year's People's World / Mundo Popular Newsmaker Awards and May Day Celebration to be held on Sunday, April 25 at 4:00 p.m. at the New Haven Peoples Center, 37 Howe St.

The event will be held one week early due to the international peace march at the United Nations on the first Sunday in May.

Organizations receiving Newsmaker Awards have led in the struggle for jobs and for relief in the economic crisis.

International Association of Machinists Local 1746-A in Cheshire will receive an award to highlight the successful court fight they led to stop the profitable Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies, from moving jobs abroad in the middle of their union contract. The contract includes language requiring the company to meet with the union and consider other options before moving machinery and jobs. The court ruled that the company violated this agreement, and must stop their plans at least during the life of the contract which expires in December, 2010.

The Greater Hartford Labor Council will receive an award in recognition of their broad outreach and involvement of organized workers in the struggle for health care jobs, and workers' rights.

The Asociacion de trabajadores de New Haven, the new workers' center organized by Unidad Latina en Accion, will receive an award for their groundbreaking mobilization of immigrant workers at their worksites and for the march on Washington on March 21.

The event will kick off organizing for May Day events including an immigrant rights march in New Haven that will coordinate with marches across the country bringing together immigrant organizations with labor unions.

The program will include music and a home made buffet. Donation is $5 or what you can afford.

A collection will be taken for the People's World / Mundo Popular in Connecticut. For information call 203-624-8664.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


The national health care reform victory could not have been possible without the support of a massive labor, community and faith-based coalition. CONGRATULATIONS!!

We know there is more work to do but this is a wonderful start!


Source: MoveOn Email dated March 22, 2010

1. Once reform is fully implemented, over 95% of Americans will have health insurance coverage, including 32 million who are currently uninsured.

2. Health insurance companies will no longer be allowed to deny people coverage because of preexisting conditions—or to drop coverage when people become sick.

3. Just like members of Congress, individuals and small businesses who can't afford to purchase insurance on their own will be able to pool together and choose from a variety of competing plans with lower premiums.

4. Reform will cut the federal budget deficit by $138 billion over the next ten years, and a whopping $1.2 trillion in the following ten years.

5. Health care will be more affordable for families and small businesses thanks to new tax credits, subsidies, and other assistance—paid for largely by taxing insurance companies, drug companies, and the very wealthiest Americans.

6. Seniors on Medicare will pay less for their prescription drugs because the legislation closes the "donut hole" gap in existing coverage.

7. By reducing health care costs for employers, reform will create or save more than 2.5 million jobs over the next decade.

8. Medicaid will be expanded to offer health insurance coverage to an additional 16 million low-income people.

9. Instead of losing coverage after they leave home or graduate from college, young adults will be able to remain on their families' insurance plans until age 26.

10. Community health centers would receive an additional $11 billion, doubling the number of patients who can be treated regardless of their insurance or ability to pay.

Posted by Tom Connolly

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Photo Above: Overflow crowd at the Better Choices for Connecticut Press Conference [Click on the photo for full screen]

At a news conference today, Better Choices for Connecticut released a report outlining several options to modernize Connecticut’s revenue system while closing our state’s massive budget deficit. The Better Choices coalition, made up of nonprofit providers, labor unions, and community and advocacy organizations, pressed legislators to adopt the measures to protect families in this devastating national recession, and maintain vital public services—including education, health, public safety, environmental protection, and transportation systems-when families are needing them most.

Increasing revenue, according to the Better Choices report, would align Connecticut with 30 other states that have acted in the last year to increase state revenues to not only keep pace with the growing need for public services, but to position themselves for future growth and sustainability when better economic conditions return. Notably, citizens in Oregon themselves voted to raise personal income taxes on higher income households in order to maintain the state’s quality of life.

The menu of revenue options advocated by Better Choices for Connecticut includes proposals to:

• Close Corporate tax loopholes that benefit multi-state companies over local companies;

• Evaluate the $5 billion in tax breaks in state tax laws and reduce or eliminate unproductive tax breaks;

• Increase income taxes for those who can best afford it, the state’s wealthy residents;

• Delay reductions in the gift and estate tax, a tax that affects only a handful of the state’s wealthiest residents;

• Taxing excess profits of electricity generators would raise $ 400 million dollars a year for the state. Connecticut is has one of the highest electric rates in the country. The windfall profits accruing to for-profit electricity generators because of deregulation could be a significant source of state revenue and relief to rate payers. Company filings with the Federal Energy Regulatory commission were used to estimate that imposing an assessment on 50% of profits over 20% of the return on equity would generate over $ 400 million dollars.

[Photo above: Jamey Bell of CT Voices for Children]

"We can balance the budget without relying solely on spending cuts that damage the state’s economic future and harm families,” said Jamey Bell, Executive Director of Connecticut Voices for Children. “There is a wide range of more balanced alternatives, such as evaluating and reducing the state’s ‘hidden budget’ of tax breaks and corporate tax loopholes.”

Photo above: William Cibes - Former secretary of Office and Policy and Management under Gov. Lowell P. Weicker, Jr.

William Cibes, chancellor emeritus of the Connecticut State University System and former secretary of the Office of Policy and Management under Gov. Lowell P. Weicker, Jr. said, “It’s not a question of IF revenues will be raised, but WHICH revenues will be raised. Better Choices is performing an important public service by putting forward some very constructive suggestions about how to do that.”

Maggie Adair, Deputy Director of Connecticut Association for Human Services noted, "Durning a recession as deep as this one, demand for public services dramatically escalates. Slashing vital state services would hurt the working poor and middle-income people who have lost their jobs and are ruling behind. Connecticut is the wealthiest state in the nation, but it is among the most unequal. We have the capacity to protect and invest in our people and our communities,”

The report, “Revenue Solutions for FY 2011,” is available on the Better Choices for Connecticut website at


The faith-based members of the Better Choices Coalition announce a special meeting concerning the Connecticut's economic crisis.

Photo above: The Rev. Steve Camp of Faith Congregational Church in Hartford. Rev. Camp announced a special meeting of the faith-based community to deal with Connecticut's economic crisis. ALL are welcome and urged to join this effort to move forward.

DATE: Wednesday, April 14, 2010
TIME: 7:00 PM
PLACE: Faith Congrgational Church
2030 Main Street, Hartford, CT

For more info. Contact: The Rev. Steve Camp, Faith Congregational Church - 860-547-0820

Posted by and photos by Tom Connolly

Friday, March 12, 2010


March on Bank of America

DATE: Monday, March 22, 2010
TIME: 2:00 PM
PLACE: Start at the Hilton Hotel, 315 Trumbull Street , Hartford
Sponsored by the Connecticut AFL-CIO
For more information, please contact 860-571-6191

Big Wall Street banks brought on America's worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. While their actions destroyed Americans’ jobs, homes and hope, the Big Banks got billions in taxpayer bailouts—and went back to business as usual.

They gave their execs about $145 billion in 2009 pay and bonuses, and now they’re spending millions lobbying to kill financial reform. America is 10 million jobs in the hole.

It’s time for Wall Street to pay to create the good jobs we need. Join us to take this message right to one of the biggest, baddest banks of all. The Bank of America.

Posted by Tom Connolly

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


[Pictures above: Hundreds of workers from Local 141 of the UNITED HERE New England Joint Board rally for a fair contract.] Click on the pictures for a full screen.

Hundreds of TJX/HomeGoods workers rally at the company's distribution center in Bloomfield, CT today to demand a fair contract to improve wages and health insurance benefits. The company recently posted a record one BILLION dollars in profits. The workers who do the work are demanding their share.

HomeGoods employee Jessica Rivera noted, "We are rallying for a better contract and for better pay and benefits. We want to be treated fairly and equally at work. We want to feel proud of the work we do and the company we work for."

On February 24, TJX, the parent corporation of HomeGoods, Marshalls, AJ Wright and TJ Maxx stores, posted record profit for 2009, breaking the one BILLION profit mark for the first time in its history. For the quarter ended Jan. 30, TJX posted a profit of $ 395 million, up from $ 250.7 million a year earlier.

The time for a fair contract is NOW!

[John Olsen, President of the CT AFL-CIO, delivered a spirited speech and pledged the support of the CT AFL-CIO.]

Other Photos:

Posted by Tom Connolly

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Happy International Women's Day March 8, 2010

The first International Women's Day was inspired by the 13-week strike of 30,000 women shirtwaist makers in New York in 1909. In 1910, at the Second International Conference of Socialist Women, Clara Zetkin's proposal was adopted that March 8 be a day of solidarity for women workers throughout the world and for the right of women to vote.

In this centennial year, we carry forward the goals and aspirations for a new world based on peace not war and equality not exploitation

* Joining together to close the gap in employment, health care, education, housing and all aspects of life

* Building the multi-racial grassroots movement for job creation with union rights to solve the economic crisis

* Celebrating leadership to reorder priorities for peace, economic and social justice and equality for today and tomorrow

Connecticut Communist Party USA

Saturday, March 6, 2010

New Haven Firebirds Struggle is for Everyone

[Photo Above: Dr. Gerald Horne, professor of African American Studies at the University of Houston - Click of photo for full screen.]

The continued need for affirmative action to achieve fairness and equality for everyone won support last weekend at African American History Month events in Hartford and New Haven addressed by Dr. Gerald Horne and the New Haven Firebirds.

The "Working Together for Justice" events hosted by the People's World drew large multi-racial turnouts. The New Haven overflow event also highlighted the writing and artwork of high school students about racism and stereotyping in their schools, and music and poetry for Haiti by Baub Bidon, Ras Mo Moses, Jeff Fuller and Richard Hill.

[Photo Above: Gary Tinney, President of the New Haven Firebirds]

In appreciation of the Firebirds, Dr. Gerald Horne, professor of African American studies at University of Houston said, "In fighting against tests not related to the job at hand, these heroic New Haven firefighters were simultaneously fighting for a better world, where workers would not be subjected to subjective, unfair and ultimately discriminatory criteria for evaluation."

He called the battle to protect and extend affirmative action "one of the most profound and important struggles of our time.... to attack the poison that is racism and sexism, which is critical if the class struggle is to be accelerated."

Firebirds president Gary Tinney, who was at the U.S. Supreme Court for the case of 6,000 African American Chicago firefighters, said the media ignored that case while giving national headlines to 19 white firefighters from New Haven whose case was used unsuccessfully to strike down affirmative action and block Sonia Sotomayor from appointment to the Court.

Ron Benson, Firebirds president in the 1990's recounted previous court cases which struck down discriminatory practices. George Sweeney, the first African American firefighter in New Haven, hired in 1957, was deeply moved and recalled his first day when no one would acknowledge his presence.

The 36th annual celebration was a fundraiser to support the new daily on-line and Connecticut mini print editions. Contributions can be sent to: People's World, 37 Howe Street, New Haven, CT 06511.

SOON TO BE POSTED: Full speech by Dr. Gerald Horne, winning essay, poetry and drawings, more photos.

Other photos:
Photo: Dr. Gerald Horne, professor of African American Studies at the University of Houston, speaking to the crowd at the New Haven People's Center.

Photo: New Haven People's Center Black History Month Event.

Photo: The crowd gathering at the Hartford Black History Month Event.

Photo: Dr. Gerald Horne listening to the music of the youngest members of the crowd at the Hartford Black History Month event.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


FORUM, QUESTIONS, ANSWERS on exiting Afghanistan with Prof. Vijay Prashad

.........DATE: Sat. March 6, 2010
.........TIME: 7:00 PM
.........PLACE: 37 Howe St. New Haven, CT
.........TOPIC: "Saving Afghanistan from the U.S.(and other extremists)

.........SPEAKER: Professor Vijay Prashad

From its intervention to destroy a progressive popular movement in Afghanistan in the 1970's, to its supporting the Taliban, warlords, Osama bin Laden and al Qaida, to its current occupation of Afghanistan aimed at suppressing some of the forces it helped create, the United States government seems eager to wantonly dispose of the lives of its children, their future wealth, and any good will it might have left in the world.Yet there are sensible ways to extract ourselves from this ugly morass.

Professor Vijay Prashad, George and Martha Kellner Chair of South Asian History and Director of International Studies at Trinity College, Hartford, CT; author of eleven books, most recently, The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World (The New Press, paperback 2008), the Asian American Writers' Workshop nonfiction book of 2008.

Professor Prashad writes for Frontline magazine (Chennai, India), Himal South Asia (Kathmandu, Nepal), Naked Punch Asia (Lahore, Pakistan). Read his web dispatches at Counterpunch (, ZNET ( and Pragoti ( Prashad is on the board of the National Priorities Project (

Henry Lowendorf
Greater New Haven Peace Council
PO Box 3105New Haven, CT 06515-0205
Phone: 203-389-9547