Sunday, December 25, 2011


Jobs for Youth – Jobs for All!
People's World Amistad Awards and Youth Performances
December 20, 2011

Dear Friends, Allies, Sisters and Brothers,

2011 has been an extraordinary year for grass roots movement building on behalf of the 99% in New Haven, in Connecticut and across the country and around the world! The election of many new Alderpersons who are union activists is shifting the political balance in favor of the needs of working people in New Haven.

It was so inspiring to see this rising power in action during the first week of December for jobs, safety and youth needs. An overflow community gathering at Conte-West Hills School mapped out a grass roots agenda. A giant march of 1,000 organized by Occupy, unions and community groups converged on Wall St in New Haven with a clear message challenging corporate greed.
An outstanding rally during that week was the Jobs for Youth -Jobs for All People's World Amistad Awards Rally on December 4. Three leaders in this movement were honored – Renae Reese, director, Connecticut Center for a New Economy, Alderwoman-elect Delphine Clyburn and Pastor Abraham Hernandez.

The highlight of this event and the entire week was the youth of the Young Communist League (YCL) and New Elm City Dream who have stepped forward to secure their right to a decent future. In response to the 32 lives lost to violence in New Haven this year, most of them youth, these young people have taken leadership in the struggle for good jobs.

In the summer they went door knocking in the Aldermanic election. Next they organized a youth jobs roundtable at the New Haven Peoples Center and decided to meet every week. They learned how to ask their school friends and family to sign petitions in support of jobs legislation. They collected 650 signatures and organized a march of 200 through downtown New Haven. They held a rally for jobs and to re-open the Q House with MoveOn, and stood with the AFL-CIO at Senator Lieberman's office in Hartford, calling on him to support jobs legislation.

The Amistad Awards rally was held on the occasion of the 92nd anniversary of the Communist Party USA. While recognizing the honorees and enjoying poetry, song and dance performed by the youth, everyone also learned that the Communist Party is a staunch fighter for the working class in our country, which is why its name is so maligned by the 1%.

Through the decades, the Communist Party has always been there in the struggles against racism, and for equality, union rights and peace, while projecting the need for expanding the Bill of Rights to include economic and social justice – socialism USA- to achieve full equality. It is no accident that the Young Communist League is playing such a wonderful leadership role today.

This is to express appreciation to everyone in the community and labor movement who participated, supported, attended, performed, spoke, or otherwise contributed. We look forward to continuing to build this great movement together, and continuing to share and discuss our vision for a better world.

In Solidarity,
Amistad Awards Organizing Committee
37 Howe Street, New Haven CT 06511 (203) 624-8664
Posted by: Tom Connolly

Saturday, December 24, 2011


As you may have heard by now, John Boehner and his caucus of Tea Party obstructionists in the House of Representatives finally accepted political reality. Yesterday, they announced they'd join with 89 out of 100 senators from both political parties who’d already voted to renew unemployment aid for two months—with no cuts and no strings attached.This is an enormous victory.

Thanks to you, 2.8 million jobless Americans will have a brighter holiday season—and a helping hand over the next two months. Not an easy time. Not a handout or a free ride. But a lifeline and a chance that you made possible.

In the fight to extend aid for the jobless, the 99% went on the offense against the 1% politicians. And we won. And if working people keep it up, we’ll score more victories and build a better future. Not every time—two steps forward, one step back. But look around. People all across the country are saying our economy and our democracy are out of balance. And they’re winning the public debate.I hope you’ll take some well-deserved time this holiday season to rest, reflect and recharge. Because in 2012, huge challenges will keep on coming. And we’ll need you ready to start early, act often and work harder than ever.

I wish all the best for you and your family, for our unions and for our nation this holiday season and in the year ahead.Thank you for all the work you do.

In Solidarity,

Richard L. TrumkaPresident, AFL-CIO

P.S. Want to get more involved in our work? “Like” the AFL-CIO on Facebook.

Posted by Tom Connolly - Reprint Email from Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO

Friday, December 23, 2011

Connecticut youth lead fight for jobs

by Lisa Bergmann People's World December 19 2011

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Young Communist League and a new youth organization called the New Elm City Dream are on the front lines of the fight for jobs in Connecticut. The number of deaths in 2011 due to violence has risen to 32 in New Haven, where these youth groups are focused on linking the problem of youth violence to the lack of job opportunities. Most of the people who have been killed are young African American men. Most youth of color living in New Haven and other urban communities in Connecticut have been personally affected by violence.

The YCL helped found the New Elm City Dream this past September by organizing a Youth Jobs Roundtable, which was attended by over 40 young people and a number of adult leaders in the labor movement, elected officials, and other community organizations. At this meeting, youth from New Haven, also known as the "Elm City", and its surrounding areas identified a list of challenges they face as young people. These challenges included violence, teen pregnancy, lack of job opportunities, anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant hatred, drugs in the community, and struggling to gain respect from adults. The adults at the meeting from the labor movement and elsewhere in the city committed their support for a Youth Jobs Campaign.

Prior to this September meeting, the Young Communist League was part of the massive, successful community effort in New Haven during the summer of 2011 to elect 14 working-class leaders to the city's Board of Aldermen, where leaders with a working-class political orientation now hold a majority.

Having laid this foundation, the New Elm City Dream and the YCL are pushing the issue of jobs for youth into the public conversation in Connecticut. The first action the youth took was the collection of 650 signatures on a petition in support of Obama's American Jobs Act and Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky's Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act. The petition organizing led up to an action on November 2, when the New Elm City Dream led its first Youth Jobs March on the New Haven Green. The march was attended by over 200 people, including 80 youth and many allies from the labor and Occupy New Haven movements.

On Nov. 17, the New Elm City Dream teamed up with and New Haven's Unemployed Action Committee to hold a press conference in front of the Dixwell Avenue Q House, one of New Haven's most historic youth and community centers. The Q House was a significant, comprehensive resource center in the heart of the African American community. It was closed down 10 years ago due to lack of funding, and community cries to reopen the center have been repeatedly ignored and disrespected since that time. The November 17 press conference called for jobs for youth and adults who want to work to rebuild centers like the Q House.

On December 4, at the People's World Amistad Awards in New Haven, the Communist Party, YCL, and the New Elm City Dream presented a full artistic program based on the theme of "Jobs for Youth, Jobs for All!" The program included dancers, slam poets, jazz musicians, graffiti artists, and more. Over 300 people filled the auditorium at the rally-style event, which highlighted the young people and their role in advocating for their own rights to decent jobs and decent lives.

On December 6, the labor movement, Occupy New Haven, the New Elm City Dream, and others came together in a march for jobs and safe streets that was attended by over 1,000 people. Marchers flooded the first floor of City Hall on the rainy December evening, symbolizing the new political strength working people have in the city following the aldermanic elections. The youth from the New Elm City Dream were asked to lead the 1,000-person march.

On December 8, nine young people from the New Elm City Dream rode 40 minutes up the highway to Hartford, the state capital, for a rally in front of Sen. Joseph Lieberman's office. The rally was organized by the Connecticut State AFL-CIO and the Hartford Labor Council, and called for jobs and an extension of unemployment insurance. The youth presented a giant card to Lieberman's representative, calling on the senator to support jobs for youth and jobs for all. During a camera interview with Fox News, Teyanna Gray, a New Haven high school student, stated, "When I get money from babysitting or other jobs, I use it to help my mom out with groceries and other things we need for my family. But I'm concerned because if I see my mom struggling now, I know I will need a good job to pay for things when I get to be an adult. So that's why we're saying that the youth need jobs too, to be able to provide for ourselves, and we promise we won't let you down."

Throughout the marches, rallies, and press conferences, the young people from the YCL and the New Elm City Dream have spoken publicly about the ways that violence has affected their lives. The November 2 Youth Jobs March began with a candlelight vigil to recognize the young people who have been killed in New Haven due to gun violence. Latoya Agnew, a 19-year-old from New Haven's Newhallville neighborhood, bravely shared her experience with gun violence at the November 17 press conference and the march on December 6. "When I was 12, my best friend and cousin was arrested and taken to jail," she said. "Then, when he was 18, he was shot, and I was with him when he got shot. Thankfully he didn't die, but the police didn't do anything about the guy who shot him, so when he went back to get revenge he was arrested again.
"Now he's in jail, and the only way I can communicate with him is through letters and phone calls," she said, her voice breaking.

The success of the youth jobs organizing in Connecticut is an indication that there is a national need to link record youth unemployment levels with the other urgent issues that urban youth face, including the perverse frequency of deaths amongst their peers. The decision the young people have made to connect youth violence with the lack of job opportunities has also created a strong link between the youth, the labor movement, and Occupy in New Haven. Capria Marks, 16-year-old member of the New Elm City Dream, MC'd the speaking program at the Youth Jobs March on November 2. In her opening statements, she said, "When I was younger, I would hear about my friends' grandparents dying, my parents' elders dying, and that was sad, but it seemed more normal. But now, we're losing our friends, our peers, our high school students! This has got to stop. The youth are here taking a stand to say we need jobs. If you remember in the civil rights movement, it was the youth who went to the front lines and even went to jail for what they believed. We are doing the same."

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


By a vote of 1,603 to 88 the home care providers who participate in the CT. Care 4 Kids program vote to take the first step to joining CSEA/SEIU Local 2001. The Care 4 Kids program is the state's primary child care subsidy that is manged by the state Department of Social Services. The organizing drive has been going on for about 6 years. Fifteen other states have unionized home care providers. About 96 % of the home care providers are women.

Matt O'Connor, a spokesperson for CSEA/SEIU said, "This particular group needed a voice. They care for children of families who qualify for assistance to enable working parents to re-enter the job market for for folks to finish their education...They are an important part of early education."

Gov. Malloy noted that, "My position all along has been that family child care workers should have the right to organize, which is exactly what they have chosen to do. I hope that they will use their new collective voice to effect positive changes to the Care 4 Kids program."

Posted by Tom Connolly

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Photo Above: An Occupy Hartford action in Hartford on the steps to the Bank of America that took place several weeks ago. One of the signs notes: "The 99% vs The Bank of America."

Yesterday the Hartford Police at the directive of Mayor Pedro Segarra were evicted for their camp site. In spite of the eviction leaders noted that the movement will continue. JoAnne Beaer, one of the Occupiers said, "This disbandment will probably bring new people into the movement. It's like a Hydra -- you cut of a head and three more appear at that spot. That's what happened in other places where police have gone in to disband the camps." If the 1% thinks that closing a Occupy sites will stop the movement they are mistaken.

Hartford Occupiers with be present at vigil to demand the renewal of unemployment insurance. The action will talk place at Senator Lieberman's office on:

Date: Thursday, December 8th, 2011 --Time: 5 PM -- Place: Senator Lieberman's Office - 1 constitution Plaza, Hartford


Posted by Tom Connolly

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


There will be a vigil at Senator Lieberman's Office to RENEW UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE NOW!

Date: Thursday, December 8th, 2011
Time: 5 PM
Place: Senator Lieberman’s Office - 1 Constitution Plaza, Hartford

Unless Congress acts to renew federal unemployment insurance by the end of the year, millions of unemployed workers will be cut off from this emergency lifeline.

Across the country, unemployed workers, community, religious, and labor will join together on Thursday, December 8th to call upon Congress to put partisanship aside and take urgent action to reauthorize the full federal unemployment insurance program through 2012.

Please join in calling upon Senator Joe Lieberman to make the right choice for Connecticut’s families and our economy by voting in favor of reauthorizing the extension.

Renew Unemployment Insurance Now!

For more information, please contact the Connecticut AFL-CIO at 860-571-6191
Posted by: Tom Connolly

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Jobs for Youth - Jobs for All - Sun Dec 4 @ 4 pm

As the City of New Haven reels from the 31st death of a young person to gun violence this year, the movement for job creation is heating up as mobilizing begins for a rally and a large march next week.

Excitement is building for the “Jobs for Youth – Jobs for All” rally to be held on Sunday, December 4 at 4 pm at the Cooperative High School for Arts and Humanities, 177 College Street in New Haven where a video of the youth jobs march will be premiered and People's World Amistad Awards will be presented to three labor and community leaders.

“Here we will all come together, this will be powerful and exciting,” exclaimed one high school student from New Haven.

After having organized a march of 200 for youth jobs and against violence on November 2, and a press conference on November 17 of nearly 100 outside the closed Dixwell Community House youth center, calling for infrastructure jobs, the New Elm City Dream and the New Haven YCL are preparing to bring their energy and commitment to the rally.

Award recipients are Renae Reese, director of the Connecticut Center for a New Economy, Delphine Clyburn, 1199 union delegate and alderwoman-elect from Ward 20 in New Haven, and Pastor Abraham Hernandez, vice chair of the state-wide Interfaith Fellowship for Universal Health Care.

An array of youth performances, produced by poet Baub Bidon, will include an Hispanic dance group, hip hop dancers, several poets, a jazz combo, and song. Video and photos of the youth march for jobs will be shown.

“The spirit of the 99% is sure to fill the auditorium,” said Joelle Fishman, event organizer and chair of the Connecticut Communist Party USA whose 92nd anniversary is being celebrated at the rally in recognition of its long history in the fight for good jobs with union representation, equality and peace, and its vision of Bill of Rights socialism.

In the midst of a people's upsurge against corporate rule, deepening poverty and the largest economic divide since the great depression of the 1930's, the rally call to action will include the emergency need for massive public works jobs to restart the economy and aid communities, to be paid for by taxing the rich and ending the wars.

The youth groups have collected hundreds of signatures in support of the American Jobs Act and the Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act.

"By putting all generations of people to work there will be less violence, and a better economy in New Haven.” said first year college student Joseph Stoudmire Jr. at the Youth Jobs March.

A group of newly elected representatives on the New Haven Board of Aldermen, mostly union members, have been invited as special guests along with labor and community leaders who have been recipients of the People's World Amistad Awards over the last eleven years.

Two days later the unions at Yale, the New Haven Labor Council and community groups are joining with Occupy New Haven for a large march through downtown to demand more jobs for all residents.

The march will leave at 5 p.m. from City Hall on December 6 and go to the AT&T building on Orange street in support of the workers and their union, Communication Workers of America, as they begin contract negotiations. The march will then go to Chase Bank, and fill New Haven's Wall Street near the Yale campus to support Yale workers who are also starting contract negotiations.

Tickets for the December 4 Amistad Awards rally are $10, and $1 for youth. For more information call 203-624-8664 or e-mail

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Photo Above: Part of the Red Cross picket line at the AFSCME Local 3145 location in Farmington, Ct. [Other photos below]

About 200 members of AFSCME Local 3145 went on unfair labor practice strike against the American Red Cross blood services division in Connecticut after negotiations failed to bring about a new contract. Today they where joined by their labor brothers and sisters and community supporters in a spirited rally and picket line.

The Red Cross workers worked nearly three years without a contract. An administrative law judge ruled in August that the CT Blood Services Region engaged in unfair labor practices, yet the company is still trying to eliminate the workers' right to bargain over health care, along with many other punishing proposals.
Photo above: Peggy Buchanan, center holding the megaphone, President of the Hartford Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, gives unqualified support to the Red Cross workers and facilitated the rally.

Posted by Tom Connolly

Friday, November 4, 2011


Yesterday about 200 members of AFSCME Local 3145 went on unfair labor practice strike against the American Red Cross blood services division in Connecticut after negotiations failed to bring about a new contract.

Our members have worked nearly three years without a contract. An administrative law judge ruled in August that the CT Blood Services Region engaged in unfair labor practices, yet the company is still trying to eliminate our workers' right to bargain over health care, along with many other punishing proposals.

Our sisters and brothers of Local 3145 need your support. Please join them on the picket line for any time that you can spare. Picketing is on-going at American Red Cross's main office at 209 Farmington Ave., Farmington. Please keep checking the Council 4 website for updates.

In Solidarity,

Sal Luciano, Executive Director
Council 4 AFSCME
Issued by the Greater Hartford Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO
Posted by Tom Connolly

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Amistad Awards: Jobs for Youth – Jobs for All!

“Jobs for Youth – Jobs for All!” Is the theme of this year's People's World Amistad Awards rally to be held Sunday, December 4, 2011 at 4 pm at Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School, 177 College Street, New Haven.

Cultural presentations by New Haven high school students will be featured, including music, dance and poetry. Recognition will be made of the Youth March for Jobs held last week in New Haven.

The event will celebrate the contributions and example of three Connecticut leaders who challenge economic inequality and are in the forefront of organizing for jobs, health care and opportunities for youth:

Renae Reese, director of the Connecticut Center for a New Economy and past director of ConnectiCOSH.

Delphine Clyburn, New England 1199 steward, Newhallville neighborhood organizer and Alderwoman-elect in Ward 20,

Pastor Abraham Hernandez, Interfaith Fellowship for Universal Health Care, and a leader for jobs and political representation in the Puerto Rican and African American community.

The rally will bring people together in hope and unity to reject bigotry and fear and build the growing movement to pass national jobs legislation, rebuild the American Dream and put people before profits.
The annual awards are presented to allies by the People's World on the occasion of the 92nd anniversary of the Communist Party USA.

To reserve tickets or participate in the greeting book contact the event committee at 203-624-8664. The deadline for ad copy is November 19, 2011.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Photo above: Members of 32BJ and their labor and community supporters held a second demonstration today outside of the Hartford Courant to save janitors jobs. [See other photos below the article]

Members of labor unions and community organizations joined with their brothers and sisters of SEIU 32BJ in a second spirited demonstration today to stop the Hartford Courant from contracting non-union janitors. In a statement release by the 32BJ it noted that the Hartford Courant decided to bring in a non-union cleaning contractor on December 1st, at the expense of the eight long-term union cleaners. Some of the eight union workers have been with the Courant for over 20 years.

At the same time the Courant is cutting union jobs with health health insurance participates of the Management Incentive Program of the Courant parent company and the Courant stand to receive combined bonuses of up to $42,500,000 dollars. The fight to save union jobs at the Courant will continue.

You can reach Richard J. Graziano, Publisher of the Hartford Courant at 860-241-6780. Ask him to stop management bonuses and save the union jobs of the dedicated 32BJ workers.

Photo above: Peggy Buchanan, center holding the megaphone, President of the Hartford Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, gives unqualified support to the workers of 32BJ at the demonstation today.

Photo above: State Senator, John Fonfara, Deputy Majority Leader of the State Senate speaking into the megaphone said he will stand by the 32BJ workers and fight to help kept their jobs.

Posted by Tom Connolly

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Photo above: The four Working Families candidates for Hartford City Council lead a demonstration against the The Hartford Insurance Company on Oct. 18 to strop corporate welfare. From right to left the candidates are: Dr. Larry Deutsch, Joel Cruz, Cynthia Jennings and Luis Cotto. [See other photo's below]

The Hartford Insurance Company has benefited from public subsidies at the federal and the local level. In 2009, The Hartford received $3.4 billion in TARP federal funding. Hartford Insurance also received a Tax Fixing Agreement from the City of Hartford worth millions in property tax reductions. Both WFP members of the Council voted against the giveaway.

While the Hartford Insurance Company is enormously profitable--making over $1.5 billion in profit in 2010--the Hartford has eliminated over 2000 jobs in Connecticut in the last 4 years, and is planning to cut hundreds of more jobs. Working Families was joined at the demonstration by members of labor unions, Occupy Hartford and community groups.
Photo above: Penny Layne, 4 years old, is the littlest protested at the demonstration but she make lots of noise. Penny and her mom, Taylor, have been sleeping over at Occupy Hartford. Taylor was clear that we have to put jobs ahead of corporate profits.

Photo above: Dr. Larry Deutsch, a Working Families candidate, being interviewed by CT Fox News at the demonstration.

Posted by Tom Connolly

Monday, October 17, 2011


Photo above: John Olsen, President of the CT AFL-CIO, is the lead speaker at the state capitol at the Bring the War Dollars Home march and rally held on Oct 16, 2011. [See additional photos below.]

Hundreds of protesters gathered at Hartford City Hall, marched to the State Capitol and then over to the Occupy Hartford across from the YWCA on Asylum street to say "No to War - Bring the Troops and War Dollars Home and Battle Super Rich and Corporate Greed." It was a very broad coalition of groups that included labor, anti-war, Occupy Hartford, community organizations and a broad range of political activists.

Hartford City Councilman Luis Cotto of the Working Families Party said, "You should be able to count on a job that pays the bills, health care for when you need it, a pension for when you retire, and an education for children that will allow them to fulfill their God-given potential." He also noted that "In Hartford alone based on the $34.8 million city taxpayers are paying toward the war the city could have health insurance of 13,116 low-income children for one year, it could fund 4,406 Head Start slots for one year, or 418 school teachers for one year, or 3,518 scholarships for college students for one year." [See additional photos below]

Posted by Tom Connolly

Saturday, October 15, 2011


The Occupy Hartford movement continues to gain support and grow. During the Hartford marathon road race today hundreds of the runners went by the Occupy Hartford and expressed support for the movement. [See other photos below]

A Occupy Hartford Potluck Dinner is planned for:

Date: Sunday Oct.16, 2011
Time: 5:30 PM
Place: Turning Point Park @ Broad and Farmington/Asylum - Right across from the YWCA - For more directions call 860-384-0381

Roze, Alex Wilson and James Kozikouski holding signs on Farmington Ave. as traffic passes Occupy Hartford.

Jeffery Harris and Luke Johnson, both who have been homeless for several years join the Occupy Hartford movement.

Posted by Tom Connolly

Friday, October 14, 2011

Good Jobs Now for the 99 Percent

CT People's World Oct 14, 2011

An outpouring of protest against extreme wealth disparities and support for job creation took place across Connecticut this week, sparked by Occupy Wall St. and a national week of action for Jobs not Cuts.

Joining cities from coast to coast, Occupy Hartford and Occupy New Haven began with a wide variety of young people, social justice and peace activists, and union supporters coming together to say “enough is enough” to corporate greed. Many are unemployed or only able to get part time work. Similar events were held in Danbury and Branford in the name of the 99 percent being squashed by the richest one percent and big corporations.

An “Occupy Waterbury” march on Bank of America led by the Western Connecticut Labor Council, exposed the profitable bank's plans to charge a $5 credit card fee, lay off 30,000 people and charge fees to veterans.

In New Britain, AFSCME members gathered at New Britain High School to support the American Jobs Act to put Connecticut residents back to work rebuilding roads, bridges and schools.

A national teach-in “Students Rising for Jobs and Economic Justice” which was streamed live from the University of California, took place at Southern Connecticut State University with a call to action to participate in the upsurge of activity for jobs and justice in nearly every community.

In New Haven a honk and wave at the financial center near City Hall attracted honks in response to shouts for “Jobs not Cuts” and “Tax the Rich”. Signatures were collected for Congress to pass the American Jobs Act and put people back to work fixing up their communities.

In Hartford, a MoveOn rally at Sen Joe Lieberman's office called on him to take a stand for the people of Connecticut instead of the bankers on Wall St. by supporting the American Jobs Act. A rally and march from City Hall to the State Capitol “Money for Jobs and Education, Not War and Incarceration!” will be held Sunday.

Thursday, October 13, 2011



DATE: SUNDAY OCT. 16, 2011
TIME: 2 pm
PLACE: Leave from City Hall in Hartford and march to the State Capitol
Posted by: Tom Connolly


All the way from South Africa… Sharon Katz & The Peace Train-- with Special Guest: Abigail Kubeka

DATE: Sunday Oct. 30, 2011
PLACE: Unitarian Meeting House - 50 Bloomfield Ave. - Hartford, CT
TICKETS: $20.00 Adult -- 15 and under are FREE
CONTACT: Brian for tickets and info: 860-233-9897 EXT 102

Discovered by Miriam Makeba when she was just 16, the now-legendary Abigail Kubeka makes her US debut this year to launch Double Take, a new CD just recorded in South Africa with Sharon Katz & The Peace Train. Their fall 2011 tour includes stops across New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC.

Soul-sisters Abigail and Sharon both grew up in South Africa under the old apartheid regime and had to hide from the police to perform their music, but Double Take shows how powerful voices can never be silenced. The songs go far beyond questioning the stories we’re told to believe; they make you want to dance, laugh, cry, shout, and hug somebody.

As a teenager, Abigail joined Miriam Makeba’s group The Skylarks. When the police would raid a club looking for black people who were violating apartheid’s unjust laws, Abigail and her bandmates had to pretend to be working in the kitchen. She later went on to perform throughout Africa, Europe and Asia; share the stage with Sarah Vaughn and Eartha Kitt; and sing for Queen Elizabeth II when she visited President Mandela. Abigail is also an accomplished actress who has starred on TV as well as the West End in London.

Sharon’s multicultural performing group broke apartheid’s barriers and made history in 1993 when they toured throughout South Africa aboard a train – The Peace Train – to promote Mandela’s vision of a nonracial democracy. When CNN filmed Sharon jumping out of a helicopter with her guitar in a remote area, to teach the rural people about the voting process through song, Sharon Katz & The Peace Train were propelled into an international career that has spanned three continents and coast-to-coast US appearances.

Don't miss it!!

Posted by Tom Connolly

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Amistad Awards and Youth Performances
Anniversary Rally & Greeting Book

Sunday, December 4th at 4 pm at Cooperative Arts and
Humanities High School, 177 College St, New Haven
Greeting book deadline is November 19, 2011

We are excited to announce the recipients of this year's Amistad Awards which will be presented by the People's World on Sunday, December 4, 2011 at 4 pm at a special anniversary rally and youth cultural program, “Jobs for Youth – Jobs for All!” in New Haven at Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School, 177 College Street.

We rally in hope and unity to reject bigotry and fear and build the growing movement to pass national jobs legislation, rebuild the American Dream and put people before profits.

We celebrate the contributions and example of Renae Reese, Delphine Clyburn and Pastor Abraham Hernandez, three wonderful leaders and role models who challenge economic inequality and are in the forefront of organizing for jobs, health care and opportunities for youth. 
Renae Reese inspires grass roots organizing for economic rights and health care as director of the Connecticut Center for a New Economy. She is passionate for workers' safety and union rights, as past director of ConnectiCOSH and an organizer of UHP, AFT Local 3837 at UConn Health Center.

Delphine Clyburn is a Local 1199 union steward with years of dedication to equal rights on the job and in the community where she is leading the struggle for jobs for Newhallville residents in New Haven as an Alderwoman-elect, and involving young people to make social change.

Pastor Abraham Hernandez is recognized across Connecticut for his compassionate work with the Interfaith Fellowship for Universal Health Care and a decade of struggles for jobs for Latino and African American residents and for bringing Latino youth into the political process.

The annual awards are presented to allies by the People's World on the occasion of the 92nd anniversary of the Communist Party USA.

We hope that you and your family and friends will attend. We invite your participation in this special annual greeting book to recognize the recipients, honor those who have gone before, and celebrate the leadership coming forward from youth today. The deadline is November 19, 2011.

Centerspread $350 - center two pages of the book
Patron page  $225 - special placement in the book
Full page    $125      
Half page    $65       
Quarter page $35          
Name         $10
Send  by e-mail to: or mail to 37 Howe St, New Haven, CT  06511

$10 each
$25 each for solidarity tickets (includes name in book)

Checks to People's World.  Mail to 37 Howe St, New Haven CT 06511

People's World Amistad Awards Committee
37 Howe Street, New Haven CT 06511
(203) 624-8664

Friday, October 7, 2011


The Occupy Wall Street movement has gone coast to coast. Join the action! See below.
The two photos below are from a recent organizing meeting of the Occupy Hartford movement. The next action is Friday Oct 7. The People's World story that follows is about the organizing effort in Los Angeles.



The following article is from the PEOPLE'S WORLD ON-LINE
People’s World On Line – It’s Free – Sign-Up:


by: Rossana Cambron & Luis Rivas –

LOS ANGELES - On Oct 1 people in Los Angeles came together from all walks of life to join in solidarity with the Occupy Movement on Wall Street, calling on the banks to pay their fair share.

Chanting "Banks got bailed our, we got sold out" and "We are the 99 percent" referring the fact that 1 percent of the people make up the wealthiest while the 99 percent are losing their jobs and their homes, while students are burdened with crushing debt but have no prospects to finding a job.

Over 2,000 people came out, marching from Pershing Square to City Hall, where 300 plus camped out the first night. People are urged to join the Occupation, when they can, participate in the many committees formed to deal with the varied tasks.
According to participants, the occupation is a people's movement to show that you are sick and tired of this system and it needs changing. Over 100 cities across the country are organizing their own actions.

Occupy Los Angeles has been in the making since Sept. 23, working in solidarity with all the occupation movements around the country. As the case across the country, the majority of Occupy Los Angeles is made up of young people and students.
Andy Diaz, a journalism major at East Los Angeles College said, "We were promised a change in this country and I haven't seen it thus far. If you look at the doctrine of capitalism, it's just 'get wealthy by all means.' I believe we should work collectively, for the wellbeing of humanity in general."

Many local officials and other community members that feel affected by the economic crisis have begun to participate. Mario Brito, Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Councilmember, said, "You have 99 percent of the nation's wealth in the one percent's hands. You have to deal with the fact that banks were bailed out while people are being evicted. This country, you know, if there ever was ever an American Dream, that American Dream has surely become a nightmare."

Occupy Los Angeles made use of social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Tumblr to mobilize and encourage people to attend the meetings. The Los Angeles group's Facebook has grown on a daily basis.

Protest signs and fliers depict the popular Twitter hashtag: #OccupyLA, #OccupyLosAngeles, #OWSLosAngeles. They are riddled in thousands of tweets, and every occupation effort has a Facebook page, where local members post events or news updates, some doing so by the hour, by the minute and featuring live video streaming. Self-described Internet activist hacking group Anonymous has publically endorsed the occupation movements.

An anonymous video was uploaded on Sept. 26 by YouTube user xouchthathurtzx announcing its support of the occupation movement.

"Already we have made tremendous progress. In just a little over a week occupy initiatives have sprung up in over 30 U.S. cities. This is now bigger than you, or me. It is about us, a collective 99 percent that will no longer stand for the corruption, greed and inequality that is rampant within our governing bodies," Anonymous said in the video.

Nadir Romo, international affairs major at New York's New School of Social Research, has been following Occupy Wall Street and had this to say, "If people think we live in a democracy, then this is an example of how we do not live in a democracy because our resources are being diverted for financial gain against the people. I think that this is a very important event - the occupation is something that, I think, will continue to grow."

Joe Briones, cinema production major and member of the Ralph Bunches Scholar's program at Los Angeles City College, commented on how the Occupy movement affects students directly:

"One of the demands that the Occupy Wall Street group has come up with is that the wars end immediately and that the money be spent on infrastructure and schools. If they ended the wars, you know how much money there'd be for financial aid? Eliminating this whole student loan system. You're thousands of dollars in debt and there's no job to pay off the debt? That's a fucked up situation. If you're unhappy with those things, come to Occupy Los Angeles!"

People’s World On Line – It’s Free – Sign-Up:
Posted by Tom Connolly

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Photo Above: Members of SEIU BJ 32 and their labor and community supporters march on the Hartford Courant to save janitors jobs. See other photos at the end of this article.

Members of labor unions and community organizations joined with their brothers and sisters of SEIU 32 BJ in a spirited demonstration today to stop the Hartford Courant from contracting non-union janitors. In a statement release by the 32 BJ it noted:

"We are the janitors who have been cleaning the Hartford Courant facility of many years in order to support our families. Some of us have been working here over twenty years.

It looks like on October 1, 2011, Capitol Cleaning, our employer, will no longer have the contract here. Please reach out ot RICHAD J. GRAZIANO, president of the Hartford Courant, and tell him to save good jobs that provide affordable health care."

You can reach Richard J. Graziano, president of the Hartford Courant at: 860-241-6780.

Posted by Tom Connolly

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

SEIU 32 BJ RALLY - SEPT. 28, 2011

Please come out to support your union brothers and sisters of SEIU 32 BJ who work for Capitol Cleaning and clean The Hartford Courant. The Hartford Courant will be replacing Capitol Cleaning with a non-union company in the very near future.

There will be a rally on:

Date: Wednesday, September 28
Time: 12 Noon
Place: The Hartford Courant (around back at the loading dock entrance) at the Flower Street/Lawrence Street side under the 84 underpass.

For more information, please contact the SEIU 32BJ at 850-506-8674
Posted by Tom Connolly

Thursday, September 8, 2011


PHOTO ABOVE: Parents, students, staff and labor and community supporters marched from the CT legislative office building to the Department of Developmental Services' (DSS) today to protest cuts to the Early Connections Birth to Three program. [See additional photos at the end of this article.]

The Department of Developmental Services (DSS) "Early Connections" Birth to Three program is a primary source of intervention and care for infants and toddlers with special needs in local communities across Connecticut. The program was established under the Unified Schools District #3 in 19789 as the first of its type in Connecticut, and has since served more than 40,000 children.

Barbara Carlson, mother of two Early Connections graduates noted, "Early Connections enables families to become strong advocates for their children. To eliminate this program would deny many families the dream of seeing their children realize their potential, the very basic desire of any parent." The program currently services about 250 children and their families. The staff has been notified that they are no longer able to accept new admissions and the program will be permanently closed.

In 2009, DDS stopped accepting referrals to Early Connections, and even closed new admissions for nearly six months. The move was so costly that the former commissioner testified to the legislature at the time that it contributed to dragging the department $ 9 million deeper in deficit.

As far back as 2006, program administrators acknowledged that fiscal burden of shutting-down Early Connections. It a report to the department, they assessed a cost of between $87,610.00 and $116,813.00 to shift each teacher's caseload, based on serving between 12 and 16 children, to private contractors.

With the increase in the service demand for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental delays, not is not the time to limit choices for Connecticut families.

CALL GOVERNOR MALLOY'S OFFICE TODAY AT (800) 406-1527 OR Twitter @GovMalloyOffice or email from the governor's webpage at

KEY POINTS: 1. Early Connections is Connecticut's original publicly operated Birth to Three program and has been nationally recognized for the quality of its intervention and school readiness services for more than 30 years.

2. Early connections is the primary source of intervention and care for children under three years old with delays and special needs, including children with Autism, in local communities across the state.

3. In 2009, the DDS Commissioner testified to the legislature that outsourcing the state's publicly-operated Early connections program helped drag the agency at least $9 million deeper in deficit.

Posted by Tom Connolly

Monday, August 29, 2011


The 10th annual Hope Out Loud Peace and Arts Festival will take place on:

DATE: SUNDAY, SEPT., 11, 2011
TIME: 1-5 PM
PLACE: The Church of Good Shepherd, 155 Wyllys St. Hartford, CT

ORGANIZING SPONSORS: CT Coalition for Peace and Justice, Church of the Good Shepherd, West Hartford Citizens for peace & Justice.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Phone: 860-523-4823 or

Posted by Tom Connolly

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Working Families Annual Action Meeting

Working Families Party had their annual meeting today in Hartford, CT. The Working Families Party led the successful fight for the "Sick Days" bill. Connecticut was the first state in the union to pass such legislation. Other successful initiatives where also noted along with Working Families election victories.

The meeting featured the three democratic candidates for US Senate and an information session on three "bold new policy ideas for Connecticut." Several hundred people attended the event. Photo Above: From left to right: Democratic US Senate candidates: Susan Bysiewicz, former Connecticut Secretary of the State, William Tong, State Representative and Chris Murphy, U.S. Representative.

The three bold policy issues discussed were: (1) The development of the Connecticut Partnership Bank, molded after the successful Bank of North Dakota (2) Green Jobs modeled after the the Green Jobs-Green New York action and (3) The development of a state pension fund for those in the private sector currently without a defined pension.

If you want to join in the action for a better Connecticut and a better America contact the Working Families Party at: or (860) 656-9676.
Posted by Tom Connolly

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Vote can save jobs, benefits, services

Reprinted from People's World August 8, 2011

by Joelle Fishman

HARTFORD, Conn. - State workers are now voting for the second time on a tentative agreement reached by their unions and Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) to "save jobs, protect benefits and preserve services." The agreement was reached as an alternative to massive layoffs of as many as 7,500 that would devastate many social services.

The agreement provides job security for four years, preserves the health plan for current workers and retirees, and provides for 3 percent annual pay raises after a two year pay freeze. However, if the agreement is rejected, in addition to the layoffs, the right to negotiate health care would be lost, pensions would be further weakened and wage increases would be uncertain.

Veronica Cook, a program specialist at the University of Connecticut tells her co-workers, "Vote YES because job security, health care, and our pensions are significant gains in collective bargaining that need to be safeguarded for all state workers."

Unfortunately, proposals to increase taxes on the super rich and close corporate loopholes, that could have balanced the state budget without any cuts or layoffs, were not adopted during the legislative session. State workers were left in the breach.

Tea party Republicans and the media have jumped into the situation with a union-bashing spree, urging state workers to vote "no" on the concessionary agreement.

Stewards in the 15 unions representing state workers are on the front lines, explaining that a "no" vote would divide workers, weaken their bargaining strength in the future and harm the people they serve.

SEBAC, the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition changed its bylaws after the first vote in June, to allow ratification by a simple majority of its unions and their members. At the time of the first vote the by-laws stipulated that if more than one union or less than 80 percent of members voted no, an agreement could not be ratified. In the first vote, a majority of 11 unions and 57 percent of members voted yes.

Right-wing media are continuing to push workers to vote no. Former Governor John Rowland (R), who served prison time for corruption, uses his capitol area radio talk show to promote the falsehood that state workers would lose their current health plan and instead be covered by SustiNet, a proposal for a public option that has not yet been established. This relentless push created uncertainty, fear and distrust, in a blatant effort to divide and weaken the unions.

When the ratification vote failed in June, a special session of the State Legislature approved layoffs of 7,500 workers and extreme cuts in services to balance the budget. However, the cuts and layoffs will not take place if state workers vote to ratify. A united effort by union leaders produced the by-laws change followed by a week of discussions with the Governor to clarify language.

"The agreement is the path forward to restoring early intervention services for infants and toddlers, keeping courthouses open, maintaining respite homes for families in need, and avoiding closure of motor vehicle offices," says a unanimously adopted SEBAC statement.

As the unions began meeting with their members to prepare for the second vote, thousands of layoff notices were sent out, creating even more confusion. Supervisors were then instructed to make it clear that the layoffs will not stand if the agreement is ratified.

Entire courthouses, motor vehicle facilities, and other agencies had been given notice of possible shut down Vocational-Technical high schools are threatened with elimination of sports, art, libraries, computer and adult education. Protest rallies by students, parents and teachers created so much pressure that the Governor restored the fall sports program last week.

At Manchester and Tunxis Community Colleges, workers at the Child Care and Preschool Centers received layoff notices last Thursday. Parents, teachers and staff rallied the next day in a beautiful show of solidarity.

"Vote YES to maintain services and jobs ... and in general to help stabilize our economic recovery. After all, most working and middle class families are still struggling - and that's who we serve," writes childcare worker Beverly Dickinson, on the SEBAC Face Book page, In This Together.

These state workers taking on bogus arguments and convincing their co-workers to vote yes exemplify true solidarity. The position they have been placed in should never be repeated. It is still due time to recoup the Bush tax cuts extended to millionaires and billionaires and put Connecticut back to work.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Reed Smith, Leader for Social Justice

People's World / July 29, 2011

Reed Smith, vibrant community and faith leader for social justice, died last week at home shortly after his 86th birthday. Before moving to New Haven in 1991, Reed and his family lived in Waterbury, Connecticut and briefly in Chicago, Illinois.

Reed was a staunch supporter of the People's World and the working class movement. Born and raised in Connecticut, he worked as an economist in industry for many years, and then at faith-based community agencies in Waterbury and New Haven.

A life long peace and civil rights activist, he helped form the first integrated housing development in Waterbury in the 1950's. He marched with Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. During the Vietnam War he counseled draftees about conscience objection.

Reed helped found a soup kitchen in Waterbury, and continued his crusade against poverty while in New Haven as a candidate for State Representative on the Tax the Rich line. He was a founding member of the Coalition to End Child Poverty in Connecticut, assisting with economic research and advocating for a progressive tax system. As director of Interfaith Cooperative Ministries (ICM), he initiated many programs including an inter-racial dialog and an annual interfaith service on Martin Luther King's birthday.

After helping staff a peace center formed at the time of the 1991 Iraq war, Reed was appointed to the City of New Haven Peace Commission where he served for over a decade. He became a stalwart contributor to the New Haven Peoples Center where he helped organize events for social justice, peace and racial equality, and became a participant with the Alliance for Retired Americans. He was famous for his delicious baked beans and brownies, and for his signature straw hat and knickers.

When she became ill, Reed devoted himself to the well being of wife Marty, whom he married while in the service during WWII. He loved music, sang in choirs and played the piano. He made himself available for countless activities on behalf of workers' rights, human rights, civil rights and peace. He was widely known and loved for his perseverance, optimism, vision and generosity. He will be greatly missed by his large extended family, his comrades in the Alert Seniors Club and everyone whose lives he touched.

A memorial service organized by his family will be held on August 6 at 2 p.m. at St. Paul and St James Church, 67 Olive Street, New Haven.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Connecticut is Not Broke

The Connecticut budget crisis is not the fault of state workers. Nor is it the fault of runaway spending.

Pro-corporate talk show hosts and the right-wing Yankee Institute are campaigning against state workers and the Malloy administration. They want to break unions and keep the big loot for a few at the top. So it is no surprise they whipped up hysteria and urged state workers to vote against the agreement reached between the governor and state worker unions (SEBAC). Falsehoods about the agreement, scaring workers they would lose their health coverage and more, need to be straightened out.

The solution for the state budget shortfall is not to layoff state workers or cut payments to cities and towns or make more cuts to services. That will make the economic crisis worse.

The state budget shortfall is linked to the national economic crisis, worsened when the Republican Congress ended federal aid to states, and extended Bush-era tax cuts to the super rich.

Put these facts together: 1) Those with incomes over $1 million had the smallest tax increase in Connecticut's budget deal this year. 2) Those with incomes over $1 million got a 4.6% windfall from Congress.

The solution: instead of competing with other states in a race to the bottom, increase Connecticut's revenue with a tax on the multi-millionaires who can afford it.

An additional 4.6% tax on the portion of incomes over $1 million per year would bring an estimated $1.6 billion per year in new revenue -- enough to avoid any cuts in the state work force or services, and enough to increase funding to reverse layoffs at the municipal level.

Even then, those with millionaire and billionaire incomes would pay a smaller part of their income in total Connecticut taxes than the rest of us.

Right-wing think tanks, media and Republicans in the State Legislature want to cut workers' collective bargaining rights. Tell the Governor and State Legislature to do what is good for all of Connecticut – tax the super rich.

Friday, June 10, 2011


[Above Photo: Previous rally at the Bank of America in West Hartford, Ct.]

CCAG and the Connecticut Alliance for a Fair Economy invite you to an action at 11:00 AM on Saturday, June 11th. We will be assembling at the Hartford Hilton lobby, and will be traveling to a bank branch to protest the privileged treatment that banks get from our tax system, all the while charging higher fees and using bad lending practices.

Rally to Hold Big Banks Accountable
Saturday, June 11
11:00 AM
Meet at the Hartford Hilton lobby
315 Trumbull Street, Hartford

It will be an exciting rally. We need to keep up the pressure on our financial institutions. We will be joined by over 100 union members from around the region. We hope you will join us for about an hour.

For additional information, please contact Alexandra Ferreira at
Posted by Tom Connolly

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Better Choice: no cuts - no layoffs -tax the rich

As Governor Malloy inisits that state public workers either take $2 million of concessions or layoffs of 40,000 workers, a different solution.offered by Better Choices for Connecticut would raisse needed revenue with a progressive tax increase on those earning over $1 million, and by closing corporate tax loopholes.

Last month the Better Choices coalition held a press conference at the state captiol, largely ignored by media, ansering the Governor's claim that the wealthiest residents will move if their taxes are raised any more.

"If you raise state income taxes for the wealthiest people, the overwhelming majority will stay, and you will get significant new resources to meet growing public needs," said Jon Shure, Deputy Director of the State Fiscal Project at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

"Tax policy should be made by debating public needs and how to meet them, not through fear tactics and false assertions." he concluded.

Jeffrey Thompson of the Political Economy Research Institute at University of Massachusetts, Amherst agreed. "People are not going to leave a state because of some modest changes in taxes," he said. "But they will leave if public safety deteriorates and if there are no jobs."

The press conference was one of many actions the Better Choices coalition has taken to show that Connecticut has the resources to close the budget gap without laying off workers or cutting much needed services.

Tax Fact of the Day #5, distributed to legislators, shows that a modest gradual tax on the portion of income above $1 million dollars could fund hundreds of teachers, police officers, and health care providers and cover the costs of thousands of children in early care and in college.

The extension of the Bush era tax cuts gave a family earling over $3 million a year a tax break of $2,477 a week. The Better Choices proposal would only increase their state income tax by $250. The coalition is made up of non-profit providers, public service workers and community and advocacy organizations.

Video segments from the press conference:

Jamey Bell at Better Choices Press Conference 4.13.11

Jon Shure at Better Choices Press Conferenc 4.13.11

Wade Gibson at Better Choices Press Conference 4.13.11

Jeffrey Thompson at Better Choices Press Conference 4.13.11

Response to Foley Report at Better Choices Press Conference 4.13.11

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Protesters demand Bank of America pay taxes

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - Chanting "We Pay Taxes, Why Don't You?" 100 protesters rallied in front of Bank of America here on Tax Day. The event was one of several in Connecticut and hundreds around the country by labor and consumer groups singling out that bank and other corporations for enjoying huge profits while paying little or no taxes.

Modest increases in revenues from large corporations and billionaires would help close state and city budget gaps and enable services and jobs to continue.

Last week the Connecticut Action Alliance for a Fair Economy, who sponsored the protest with Connecticut Citizen Action Group and MoveOn, issued a research paper, "Bank of America in Connecticut: Profiting Without Pitching In."

The paper showed that Bank of America paid no federal or state income taxes in 2009, due to 115 offshore tax havens. In Connecticut, 500 of the bank's workers and their families receive such low pay and benefits that they qualify for the state's Husky health program for children, costing taxpayers $6.4 million a year.

While the mega-corporation accepted federal bailout money to be used for small business loans to stimulate the economy, the paper states, in 2009 the bank made only two small business loans in Connecticut, totaling $75,000.

Bank of America's record on home foreclosures was also examined. Instead of mitigating and restructuring mortgages, they often foreclose on families, driving down local property values and hurting the local community.

In the last decade, the bank spent $11 million on campaign contributions and $24 million on lobbying. They received $2.3 billion from the federal government in 2009, while posting $4.4 billion in profits.

"America and Connecticut are not broke - we need to demand that everyone pays their fair share to rebuild the American Dream," said Tom Swan, director of the citizen action group.

Similar actions were held in Danbury, Fairfield and New Haven, where many drivers honked their horns in support. Protesters there marched from the Elm Street post office to the Bank of America next to City Hall. A poster-size tax bill was delivered to the bank manager.

At the main Brewery Street post office in the evening, members of the New Haven Peace Council distributed fliers to a steady stream of people coming to mail their tax returns. "See how your tax dollar is being spent," they said, showing that more than half of discretionary funding goes to the military.

"This is very bad," said one middle-aged woman, worried about how cuts to services would affect her.

The Connecticut Citizens Action Group and Connecticut Action for a Fair Economy have been visible at each of Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy's 17 town hall meetings on the state budget, asking why Bank of America isn't paying their fair share, especially in a time when we are asked to participate in "shared sacrifice".

Testimonies also highlighted income inequality, which is at it's highest in the United States since the 1920s. The richest 1 percent own 40 percent of the wealth. Millionaires comprise one fifth of 1 percent of taxpayers, but receive about 17.6 percent of income tax cuts.

In Connecticut, the Better Choices for Connecticut budget would close the shortfall with several measures to make the tax system more progressive. In response to the public pressure, Gov Malloy has announced he will amend his proposal to include more taxes on the wealthiest and less on middle-income residents. His proposal also includes an Earned Income Tax Credit for the lowest incomes, but there is concern that this measure might be sacrificed.

Monday, April 18, 2011


[Photo Above: The cake celebrating the one year struggle of the 1199 Spectrum Health Care workers strike.]

The one year anniversary of the 1199 Spectrum nursing home workers' struggle what held on Saturday, April 16 at the Park Place Health Center, 5 Greenwood Street in Hartford. Hundreds of representative from community and labor organizations joined the action in support of the workers.

[Photo Above: Part of the crowd at the April 16 rally at Park Place Health Care Center in Hartford, CT]

Labor and community participation is playing a critical role in supporting almost 400 workers who have faced firings, harassment, bad faith bargaining and permanent replacements. And they haven't given in. If fact, they are as determined as ever to win their jobs and a decent contract. The government has the Spectrum bosses on trail now for numerous violations.


JOIN THE PICKET LINES anytime between 6 AM and 12 Midnight at the following locations:

Birmigham Health Center, 210 Chatfield Street, Derby CT

Hilltop Health Center, 126 Ford Street, Ansonia

Laurel Hill Healthcare, 106 East Lake Street, Winsted

Park Place Health Center, 5 Greenwood Street, Hartford


Send a donation to: The 1199 Strike and Defense Fund. Checks should be sent to : District 1199, 77 Huyshope Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106.

Posted by Tom Connolly

Thursday, April 14, 2011



Sisters and Brothers:

The one-year anniversary of the 1199 Spectrum nursing home workers' struggle is fast approaching. This Saturday, April 16 we will be organizing the biggest picket line yet to support them. The event takes place at 10:00 am at the Park Place Health Center, 5 Greenwood Street, Hartford.

You're invited!

Your solidarity has already played an critical role in supporting almost 400 workers who have faced firings, harrassment, bad faith bargaining and permanent replacements. And they haven't given in. In fact, they are as determined as ever to win their jobs and a decent contract.

The government has the Spectrum bosses on trial as I type this. But we can't simply wait for a judge's decision. These nurses, aides, dietary, housekeeping and laundry workers need you now.

If you have any questions please call me at 860-251-6013. See you on the picket line!

Steve Thornton
As posted on a AFL-CIO email -- Tom Connolly

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


[Photo above: Banner of the New Haven People's Center in the WE ARE ONE rally in New Haven on March 30, 2011. Over 3,000 community and labor representatives turned out for the rally.]

Action in Connecticut to put PEOPLE BEFORE PROFITS continues to intensify. Below are some of the actions that are planned.

THURSDAY APRIL 14 - MAKE BIG BANKS PAY - 2 PM - ROOM 1-D, Legislating Office Building (LOB), 300 Capitol Ave. Hartford, CT --Join legislative leaders and the State Attorney General for the release of a full report exposing how Bank of America "profits without pitching in."

STATUARY APRIL 16 - 1199 RALLY - ONE YEAR ON STRIKE - 10 AM - PARK PLACE HEALTH CENTER (5 Greenwood Street in Hartford) --Hundreds of brothers and sisters in SEIU Local 1199 have been on strike while trying to reach a fair contract settlement with the Spectrum nursing home chain. All they want is a fair contract that values their work and their commitment to the people they care for. Sounds simple, right?

Unfortunately, they have been on strike for one year. On strike for one year when all you want to do is do your job. Every other nursing home company in Connecticut reached agreements with 1199 a long time ago. But one company, Spectrum, decided it was more important to put patients at risk than it was to settle a contract with dedicated professionals. The One Year in Struggle solidarity rally will be Saturday, April 16 at the Park Place Health Center (5 Greenwood Street in Hartford) at 10 AM.

MONDAY APRIL 18 - PROTEST CORPORATE TAX DODGERS ON TAX DAY- 4:30 PM - Bank of America in West Hartford (Corner of South Mains Street and Farmington Ave.) Sponsored by MoveON. -- While vital government services get cut, corporations like Bank of America and GE are making huge profits, but paying no federal tax.

WEDNESDAY APRIL 27 - GET ON BOARD FOR SUSTINET - 6:00 PM - Hartford Train Station, 1 Union Place, Hartford, CT - Sponsored by -- SustiNet is Connecticut's health care reform law that is will be voted on by our state legislators.

THURSDAY APRIL 28 - WORKERS MEMORIAL DAY - 12 Noon - State Capitol North Steps (Rain or Shine) -- Join the Connecticut AFL-CIO & the Health and Safety Committee to honor the men and women who were injured or killed on the job.


CONNECTICUT WORKERS' RIGHTS RALLY - 1-3 PM (Rain or Shine) - Bushnell Park, Hartford, CT - Sponsored by a coalition of unions. --Be sure to join thousands of Connecticut workers on this historic day as we show strength for all workers and our rights. Presently, there is a national assault on the average union worker! We need to send a message to our elected officials and the general public that all workers and their families are looking for is fair pay and fair benefits.

WORKERS RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS! - 4 PM - People's Center, 37 Howe Street, New Haven, CT - Hosted by the People's World in Connecticut. -- The program will be honoring the public service workers in Connecticut, their unions and the services they provide. The Newsmaker Awards and panel discussion includes: SEBAC (the state workers unions) - CWA Local 1298 (Workers at AT&T) and solidarity recognition of 1199 Spectrum nursing home workers on strike for one year. Home made light supper will be served.

Posted by Tom Connolly

Monday, April 11, 2011

We Are One - Workers' Rights are Human Rights

Building on the grass roots "We are One" organizing of labor and community, public and private sector workers, employed and unemployed in solidarity with each other, this years' People's World May Day celebration will honor the public workers in Connecticut, their unions and the services they provide.

The theme, "Workers Rights are Human Rights" highlights the coming together in our state and nation against attacks on public sector workers and all workers in the name of budget deficits. No layoffs of workers or cuts in services would be needed if the super rich were taxed their fair share. Monies used to fund the wars could close all state budget gaps in the country.

Newsmaker awards will be presented on Sunday, May 1 at 4:00 pm at 37 Howe Street, New the coalition of state worker unions, SEBAC, for leadership on behalf of the needs of Connecticut's working people; and to Communications Workers CWA Local 1298 for standing up to AT&T in last year's negotiations, and building worker solidarity.

A solidarity recognition will be presented to 1199 health care workers at Spectrum, now on strike for one year.

A panel discussion will address the attempt to turn back all gains, and project how the labor movement and working people can move forward. Videos of the huge rallies in Egypt and Wisconsin for workers rights and in New Haven on March 30 will be shown.

Puerto Rican singer Fernando Ferrer, rap group The UNION, and poet Sabir Abdussabur will perform. A home made buffet will be served. Suggested donation is $5 or what you can afford.

The event caps off a full day of May 1 activities, including an immigrant rights march and May Day program on the Green in New Haven, and a workers' rights rally by the Building Trades in Hartford.

Contributions will be accepted for the 2011 fund drive of the People's World in Connecticut. To receive headlines by e-mail sign up at For event information call 203-624-8664.

Friday, March 11, 2011


The following is a letter from Working Families Party.

Dear friends,

A few weeks back, Working Families members participated in a major rally outside the Bank of America in downtown Hartford, along with hundreds of friends and allies. The point of the rally was that in addition to a shockingly bad record of small business lending, it turns out Bank of America paid nothing in corporate taxes to the State of Connecticut last year.

It’s astonishing. And whatever you might think about the Governor’s proposed budget, one thing is clear: if the average citizen is paying more in taxes than the Bank of America, something is wrong with this picture.

The Governor has called for shared sacrifice to help close our budget deficit. We agree. And we think it’s time for big banks and other multi-national companies to make sacrifices too and start paying their fair share of taxes.

Tomorrow, Saturday March 12th, we're bringing rallies to Bank of America branches all around the state. I hope you'll come to one near you. [NOTE: ALL DEMOS WILL START AT 10 AM AND GO FOR ABOUT ONE HOUR -- MAKE A SIGN IF YOU WISH.]

New Haven: Long Wharf branch, 250 Sargent Drive (map)
Middletown: Main Street branch, 267 Main Street (map)
Norwich: Route 82 branch, 590 West Main Street (map)
Bridgeport: North End branch, 2500 Main Street (map)
Waterbury: Chase & Cooke branch, 992 Cooke Street (map)

Please join us. The incredible demonstrations we’ve witnessed in Wisconsin should be an inspiration to all of us. It’s time to stand up and make our voices heard here in Connecticut as well.


-Jon Green
Executive Director
CT Working Families

Posted by Tom Connolly

Testimony - Repeal the Death Penalty

Testimony to the Joint Committee on Judiciary
March 7, 2011
In Support of SB 1035, An Act Repealing the Death Penalty

Joelle Fishman

The issue of abolishing the death penalty is being debated and acted on in several states. It is being commented on by national personalities in the judicial and religious fields.

For us in Connecticut, the debate has been clouded by the heinous crime in Cheshire. However, the issue looms larger than one unthinkable tragedy.

There have been other tragedies when innocent men and women have been executed only later to have been found innocent by DNA or other scientific evidence. There is no way for the state to return a life wrongfully taken. And those who are on death row are disproportionately people of color and poor.

Last December, retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Steven, a former supporter of the death penalty, wrote in the New York Times that he now opposes capital punishment because it is "shot through with racism, skewed toward conviction, infected with politics and tinged with hysteria."

Writing in agreement, columnist Bob Herbert who covered many death penalty cases said, "The death penalty in the United States has never been anything but an abomination — a grotesque, uncivilized, overwhelmingly racist affront to the very idea of justice."

This Thursday, Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, California, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, wrote to Governor Quinn of Illinois urging him to sign the legislation on his desk to abolish the death penalty.

Referring to statements by Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II that ending the death penalty is "a sign of greater respect for all human life," Bishop Blaire said that abolishing the death penalty will "help to begin building a culture of life in our country."

Bishop Blaire quoted from the U.S. bishops' document "A Culture of Life and the Penalty of Death" stating "Even when people deny the dignity of others, we must still recognize that their dignity is a gift from God and is not something that is earned or lost through their behavior. Respect for life applies to all, even the perpetrators of terrible acts. Punishment should be consistent with the demands of justice and with respect for human life and dignity."

Here in Connecticut life in prison without parole is a possible sentence. Governor Malloy stated during his campaign that if he were elected and if legislation to abolish the death penalty reached his desk he would sign it.

Let us not lose this opportunity to strengthen the justice in our justice system. Please support SB 1035, An Act Repealing the Death Penalty.