Saturday, April 20, 2013

Immigrants' Rights are Workers Rights!
United to Win an Economy for the 99%

Celebrate International Workers Day
Sunday, May 5th at 4 pm, 37 Howe St New Haven

March on Wed May 1st
at 5 pm on the New Haven Green. Celebrate on Sun May 5th at the People's World annual rally with a video of the march, May Day Around the World, and a panel of leaders in immigrant worker organizing, jobs pipeline, organizing for environmentally sustainable peacetime jobs in Connecticut, and labor-community neighborhood organizing.  

Panelists include John Harrity, director, Grow Jobs Connecticut; Scott Marks, New Haven Rising; Mary Reynolds, director of New Haven Works, and John Jairo Lugo, Unidad Latina en Accion.

Music performances, a home made buffet and a raffle will round out the family day. Tickets are $5 or what you can afford.
e-mail: or call 203-624-8664.  Contributions to the People's World fund drive will be accepted.

Earth Day Reaches Out

Earth Day celebrations were kicked off in Connecticut this year with the presentation of the Gandhi Peace Award to Bill McKibben, a founder of the grassroots climate campaign, which has coordinated 15,000 rallies in 189 countries since 2009. The award, presented by Promoting Enduring Peace at the Unitarian Society of New Haven, brought together peace and environmental activists to address climate change and conversion to a peace time economy.

Environmentalists in Connecticut are also joining with unions and immigrant rights organizations. The CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs attracted over 80 people last month to a forum on renewable energy and jobs. In June, the coalition of unions, faith based and environmental groups will host a forum on the natural gas expansion plans that are a part of Connecticut's Comprehensive Energy Strategy.

In Naugatuck environmentalists are joining with the immigrant community. The Naugatuck Cultural Council Earth Day celebration on April 22 at Town Hall, 10:30 am, honors Science Teacher Tony Memoli as Earth Day Mayor of the Day for helping save land behind Naugatuck High School, advising the Ecology Club and teaching Environmental Science.

Then, at the Gunntown Passive Park & Nature Preserve Carlos Nunes tells his story of migrating to the U.S. from Brazil. Previous Telling Our Stories events included Jamaican, Mexican and Asian participants. The event, followed by a nature walk, is sponsored by the Naugatuck Cultural Council, the CCEC- Gunntown, and the Town Recreation Department.

In New Haven,1,000 bicyclists highlight the fifth annual East Rock to West Rock ride through the neighborhoods of the city on April 20, including music in the parks and environmental service projects. Registration fees support Common Ground High School, Urban Resources Initiative, New Haven - Leon Sister City Project, CitySeed and the Parks Department.

Hartford's "Riverfront Earth Day" at Mortensen Plaza on Sunday, April 21 is sponsored by the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network and the Office for Catholic Social Justice Ministry from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm with exhibits, permormers and remarks by environmental justice advocate Dr. Mark Mitchell.

As awareness of climate change grows, so does the interconnection between the environmental movement and labor, immigrant and faith based organizing.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Rallies demand Congress act with the President

Labor and immigrant organizations are pushing hard during the Congressional recess to make sure that Connecticut's delegation takes leadership for progressive immigration reform this month.

Sit-ins, press conferences, meetings, marches and rallies mark this week and next leading up to the national lobby day and rally in Washington DC on the west lawn of the Capitol Wednesday April 10.

Speaking at a press conference at Columbus Academy magnet school in New Haven's Fair Haven neighborhood, Sen. Richard Blumenthal declared the Senators and Representatives from Connecticut are all "strong supporters" in this "generational moment."

Reflecting on the slogan of the week, "The time is now," Fatima Rojas, who came to the United States eight years ago from Mexico and is an organizer for Unite Here said, "The time was yesterday!" She emphasized daily tragedies as families are separated due to 1100 deportations a day.

Ana Maria Rivera said the families she serves at Junta are "negatively impacted each day." With urgency she asked, "where is the bill? We need a bill so workers are treated alike."

Marches will be held April 9 in Danbury, Bridgeport and New Haven and on April 10 in Hartford and Stamford, while three buses travel to Washington D.C.

The D.C. rally was initiated by Fair Immigration Reform Movement, said Kica Matos, a director at the parent organization Center for Community Change. "We are demanding that Congress work with the President for a clear path to citizenship. A clear path doesn't take dads," she exclaimed.

Christian Proan, a student, said after being accepted into the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in November he was able to get a drivers license, go to college and get a job.

"But I am still not happy," he said, putting his arm around his mom. "My parents sacrificed. They also deserve better jobs and drivers license."

After a walk on Grand Ave to visit shop owners and residents, Blumenthal met with labor and community leaders. A meeting with Sen. Chris Murphy and House members are also scheduled.