Thursday, November 8, 2018

Voices Rising for Yemen - Day 3 of 3


Livestreamed from New York City; November 8, 2018

Sponsored by Voices for Creative Nonviolence

THREE DAYS OF ACTION at the Saudi and US Missions to the UN New York City, November 6 , 7, 8 2018

The US-financed Saudi-led war is in its fourth year. The UN says: 60% of the population, 18 million people, are food insecure, 4 million people do not know how they will obtain their next meal, 56% of the population, 16 million people, do not have regular access to basic health care, 55% of the population, 16 million people, do not have regular access to safe water, 9 million children and women are acutely malnourished.

“Yemen is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

Friday, September 21, 2018

Green Party of New York State - Binghamton Press Conference


Binghamton, NY; 9/21/18
Howie Hawkins Says Green Party is the Progressive Choice in November

NY Times: Planet is Doomed; Solution - Vote Green

Howie Hawkins, a retired Teamster from Syracuse, kicked off his general election campaign in Binghamton today by saying he was Plan B for the 500,000 people who voted for Nixon last week as well as for other voters who think Cuomo is liberal.

Hawkins was joined by Green Comptroller candidate Mark Dunlea, who wants to divest the state pension fund from fossil fuels, as well as increase budget transparency and cut down on public corruption.

“Cuomo cannot solve the simplest of problems, like finding one day for federal, state, and local primaries or making sure that children are not exposed to lead contamination, a huge problem is many of our communities. When he can’t solve problems like this, there is no way that Cuomo can solve climate change and income inequality,” said Hawkins.

Hawkins vowed to end the culture of corruption that dominates the State Capitol, with two of the Governor’s top aides being convicted for corruption, including a case involving the Buffalo Billion. Joe Percoco was sentenced to 6 years in prison for corruption including the CPV power plant (whose permit Hawkins wants vacated). Over 50 New York State officials have been convicted or forced to resign since 2000 for improper activities.

Hawkins plans to appeal to progressives who voted for Nixon, Williams, and Teachout in the recent primary. He called on them to support the Green gubernatorial ticket of Hawkins and Jia Lee, as well as Michael Sussman for Attorney General and Mark Dunlea for Comptroller. Hawkins said that the Green candidates are veteran activists who come out of progressive movements and are the most qualified for their offices.

With an increasing number of scientists, government bodies, and the media warning that the future of human civilization is imperiled by accelerating global warming and climate change, the Green Party wants New York to set a goal of 100% clean energy by 2030.

“The NY Times Magazine recently argued that most life on the planet is probably doomed due to the inability of politicians to set aside partisan bickering to launch an emergency mobilization to avoid the worse of climate change. The clear solution is to vote in the Green Party because we are committed to doing what is needed to avoid climate chaos,” stated Mark Dunlea, the Green Party candidate for State Comptroller who wants the state to divest its pension fund from fossil fuels.

“The good news is that we largely know how to move to 100% clean energy while creating millions of jobs, cutting deaths from air pollution, and lowering energy costs. All we need is the political will to act and the Greens have that in abundance,” added Dunlea.

“Nixon urging Cuomo to get behind the Climate and Community Protection Act, which the state Assembly has passed three times, is ironic because it mostly codifies Cuomo’s own energy policy. We need to fight for passage of the New York Off Fossil Fuels Act, a plan for 100% clean energy by 2030, with the same sharp focus we had on the fracking ban in 2014,” Hawkins added.

Hawkins, who is campaigning as an eco-socialist, said that now that the primary is over, there needs to be a much more open discussion about what being a progressive means in New York rather than the narrow debate during the Democratic Party primaries.

“While I certainly agree we need to end the Trump presidency as soon as possible, the gubernatorial election needs to focus on real solutions for New York’s problems,” added Hawkins.

Hawkins proposes four regional debates (NYC Metro area, Capital District, Central NY and Western NY), each focused on a topic: The Economy, Government Reform, The Environment and Climate, and Social Policy, including education, health care, criminal justice, and civil rights.

Hawkins and the Greens support the single-payer NY Health Act and a range of ethics and criminal justice reforms, including ranked-choice voting and proportional representation, full public campaign finance based on the Clean Money system used in Arizona and Maine, term limits, bail abolition, speedy trial, marijuana legalization, and Sanctuary State policies to protect immigrants .

One issue where Hawkins disagreed with both Nixon and Cuomo was the Governor’s property tax cap, which has done nothing to reduce sky-high local property taxes but has prevented local governments from funding needed services and improvements. Nixon wants to tweak the tax cap. Cuomo and Molinaro want to make it permanent. Hawkins wants to repeal it and instead have the state pay for its unfunded mandates and restore revenue sharing with local governments to 8% of state revenues so local governments can cut regressive property taxes.

To provide every child a good education, New York should fully fund and desegregate its schools, which are the most segregated in the country. Hawkins and Lee, a leader in the Opt Out movement, also want to scrap high-stakes testing to evaluate teachers, schools, and students. The Greens charge that the real goal of such testing is to attack teachers and put high-poverty schools into receivership and then privatization into charter schools.

On the housing affordability crisis, Hawkins said, “Universal rent control is pointless without repealing the Urstadt Law to give cities home rule on their rent regulations. We also have to radically expand quality public housing to provide affordable housing options for all.”

Hawkins noted that the income share going to the top 1% has grown from 12% in 1980 to 31% today. He called for progressively graduated tax brackets on multi-millionaire incomes and retaining, rather than rebating, the stock transfer tax. “The 1% can afford to contribute more. We need to fund a Green New Deal to revitalize public sector services and infrastructure, which are the public avenues that private commerce needs to thrive,” Hawkins said.

Dunlea added that “we need a Green to watch the green. We need to end the practice of the two parties treating the public treasury as their private piggy bank.” Dunlea said that the Comptroller needs to more aggressively review state contracts to stop corruption, especially contracts going to those making campaign donations. He also supports a host of budget transparency reforms.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Women in Hebron

 
Binghamton, NY; September 13, 2018

Laila Hasan is a Palestinian from a village in the Hebron District in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. She is the co-founder of the Women in Hebron embroidery and sewing cooperative.

Laila will tell of some of the obstacles Women in Hebron faced when they opened a shop in Hebron's Old City at the height of the second intifada. She will also share stories of life in the villages around Hebron.

Translator and Assistant: Jawakin Kamil

Introductory remarks by Jim Clune, Broome County Peace Action.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Kateri Peace Conference 2018 - Geopolitical Imperatives


 
Fonda, NY; August 18, 2018

A Talk by Ann Wright and Ray McGovern

The Fierce Urgency of Now!

“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

Every August for the past twenty summers, the National Kateri Shrine in Fonda, NY has played host to the Kateri Peace Conference. Year after year, this mid summer "meeting at the edge of the woods" has offered the Capital District an opportunity to explore and to find a way forward through the tangled and ever entwining paths of racism, militarism and excessive materialism to the noble and sustainable ground of peace and justice.

August after August, folks who care deeply about a just society have gathered to listen, to share and to learn in a day of personal reflection and commitment to fulfilling the dream of truth, justice and equality. Every meeting of this twenty year quest has been punctuated by a deep concern for the world, tempered by insight and inspiration for envisioning, walking and working towards what it could be. There has always been joy and celebration in finding companionship and community, a source of sustenance for the challenges on the road ahead.

Kateri 2018 promises to provide another milestone on this continuing journey. Anchored in the realities of the geopolitical moment, our conference will invite both presenters and participants to vision both greater clarity and purpose regarding " the now" in the " tides of the affairs of men”.

This year’s speakers are renowned for their courage in embracing the journey, seeking truth, and acting with compassion and an unbridled fierceness to stop the killing of the US war machine. We will continue this work seeking peace with justice, ending war, exploring nonviolent love in action and ways toward economic equality.

One of the constants of the Kateri Peace Conference is our willingness to embrace change and experiment with programming. Our hope has always been to reach out and engage the community as broadly and deeply as possible while providing a rich opportunity for feeding joy and a spirit of celebration.

https://kateripeaceconference.org/2018-conference/fierce-urgency-now