Friday, November 6, 2009

Kathy Kelly: From Gaza to Pakistan - The Cost of War Abroad and at Home


United Presbyterian Church
Binghamton, NY; November 6, 2009

Two time Nobel Peace Prize nominee Kathy Kelly discusses her experiences in Gaza and Pakistan, and helps evaluate the costs of war-making from the perspective of those who bear the brunt of suffering caused by war.

Kathy Kelly co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence, a campaign to end U.S. military and economic warfare, and co-founded Voices in the Wilderness, a group which had openly defied economic sanctions from 1996-2003 by bringing medicines to children and families in Iraq.

Sponsor: St. James Church Peace and Justice Committee

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Father Philip Keane: HealthCare Reform - A Moral Imperative


Why Healthcare Reform is a Moral Issue for our Faith Communities

A Talk by The Reverend Father Philip Keane, SS
Priest, author, moral theologian

Blessed Sacrament Church
Johnson City, NY; November 5, 2009

Sponsor: People of Faith For Health Care Reform

What One Person Can Do (Binghamton, NY area info):

Call, write or visit your local representatives.

Write a letter to the editor or guest viewpoint:

Tell your representatives and others your health care story!

Join a local group working on the issue of health care:
People of Faith for Health Care Reform
Contact: Rev. Fred Brooks - (607) 754-8277
E-mail: fbrooksjr -at-

Citizen Action – Contact Mary Clark – (607) 723-0110

Educate yourself on the issue:
Attend an information night or health care event

Visit the following websites:

For additional resources or information contact Amy at the Justice & Peace Resource Center:
(607) 729-9166

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Healthcare Reform: People Not Profits

Syracuse, NY; November 4, 2009 

 Mobilization for Health Care for All

Wherein Howie Hawkins walks the walk.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Anna Baltzer: Life in Occupied Palestine


Eyewitness Stories & Photos

A Multimedia Presentation by Anna Baltzer

Cornell University,
Ithaca, NY; November 2, 2009

Keywords: West Bank, Gaza Strip, Israeli Settlements

Sponsor: United for Peace and Justice in Palestine

Related Link: The American Association for Palestinian Equal Rights

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Chris Hedges: Empire of Illusion


Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Binghamton
Binghamton, NY; October 24, 2009

The Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition coordinated a weeklong series of events leading up to the International Day of Climate Action on October 24, 2009 as a part of the international campaign being organized by

Launched by eminent scientists, activists, and environmentalists, called for coordinated action around the world on October 24, 2009 to build awareness of the need to bring greenhouse gases under control – from our current 390 ppm to below 350 ppm. In particular, the campaign aimed to put pressure on world leaders who planned to meet in Copenhagen six weeks later to achieve international agreement on ways to deal responsibly and adequately with the threat of climate change. Details on the global campaign are at

Sponsors: Broome County Peace Action, Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition


Chris Hedges, whose column is published on every Monday, spent two decades as a foreign reporter covering wars in Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. He served for eight years as the Middle East bureau chief of The New York Times, where he shared the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism, for coverage of terrorism. Hedges also received the 2002 Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism.

In 2009 the Los Angeles Press Club honored the original columns that Hedges writes for Truthdig by naming the author the Online Journalist of the Year and granting him the Best Online Column award for his Truthdig essay “Party to Murder,” about the December 2008-January 2009 Israeli assault on Gaza.

Hedges is a senior fellow at The Nation Institute and the Anschutz Distinguished Fellow at Princeton University. He has written nine books, including “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle” (2009), "I Don’t Believe in Atheists” (2008) and the best-selling “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America” (2008). His book “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” (2003) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. Hedges, who holds a B.A. in English literature from Colgate University and a master of divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School, is fluent in Arabic and also speaks French, Spanish, Greek and Latin.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling and Water

Bath, NY; June 22, 2009

A Public Forum on the Effects of Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling on Local Water Sources


Ron Bishop
, lecturer in chemistry and biochemistry at SUNY Oneonta, gives an overview of natural gas extraction technology and explains how water contamination can occur during the gas drilling process.

Steve Penningroth
, Executive Director of the state-certified water testing laboratory at the Community Science Institute in Ithaca, describes how to test private and municipal water wells so that landowners and municipal officials can discover problems and have solid scientific baseline water data that will stand up in court should contamination occur.

Community Science Institute's Recommendations for Baseline Water Testing of Private Drinking Water Wells

Andrew Byers, a farmer/botanist from Newfield who has been studying gas drilling issues, describes how community members who are knowledgeable about these issues can take action.

Steuben County Environmental Management Council, Finger Lakes Group of the Sierra Club, League of Women Voters of Steuben County, League of Women Voters of Chemung County, Bath Peace and Justice Group

Keywords: Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling

Elliott Adams on Gaza

In October 2009, Elliott Adams was part of a seven-day delegation to Gaza sponsored by Physicians For Social Responsibility.

The following short biography is provided by Veterans For Peace:

Elliott Adams was a paratrooper in the infantry serving in Viet Nam, Japan, Korea, and Alaska. He has served his local community in a variety of capacities such as: President of the School Board, Mayor, Committee Chair of BSA Explorer Post 17, President of Rotary, Master of the Masonic Lodge.

Elliott left politics to become an activist. Attending untold numbers of demonstrations, working at many levels, from stapling signs to doing logistics and organizing work for United For Peace and Justice and War Resisters League, School Of Americas Watch, Peace Has No Borders, Veterans For Peace and many other organizations, at events across the country.

Elliott moved from being a soldier to a nonviolent warrior. He is Nonviolent Training Coordinator for Veterans For Peace, is a nonviolence trainer for the Fellowship Of Reconciliation and on their CCP Leadership Team. He has also done nonviolence and social movement trainings for School Of Americas Watch, Peacemakers of Schoharie, Student Environmental Action Coalition, War Resistors League, and other groups.

He is now dedicating his life to stopping this war and stopping all war.

Sponsor: Broome County Peace Action

Thanks to: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Binghamton

Monday, June 15, 2009

Gas Drilling: Stories From the Front Line

Broome (NY) Community College; June 15, 2009

Moderated by Dave Rossie

Press & Sun-Bulletin columnist

What every Southern Tier renter and homeowner must know:

• first-hand reports about living next to natural gas wells
• the real story on health impacts, from a world-renowned scientist who exposes what the industry covers up
• what we can do to protect our homes and families


Candace Mingins

Ms. Mingins lives with her husband and three children on their family farm in Van Etten, NY. A well was drilled on their property in 2006. In 2008, she helped organize Shaleshock Citizens Action Coalition.

Theo Colborn, PhD
(via remote)

A world-renowned environmental health analyst, Dr. Colborn is founder of The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX). She has testified before Congress on the health affects of natural gas production. She is co-author of Our Stolen Future: Are We Threatening Our Fertility, Intelligence, and Survival?

Ron Gulla

Pennsylvanian Ron Gulla has farmed since he was ten years old. He worked his way through college to get a degree in business administration. He and his wife Laurel have raised two children on their 118-acre farm, where they have had first-hand experience with a well on their property.

Don Barber

Five-term supervisor of the Town of Caroline, Don Barber grew up on a dairy farm in Danby and still lives on a small farm with his family. He chairs the Tompkins County Council of Governments and also owns a successful residential construction company.

Additional Speakers: Glen Williams, Chris Burger, Stan Scobie

Sponsors: Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition, Shaleshock Citizens Action Coalition, Citizen's Energy Alliance, Citizen Action, The Center for Civic Engagement, Susquehanna Valley Presbyterian (Justice and Mission Committee), Sierra Club, Tioga Peace and Justice

Keywords: Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

James Petras: U.S.- Latin American Relations 1990-2009

A Talk by Professor James Petras

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Binghamton
June 9, 2009

Professor James Petras talks about the disastrous effects of neoliberalism on Latin America, the forces which constrain it, and how the people and governments of that region are fighting back.

Sponsored by Broome County Peace Action

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Father Louis Vitale: Love Your Enemies

Update: On Monday, January 25, 2010, U.S. Magistrate G. Mallon Faircloth sentenced Father Vitale and two others to six months in federal prison for carrying a protest against the School of the Americas onto the Fort Benning military base in Georgia.

Transforming US vs. THEM Thinking

Circle of Peace Speaking Tour Spring 2009

St. James Church
Johnson City, NY; May 13, 2009

Statement from the Organizers:

Fr. Vitale will discuss the importance of dialoguing with our enemies instead of warring with them. Just back from Iran he will discuss his experience there and the development around the forging of new relationships with the Iranian people and government. He is a Franciscan priest and former provincial of the California Franciscan Friars. He co-founded the Nevada Desert Experience – a movement to end nuclear testing -- and Pace e Bene. Pastor of a Catholic church in a low-income neighborhood in San Francisco, CA for more than a decade, he recently served five months in prison for opposing torture. He is the recipient of many awards including Pax Christi Teacher of the Year.

Statement from Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service:

How do we relate with individuals and countries that believe differently that we do? How do we deal with our so-called enemies? Is torture morally acceptable? How do we respond to terrorism?

Father Louie Vitale has been grappling with these and other related questions for nearly half a century since he began his journey by enlisting in the air force as a young man, and having a conversion towards nonviolence. While all of our journeys take different paths, our hearts converge upon the commonality of Pace e Bene – Italian for “peace and all good.”

Since his release from jail in spring 2008, Father Louie has given 35 talks at universities, community, and church groups across the United States and in Canada. In 2009 Louie will be touring the United States to talk all of these issues. He served 3 and 6-month sentences for crossing the line twice at the School of Americas in Fort Benning, GA, where the US trains Latin American soldiers in torture techniques. Then Louie served 5 months for crossing the line and praying at Fort Huachuca (the military installation in Arizona where we train our American Intelligence Officers in “Enhanced Interrogation” tactics such as the much publicized water boarding, among other torture methods). Just before the start of the spring 2009 tour, Fr. Louie will be journeying to Iran with the Fellowship of Reconciliation as part of an Iran Civilian Diplomacy Delegation to dialogue with the government and people of Iran, our supposed “enemy.”

Pace e Bene’s vision is dignity, justice, and peace for all. Our mission is to foster a just and peaceful world through nonviolent education, community-building, and action.

Formed by a small group of Franciscans and others in 1989, Pace e Bene is a growing community representing a diversity of spiritual traditions and cultural backgrounds that networks with nonviolence practitioners in many parts of the world.

Through trainings, strategic consultation, or joint action, Pace e Bene collaborates with international, national, and local organizations, religious communities, and movements taking nonviolent action to: foster just and lasting peace; champion human rights; challenge the violence of poverty and multiple forms of oppression; and strengthening spiritually-based initiatives for justice and peace.

St. James Social Justice Committee; The Justice and Peace Resource Center.

Related Website: Fellowship of Reconciliation

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ann Wright on Gaza


Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Binghamton
May 5, 2009

With an Introduction by Tarik Abdelazim

From the Broome County Peace Action website:

Since 2003, Ann Wright has been writing and speaking out for peace. She has fasted for a month, picketed at Guantánamo, served as a juror in the impeachment hearings, and been arrested numerous times for peaceful, nonviolent protest of the war in Iraq.

Sponsors: Broome County Peace Action, Peace Action of New York State

Related Website: Viva Palestina

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Break the Bank! The April Uprising Initiative

Binghamton, NY
May 3, 2009

Three highly conscious people, just returned from actions in Washington, DC. One preferred to remain off-camera.

Related Link:

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Growing A Sustainable Community: Green Jobs



Acting & Planning As If the Future Mattered

Broome Community College
April 18, 2009

Moderator: Tarik Abdelazim, Executive Assistant to the Mayor, City of Binghamton

Panelists: Frank Surdey, Managing Labor Economist, NY State Department of Labor; Terry Stark, Director, Broome-Tioga Workforce New York

Statement from the Organizers:

A transition to more sustainable practices
and a greener, cleaner economy promises the creation of many new jobs, with estimates from the hundreds of thousands to millions. From a statewide analysis of green jobs, to blue-green alliances, to billions in weatherization and efficiency work, this expert panel will offer a powerful primer on the emerging green job sector.

Sponsors: Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition, Broome Community College Center for Civic Engagement

Growing A Sustainable Community: Sustainable Food Systems


Broome Community College; April 18, 2009

Statement from the Organizers:

Across the nation and the world, the distance between farmers and consumers is growing, and both groups are increasingly struggling to make ends meet. However, there is a growing movement to create a food system that meets the needs of all of its participants - a food system that is environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable. This plenary brings together a variety of individuals representing different sectors of the food system to discuss the current state of our food systems and their vision for how we can create a sustainable food system in our community.

Moderator: Amelia LoDolce, Sustainable Development Planner, City of Binghamton

Panelists: Clifford Crouch,
Assemblyman, NYS 107th District; Lisa Bloodnick, Bloodnick Family Farm in Apalachin; Kacy Telfer, Director fo Programs & Agency Services of the Food Bank of the Southern Tier; Ray Denniston, BOCES Special Project Coordinator for Food Services

Sponsors: Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition, Broome Community College Center for Civic Engagement

Keywords: NOFA, organic food, community supported agriculture, CSA

Lunch graciously provided by Whole in the Wall Restaurant.

Growing a Sustainable Community: Green Buildings



Acting & Planning As If the Future Mattered

Broome Community College
April 18, 2009

Statement from the Organizers:

This panel covers the Green Movement from its roots in the 1970's to its current popularity. Presenters represent many years of professional design and construction experience relative to energy and sustainability. Topics include sustainable home design, site design, green energy, code issues, "green washing," best insulating practices, and government grants.

Moderator: Jim Bryden, retired local architect

Panelists: Laura Intscher, Architect, Secret Base Design; Madeleine Cotts, Landscape Architect, BCK Architects & Engineers; Pat Dundon, The Insulation Man

Sponsors: Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition, Broome Community College Center for Civic Engagement

Visit the Architecture 2030 website

Growing a Sustainable Community: Sustainable Energy Systems


Broome Community College
April 18, 2009

Statement from the Organizers:

Energy is a key resource, yet continued reliance on fossil fuels has left us vulnerable economically as well as environmentally. Increasing energy efficiency and transitioning to alternative, renewable green energy are imperatives. This plenary will focus on what is being considered at the local, state, and national level to facilitate more sustainable energy systems.

Moderator: Chris Burger, Chair, Broome County Energy Advisory Board

Panelists: Robert Messinger, Congressman Michael Arcuri's Field Representative; Donna Lupardo, Assemblywoman, NY State 126th District; Dennis Mastro, NY State Energy Research and Development Authority; Emmaia Gelman, Center for Working Families

Sponsors: Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition, Broome Community College Center for Civic Engagement

Visit the NYSERDA website.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Growing a Sustainable Community: Keynote Address


Acting & Planning As If the Future Mattered

Keynote Address by Gay Nicholson

Broome Community College
April 17, 2009

Statement from the Organizers:

What does it mean to be sustainable? What does a sustainable community look like? We'll set the stage for what hopefully will be an ongoing conversation on how we, as a community, can plan and act as if the future mattered.

Speakers: Chris Burger, Donna Lupardo, Gay Nicholson

Sponsors: Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition, Broome Community College Center for Civic Engagement

Keyword: NOFA

Visit the Sustainable Tompkins website.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Gas Drilling is Unsafe - We MUST do Better


Central United Methodist Church
Endicott, NY; March 17, 2009

A presentation by Barbara Arrindell and Ron Gulla.

Barbara Arrindell is the co-founder and Chief Science Officer of Damascus Citizens for Sustainability. She holds a B.A. in Bioengineering from Columbia University.

Ron Gulla is a farmer living in Hickory, PA.

Statement from the Sierra Club:

Diligence and Caution Needed in Approach to Gas Drilling

We have an obligation to make sure we don’t create another hazardous legacy like the toxic plume in Endicott. Before we rush in too quickly, we need to proceed with diligence and caution on all aspects of the environmental impacts of the drilling to ensure long-term social, economic and environmental health for our region. We applaud the Governor’s recent decisions in directing the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to prepare a new Generic Environmental Impact Statement and its implied moratorium, addressing the state’s glaring deficiencies and preparedness for the massive scope of the anticipated drilling. There is still a lot of work to be done to protect the health and safety of our residents, safeguard the rights of our communities and get proper compensation for the intrusion of the gas companies and the extraction of our resources.

Sponsors: Sierra Club Susquehanna Group,
Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition (BRSC)

Keywords: Marcellus Shale

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sisters in Spirit: The Iroquois Influence on Early American Feminists


A talk by Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner

Onondaga Historical Association
Syracuse, NY; March 8, 2009

A Vision of Social Justice

Jeanne Shenandoah, originally scheduled to participate in this talk, was unable to appear.

From the program compiled by the OHA:

The Onondaga Historical Association will host a collaborative talk between nationally recognized author, lecturer, performance interpreter of women’s rights history, and Executive Director of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation, Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner and Jeanne Shenandoah, a member of the Eel Clan of the Onondaga Nation, and a member of the Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force on Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 2:00PM.

This presentation tells the history of the Iroquois Confederacy, whose practice of gender equality inspired the emerging women's rights movement in upstate New York over 100 years ago.

Imagine that women had the right to choose all political representatives and to remove from office anyone who didn't address the wishes and needs of the people. Haudenosaunee (traditional Iroquois) women have had that responsibility - and more - since long before Christopher Columbus came to these shores. Native American women generally had a pre-contact status, which would be the envy of United States women, even today.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Matilda Joslyn Gage, the two major theoreticians of the early women's rights movement, had direct knowledge of the Haudenosaunee, writing about the superior social, political, religious and economic status of women in the Iroquois nations. Their work for women's rights, Wagner argues, was inspired by the vision they received from the Haudenosaunee of gender balance and harmony.

Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner
is the author of “Sisters in Spirit: The Iroquois Influence on Early American Feminists” for which Jeanne Shenandoah wrote the introduction. There will be a book signing immediately following the discussion.

This event is made possible through the Speakers in the Humanities, a program of the New York Council for the Humanities that creates opportunities for distinguished scholars to present free programs to the general public.

Speaker Biographical Information

Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner

Executive director of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation in Fayetteville, New York, is a nationally recognized lecturer, author and performance interpreter of woman’s rights history. One of the first women to receive a doctorate in the United States for work in women’s studies (UC Santa Cruz), and a founder of one of the country’s first college women’s studies programs, (CSU Sacramento). Dr. Wagner has taught in women’s studies for thirty-nine years. She currently serves as adjunct faculty in the Honors Program at Syracuse University.

Wagner appeared as a “talking head” in the Ken Burns PBS documentary, “Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony” for which she wrote the accompanying faculty guide for PBS. She was also an historian in the PBS special, “One Woman, One Vote” and has been interviewed several times on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and “Democracy Now.”

The theme of her work has been telling the untold stories. Her monograph, She Who Holds the Sky: Matilda Joslyn Gage, (Sky Carrier Press, 2003), reveals a suffragist written out of history because of her stand against the religious right 100 years ago, while Sisters in Spirit: Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Influence on Early American Feminists (Native Voices, 2001), documents the influence of native women on early women's rights activists.

Jeanne Shenandoah

A member of Eel Clan of the Onondaga Nation, serves as a representative of the Onondaga Nation in Onondaga Lake Environmental Cleanup, is a member of Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force, founding Vice President of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation, and practiced as a homebirth midwife for 28 years.

Shenandoah has focused her work on educating the community about her traditional life as a member of the Eel Clan and bridging between the native and non-native nations and the impact it has had on our community over the past 30 years. In 2002, as a Haudenosaunce woman representing the spiritual tradition of indigenous women, Shenandoah attended The Global Peace Initiative of Women Religious and Spiritual Leaders at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Shenandoah has also shared her personal story in Syracuse Stage’s production, Tales from Salt City. In 2005, she received The Harriet Tubman Humanitarian Achievement Award.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Citizen Action Rally and Town Hall Meeting


State Office Building
Binghamton, NY; March 5, 2009

While those responsible for our economic plight are rewarded with tax breaks and bailouts, the working poor and middle class are staring down the barrel of budget cuts, give backs, and higher taxes. A group of citizens gathered at the State Office Building in downtown Binghamton to voice their concerns.

Sponsored by Citizen Action of NY.

Some of the Speakers: Lea Webb, Suzie Link, Carole Kramer, Mary Clark

Organizations: GSEU, PEF, UUP, STIC, CSEA Local 648, NYSUT, SEIU

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lesley Gill: Solidarity and Fragmentation


Anti-Corporate Activism and Transnational Labor Struggles in the United States and Colombia

A talk by Vanderbilt University Professor of Anthropology Lesley Gill
Binghamton University, March 3, 2009

Statement From the Organizers:

Solidarity is a frequently evoked, but rarely analyzed, concept that has been a fundamental component of workers’ movements since 1864, when the founding Congress of the 1st International adopted it as a central principle. The importance of solidarity arises from a need to fight the social fragmentation created by the development of capitalism through the establishment of relationships of trust and mutuality, and to support the struggles of other oppressed peoples, even if they are total strangers. But how do diverse groups build connections and a sense of common purpose, and how do they remain open to new adherents and project a broad appeal? Nowadays, there are numerous theme and site specific forms of solidarity, but no common political project connects them, and structural transformation, anti-imperialism, and revolution have, in many instances, been evacuated from the meaning of solidarity. What does solidarity mean in the current historical moment, especially given the pressures toward fragmentation brought about by neoliberalism? This talk address these questions through an exploration of the rise and decline of a cross-border, cross-class coalition that has waged a campaign against the Coca-Cola Company since 2001.

The union to which Ms. Gill makes repeated reference is Sinaltrainal.

This event is organized by the Binghamton University Graduate Student Organization.

Co-Sponsors: Anthropology Department, the Anthropology Graduate Student Organization, Broome County Peace Action, Binghamton Political Initiative, BU Parents Collective, Experimental Media Organization, Student Action Collective, the Biology Graduate Student Organization, the Chinese Student and Scholar Association, the IWW Binghamton, the Sociology Graduate Student Organization, LACAS, and the Walter Rodney Committee.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Biodiversity: Meaning and Importance to Our Planet

A talk by Julian Shepherd
Associate Professor of Biology, Binghamton University

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Binghamton
Binghamton, NY; February 22, 2009

This talk is from the series:

Ekos: Our Home, Our World, Our Environment:
Four Sunday Forums on Critical Environmental Issues
Sponsored by UUCB Green Sanctuary Education

Keywords: extinction, rainforests, IBM Glen, ecology

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Liberty in Peril: The State of Freedom on Campus


How to Be Proactive About Student Rights

Binghamton University
February 18, 2009

Speaker: Adam Kissel

Statement from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education:

Despite mission statements dedicated to free expression and free thought, college campuses across the country have betrayed their students by maintaining unconstitutional and illiberal policies that violate their students’ rights. Highlighted in the recent case of Andre Massena, the graduate student who was nearly suspended because of flyers he posted critical of a university department, and last year’s implementation of a harsh “failure to cooperate” policy, which violates students’ privacy and due process rights by requiring them to exit their dorm rooms at the request of a university official, Binghamton University and its administration have shown that Binghamton is no exception.

Adam Kissel, of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), will be coming to Binghamton on February 18th to discuss the state of freedom on campus and what we can do to preserve student rights.

He will be specifically talking about the university's disregard for Freedom of Speech, exemplified in the recent Andre Massena case. Also school policies like "Failure to Cooperate," which was implemented this year and violates our right to privacy and due process will be touched on and equally importantly, Adam will be talking about how we students can be proactive about student rights to ensure that our liberties are protected.

Related Links:

Binghamton University Department of Social Work Declares War on Student for Posters Criticizing Department and Government Agency

‘Binghamton Review’ Blasts Binghamton Social Work Department in Activism Case

PDF: The Scandal of Social Work Education

"Justice Speaks" Poster

Keywords: Andre Massena, free speech, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, FIRE, student rights, David Tanenhaus, Binghamton Housing Authority, Binghamton University Department of Social Work, academic freedom

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Understanding the Conflict: Israel's War on Gaza


Binghamton University
February 12, 2009

Moderator: Susan Pollock, Professor of Anthropology

A panel discussion with:

Nada Khader - A Palestinian-American activist and Executive Director of Westchester People's Action Coalition. Nada served as a consultant to the United Nations Development Program in the Gaza Strip and served for two years as a Fulbright Scholar in Tunisia.

Jonathan Karp - Associate Professor of History and Judaic Studies at SUNY-Binghamton. Professor Karp has written extensively on Jewish cultural and economic history, and teaches courses on Jewish responses to Zionism.

Ali Mazrui - Ranked by Prospect Magazine (UK) as among the top 100 public intellectuals in the world, Dr. Mazrui currently directs the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at SUNY-Binghamton, where he's the Albert Schweitzer Professor of Humanities. Among his many positions include the Vice-President of the World Congress of Black Intellectuals and a member of the Pan-African Advisory Council to UNICEF.

Omar Baddar - The [former] Executive Director the Massachusetts American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Omar is a Palestinian-American who grew up throughout the Middle East. He is a graduate of the University of Memphis Political Science program, where he earned his MA in International Relations and Comparative Politics. He was also recently elected to the Steering Committee of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

Statement from the Binghamton Political Initiative:

For over 25 days, Israeli forces - using U.S. supplied weapons - pummeled the beleaguered population of the Gaza strip, killing nearly 1,400 people, including 437 children. In turn, Hamas rockets killed three Israeli citizens. During their campaign, Israel shelled three United Nations schools and other civilian infrastructure, later rescinding their claims that militants were using the facilities to launch attacks.
Israel has come under scrutiny from Amnesty International, the International Red Cross, Human Rights Watch, the UN and B'Tselem for their use of experimental weapons on civilian populations, including white phosphorous and Dense Inert Metal Explosives (DIME), which can burn through skin to the bone.
Eight Israeli human rights groups have called on the Israeli government to investigate the scale of the casualties, describing the number of dead Palestinian women and children as “terrifying.” UN humanitarian chief John Holmes called the casualty toll “shocking.”
Within the United States, however, coverage of the conflict in the mainstream media has been marred by simplistic understandings and imperial overtones.What passes for analysis often little more than platitudes. A conflict of this magnitude, especially one in which the United States is deeply implicated, demands informed discussion. This event will serve as a step in that direction.

While this event will not serve as a debate between the "two sides" of the issue, not all panelists share the same perspective of the conflict or its foundations. Respectful discourse from differing views is encouraged. The event will also serve to connect attendees to ongoing human rights activism within the United States on this important issue.

Event Organizer/Sponsor: Binghamton Political Initiative

Co-Sponsors: Amnesty International, Middle Eastern Cultural Association, Experimental Media Organization/Student Action Collective, BU Turkish Student Association, Chinese Student and Scholar Association, Sociology Graduate Student Organization, Global Music and Dance Society, Muslim Student Association of Binghamton, Graduate Vice President for Multicultural Affairs