Monday, May 1, 2017

Earl Dotter - At All Costs: Photographs of American Workers


 
A Talk and Exhibition by Earl Dotter

ArtRage Gallery, Syracuse, NY; May 1, 2017

From the Organizers:

Earl Dotter began his photographic career after completing his studies at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. In 1968 he joined VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) and was assigned to the Cumberland Plateau Region of Tennessee. Over time, he was welcomed into the homes of coal mining families. He came to know and respect their culture and struggles — a relationship that continues to this day. After his VISTA assignment concluded, he remained in the area to photograph the rank-and-file movement to reform the United Mine Workers Union, then under the corrupt leadership of Tony Boyle.

In 1972 he was invited to join the staff of the reformers’ newspaper, The Miner’s Voice, and subsequently became the photographer for the campaign to unseat Boyle, called “Miners for Democracy.” When the election effort proved successful, Dotter went to work for the UMWA Journal, where he remained until 1977.

Throughout the 1980′s, Dotter photographed a wide array of occupational subjects. His photography has consistently been given life and texture by shooting not just the work, but the whole worker and his or her life on the job, at home, and in the community. Over the years, his subjects have expanded from an emphasis on occupational health and safety to include environmental hazards to public health. The evolution was only logical, since the adverse conditions which first affect people on the job, as they take the “first hit” from exposure to carcinogens, toxins, and industrial waste, eventually make their way out of the worksite and into the air and water of the surrounding environment.

In the Spring of 1996, he began the tour of his exhibit, THE QUIET SICKNESS: A Photographic Chronicle of Hazardous Work in America. After initial exhibits in Washington, DC and at the main branch of the Cincinnati Public Library, the photography exhibit with over 100 works began a tour of the six New England states, sponsored by the Harvard School of Public Health’s Occupational Health Program. AIHA Press published the book of the same name as the exhibit in the Spring of 1998.

In 1999 he was appointed without stipend to the Visiting Scholars Program at the HSPH. The exhibit, “APPALACHIAN CHRONICLE, 1969-1999: The Photographs of Earl Dotter,” began its initial showing at The University of Virginia’s Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon in connection with the annual meeting of the Appalachian Studies Association. Subsequently the exhibit has moved to the Appalshop Gallery in Whitesburg, Kentucky and Mountain Empire Community College in Big Stone Gap, Virginia.

Earl Dotter is the recipient of the Josephine Patterson Albright Fellowship in Photography for the year 2000 from The Alicia Patterson Foundation. His fellowship project title is: “COMMERCIAL FISHING, Our Most Perilous Trade.” The grant will provide support to document the hazards faced by commercial fishermen far offshore in the North Atlantic as well as in the hand harvesting fisheries along the New England Coast.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Veganic Workshop with Will Bonsall - Radical, Self-Reliant, Veganic Gardening



Danby, NY; April 29, 2017
 
From Club Veg:

How can we eat and farm better, using natural ecosystems as our model? Join veganic farmer Will Bonsall, author of "Will Bonsall’s Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening" to learn about innovative techniques for growing vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds with minimal fossil fuel and animal inputs.

Realizing that livestock are not a NET producer of fertility, Bonsall turns directly to the pasture and even more to the forest to provide the materials to build, not merely maintain, his soil’s tilth. By focusing on high levels of long-lasting humus, he avoids the need for imported materials to feed the soil and adjust the pH. Learn how to become eco-efficient by eliminating off-farm inputs like fertilizers, minerals, and animal manures by practicing plant-based agriculture.

Topics will include compost making and using green manures plus several other ways to build soil fertility, intensive planting, improving soil drainage, avoiding pests and disease problems, seeds and seed saving, and more.

Whether you’re looking to minimize outside inputs, become as eco-efficient as possible, or gain a new market of vegans, veganic permaculture can save on expenses and result in new income streams.

Introduction and dedication by Club Veg President Amie Hamlin and Vegetarian and Vegan Association Outreach Director Claire Holzner.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Gathering to Free Issa Amro and Support Palestinian Human Rights Defenders


 
Ithaca, NY; April 22, 2017

From the Organizers:

Listen to eye-witness accounts of human rights abuses in Hebron and updates on Campaign to Free Issa Amro

00:29 Introduction by Beth Harris

9:07 Rabbi Brian Walt, Co-chair of the Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council, will share his experiences in Hebron with Palestinian Youth Against Settlements leader Issa Amro and Israeli Breaking the Silence leader Yehuda Shaul and the reality of apartheid in the West Bank.

22:32 Kirby Edmonds, Senior Fellow and Program Coordinator of the Dorothy Cotton Institute (DCI), will discuss his experience in Hebron, when helping to lead the DCI’s delegation to East Jerusalem and the West Bank with leaders from the U.S. Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, younger civil and human rights leaders, social justice activists, and peace builders. Kirby will share how the oppression in Hebron and the Palestinian grassroots nonviolent resistance movement relate to the US struggles for racial justice and human rights.

30:04 Ariel Gold, CODEPINK Campaign Director and Youth Against Settlements International Advocacy Coordinator, will provide an update on the international campaign to free Issa Amro, who faces 18 charges for his nonviolent struggle for human rights and justice in Hebron. She will share the support for Issa from groups and individuals, such as CODEPINK, Veterans for Peace, Jewish Voice for Peace, Amnesty International, Joint List Knesset members, US State Department officials, and US Congress members. She will provide an eye witness account of Youth Against Settlement's annual “Open Shuhada Street” campaign in Hebron.

55:13 Discussion

Organized by Ithaca Jewish Voice for Peace and Committee for Justice in Palestine

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Invisible Suffering - The Reality of Women's Health & Safety on the Job


 
Binghamton, NY; April 18, 2017

Karen Messing is professor emerita in the Department of Biological Sciences of the University of Quebec in Montreal, Canada.  She is a researcher at the CINBIOSE center for environmental and occupational health research, which works closely with unions and community groups to improve population health. 

Karen is the author of over 140 peer-reviewed scientific publications as well as Pain and Prejudice: What Science Can Learn about Work from the People Who Do It and One-eyed Science: Occupational Health and Working Women.

Sponsors:

Occupational Health Clinical Center of the Southern Tier
Broome Tioga Green Party
Workers Center of the Southern Tier
Be the Change (BCC)

Friday, April 14, 2017

Crucified by Drones


This civil resistance action took place at Hancock Air Base in Syracuse, NY on Good Friday, 4/14/17. It was organized by Upstate Drone Action. The above video is an unedited livestream. (Photo courtesy of Charley Bowman.)

And this is a short edit (8:39):

Monday, April 10, 2017

Yemen Hunger Strike Day of Action


 
New York City; April 10, 2017

From the Organizers:

A fast and vigil at the Isaiah Wall outside the UN Headquarters to support the one week solidarity hunger strike organized by Voices for Creative Nonviolence, New York Catholic Worker, the Upstate Coalition to End the Wars and Ground the Drones, Friends of Franz and Ben, and CODEPINK. The hunger strike is scheduled for April 10-16.

As we fast from all solid foods, we urge others to join us in calling for a humane response to the famine facing Yemeni civilians whose country has been ravaged by civil war and regularly targeted by Saudi and U.S. airstrikes.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Peacemaker Stories


 
American University, Washington, D.C.; April 5, 2017

Peace activists Jack Gilroy and Fr. Bernard Survil address a class at American University regarding their experiences resisting US domination and repression in Latin America, with a focus on the School of the Americas. The class instructor was Colman McCarthy.

Due to an equipment failure, I was forced to use my on-camera microphone to record the audio.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Remembering Past Wars . . . and Preventing the Next


April 4, 2017, 6-8 p.m. Busboys and Poets, 5th and K Streets NW, Washington, D.C.

An event to mark 100 years since the United States entered World War I, and 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr. made his famous speech against war. A new movement to end all war is growing.

2:42 Michael Kazin, professor of history at Georgetown University, author of War Against War: The American Fight for Peace 1914-1918.

19:38 Eugene Puryear, journalist, activist, radio host, and author of Shackled and Chained: Mass Incarceration in Capitalist America.

35:56 Medea Benjamin, cofounder of CODEPINK, author of books including Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.-Saudi Connection.

52:33 Reiner Braun, peace activist based in Germany, co-president International Peace Bureau, Executive Director of the Germany office of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms.

1:02:53 Maria Santelli, executive director of Center on Conscience and War, founding director of the New Mexico GI Rights Hotline.

1:12:03 Jarrod Grammel, conscientious objector.

1:15:22 Nolan Fontaine, conscientious objector.

1:21:56 David Swanson, director of World Beyond War, author of books including War Is A Lie and When the World Outlawed War.

1:39:08 Q&A

Listen to Part 1 of the podcast on iTunes or SoundCloud.
Listen to Part 2 of the podcast on iTunes or SoundCloud.

Sponsored by World Beyond War, and Center on Conscience and War, Code Pink, with thanks to Busboys and Poets.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s April 1967 Riverside Church Speech


 
Binghamton, NY; April 3, 2017

From the Organizers:

The community is invited and welcome to join friends from Broome County Peace Action and Veterans for Peace at 4 PM on April 3 when we will be offering an anniversary reading of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s. Historical Vietnam War speech.

This was the speech given at Riverside Church on April 4th 1967…exactly one year before Rev. King was assassinated. The speech will be read by area veterans and clergy.

With a 54 Billion dollar increase for military spending in this year's budget, along with cuts to funding for the environment, education and social services, we need to reflect on the words of Dwight D. Eisenhower:  "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

Virtually every Monday afternoon since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, folks have gathered at this location to promote peace and social Justice.

Please join us for this time of truth telling.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Rally to Stop Northern Access Pipeline


 
Livestreamed from Albany, NY; March 27, 2017

The livestream gets very choppy in the War Room due to poor cellular signal. Best to watch this edited version of the War Room portion from Eddie Rodriguez: https://youtu.be/WrOYsZwb5is

Sponsored by Niagara Sierra and Clean Air Council.

From the Organizers:

The DEC must decide whether to approve or deny the air and water permits for this project by April 7th, 2017. New York Governor Cuomo ultimately has the power to reject this pipeline. By showing up and making our voices heard, we will influence their decisions.

The proposed Northern Access Pipeline Project is VERY similar to the Constitution Pipeline which was slated for Eastern NY State but was denied a 401 Water Certification due in large part, to all the stream crossings.

We need to let Governor Cuomo and the DEC know that Western NY deserves the same protection. We further need to let Gov. Cuomo know that we expect him to live up to his policies promoting renewable energy, cutting greenhouse gas emissions, cleaning up and protecting our water and his pronouncement in January’s State of the State Address:"Now that New York has built a foundation for the renewable energy system of the future, the State must double down by investing in the fight against dirty fossil fuels and fracked gas from neighboring states to achieve the goals outlined in the Governor’s Clean Energy Standard."

Any participants are encouraged to contact their legislators ahead of time to se up a meeting in the afternoon while we are in Albany and request their support in denying this pipeline. You can invite them to join us to speak out and for a photo opportunity showing their support.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Renewable Energy for All


Binghamton, NY; March 11, 2017

From the Organizers:

Let us give our community an opportunity to participate in a sustainable future.

Join us in a discussion of community solar and a new bill by NY Renews, The Climate and Community Protection Act.

Governor Cuomo stated that clean and affordable power should be available to New Yorkers regardless of zip code or income. This is not happening, Solar energy is being reserved for those who can afford to put up thousands of dollars, and this is not fair! We need to fight for equity in solar policy.

Why not us? We are being left out of this movement and need to demand solar in our area!

Presenters:

Amber Johnson, Environmental Justice Organizer, Citizen Action

Amber graduated from SUNY Oneonta in 2014 and since then had been active with many advocacy groups around Central New York and New York City. She has been with Citizen Action since late 2016, working on environmental justice issues.

Adam Flint, Southern Tier (NY) Solar Works Program Manager at the Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition, which he co-founded in 2008.

From 2011-2013, Adam ran the Energy Leadership Program at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County, where he coordinated the Southern Tier Green Jobs Green New York program. He has worked as an educator in the Southern Tier for more than twenty years, including posts as Assistant Professor of Sociology at Hartwick College and as lecturer in Environmental Studies at Binghamton University. Adam co-founded the NY Energy Democracy Alliance, serves on the steering committee, and coordinates COSHARE, the Community Owned Shared Renewables Working Group. He also works on NY State energy policy with a focus on the ‘Reforming the Energy Vision (REV)’ proceeding, He is also a founding member of the Tier Energy Network of the Southern Tier.

Peter Iwanowicz, Executive Director, Environmental Advocates of New York

This is a return to the organization for Peter who served as its Air and Energy Program Director in the late 1990s. Before this position he served as Assistant Vice President with the American Lung Association where he directed the Association’s Healthy Air Campaign – an effort to protect the Clean Air Act. Between 2007 and the end of 2010, Peter was an appointee in the Spitzer and Paterson administrations, serving as the Acting Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and as Deputy Secretary for the Environment. While in State government Peter also served as the Assistant Secretary for the Environment, and was the very first Director of the New York State Office of Climate Change. Peter’s responsibilities as the head of the Office of Climate Change included overseeing the state’s involvement in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and acting as the New York State representative to the International Carbon Action Partnership. Before joining State government in 2007, Peter served as Vice President for the American Lung Association of New York State where he directed the association’s advocacy efforts.

Sponsored by NY Renews, Citizen Action of New York, Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition, and Southern Tier Solar Works.

There is also a livestreamed video of this event on YouTube.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Podcast: A Conversation with Drone Resister Ed Kinane

Ed Kinane (left) and Danny Burns at the Big Books action

OVOC Podcast 7: On iTunes and  SoundCloud.

Press Release from the Syracuse Peace Council:

Four drone resisters, James Ricks, Daniel Burns, Brian Hynes and Ed Kinane, from the 2015 Big Books action at Hancock Air Base were found innocent of all charges at 11pm Thursday, March 2, at the Dewitt Town Court. After deliberating for only about a half hour, the jury returned with a verdict of not guilty on all charges. Applause erupted in the courtroom.

The four had been charged with obstruction of government administration, disorderly conduct, and trespass and faced a year in jail. Following the rendering of the verdict, a juror approached Brian Hynes and said “I really support what you are doing. Keep doing it.”

During the trial, Brian Hynes told the jury, “This is not a case about contested facts, this is a case about contested meanings.” Hynes went on to explain to the jury that they could, in the words of the 4th Circuit of Appeals, acquit for any reason which appeals to their logic or passion.

In powerful testimony, James Ricks told the jury about meeting the families of drone victims and seeing the wreckage of hellfire missiles. Jurors were brought to tears several times. Daniel Burns said, “Would any of us deem it acceptable for our precious loved ones to be sacrificed for another nation’s anticipatory self defense? Of course not!  Moreover, if drones were being aimed at my children by another country, I would hope with all my might that the citizens of that country might try and stop their country’s illegal and immoral actions.” Ed Kinane told the jury in clear and powerful language about his time living in Iraq during the war and about the terror sown by drones. Closing arguments were given by lawyers Daire Irwin and Jonathon Wallace as well as James Ricks and Brian Hynes.

The trail resulted from an action on March 19, 2015. On the 12th anniversary of the U.S.’ illegal invasion of Iraq, seven members of the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars shut the main gate of the Hancock Drone Base (near Syracuse, NY) with a giant copy of the UN Charter and three other giant books – Dirty Wars (Jeremy Scahill), Living Under Drones (NYU and Stanford Law Schools), and You Never Die Twice (Reprieve).

The nonviolent activists also held a banner quoting Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution, stating that every treaty signed becomes the supreme law of the land. They brought the books to Hancock to remind everyone at the base of the signed treaties that prohibit the killing of civilians and assassinations of human beings. The group attempted yet again to deliver a citizens’ indictment for war crimes to the Hancock Air base chain of command.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Hell and High Water - New York Responds to Climate Change


 
Endicott, NY; February 21, 2017

A Talk by Mark Lowery, Climate Policy Analyst, DEC office of Climate Change

From the Organizers:

Climate change has already had effects on New York State's natural resources and infrastructure.
 
Mark Lowery, Climate Policy Analyst in DEC Office of Climate Change, will describe anticipated future effects, the level of greenhouse gas emissions, reductions needed to avoid catastrophic effects, New York State climate change programs in the context of international and federal efforts, and the state's support for municipalities that wish to reduce emissions and adapt to unavoidable effects of climate change.
 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Podcast: A Conversation with Ray McGovern


This is a recording of my skype conversation with ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern, in two parts. Among other things, we spoke about the strained relations between the US and Russia, and the underlying causes.

Part 1 (OVOC Podcast 4): On iTunes or SoundCloud.

Part 2 (OVOC Podcast 5): On iTunes or SoundCloud.


The following are links referred to in, or relevant to, the interview:

Part 1:

Ray McGovern's statement at the 2015 UNAC Conference

Bill Bradley on Russia and NATO

Victoria Nuland plots the US-backed coup in the Ukraine

Part 2:

President Obama and Russian President Medvedev - Open Mic

Zbigniew Brzezinski on the global political awakening

Vladimir Putin's speech

The William Casey quote: "We'll know our disinformation campaign is complete when everything the American public believes is false."

The Cantonsville Nine burn draft records (1968)

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Presidential Election Flowchart for Liberals

I'm posting this flowchart just in case any of my liberal friends forget how it's done, although at this point you should know it by heart:

1. Forget about voting for any third parties, even if they're the only ones who embody your values. "Nader, dontcha know. Can't let the Republicans win."
2. Get excited about a Democratic candidate who seems to actually not be a sociopath.
3. Watch helplessly as Democratic Party hacks cheat your candidate out of the nomination.
4. Vote for the candidate foisted on you by those very same Party hacks.
5. Watch helplessly as that candidate loses the general election.
6. Search for a scapegoat: Greens, deplorables, Putin, Assange. Almost anyone (except you) will do.
7. Go to a demonstration.
8. Go home.

And that's all there is to it. (You're welcome.)

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Inaugurate the Resistance!



Washington, D.C.; January 21, 2017

Panelists:

Chris Hedges, Jill Stein, Tim Canova, Kshama Sawant, Chase Iron Eyes, Bryan Koulouris

From the Organizers:

Trump's pro-billionaire agenda and plans to wage war on the environment, deport three million immigrants, undermine public sector unions, and nominate a reactionary Supreme Court justice are not just idle threats. Yet the neoliberal leaders of the Democratic Party cannot stop Trump now, anymore than during the election. How can we build powerful mass movements capable of decisively defeating the right and providing a real alternative for ordinary working people, immigrants, LGBTQ people and youth? Can the Democratic Party be reformed, or does the left need to build independently?

This event is part of Occupy Inauguration's weekend of resistance, sponsored by the Green Party, Socialist Alternative, Occupy Wall Street, Movement for the 99%, and the Stein/Baraka campaign.

Related Links:

Truthdig
Progress for All

Listen to the 58:30 podcast on iTunes or SoundCloud.