Archive for the ‘For your information’ Category

Over 40,000 people came out in Boston to protest the “Free Speech” hate speech rally organized by the Alt-right. They numbered some 40 or so people who quickly fled the Common when those standing against the right approached the Commons. We love the above photo found on our facebook page.

Here is a video of today:

Fight back!!

Posted: August 13, 2017 in Be on your guard, For your information











In the introductory paragraphs, the People’s Congress of Resistance Manifesto explains:

“Without a revolutionary vision, change will not take a revolutionary direction. Resistance will remain rudderless, an exercise in activism for its own sake, or it will be co-opted into a vessel for the political elites. A vision for social, economic and political revolution is necessary. We need to know where we want to go. Our vision ties our actions to our goal by showing us what we are mobilizing for. It guides us in coordinating our strategies and tactics. It helps us build collective strength. Our vision tells us how we can win and that we will win.

“A society organized for the equality and emancipation of the many is one where production is democratically directed for the benefit of the many and not for the private profit of the few. Rather than banks and corporations determining people’s lives and futures, the people determine their destiny themselves.”

The Manifesto, written by the People’s Congress of Resistance conveners, lays out our core vision and central tasks.

Download and print it: 8.5 x 11 or 11 x 17 [booklet]

Use the Manifesto to organize an event in your area

Get involved!

  • If you agree with the message of the People’s Congress of Resistance, show your support by sharing this announcement on Facebook and Twitter, and forwarding this email.
  • Register today for the Sept. 16-17 People’s Congress of Resistance.
  • Donate to support a student or person with a fixed income, who otherwise would not be able to come to D.C.
  • Find housing options, including discounted hotels and hostels, for the People’s Congress here.
  • Looking for other ways to volunteer? Follow this link!


Newspaper of the Party of Socialism and Liberation.

Trump’s transgender military ban — down with transphobia and imperialism!

By IV Sta

On July 26, Donald Trump announced via Twitter that transgender people would no longer be allowed to enlist or serve in the U.S. military “in any capacity.” Trump cited what he called “tremendous medical costs and disruption” in a promise to overturn the Obama administration’s 2016 decree allowing trans people to serve openly.

The tweet appears to have caught many in the upper White House echelons off guard — including defense secretary Mattis, who had a day’s notice of Trump’s decision. It is not entirely clear if the military ban can happen simply because the president makes a tweet. Nonetheless, most of the GOP has applauded the tweet, praising Trump for pandering so well to his ultra-conservative base.
The announcement was less surprising to trans people across the United States, considering the open transphobia Trump has expressed throughout his business career, campaign and presidency. In contrast to his campaign statement that he was an “ally” to LGBTQ people — which was supported by nothing — Trump’s first actions in office were removing the LGBTQ rights page from the White House website and rescinding the Obama administration’s federal guideline to interpret Title IX as inclusive of trans students.

The rationale for the tweet, in true Trump character, is completely baseless. Medical transition, which is presumably what Trump is referencing as a “burden,” has zero negative repercussions for the quality of job performance. Moreover, the military budget is the most bloated budget in the U.S. government, and has an allocation for Viagra that is five times the amount of money needed to cover transition-specific treatment for service members.
Regardless of the phony economics, the announcement has already caused a wave of pain in the trans community. Trans Lifeline, a hotline created by and for trans people, is experiencing an enormous uptick in calls following the Twitter rant. Trans Lifeline issued a statement condemning the attack. Part of the statement reads:

“People join the military for a variety of reasons but for many the only other options are homelessness and prison. When 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ, it’s easy to see why joining the military might be an attractive option. In fact, the military may be the largest employer of trans people in the country, with an estimate of 15,500 in 2014.
“The actual number is likely much, much higher as more people are living their truths and coming out as trans every day. All of these trans service members may have lost their jobs and many more people including family, friends, and the entire trans population will be affected. The shockwaves from these tweets are felt throughout the entire trans community, not just by those who are current or former military. This sort of policy choice suggests a careless disregard for the rights of trans people to dignity and self-determination. As trans people around the country struggle to navigate a climate of fear, messages like these can have devastating effects on a person’s mental health. These effects quickly bleed over into other areas of life like work, family, friends, or a person’s ability to pursue their goals. Trans people, regardless of their affiliation with the military, deserve better than this.”


Our niece just returned from a visit with her son who lives in the Philippines. While visiting there she went to the The Museum of the Republic of 1899 (Museo ng Republika ng 1899) housed at the convent of the Barasoain Church in Malolos. The Museum presents the events of the revolution against Spain, the First Philippine Republic, and the war of the Filipino against the United States through innovative exhibits and artifact displays in its five galleries.

This is a very good history lesson.

The United States carried out the “Benevolent Assimilation” of the Philippines which in truth means the violent military occupation of the country.












By officially labeling the war the “Philippine Insurrection,” the Americans turned the struggle for national independence led by Aguinaldo into a criminal rebellion against U.S. authority. “Insurrection” was a legal term that freed U.S. troops from following the laws of war that had emerged at the turn of the century. The word was also a public relations move meant to convince Americans that they weren’t really fighting a war of imperial conquest but were suppressing banditry and bringing law and order to a faraway uncivilized place.  How many times have we heard that in the history of this country? Too many. So many and counting just in my short lifetime. You know everything seemed to be just fine until invasion by the US and other European countries. Or make that by any outside force coming in and for whatever reason taking over and subjecting the people to their way of life.














From our niece

My thoughts on my visit to the museum:

I was struck by the similarities between what happened in the Philippines with Spain and then later the US and what I know of the history of Hawaii and its annexation by the US. In both cases white folks arrived to find a very different culture than what they were familiar with and assumed that it was undeveloped and inferior (of course this is what happened initially with the original Europeans in the US and the Native Americans too). They felt the need to force their culture onto the people they encountered and dismantle and destroy the culture that had existed.

I knew vaguely that the Philippines had some connections with the US but I was completely unaware of the history because we are never taught it. The US basically invented its way into the Spanish American war (Remember the Maine was that time’s equivalent of Bush’s Weapons of Mass Destruction).  They convinced local Filipinos to fight against the Spanish with the promise of freedom. The US lied and instead of leaving the Filipinos in peace with liberty, they instead “bought” the Philippines from Spain and occupied it under violent control for the next 60 years. Learning about all of this as a white American in the museum connected to the church where the Philippines signed their first democratic constitution (prior to US occupation) where I saw displays of really awful and demeaning US issued propaganda with a museum guide whose grandfather had earned a bust in the museum was pretty uncomfortable. I was embarrassed and ashamed of the behavior of the US government- shocked and yet not surprised, as I know we treated Hawaiians very much the same way because we wanted their land also. I think the board game Risk is based on the behavior that countries like England, Spain, Portugal, France and the US engaged in – trying to grab up all of the real estate just to see who could have the most and shoving aside whoever was already there.

Our museum guide was extremely knowledgeable and gracious- encouraging and answering all of our questions. One of the most interesting things I learned was that when they wrote their constitution they borrowed from other countries (a Filipino cultural tradition with regard to a lot of things – understandable given their occupations and the dilution and erosion of their original cultural traditions). He said that a lot of democratic governments had constitutions and that the US based theirs in a large part on Spain’s. If you only hear US history from a US perspective, you would be led to believe that our constitution was based on completely original ideas from our “founding fathers” and the US is the birthplace of democracy and completely unique and original. Not entirely true….

My observations of Filipino culture:

Filipino cities are very, very crowded. The traffic is said to be the worst in the world. Vehicles zip around each other and there really are no lanes. You frequently hear horns but they are used entirely to alert other vehicles- like a short tap on the horn whereas in city traffic in the US people lay on their horns aggressively and the manner of driving is much more aggressive. In the Philippines, I would categorize it as more assertive. People are much more patient in the Philippines. They are not so rushed and are resigned to things taking however long they are going to take – whether it’s sitting in traffic, waiting in line at a store, or waiting for the torrential rains and floodwater to subside. One upside of this patience is that you can get really good food almost anywhere – even at kiosks in the mall – because everyone is willing to wait a bit while it is prepared unlike the stuff we get that’s been sitting under heat lamps.

There is a HUGE disparity in incomes and lifestyles. Overall it is a much poorer country than the US.  But in the business center of Manila there is evidence of great wealth – many, many malls and stores, fancy hotels, large late model cars. There is no evidence of the very poor in the business district. I’m not sure if this is due to law or geography or something else, but I did see places where collections were being taken on their behalf. Also, the flight attendants on one of the airlines offer to take your change, your leftover international money and whatever else you’d like to give at the end of your flight and they donate it to UNICEF to help provide clean water for local children.
Outside of the business district however, you can see communities of shanties cobbled together with whatever scraps and cast offs people could find. There are no windows, no electricity or running water. People survive by picking through garbage.

As for the average citizens, they do not generally have as much money or material wealth as the average citizens in the US but there is not the consumerism that we have here. There is not the feeling of having to have the latest and greatest of everything. People tend to be more satisfied with what they have and are focused on other things besides getting more stuff.

The efforts to be environmentally sensitive – reduce, reuse, recycle – are much more widespread. I’m sure this is due in part to the island environment (there isn’t anywhere for waste to go) and also due in part to the economy.

People tend to be friendlier, less rushed, more patient, and much less aggressive. Nobody got annoyed with me if I didn’t understand something and needed it repeated. There were several basketball courts in the neighborhood I was staying in that very frequently had games going but I never heard fights or trash talking. The big Pacquiao fight took place while I was there and it was the biggest of deals for everyone- I was told that the crime rate during Pacquiao fights registers at zero because literally everyone is watching the fight. The streets were empty. Pacquiao is a senator and national hero. When he lost the fight, even though the officiating was highly questionable (when you look at the stats, Pacquiao has higher numbers in every category), nobody complained about it or reacted in any negative way. They are happy he’s as successful as he is but they are proud of him because he is Filipino and he’s representing the Philippines which isn’t dependent upon him winning.

She sent us these photo’s that she took at the museum.














There’s that beating stick in old Uncle Sam’s hand.














War Crimes

A soldier from New York: “The town of Titatia was surrendered to us a few days ago, and two companies occupy the same. Last night one of our boys was found shot and his stomach cut open. Immediately orders were received from General Wheaton to burn the town and kill every native in sight; which was done to a finish. About 1,000 men, women and children were reported killed. I am probably growing hard-hearted, for I am in my glory when I can sight my gun on some dark skin and pull the trigger. See HERE.


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After a summer of exploring identity, intersectionality and youth leadership, our Queer Academy campers are draguating! You’re invited to Queer Academy’s Draguation on Sunday, August 20th for a show, a ceremony, and a celebration! Queer Academy campers will share their messages from the stage through drag, song, dance and more…

Draguation will be at TheaterWorks from 6:00 – 9:00 PM, with a Silent Auction included.

Draguation is free and open to the public, but donations are accepted.

Facebook Page HERE.

Sunday August 6th

Hiroshima/Nagasaki remembrance

A shared call for the abolition of nuclear weapons promoting a vision of a nuclear free world.

Unitarian Society Meeting House

500 Bloomfield Ave, Hartford 06105

6:00pm Pot Luck Dinner

6:30 Program with Music, Speakers and Poetry

8:00 Candle Lighting ceremony–creation of a large Candle-lit Peace Sign on the Meeting House lawn.

For more information:


Facebook event: Hiroshima/Nagasaki Remembrance 2017

Sponsored by: Hope Out Loud, No Nukes, No War, Unitarian Society of Hartford.