Archive for the ‘From us to you’ Category

Note: This work is a collage, gleaned from many sources in the service of the people. ..furbirdsqueerly, Hartford Ct. 6/2020

They All Need To Go! A list for the removal of Tyrants and Others. 6/2020

While folks around amerikkka are in the mood to topple, remove, destroy, dump into a river or pond, paint up, or take down offensive statues of those who have come before and more times than not wrecked havoc where ever they have gone we have some recommendations to make.  This blog is out of Hartford Ct. so we can only speak about what is in our city. But let us make ourselves clear, very clear here as we quote a well respected comrade of ours: As our queer Marxist comrade Eaemaehkiw Thupaq Kesiqnaeh points out: “As indigenists, as revolutionaries, we stand firm in our rejection of all heroes of empire and the distorted histories around them spun by both the forces of the colonial state and its loyal opposition among the so-called left”

We reject the idea of many that tell us the age old excuse, “They didn’t know any different back then,” or “That is the way it was years ago.” We reject that with the names of Ann Hutchinson, Roger Williams, the Quakers Mary Dyer, William Robinson, Marmaduke Stephenson, William Leddra, hung in Boston, and other Quakers, whipped, dragged behind carts and harassed out of the Colony, William and Mary Brinley Coddington, William Pynchon, the men and women who defended themselves against witchcraft accusations, William Penn, the Jews, Quakers, Baptists, Anabaptists, and Seekers, the native tribes that tried to live in peace according to their ways, the men who were signers of the Declaration of Independence and who didn’t own slaves and thought slavery was wrong, and many others who the early Puritans could not hold a candle to. These are the people we should be holding up as examples of greatness not thieving murderers as those who are placed in high esteem and given a statue. Look these folks up. Read about their lives. Certainly shinning lights in the darkness. Shinning lights against tyrants and others. Now of course we can be nice, not hard asses, and yes if these guys aren’t removed, then can we move them over to make room for the rest of us? Maybe that would be a compromise in favor of these heroes of empire, not ours to be sure, but if we do remove these statues what then would the tourists look at and take photo’s of? What history then would we tell? Let’s build a museum of Bad Art and stick these statues in it and tell their stories there. These statues do not have to lord over us, in our public spaces. This list is by no means a complete list of Removables’. We hope that our readers will add to this list in the comments. We want to study more of the empires heroes. Who else is up there all around the State Capitol Building? Who else sits on town greens in a glory that they should not have? Who were the holders of enslaved peoples?  Let’s learn and let’s educate.

Removable # 1 and first up, down, around the country. Columbus at Washington and Capitol Ave. Hartford Ct.  

Columbus REMOVED BY THE CITY OF HARTFORD MONDAY JUNE 29, 2020!

We have rallied for removing this among our readers for years but no one had of yet. The other day we read in the newspaper that the mayor of Hartford is going to have the thing removed. So good riddance to Columbus who has stood on that spot for years. Good riddance to the sack of shit he was in his murdering and plundering the original peoples of the amerikkkas. So the mayor had this to say:

“When the statue of Columbus was erected in Hartford a hundred years ago, it was meant to symbolize the fact that Italian Americans, who had faced intense discrimination, had a place in the American story. But surely we can find a better way to honor the immense contributions of the Italian American community in our country and in our community,” Bronin said. “I’ll also be working with our Italian American community in Hartford and throughout the region to find an appropriate way to honor their incredibly important place in Hartford’s and our nation’s history.” Yeah, yeah, play nice so the Italian Community doesn’t jump down your throat.

Now if we really wanted to say something we would say: ” The statue of Christopher Columbus also represents a time of colonialism and atrocities committed. It is the right decision to remove the statue.  We view Columbus as a problematic figure for violently abusing Indigenous people, launching the transatlantic slave trade and introducing several fatal diseases to the Americas. People have also condemned him for the genocide of Native Americans that followed the colonization of the Americas by Europeans.” Let’s just say we see it as taking out the garbage.

H V Barclay, the captain of the HMS Topaze, said in 1868: ‘It is a sad fact that in  North America, wherever the white man establishes himself the aborigines perish.’

Removal # 2: Samuel Stone from Center Church Property. A witch here and a witch there and a monster savage behind every tree.

Ah, what can we say about this monster, savage Samuel Stone, that Center Church so loves, that pleas to take it down are met on deaf ears. Can we say it again: TAKE IT DOWN!! We wrote about his numerous times due to Stone’s involvement of torturing and murdering Mary Stone and other women who were condemned as witches in the early days of this city.  We learn this from our other posting, Center Church Is An Apology In Order For The Persecution of Women. 

The first recorded confession of witchcraft in Connecticut was given under duress by Mary Johnson in 1648. Mary was a servant whose legal troubles began around 1646, when she was accused of theft. Under pressure from the minister, Samuel Stone, and after extended whipping, Mary confessed that she was guilty of witchcraft (or, as it was called, “familiarity with the Devil”) and fully described her crimes, including using the Devil to help her with her household chores. She admitted to “uncleanness with men and Devils” and even to the “murder of a child”, although she was not indicted for murder or adultery. However, the charge of “familiarity with the Devil” stuck and, on the strength of her confession, she was sentenced to death. She gave birth to a baby boy while awaiting her sentence in jail in Hartford, Connecticut. The execution was delayed, probably due to her pregnancy, until June 1650, when she was hanged.

The aggressive prosecutorial attitude of ministers and magistrates was essential to the outcome of these cases.  Although learned elites are frequently presented as resisting popular pressure to convict witches through official skepticism and scrupulous insistence on direct evidence of the devil’s involvement in inflicting harm, this certainly was not the case in the early days of Hartford’s witch-hunt. Hartford’s venerable Reverend Samuel Stone, accompanied by the youthful Reverend Joseph Haynes of Wethersfield* and Reverend Samuel Hooker of Farmington, formed a prosecutorial tribunal. They gathered evidence, recorded notes, and forcefully interrogated witnesses. Rebecca Greensmith crumbled under the ministerial assault. When Joseph Haynes had begun to present evidence against her, Greensmith felt as if “she could have torn him in peeces”. But as his battering interrogation persisted, she broke down. She said she felt “as if her flesh had been pulled from her bones… and so could not deny any longer”

The Notorious Hartford Witch Hunts began in 1662 and we have to wonder, was Mary Johnson in 1648 the only victim of the Rev. Samuel Stone? We know during this period when he was the Reverend of Center Church until his death in July 1663 at the age of 61, 5 people were convicted of witchcraft sentenced and hung in Hartford. This count does not take into consideration the others who were from other towns in the state that were convicted, hung, or acquitted, fled the area or released.

Also executed (according to historical records and a recent report from the Office of Legislative Research) were, Alse Young, Mary Johnson, of Wethersfield; Joan and John Carrington, of Wethersfield; Goodwife (her first name is lost) Bassett, of Fairfield; Goodwife Knapp, of Fairfield; Lydia Gilbert, of Windsor; Rebecca and Nathaniel Greensmith, of Hartford; Mary Barnes, of Farmington, and Mary Sanford, of Hartford. 

Interesting note: Stone served as chaplain to the troops under Capt. Mason in the Pequot War, 1637. We ask? Did he hear the screams of the women and children burned to death at Mystic? Did he smell the burning flesh? Did god agree with what was happening? Did God relish the smell of the burnt offering?  Were prayers made to heaven as the smell of burning flesh reached skyward? In the bible, sacrifices could ritualize the transition from a state of sin to a state of purity. A sin offering was made, which ‘covered up’ the sin. Whose sin was this one may ask?  We would gather that Stone wasn’t there to preach good tidings but carried a sword. How many heathens did he put to death as they tried to escape the flames?

We have to wonder, will the liberal Center Church in downtown Hartford call for a meeting to seek guidance through reflection and prayer if they should remove the statue of Samuel Stone? Will they follow in the footsteps of many around the country and say yes to the removal and then with fanfare, tears, and pain remove it to a safe place. Or will they destroy it. Sell it, melt it down, build something new? Or better yet, give the funds as reparation’s to the families who lost early members of their families to the hysterical Rev. Stone, Rev. Haynes, and Rev. Samuel Hooker and others in the Hartford Colony. We have many questions about this matter. What became of the land that these folks who were accused owned? Who bought it, who sold it where did the money go? We do know that Samuel Stone was an active buyer and seller of land in Hartford. Whose land?  Did the church of Hooker and Stone profit? Somewhere in the churches basement among the old tombstones is there a vault of church records?  Only the church can speak to and answer for the glorification of Samuel Stone and his band of cruel demons.

Removable #3 John Mason: With money in one hand and a sword in the other. Intimidating, massacring, subduing the Indigenous people of the Pequot tribe, and keeping the other tribes under his thumb and scared. 

There is a life-sized stone carving of Major John Mason on the Connecticut State Capitol building

After the Civil War a statue movement was sweeping the nation, and local citizens and organizations were erecting monuments of heroes and patriots everywhere. The prominent citizens of Mystic Connecticut decided to create a larger than life bronze and granite monument of Major John Mason, the commander of the Colonial forces in the 1637 Pequot War, the very first declared and sustained conflict in the early colonies. In 1889, the John Mason statue, carved by sculptor James G. C. Hamilton was placed at the intersection of Pequot Avenue and Clift Street in Mystic, near what was thought to be the location of the fortified Pequot village where the Mistick Massacre occurred. Yes folks let’s show our victory on a scared site as long as it isn’t one of ours. We have always thought that idea to be of interest. While folks go all over the world, yes lets put it exactly as it is, desecrating’s graves of other cultures but heaven help the one who digs up a good Christian to steal her jewels or for any other matter.

John Mason, sword at the ready. Mystic Ct. moved to Windsor.

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Uniting together for a common goal. A union of folks on a mission to topple that which opposed our very lives.

One lesson that many of us learned back in the day of our youthful rebellion was the idea if we supported others and their fight for liberation that they in turn would support us and the more support that we had and they had the better off we would all be. Maybe, just maybe we would fight together and we would win. A union of different folks together in a common goal, united to fight for a common purpose our liberation against the state. To topple and transform the institutions what a wonderful idea!

In the early days of the L and G movement that idea was lost when a wrong road was taken by members of the Gay Liberation Front who walked out of a meeting at a very crucial time. This time as many of us know who studied or lived our history was the meeting to vote on support for the Black Panther Party. Those who walked out of the multi-issue GLF founded that December the Gay Activist Alliance. Now the GAA was a lot like some of the conservative groups that Harry Hay warned us about, those who only wanted to work on their issues, that is what has been described as the white comfortable gay male issues and fuck everyone else and their issues. We going to get ours and the heck with you. Wrong road boys and girls wrong road.

One thing we learned in union organizing is that we must stick together, and as the old song goes, “What force on earth is weaker than the feeble force of one?” Solidarity across all lines that is how a revolution is made and is won. But the boys and girls back then didn’t see that as the boys and girls operating from their elite non-profit mainstream LGBT organizations don’t see it now. Their little lobbying groups who will only go so far so not to upset the man and his yardstick. The straight man that is. You know that old saying, “we are not different from you, except for what we do in bed.” You have heard about it, we all must look a certain way, to fit in. Men in suits, women in dresses. No butches, fems, no drag queens, no far out types. Look normal! Ding dong hear the wedding bells, go drop some bombs on the little brown girl at her sewing machine. Conform! Fit in! Oh what we do for the love of mommy and daddy! One has to wonder did anyone of these folks even stop to question the very system that they clamored to be a part of? Did they even understand that perhaps not all inclusion was good inclusion? That what they had fled from was no place to return to?

Yes the movement took a wrong road back then, the GAA didn’t see that our liberation was tied into the liberation of the Panthers, the Young Lords, the grape pickers, women, those who fought for civil rights of Black amerikkka and anyone who was or is the outcast. They didn’t see that everyone who called out against the oppressor was leading us towards freedom. A new freedom. No they only could see to the end of their own nose. Their desires and wants should be everybody’s wants and desires.  But that is where everyone was and wanted to be. By 1970 the multi-issue Gay Liberation Front had all but disappeared from the New York political scene and with it the idea that none of us are free unless all of us are. I remember it well and I remember how hard it was to share a revolutionary vision with those not willing to share with all others. I found that I had more in common with those on the left than my own people. This article is just another attempt to free us from the BS of the “We must fit in movement.” We can only say that those who want the man so bad, those who want the ruler, the measuring stick of the straight world, then how can you be our friends and comrades. How can you believe in a one issue movement and fight in a one issue struggle when we know damn well the old slogan, “We are here, there and everywhere,” is the truth?

We are going in this essay to hear about some folks who rejected that type of organizing. Those who can today be called our true revolutionaries who looked beyond their self and fought back.

This work, a collage is gleaned from many sources in the service of the people.

We decided to start each of these articles with The International. Here is the updated version as written and sung by Billy Bragg after a challenge from Pete Seeger.

The Patterson Silk Strike

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Happy May Day to Everyone.

A new movement within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, + communities is forming. Queers against Pete can be found at https://www.queersagainstpete.com/.

We like this movement, we like what they have to say and find that once again we are in conflict with the mainstream LGBT movement.

Queers Against Pete have written an open letter and this is what it says:

Open Letter
Dear fellow members of the LGBTQIA community,

This election cycle we will be presented with plenty of options. Up and down the ballot, candidate’s stances will impact us, our families and communities. If we’ve learned anything from our ancestors and transcestors, it’s that we must speak out…and act up. This primary election is one such example.

There has been much talk about identity and diversity in the race to win the Democratic party nomination for president. Some have touted former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s openly gay identity as proof of progress in our politics. However, being gay is not enough to earn the support of LGBTQIA communities.
We cannot in good conscience allow Mayor Pete to become the nominee without demanding that he address the needs and concerns of the broader Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual (LGBTQIA) communities. While many see different issues in silos, we are clear that LGBTQIA people are directly and disproportionately impacted by police violence, incarceration, unaffordable healthcare, homelessness, deportation, and economic inequality among other things.

Mayor Pete is leaning on the support and actively courting the LGBTQIA community, but has shown time and time again that he is out of touch, not fit to be President of the United States, and simply falls short.

Mayor Pete opposes free universal free public college and does not support cancelling student loan debt;

Mayor Pete has no plan to restore the right to vote for all formerly and currently incarcerated people, create an alternative to police, or end cash bail;

Mayor Pete has not addressed the concerns related to Eric Logan, a Black South Bend resident who was shot and killed by a white police officer. Furthermore, while in office, Mayor Pete refused to release the police tapes relating to the demotion of Darryl Boykins, the first Black person to serve as police chief. We echo the demands of Black Lives Matter – South Bend to create a Citizens Review Board and for the release of the tapes;

Mayor Pete has not said if he would support a moratorium to end deportations or that he would decriminalize border crossing;

Mayor Pete opposes complete Medicare for All and universal childcare;

During his tenure, Mayor Pete demolished homes of many South Bend residents who were unable to afford repairs and drastically ramped up unfair fines;

Mayor Pete does not support boycotting for political reasons;

Mayor Pete has no plan to cap credit card interest rates or guarantee a job to everyone who needs one; and

Mayor Pete supports the increase of defense spending which is already 50% of the federal budget.

These gaps in Mayor Pete’s platform will fall particularly hard on LGBTQIA communities. Take housing as an example: 40 percent of homeless youth are LGBTQIA. Nearly one-third of trans people have experienced homelessness, and one in ten have been evicted from their home for being trans. This is only exacerbated by the fact that there is no federal law that consistently protects LGBTQIA individuals from housing discrimination. And while Mayor Pete, like the rest of the field, supports the Equality Act, this isn’t enough. Public housing remains in disrepair in the U.S., with billions in backlogged repairs due to decades of underinvestment, and the changes Pete proposes are grossly inadequate relative to the scale of the problem, and will not solve our housing crisis.

We need only look to Pete’s track record of tearing down hundreds of homes in Black and Latino neighborhoods in South Bend to show us that he is not committed to protecting our communities.
As LGBTQIA people our lives are layered and must have an intersectional framework in our analysis, organizing, and movement building. We know that: Education justice is LGBTQIA justice. Racial and economic justice are LGBTQIA justice. Decarceration is LGBTQIA justice. Immigrant and refugee justice is LGBTQIA justice. Health justice is LGBTQIA justice. Housing justice is LGBTQIA justice.

Demanding corporate accountability and for wealthy people to pay an equitable share of taxes is LGBTQIA justice.

During this critical election, it’s important that LGBTQIA people demand more from our leaders and from a candidate claiming to be in community with us. Leaders within our communities — especially Black trans women — have worked tirelessly over the past two decades to push LGBTQIA movements to value and fight for our full identities and experiences. We cannot afford to go backwards or accept the status quo.

It is for these reasons and more that a group of us have come together under the banner of #QueersAgainstPete. If you agree, we invite you to add your name to this letter and join our collective voice against Pete Buttigieg’s candidacy for president. We believe the LGBTQIA community deserves better than Pete.

Readers of this can sign on HERE.

This blog supports the efforts of Queers Against Pete.

 

We love a little song every once in awhile. Here is a great take off of The Preacher and the Slave. Adhamh Roland is one of our favorite writers and singers. This updated version of the old Wobblie song shows us once again of what it is we fight for and of course against. It is wonderful to share a time on the planet with such folks as Adhamh who says it like it should and must be said..

 

 

This work is a collage of ideas gleamed from many sources.

“If you’ve seen one Redwood, you’ve seen them all.” Ronald Reagan ( 1 )

Let’s make one thing clear right off the bat here, We love trees the more the merrier. we love trees firmly planted in the ground, the roots expanding, reaching out, the trunk growing towards the skies and the branches sheltering wildlife. We know one thing our planet needs all of the trees that it can get, start planting Bessy.

As we struggle to build a new world and fight like hell to save the planet, smashing traditions, toppling and transforming as we go we want to present an idea here that received sort of a funny response in some quarters.  But all of us know the old saying that one idea pushes another.  A very certain thing is that the way some things have always been done is not how they will be done forever. In fact the more of the old, the more of the unnecessary and unsavory baggage we get rid of the better off ourselves and the planet will be. So let’s start with this essay.

Making a buck on the death of trees.

This blog, its authors, and comrades are going to state right here, loud and clear so all can hear we are opposed to the cutting down of fir and pine trees to be used as Christmas trees decorating someone’s home from here to there all around the globe for a few weeks in December. Some facts:  It can take six years to grow a six-foot tree and about 1,000 trees can be grown per acre. A tree typically takes 6 to 8 years to grow (1 foot per year), so you’re tying up the land for quite awhile. That being said, at right around 1500 trees per acre, a 10 acre piece will yield you 15,000 (20 acres 30,000) trees. When the tree gets to the popular height it is cut down by saw or axe bundled up brought home and decorated. Let’s leave it living and breathing and doing its job on the planet. Think about all those trees. I will not only talk to them, but hug them too.

Mr. and Mrs. John E. Smith wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree.

I am not sure about this type of business. More making a buck on death. It seems that is what the amerikkkans are good for making a buck on death or if not directly then indirectly. Cultivating for slaughter and a frivolous tradition that has nothing really to do with that which folks celebrate. I recently had a clash about cutting down what is termed Christmas trees. I am of the mind that we need all the trees that we can get and for one group of people to grow trees just to kill for a few weeks pleasure seems to me to be rather anti-healthy planet. Let us plant trees and let them grow. I flatly refuse to argue that these Christmas trees are grown for that purpose to be cut down and used as decorations in pagan households, woops I mean Christian households, as that has no meaning to this discussion. I rebel against cutting down live trees and will use an artificial half tree, yes you read that right, as my space only fits such a thing, and I am once again in my old age feeling rather arty. There has to be somewhere for our many decorations gathered after 40 yrs. of togetherness. I am not nostalgic for those wonderful memories of Christmas past when all was right and we all traveled by horse and sleigh to grandma’s house, then tromping through the woods looking for the perfect tree cutting it down and triumphally dragging it home, lighting it with candles and hoping to god it doesn’t get dried out and burn the house down. Let’s let all the trees grow and end this practice.

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Hello to all

Important things have been happening in the background and a rumbling is heard. I am very proud to announce that Jerimarie Liesegang has finished her video documentary on Sylvia Rivera. The documentary Sylvia Rivera Was More Than Stonewall is one of the few possibly the only one that looks at the complete life of this Revolutionary Transgender Warrior. Twenty years ago I was honored to introduce Sylvia at the Ct. Stonewall Congress and to this day hold her dear in my heart. What fun myself, Regina Dyton, Tim, Paul and a few others had visiting with Sylvia and her family outside as we smoked and laughed and then laughed again. Sylvia indeed as a revolutionary Trans leader whose words ring true today. Sylvia who believed in a multi issue revolutionary movement where all of us were and are included. Sylvia who fought hard for her people in the Trans community and was thrown off the bus, and under the bus so many times.

We need more Sylvia’s in our movement today. If there were we all know the one issue or issues only of a LGBT nature would not exist. We would understand and see the connections with all other communities and not only act when it involves a LGBT person. We would understand fully that when the bombs drop on the people of Palestine it is our issue. We would know that when Democrat or Republican deports immigrants it is our issue. We would fully understand that when people all across this country can not afford medication that is needed, or a home to live in it is our issue. We would fight back when the least among us are hurting and become one with all. This I believe is what Sylvia Rivera would do as she proved over and over again this is what must be done. This was the inspiration that pushed us towards a new day before a wrong road was taken so many years ago. We must, let us repeat that we must move back to those days when we fully understood that we are here, there, and everywhere so there for all issues are our issues. It is the only way we will survive.

Anyway there I go again up on the soapbox but wanted to give just my little introduction to Jeri’s video.  Of course this type of work is best viewed on full screen for a full viewing pleasure. While you are over at the Ct. Trans Archive page check out all the work that Jeri has been doing lately as she posts and gets her archives in order to send down to CCSU.

My best to everyone
Richard Nelson

P.S A birdie told me a new Ct. movement documentary is now in the works. It’s good folks really good or so the birdie saw.

The documentary is found here:

Full Length (cradle to grave) documentary on Sylvia Rivera