Archive for the ‘Real Food For Thought’ Category

Charter Oak Cultural Center is proud to present an exhibition displaying the works of photographer Arienne Davey, “The Art of Protest.”

Join the artist for a complimentary wine and cheese reception from 6-8pm on September 28!

Arienne Davey has been creating photographs for a little over 25 years. She has shot from below sea level, snorkeling with sea lions in the Galapagos, to the ruins of Machu Picchu at almost 8,000 feet. She spent many hours photographing the various groups of protestors outside of the gates to the inauguration area during President Trump’s inauguration and then attended the Women’s March the next day as well as a “Not My President’s Day” protest in New York City in February. She believes that documenting these protests will be an important reminder for future generations that “the people united will never be defeated” (César Chávez).

The Art of Protest September 21–October 20, 2017
Artists Reception: Thursday, September 28, 2017
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
21 Charter Oak Avenue, Hartford, CT 00106
Tel: 860-310 2580 | JamesD@charteroakcenter.org |

Information on Facebook HERE.

Advertisements

From Freedom Socialist

August-September 2017 – Volume 38, No. 4
Re: Democratic Socialists of America
Can reform be the route to radical change?
Muffy Sunde
August 2017

In the U.S., positive feelings about socialism are busting out all over, and polls show this was true even before the Bernie Sanders campaign. Left organizations are experiencing a surge of interest, especially the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), which reports that its membership has more than doubled since Donald Trump’s election.
DSA is a multi-tendency “big tent” organization. On the Left, it is part of the social democratic current — socialists who view capitalism as capable of meaningful reform. DSA advocates for a society in which “everyone should be able to live a full and dignified life.” But is its orientation toward how change is made at odds with its beautiful vision?
The question is an important one, because real change is exactly what its new members want to create.

Left wing of the Democratic Party. DSA stands for the best of things: reproductive freedom, abolition of poverty, affordable and decent housing for all, universal Medicare, free education through college, a stop to all forms of discrimination, and an end to mass incarceration and military and police brutality. It calls itself socialist feminist.
But DSA believes its goals can be achieved by working through the Democratic Party— even though many new recruits cite disillusionment with the Democrats as their reason for joining the group.
DSA does not consider itself a political party, though it has run candidates in its own name and as Democrats. Its endorsements have gone mainly to Democrats, including presidential contenders Walter Mondale, John Kerry, Barack Obama, and Bernie Sanders.

It’s a pragmatic organization, one willing to endorse candidates who don’t align with its values but have a chance to win. It says upfront that it isn’t interested in running “protest candidates” with good principles but little chance to make a big showing.

But the Democrats represent the opposite of what DSA stands for. They have shown that they are not worthy of the hope that generations of young people, workers, and oppressed people have placed in them. They are funded and controlled by the very institutions that DSA fights, the big banks and top corporations. They are a dead end.

(more…)

We re-publish this essay first published in 2014 in tribute to the thousands murdered by the military of Chile backed and supported by the U.S government.

Venceremos, Victor Jara

A year ago a few of us in the Hartford area were quite upset when a LGBT organization was sponsoring an empowerment workshop with the CIA. This workshop was to be held on September 9, 2013 just 2 days before the anniversary of the CIA/USA sponsored coup in Chile. This caused some heated tempers all around and some very condescending attitudes from a few young gay people and their supporters in the organization towards those of us who opposed these workshops. (see link in notes) I wanted to tell my story then but decided to wait, ( as a facebook event page with a hostile audience and shifting allegiances was no place,) until the anniversary of the coup in Chile and the murder of not only the democratically elected president Salvador Allende but the murder of thousands of other Chileans including my lover’s sister and her husband. I looked though a box of slides as I knew that I had a slide of a painting I was working on when the coup happened. Here is the story and and just one of the many reasons why I was appalled that folks I considered to be friends and comrades would ever sit down and break bread with one of the most horrible vile organizations on the face of the planet the CIA.

New York City 1973

It was 1973 in New York City when I did this painting. We were working in our studio down on Lafayette Street when we heard the news. Salvator Allende the president of Chile was dead and a coup d’état backed by the U.S. Government and the CIA had taken place.

chile

Santiago Chile, 1973 Streets.

At this time I was working on a city street painting, you can still see parts of it peeping out from under the red. When we got the news I remember throwing the painting on the floor, pouring red paint and turning and turning the painting around. I smashed glass, cut my hair and all went on the surface of the painting. The red, the blood that ran in the streets. The blood that was shed in the stadium in the days following the coup. The blood of many. Thousands gone. My lover at that time was Miguel Carlos Gomez and he was from Santiago Chile. Miguel finally got word sometime after the coup that his sister and her husband were among the disappeared. Now it became very personal for us, it was not just some coup in another country a coup against our Socialist comrades but a direct hit against our family. His mother knew something was up when Catalina didn’t come to pick up the children after a sleepover at grandmas. She tried calling around but received no answer. The TV stations were off the air. Folks heard that that the military had stormed the university, the presidential palace was bombed, Allende was dead and a junta now replaced the president.  All that the people had hoped for was quickly vanishing. Night came and still no Catalina, no word from her husband Vincento.

How we cried. Our tears as we heard more and more turned to anger. Catalina and Vincento had spent the summer of the year before with us in New York.  Miguel wanted to go back to Chile and search for them but cooler heads among our circle prevailed and he stayed in the city. Everyday was more and more anguish as word came out of Chile about what was happening. Was my sister dropped into the ocean from an airplane? We had heard the rumors. Was she brought to the stadium along with her husband to meet certain death? Did she escape and go into hiding? Where is my sister? Deep down we knew, as Communists they were both dead but we didn’t want to believe it.  I will never forget those days and I will never forgive the government of Nixon, Kissinger the CIA and never will I cozy up to, support or break bread with the likes of the CIA or the people that hold empowerment workshops with them.

I have no idea what happened to the painting. It was included in a artist protest show against the CIA and the Coup in Chile in 1974. Miguel  and I broke up in 1975 and he was going to make his way home to his mother at least that is what he hoped to do. I left for the West Coast. Most of our things were given away and I think that the painting might have ended up in at my parents home among some items that I sent there for safe keeping while I traveled. Heavens only knows what became of the painting after they moved.  But someone knows I am sure what happened to Catalina, Vincento and thousands and thousands of others.

(more…)

Image result

Cuba Leads the Way in Hurricane Irma Preparedness

Cuba’s hurricane and tropical storm protection measures, compared to the limited financial resources available on the island, is second to none. As Hurricane Irma churns its destructive path over the Caribbean, Cuba’s storm preparation measures are operating at full throttle.
Speaking about the tropical weather system carrying winds up to 185 mph, and having caused 10 casualties and widespread property damage in the northeastern Caribbean, Cuba’s head of the National General Staff of Civil Defense Ramon Pardo stated that the storm’s trajectory is “threatening.” He added that the risk factors include heavy “winds, rain and waves that cause flooding,” according to Sputnik News.
Addressing a publicly televised meeting coordinated between the National Defense Council, the Revolutionary Armed Forces and the Ministry of the Interior, Pardo urged everybody to remain updated on information provided by the Institute of Meteorology and Civil Defense.
Public television also broadcast informational programs about hurricane preparedness, including how solar panels, irrigation machinery and construction materials are dismantled and warehoused in local schools.
The National Electrical Union televised warnings for people to turn off their electricity when Irma strikes to avoid being shocked by poles or wiring.
Cuba’s hurricane and tropical storm protection measures, compared to the limited financial resources available on the island, is second to none.
Marguerite Jimenez, senior associate for Cuba at Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas, told teleSUR that Cuba’s hurricane preparedness measures combine a comprehensive national and local emergency response plans, as well as education about disaster protection.
She emphasized that the Caribbean island’s response strategy is designed so that “everyone survives and that their response protects people of all socioeconomic classes no matter where you live. It means that poor people are not disproportionately affected,” by dangerous storms.
Jimenez also noted that Cuba’s rapid detection systems are coupled with “rapid mobilization through local community groups called the Communities for the Defense of the Revolution,” which have “existed in Cuba since the mid-60s.” This vital organ is very efficient at spreading information and responding to people’s needs.

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!

From LIBERATION

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.”

(more…)

and it is time that we as a people put an end to this foul and dirty rotten system.