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Past Events 2018:
Friday, April 20, 4:00 pm, Townsend Park, (intersection of Henry Johnson & Central Ave), Albany, NY. End US Support for Israeli War Crimes in Gaza! For weeks, protesters in Gaza have held demonstrations as part of the March of Return, demanding their right to return to their homes and lands they were expelled from in 1967 and 1948, as guaranteed under international law. The Israeli military has met protesters with overt violence and clear disregard for human life, killing over 30 so far including children, and injuring hundreds with live ammunition. We condemn Israel's blockade of Gaza and the U.S. for vetoing a recent security council resolution calling for an investigation of Israeli violence in Gaza. We support the rights of all refugees to return to their homes and we urge our representatives to condemn Israeli aggression against Palestinians and the occupation of Palestinian lands. End US support for Israeli war crimes. The Palestinian Rights Committee along with the Albany Chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace, Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace and the Palestinian Youth Movement are hosting a vigil to call for an end to US support of Israeli war crimes in Gaza. Please bring relevant signs.Please RSVP on and share the Facebook event.
Friday, April 20, 7:00 pm, Oakwood Community Center, 313 10th St., Troy, NY. The James Connolly Forum: Yasha Levine, Author of Surveillance Valley, will give a talk. Yasha Levine traces the history of the Internet back to its beginnings as a Vietnam-era tool for spying on guerrilla fighters and antiwar protesters–a military computer networking project that ultimately envisioned the creation of a global system of surveillance and prediction. Levine shows how the same military objectives that drove the development of early Internet technology are still at the heart of Silicon Valley today. Spies, counterinsurgency campaigns, hippie entrepreneurs, privacy apps funded by the CIA. From the 1960s to the 2010s — this revelatory and sweeping story will make you reconsider what you know about the most powerful, ubiquitous tool ever created. Co-sponsored by Albany Democratic Socialists of America, Upper Hudson Green Party, The Solidarity Committee of the Capital District, Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace. Located Exit 9E off 787 Collar City Bridge for Rte 7: on left at 2nd light between 9th and 10th Sts. Parking on left on 9th St., Old Fire station building parking lot left on 10th Use the door facing Hoosick St., Donation of $5 requested, $2 unemployed and students more information: 518 407 3582
Film Festival: "The World is My Country"
Wednesday, April 11, 7:00-9:00 pm, First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany, 405 Washington Ave, Albany, New York. U.S.-Cuba Relations: A New Path. Miguel Fraga was appointed First Secretary in June 2015 to the then Cuban Interests Section. From 2008 to 2011, he served at the Cuban Embassy in Canada. Since 2006 he has worked in the Ministry of Foreign affairs in both the North American and U.S. divisions and the office of the Minister. From 2003 to 2008, Fraga was a member of the People’s Power Provincial Assembly of the city of Havana which is the provincial parliament in Havana. He graduated with a master’s of science in foreign relations from the Higher Institute of Foreign Relations “Raúl Roa García” in 2005 and from the University of Havana, Faculty of Law in 2003. In his role as first secretary, Fraga has made many visits to universities and communities throughout the United States to engage in education and outreach. As the Cubans choose a new leader later in April, there certainly couldn't be a better time to hear from a Cuban representative on the future of Cuba's relations with the US. This event is free and open to the public. Sponsored by Albany-Cuba Solidarity. Co-sponsored by Bethlemhem Neighbors for Peace. Facebook
Thursday, April 5, 7:00 - 9:00 pm, Bethlehem Public Library, 451 Delaware Avenue, Delmar, NY. Gun Violence in America- Discussion and Film: "The Yes Men #WeCallBS on Racist Murderous NRA". We will watch "The Yes Men #WeCallBS on Racist, murderous NRA" (21 minutes, 2017). This film uses humor to reveal the NRA agenda. "In the wake of the Parkland shooting and the inspiring activism of teen survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the National Rifle Association and its Republican partners are facing intense scrutiny for their critical role in the rise of mass shootings and of homicides overall in America.....The film communicates how the NRA and the Republican Party, tapping into deep racist fear for their power and profit, have turned America into the most violent high-income country in the world by a truly immense margin, both overall and specifically. (We have 7 times the homicide rate, and 25 times the rate of gun deaths, of the average high-income country—mainly thanks to Republicans and the NRA.)" ~ Yes Men website.
Following the film, we will have a panel discussion on gun violence in America. We hope to have several students from the Bethlehem Central High School, talk with us about their concerns. We will also have a peace activist give a perspective on the connection between wars abroad and violence at home. In addition, we will discuss some possible next steps to support the March for Our Lives movement. (March For Our Lives, Albany, will be holding a rally in West Capital Park, Albany, on March 24 at 10 am.) Sponsored by Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace. Information: 518-466-1192.
Friday, March 30, 7:00 pm, Oakwood Community Center, 313 1th St, Troy, NY. The James Connolly Forum presents "A Strategy for Decline: The Political Economy of the Trump Years", a talk by Doug Henwood. Doug Henwood published the Left Business Observer, a newsletter on economics and politics, from 1968–2013. He continues that work on a blog, lbo-news.com." He also hosts “Behind the News,”a weekly radio show covering economics and politics on KPFA, Berkeley, that is rebroadcast on several other stations across the U.S., and has a worldwide audience via its Internet archive.He is the author of “Wall Street, How it Works and For Whom.”His writing has also appeared in The Nation, Harper's Magazine, Grand Street, Village Voice, Newsday, the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, and Extra!. He is a contributor editor at The Nation. He has been quoted or cited in a range of media including The Asia Times, The New York Times, and The Times of London. Located Exit 9E off 787 Collar City Bridge for Rte 7: on left at 2nd light between 9th and 10th Sts. Parking on left on 9th St., Old Fire station building parking lot left on 10th Use the door facing Hoosick St. Donation of $5 requested, $2 unemployed and students. co-sponsored by Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace. More information: 518 407 3582
Palestinian resistance speakers and Film
Tuesday, March 20, 7:00 pm
First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany
405 Washington Avenue (across the street from the downtown SUNY campus)
In 2002, the International Solidarity Movement grabbed world attention by bringing volunteers from around the world to defend Palestine through nonviolent resistance. They stayed with resistance fighters in the Nativity Church in Bethlehem. They brought medical supplies to the besieged Palestinians in the ancient Nablus Casbah. They documented and filmed the destruction and mass killing of Palestinians in the Jenin refugee camp. In 2002 and 2003, thousands participated at their own expense. One was Rachel Corrie, who was killed trying to prevent demolition of a home in Gaza. Another was Tom Hurndall, killed by a shot to the head. ISM has operated continuously since then, serving at the request of the Palestinian community through participation in Palestinian nonviolent resistance. In 2009, 2012 and 2014, ISM volunteers were with the Palestinian people in Gaza, reporting the Israeli invasion and helping in the hospitals, clinics and schools that were attacked even as they served the refugees. The presentation will include a screening of an abridged version of The presentation will include a screening of an abridged version of Radiance of Resistance, a film produced by three ISM volunteers serving in Nabi Salih and featuring Ahed Tamimi and her cousin, Janna Ayyad. Sponsored by: Albany Palestinian Rights Committee, Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace and Jewish Voice for Peace.Radiance of Resistance, a film produced by three ISM volunteers serving in Nabi Salih and featuring Ahed Tamimi and her cousin, Janna Ayyad. Sponsored by: Albany Palestinian Rights Committee, Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace and Jewish Voice for Peace. For more information: 518-281-1968 Admission is free, and free refreshments will be provided. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Thursday, March 1, 7:00 - 9:00 pm, Bethlehem Public Library, 451 Delaware Avenue, Delmar, NY. Film: Water & Power: A California Heist. (2017, 1hr 18 minutes) Directed by Marina Zenovich this documentary shows how privatization of water rights is making one of our most basic necessities, unavailable to local residents. In California's complex water system, a handful of corporate land owners took advantage of a state-engineered system and gained control of the state's most precious public resource, while drought left local homeowners with dry wells. New York Times Review . " Fed-up residents tell of contaminated drinking water or no water at all; but only when the movie turns from small-town specifics to the uncertain future of our global water markets does the real chill set in." Sponsored by Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace. Information: 518-466-1192.
Thursday, February 15, 7:00- 9:00 pm, Oakwood Community Center, 313 10th St., Troy, NY. The James Connolly forum presents a talk by Alex S. Vitale, "The End of Policing". The fact that violent crackdowns on protesters, rough treatment for criminal suspects, and brutal mistreatment of immigrants are seen as simply prerogatives of the police is indicative of “a fundamental crisis in police legitimacy,” writes sociologist Alex Vitale in his forthcoming book, The End of Policing (Verso, 2017). While the police tend to argue that such behavior is necessary to keep people safe and society in order, the leniency we have seen being offered to armed white nationalists this summer suggests that violence is not meted out equally. Co Sponsored by: The Hampton Institute, Albany Democratic Socialists of America, Capital District Socialist Party,Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace, Upper Hudson Green Party. Located Exit 9E off 787 Collar City Bridge for Rte 7: on left at 2nd light between 9th and 10th Sts.Parking on left on 9th St., Old Fire station building parking lot left on 10th Use the door facing Hoosick St.Donation of $5 requested, $2 unemployed and students more information: 518 407 3582
Film: "Awake, A Dream from Standing Rock"
Saturday, February 17, 7:30 pm
First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany
405 Washington Avenue (across the street from the downtown SUNY campus)
The Solidarity Committee of the Capital District continues its film series with the screening of "Awake, A Dream from Standing Rock" (2017, 88 minutes). In 2016-2017, the Water Protectors at Standing Rock captured world attention through their peaceful resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline. This powerful documentary captures the story of the heroic Native-led defiance that dramatically changed the fight for clean water, the environment, and the future of the planet. Crafted as a labor of love, the film is a collaborative effort between indigenous filmmakers and better-known Oscar nominees. One of the filmmakers explained: “What began in North Dakota has become a worldwide rallying cry for resistance to corporate power and its relentless drive for profit at the expense of human needs, rights, and dignity.” Co-sponsored by Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace, the Social Justice Center, and Upper Hudson Peace Action, the film screening will take place in Channing Hall of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany, located at 405 Washington Avenue (across the street from the downtown SUNY campus). Admission is free, and free refreshments will be provided. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Thursday, February 1, 7:00 - 9:00 pm, Bethlehem Public Library, 451 Delaware Avenue, Delmar, NY. Presentation by Melinda Lawson and Kenneth Aslakson titled, The Lost Cause of "The Lost Cause": Unpacking the Controversy Surrounding Confederate Monument Removal. Over the past few years, cities across the south have fiercely debated the fate of prominently located monuments to Confederate leaders. The recent deadly riots in Charlottesville are but one example of the extent to which this issue has stirred heated and at times violent controversy. Does removing these statues erase history? Does leaving them up endorse white supremacy? In this talk, we weigh the importance of the statues, consider the issue in historical context, and discuss a variety of proposals for change. Melinda Lawson and Kenneth Aslakson are both professors in the History Department at Union College. Sponsored by Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace. Information: 518-466-1192.
Pepe Rossy: Talk on Puerto Rico, After the Hurricanes
Friday, January 19
7:00 - 8:45 pm
Bethlehem Public Library
451 Delaware Ave., Delmar, NY
Peppy Rossy wil give a talk on Puerto Rico’s situation following hurricanes Irma and Maria. Pepe has been working with others on a hurricane recovery initiative specifically focused on Vieques, PR. Vieques, and its sister island Culebra (both the target of bombing by the military, as well as other NATO members for many decades), were the most affected Puerto Rican municipalities, by Hurricane Irma on Oct. 6, the first Category 5 hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in the past century. Hurricane Irma caused much damage to the infrastructure of Vieques, particularly to its electric grid, and damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes. Then exactly 2 weeks later, on Oct. 20, Hurricane María, the most devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico’s history, hit Vieques again. Today, three months after Hurricane Irma, except for the lucky few with electric generators, practically everyone in Vieques remains without electricity (not expected until 2018), there is no landline or cell phone communications, water supply is intermittent and unreliable, most workers have been laid off, gas and food is hard to get and expensive, the hospital is not fully operational, and schools are closed. While electricity and other services has been restored to other municipalities, as a recent Washington Post article summed it up: “Vieques remains isolated, dark and silent.” Information: 518-466-1192