December 31, 2020
December 24, 2020
Activist Radio has the following guest on this week:
GUEST: Dorothy Miller Zellner, former coeditor of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee’s newsletter, SNCC's former media relations person, and coeditor of "Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women in SNCC" talks about the Black liberation movement today and its connection to the campaign to free the Palestinian people.
Activist Radio is broadcast: Thursdays 5-6 pm from WVKR 91.3 FM at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY; Sundays 4-5 pm from WIOF 104.1 FM in Woodstock, NY; and Sundays 5-6 pm from the Progressive Radio Network at PRN.FM. It will also be posted on the ClassWars website for the next ten weeks. Simply click on the date to hear it.
December 22, 2020
Poughkeepsie Community Speaks Out About PBA Statements
As many of you are aware, on December 7th and 8th the City of Poughkeepsie PBA directed statements at residents, stakeholders, and a long standing local benevolent organization, ENJAN (End the New Jim Crow Action Network), saying that the people who are publicly speaking out in favor of the police reform and reinvention ordered by Gov. Cuomo are “outsiders” and “non-stakeholders” who have not contributed to their community and are trying to "pull this city apart." Local activists felt these statements fell between mischaracterizations and outright falsities, and some residents of color felt these statements were "a red flag signaling a desire to preserve the status quo and protect white supremacy.” As one African American resident commented, "It’s the same narrative we’ve been subject to our entire lives, one that tells us we’re no good and that our voices don’t matter."
The PBA's statements and their coverage by local press also reflected a historically unbalanced power dynamic, and in an attempt to give voice to the community's concerns, eleven residents, stakeholders, and city elders gave statements regarding the current state of affairs.
These statements were read and filmed, and the video will go live at noon today, Monday, Dec. 21. (* Note: The video went live at noon today.)
The statements can also be read here.
Since these statements were recorded, members of ENJAN have met with the police chief, Thomas Pape, to have a discussion moderated by Common Councilmember Sarah Brannen. PBA representatives declined to attend this meeting with city residents who they've said are non-stakeholders.
I hope you'll all listen to these all too often silenced voices and take their concerns to heart.
Equitable Future, Inc.
December 18, 2020
A group of us created ENJAN a decade ago after being inspired by a book read of Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow. Since then, there has not been another book with the same power to inspire a new way of thinking about the plight of Blacks and other minorities in America.
Caste: But now there may be such a book: Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson, published earlier this year. Wilkerson defines caste as "the granting or withholding of respect, status, honor, attention, privileges, resources, benefit of the doubt, and human kindness to someone on the basis of their perceived rank or standing in the hierarchy." The caste viewpoint confirms everything already known about racism, but expands the vision dramatically. If a person or institution is considered racist, one can imagine -- at least in principle -- that that person's or institution's racism can be rooted out. Not so with caste. Caste is not a property of particular individuals and particular institutions. Caste is an intrinsic property of the American social structure, as well as that of India, and, according to Wilkerson, of Nazi Germany. Racism can be thought of as a localized phenomenon, and therefore more manageable. Caste is a property of our society, and therefore much more intractable.
Book study circle: A few of us from Race Unity Circle (RUC), Dutchess County Interfaith Council, and ENJAN are organizing an 8-session study circle on Isabel Wilkerson's book Caste. The study circle will be held in cyberspace every other Sunday, from 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM, beginning January 3. Attendance is limited to 30 people. If more than 30 people sign up, a separate study group may be organized. As is traditional in RUC, an attempt will be made to ensure a diverse group.
You can register for the Caste book study circle here.
December 14, 2020
December 10, 2020
Shannon sent the following:
Please check out the links below to see the coverage from yesterday’s Decarcerate the HV launch. Also attached is the Justice Roadmap and the NYCLU one-pager on some of the priority bills.
Please post these amazing pieces & share with or tag state electeds in your region! Tagging the electeds with news coverage and op-eds in their districts will be a really powerful way to let them know we are coming in 2021!
December 7, 2020
The final webinar in the Black Alliance for Peace (BAP)’s Black Power Educational Series will address human rights. December 10 is globally recognized as International Human Rights Day to commemorate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) promulgated in 1948
HOW TO WATCH
Join the Black Alliance for Peace at 7 p.m., EST, Thursday, December 10 to delve deeper into the history and practice of the PCHRs as well as the relevance of the PCHRs for framing the ideological challenge to the ongoing and deepening neoliberal capitalist crisis.
Register at https://bit.ly/PCHR1210
December 3, 2020
Join us as we launch Decarcerate the Hudson Valley, a new coalition to fight for a world without cages where all of our communities have what they need to thrive.
We are a coalition of community-based organizations, formerly incarcerated and directly impacted people, organizers and advocates in Westchester and the Hudson Valley who envision a world without cages. We work together to dismantle systems of criminalization and incarceration locally and across New York State with the understanding that they are built on white supremacy, target Black and brown communities and criminalize poverty. We fight to create alternatives that advance justice and liberation for all and build a world where all of our communities have what they need to thrive.
Wednesday, December 9th @ 11AM
Please meet at 10:30 AM to prep first.
In person (Wear a mask and practice physical-distancing. We will have extra masks on-site).
Westchester: Sing Sing prison (State Street & South Street, Ossining)
Orange: Orange County jail (255 Main Street, Goshen)
Albany: Governor's Mansion (138 Eagle Street, Albany)
Contact: Luke 917-702-8781 or Luke@vocal-ny.org
Join the launch on Zoom