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WPKN White Rose Political Calendar – March 23, 2015

Welcome to this week’s edition of the White Rose Political Calendar. The calendar takes its name from the White Rose, a resistance group in Nazi Germany that worked to educate and organize opposition to the horrifying agenda of the Third Reich. In the spirit of the White Rose, WPKN offers its weekly Political Calendar in order to give voice to the struggles for political, social, economic and environmental justice. Here are some of the listings for the week of March 23 2015.

The American Studies Program at Fairfield University will hold its third annual conference on “Race, Protest, and American Culture” on Saturday, March 28, noon to 6:30 p.m. The keynote speaker is Nicholas G. Meriwether, the archivist of the Grateful Dead Archive. More information and registration is available at tinyurl.com/raceprotestculture

The state budget proposed by Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy makes drastic cuts to education budgets as well as social services for children and the neediest residents of the state. Also deeply affected is funding for the state’s environmental programs and state parks. The Connecticut Fund for the Environment invites concerned citizens to sign up at ctenvironment.org for updates about hearings as well as suggestions for contacting elected officials. Details about specific cuts to the budget for the environment are at tinyurl.com/envionmentalcuts

The Connecticut Fund for the Environment is also calling attention to a full week of action on environmental bills before the Connecticut legislature. For information about public meetings and opportunities to contact local legislative representatives, go to tinyurl.com/ctlegislature

The group Promoting Enduring Peace will have its annual meeting on Tuesday, April 14, at 6:00 p.m., at the New Haven Free Public Library. The meeting will review the past year and make plans for the year to come. More information can be had at by e-mailing office@pepeace.com

Our planet Earth will be celebrated at the Connecticut Sierra Club’s Third Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival, Saturday, April 11, 7:00 to 9:30 PM, at the Torp Theater at Central Connecticut State University. Eleven films will be shown with themes ranging from fracking to kayaking. Reservations can be made by going to tinyurl.com/wildandscenicfilms

The Women’s Studies program at Southern Connecticut State University is commemorating the time between the anniversaries of the January assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and the April assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. as “Sixty-Four Days of Nonviolence.” This period includes International Women’s History Month in March. A list of activities can be found at tinyurl.com/64daysofnonviolence

Activists are using the fiftieth anniversary of the Selma to Birmingham march, and the subsequent Voting Rights Act of 1965, to remind the American public that citizens in many areas of the United States are increasingly being disenfranchised. A bill recently introduced in the United States Congress would restore the ability of a federal court to review voting laws in a jurisdiction that shows a pattern of discrimination. More information about this bill, which is currently before the House Judiciary Committee, is at tinyurl.com/votingrights2015.

An additional effort is underway to create a new nationwide constitutional amendment to tighten loopholes that have weakened the fifteenth amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Citizens are encouraged to sign up as co-sponsors at protectyourvotingrights.com

The group Promoting Enduring Peace is helping to organize a conference and large peace rally in April in New York City to coincide with a United Nations gathering to review the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. On Friday and Saturday, April 24 and 25, there will be an international conference to call for a nuclear-free world. On Sunday, April 26, a rally and march are being organized. The organizers’ specific goals for these actions are available at www.peaceandplanet.org

ArtSpace in New Haven is currently hosting Vertical Reach, an exhibition that focuses on the intersections of art, activism and protest—bringing together socially engaged works by collectives and individuals from Russia, Poland, Ukraine, and the USA. Associated programming includes films, book discussions, and a conference. More information is at artspacenh.org.

350CT will be organizing a large climate march on May 31 in Hartford to coincide with the Hartford Earth Festival. Organizing and brainstorming sessions will be ongoing in advance of the May event. 350 CT is also planning several informational sessions about the dangers of building pipelines in Connecticut. The best way to stay informed about these many upcoming events is to join the announcement list by going to 350ct.org and clicking on “Sign up” in the banner at the top of the page.

Connecticut utility companies have announced that they will be continuing to cut trees that have the potential to fall and disrupt electrical service. Their current policy, which is opposed by many community and environmental groups, would fell an entire tree if any part of that tree is within eight feet of a power line. The state of Connecticut has passed legislation that allows individual home owners to protect trees on their property. More information about these protections and actions that can be found at www.gardenclubofnewhaven.org/actions-you-can-take.html or by going to “Save Hamden Trees” on Facebook.

To list your group’s local, regional or national events, send announcements, one week in advance when possible, to the White Rose Political Calendar, at valrichardson@wpkn.org. This week’s calendar was produced by Valerie and Rod Richardson.