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News & Public Affairs

WPKN White Rose Political Calendar – December 11, 2017

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 December 11, 2017.


WPKN’s White Rose Political Calendar has served as a clearing-house for political action for over two decades. In this new and quickly changing political world, the calendar will continue to give voice to those who are taking action to protect our basic rights to a clean planet, good health, and respect for people of all cultures and ethnicities. The weekly calendar is always available at wpkn.org/whiterose. Notices about upcoming actions can be sent to valrichardson@wpkn.org.


With the fifth anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting approaching this Thursday, December 14, commemorative events are being held nationwide. The organization Sandy Hook Promise is one of many groups working to make sure these sorts of horrific events never happen again. The Sandy Hook promise is “I promise to do all I can to protect children from gun violence by encouraging and supporting solutions that create safer, healthier homes, schools and communities.” Their website is at sandyhookpromise.org.


Also on Thursday, the FCC will vote whether to strike down net neutrality. A decision to drop this provision will create tiers of internet access, with corporate and wealthy interests enjoying faster speeds and less advantaged entitites, including WPKN, having more limited access. The Center for Media Justice is one of the groups fighting to maintain net neutrality and equal access for everyone. Their website is at centerformediajustice.org


During the frenzy of holiday gift-buying, it is sometimes easy to overlook the ethical backgrounds of the retail companies from whom one is purchasing presents. A number of groups compile lists of fair trade, eco-friendly, and sustainable brands. At www.fairtuesday.com, there is a list of 150 companies selling everything from food to clothing. Donegood.co provides categories of companies that empower workers and support diversity. Another list of such companies is at ecocult.com, while grabyourwallet.com lists companies that might be avoided due to affiliation with the Trump brand.


The Planned Parenthood Action Network advocates for women’s rights to quality healthcare, birth-control, and the right to control their own pregnancies. All of these fundamental rights are under attack by Congress and the current White House administration. The U.S. House of Representatives passed an abortion ban in October that limits abortions after 20 weeks, with the legislation due to go before the Senate soon. The current issues of concern can be seen at www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/issues


Connecticut’s Integrated Refugee and Immigration Services, or IRIS, is calling on concerned citizens to call their U.S. Senators and Congress members and ask for an expanded number of international refugees to be allowed into the United States in the new fiscal year. With the Trump administration issuing new restrictions, this is the lowest number in U.S. history. The goal of IRIS is to see the United States allow at least 75,000 refugees in 2018. Their website is at www.irisct.org, and more information about the recent restrictions can be found under the news section.


The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has moved “people power” into action. Their new website at peoplepower.org allows groups throughout the United States to publicize their local activities. These actions address issues ranging from voting rights to immigration rights to the protection of civil liberties that is at the core of the ACLU mission.


The Union of Concerned Scientists seeks to stand up for the importance of fact-based, peer-reviewed research in maintaining a healthy planet and safer world. They have a regular newsletter and an ongoing activist network to lobby congress and the administration, with more information at www.ucsusa.org.


The Southern Poverty Law Center, or SPLC, tracks hate crimes in the United States. With many groups having become emboldened during the Trump regime, such as was seen in the attacks earlier this year in Charlottesville, the SPLC has provided tools to counter such hatred. Their website, at www.splcenter.org, features a ten-step guide to protect oppressed groups and promote healthy communities. The SPLC has also recently published a guide to fight hate speech on campuses.


Amnesty International USA continues to keep working to stop discriminatory immigration bans and other U.S. actions that are endangering basic human rights. Their website is at www.amnestyusa.org. Amnesty International also works on a range of other issues within the United States including abolishing the death penalty, ending gun violence, and protecting the rights of the gay and transgender community.


While Amnesty International fights for human rights abroad, the group Moral Monday Connecticut pushes for equal rights and social and economic justice in the state of Connecticut. Moral Monday is a movement started in North Carolina after their governor and state legislature introduced draconian cuts to education and essential social services. Moral Monday Connecticut can be found online at moralmondayct.org.


New Haven’s Bioregional Group “Connects New Haveners to their life-place,” organizing numerous environmentally-focused activities themselves and promoting activities of like-minded organizations in the region. Their website is newhavenbioregionalgroup.org.


Many of WPKN’s public affairs, community programs, and cultural programs are available by podcast. WPKN has a talented and passionate pool of programmers who are deeply curious about the world around them. Their interviews are lively, timely, and a perfect companion for your morning run or afternoon car trip. You can find out more information by going to wpkn.org and clicking on the podcast link. More than ever, community radio stations like WPKN will be essential to provide an outlet for alternative political and cultural points of view.


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.