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WPKN White Rose Political Calendar – November 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 November 23, 2015.

With so many doors closing in the face of Syrian refugees, the State of Connecticut has countered that tide by rolling out the welcome mat. Last week, Governor Dannel Malloy welcomed a Syrian family to Connecticut after they had been barred access in Indiana. However, an anti-refugee group is planning to speak out at rally that has been planned at the State Capital in Hartford at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 28. Pro-refugee supporters are urged to come out to counter this demonstration and to show that those who support tolerance and love are greater in force than those who are preaching hatred and exclusion. Refugee supporters will be gathering on the north side of the capital building and are encouraged to bring signs along with their open minds.

The co-operatively owned outdoor company REI has announced its “Optoutside campaign,” declaring that the company will be closing its stores on Black Friday, giving its employees a vacation day, and encouraging them to spend the day outside. With many stores now starting the Black Friday shopping day on Thanksgiving itself, forcing their employees to work on this holiday, other companies such as REI are declaring that the shopping madness has gone too far. A parallel movement, “Small Business Saturday,” encourages consumers to shop at mom and pop stores rather than big-box stores on the Saturday following Thanksgiving. More information is available at optoutside.rei.com or on Facebook by searching for “Shop Small.”

The project “Letters to the Future” encourages those who are concerned about the effects of climate change to write letters to future generations. In advance of the December Climate talks in Paris, people are writing letters of hope…or apology…to the future inhabitants of the earth to let them know that many people did support the effort to curb global warming. To read these letters, written both by ordinary citizens and prominent activists such as Bill McKibben, go to letterstothefuture.org. Once there, anyone can add a letter of his or her own.

Long Island’s 2015 Human Rights Day Labor-Faith Prayer Brunch will take place on Thursday, December 10, from 10 a.m. until noon. The event is happening at the headquarters for IBEW Local 25 in Hauppauge. This year’s theme is “Fighting for a Dream: Honoring Undocumented Children and Those Who Serve Them,” and the honorees will be Patrick Young, Program Director at the Central American Refugee Center and Jackeline Saavedra, Staff Attorney at Empire Justice Center. The keynote speaker will be the Rev. Richard Ryscavage, Director of Fairfield University’s Center for the Study of Faith and Public Life. More information and registration are available at Long Island Jobs with Justice website: longislandjwj.org.

The Connecticut Fund for the Environment or CFE notes that aggressive tree trimming is continuing in many communities this autumn. The state’s utility companies are removing trees that have the potential to fall and disrupt electrical service during storms. The utility companies’ current policy would fell an entire tree if any part of that tree is within eight feet of a power line. More information is at ctenvironment.org via the “Utility Tree Removal” link under the “Lands and Communities” tab, which leads to an interactive map showing communities at risk and a list of tree wardens in each town. CFE also asks that you send photos and videos showing areas of tree removal or tree removal activities in process to zzambrello@savethesound.org.

A source of information about ongoing peace and justice efforts both in Connecticut and throughout the world is the organization Promoting Enduring Peace. Their website is at pepeace.org, and their source to disseminate news about a wide range of issues and actions is at peacenews.org.

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.

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