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 January 20, 2020.
IRIS, the Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services, based in New Haven, will have their annual Run for Refugees on Sunday, February 2, gathering at Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven. IRIS helps refugees and asylum seekers build new lives in the United States. They depend on volunteers to sponsor families, provide basic services, or become “Cultural Companions” for new immigrants. More information on the race and volunteer opportunities is available at www.irisct.org
There are a number of organizations in our local communities working to support immigrant resettlement, housing, and education and, particularly, to protect immigrants who are facing deportation. In New Haven, Unidad Latina en Acción is a grassroots organization of immigrants defending labor, civil, and human rights. They have worked with a number of immigrants who have gone into sanctuary rather than face deportation. Their website is at ulanewhaven.org. They have opportunities for volunteers to accompany immigrants to court dates or to be part of their rapid response network.
On Long Island, Neighbors in Support of Immigrants, or NISI, works with immigrants in many ways. Their website has further listings of faith groups and others working to protect immigrants at supportimmigrants.blogspot.com; you can also search for the group on Facebook. Organization Latina Americana, a culture, arts, education, and advocacy group can be found at www.olaofeasternlongisland.org. The group Progressive East End Reformers (PEER) helps immigrants and “Dreamers” and is involved in other issues as well such as advocating for social, racial, environmental, and economic justice for all through electoral politics and activist, issue-oriented engagements. They can be found by searching for PEER/NYPAN on Facebook.
Nationally, the New Sanctuary Movement is forming local chapters of faith groups and their supporters who provide sanctuary to immigrants who are facing imminent deportation. Their website includes a detailed “Rapid Response Toolkit” and a pledge that individuals can sign to commit themselves or their faith organizations to support the sanctuary movement. Their website is at www.sanctuarynotdeportation.org
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.
With reproductive rights being curtailed around the country, the group NARAL continues to lead the fight to protect reproductive rights. More information is at prochoiceamerica.org or, in Connecticut, at prochoicect.org. The group Planned Parenthood is under constant attack everywhere from the halls of Congress to the streets of the many towns and cities where it provides health services. Opportunities for volunteering and action can be found by going to plannedparenthood.org and searching for the location nearest you. The New Haven office hosts a volunteer night every third Wednesday at their Whitney Avenue location, beginning at 5:30. Look for Planned Parenthood of Southern New England on Facebook.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is on the forefront in the fight for refugee rights, particularly, the ongoing battle over the horrific act of jailing immigrant children who have been separated from their families at the United States border. The ACLU is also involved in a wide array of other battles where constitutional rights are at stake, both nationally and locally. It helps local groups publicize their efforts through the website peoplepower.org. Since its creation, the site has helped to facilitate over 12,700 events nationwide. Their Smart Justice campaign hopes “to reduce the U.S. jail and prison population by 50% and to combat racial disparities in the criminal justice system.” This effort can be accessed by going to aclu.org and following the links on the front page.
United Illuminating continues to aggressively remove healthy trees throughout the state. UI and other utilities argue that they are protecting power lines in the event of storms. Citizens should know that they have rights to protect trees on their property and in their neighborhood and region. To find out more about the regulations and resources available, check out the Garden Club of New Haven’s website by going to www.gardenclubofnewhaven.org and click on “Trees and Power.”
Go New Haven Go is working for climate protection through individual action. Their “Back to Cool” campaign encourages commuters to cut their personal carbon emissions by leaving their cars at home on Fridays and biking, walking, or taking public transportation to school or work. Their website is at gonhgo.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, to email@example.com. This week’s calendar was produced by Valerie and Rod Richardson.