Thursday, June 19, 2014

BOOK TALK with Dr. Gerald Horne



Race to Revolution: The U.S. and Cuba during Slavery and Jim Crow

Friday, July 25 at 7 pm 
 New Haven Peoples Center 37 Howe Street

The histories of Cuba and the United States are tightly intertwined and have been for at least two centuries. In Race to Revolution, historian Gerald Horne examines a critical relationship between the two countries by tracing out the interconnections among slavery, Jim Crow, and revolution. Slavery was central to the economic and political trajectories of Cuba and the United States, both in terms of each nation’s internal political and economic development and in the interactions between the small Caribbean island and the Colossus of the North.

Horne draws a direct link between the black experiences in two very different countries and follows that connection through changing periods of resistance and revolutionary upheaval. Black Cubans were crucial to Cuba’s initial independence, and the relative freedom they achieved helped bring down Jim Crow in the United States, reinforcing radical politics within the black communities of both nations. This in turn helped to create the conditions that gave rise to the Cuban Revolution which, in 1959, shook the United States to its core.

Presented as a project of People's World Friday Night Film & Discussion Series Information: ct-pww@pobox.com

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Immigrants' Rights are Workers Rights!
United to Win an Economy for the 99%

Celebrate International Workers Day
Sunday, May 5th at 4 pm, 37 Howe St New Haven

March on Wed May 1st
at 5 pm on the New Haven Green. Celebrate on Sun May 5th at the People's World annual rally with a video of the march, May Day Around the World, and a panel of leaders in immigrant worker organizing, jobs pipeline, organizing for environmentally sustainable peacetime jobs in Connecticut, and labor-community neighborhood organizing.  
Panelists include John Harrity, director, Grow Jobs Connecticut; Scott Marks, New Haven Rising; Mary Reynolds, director of New Haven Works, and John Jairo Lugo, Unidad Latina en Accion.

Music performances, a home made buffet and a raffle will round out the family day. Tickets are $5 or what you can afford.
e-mail: ct-pww@pobox.com or call 203-624-8664.  Contributions to the People's World fund drive will be accepted.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The New Haven Peoples Center 75th birthday was a beautiful occasion, the coming together of a wide array of those who care about community and social justice including elected officials, labor and community leaders and grass roots folks of all ages and backgrounds. It was a wonderful day!

Appreciation and congratulations to everyone who contributed and participated in any way as we celebrated what has come before and were inspired to continue the organizing and coalition building of today for a better world for everyone.

Enjoy the group photo (below) of those who were present at that time. Thank you to the courageous veterans who issued a letter (attached) in support of funding to restore the bricks and mortar of this remarkable resource for our state and nation.

--  Peoples Center 75th Anniversary Committee

 (Photo: Chris Randall http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152046051655015.890348.527850014&type=1)

 
NEW HAVEN PEOPLES CENTER
37 HOWE STREET, NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT 06511 

 
MEDIA RELEASE
August 25, 2012
Information: 203- 387-0370

Veterans Support Funding for New Haven Peoples Center

A group of veterans called on Governor Dannell P. Malloy today to restore the request for funding for restoration of 37 Howe Street, site of the New Haven Peoples Center. 
 
The Governor removed the item from the state bonding budget after an opposition group from outside New Haven, citing their veteran status, protested the proposed funding on the grounds that Communists are part of the building. The bonding request would restore brick work on the 1851 Italianate structure which is a site on the Connecticut Freedom Trail.

The announcement was made as the New Haven Peoples Center celebrated its 75th anniversary with a family backyard cookout and cultural event including music and children's crafts. After supporters crowded on the front lawn for a group photograph, messages of solidarity and support were delivered by elected officials, labor leaders and community activists.

Public support for the Peoples Center, an all-volunteer non profit institution, has continued to increase on the basis of the activities it hosts of benefit to the community including youth programming, and providing affordable space for unions and community groups including immigrant rights, peace and grass roots organizing.

The Peoples Center has been dedicated to social, cultural and educational activities for labor and community since it was founded in 1937 during the Great Depression. It is the site of the first inter-racial basketball team and first inter-racial theater group in the City of New Haven. The Peoples Center opened its doors to the nation's first homeless run daytime drop-in center in the 1990s. It is now the location of Unidad Latina en Accion which is organizing immigrant workers.  It is home to youth organizing and the New Elm City Dream.

The letter from the veterans reads in part: "We deplore the manipulation of a few Veterans, for narrow political purposes, who do not understand that the New Haven Peoples Center is an historic building, 1851, the active center since 1937 for organizations campaigning for jobs for youth and against violence, for immigrant’s rights, against racial profiling, decent jobs and medical treatment for Veterans, and for global peace, among others. We reject the spurious and dangerous “red baiting” charges used to deny the Peoples Center their legitimate request."

Signers include veterans from WW II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the war in Afghanistan. The letter to the Governor concludes, "We call for the restoration of the request of the New Haven Peoples Center for funding. "

The letter follows:

NEW HAVEN PEOPLES CENTER
37 HOWE STREET, NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT 06511

A PETITION FOR THE BILL OF RIGHTS
IN SUPPORT OF THE NEW HAVEN PEOPLES CENTER

Governor Dannel P. Malloy
State of Connecticut
State Capitol
Hartford, Connecticut 
 
August 25, 2012

Honorable Governor Malloy:

We are Veterans who have served in various branches of the United States Armed Forces. We were citizen-soldiers deeply committed, then and now, to the protection of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution of the United States. We support the legitimate request of the New Haven Peoples Center for State funding for essential brick and mortar repairs. 
 
We deplore the manipulation of a few Veterans, for narrow political purposes, who do not understand that the New Haven Peoples Center is an historic building, 1851, the active center since 1937 for organizations campaigning for jobs for youth and against violence, for immigrant’s rights, against racial profiling, decent jobs and medical treatment for Veterans, and for global peace, among others.
 
We reject the spurious and dangerous “red baiting” charges used to deny the Peoples Center their legitimate request. As Veterans, we know how the McCarthy period and the charge of “communism” led to the deaths of so many of our fellow soldiers and trashed the democratic rights of our people. We refuse to allow our comrades to be the instruments of intimidation and neo-fascist tactics. 
 
We call for the restoration of the request of the New Haven Peoples Center for funding.

Alfred L. Marder, Company M. 14th Infantry Regiment, 71st Division, Recipient Bronze Star

Fernando A. Ayala, U.S. Army Retired, January 1972 to March 1985

Calvin Bunnell, USS JFK U.S. Navy, USS FDR U.S. Navy

Anthony Butler (E-4), 438th MAC / 527 TAC, McGuire AFB, New Jersey, Okinawa, Japan

Bill Collins, Norwalk

Thomas Connolly, U.S. Army 2nd 68 Armor Battalion, Germany, 1962-1965

Celestino Cordova, U.S. Army Korean War 1951-52

Luis Acevedo Cortez, U. S. Army Vietnam 1968

Joseph Dimow, World War II Veteran, 29th Armored Div.

Francis E. Douglass Jr. , USMC

Stephen E. D. Fournier, 6916th Security Squadron, U.S. Air Force Security Service

Craig S. Gauthier, 82nd Airborne Div. 1962-1966

Winston Heimer, Maj (Ret) U.S. Army, Signalcorps

James D. Linn, Vietnam Veteran

Raymond Milici, USATC FA, Fourth U.S. Army

Luis A. Muniz-Rivera, U.S. Air Force Vietnam 1969

Paul Neal, U.S. Army, Vietnam 1970

James Pandaru, U.S. Navy 1962-66; Seabees, 1971-91

Rafael A. Reyes, U.S. Army Vietnam 1967

David W. P. Roy, SrA, USAF, Beale AFB, 100th Refueling Wing

Charles Ruemmelez, 1st Marine Corp Div. 1966/67, 5th Marines, Head Quarters Company

Roberto Santos, U.S. Army Afghanistan 2010

















Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Progressive Education and Research Associates, Inc. d/b/a
New Haven Peoples Center
37 Howe Street, New Haven Connecticut 06511
June 5, 2012
Statement by Progressive Education and Research Associates, Inc.
regarding the request for state bonding funds to restore the New Haven Peoples Center

The withdrawal of funds from the state bonding budget to restore the historic New Haven Peoples Center is a blow to democracy at the expense of the people of this city. 
 
This 1851 Italianate building which is a site on the state Freedom Trail meets all criteria for bonding funds, as was attested to by the office of the Governor.  However, a group opposed to the multi-racial and multi-cultural youth, labor, civil rights and peace programs offered at the Center, sought to stop the funding by creating a charged political atmosphere, resorting to McCarthyite-style anti-communism. 
 
Initial complaints by Republicans that two officers of the building are members of the Communist Party USA were unsuccessful in stopping the funding. Next, a veterans motorcycle group and other veterans were recruited to come to New Haven for a protest at the site of the building. They opposed the funding on the grounds that the People's World, the newspaper of the Communist Party, has an office in the Peoples Center. 
 
Their purpose was to create an anti-communist media frenzy.  They ignored the fact that the bonding request was to restore an historic building.  They ignored the many veterans who participate with the Peoples Center including president Alfred Marder who was awarded a Bronze Star for heroism during WW II.  They did not have any interest in the youth, immigrant, cultural and educational activities so vital to New Haven.  They disregarded the wide array of support by elected officials, labor leaders, clergy, peace and progressive organizations representing tens of thousands of Connecticut residents. 
 
Their press conference launched a weekend campaign to pressure members of the Bond Commission to vote no.  It is a shameful and sad day in Connecticut that the request was pulled by the Governor when nothing had changed regarding the validity of the project.
 
The People's World is one of many groups who utilize the Peoples Center along with Unidad Latina en Accion, New Elm City Dream, Jobs and Unemployed Committee, the Marsalka reference library, Free 2 Spit, the Peace Council, many unions including SEIU 32 BJ, AFSCME Council 4, and many more. As a newspaper, the People's World should be treated as such without discrimination against its content.
 
Giving in to such a threat opens the door to fear and division and diminishes our state.  All those who believe in the Constitutional right to freedom of expression should be outraged at this dangerous development. If one project or group can be discriminated against, any project or group can be next.
 
We call upon all supporters of the Peoples Center, all democratic minded people in Connecticut, all those who appreciate the rich labor and anti-racism history and contributions of the Peoples Center, all those who have benefited from participating at the Peoples Center to come forward and speak out against this grave injustice. 
 
Together we can create the necessary counter pressure to restore the Peoples Center, reflecting its continuity since 1937 as a labor - community center for social, educational and cultural activities. From housing the first inter-racial theater group and basketball team in New Haven in the 30's and 40's, to the first homeless run day center in the 90s, to the youth organizing and immigrant worker organizing of today. 
 
Messages of support to Sen. Toni Harp for her unwavering stand in defense of the funding are appreciated. Messages urging Governor Malloy to reconsider his decision are in order. Comments posted on media websites covering the story are helpful.
 
###
 
Excerpts of some of the testimonials of support for funding submitted to Gov. Danell Malloy:
 
New Haven Board of Aldermen:
"As city officials we are acutely aware of entities who are committed to the public good and deserve our support. We can say without hesitation that this is one of those agencies. We have very few places like this in our city and are in desperate need of more. Until we have more we must support the ones we have. Without the state bonding funds we risk losing this facility as well."
 
Ward 7 Alderman Doug Hausladen:
"Constituents and myself very much appreciate the historic contributions to the good and welfare of the community and support funding for the Center's restoration....It makes a tremendously valuable contribution to the well-being of our community, and I am therefore committed to help the Peoples Center continue and grow its work."
 
Connecticut AFL-CIO
"This building is of great historic value as well as a vital resource for labor and community today....We are aware of some opposition from some Republicans. We want to empahsize that Connecticut and New Haven are greatly enriched by the presence and contributions of the Peoples Center. Restoring the building is an excellent investment."
 
The Amistad Committee, Inc.
"The Amistad Committee, as the mandated coordinator of the official State of Connecticut Freedom Trail endorses the proposal to fund reapirs to the historic New Haven Peoples Center, a sit on the Freedom Trail."
 
AFSCME Council 4
"Since its founding, the New Haven Peoples Center has been an anchor of forward thinking and community engagement....Today the Peoples Center carries on that tradition and continues to press for a stronger community, one free of prejudice and self-destruction. It is both a piece of our history and a part of our future. Council 4 AFSCME is a proud supporter of the Peoples Center. However it is badly in need of repair. We urge you to fulfill this request. We cannot afford to lose such a cherished landmark."
 
UNITE HERE Local 217
"The Peoples Center recognizes the human rights and dignity of all working people. It is a place that all our members can enjoy....The Peoples Center has stood firm for the rights of immigrant workers and their families, and in so doing represents the greater good of the entire community. WE appreciate all the assistance that can be given to insure the restoration of this wonderful building so that the important work taking place there can continue and grow."
 
UNITE HERE Unions at Yale
"The Peoples Center is well known to our members who hve appreciated many events and programs held each year featuring speakers and cultgural programs that have provided a forum where our members and their families can share their accomplihments and conerns and enjoy events with the broader community. The Peoples Center has been a steadfast friend and ally to the working families of New Haven and Connecticut. We are proud to support the Peoples Center as a place that makes our community strong."
 
Greater New Haven Central Labor Council
"This institution has been pro-active for the needs of working people for 75 years....The Peoples Center is vital to our community and beyond that to the state of Connecticut. Funding the restoration project is a worthy and important investment for the working people of Connecticut."
 
SEIU 32 BJ
"Our union fully supports the request for bonding funds to restore the building at 37 Howe Street in New Haven which houses the New Haven Peoples Center....Restoring the building is an excellent investment. It will benefit the historic area in which it is located, and it will benefit all of those who have used and continue to enjoy the opportunities it provides."
 
The youth of the New Elm City Dream
"Being in the Peoples' Center helps the youth stay off the streets and helping the community, and also it is training us the youth in our community to become leaders. The Peoples Center helped a lot of the youth to do much better in school and with some of their personal issues, such as their behavior and grades....The building needs repairs and needs a face lift. If it gets repaired more youth will come, and the building....can positively affect young lives for years to come. Also, right now we are making history by planning a March for Youth Jobs on June 16, 2012.




Friday, May 18, 2012

http://www.change.org/petitions/gov-dannel-malloy-we-support-funding-for-the-restoration-of-the-new-haven-peoples-center#

Add your name to the message to support funding for the restoration of the New Haven Peoples Center.  Go to the link above.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Progressive Education and Research Associates, Inc. d/b/a
New Haven Peoples Center
37 Howe Street, New Haven Connecticut 06511
April 29, 2012
Statement by Alfred L. Marder, president of Progressive Education and Research Associates, Inc.
regarding the request for state bonding funds to restore the New Haven Peoples Center

The New Haven Peoples Center is an historic brick building located at 37 Howe Street. It is admired as a rare example of Italianate architecture erected in 1851. It has become a necessity to re-point the bricks and restore the woodwork. As is standard practice for non-profit institutions in such circumstances, Sen. Toni Harp submitted a proposal for bonding funds to restore the structure.

The Peoples Center is not an empty building. It has been a vibrant, all-volunteer, community and labor center for education, cultural and social activities since 1937. This year marks the 75th anniversary of this remarkable institution that has contributed greatly to the life of New Haven and Connecticut.

Today it is the home to the youth group New Elm City Dream which has taken a lead in organizing for jobs and an end to violence in New Haven. It is the home to Unidad Latina en Accion which initiated the concept of a New Haven resident ID and is protecting the rights of immigrant workers to get paid by their employers for the work they do. It is the home to Free 2 Spit, a monthly poetry venue which has attracted hundreds of youth and area residents in the last few years. It is the home to the Greater New Haven Peace Council and many others. Today's activities at the Peoples Center continue the tradition started from its inception to open doors for working people and people in need to gather, educate, organize and socialize.

When a group of Jewish immigrant workers purchased the building in 1937, they wanted a place to enjoy their cultural heritage, but they also wanted a place that could be open to the surrounding community. They opened their doors to workers seeking to form unions, when few existed. In an era of deep segregation, the Peoples Center became the site of the first inter-racial theater group, the Unity Players, and the first inter-racial basketball team, the New Haven Redwings. Both groups distinguished themselves with many awards and trophies.

The Peoples Center was also the site of the first campaign to break down segregation in employment and open bus driver jobs to African Americans. It was the site of a successful campaign to open an evening college in New Haven, to allow local youth who were not able to attend Yale University a path to professional jobs. That college is now Southern Connecticut State University. For all these reasons and more, the Peoples Center is a proud site on the Connecticut Freedom Trail

The tradition of opening up the building to the needs of the community has continued through the decades. Some examples include: In the turbulent 1970's the Peoples Center hosted weekly potluck suppers where an exchange of information and ideas was popular. In the 1980's the Peoples Center was a center of community support for clerical workers at Yale who were organizing into Local 34. In the 1990's the Peoples Center opened its doors to the homeless organization We the People, and became the first homeless run daytime drop-in center in the country. After 9/11, when immigrants were being targeted, Unidad Latina en Accion was founded at the Peoples Center to represent the needs of the immigrant community.

The Peoples Center is truly a labor of love. The Center operates on a volunteer basis. The building has been maintained since 1937 by small contributions. Those who are involved in the Peoples Center are proud to be a part of such an outstanding institution that provides a vital service and continues to contribute to the well-being of the lives of those who live in the New Haven community and beyond.

Opposition to approval of bonding funds to restore an historic building carrying out a vital mission is disturbing. We understand that the request has been temporarily removed and will be renewed next month. It is reported that an e-mail letter was distributed, employing anti-Communist red-baiting and quoting the Yankee Institute. This diversionary scare tactic has been referred to by some in the media as a throwback to the ugly witch hunts of the 1950's which set back democracy in our country for many years. From its inception the Peoples Center has never employed discriminatory tactics or policies and gladly opens its doors in keeping with our mission statement for a better community and a better world.