Monday, April 15, 2019

Solidarity with Stop & Shop Strikers

From the moment workers at Stop and Shop started walking the picket line at 43 stores on April 11, there was a spontaneous outpouring of support from other unions, elected officials, customers and the community. As drivers honked their car horns in support and many refused to go into the store, the courageous workers knew they were not alone.

The 31,000 members of United Food and Commercial Workers in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts are striking as a last resort to win wages, benefits, healthcare and fairness. The multiracial workforce includes many women and youth. They are courageously fighting for their livlihoods against a greedy multi-national company with profits last year of $2 billion.

"We have been at this for months," said one member of the negotiating committee who works at the Whalley Avenue store in New Haven. "We serve the community and we need to be able to support our families. They just don't care."

The Stop and Shop workers are part of a national rising tide of working class militancy and unity.

At the Dixwell Avenue store in Hamden, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal stood arm in arm with a striker named "Richie" and pledged support along side Lt Governor Susan Bysiewicz who was representing the Governor. Blumenthal told the striking workers, "This is bigger than you. This is about corporate greed."

Dutch retailer Royal Ahold NV, operator of supermarket chains Stop & Shop and Giant, is merging with its Belgian counterpart Delhaize Group, creating a company that will serve more than 50 million customers in the United States every week.
Delhaize forced the strike by refusing to back off of the profitable company's proposal to cut pay and pensions and substantially increase healthcare coverage premiums for Stop and Shop workers. The company's final offer at the bargaining table represents a massive step back that cuts workers earnings.
Scott Barry, produce manager and shop steward at the West Hartford store told the People's World that for his family "the co-pay on my weekly check for my family insurance is going to go from $30 to $140 a week and they want to drop our pension benefit about 30%."
Barry added, "It seems like the company is taking dignity, decorum, integrity and fairness and dragging it through the mud while claiming that they are offering a good contract when in truth they are not."
The response to the Stop&Shop strike is inspiring.

When they got news that the workers had walked out, Local 34 UNITE HERE activists recessed their day-long conference and headed straight to the picket line on Whalley Avenue in New Haven.

At the same time, Local 34 and 35 retirees were finishing their monthly executive board meeting. They fanned out to Stop & Shop stores in New Haven and surrounding towns, bringing solidarity and the high spirits learned on their own picket lines over the last 40 years. At least 19 participated, and gleefully shared photos of the picket lines by text and facebook.

Solidarity was hardly limited to the large Yale locals. Members of the railroad unions, CWA, teachers, carpenters and operating engineers were among the many union members who spontaneously came by to show support.

The evening following the walkout, the New Haven Democratic Town Committee met. A resolution pledging to honor the picket lines and support the workers was adopted with enthusiastic support.
The next day, many State Representatives and Senators, as well as New Haven Mayor Toni Harp, walked the picket lines.

Unidad Latina en Accion, an immigrant rights organization in New Haven, is planning a support rally.

Parking lots at area Stop & Shops are empty. On Palm Sunday, the Hamden Shop-Rite, a union store which competes with the Stop & Shop across the street, was jammed, while the Stop & Shop parking lot was almost empty. Two customers said they live next to a Stop & Shop five miles away, but they came to Shop-Rite because "We have to support our neighbors on strike."

An AFSCME retiree in Waterbury who lives within walking distance of Stop & Shop drove across town to a different store. It was so jam packed the supervisor had to call in more workers. Standing in long lines, customers explained, ' I usually shop at Stop and Shop but I don't cross picket lines'.

The Connecticut AFL-CIO has called on all members and families to support the strikers in three ways:
  1. Sign UFCW's petition to Stop & Shop. Click here to sign the petition to Stop & Shop management to let them know you stand with the workers as they fight for a fair contract.
  2. Join the workers on a picket line. The workers need your help and solidarity as they picket at over 90 stores across Connecticut. Join them whenever you have time and bring them coffee and doughnuts.
  3. Continue to shop union. UFCW represents workers at a number of other grocery stores across the state. Click here for a list of union grocery stores in Connecticut. If you can't shop at a union store, please shop elsewhere, but do not cross the picket line at Stop & Shop.



Solidarity Film Series: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Solidarity Film Series:  Friday April 19 at 7:30 pm at the Peoples Center  The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

In April 2002, the democratically elected Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, faces a coup d'état by an American-backed opposition party. The two-day coup fails to topple Chávez, but the tumultuous event proves to be great dramatic material for two Irish filmmakers who happen to be making a documentary about Chavez as the coup erupts. They capture footage of the massive opposition and pro-Chavez crowds and analyze how Venezuelan TV manipulated images for propaganda purposes. Released 2003. New Haven Peoples Center 37 Howe Street. Free.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Great Migration: Then and Now - 45th People's World African American History Events


"The Great Migration: Then and Now -- Fleeing Terror, Searching for Jobs and Equality," is the theme of the 45th People's World African American History Month celebration on Sunday, February 24 in New Haven. The day includes a march, arts and writing competition, guest speaker, drumming and dance.

Some stories will be told of the many African American families in New Haven who trace their roots in the city to the great migration from the South in the 1930's and 40's when companies like Winchester recruited workers to come up from North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama and Georgia. They were fleeing Klan terror and looking for a better life.

Stories will also be told of the migrants from Central American countries coming to New Haven and the United States today, fleeing terror and economic devastation in their countries and hoping to find new opportunities for their families.

The "Jobs for Youth - Jobs for All" march will call on Yale to meet its signed commitment to hire from neighborhoods like Dwight, Dixwell, Newhall, Fair Haven and the Hill with high unemployment. The march leaves the New Haven Peoples Center, 37 Howe Street, at 2:30 pm and will wind through the Dwight neighborhood to Troup School, 259 Edgewood Avenue, for the 4:00 pm program.

Guest speaker Chauncey K. Robinson, journalist and social media editor of peoplesworld.org from Los Angeles, California believes that writing and media, in any capacity, should help to reflect the world around us, and be tools to help bring about progressive change. She says she seeks to make sure topics that affect working class people, peoples of color, and women are constantly in the spotlight.

The program will include drumming by Brian Jarawa Gray and African dance with Ice the Beef.

Prizes and acknowledgments of entries to the Arts and Writing Competition grades 8 to 12 will be presented. Students are asked to reflect in artwork, essay, poetry, rap or song about grandparents or great grandparents who came up from the South in the past, or about someone who came up from Latin America or elsewhere recently. "What did they find? How can we continue the struggle for good jobs and equal rights to fulfill the dreams of those who came and made New Haven home?  What are your dreams for a better life?" Entry deadline is February 14. For information e-mail ct-pww@pobox.com

During the Great Migration (1916 to 1970), six million African Americans left the South. They moved to cities like New Haven in the North and the West. They were fleeing discrimination, lynchings, denied rights and a lack of jobs. They were searching for a better life for themselves and their children.

As they settled they found that segregation and racism were not just in the South. The migration gave rise to the Civil Rights Movement and before that to the art, literature and music of the Harlem Renaissance that stirred the country and the world.

Artist Jacob Lawrence created a series of paintings about the Great Migration in 1940. He said, "And the migrants kept coming...their struggles and triumphs ring true today. People all over the world are still on the move, trying to build better lives for themselves and for their families."

In 2018 famed activist and scholar Angela Davis said, “I believe that the major civil rights issue of the 21st century is the issue of immigrant rights.”

Saturday, November 24, 2018


People's World Amistad Awards 2018
United in Struggle for a Better World
Unidos en La Lucha por un Mundo Mejor

Saturday, December 8, 2018 at 4 pm
First & Summerfield Methodist Church 425 College St New Haven
Awardees:
Eva Bermudez Zimmerman
First Puerto Rican candidate for Lt Governor and SEIU union organizer
Shellye Davis
President Hartford Labor Coalition and AFT Paraeducators
Louise Simmons
Acclaimed educator and labor-community social justice activist

Special Recognition: CHAZ CARMON, Ice the Beef Youth
Solidarity Tribute: NELSON PINOS in sanctuary, and his family
Community Potluck to benefit Nelson & Family - bring a dish!

Performance by St. Luke's Steel Band
$10 or what you can
Info: ct-pww@pobox.com FB: People's World Amistad Awards 2018
https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=peoples%20world%20amisatd%20awards%202018

Reconocimientos 2108, El Mundo del Pueblo
Unidos en la lucha por un mundo mejor
Sabado, 8 de Diciembre de 2018 a las 4:00 pm
Iglesia "First & Summerfield Methodist Church" 425 College St New Haven
Reciben el premio:
Eva Bermudez Zimmerman
Primera candidata originaria de Puerto Rico para "Lt Governor" y además dirigente sindical de SEIU
Shellye Davis
Presidenta de la coalicion laboral de Hartford y "AFT Paraeducators"
Louise Simmons
Educadora aclamada y activista comunitaria pro justicia laboral y social

Reconocimiento especial: CHAZ CARMON, Ice the Beef Youth
Tributo solidario para: NELSON PINOS quien continua en santuario y a su
familia
Cena comunitaria para apoyar a Nelson, y su familia, por
favor traiga un platillo!

Presentacipn artística de St. Luke's Steel Band
$10 o lo que usted pueda aportar
Info: ct-pww@pobox.com FB: People's World Amistad Awards 2018
https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=peoples%20world%20amisatd%20awards%202018

Thursday, August 30, 2018

SEPT 8: Thousands of Doors for Justice - New Haven

Activists across the country know that 2018 is one election year we can't afford to sit out, with our most fundamental values of justice, equality, and dignity on the line.

That's why we're gathering together in solidarity on September 8th for Thousands of Doors for Justice (TDJ).

TDJ is a day of action for activists and volunteers across the state to step up and fight for issues of economic, racial, social, women's, environmental, and immigrant justice.

Advocates will take action in many forms, including knocking on doors, making calls, registering voters, training volunteers, recruiting new activists, and more. As a broad spectrum of volunteers and organizations, we will each contribute in the best ways we can and embrace our collective struggle.

NEW HAVEN:  New Haven Peoples Center, 37 Howe Street.  Doors open 8:45 am.
9 am Gather.  9:30 - 10 am: Livestream with Linda Sarsour and local sepakers.  10 am: Information sharing from organizations present before heading out to the streets.
Contact:  peoplescenter@pobox.com

Tuesday, August 14, 2018



https://www.facebook.com/events/2157442214543589/

Solidarity Film Series at the New Haven Peoples Center
THE GREAT DEBATERS
Friday, August 17, 2018 at 7:30 pm

Special Guest Speaker:
Edward Carson, Boston Club CPUSA

Denzel Washington portrays Melvin Tolson a teacher and sharecropper organizer in segregated Texas in the 1930s. His students break racist barriers and win a competition with Harvard. Based on a true story. Released 2007.

New Haven Peoples Center 37 Howe St New Haven 06511
Free admission Refreshments

Thursday, July 12, 2018


Progressive Education and Research Associates, Inc. d/b/a
New Haven Peoples Center
A site on the CT African American Freedom Trail
37 Howe Street, New Haven CT 06511

peoplescenter.blogspot.com/
e-mail: peoplescenter@pobox.com
Facebook: New Haven Peoples Center


July 12, 2018


To the Family of Lois O'Connor,

With love and solidarity to the family of the wonderful Lois O'Connor, a beloved warrior for the people. She was fearless and knew how to fight for the rights of women, working people, and all disenfranchised. Her leadership improved the lives of countless people across our state and nation.

Lois always kept her family at the center of her life.

We cherish the many occasions when Lois participated in events and activities at the Peoples Center and all her support and wisdom. On a personal note I will always remember the steadfast support that she gave to me in every endeavor and the wonderful lunches we enjoyed together.

In the name of Lois O'Connor we carry on today to protect and expand the basic human rights to which she dedicated her life.




Joelle Fishman, Coordinator
New Haven Peoples Center