Sunday, September 20, 2009

Health Care Townhall

On September 2, a carpool from the New Haven Peoples Center joined over 600 health care supporters at a town hall meeting in West Hartford, CT conducted by Rep. John Larson. Larson is Chair of the House Democratic Caucus and a supporter of health care.

Health care supporters far outnumbered about 150 opponents, who carried signs attacking Obama, expressed opposition to “government run” programs while ironically demanding “hands off Medicare,” the most popular government run program, and in some cases shouted racist insults at health care supporters.

While Larson answered questions from the 500-capacity audience inside the Town Hall, the overflow crowd gathered on the front steps.

Facts and myths about health care reform and how it will affect you can be found at:
Crisis Information / Action Center
at the New Haven Peoples Center

37 Howe Street, New Haven CT 06511
(203) 624-8664 e-mail:

The Crisis Information / Action Center is officially open to assist with your problems and urgent needs. With the country in such difficult situations the Crisis Information / Action Center has decided to reach out to different neighborhoods to offer assistance and bring people together for change.

Call for an appointment 203-624-8664
Call if you would like to get involved

The Crisis Information / Action Center is a place for workers facing unemployment, foreclosure, eviction, utility shut-off, lack of health care and other urgent needs

*Help finding resources
*Educational forums
*Legislative issues

(Copies of this flier are available for your organization or neighborhood)

Labor Songs for Today

“New Hard Times”
By Bill Collins and The Rabble Rousers


Labor music inevitably reflects broader social trends. The ongoing interplay with church hymns and military marching songs are clear. But labor’s musical traditions grow and change as they interact with other genres as well.

Bill Collins, a veteran rocker with international roots, demonstrates these shifts in “New Hard Times.” Bill turned to labor issues in 2005 and began recording this CD two years ago. (He acknowledges the influence of his union organizer wife!) As lead singer and guitarist for The Rabble Rousers, Collins rocks labor music into a whole new format.

The 17 tunes on the CD fall into two categories. Fourteen, mostly written by Bill and including two versions of “Dirty Tricks,” are new. They address contemporary issues and situations.

For example: The title song, along with “Card Count,” are literally from today’s headlines. “Too Poor to Retire” speaks to an eternal problem of low-income workers – in the first decade of a new century. And music such as “Union Town” and “Out on Strike” -- well, the words say it all.

The remaining three cuts are totally unique; they are classics updated with a rock beat. For example, in “Union Maid” the group goes back to the original 1940 Woody Guthrie wording – which identifies the American Legion as a threat to labor!

Finally, some of the new tunes represent updates of past issues. “God Told Me To” is Collins’ contemporary commentary on religious exploitation of the working class, first explored a century ago by Joe Hill in “Preacher and the Slave.”