Thursday, July 13, 2017

FLOC attacked in General Assembly, People's Congress of Resistance, Anti-BDS Bill, Hiroshima Day, and other July-August events and anniversaries

More events will probably be added later and events may be listed for interest rather than with full endorsement. 

FLOC targeted in Farm Bill S615

Agribusiness owners in the General Assembly are attacking farmworker unions, first in a separate bill (S375) and then through an amendment to Farm Bill S615, leading the Farm Labor Organizing Committee to call for a veto from Governor Cooper.  There is an online petition at: actionnetwork.org/petitions/veto-farm-bill-s615-a-bill-designed-by-farmers-elected-to-the-nc-state-legislature-to-stop-farm-worker-unions-progress?source=direct_link&  and the text of the bills is online at:  www.ncleg.net 

North Carolina already prohibits collective bargaining with public workers and the overall rate of unionization is low, though there are more unions here than people might realize.  Governments have even resorted to driving away businesses that planned to locate in the State, but had unionized workers. 

[Governor Cooper signed this bill attacking workers' rights, so FLOC will hold a short press conference Tuesday, July 18th at 10am at the Old State Capitol in Raleigh (at the South Pad, on the Morgan Street side, near Morgan and Fayetteville streets). 

A statement from FLOC:

Today, Governor Cooper has signed S615, rejecting requests from labor and immigrant rights organizations and other social justice NGOs for a veto. The bill was sponsored by farmers elected to the General Assembly and aimed at stopping farmworkers from joining the state’s only agricultural union, the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) and winning improved working conditions through union agreements.”
 
“ ‘Gov. Cooper chose to be on the wrong side of history, supporting the continuation of racist Jim Crow-era laws aimed at keeping immigrant farmworkers from achieving equal rights and ending abuses in the fields. It is a shame that this Democrat and others refuse to stand on the side of the most marginalized working poor and the immigrant workers that keep this state’s economy afloat.’ said FLOC President Baldemar Velasquez.   The bill was aimed squarely at stopping the union from continuing its efforts to improve wages and work conditions for its membership through organizing, education, and filing legal claims over labor violations. The bill singles out voluntary union dues deductions, making them illegal, while leaving legal other types of voluntary deductions, such as unions in other industries, savings plans, charity, etc.
 
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Dixon, himself a farmer, was asked about why he feared farmworkers would join unions when there are already anti-union laws in place and replied, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” clarifying without a doubt his intention to stifle workers’ right to freedom of association and speech. …….  (FLOC) plans to  challenge this bill in the courts, as a violation of farmworkers rights to freedom of assembly and speech and continue our fight for better wages for immigrant families in the state.” ]
 
Saving the River One Song at a Time:  The Eno River Festival Legacy

Wilson Library is also hosting an exhibit (June 2nd to September 22nd, on the 4th floor) on the effort to save the Eno River when the City of Durham proposed drowning it for a drinking water reservoir in the 60's.  This led to the formation of what is today the Eno River Association, Eno River State Park in 1973, and the annual Eno River Festival, first held in 1980.  For more information, see:  blogs.lib.unc.edu/news/index.php/2017/06/eno-river-festival-exhibit/

A movement tried but failed to save the New Hope River (erased from the map today) and lower Haw River from the Federal dam project that created what is today Jordan Lake, and today people are trying to reduce the reservoir's pollution problems, which were predicted before the dam was built.   

Student Action with Farmworkers 25th anniversary

Student Action with Farmworkers, based in Durham, was organized in 1992 and is hosting anniversary exhibits and events throughout NC and in Washington, DC this year.  There will be an exhibit at FLOC's office in Dudley May 26th to December 31st.  There will be an event August 5th 6-9:30pm at the Power Plant in Durham's American Tobacco complex.  Duke's Center for Documentary Studies will host an exhibit June 22nd to November 11th, with a reception September 10th 2-4pm.  For details, see: 
saf-unite.org/content/saf-2017-exhibits-events


Building the People's Congress of Resistance meeting in Raleigh

Leading up to the People's Congress of Resistance, September 16-17, ANSWER is holding a meeting Friday, July 14th at Cup A Joe (3100 Hillsborough Street, next to NSCU in Raleigh), 6-8pm.  The Facebook event is at:  www.facebook.com/events/1938480983091641 

Local elections coming up

People can register to run for office in the City of Durham July 7-21st, for the elections October 10th and November 7th this year.  The Durham Board of Elections website is: dconc.gov/government/departments-a-e/board-of-elections and the State Board is at:  www.ncsbe.gov/ 

The Durham People's Alliance PAC will meet to decide what candidates to endorse August 29th, location TBA.

Election results are on at State Board's website and they are broken up by precinct Durham's website; in Durham County 535 (0.34%) write-in votes were registered for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, while there were 2000 (1.28%) miscellaneous write-ins, and Libertarian Gary Johnson got 3,999 (2.56%) votes. 

Ozone Garden Workshop

Central North Carolina often has problems with air pollution, especially when ozone forms at ground level during the summer, where it is harmful to both humans and other species, including plants.  Clean Air Carolina is organizing a workshop on the impact of ozone pollution on plants Saturday, July 22nd 9-10:30am at Wing Havens Garden (248 Ridgewood Avenue, Charlotte).  CAC Clear the Air for Kids Program Manager and Master Gardener Mary Stauble will speak briefly, followed by questions from the audience, and there will be a tour of CAC's Ozone Garden, nearby at the Little Sugar Creek Greenway paralleling Westfield Road.  There will be free light refreshments and participants will each receive an ozone-sensitive plant.  RSVP is required; see:  cleanaircarolina.org/rsvp-july-22-ozone-meeting/  For more about ozone gardens see: cleanaircarolina.org/programs/clear-the-air-for-kids/  Apparently crownbeard, a tall yellow flower common in Chapel Hill and along the Eno in Durham, is especially ozone-sensitive, and shows leaf damage when ozone levels are high. 

Rivers on Raleigh:  Turning Out Against the ACP!

While thanking Governor Cooper for joining other governors in continuing to support the Paris climate treaty, the Sierra Club and others are organizing a demonstration against the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Wednesday, July 26th, 10:30-11:30am at the Governor's Mansion (200 North Blount Street, Raleigh.  According to the Meetup.com announcement from the Sierra Club's Capital Group, the pipeline would cross many rivers and creeks in eastern North Carolina and destroy more than 600 acres of wetland.  Participants can bring kayaks or canoes (but come early in that case), life jackets, inner tubes, fishing poles (without hooks), and signs.  There is supposed to be parking opposite the protest. 

July 30th veto deadline for State anti-BDS bill

If Governor Cooper doesn't veto House Bill 161 by July 30th, North Carolina will join 21 other states in passing laws against the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, which seeks to use non-violent economic pressure to end Israel's brutality against Palestinians.  In NC, businesses that boycott Israel are the target, while in other states organizations and individuals might be at risk of punishment by the government for their free speech.  The bill was passed by the General Assembly June 29th, but I only heard about it in a letter to the editor in UNC's Daily Tar Heel July 26th.  The text of the bill is online at:   www.ncleg.net/gascripts/BillLookUp/BillLookUp.pl?Session=2017&BillID=H161

Supposedly progressive Durham senators Mike Woodard and Floyd McKissick voted for it, along with several other Democrats in both houses (including local senators Valerie Foushee and Jay Chaudhuri) and almost but not all of the Republicans (one senator opposed it, while a few other Republicans were absent for whatever reasons).  Among local House Democrats, Representative Marcia Morey (who replaced the deceased Paul Luebke), Graig Meyer, Henry Michaux, MaryAnn Black (replaced Larry Hall after he resigned in January), Verla Insko, Grier Martin, Rosa Gill, and Robert Reives voted against the bill.     

The bill begins:

"A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT REQUIRING STATE DIVESTMENT FROM, AND PROHIBITING STATE AGENCIES FROM CONTRACTING WITH, COMPANIES THAT BOYCOTT ISRAEL.
 
Whereas, boycotts and related tactics have become a tool of economic warfare that threaten the sovereignty and security of key allies and trade partners of the United States; and
 
Whereas, the State of Israel is the most prominent target of such boycott activity, which began with, but has not been limited to, the Arab League Boycott adopted in 1945, even before Israel's declaration of independence as the reestablished national state of the Jewish people; and
 
Whereas, companies that refuse to deal with United States trade partners such as Israel, or entities that do business with or in such countries, make discriminatory decisions on the basis of national origin that impair those companies' commercial soundness; and
 
Whereas, it is the public policy of the United States, as enshrined in several federal acts, to oppose boycotts against Israel, and Congress has concluded as a matter of national trade policy that cooperation with Israel materially benefits United States companies and improves American competitiveness; and
 
Whereas, Israel in particular is known for its dynamic and innovative approach in many business sectors, and, therefore, a company's decision to discriminate against Israel, Israeli entities, or entities that do business with or in Israel is an unsound business practice making such a company an unduly risky contracting partner or vehicle for investment; and
 
Whereas, North Carolina seeks to act to implement Congress's announced policy of "examining a company's promotion or compliance with unsanctioned boycotts, divestment from, or sanctions against Israel as part of its consideration in awarding grants and contracts and supports the divestment of State assets from companies that support or promote actions to boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel"; Now, therefore,
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
 
SECTION 1.  Chapter 147 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new Article to read:
 
"Article 6G.
"Divestment From Companies Boycotting Israel."
 
Chapter 147, containing laws regarding state offices, is also where the General Assembly put the Iran Divestment Act of 2015 and the Sudan (Darfur) Divestment Act. 

August 1st press conference and rally in defense of UNC's Center for Civil Rights

The UNC Board of Governors' Educational Policy Committee will meet Tuesday, August 1st at 12pm to vote on the proposal to prohibit UNC's Center for Civil Rights from initiating lawsuits.  This is an open meeting, at the Center for School Leadership Development-UNC CH (140 Friday Center Drive, Chapel Hill, 27517).  There will be a protest outside from 11am-1.  The Facebook event page is at:  www.facebook.com/events/730616133805569/ and there is some background at:  www.higheredworksfoundation.org/2017/07/unc-civil-rights-center/ 

Anniversaries of US nuclear attacks on Japan:  August 6th in Hiroshima and August 9th in Nagasaki. 

There will pobably be a local commemoration, but I haven't heard of any plans yet [see below]. 

BAJ showing Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard in Chapel Hill

 From BAJ's announcement:

"Balance & Accuracy in Journalism program on Nagasaki Day
7:30 pm August 9 at the Community Church of Chapel Hill, U.U.
106 Purefoy Road

A collection of surprisingly joyful drawings created by school children living among the ruins of Hiroshima in 1947 becomes the heart and soul of this true story about an exchange of gifts between Americans and Japanese after a devastating war. 
This powerful documentary about reconciliation and the power of gift introduces the child artists (now in their late 70s) who reflect on their early lives amidst the rubble of their destroyed city and the hope they shared through their art. 
 
In 2010, the newly restored drawings, buried for decades deep inside All Souls Church in Washington DC, are taken back to Japan where they are reunited with the artists and exhibited in the building where they were created.

     Our program opens with songs by the Raging Grannies!
 
          Free admission – donations accepted
 
                                  [   ]
 
     BALANCE & ACCURACY IN JOURNALISM
                        with cosponsors
                       NC Peace Action
                                 and
 Charles Jones Peace and Justice Committee
                of the Community Church
                             present
                            
PICTURES FROM A HIROSHIMA SCHOOLYARD
      A Documentary Film by Bryan Reichhardt    
        produced by Shizumi Shigeto Manale 
 
With President Trump reportedly directing staff to
falsify reports and accuse Iran of failing the terms of 
the recent nuclear agreement, war that could trigger
a nuclear exchange with Iran’s allies is threatening 
the world.   This film about a sermon that drew the 
attention of a US officer in occupied Japan, and the 
acts of generosity that followed, shows the potential 
for our shared humanity to prevail.
       ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
DIRECTIONS TO BAJ MEETING SITE
 106 Purefoy Road, Chapel Hill
   Community Church, Unitarian Universalist       
   FROM EITHER DIRECTION ON THE CHAPEL HILL BYPASS:
   take 15-501 [or 54] to the 15-501 Pittsboro exit
   As you exit, TURN at the traffic light toward Chapel Hill.
   Almost immediately TURN RIGHT just short of the convenience store.
   That's PUREFOY ROAD, and you take it almost half a mile,
   passing two stop signs as it curves left  up the hill
   until you can - just - see the third stop sign ahead of you.
   At that point, there is a driveway on the left
   with a subtle, tan sign for the church.
   That driveway takes you to the parking lot and the Community Church."

Think Blue:  Healthy Water, Healthy You

This is a festival about waterways and health, featuring local organizations and researchers involved in water quality and public health, Sunday, August 6th 11am-3pm at the Scrap Exchange (2050 Chapel Hill Road).  There will also be food trucks and games and activities for all ages.  For more information, contact Casey Lindberg at cd127 [at duke period edu]. 

NAACP picketing General Assembly Redistricting Committee August 10th

The announcement email: 

"Dear Sister and Brothers,
 
Our fight for fair elections are not over! For at least three election cycles and 6 years, the current leadership of the General Assembly was unconstitutionally empowered based on its own maneuvering to pass anti-Black, anti-immigrant- anti-gay, anti- healthcare, anti-poor-people, anti-women, anti-workers, anti-democracy discriminatory redistricting maps that created the most segregated voting booths in modern NC history.
 
On Thursday, August 10 at 10 am, we hope you will join us as we pack the Redistricting Committee Meeting which will be held in the Legislative Office Building Room 603. We ask that you will bring you signs and picket this UNCONSTITUTIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY.  
 
Forward Together Not One Step Back,
 
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber
President NC NAACP"

Pop Up! Pollinator Plant Giveaway

Keep Durham Beautiful is giving away seeds of five plants that benefit pollinators like butterflies and hummingbirds, Saturday, August 12th 8-10am at the South Durham Farmers' Market (5410 NC 55, www.southdurhamfarmersmarket.org/ ) and 10:30am-12 at the Green Flea Market  (1600 East Pettigrew Street, www.durhamgreenfleamarket.com/ ), while supplies last.  The Facebook event is at:  www.facebook.com/events/1957552357845377/ 

Upcoming Library Book Sales

The Friends of the Durham Library had a book sale July 15th, and another is coming up August 12th, 11am-4pm, and prices will be halved 2-4pm.  It will be at Books Among Friends in Northgate Mall (1058 West Club Boulevard, Suite 252, near Sears).  It seemed like a small sale, so I didn't mention the earlier sale, but maybe FODL has more donated books to sell now.  There will be regular three-day sales September 8-10 and November 10-12, and another one-day sale December 2nd.

The Friends of the Chapel Hill Public Library is also having a book sale September 8-10. 

The 20th Friends of the Chatham Community Library book sale will be October 5-7. 

The big Wake County Public Libraries book sale at the State Fairgrounds will be in spring 2018 (watch www.wakegov.com/libraries/events/Pages/booksale.aspx for an announcement).  Lee County has not announced any upcoming book sales. 

Bees + Brews

Have a beer while learning how to build bee hotels to attract solitary bee species, native pollinators that may also be having problems, like social honey bees.  This event will be at the Durty Durham Brewing Company, Saturday, August 12th, 5-7pm.  A ticket ($25 dollars, proceeds going to education about pollinators in Durham) is required and this event is of course limited to people 21 and over.  For information and tickets, go to:  keepdurhambeautiful.org/event/bee-hotels/ 

Effective Advocacy for Environmental Justice discussion

Mary MacLean Asbill and Brooks Rainey Pearson of the Southern Environmental Law Center will discuss NC's major environmental problems and effective outreach to the public and legislators at a brownbag lunch discussion August 14, 12-1:30pm at the United Church of Chapel Hill (1321 Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard, Chapel Hill).  This event is organized by the Creation Justice Network of the Southern Conference and 350 Triangle.  For more information, see:  unitedchurch.org/event/effective-advocacy-environmental-justice/ 

August 19th deadline for comment on the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Contact the NC Division of Water Resources in the Department of Environmental Quality at:

401 Permitting
1617 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC, 27699-1617

or use the Sierra Club's comment form ( https://goo.gl/txhLmT ).  There is also a way to directly email the regulators. 

The comment period for the Keystone XL Pipeline project is also about to close (see   350.org/crucial-week-for-keystone-xl/ )

Kicking Toxic Chemicals Out!

Krista Confer will talk about the dangers of some household chemicals and plant-based alternatives at Durham's South Regional Library (4505 South Alston) in the Children's Program Room, Saturday, August 19th, 2-3pm.  It doesn't seem like RSVP is required, but you can register at:  durhamcountylibrary.evanced.info/signup/Calendar  For more information, contact Teresa May at 919 560 7436 or tbmay [at dconc dot gov]. 

The Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017

A solar eclipse will be visible across North America and northern South America in the afternoon on Monday, August 21st, though it will only be a total eclipse along a narrow path from Oregon to South Carolina.  For more information see:

www.skyandtelescope.com/
www.astronomy.com/
www.heavens-above.com
www.spaceweather.com/

I've never seen a total solar eclipse, but it is supposed to be supremely awe-inspiring.  Here is an excerpt, quoted in the July issue of Astronomy magazine, from writer Annie Dillard's essay "Total Eclipse," about the last time there was a total solar eclipse in the continental US, in 1979: 

"From all the hills came screams.  A piece of the sky beside the crescent Sun was detaching.  It was a loosened circle of evening sky, suddenly lighted from the back.  It was an abrupt black body out of nowhere; it was a flat disk; it was almost over the Sun.  That is when there were screams.  At once this disk of sky slid over the Sun like a lid.  The sky snapped over the Sun like a lens cover.  The hatch in the brain slammed.  Abruptly it was dark night, on the land and in the sky.  In the night sky was a tiny ring of light.  The hole where the Sun belongs is very small.  A thin ring of light marked its place.  There was no sound.  The eyes dried, the arteries drained, the lungs hushed.  There was no world.  We were the world's dead people rotating and orbiting around and around, embedded in the planet's crust, while the Earth rolled down.  Our minds were light-years distant, forgetful of almost everything.  Only an extraordinary act of will could recall to us our former, living selves and our contexts in matter and time.  We had, it seems, loved the planet and loved our lives, but could no longer remember the way of them.  We got the light wrong.  In the sky was something that should not be there.  In the black sky was a ring of light.  It was a thin ring, an old, thin silver wedding band, an old, worn ring.  It was an old wedding band in the sky, or a morsel of bone.  There were stars.  It was all over."     

Human life was once connected to the sky, but capitalism and modern science make the sky just another place most of the time, perhaps eventually a source of profits for the few and a location for the "hyperpower" to place space weapons, and it is obscured by light and air pollution anyway, in cities designed for commerce and efficiency, or sprawling without any design.  It seems to have little to do with daily life for most people, unless the Sun is low in the sky during the evening rush hour or they take a moment to notice a huge full Moon rising in the trees. 

August 23rd-30th is the Week of Solidarity with Anarchist Prisoners, according to prisonbooks.info 

8/28 Deadline to comment on Administration's proposed reduction in scope of Clean Water Act

The Clean Water Act was passed decades ago, but the original goals still haven't been achieved, and Trump's EPA is trying to undercut the CWA further.  See this email from Durham's Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association: 

"On Monday, July 31st, the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association (ECWA) submitted a comment to the US Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC concerning the proposed changes in the Waters of the US definition (see full letter here). 
 
The Trump Administration is taking two steps to change the definition of jurisdictional waters under the Clean Water Act. In this first step, the Administration is rolling back the earlier Obama Administration's definition of the Waters of the US which was developed over many years based on a very thorough review of over 1000 scientific publications. In the second step, the Administration wants to limit jurisdictional waters to ones that have a “relatively permanent surface water connection only.”
 
This is an important issue for ECWA since one consequence of the proposed actions would be to jeopardize Clean Water Act jurisdictions over many wetlands and intermittent streams. Based on the best published information we have (and ECWA is actively gathering more information), about 35% of the stream length in the Ellerbe Creek watershed is intermittent streams. Loss of coverage under the Clean Water Act on this amount of streams would basically make it impossible to meet our (and the State's and EPA's) goal of restoring the quality of Ellerbe Creek's water to a safe level for fish and people.
 
If you too have concerns about this proposed change, please provide written comments to the EPA by August 28th, 2017."

Labor Sabbath 9/1-3

The NC Council of Churches (www.ncchurches.org) and Raise the Wage NC are calling upon faith communities to discuss labor issues over Labor Day weekend:  "Faith leaders can adapt their holy day services in ways that reflect the importance of workers, the value of labor unions, and the need to raise the North Carolina minimum wage.

Through Labor Sabbath, congregations have the opportunity to talk about faith, work, and justice. Across the state this year, we are focused on honoring labor and supporting the need for education to raise the minimum wage in NC." 


Some resources: 

www.ncchurches.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/LABOR-SABBATH-2017-TOOLKIT.pdf

www.ncchurches.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Labor-Sabbath-2017-bulletin-insert.pdf

www.ncchurches.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Labor-Sabbath-2017-Love-letters-with-explainer.pdf

www.ncchurches.org/lectionary/living-wages-easter-2/

www.ncchurches.org/lectionary/supporting-workers-proper-17/

For more information call 828-505-7466 or email Vicki [at justeconomicswnc dot org] or amy [at justeconomicswnc dot org]. 

Stream monitoring demonstration in Chapel Hill and other Haw River Assembly events

Emily Sutton of the Haw River Assembly will conduct a water quality monitoring workshop at Chapel Hill's Umstead Park Sunday, September 9th, 11am-1pm.  For more information, contact Emily [at hawriver period org].  There will be a Haw River Monitoring weekend September 23-24; for information see above or call 919 542 5790.  HRA's 28th annual Haw River Learning Celebration for 4th Graders will be September 23-October 13 (see www.hawriver.org/projects/4th-grade-field-trip/ ).

The HRA's August newsletter says there are issues with new industrial chemicals classed with GenX in the Haw River system and the solvent 1,4-dioxane was found in Pittsboro's water.  The General Assembly wants to try using algaecides to improve Jordan Lake's water quality, instead of trying to reduce excess nutrient inputs from upstream, and the proposal was pushed by a former House speaker, now a lobbyist for SePro, the company that received the contract for this experiment.  It still needs a approval from the US Army Corps of Engineers.  The Chatham County Commissioners banned fracking for another year on June 17th.  Superior Court Judge Carl Fox blocked Duke Energy from continuing to dig in Brickhaven, Chatham County, to landfill coal ash from around the State.        

Durham's 43rd annual Centerfest will be held September 16-17 ( www.centerfest.durhamarts.org/ )

The Congress of People's Resistance will be held in Washington, DC, September 16-17  ( www.congressofresistance.org/ )

The UN International Day of Peace is September 21st ( internationaldayofpeace.org/ ). 

The 20th annual Carrboro Music Festival will be September 23-24 ( carrboromusicfestival.com/311/Carrboro-Music-Festival )

The Big Sweep trash cleanups are coming up in early October (see keepdurhambeautiful.org for Durham events). 

The annual Shakkori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance is coming up in October 5-8th ( shakorihillsgrassroots.org/ ). 

Haw River Assembly annual meeting and 35th anniversary celebration and fundraiser

There will be free events and the annual meeting the afternoon of Sunday, November 12th, and a ticketed party in the evening with refreshments and music, at the Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw in Chatham County. 

NC Commission of Inquiry on Torture hearings

There will be hearings investigating North Carolina's role in extraordinary rendition and torture November 30th and December 1st in the Raleigh Convention Center (for more information about the NCCIT, see www.nccit.org/ ).  The hearings are free and public, but registration is encouraged (email info (at nccit dot org).  June 26th was the UN's annual International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. 

City of Durham Sustainability Report online at: durhamnc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/16104

CompostNow

If you can't have a compost pile, CompostNow provides a bin for food waste and replaces it weekly (and they can take pizza boxes, meat, and bones, which are usually left out by backyard composters), and you get compost for your yard and reduce landfill use and pollution in exchange.  There is a two week free trial, and the regular cost is $25 dollars a month.  For information, see:  compostnow.org/offer/eventleads1/ 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Unity and Struggle journal marks hundredth annversary of the October Revolution 1917-2017

Unity and Struggle issue #34, focusing on the 1917 Great October Socialist Revolution's 100th anniversary, is out.  Unity and Struggle is a publication of the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations, which has member parties in the Americas, Africa, Europe, and Asia, and comes out in English, Spanish, Turkish, Arabic, Portuguese, and German.  To order a copy in the US, send $5 dollars in check, money order, or cash to George Gruenthal at:

192 Claremont Ave., #5D
New York, NY 10027
 
The price covers shipping in the USA, so contact him for the price if you are outside of the US.  He also sells copies of the Indian communist journal Revolutionary Democracy, which has a new issue out now as well.   
 
The table of contents (this issue in English is 220 pages):
 
Brazil
The Red Army and the Soviet People Saved Humanity from Nazism
Revolutionary Communist Party – PCR
Burkina Faso
The October Revolution: Its Teachings on the Question of Nations and Nationalities
Revolutionary Communist Party of Volta – PCRV
Denmark
Denmark and the Nordic countries: The rise and fall of the dream of peace and socialism without a revolution
Workers’ Communist Party of Denmark – APK
 
Dominican Republic
Hundredth Anniversary of the October Revolution: The Experience of the Soviets
Communist Party of Labor – PCT
 
Ecuador
The October Revolution and the Revolutionary Party of the Proletariat
Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Ecuador – PCMLE
 
France
The Conditions of the Revolutionary Crisis in Russia and the Struggle against the Opportunist Currents
Workers' Communist Party of France – PCOF
Germany
The October Revolution and its Influence on the German Workers’ Movement
Organization for the Construction of the Workers’ Communist Party of Germany
 
Greece
October Revolution – Confirmation of the Leninist Theory of the Proletarian Revolution
Movement for the Reorganisation of the Communist Party of Greece 1918-55
 
India
The October Revolution and Education (1917-1932)
Revolutionary Democracy
 
Iran
The October Revolution and  the Victory of Leninism
Its Effects on the International Communist Movement and the Communist Movement in Iran
Party of Labor (Toufan)
 
Italy
Red October and the founding of the Communist International
Communist Platform – for the Communist Party of the Proletariat of Italy
 
Mexico
The Mexican Revolution of 1910-17 and the Great Socialist Revolution of October 1917
Communist Party of Mexico (Marxist-Leninist) – PCM(ML)
Norway
Alexandra Kollontai and the Bolshevik Influence on the Norwegian Labour Movement in the Period of the October Revolution
Revolusyon
 
Peru
The Alliance of the Working Class, the Poor and Middle Peasantry in the October Revolution and the Building of Socialism
Peruvian Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) – PCP(ML)
 
Spain
Stalin and the Revolution
Communist Party of Spain (Marxist-Leninist) – PCE(ML)

Tunisia
The Role of Women in the Great October Revolution
Workers’ Party of Tunisia – PTT
Turkey
Culture and Revolution
Party of Labour (EMEP)

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Some June events and anniversaries

More events will probably be added later and events may be listed for interest rather than with complete endorsement. 

Justice, Sovereignty, Resistance:  Indians take back Robeson County

UNC's Wilson Library is hosting an exhibit June 2nd to July 2nd on the hostage taking that took place at The Robesonian newspaper February 1, 1988, protesting corruption in the sheriff's office, discrimination, and poverty.  The physical exhibit is in a room off the main lobby at the north entrance to Wilson Library, and there is an online exhibit at:  exhibits.lib.unc.edu/exhibits/show/indians-take-back-robeson

Saving the River One Song at a Time:  The Eno River Festival Legacy

Wilson Library is also hosting an exhibit (June 2nd to September 22nd, on the 4th floor) on the effort to save the Eno River when the City of Durham proposed drowning it for a drinking water reservoir in the 60's.  This led to the formation of what is today the Eno River Association, Eno River State Park in 1973, and the annual Eno River Festival, first held in 1980 and happening  July 1st and 4th this year (listed further down).  For more information, see:  blogs.lib.unc.edu/news/index.php/2017/06/eno-river-festival-exhibit/

A movement tried but failed to save the New Hope River (erased from the map today) and lower Haw River from the Federal dam project that created what is today Jordan Lake, and today people are trying to reduce the reservoir's pollution problems, which were predicted before the dam was built.   

Student Action with Farmworkers 25th anniversary

Student Action with Farmworkers, based in Durham, was organized in 1992 and is hosting anniversary exhibits and events throughout NC and in Washington, DC this year.  There will be an exhibit at FLOC's office in Dudley May 26th to December 31st.  There will be an event August 5th 6-9:30pm at the Power Plant in Durham's American Tobacco complex.  Duke's Center for Documentary Studies will host an exhibit June 22nd to November 11th, with a reception September 10th 2-4pm.  For details, see: 
saf-unite.org/content/saf-2017-exhibits-events


NC NAACP and Forward Together Movement press conference June 8th at NCCU

From their press release:
"North Carolina NAACP & Forward Together Moral Movement to hold a News Conference to discuss recent voting rights victories at the North Carolina Central University Law School.
 
In the past few weeks, the United States Supreme Court has handed down four straight voting rights victories for the NC NAACP, Forward Together Moral Movement, and the Fusion Electorate of North Carolina, affirming that the laws of our land will not tolerate the improper racial motives and discriminatory impacts of the voter suppression tactics employed by the Berger-Tillis-Moore extremist leadership of the North Carolina General Assembly.

'These egregious injuries to the efforts of the NAACP and its co-plaintiffs to eliminate racial discrimination from the voting rolls and practices of North Carolina call for tough, well-crafted remedies. For over 7 years we have had an unconstitutionally constituted legislature passing unconstitutional laws. It’s time for this to stop,' said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, President of NC NAACP and Convener of the Forward Together Moral Movement. The NC NAACP, allies, and their lawyers will hold a press conference to discuss the recent Supreme Court victories and lay out next steps and issue demands.
WHO: NC NAACP & Forward Together Moral Movement
WHAT: News Conference to discuss recent Supreme Court voting rights victories
WHEN: Thursday June 8th, 2017 at 10:00 am
WHERE: Great Hall at North Carolina Central School of Law
640 Nelson Street, Durham, NC
THE PUBLIC IS INVITED


Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II
http://www.naacpnc.org/
North Carolina NAACP · PO Box 335, Durham, NC 27702, United States
 
World Oceans Day

This annual day for increasing awareness about the oceans and keeping them healthy will be June 8th (see:  www.worldoceansday.org/ ).    

50th anniversary of Israel's attack on the USS Liberty

The Israeli air force and navy attacked the USS Liberty in international waters off Egypt, killing 34 and injuring 171, during the 1967 war, on June 8th. 

Ajamu Baraka, former Green Party VP candidate, speaking in Durham June 9th

From the NC Green Party:

"Ajamu Baraka—the Green Party 2016 vice presidential nominee, human rights activist, and national organizer of Black Alliance for Peace—will be speaking 6-8pm this Friday, June 9, at the Vault in Durham (1104 Broad St.). NCGP co-chair Tony Ndege will open the talk for Mr. Baraka. We'll wrap up with a Q&A.

This event is free and open to the public. Donations to the NCGP are encouraged at our Donate Page.
Baraka's talk will kick off the NCGP's Spring Gathering, our statewide meeting of NCGP members and allied people, which is slated for the next day (Saturday, June 10) at the Seedbed in nearby Mebane, North Carolina. Friday evening, immediately following Baraka's talk in Durham, the NCGP is holding a potluck dinner, also at the Seedbed venue in Mebane—more details below on that. (Directions from the Vault in Durham to the Seedbed in Mebane.) To sign up to contribute to the potluck the evening of Friday, June 9, in Mebane at the Seedbed, contact Jan Martell at ninth.st (at) frontier (dot com) or (919) 286-2056.
Subject of the talk: Baraka will address the urgent need for an independent party of the left to challenge the right and provide a true progressive electoral alternative, accountable to its voters and membership base, which is something the mainstream corporate-funded parties have repeatedly failed to do. The 2016 elections revealed more than ever the deep crisis that the United States and humanity are facing, which has been decades in the making. It's become clear that the institutional levers of political and social power that are being offered to Americans as the only way to express their demands and grievances are under the complete corporate control. More and more people are realizing that the parties and organizations that serve the oligarchy, in an age when a handful of people own a majority of the global wealth, are incapable of being reformed. The only way forward is to build our own institutions and political organizations of alternative power, overturning the present system and forging a path toward a global society that puts people, planet, and peace over profit. The time to build that people power is now."

To RSVP, see ncgreenparty.nationbuilder.com/ and go to events and the Facebook event page is at:  www.facebook.com/events/268622460267509/ 

NC Green Party Spring Gathering June 10th

The NCGP's 17th Spring Gathering will be Saturday, June 10th 9am-4:30pm at the Seedbed in Mebane (just inside Alamance County, west of Hillsborough), and non-members are welcome.  For details, see ncgreenparty.nationbuilder.com/spring_gathering_2017 or www.facebook.com/events/433699956990372/ 

From the NCGP:  "In the aftermath of the 2016 elections, we meet in a time of awakening among US citizens. The stark reality of the failure of the two-party system is on display for the world to see, and the need for alternative political views has never been as widely recognized as now. The Green Party is bustling—we're building locally and statewide and are uniquely positioned to challenge the status quo parties in North Carolina and across the country. Come to celebrate, join, and plan with us to move North Carolina toward a lasting social and economic system that respects humanity, abhors war, and understands our fundamental relationship to the natural word in which we all live."

Stop the Wars at Home and Abroad!

The United National Antiwar Coalition ( www.unacpeace.org/home.html ) will have a national conference, Stop the Wars at Home and Abroad:  Building a Movement Against War, Injustice and Repression!, June 16-18 and the Greater Richmond Convention Center in Richmond, Virginia (403 North 3rd Street).  The webpage is at:  www.unacconference2017.org/p/registration-form.html, and there is a Facebook page:  www.facebook.com/events/1208020632638814/?notif_t=plan_user_joined&notif_id=1485905602475965 

Al-Quds Day Protest in Durham

This is supposed to be an annual vigil, June 23rd, 5:30-7pm at Five Points (corner of East Chapel Hill Street and West Main Street, in front of the 9th Street Bakery).  For more information, see: www.facebook.com/events/460747520940363/

National Pollinator Week - June 19-25th 

National Pollinator Week was established by Congress a decade ago, but is now an international week to promote awareness of the vital role of the animals that pollinate wildflowers and our crops, some in decline.  For more information, see www.pollinator.org/pollinatorweek/ .  Durham's first Pollinator Garden Tour, with 13 participating community gardens, will be Saturday, June 24th ( keepdurhambeautiful.org/our-events/durhampollinatorgardentour/ ) .  There will also be local events in Chapel Hill and Oxford. 

The City of Durham became an official Bee City June 6th, pledging to take steps to conserve honey bee and native bee populations, and pollinators in general ( keepdurhambeautiful.org/programs/durhambeecityusa/ ).

Earlier this year the rusty patched bumblebee was listed as endangered, the first time a bee has received this attention in the continental US.  It was once found across the Eastern US and upper Midwest, but has vanished from 87% of its historic range just since the late 90's, and other pollinators are also slowly disappearing, such as the regal spangled fritillary butterfly, at least historically found in northwestern North Carolina, and the related diana.  The petition to list it was submitted by the Xerces Society (xerces.org/2017/01/10/rusty-patched-bumble-bee-protected-as-an-endangered-species/ ), named for the Xerces blue butterfly, the final nail in its coffin being the expansion of a military base in California during WWII, apparently now parkland. 

Charlotte Construction Workers' Press Conference on Contractor Abuses

From the NC AFL-CIO:

"Workers, community, faith, and labor groups will hold a press conference at Charlotte City hall on Monday, June 26th to urge council to pass a policy that encourage developers to disclose their contractors employment practices. While Charlotte’s construction industry is booming, Charlotte workers have yet to reap the benefits.

Come out Monday evening in Charlotte to show your support for these courageous construction workers!
What: Press conference to urge Charlotte City Council to protect workers
When: Monday, June 26 at 6:00 PM

Where: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center (steps outside S. Davidson St. entrance), 600 E. 4th street, Charlotte, NC 28202

RSVP: https://actionnetwork.org/events/building-a-better-charlotte "

June 28th is the 8th Anniversary of Honduran military coup supported by the US
 
In 2009 Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was overthrown with the support of the Obama Administration, especially then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in part to isolate Venezuela, where the US government is probably hoping for a military coup this year.  After the Honduran coup progressive activists were assassinated and thousands of citizens fled the country, many trying to cross into the US without authorization.  One of those killed was Berta Caceres, a native environmentalist.  HR 1299, the Berta Caceres Human Rights Act in Honduras would end military/security aid to Honduras until these deaths are fully and credibly investigated (see witnessforpeace.org/bertacaceresact/ ).

Stand Up Fight Back for Health Care! rally

The NC NAACP is organizing a rally in front of Senator Thom Tillis' Raleigh office (310 New Bern Avenue, Suite 122) June 29th at 10am against "Trump  Care."  The email announcement notes that member of Congress have excellent health care, but deny it to those who elect them.  To RSVP, see www.facebook.com/events/2065296660366389/ .


Biodiversity and Conservation in the Holy Land

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD, founder and director of the Palestine Museum of Natural History and the Palestine Institute for Biodiversity Research, will speak at the NC Museum of Natural History's Science CafĂ© (121 West Jones Street, Raleigh) June 29th, 7-8:30pm.  Qumsiyeh was director of Duke Medical Center's Cytogenetics Services from 1994 to 1999.  This free event is sponsored by the Charles M Jones Peace and Justice Committee of the Community Church of Chapel Hill Unitarian Universalist (www.c3huu.org) and the Coalition for Peace with Justice (www.cpwj.org), and endorsed by the Abrahamic Initiative on the Middle East, Balance and Accuracy in Journalism, and Jewish Voice for Peace, and is part of the Palestine Nature and Peace Studies Tour.   

Boot the Braids from UNC Rally

There will be a protest demanding that UNC boot Wendy's, in solidarity with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, June 30th, from 1:45-2:30 at the Student Union (northwest corner of Raleigh Street and South Road, but I assume the rally will be on the other side of the Union, by The Pit).  For more information, see:   www.facebook.com/events/141142056442843/

Northstar Compass' final print edition content deadline June 30th

The Northstar Compass Signature Edition is coming out in October for the 100th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution, and that will be the final paper edition, but the magazine, which covers communist organizing and news in the ex-Soviet states and other left news, mainly in Eastern Europe, including many photos, along with some articles on theory and Slavic culture, will continue online at:  sovietcompass.today/ and will post news from the International Council for Friendship and Solidarity with the Soviet People (of which US Friends of the Soviet People is a part).  Content for the final issue is due by June 30th, but preferably before then, and can be sent to sovietcompass at [gmail dot com] (also copy to bwz [at] [bell dot net]) or by mail to:
 
Northstar Compass
280 Queen Street West 2nd floor [I'm not sure that "2nd floor" is unnecessary]
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5V 2A1    

They are specifically looking for short inspirational personal anecdotes about the many achievements of Soviet socialism and greetings to the Friendship House in Canada or the new online effort.  They are also looking for articles for the October issue and ideas for the website. 

38th Annual Festival for the Eno

The Eno River Association's annual Festival will be July 1st-4th at West Point on the Eno in Durham.  For details and tickets see:   www.enofest.org/

July 4th celebrations

WILPF will table at Carrboro's event, Tuesday, July 4th 10am-4pm, I assume at the Town Hall. 

Local elections coming up

People can register to run for office in the City of Durham July 7-21st, for the elections October 10th and November 7th this year.  The Durham Board of Elections website is: dconc.gov/government/departments-a-e/board-of-elections and the State Board is at:  www.ncsbe.gov/ 

Election results are on at State Board's website and they are broken up by precinct Durham's website; in Durham County 535 (0.34%) write-in votes were registered for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, while there were 2000 (1.28%) miscellaneous write-ins, and Libertarian Gary Johnson got 3,999 (2.56%) votes. 

Witness for Peace Southeast seeking donations for youth delegation to Nicaragua

"Dear Friends and Supporters of Witness for Peace Southeast, 

I’m writing to ask your support to meet my goal of raising $2,000 for youth scholarships for our annual Fair Trade Youth Delegation to Nicaragua!

This delegation will take place from July 3rd to July 12, 2017, 

and includes 15 participants, including 3 sponsored by Movement of Youth (http://movementofyouth.org/), 1 from a Catholic Worker community (http://www.catholicworker.org/), and 4 Latinx teens from Greensboro, NC. 


The youth delegation was first organized by Witness for Peace Southeast co-founder Gail Phares in 1991, and they have educated hundreds of young people about the impacts 
of our government’s foreign policy and trade agreements.

 

Here are some of the activities of the delegation:

·      Learn about Nicaragua’s history, politics, and economics, and how that is connected with US foreign policy. 

·      Understand the impact of trade agreements such as the Central American Free Trade Agreement
Continue reading, including requests from youth who want to go this year, 
and make a donation at: https://www.youcaring.com/witnessforpeace-772549# "

NC Commission of Inquiry on Torture hearings

There will be hearings investigating North Carolina's role in extraordinary rendition and torture November 30th and December 1st in the Raleigh Convention Center (for more information about the NCCIT, see www.nccit.org/ ).  The hearings are free and public, but registration is encouraged (email info (at nccit dot org).  This month, June 26th was the UN's annual International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.