Monday, April 10, 2017

Communist fight songs and musical culture from the Socialist Bloc

Soundtracks for revolution © 
I like what is usually called “world music,” especially leftist political music, but it can take some searching to find and websites are often too short-lived, so this article points out some place to find leftist, mainly communist, songs and marches online. It takes a broad view of who was in the socialist bloc and communist movements. If you know of useful websites or stores I missed, and there are probably many, please let me know or comment.

Western Europe

Sinn Fein's online store ( www.sinnfeinbookshop.com/ ) has a number of CDs and other items, more nationalist than socialist, but there is a lot of praise for Irish socialist James Connolly and condemnation of the UK's imperialism, an enemy of labor globally and many countries. Surprisingly, Irish nationalist music with more class consciousness is sold by Smithsonian Folkways ( www.folkways.si.edu/index.aspx ), such as This Is Free Belfast! and England's Vietnam. Their releases include liner notes providing historical content, encoded on the discs and available online, and tracks can be sampled online. 

British singer Billy Bragg ( www.billybragg.co.uk/ ) recorded old leftist songs, such as The Internationale, The Red Flag, Blake's Jerusalem, Joe Hill, This Land is Your Land, and A Change is Gonna Come, as well as songs like There is Power in a Union, Never Cross a Picket Line, and Chile Your Waters Run Red Through Soweto. These songs are on the album The Internationale, available on Amazon. He also sang about the 1649 Digger movement in Britain, but not on that CD.   

Another version of The Red Flag, popular with the British Labor Party when it had some socialist content, was available online; I think I found it through a link on the UE (United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America union) website, but I lost track of it. It might be this website: webpages.dcu.ie/~sheehanh/connell.htm A version set to a different tune is online at: protestsongs.ca/volume-1/the-red-flag/

The lyrics and midi files of The Red Flag and many other leftist songs are available at: drapeaurouge.free.fr/

Songs in English, Spanish, and German from the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War are available in two albums from Smithsonian Folkways, with a new one-volume version released in 2014. The singers include Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger.

Smithsonian Folkways also sells Avanti Popolo! Forward, People! a CD of Italian leftist music from the postwar years to the 70's, including Bandiera Rossa, Bella Ciao and The American Bases. 

I have some other communist songs in European languages, received second-hand, so I don't know where they came from originally, but it shows how much music is out there.

Eastern Europe

Many albums of German communist music have been released. Brandenburg Historica ( stores.militaryhistoryshop.com/ ) specializes in German military music and sells some imported albums of marches, leftist songs, and classical music recorded in the German Democratic Republic, as well as some Soviet music. Some of the albums from B.T.M. GmbH ( www.bt-music.de/ ) include Soldaten Singen: Kampflieder der NVA und Volkspolizei and Historisches Militärkonzert mit dem Grossen Zapfenstreich der NVA. Imports from BarbaRossa Musikverlag include Singende Fanfaren: Zentrales Musikkorps der FDJ und der Pionierorganisation Ernst Thälmann and Mit klingendem Spiel: Zentrales Orchester des Ministeriums Innern. They used to have Barbarossa's Dem Morgenrot Entgegen. Hymnen, which has several anthems and well-known songs. They also used to have Die Partei Hat Immer Recht: Eine Dokumentation in Liedern from Hansa Musik Produktion GmbH. It might still be available on Amazon or eBay and there is a sequel, Die Schalmei Hat Immer Recht. I just found a German site that seems to be about East German dance music: www.ddr-tanzmusik.de/index.php/Hauptseite

A number of songs from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, including Yugoslav versions of the International, We Are the Smiths, and Over Hills and Dales used to be available at www.titoville.com , a website about leader Josip Broz Tito, and they could still be floating around on the Internet somewhere (an image of the website can still be seen at: archive.is/www.titoville.com ). 

Many songs from the People's Socialist Republic of Albania are online at: www.enver-hoxha.net/content/content_english/home-eng.htm Some YouTube videos are linked at: www.enverhoxha.info/english/musics.php

USSR

Soviet songs are pretty easy to find online. A huge number of songs and some speeches in Russian, as well as some in other languages, including many versions of the International, are posted online at: www.sovmusic.ru/english/index.php Many Soviet songs were released on CD by Melodiya in Russia, such as Let Songs Narrate What People We Have Been. I think Youth Construction Brigade Songs was also produced by Melodiya. Northstar Compass sold some music from the USSR and other countries, but contact them to see if they still sell items. Smithsonian Folkways has a few CDs of music from the USSR, including History of the Soviet Union in Ballad and Song (it is called volume 1, but there doesn't seem to be a volume 2) with early songs, such as the Russian versions of The Red Flag and The Internationale (an early Soviet national anthem), as well as Varshavianka, We Are the Blacksmiths, The Engine, and We Renounce the World. Folkways has other albums of music from the USSR, but they might be mainly folk music. As said above, Brandenburg Historica sells some Soviet music. In the past they sold Barba Rossa's Mütterchen Russland: Originalaufnahmen 1930-1955 and Silva Classics' The Best of the Red Army Choir. I once saw an album containing all the anthems of the Soviet republics, I think sold by the import company Sovietski, but they no longer exist. Amazon and possibly eBay is a good place to look for these relatively rare CDs. I found a CD through Amazon that seems to be just songs relating to Stalin. Paul Robeson sang an English version of the Soviet anthem sometime around WWII (it is posted many times on YouTube, such as at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pO6q_mFjEUg ) and the anthem of the People's Republic of China (one posting is at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtrRAjeihxo )

The Middle East and Africa

Smithsonian Folkways has some CDs of music from Middle Eastern and African countries, such as songs of the PLO and the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola.

There was a website, probably set up in Germany, called the Iraq News Network (probably different from the current website called INN), that had songs related to the Iraqi resistance and some Soviet music, such as the WWII song Holy War. Trump and the Democratic leadership may soon give us the 'opportunity' to hear songs of anti-US resistance in Syria (or maybe in East Asia), though there must already be music against “Western” imperialisms throughout the Arab world.

South Asia

The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)'s website had a lot of Nepalese revolutionary songs during the civil war, but the party split and the website is gone now. There must be music from India's Maoists (Naxalites) and others in the region, but I haven't come across any. Pakistan's Laal group (meaning Red), associated with the Communist Workers and Peasants Party (CMKP), has many music videos on YouTube, such as this version of the International: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PnIGbtqS5w Their YouTube channel is Laal Pakistan. I highlighted their music on The Peoples Channel in Orange and Durham counties a few years ago, with permission from the group.  

East Asia

A huge amount of music is collected in The Internet Chinese Music Archive (www.ibiblio.org/chinese-music/ ), which also includes ceremonial music, operas, childrens' songs, Chinese pop music, Taiwanese songs, and some Soviet music, as well as historic Chinese speeches. There seem to be varying translations for some of the titles, but the songs include My Motherland, No CCP, No China, Chinese Volunteers Battle Song, Socialism Good, Women Detachment Anthem, Red Sun Ode, and Song of Oil Workers, and many other songs, such as Ode to Plum, that could be folk rather than outright political music. There are albums sold on Amazon, and people can go to the source at www.yesasia.com , a company apparently started in the US and now based in Hong Kong, Seoul, and Tokyo. There is a 10-CD collection of Chinese folk music that includes many Maoist songs, a few probably the same recordings in the Internet Chinese Music Archive. Some of these songs are also on the CD My Motherland, from HUGO Productions, and Hundred Years Phonograph. Another CD mixing political and folk music is Rounder Records' China: Music from the People's Republic of China, which includes a Sinified instrumental version of The International. There is a collection of 20 marches from the different branches of the People's Liberation Army, and it includes versions of some Maoist songs. Revolutionary songs used for nationalist purposes are kind of common online as China grows in power. One album I found on Amazon is Ode to the Communist Party: 1921-2001. Amazon also has versions of the classical Yellow River Concerto (instrumental) and Yellow River Cantanta (with vocals), written in 1939.   

YesAsia has some music from the DPRK, such as a 3-CD collection of different versions of the folk song Arirang ( www.yesasia.com/us/north-korean-arirang-collection/1004171809-0-0-0-en/info.html ), and it probably has music from the ROK promoting peace on the Korean Peninsula. The DPRK sells music and other things directly online at: www.korea-dpr.com/ , but the store is not always available and is currently down. Websites with free Korean music that I found years ago no longer exist for the most part, but the anthem and other music might be posted on YouTube. I don't remember finding this store, but there is also: www.north-korea-books.com

Smithsonian Folkways sells Vietnam Will Win! and Vietnam: Songs of Liberation, music from the National Liberation Front during the Vietnam War, originally released in 1971. Many of Smithsonian Folkways' revolutionary albums were first released by Paredon Records in the 70's. 

They also have Paredon's 1976 album Bangon! Arise! , featuring revolutionary music from the Philippines. The tracks include a Tagalog version of the International, Wave the Red Flag, Down with US Imperialism, and Anthem of the New People's Army, apparently the same communist guerrilla army fighting today.   

The Americas

Folkways released an album of anti-Pinochet music from Chile and there are CDs of leftist songs from Cuba, Mexico, Ecuador, Uruguay, etc. The Committee to Support the Revolution in Peru put out a tape, Panorama Ayacuchano: Music from Peru, from the International Emergency Committee to Defend the Life of Dr Abimael Guzmán, the captured founder of Shining Path in Peru. The CSRP doesn't seem to exist now, but it might be possible to find the music somewhere online. 

In the US leftist music is mainly labor and folk songs, which are somewhat common in the media, though given how popular groups like the Socialist Party USA and then the Communist Party USA once were, and their cultural productions, there is probably a lot of left musical history buried in the US. The local NPR station includes some of these classic songs and new songs, like Andy Irvine's Never Tire of the Road, in its Back Porch Music program ( wunc.org/back-porch-music ), especially over Labor Day weekend. Back Porch Music is on for a few hours every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening. The Raging Grannies often sing familiar protest tunes with new lyrics at local demonstrations and events, such as the Hiroshima bombing commemoration last August in downtown Chapel Hill. Songs from the US Civil War sounds like contemporary world leftist music but the content is more relevant to war and issues of the time than to class politics today. There is some newer commercially released music, but it sounds more like the modern pop music genre than what I think of as leftist music, and it usually doesn't use hard left vocabulary, though it is on the left. In a way, music from some English-language musicals could be considered close to music from the actual revolutionary movements whose style they emulate.     

The NC and Ohio-based Farm Labor Organizing Committee's online shop sells labor songs by its president, Baldemar Velasquez, and the Aquila Negra Band (see www.floc.com/wordpress/floc-shop/ ).  

Friday, March 31, 2017

March for Jobs, Justice, and the Climate, UPS solidarity, book sales, Earth Day, and other upcoming events

More events may be added in the future and events may be listed for interest rather than with complete endorsement. 

751 South project beginning?

I don't see any reports in local papers, but work may have begun on 751 South.  April 18th I saw that several acres have been torn up on the west side of 751 south of Stagecoach Road, though possibly it is a different project.  The site is next to Jordan Lake and New Hope Creek and there was a lot of controversy over how far it is from the water and other issues.  Eventually Durham rejected the plan, but Republicans in the General Assembly from places far from the Triangle stepped in to force local governments to accept it.  Things have been quiet, and I was hoping the plan had been quietly cancelled, but construction may have begun.  It was originally proposed as a "conservation subdivision" or whatever the term was, but the area looks like a moonscape scrapped clean of life right now. 

Citizen science projects 

NCSU's A Tree's Life is launching a citizen science project asking people to spend a few minutes a year monitoring the growth of red maple trees, using a dendrometer they will provide.  This USDA-funded research could help us understand how trees react to climate change and urbanization and how much of the buried carbon set free by humans is being re-absorbed by trees as they grow.  Red maples are pretty common trees around here, and are very colorful in both early spring and fall and produce reddish winged seeds that scatter around now.  To participate, see:   ecoipm.org/a-trees-life/  
An ongoing citizen science project about fireflies/lightning bugs and also relating to pollution and urbanization is the Boston Museum of Science's Firefly Watch:  legacy.mos.org/fireflywatch/ I mentioned the NC Candid Critters project in a previous post, though in hindsight I wonder how much of a privacy issue there will be if camera traps are hidden on public land, so that people are under surveillance not only in urban areas but even in relatively remote wild areas.  
  
Russian Revolution exhibit at UNC

I can't vouch for the content, but there is an exhibit, "A World on Fire in Flames of Blood:  Narratives of the Russian Revolution," marking the 100th anniversary, at UNC's Wilson Library until May 14th.  For more information, see:  blogs.lib.unc.edu/news/index.php/2017/01/russian-revolution-exhibition/

Forsyth Creek Week

Forsyth County's Creek Week continues through April 2nd around Winston-Salem.  There is a schedule and more information at:   forsythcreekweek.squarespace.com/

Earth Day Festival in Greensboro

The Kathleen Clay Library in Greensboro (1420 Price Park Road) is having its annual event April 1st, 1-5pm in Price Park.  There will be over 50 exhibitors with exhibits about things like alternative fuel vehicles and energy, gardening, etc. as well as a tiny house tour, live animals, a nature photo competition, hay rides, face painting, etc.  This annual event usually brings out about 2500 people.   

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.  An exhibit in Raleigh's Historic Oak View County Park is ongoing through May 7th.  The same exhibit will be 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

Community, Activism, and Beer:  Resisting Trump's Dangerous Budget

The Durham People's Alliance is hosting an event at Ponysaurus Brewing April 1st at 1pm to call Senators Burr and Tillis to condemn Trump's proposed budget.  To sign up, see: www.facebook.com/events/1767337099946769/

The PA's annual Membership Meeting will be Wednesday, April 5th at 6:30pm at Motorco Music Hall and NC legislator Graig Meyer will speak.  For details see:   www.durhampa.org/calendar

Evelyn McNeill Sims Native Plant Lecture at the NC Botanical Garden

From ncbg.unc.edu/annual-lectures/ :

Designing with Native Plants: A Naturalistic Approach
 Lisa Wagner, Plant Ecologist
Sunday, April 2; 2:30 p.m. 


Using nature as inspiration for creating naturalistic gardens is key to creating sustainable and enjoyable gardens with native plants. Naturalistic landscapes are both pleasing, as conventional gardens become more reflective of natural gardens, but also ecologically balanced, providing sustenance for you, and for fellow inhabitants of your site.

Lisa Wagner served as Director of Education at the South Carolina Botanical Garden, Clemson University for over 2 decades. She does frequent presentations and classes on topics including gardening for nature, creating a native woodland garden, and native plants for pollinators. A plant ecologist by background (Ph.D. in Botany, UC Berkeley), she’s involved with neighborhood greening efforts, sustainable gardening, and naturalistic garden design. Her blog, Natural Gardening, reflects her observations about gardening and the natural world. Free. Preregistration Required.

UPS Workers Solidarity Rally April 3rd

There will be a rally in solidarity with UPS workers in Chapel Hill Monday, April 3rd 7:30-9:30am at the Eubanks Road facility, next to the public parking lot on Eubanks.

Workers Rights Hearings April 4th

The NC AFL-CIO is hosting town hall meetings on the Fight for $15, union rights, and ending systemic racism April 6th (the 49th anniversary of the assassination off Martin Luther King) at 6pm in Durham (Hayti Heritage Center, 804 Old Fayetteville Street), Greenville, and Gastonia/Dallas.  For details see:  aflcionc.org/

Health and Environmental Justice Talk April 4th

From Triangle WILPF:

"Creative Resistance: Fighting Toxins and Fossil Fuels,Tuesday April 4, 2017, 7:00-9:00 pm, Sonja Hanes Stone Center Auditorium, 150 South Rd, Chapel Hill, NC 27599 -Free parking in Bell Tower Parking Deck, Bell Tower Dr.

How do you fit into climate change advocacy? How do toxins from fossil fuels affect our physical health, and our local economies and communities? How can people power help to “story” the facts and ethics within pursuits to address unequal toxic burdens, and promote science-based policy change?

In this public talk, Dr. Sandra Steingraber–an internationally awarded author and poet, cancer patient, persistent activist, and biological ecologist–engages our unique political moment to both welcome new advocates for environmental health, and to inspire communities fighting over the long term.

This event invites multiple perspectives into dialogue on environmental, health, racial, and economic justice. Opening for Dr. Steingraber by Rev. Rodney Sadler, NC NAACP. Immediately after join us for a panel discussion with water science expert, Dr. Ryan Emmanuel, as well as community members fighting back against these toxic impacts here in NC with representatives of Appalachian Voices, ACT Against Coal Ash, No Fracking in Stokes, Eco-Robeson, Community Drumming Circle, and communities fighting to stop the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Planning organizers are from: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom *  Breast Cancer Action * 350 Triangle * NC NAACP * Appalachian Voices * NC Interfaith Power & Light * NC Environmental Justice Network"

Annual SCALA book sale at UNC

Every spring the UNC Student Chapter of the American Library Association (scalaunc.weebly.com/)  has a book sale, and I think it will be April 4-8 in front of UNC's Davis Library this year, to benefit the UNC School of Information and Library Science.  Last time I went to a sale there were not a lot of political books, but that may not be the case every year.   

Haw River Assembly's 35th anniversary

The Haw River Assembly was founded in March 1982 to advocate for water quality in the Haw River basin (including Jordan Lake, which was new or possibly not even flooded at the time), so they are having meet and greets with the staff and board of directors throughout the basin.  The last one will be April 5th 6-8pm at the Hope Valley Brewing Company in Durham (4810 Hope Valley Road).  They are also trying to raise $35,000 this year.  For more information or to donate, see: www.hawriver.org/

Friends of the Chatham County Library Spring Book Sale

The spring sale will be April 6-8th at the Chatham Community Library (on the CCCC campus, at 197 NC 87 North in Pittsboro).  Thursday and Friday the sale will be from 9am to 7pm and Saturday it will be from 9am-2pm, and the prices vary.  For details, see: friendsccl.org/     

Tire Recycling in Durham April 8th

Durham residents can drop off tires (on or off rims) for recycling April 8th 9am-12pm at the Bahama Ruritan Club (who organized the event).  For details see:  keepdurhambeautiful.org/event/tire-
recycling-drive/

Syria Protest

There will be a rally Wednesday, April 12th 12-1pm at Chapel Hill's Peace and Justice Plaza (the old Post Office across Franklin Street from UNC) to condemn the US missile attack on Syria and the refusal to accept refugees from the Syrian civil war.  The protest is being organized by Triangle WILPF, but all are invited to participate.   

Annual Pilgrimage for Peace and Justice

This is organized by Witness for Peace Southeast and will be April 9-14th this year.  See :   www.facebook.com/PilgrimageforJustice/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE&fref=nf  

UNC Charlotte Botanical Garden plant sale April 13-15th (see:  gardens.uncc.edu/special-events/ )

 
Kim Il Sung birth anniversary

Fighter for Korean liberation from Japanese imperialism and founding leader of the DPRK Kim Il Sung was born April 15, 1912.  Many diplomatic and other contemporary documents related to Kim Il Sung are online at digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/collection/138/conversations-with-kim-il-sung and at least some of his collected works are available in English at UNC's Davis Library.   

Nahida Halaby Gordon and Samia Halaby author talks

Two authors will speak about their Palestine-related books (Palestine Is Our Home and Drawing the Kafr Qasem Massacre respectively) at Quail Ridge Books (www.quailridgebooks.com/) in Raleigh April 17th at 7pm.  This was not organized by the Coalition for Peace with Justice (peace-with-justice.org/), but I heard about it from them. 

US Tax Day April 18th

Income taxes are due April 18th (www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc301.html), though some tax resisters refuse to pay or pay less than the IRS expects, to oppose US militarism or for some less progressive reason. 

NC We the People press conference in Raleigh

There will be a press conference April 19th at 11am in the General Assembly's Press Conference Room (at 16 West Jones Street) on the introduction of HB 453 and S354.  The legislation would add a ballot measure (the We the People Act) in the 2018 general election, declaring that North Carolinians think money is not speech and that it is people who are "natural persons" with constitutional rights, not corporations and other entities, and asking Congress to act, which would overturn the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision.  There is a petition and for more information about the campaign, see:   www.ncwethepeople.org/      

UNC-Charlotte Earth Day festival April 19th 10am-2pm

NC Star Party 2017

As part of the annual Festival of Science (April 7-23), begun by UNC's Morehead Planetarium, there will be stargazing events across the State April 21-22.  Hopefully the issue of light pollution, which robs us of the chance to see the night sky and can harm human health and both animals and plants, will be mentioned.  There are very dark skies in some rural parts of North Carolina, but light pollution is common (for more about the issue, see www.darksky.org).  For details, see:  www.ncsciencefestival.org/starparty

Indivisbull Town Hall

The Durham People's Alliance is hosting a town hall Saturday, April 22nd at 1pm at the Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.  They invited US Senator Tom Tillis (but he has not said he will attend) and say they want a constructive discussion.  For more information see:  www.durhampa.org/calendar    

Sister Cities:  Understanding Russia -- USA Relations

As part of the sister cities program a panel will discuss how to understand Russia April 22nd at 3pm at Durham's Southwest Regional Library (the main page says South Regional Library, but the detailed announcement says Southwest [I confirmed that it will be at Southwest]).  The speakers are not listed, but hopefully it will encourage deeper understanding.  For more information, see www.durhamcountylibrary.org 

March for Science April 22nd

There will be events in several countries, Washington DC, and local events in Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Greensboro, Charlotte, Asheville, and Wilmington.  For more information see:  www.marchforscience.com/   

Party for the Pine

There will be events celebrating the record oldest longleaf pine (469 years) and the threatened longleaf pine savanna habitat at Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve April 22nd, 10am-3pm.  There will be music, exhibits, a controlled burn, turpentining, food trucks, a bluebird nest box workshop, and other events.  At 7:30 there will be an event for the 5th annual Statewide Star Party.  For more information, see  www.partyforthepine.org/ , call 919 692 2167, or email Weymouth [period] woods [at] ncparks [period] gov

Durham Earth Day Festival April 23rd

Traditionally April 22nd (also Lenin's birthday in 1870, 100 years before the first Earth Day), which is a Saturday this year. 

The Durham Earth Day Festival will be Sunday, April 23rd 12-5pm at the Durham Central Park (502 Foster Street), rain or shine.  For more information see the page at keepdurhambeautiful.org and the schedule is at:   durhamnc.gov/1003/Earth-Day-Festival 

Earth Day in Wilson

The Imagination Station Science and History Museum (224 Nash Street East in Wilson, NC) will have an Earth Day Celebration April 22nd, 9am-12pm, with a scavenger hunt, crafts, games, etc. about things like recycling, reusing, and reducing the resources we use.  They will have WeatherWorks Extravaganza 2017 in the afternoon, highlighting weather and STEM fields.  Stephen Keebler from NOAA's Wilmington office will speak and WRAL meteorologist Mike Moss will be there.  Both festivals are free. For details, see:  scienceandhistory.org/home 

Trees Over Durham April 25th

There will be a conference April 25th 2:30-8pm at the Durham Arts Center (120 Morris Street) to discuss trees and the community and produce a vision statement for Durham [the website says the 25th, but I also heard about a forum on the 24th at 6:15pm at the Durham Arts Center].  Childcare will be available, but requires registration.  The meeting is being organized by Durham Tree Advocates, with financial support from Leaf and Limb Tree Service, Vaguely Reminiscent, and Duke Energy.  [Durham's Finest Trees contest winners will be announced at 6:15.]  For more information and registration, see:  keepdurhambeautiful.org/event/trees-over-durham-forum/

Workers' Memorial Day April 28th

April 28th is an international day to remember people killed on the job (150 workers died at work in NC in 2015, the most recent year with statistics).  To find an event, see:  actionnetwork.org/event_campaigns/workers-memorial-day-2017?source=website  The NC AFL-CIO is hosting a press conference and interfaith memorial at the Old State Capitol (1 East Eden Street, facing the NC Museum of History) in Raleigh April 28th at 10am.  Participants should wear black. 

Friends of the Durham Library Grand Opening Sale

After the sale in February at the old location, the Main Library's Garage, there will be a spring book sale in the new location, near Sears at Northgate Mall, Friday, April 28th 3-8pm and April 29th 10am-4.  It sounds like the Friday sale will be open to non-FODL members.  There are small sales all year at each library and the Durham Co-op Market.  I think I was once told that books retired by the libraries are only sold at the big sales, but I've been wondering if that has changed.   

I Love Durham Limpio

There will be trash cleanups (limpio is Spanish for clean) at several locations in Durham April 29th 9am-1pm.  There will be an Educational Resources Fair and registration at Lakeview Shopping Center, across from the Scrap Exchange.  For more information, see: 
keepdurhambeautiful.org/i-love-durham-limpio/ 

Native Plant Sale and Festival

The NC Botanical Garden's annual sale and festival will be April 29th, 3-7pm.  The NCBG and private nurseries will sell native plants and books and there will be music, food trucks, and an appearance by UNC's mascot Ramses.  For details, see:  ncbg.unc.edu/native-plant-sale/

March for Jobs, Justice, and the Climate April 29th

There will be a demonstration for economic and environmental justice in Washington, DC Saturday, April 29th, the culmination of activism during the Trump Administration's first 100 days, organized by the People's Climate Movement.  See:   peoplesclimate.org/?source=350 

The NC Sierra Club and others have organized buses that will go to and from Chapel Hill, Greensboro, Asheville, and New Bern/Morehead City on the 29th; for tickets see:  www.eventbrite.com/e/peoples-climate-march-bus-chapel-hill-to-dc-tickets-33164210045

May Day/International Workers' Day May 1st

I have nor heard about any plans yet, but surely there will be local and national events and protests.  It is the equivalent of US Labor Day in Mexico and many other countries, though it began in the USA. 

[May 1st has been declared A Day Without Immigrants - no working, no school, and no buying:  www.lahuelga.com/#form ]

Anniversary of Odessa Massacre May 2nd

Rightists in Odessa, Ukraine trapped campaigners for a federal system in the House of Trade Unions and set it on fire, killing at least 46 people (see odessasolidaritycampaign.org/alerts/)

Wake County's Annual Book Sale and Festival of Reading

The sale, which sounds like the biggest annual book sale in the Triangle, will be May 4-7th; see:  www.wakegov.com/libraries/events/Pages/booksale.aspx

Victory Day

May 9th commemorates the defeat of Germany in 1945, mainly in ex-Soviet and eastern European countries. 

Karl Marx was born May 5th in 1818 in what is now Germany. 

US Mother's Day

This holiday on Sunday, May 14th has some peace and justice roots, though it is rarely noted now.  May 14th is also UNC's Spring Commencement and I've heard that the Eno River's mountain laurels usually bloom around then, so it is a good time to visit (though many spring wildflowers bloom in March and April as well).    

Longleaf Festival 2017

The 8th annual Longleaf Festival, celebrating the longleaf pine savanna that once covered much of eastern NC, vital for many species and once economically important for naval stores, will be May 20th, 11am-3pm at Wake County's Harris Lake County Park.  For more information, see:  www.wakegov.com/parks/harrislake/Pages/Longleaf-Festival.aspx

World Turtle Day

World Turtle Day, May 23rd, is an annual event to increase awareness of turtles and tortoises, and was created by American Tortoise Rescue ( www.worldturtleday.org/ ).  Many turtles are unnecessarily killed on roads around here (and even turtles that look too injured to survive can recover if at least removed from the road, and if necessary taken to a wildlife rehabilitator, in part because they are cold-blooded and rugged animals), and it is possible that box turtles are in decline because of sprawl.  It might not be causing problems, but red-eared sliders, colorful aquatic turtles that used to be traded as pets, live in the Triangle and elsewhere in NC, but aren't native, while closely related yellow-bellied sliders are native.  On the coast there are issues with endangered species of sea turtle.   

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. 

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 

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. 

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Some upcoming events, February-June

More events and details might be added after this is posted. 

Internationalist Books is closed

Internationalist Books when it was on West Franklin St.; the Carrboro location seemed larger. ©   

This is old news, but I just found out that Internationalist Books only has an online presence now (www.internationalistbooks.org/).  A current tenant said the Internationalist closed in August and there is an announcement about it from September 7th on their Facebook page (
www.facebook.com/internationalistbooks/).  It was a good place to find and distribute leftist and Marxist literature and petitions.  Many free newspapers were available, including local papers like Chatham County Line, Triangle Free Press, and The Blotter, leftist papers like the Catholic Worker and War Crimes Times, and harder left papers.  Occasionally I found Workers World and Revolutionary Communist Party publications there, and I left Marxist-Leninist magazines (and people even left donations to defray printing costs), and there were papers such as Workers Vanguard, Socialist Viewpoint, Slingshot and sometimes publications from abroad.  At one time its lending library included rare or at least unusual to come across English-language books from socialist Albania.  The West Franklin Street location in Chapel Hill was an important meeting venue relatively close to UNC during the early years of the Iraq War and there were other meetings, such as the local Earth First! branch, LGBT groups, and occasionally the Triangle Socialist Forum.  More recently the store moved to Lloyd Street in Carrboro.  I didn't agree with the Internationalists' overall anarchist and Trotskyist atmosphere, but it was a unique and valuable center for the community.  With the demise of The Know Bookstore (now I'm having trouble remembering the exact name of this bookstore/café near NCCU) and El Kilombo Intergaláctico in downtown Durham and now the Internationalist, there don't seem to be any left bookstores/community centers in central North Carolina, apparently part of a nationwide trend, probably part of the general decline of brick and mortar bookstores.          

City of Durham Budget Priorities Survey

There is an online survey at durhamnc.gov/3020/Budget , open through March 31st, or residents can talk to the City Council at Coffee with Council meetings:

Saturday, February 11, 10 a.m.–noon, Lyon Park Community Family Life and Recreation Center, 1309 Halley St. (PAC 3)

Monday, February 13, 6 p.m.–8 p.m., Durham Public Schools Resource Center, 2107 Hillandale Rd. (PAC 2)

Thursday, March 9, 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m., City Hall Committee Room, 101 City Hall Plaza, Second Floor (PAC 5; Spanish translation available) 

Saturday, March 11, 10 a.m.–noon, Campus Hill Recreation Center, 2000 S. Alston Ave. (PAC 4)

Saturday, March 18, 9:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m., Holton Career and Resource Center Child Care Center, 401 N. Driver St., Second Floor (PAC 1)

The Durham Bike+Walk Implementation Plan is also seeking input:  www.durhambikewalkplan.com/  I'm not sure if this is the office involved, but there are planned trails that have been planned for years or decades and have yet to be started, though the land necessary to implement them may be filling up.  

[The DOT is also seeking comments about what needs to be improved along NC 98 from Durham to Franklin County, and this might also include improvements to NC 50 and some other roads:  nc98corridor.com/ ]

State of the City Address

Mayor Bell will give his annual State of the City Address February 28th, 11:30am-1pm, in American Tobacco Campus Bay 7 (318 Blackwell Street).  This is his last year in office, so there will also be an interview with WRAL's Gerald Owens and a retrospective video with the thoughts of people he worked with over the years, and a speech by Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Geoff Durham.  The video of the event will be available on social media and the Durham Television Network, but tickets are required to attend:  durhammag.com/stateofthecity2017/  

Comprehensive Transportation Plan comment period

Comments are requested on the draft comprehensive transportation plan for Durham, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro through February 24th; see www.dchcmpo.org/programs/ctp/default.asp for details. 

Climate Change Solutions for North Carolina

This conference will be Saturday, February 4th 10-5pm at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Shepherd Hall (121 Hillsborough Street, opposite the Old State Capital).  For details, see:  actionnetwork.org/events/climate-change-and-solutions-for-north-carolina?referrer=karen-bearden&source=direct_link 

No Ban.  No Wall.  No Fear.  A Day of Action:  Raleigh

There will be a peaceful demonstration in solidarity with Muslim, Latin@, refugee, and immigrant communities February 4th 12-3pm at Raleigh's Halifax Mall (16 West Jones Street).  For more information see:  www.facebook.com/events/723690511142379/ 

Labor Legislative Conference

The NC State AFL-CIO's annual Labor Legislative Conference, a planning and lobbying event, will be February 7-8 at the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel (421 South Salisbury Street).  See aflcionc.org/ for details.  

Balance and Accuracy in Journalism

        "7:30 PM WEDNESDAY FEB 8 
                                  at
        THE COMMUNITY CHURCH, UU, 
                 106 PUREFOY RD, C.H.
 
   Balance & Accuracy in Journalism                       
                               presents
                          Josh Fox’s 
       HOW TO LET GO OF THE WORLD AND 
LOVE ALL THE THINGS CLIMATE CAN’T CHANGE
 
Stunningly reckless choices and votes mount up in DC, even
as the earth’s temperature and climate destabilization increase.  
What answer does the human spirit bring to such colossal threats?
 
Josh Fox, whose documentary Gasland spotlighted
the dangers of fracking, has produced a large and beautiful 2 hr film 
he calls, 'How to Let Go of the World 
and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change.'
  See what you think he’s saying.  
 
Chris Barsanti of Film Journal International wrote,
'Fox hits that sweet spot between realism and idealism 
which few of his cinematic eco-activists have so far achieved.' "

From a Chapel Hill activist calendar:

"DEFIANCE: THE NIGHT OF THE FAILED COUP  Documentary by Cüneyt Özdemir, who will introduce film and lead discussion, tells story of  failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016,  7 p.m., Thursday, February 2, Duke’s Richard White Auditorium, East Campus, near corner of Main Street and Buchanan Blvd. Sponsored by Duke University Middle East Studies Center (DUMESC), Screen/Society, Program in the Arts of the Moving Image (AMI), AMES Presents, and Duke University Libraries. mideast[at]duke[dot edu].
 
DEMOCRACY FOR SALE SCREENS IN TRIANGLE  Documentary focuses on how North Carolina became a bellwether for how money of a few came to dominate our democracy and what can be done to help stop it. All screenings at 7 p.m. Thursday, February 2, Eno River UU Fellowship, 4907 Garrett Rd. Durham; Friday, February 3, Church of Reconciliation, 110 N. Elliott Rd., Chapel Hill; Tuesday, February 7, Community UCC, 814 Dixie Trail, Raleigh.  Details: www.workingfilms.org/democracy -for-sale-screens-across-nc/, 919-908-7919
THE DIVIDED STATES OF AMERICA Part I of a PBS FRONTLINE investigation of partisanship that gridlocked Washington in Obama era, and polarized America that Donald Trump inherits as president. Footage from dozens of interviews with top White House officials, members of Congress from both parties, experienced reporters and other key experts.  6:30 p.m., Friday. February 3, Recyclique, 2811 Hillsborough Road, Durham (park in rear or next door in grocery store lot).  Suggested donation $5 www.communecos.org, yikes.contact[at]gmail[dot com].

A REPORTER’S PERSPECTIVE: ISLAMIC STATE, ASSAD, RUSSIA, AND THE FAILURE OF US POLICY Reese Erlich will discuss growth of Syrian extremist rebel groups, status of  Assad regime, foreign intervention, and failure of US policy and provide analysis and what President Trump will likely face. 6 – 8 p. m., Thursday, February 9, UNC’s FedEx Global Center Nelson Mandela Auditorium, corner of Pittsboro and McCauley Streets (parking under Center). Sponsored by Department of Peace War and Defense. 919-962-3093.

ONGOING VIGILS FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE
Raleigh: Stop the Arms Race and Build a Culture of Peace Vigil, 1st Wednesday of every month, Noon to 1 PM, Century Post Office on Fayetteville St (919-782-0667); Raleigh: End the death penalty (PFADP, AI-USA, NC-ACLU), 5 - 6 PM, Mondays, Central Prison, corner of Hunt Dr and Western Blvd (919-779-1912); Chapel Hill:4:30 - 5:30 PM EST [5-6 PM EDT], Fridays, corner of Elliott Rd and East Franklin St; bring your sign(s) to show your concern or take one from collection (919-942-2535)."


"RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF NC COMMISSION OF INQUIRY ON TORTURE Urge Chapel Hill Town Council's passage of a resolution upholding NC, US, and international law and as a moral issue. In December Carrboro Aldermen and Orange County Commissioners passed such a resolution and Durham's Mayor Bell made a proclamation in support.. Town Council to address at regular meeting in February 13. Sponsored by Orange County Bill of Rights Defense Committee and Orange County Peace Coalition.  919-942-2535.

INDIVIISIBLE  Ruth Backstrom leads discussion about movement of left and right sides joined with goal to build government that works to solve biggest problems. 6:30 p.m., Friday. February 17, Recyclique, 2811 Hillsborough Road, Durham (park in rear or next door in grocery store lot).  Suggested donation $5 www.communecos.org, yikes[dot]contact[atgmaildotcom]."


HKonJ 2017

The Historic Thousands on Jones Street demonstration, organized by the NC NAACP and over 200 other organizations annually since 2006 will be in downtown Raleigh Saturday, February 11th ( hkonj.com/ ).  There will be a mass meeting and worship service, open to all, Friday, February 10th at 7pm at Raleigh's Rush Metropolitan AME Zion Church (see  www.facebook.com/events/401373123588152/ ).   

Friends of the Durham Library book sale in February

The Friends of the Durham Library ( durhamcountylibrary.org/friends/ ) is having a book sale at the Main Library February 11-12, 10am-4pm Saturday and 1-4pm Sunday.  If the weather is bad, the sale will be the weekend of the 18th.  Both days are open to all with the same prices and there will not be a Sunday bag sale.  There doesn't seem to have been very advanced notice about this sale, and it is unclear if it is the annual spring sale or if there will be three sales this year, and they are just trying to reduce the amount of inventory to move out of the Main Library during the renovations.  There are mini satellite sales at other branches all year and the new location at Northgate Mall, beside Sears, will open March 1st, but books can be donated there starting February 14th.    

The Friends of Chapel Hill Public Library will have book sales there April 7-9, September 8-10, and December 1-3 this year; see friendschpl.org/wp/book-sales/ 

Speaking of book sales, Chapel Hill Comics ( www.chapelhillcomics.com/content/ ), a long-running independent bookstore in downtown Chapel Hill, will close for good in late March and probably has sales going on now.  It used to have a variety of comics/graphic novels and related books and merchandise.  I found out about an old variety of Chinese comic, I think called lianhuanhua, that was used in political propagandizing, in a book about world comics styles  I found there (see blogs.princeton.edu/cotsen/2015/06/chinese-illustrated-books/ for pictures). 

Black Marxism:  From Reparations to Du Bois to Black Lives Matter

The Workers World Party Durham Branch is organizing a discussion of WEB Du Bois' book Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880 on Sunday, February 12th 4-6pm in Durham.  Workers World newspaper managing editor LeiLani Dowell will facilitate.  For details, see:  www.facebook.com/events/699516180209513/  

Justice for Berta Caceres in Honduras

The Honduras Solidarity Network is having a webinar February 12 at 5pm EST on the status of the investigation into the murder of Lenca indigenous environmentalist Berta Caceres last March and the overall situation in Honduras; there will be protests around the world in solidarity (to register, see: anymeeting.com/PIID=EC59DC8480463C .  Hillary Clinton helped cause the instability in Honduras by abetting a coup against a leftist leader, but few in the media brought up such problems with her record as secretary of state.     

Duke Energy-Future Plans, Atlantic Coast Gas Pipeline, Gas Plant on Duke Campus? 

The NC Sierra Club Capital Group's February 16th meeting at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship - Founders Hall (3313 Wade Avenue will feature three speakers on these issues and is open to the public.  The speakers are David Rogers, of the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign; Claire Wang, Duke Student Climate Coalition president; and Deb Self, Southeast coordinator of the Sierra Club's Dirty Fuels campaign.  The meeting will be 7-8:30pm, but there will be refreshments and the room will be open at 6:30.  For more information, see their www.meetup.com group.   

Russian Revolution exhibit at UNC

I can't vouch for the content, but there is an exhibit, "A World on Fire in Flames of Blood:  Narratives of the Russian Revolution," marking the Revolution's 100th anniversary, at UNC's Wilson Library until May 14th.  For more information, see:  blogs.lib.unc.edu/news/index.php/2017/01/russian-revolution-exhibition/

International Polar Bear Day

Polar Bear Day, February 27th, is an annual event to increase awareness of polar bears and the threat posed to them and other species by climate change, such as the disappearance of Artic sea ice.  It was started by Polar Bears International ( polarbearsinternational.org/get-involved/international-polar-bear-day/ ).
 
National Invasive Species Awareness Week

This annual campaign to highlight the harm caused by non-native, invasive species will be February 27-March 3 ( www.nisaw.org/ )

Durham Mardi Gras 2017

There will be a parade starting at 7pm from the bull sculpture in the plaza at 201 Corcoran Street downtown and other events February 28th.  For details see:  www.durhammardigras.com/event/mardi-gras-2017-in-durham/

Communist anniversaries March 5th

Karl Marx was born March 5, 1818 [actually it was May 5th] and JV Stalin died March 5, 1953, though there are doubts about whether that is the exact date, and if he was assassinated by pro-capitalist forces in the Soviet leadership.  Whatever the cause, the USSR declined ideologically and then economically after the 50's, and the leadership gave up pretending to believe in communism, leading to today's capitalist Russia run for oligarchs, though Russian imperialism is still useful in preventing global domination by US and "Western" imperialism. 

Atlantic Coast Pipeline Walk

This two-week event, similar to the annual Pilgrimage for Peace and Justice ( www.wfpse.org/pilgrimage/ [April 9-14th this year, see www.facebook.com/PilgrimageforJustice/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE&fref=nf ] ), will walk along the route of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline in eastern NC, starting March 4th and lasting two weeks.  For details and registration, see:  2017acpwalk.org/

Durham Arbor Day Celebration 2017

Date and location TBA, but probably in early March; see keepdurhambeautiful.org/our-events/arbor-day/

International Women's Day

International Women's Day is every March 8th; it apparently began in the USA, but is more often celebrated in the ex-socialist bloc today.  The UN's website for the holiday is   www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/international-womens-day while it is given a capitalist spin at www.internationalwomensday.com/

Balance and Accuracy in Journalism

From their announcement:

"7:30 PM WEDNESDAY MARCH 8 
                               at
        THE COMMUNITY CHURCH, UU, 
             106 PUREFOY RD, C.H.
 
   Balance & Accuracy in Journalism                       
                              presents
                       A clear view of 
        abuse of power in NC today 
           DEMOCRACY FOR SALE"

There is a clip online at:  youtu.be/u9DYdm-Dw3o
 
Teaching horticulture in the DPRK and other JC Raulston Arboretum events
 
From NCSU's JC Raulston Arboretum:
 
"Friends of the Arboretum Lecture

'Experiences Teaching at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology in North Korea'
Ted Stephens, Nurseries Caroliniana
 
Thursday, March 9, 2017 - 7:30 PM-9:00 PM

Ted was asked by Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) to teach a course in ecology and horticulture in North Korea during the fall of 2016. He will review his experiences there and how he interacted with the students. All of the teaching is done in English. The top English speaking students in North Korea are given the opportunity to attend this university where professors are recruited from around the world. The native plant material will be examined as well as agricultural practices observed there. A visit to the DMZ will be shown from a unique perspective: from the north rather than the south. Pictures and videos will be shown that have probably never been seen in the outside world.
Cost
Free for Friends of the JC Raulston Arboretum members, NC State University students (with ID), and Department of Horticultural Science faculty and staff, all others $5.00.
Registration
Advance registration is not available.
Location
Ruby C. McSwain Education Center, JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University, 4415 Beryl Road, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Parking
Free parking is available at the JC Raulston Arboretum and along Beryl Road.
Questions
Please call (919) 513-7005 for more information about this lecture."

Also of interest:

"North American Rock Garden Society (Piedmont Chapter) Lecture 
 Cohosted by the Piedmont Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society and the JC Raulston Arboretum
"Creating a New Ecosystem: the Development of a Piedmont Prairie"
Annabel Renwick, Sarah P. Duke Gardens
Saturday, March 18
10:00 AM (reception begins at 9:30 AM)"


"Gardening Adventures with Extension Master Gardener Volunteers Cohosted by the Extension Master Gardeners and the JC Raulston Arboretum
"Wildflower Havens of Wake County ... and How Geology Influences Them"
Hughen Nourse, Wake County Extension Master Gardener
Monday, March 27
10:00 AM"


"JC Raulston Arboretum Plant Sale Part of Raulston Blooms!
Friday, March 31
4:00 PM-7:00 PM (members-only preview sale)"


From the NC NAACP's Forward Together Moral Movement:

"Vigil to Stop the Deportation of Lilian Cardona-Perez

Saturday, March 11, 2017
4:30 p.m.
William Chapel A.M.E Zion Church
448 W. Church St. Angier, NC
Join us for a vigil to stop the immoral and unlawful deportation of Lilian Cardona-Perez, a mother of five who is scheduled to be deported on March 16th despite the fact that she has a work VISA that does not expire until October 25th."

 
Sandhills Clean Energy Summit 2017

This conference on sustainability and climate change will be March 10-11 at Fayetteville Technical Community College (2856 Fort Bragg Road, Fayetteville).  For details, see:  www.sustainablesandhills.org/sandhills-clean-energy-summit

International Days of Action Against War and Islamophobia

The Hands Off Syria Coalition is organizing events against warmongering policies, often directed at Muslim-majority countries, and vilification of Muslims March 11-19th.  For more information, see: www.handsoffsyriacoalition.net/  The week ends on the anniversary of the 2003 Iraq War. 

Sol Train free solar power assessments

There will be events on solar power installation and people can sign up for free home assessments across the state in March.  The Sol Train will stop in Raleigh on March 14th, Durham March 16th, Cary March 23rd, and in Greensboro on March 30th.  For details see:  soltrain.us/#about

From a Chapel Hill activist calendar: 

"EARLY TRUMPISM: FALLOUT AND PUSHBACK Speaker Nancy Milio, Professor Emeritus of Nursing and Professor Emeritus of Health Policy and Administration, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, leader in public health policy and education. 1:15 p.m., Monday, March 13, Carol Woods’ Assembly Hall, 750 Weaver Dairy Road. Sponsored by Elders for Peace.  judybellin [ at gmail dot com] 
 
ORANGE COUNTY TRANSIT PLAN AND FUTURE CHOICES Craig Benedict; Orange County Planning Director on County’s Plan; and Panel on new and projected population growth areas; comparison of light rail, bus rapid transit, and feeder bus service. Give input. Organized by Chapel Hill Alliance for a Livable Town and Orange County Voice. 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 14, Chapel Hill Public Library, 100 Library Drive. info [at chalt dot com ].
ROLE OF HUMAN KINDNESS FOUNDATION  Co-directors Catherine Dumas and Sita Lozoff discuss organization's purposes and working in prisons all over the world.  HKF, founded by Bo and Sita Lozoff, is a non-profit NC organization that stresses  a way of life based upon three common principles: simple living, dedication to service, and  commitment to personal spiritual practice. 1:15 p.m., Monday, March 20, Carol Woods’ Assembly Hall, 750 Weaver Dairy Road. Sponsored by Elders for Peace.  judybellin [at gmail ] 
BOLIN CREEK UNPAVED: SAVING CARRBORO'S LAST FOREST   Screening and discussion of local film exploring diversity and beauty of Carrboro’s riparian forest and controversy surrounding its conservation, a story about every town facing  issue of development versus conservation, how wild places add to  quality of life more than “more pavement.” https://www.facebook.com/events/260421224415096/.  5:45 - 7:15 p.m., Monday, March 20, UNC’s Carroll Hall, School of Media and Journalism, Park Library Room 111.. http://parklibrary.mj.unc.edu/about/maps/.  Sponsored by UNC's Environmental Honors Fraternity. carmenatwater [at gmail dot com] 

11TH ANNUAL PEOPLE'S LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY DAY Join NAACP members and Forward Together Moral Movement supporters from across the state to take demands to People's House on Jones Street, Raleigh. Make your voice heard at NC General Assembly during a day of direct advocacy at offices of elected officials.  8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday, March 21, 16 West Jones Street, Raleigh. RSVP: 
 https://www.facebook.com/events/257801758005381/.

ONGOING VIGILS FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE
Raleigh: Stop the Arms Race and Build a Culture of Peace Vigil, 1st Wednesday of every month, Noon to 1 PM, Century Post Office on Fayetteville St (919-782-0667); Raleigh: End the death penalty (PFADP, AI-USA, NC-ACLU), 5 - 6 PM, Mondays, Central Prison, corner of Hunt Dr and Western Blvd (919-779-1912); Chapel Hill:4:30 - 5:30 PM EST [5-6 PM EDT], Fridays, corner of Elliott Rd and East Franklin St; bring your sign(s) to show your concern or take one from collection (919-942-2535)."

Durham Creek Week 2017

Durham's annual Creek Week will be March 18-25, 2017; the schedule will be posted at keepdurhambeautiful.org as it gets closer to March.  

Swift Creek Week

There will be events throughout the week of March 18-25 around Swift Creek in Wake County.  Swift Creek is a source of drinking water and flows through several parks, including Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve, where a relict population of Eastern hemlocks remains from the ice ages.  Swift Creek is also home to endangered dwarf wedgemussels, possibly at risk from an expressway, which I plan to post more about later this year.  For the schedule of events, see:  riverguardfdn.org/swift-creek-week.html

Forsyth Creek Week

Forsyth County's Creek Week is March 25-April 2nd with many events each day in the Winston-Salem area.  For details, see: www.forsythcreekweek.org

Anniversary of the Iraq War
 
The official date seems to be March 20, 2003, but according to Wikipedia (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_invasion_of_Iraq) air attacks to prepare for an invasion were already being launched on the 19th, and the US bombed Iraq for many years before 2003.  Under Bill Clinton the US tried to provoke Iraq enough to justify war, but it was left to GW Bush to launch.  Just as Obama and the Democrats left legal room for a renewal of torture policies under Trump, Trump may launch wars Obama helped set up.     

World Water Day March 22nd

Begun by the UN in 1993, this is an annual event to increase awareness of the importance of freshwater and managing it sustainably (see:  www.un.org/en/events/waterday/index.shtml ). 

National Farmworker Awareness Week

Farmworker Awareness Week, March 24-31, is a week of action on farmworkers issues that has been marked for almost 20 years.  For moore information and materials, see:   saf-unite.org/content/national-farmworker-awareness-week

Talk on Islam's history in Durham

The author of a book on the Muslim history of Durham will speak and sign books Sunday, March 26th 3-5pm at the Hayti Heritage Center (804 Old Fayetteville Street). 

Support Palestine in DC!  Protest AIPAC

The ANSWER Coalition and other groups are organizing a demonstration March 26th 12-5pm in Washington, DC to protest the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's annual convention.  There will be a march from the White House to the Convention Center.  For more information, see:  www.answercoalition.org/support_palestine_in_d_c_protest_aipac

Boot the Braids from UNC-Chapel Hill!

There will be a march from UNC's Polk Place to the Wendy's in the Graham Union building (209 South Road), March 27th at 12pm, to protest Wendy's lack of participation in Coalition of Immokalee Workers' Fair Food Program that has improved conditions from tomato pickers in Florida.  Its major competitors (Burger King, McDonald's, Subway, and Yum! Brands) participate, but Wendy's sources its tomatoes from Mexico, which CIW says means the farmworkers are at risk of slavery, child labor, sexual harassment, etc. while Wendy's can undercut its competitors using this degraded labor.  This is part of CIW's Human Rights Tour, March 16-29th across the country, but this is the only event listed in NC (see www.boycott-wendys.org/tour-schedule/).  For more information, contact Yaissy Solis at 239 692 1482 or yaissy at sfalliance [dot org].  #boycottwendys

2017 NC Breathe Conference

This is a public policy conference on the economics and health impacts of air pollution, to be held Tuesday, March 28th at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh.  For details, see ncbreatheconference.org/   

Evelyn McNeill Sims Native Plant Lecture at the NC Botanical Garden

From ncbg.unc.edu/annual-lectures/ :

Designing with Native Plants: A Naturalistic Approach
 Lisa Wagner, Plant Ecologist
Sunday, April 2; 2:30 p.m. 


 Using nature as inspiration for creating naturalistic gardens is key to creating sustainable and enjoyable gardens with native plants. Naturalistic landscapes are both pleasing, as conventional gardens become more reflective of natural gardens, but also ecologically balanced, providing sustenance for you, and for fellow inhabitants of your site.

Lisa Wagner served as Director of Education at the South Carolina Botanical Garden, Clemson University for over 2 decades. She does frequent presentations and classes on topics including gardening for nature, creating a native woodland garden, and native plants for pollinators. A plant ecologist by background (Ph.D. in Botany, UC Berkeley), she’s involved with neighborhood greening efforts, sustainable gardening, and naturalistic garden design. Her blog, Natural Gardening, reflects her observations about gardening and the natural world. Free. Preregistration Required.

Annual SCALA book sale at UNC

Every spring the UNC Student Chapter of the American Library Association (scalaunc.weebly.com/)  has a book sale, and I think it will be April 4-8 in front of UNC's Davis Library this year, to benefit the UNC School of Information and Library Science.  Last time I went to a sale there were not a lot of political books, but that may not be the case every year.   

Friends of the Chatham County Library Spring Book Sale

The spring sale will be April 6-8th at the Chatham Community Library (on the CCCC campus, at 197 NC 87 North in Pittsboro).  Thursday and Friday the sale will be from 9am to 7pm and Saturday it will be from 9am-2pm, and the prices vary.  For details, see: friendsccl.org/     

Annual Pilgrimage for Peace and Justice

This is organized by Witness for Peace Southeast and will be April 9-14th this year.  See :   www.facebook.com/PilgrimageforJustice/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE&fref=nf  

Kim Il Sung birth anniversary

Fighter for Korean liberation from Japanese imperialism and founding leader of the DPRK Kim Il Sung was born April 15, 1912.  Many diplomatic and other contemporary documents related to Kim Il Sung are online at digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/collection/138/conversations-with-kim-il-sung and at least some of his collected works are available in English at UNC's Davis Library.   

US Tax Day

Income taxes are due April 18th (www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc301.html), though some tax resisters refuse to pay or pay less than the government expects, to oppose US militarism or for some less progressive reason. 

Earth Day

Traditionally April 22nd (also Lenin's birthday in 1870, 100 years before the first Earth Day), which is a Saturday this year.  Information about the Durham Earth Day Festival will be posted at:  keepdurhambeautiful.org/our-events/durham-earth-day/

The Kathleen Clay Library in Greensboro (1420 Price Park Road) is having its annual event April 1st, 1-5pm and is seeking tablers with hands on activities related to nature, the environment, and alternative energy; the deadline to register is February 17th (contact Melanie[dot]Buckingham[at]Greensboro-nc[dot gov].  This festival usually brings out about 2500 people.     

Friends of the Durham Library Grand Opening Sale

After the sale in February at the old location, the Main Library's Garage, there will be a spring book sale in the new location, near Sears at Northgate Mall, Friday, April 28th 3-8pm and April 29th 10am-4.  It sounds like the Friday sale will be open to non-FODL members.  There are small sales all year at each library and the Durham Co-op Market.  I think I was once told that books retired by the libraries are only sold at the big sales, but I've been wondering if that has changed.   

March for Jobs, Justice, and the Climate

There will be a demonstration for economic and environmental justice in Washington, DC Saturday, April 29th, the culmination of activism during the Trump Administration's first 100 days, organized by the People's Climate Movement.  See:   peoplesclimate.org/?source=350

May Day/International Workers' Day is Monday, May 1st and surely there will be local and national events and protests.  It is the equivalent of US Labor Day in Mexico and many other countries, though it began in the USA. 

Wake County's Annual Book Sale & Festival of Reading

Date TBA, but it will be sometime in May [May 4-7th] ; see:  www.wakegov.com/libraries/events/Pages/booksale.aspx

Victory Day

May 9th commemorates the defeat of Germany in 1945, mainly in ex-Soviet and eastern European countries. 

US Mother's Day

This holiday on Sunday, May 14th has some peace and justice roots, though it is rarely noted now.  May 14th is also UNC's Spring Commencement and I've heard that the Eno River's mountain laurels usually bloom around then, so it is a good time to visit (though many spring wildflowers bloom in March).    

World Turtle Day

World Turtle Day, May 23rd, is an annual event to increase awareness of turtles and tortoises, and was created by American Tortoise Rescue ( www.worldturtleday.org/ ).  Many turtles are unnecessarily killed on roads around here (and even turtles that look too injured to survive can recover if at least removed from the road, and if necessary taken to a wildlife rehabilitator, in part because they are cold-blooded and rugged animals), and it is possible that box turtles are in decline because of sprawl.  It might not be causing problems, but red-eared sliders, colorful aquatic turtles that used to be traded as pets, live in the Triangle and elsewhere in NC, but aren't native, while closely related yellow-bellied sliders are native.  On the coast there are issues with endangered species of sea turtle.   

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. 

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 & Abroad:  Building a Movement Against War, Injustice & Repression!, June 16-18 and the Greater Richmond Convention Center in Richmond, Virginia (403 North 3rd Street).  There will be a webpage [www.unacconference2017.org/p/registration-form.html], but for now details are posted at:  www.facebook.com/events/1208020632638814/?notif_t=plan_user_joined&notif_id=1485905602475965 

Northstar Compass' final print edition content deadline

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 (USFSP is the US branch).  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.