In this week's report: [ click on any of the bold headers below ]
Veterans to Confront Congressman
Kathy Engel: Where the Lights Are
Peace & Justice Calendar
Suffolk Peace Vigils
Democracy Now! onTV Channel 20 in Southampton/Southold/Shelter Island/Riverhead
Also see the Suffolk Progressive Vision web site for links to the Suffolk Peace Network Counter Military Recruiting Committee, Brookhaven Public Access TV and much more.
Listen to Bill McNulty's"Lunch on Thursday" for more events on Long Island.
12 Noon - 2 pm Thursdays on WUSB Stony Brook 90.1 FM and WUSB dot FM _______________________________________
The East End Report is compiled by Tony Ernst.
Comments and corrections may be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. La Rocca will challenge the Congressman to support withdrawal from an increasingly chaotic Iraq. The Congressman is expected to defend his position which up to now has been supportive of the administration's requests for funding the war.
Perhaps the weight of public opinion and the facts on the ground may persuade our elected representative to change his stance.
All are invited to see and hear but the room holds 80 so be on time!
Something about first snow. Why is that first falling and covering of white crystal so mesmerizing, so miraculous seeming? Each winter it’s breathtaking to wake up one morning to branches heavy with white powder, blanketed ground.
And the lights seem to twinkle on trees earlier each year. Before I know it after yellow and orange leaves sensuous in autumn, blink blink, the trees are winking. It’s true, there’s something magical, fairy tale like about the snow and the lights. Perhaps it’s that we have made it through another year; we can still fantasize, gather together, sip hot cocoa, run around with torn mittens and lips too cold to say words right. Every year I pronounce I’m done with winter, that middle age has taken away my love of frosty breath circles. Then the wonderland, the promise of cozy family reunions by the fire, and I’m back, taking out the menorah, oversized socks to hang on my sister’s mantle Christmas eve, candles everywhere, and Dylan Thomas’s “A Child’s Christmas in Whales” to read aloud.
Then there is the other side of it, that extravaganza of lights and front yard displays-- whole lit up villages – reindeer and Santa’s on lawns representing a dimension of decoration I’ve never quite understood. I know it means a lot to people; I just don’t know what. Like so much of our country, it seems like the goal is more, shiniest… most. I wonder particularly in these energy worry days, just how much electricity the flood of holiday lights expends.
This season I can’t stop feeling something else about the lights as I drive by one beautifully lit tree after another, even as I sigh with a kind of relief that we can still enjoy the beauty, and perhaps an inner relief that I can return to warmth, light, home, that no matter where I’ve traveled, into what pain and danger, I’ve always so far been able to come home.
On September 12, soon after a storm called Katrina swept through New Orleans and the Gulf Coast revealing the waves of neglect and disregard that cursed poor black communities long before the storm; I went to Jackson, Mississippi and New Orleans with a friend in response to a call issued by the newly formed People’s Hurricane Relief Fund & Oversight Coalition. I was fortunate due to an unforeseen change in my work plans, to be able to take a week. I had been searching for which effort made sense to me to join. When I read the call for PHRF I knew this was the one for me because the commitment is for self determination in all aspects of relief, recovery and reconstruction for the people hit the hardest, abandoned the longest. The call is for the right to go home, union jobs in rebuilding, money to reconnect families. The coalition aims to function as an organizing mechanism for those with the least money and the darkest skin, left on rooftops as rescue planes flew by and levies told the truth about power.
We arrived in Jackson, Mississippi one hour after the PHRF began to set up their office. We did what you do when going into a war zone, offer solidarity – answer phones, write things, go to the post office, whatever is needed. We stayed with young organizers and educators from the Young People’s Project, children of the Civil Rights Movement, who dazzled us with their talent, commitment, warmth and strength. My one day in New Orleans and Algiers just across the river where white vigilantes had terrorized the black community in the wake of Katrina’s winds, was inadequate in time, but imprinted in my mind and heart the image of apartheid, war and abandonment in America. The Red Cross hadn’t come. FEMA hadn’t come. Humvees and Blackwater security personnel cruised the streets. The police had looked the other way when white men randomly shot black men, graffiti sprawled across doors: We Shoot Looters.
The looters turned out to be every government agency. The people getting shot had been written off long ago.
Thursday and Friday, December 8th and 9th the Coalition, led by community groups from New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, people of color, are holding a national meeting in Jackson, Mississippi to create a permanent oversight committee. Saturday December 10th they will march in New Orleans to demand justice for the displaced people.
In January, being launched on Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, the Finding Our Folk Tour, part of the PHRF, initiated by the Young People’s Project, and endorsed by an education committee convened by Macarthur winning author and educator Lisa Delpit (Other People’s Children), will take young leaders, speakers and artists through the south to “raise the voices of Katrina survivors and connect them with the voices of America’s survivors, the brothers and sisters in all corners of the country who remain on the margins of citizenship.” These young people are paving the way for democracy, or at least for some truth at a time when denial has blinded the collective vision and eroded the soul of a big piece of this country.
Weeks ago, when the first lights began to flicker on again in New Orleans, the city became a patchwork of electricity. Some neighborhoods had lights; others, even nearby, remained dark. Since hearing this I have been haunted by the simple, harsh truth – the exact visual image of where the lights did or didn’t go back on. I’ve been trying to think of what could be done during this holiday season, with lights, to show the true solidarity of people who have not forgotten, will not forget the people who were left to die by the officials, to say: lights for all or lights for none. I don’t know, in the magnitude of pain and need, whether a symbolic action of turning lights off for five minutes and then on again on Christmas Eve, or New Year ’s Eve, would mean anything.
What I do know is that we as a vast country of people have the capacity for great compassion and generosity. That has been proven, last year with the Tsunami and again with Katrina. Those few days in the office in Jackson I saw the countless expressions of solidarity and desire to help. I believe, based on that and what I’ve heard and seen since, that enormous numbers of people in this country do have the heart to give. The question I ask is do we have the will to look at the truth and act on it? My holiday challenge is to insist that we look deep into the skin of our history, into our own mirrors, and ask ourselves what we can do to make sure there are never never any more broken levies, no more stranded people of any color, that safety is never preserved only for those who can pay for it, that we insist upon change, and that we seek out, as one of the leaders of the coalition has said so often “ the hidden genius in each poor black community” and shine the lights on that genius. Shine the lights.
December 6, 2005
For more information on the People's Hurricane Relief Fund and Oversight Coalition:
For details on the following events scroll down:
* December 9 (Friday): New Women in Black Peace Vigil in Patchogue at 3 pm
* December 10,11 (Saturday, Sunday): Winter Festival at Shinnecock Museum from 11 am to 4pm
* December 10(Saturday): Monthly demonstration at Bayshore Recruiting Station 11am-1pm
* December 10(Saturday): Weekly demonstration at Coram Recruiting Stations 10-11am
* December 11(Sunday): East End Vets Host Congressman Tim Bishop in Sag Harbor at 4:00pm
* December 11 (Sunday): Bread for the World - "Global Dining" in Water Mill at 6 pm
* December 13 (Tuesday): South Fork Chapter - LI Progressive Coalition Meets in Water Mill at 6:30pm
* December 17(Saturday): Film "A Union Man" at Pre Holiday Fun Raiser in Bellport at 7pm
* December 17(Saturday): Monthly Demonstration at Lindenhurst Recruiting station 10-11:30am
* December 18 (Sunday): Candlelight Peace Vigil in Patchogue at 5pm
* January 9 (Monday): Visit with Rep. Tim Bishop in Southampton at 7pm
* Thursday evening Book Study Group in Water Mill at 6:30
* "Herstory" Writing Workshops in Spanish and English:
Mondays in Farmingville 3 to 5 pm
Thursdays in East Hampton at 7 pm
* Writers Guild of America East Strike in Wainscott, Mon-Fri 10am-4pm
December 9 (Friday): New Women in Black Peace Vigil in Patchogue at 3 pm
A new Women In Black group is forming in Patchgue and will be holding vigil every FridayInfo at: 631-875-8647
from 3:00-3:45 on the corner of Main St. and N. Ocean Ave.
___________________________________________________December 10,11 (Saturday, Sunday): Winter Festival at Shinnecock Museum from 11 am to 4pm
Join us in welcoming winter. Shinnecock artists will display their native crafts. There will be baked goods, bead work, candles, games and more. The Cultural Center and Museum is at 100 Montauk Hway at West Gate Road, Southampton. Phone 631-287-4923 for more information.
December 10(Saturday): Weekly demonstration at Coram Recruiting Stations 10-11am
Every Saturday from 10-11 a.m., there will be a demonstration at the Coram recruiting stations, 356 Middle Counry Road. The message is "get recruiters out of schools, end the war in Iraq and remove the Bush administration".
Info: Karen at 631-875-8647
December 10(Saturday): Monthly demonstration at Bayshore Recruiting station 11am-1pm
Starting December 10 demonstrations on the 2nd Saturday each month will be held at the Bayshore recruiting stations, 38-40 E Main Street from 11-1p.m.
Info: Karen at 631-875-8647
December 11(Sunday): East End Vets Host Congressman Tim Bishop in Sag Harbor at 4:00pm
The East End Veterans are having a holiday gathering at the Sag Harbor Methodist Church on Madison St.
EEV member James LaRocca will challenge Rep. Tim Bishop to end his support for the administration's policy in Iraq, call for the immediate withdrawal of American Troops, refuse further funding of the President's Iraq misadventure except that needed to end the hostilities and bring home our American military men and women. Furthermore, the East End Vets will call upon Rep. Tim Bishop to publicly announce his support for the Murtha amendment to end hostilities in 6 months as a co-sponsor.
Tim Bishop will defend and explain to the veterans his current evolving position.
Questions will be taken from the audience, followed by convivial holiday refreshments.
Admission is free, seating is limited to the first 80 people on a first come basis.
Contact: Joe Giannini 267-6666 or Giannini43@yahoo.com
December 11 (Sunday): Bread for the World - "Global Dining" in Water Mill at 6 pm
A dinner at the Incarnation Lutheran Church at Hayground Road and Montauk Highway between Water Mill and Bridgehampton. We Feed You to Help us Feed Them. Donation $25 ... proceeds go to Bread for the World
For more information call 631 537-1187 or thewelcomeplaceonline dot com
December 13 (Tuesday): South Fork Chapter - LI Progressive Coalition Meets in Water Mill at 6:30pm
The regular monthly meeting of the South Fork chapter of the Progressive Coalition is at 6:30pm on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Lutheran Church on Montauk Highway & Hayground Rd. between Water Mill and Bridgehampton -- this month the meeting is on December 13th.
Info: 516-541-1006, ext.55 or www dot lipc dot org
December 17(Saturday): Monthly Demonstration at Lindenhurst Recruiting station 10-11:30am
Starting December 17 a demonstration will be held on the third Saturday each month at the
Lindenhurst military recruiting station located on Wellwood Ave. just south of the LIRR
and just north of Montauk Hwy from 10-11:30am
Info: Karen at 631-875-8647
December 17(Saturday): Film "A Union Man" at Pre Holiday Fun Raiser in Bellport at 7pm
South Country Peace Group are sponsoring a pre holiday 'Fun Raiser' at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bellport at 51 Browns Lane on Saturday December 17.
Come see the showing of "A Union Man: The Life & Work of Julius Margolin", a film by George Mann followed by musical entertainment by George & Julius.
A small donation will be requested. Light Refreshments will be served.
For more information call Dennis at 631-475-0045.
December 18 (Sunday): Candlelight Peace Vigil in Patchogue at 5pm
The monthly candlelight vigil in Patchogue will be on Dec 18 this
month at 5:00pm. The vigil is normally on the last Sunday of the
month which falls on Christmas this month.
The vigil is sponsored by South Country Peace Group and Bellport
Women in Black
Info at email@example.com
January 9 (Monday): Visit with Rep. Tim Bishop in Southampton at 7pm
Congressman Tim Bishop will discuss local and national issues and take questions from the audience at the Rogers Memorial Library on Windmill Lane in Southampton on Monday,January 9 starting at 7pm.
Reservations are required. Phone the library at 283-0774 ext. 523
Saturdays: Weekly demonstrations at Coram Recruiting stations 10-11am
Every Saturday from 10-11 a.m., there will be a demonstration at the Coram recruiting stations, 356 Middle Counry Road
Info: Karen at 631-875-8647
Thursday evening Book Study Group in Water Mill at 6:30 pm
The group meets at the Lutheran Church at Hayground Road and Montauk Highway on Thursdays at 6:30pm
Contact Pastor Vita at 631-537-1187 or firstname.lastname@example.org
"Herstory" Writing Workshops in Spanish and English:
Mondays in Farmingville:
Herstory Writers Workshop meets every Monday afternoon at the Farmingville branch of the Workplace Project from 3 to 5. Both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking women come together to share and shape their life experiences through memoir writing. The workshop is conducted in both English and Spanish. Call 631-723-0150 for more information and directions to the center.
Thursdays in East Hampton:
Every Thursday women come together to share their writing with one another and receive feedback on how to structure and shape their lifewriting.The East Hampton workshop is open to East Hampton Town residents. It meets every Thursday, 7-9 p.m., at the Senior Citizens Center, 128 Springs-Fireplace Road.
Writers Guild of America East - Strike in Wainscott, Mon-Fri 10am-4pm
The Writer's Guild is on strike against Big Big World Productions in East Hampton.They are picketing from Monday through Friday, 10 to 4 pm at 75 Industrial Road, Wainscott
More Info at www dot wgaeast dot org
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