Weekly Update 01.13.2020

“Because it’s no longer enough to be a decent person. It’s no longer enough to shake our heads and make concerned grimaces at the news. True enlightened activism is the only thing that can save humanity from itself.”
Joss Whedon (b.1964)
American producer, director, screenwriter, comic book writer, and composer

     This week's email boasts multiple new entries, WeCANers, so grab your calendar and take a look at what is happening in Windham County this Winter. Take your pick of a hands on cooking class, a communication lab, 2 vigils, lectures, a protest, 2 film screenings, a book club, a study group, and more! We look forward to seeing you at an event soon.

HAPPENING TODAY, SUNDAY, JANUARY 12th, 2020

Celebrate the Underground: A Hands-On Cooking and Eating Veggie Experience
Sunday, January 12th, 2020 at the Brattleboro Food Coop (2 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). in the Community Room (please use the 7 Canal Street Entrance). 4pm-6pm. Free; donations accepted with gratitude. Register with shareholder services (802-246-2821) or via email - ediblebrattleboro@gmail.com.
Edible Brattleboro has invited a guest chef to help prepare the menu for our next cooking and eating experience that will feature the underground vegetables. Join us for a wonderful experience preparing a 3-course meal and then sitting at the communal table to enjoy what we made.

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HAPPENING THIS WEEK, MONDAY, JANUARY 13th, 2020-SUNDAY, JANUARY 19th, 2020

Healthy Communication Lab
presented by the Brattleboro Community Justice Center and facilitated by Emily Megas-Russell of With Great Heart
Monday, January 13th, 2020 in the Brooks Memorial Library Community Room (224 Main St, Brattleboro, VT 05301 ). 6pm-8pm. The Community Room can be accessed via a ramp from the street level to the main entrance; an elevator will take you to the third floor and there is a ramp from the Municipal Parking Lot to the third floor entrance as well. There are single-use, gender neutral bathrooms available and light snacks will be provided.
In this lab you will be experimenting with how you can communicate your needs in a way that is authentic and non-violent. Test out identifying, expressing, and
putting boundaries around your needs and feelings while respecting others' right to do the same. 
It's a part of Community, Accountability, Safety, and Harm (CASH) Labs, a series of "labs" put on by the Brattleboro Community Justice Center that seek to build the skills folks need in order to prevent, respond to, and heal from instances of interpersonal harm while addressing the harm's systematic roots.

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Continuing Conditions About the US Border Crisis
hosted by Dummerston Church
Monday, January 13th, 2020 at Dummerston Church (the intersection of East-West Road and Middle Road, Dummerston, VT). 7pm-9pm.
Let us gather and share ideas and information about the continuing humanitarian crisis at the southern border of the United States.

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Brattleboro Community Homelessness Awareness Vigil
Tuesday, January 14th, 2020 at Pliny Park (Corner of High and Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5:30pm-6:30pm
Please join us at Pliny Park to hear from those working to support our neighbors struggling with homelessness and to raise awareness about this significant community need.
Feel free to bring a personal story to share! We will also share the names of those we have lost, and honor them with a moment of silence. 

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An Evening with Bill McKibben
hosted by 350 Brattleboro and 350 Vermont
Wednesday, January 15th, 2020 at Centre Congregational Church (193 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 6:30pm-8pm. There will be an ASL interpreter and a Q & A will follow. For more information, please visit: www.billmckibben.com.
Join us for an evening with Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org. He will be talking about the current climate crisis, what's at stake in 2020, and reading from his latest book, Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? Bill McKibben is an author and environmentalist who in 2014 was awarded the Right Livelihood Prize, sometimes called the ‘alternative Nobel.’ His 1989 book The End of Nature is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change, and has appeared in 24 languages; he’s gone on to write a dozen more books. He is a founder of 350.org, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement, which has organized twenty thousand rallies around the world in every country save North Korea, spearheaded the resistance to the Keystone Pipeline, and launched the fast-growing fossil fuel divestment movement.
The Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he was the 2013 winner of the Gandhi Prize and the Thomas Merton Prize, and holds honorary degrees from 18 colleges and universities. Foreign Policy named him to their inaugural list of the world’s 100 most important global thinkers, and the Boston Globe said he was “probably America’s most important environmentalist.”
A former staff writer for the New Yorker, he writes frequently for a wide variety of publications around the world, including the New York Review of Books, National Geographic, and Rolling Stone. He lives in the mountains above Lake Champlain with his wife, the writer Sue Halpern, where he spends as much time as possible outdoors . In 2014, biologists honored him by naming a new species of woodland gnat— Megophthalmidia mckibbeni–in his honor.

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Protest Vigil at TD Bank
sponsored by Post Oil Solutions
Friday, January 17th, 2020 (and every Friday) at TD Bank Brattleboro (215 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT). In front of the building. 12pm-1pm. Signs will be provided
TD is a major investor in Tar Sands. TD helps to fund the Dakota Access Pipeline. What You Can Do (besides attending the vigils): If you’re a TD depositor, change banks! Founded in 2005, Post Oil Solutions is a 501c3 community organizing project in Southeastern Vermont whose mission is to help empower the people of the Central Connecticut River Valley bioregion in this era of global warming and climate change to develop sustainable, resilient , collaborative, and socially just communities leading to a self- and community-sufficient post petroleum society.

 

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Vigil for Australia & Climate Catastrophes Around the World
hosted by 350 Brattleboro and 350 Vermont
Friday, January 17th, 2020 at Pliny Park (the corner of High and Main Streets, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 6pm-7pm. Bring your own candles if you're able, and we’ll also have some to share. All are welcome!
Our hearts are breaking as we learn about the scale of fire damage in Australia, devastating floods in Indonesia, and other climate catastrophes around the world. Join us for a candlelit vigil where we’ll sing, share stories about our grief, and talk about what it might mean for our actions to match the scale of the crisis.
After the vigil, we’ll walk over to 118 Elliot for Hilltop Montessori School Middle School's screening of “The Society Project in the Time of Climate Change.”

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Revolutionary Witchcraft: A Guide for Activists
Friday, January 17th, 2020 at Everyone's Books (25 Elliot St, Brattleboro, VT 05301) at 6:00pm.
Join Sarah Lyons for a discussion of her new book, Revolutionary Witchcraft. Sarah is a writer, activist, occultist, and witch. She has practiced witchcraft for over ten years, and her work and writing has appeared in Teen Vogue, Vice, Buzzfeed, Broadly, Slutist, and New York Yoga Life, among others. Sarah is an active member of the Democratic Socialists of America, serving on the New York City chapter's Ecosocialist Working Group.

 

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Witness for Peace
Saturday, January 18th, 2020 (and every Saturday) at Brattleboro Post Office (Main St, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 11:00 am or Noon. For as long as we can remember, Parker Huber has stood in front of the Brattleboro Post Office for an hour every Saturday morning as a silent witness for peace. Parker is having medical challenges and is unable do so right now -- when we need more witnesses for peace, not less. Please consider standing for peace for an hour on a Saturday, from 11 am or noon, holding a simple Silent Witness for Peace sign. I am making this request with Parker's consent. [Here is a 2013 story about Parker with a photo if you need to refresh your memory of his identity.] – Leslie Sullivan Sachs

 

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Film Screening: 13th
sponsored by Windham Votes!, a program of the Windham County Democratic Committee
Sunday, January 19th, 2020 at the Latchis Theater (50 Main St, Brattleboro, VT 05301) at 4:30pm.
A free screening of “13th” an Ava DuVenray documentary at the Latchis Theater will take place on Sunday, January 19th. The documentary examines the criminal justice system in America as an extension of institutionalized racial injustice. The screening will be followed by presentations from Steffen Gillom, Co-Founder, President of Windham County NAACP, Rep. Nader Hashim, Vermont Legislature, and Windham-4 / Fair and Impartial Policing Committee Mel Motel, Director, Brattleboro Community Justice Center.

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UPCOMING EVENTS

Book Club: On Fire by Naomi Klein
hosted by Everyone’s Books
Thursday, January 23rd, 2020 at Everyone’s Books (25 Elliot Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 6:30pm-7:30pm.
Please join us as we discuss 'On Fire' by Naomi Klein on Thursday, January 23, 2020. 

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Film Screening and Discussion: CitizenFour
presented by Brattleboro Solidarity
Saturday, January 25th, 2020 at Epsilon Spires (190 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5:00pm. $5-$10 donation - no one turned away for lack of funds.  Donation goes to Epsilon Spires. Light refreshments will be available. Following the film will be a discussion, connecting 2014 events to today, surveillance and whistle-blowing.   
Brattleboro Solidarity and Spark Teacher Education Institute monthly movie screenings begin again January 25th!  Join us for CITIZENFOUR.
The 2014 Academy Award documentary CitizenFOUR gives audiences unprecedented access to filmmaker Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald’s encounters with Edward Snowden in Hong Kong, as he hands over classified documents providing evidence of mass indiscriminate and illegal invasions of privacy by the National Security Agency (NSA).

 

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Mother Up! Monthly Meet-Up 
Monday January 27th, 2019 at KidsPLAYce (20 Elliot St., Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5:30pm-7:30pm. A vegetarian meal and childcare for ages 10 and under will be provided. RSVP helpful , but not required. Contact Abby Mnookin for more info at abby@350vt.org.
Mother Up!: Families Rise Up for Climate Action is a project of 350Vermont that brings together families to talk about the tough realities of climate change and to participate in the transition to a healthier and safer world.

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Medicaid Assembly
sponsored by the Vermont Workers’ Center
Tuesday, January 28th, 2020 at the Vermont State House (115 State St, Montpelier, VT 05633). 9am-4pm. For more information or to sign up for a carpool from Windham County contact windham@workerscenter.org or Ellen at (802) 257-4436.
On Tuesday, January 28 the Vermont Workers’ Center is holding a Medicaid Assembly at the State House to advocate for the preservation and expansion of Medicaid and for universal health care. The Assembly runs from 9am-4pm and will feature a story share and opportunities to meet with legislators and to observe relevant Committee meetings. One in three people in Vermont—including half of Vermont’s children--is on some form of Medicaid (Green Mountain Care or Dr. Dynasaur) or uses a Medicaid-funded service. For many of us, Medicaid has been a lifeline in uncertain times. As healthcare costs rise, the federal government is moving to defund and dismantle Medicaid by allowing states to impose work requirements and other obstacles to enrollment.
In Vermont we have the opportunity to move in the opposite direction,  but it will take many voices to ensure that Medicaid is not only preserved, but also expanded, and that we keep our eye on the prize of health care for all. In 2019, lawmakers took an important step forward by doubling the adult Medicaid dental benefit. Now it’s time to increase funding for home- and community-based services, ensuring wages for low-wage health workers and continuity of care for people who count on their care.
Join us on January 28th to stand up for health care justice!

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Intro to Anti-Racism Study Group 
(Register by January 17th, 2020 in order to get your study materials in time.)
Saturday, February 1st, 2020-Saturday, April 7th, 2020. The group will meet in Downtown Brattleboro; the exact location will be disclosed at the time of registration. Times vary. 
The group is limited to 15 people total and acceptance is on a first come, first serve basis. You can register here: https://forms.gle/KDLaPHS8mGAhVqF7A
Join Lost River Racial Justice and Out in the Open for a six session Introduction to Anti-Racism Study Group. As white people it is our duty and responsibility to take action to work to dismantle systems of oppression such as white-supremacy. Working from a direct ask from the BIPOC Caucus (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and from learnings from last year's study group we are creating a space for white people to begin their journey into understanding racism and white-supremacy. During this study group participants will engage with each other, readings, video, and podcasts. We will have space for group discussions, journaling, action, and other forms of processing. 
Sessions will run from February until April, and it is expected that you are able to attend at least four out of the six sessions. We will meet in downtown Brattleboro (exact location to be share upon registration). 
-Session 1
Saturday, Feb 1st, 2020; 1pm-5pm: How Racism Shows Up in My Life
-Session 2
 Tuesday, February 11th, 2020; 6pm-8pm: What is Racism?
-Session 3
Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020; 6pm-8pm: Micro aggressions
-Session 4
Tuesday, March 10th, 2020; 6pm-8pm: Intervening in Interpersonal Situations of Racism
-Session 5
Tuesday, March 24th, 2020; 6pm-8pm: On Being a POC (Person of Color) in Vermont
-Session 6
Tuesday, April 7th, 2020; 6pm-8pm: On Being an Anti-Racist
A little more about the co-facilitators:
Claire Halverson is a member of the nucleus of Lost River Racial Justice. She has facilitated learning programs aimed at undoing racism for many years.  She is a retired professor at the School for International Training where she taught in the Social Justice in Intercultural Relations Master’s degree.
Eva Westheimer is the Programs and Volunteer Coordinator with Out in the Open. She has facilitated several study groups aimed at challenging white-supremacy. She is a recent transplant from Pittsburgh, PA where she was part of WHATS UP Pittsburgh (Working and Healing to Abolish Total Supremacy Undermining Privilege) and several other projects.

 

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Refugee Theater: Kurdish and Yazidi Women Speak Out
hosted by the Vermont Humanities Council and Brooks Memorial Library
Wednesday, February 5th, 2019 at Brooks Memorial Library (224 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 7pm-8:30pm. Free.
Rojava, a revolutionary experiment in Kurdish Syria, attempts to create an inclusive democracy safe from ISIS, Turkish incursion, and Syria’s civil war. Smith College professor Ellen W. Kaplan discusses the process of interviewing women, activists, refugees, and fighters from the Rojava region, and transforming their experiences into theater. Part of the Vermont Humanities First Wednesdays free lecture series.

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Community Film Screening Opportunity

     Lean Left VT is coordinating a series of statewide showings of Suppressed: The Fight to Vote in late January and February. It is a 35 minute film about voter suppression.  Its focus is on the voter suppression that was rampant in the GA governor’s race and ultimately undermined Stacey Abrams bid to become governor and it also talks about voter suppression as a problem that impacts millions of Americans.  We are partnering with local groups to host public showings. Do you or your fellow group organizers have any thoughts on other groups or contacts who might be interested?  
     Here is a sketch of what we envision:
·A local group would secure a venue, promote the event and host and facilitate the event.
·There would be a brief introduction, then a showing of the film followed by a moderated discussion about voter suppression.
·Lean Left will do some statewide promotion including how to find local events.  
·Lean Left will supply support materials for promotion, fundraising etc. 
·There would be information supplied to attendees about both the local group and Lean Left so that people can leave their knowing how to take action.
·The event would be a fundraiser for Fair Fight, the Stacey Abrams organization. 
·We hope to get a short personal pre-recorded video of Stacey talking to Vermonters.
      Let me know your thoughts. Here is a trailer. https://vimeo.com/374725118

     Best,
     Ann Smith (asmithinvt@gmail.com)

 

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RESOURCE FOR WeCAN: Rapid Response Text Alert System

When WeCAN began, Song & Solidarity set up a Rapid Response Text Alert System for WeCAN Groups. Directions for signing up are on WeCAN's website, here: https://www.wecantogether.net/rapid_response. We are grateful to Song and Solidarity for providing this service.

 

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STANDING REGULAR MEETINGS  

Women Veterans Weekly Coffee and Tea Social
Thursday Mornings at Brattleboro Legion Post 5 Inc. (32 Linden Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 9am-10am.
All female veterans are invited to join in the Women Veterans group coffee held at the American Legion.  All women veterans are welcome. You do not need to be a Legion member.

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Youth 4 Change

Meetings are held on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month from 5:30pm-8pm. 
For more information please contact Youth 4 Change at youth4changeaction@gmail.com.
Agenda:
5:30pm: Drop in homework time and art making
6:00pm: Food
6:30pm: Meeting and Organizing
Youth 4 Change is for local-area youth 12-22 interested in political organizing around local/state/national social justice issues that are important to them. Brattleboro area advocates and educators are holding a space, and assisting youth in building a strong personal tool kit to organize for change. Using a variety of creative methods, we aim to enable youth with tools for resilience, courage and compassion, while fostering their ability to speak up about issues that matter to them, and to take action in the name of love and liberation for all people.  Come explore issues of racial, economic and gender justice through art, movement, first-hand accounts and contemplative practices. Connect with area youth around the issues that matter to you and strengthen your tool kit for action! 

 

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Windham County NAACP Regular Meetings
Monthly community meetings are held on the third Thursday of every month at The Root Center for Social Justice (The Whetstone Studio for the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) on the First Floor from 6pm-7pm. For more information please email info@windhamnaacp.org. All are welcome. 
The meetings are open to anyone interested in racial justice. The Mission of the NAACP is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.

 

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Brattleboro Common Sense Open Meeting and Orientation for New Volunteers
Every Sunday at 16 Washington Street (Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 10:30am. For more information please call 802.490.9363 or go to www.BrattleboroCommonSense.org.
Come and check out Brattleboro's kick-ass group that makes global issues local. 
This summer our proposal for renewable-sourced municipal electricity and our petition for a sustainability coordinator were approved, but other terms of our Climate Crisis forum and common sense conservation lost their first vote in March. Brattleboro voters also approved our Youth Vote Amendment in March.
CURRENT AGENDA :
We are very glad to improve our unique and aggressive DECLARATION of CLIMATE EMERGENCY with Selectboard input that sets all Americans equal across the political divide, establishing compassion and unity for the sake of climate rescue; Local Wall Street Tax; police safety; basic social research
BACKGROUND : in 2010 EMDOVY v Brattleboro: Superior Court order that ends censorship of petitions by the Selectboard; in 2014 We promoted Brattleboro's Declaration that climate change is a real and human-made, and that carbon be listed as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act.

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ONGOING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING 

Indigo Radio
Sundays at 12pm on Brattleboro Community Radio 107.7FM. To stream live, visit: www.wvew.org 
Indigo Radio, deepening understanding and making connections! IndigoRadio is a group of area educators seeking to learn through engaging with others in our community and throughout the world. We will be talking about educational and social issues both globally and locally and connecting them to our lives and Brattleboro community. Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/indigoradiowvew/. For archive recordings of past shows: https://soundcloud.com/user-654648353

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     Thank you for your activism this and every week, WeCAN Friends. Group leaders, don't forget to get your February and March events in soon! We look forward to helping spread the word about your event  to Windham County. 


Joanna and Leslie
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