Weekly Update 4.2.18
"The willingness to sacrifice is the prelude to freedom."
To all those celebrating this weekend we extend our warmest wishes for a Happy Pesach, Happy Easter, and Happy Spring! We look forward to seeing you at an event or meeting this week.
HAPPENING THIS WEEK MONDAY, APRIL 2nd, 2018- SUNDAY, APRIL 8th, 2018
Exploring the Possibility of Establishing an Intentional Community in Brattleboro
Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018 at Brooks Memorial Library (224 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 12pm-1pm. We will have a total of nine sessions. The meetings will be open to all and you can come to any or all meetings.
Evangelina (Vangie) Holvino and James Cumming organized a Brown Bag Lunch on Intentional Communities at the River Garden on March 14. In that event we explored definitions and examples of intentional communities and talked about participants’ interest and concerns in setting one up in Brattleboro. The four people who joined us for that event, plus us two, felt we had a very rewarding discussion, which should continue.
So, we have booked one of the small rooms at the Brattleboro Memorial Library for a meeting, every other Tuesday, from 12 noon to 1 pm. The first meeting we be held on April 3rd, 2018, then after that,
• April 17th, 2018,
• May 1st, 15th, 29th,
• June 12th, 26th, and
• July 10th, 24th
The purpose of the meetings is to continue to explore the why, how, where and when of establishing an intentional community in Brattleboro. Please pass this invitation on to anybody you know who might be interested.
Brattleboro Common Sense Training and Orientation for the Youth Vote Campaign
Wednesday, April 4th, 2018. 16 Washington Street, Brattleboro, VT. Please email [email protected] for time and more information.
The Youth Vote amendment will allow youth 16 and 17 to vote on local issues, to hold one seat on the school board and to serve at representative town meeting. The process requires a petition, a local vote and then state approval.
Protest Vigil at TD Bank
sponsored by Post Oil Solutions
Friday, April 6th, 2018 (and every Friday) in front of TD Bank Brattleboro (215 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 12pm-1pm. Signs will be provided.
TD is a major investor in Tar Sands. TD helps to fund the Dakota Access Pipeline. The State of Vermont Keeps Most of Our Cash in TD. What You Can You 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 to develop sustainable, resilient , collaborative, and socially just communities leading to a self- and community-sufficient post petroleum society. For more information please contact [email protected] or 802.869.2141.
Miss Major in Conversation with Green Mountain Crossroads & The Root
hosted by The Root Social Justice Center and Green Mountain Crossroads
Friday, April 6th, 2018. 118 Elliot (118 Elliot Street, Brattleboro, VT). 5:30pm-7pm. Doors open at 5:00pm.
Suggested donation is $10-50 at the door, no one turned away. Tickets will be sold at the door, however we are asking folks to register through the provided link so we can get a relative head count in case we need a bigger space! For more information or to sponsor the event please contact [email protected].
The one and only Miss Major is coming to town! Join Green Mountain Crossroads & The Root Social Justice Center in hosting an evening with the wonderful Miss Major Griffin-Gracy. Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, is a 73-year-old Black transgender woman who has been fighting for the rights of trans women of color for over 40 years.
Miss Major’s personal story and activism for transgender civil rights, from mobile outreach and AIDS prevention to fighting the prison industrial complex, intersects LGBT struggles for justice and equality from the 1960s to today. She is a veteran of the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion and was incarcerated at Attica months after the 1971 Uprising. Most recently, Miss Major has served as the executive director of the San Francisco-based Transgender Gender Variant Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP), a grassroots organization advocating for trans women of color in and outside of prison that is led by trans women of color. Miss Major’s extraordinary life and personal story is one of resilience and celebration in a community that has been historically traumatized and marginalized. While mainstream gay rights and marriage equality dominate the headlines, Miss Major’s life is a testament to the fierce survivalism and every day concerns of transgender women of color, who so often live in the margin of the already marginalized. (from the press release at missmajorfilm.com)
We will be showing clips from the incredible documentary, MAJOR! followed by a discussion between Miss Major and members of Green Mountain Crossroads and The Root Social Justice Center, focusing on building rural communities for trans communities and communities of color.
Candlelight Vigil for Democracy Under the “We Celebrate Democracy/Civil Rights For All” Banner
Sponsored by the We Celebrate Democracy Project: Woody Bernhard, Susan Kunhardt and Friends
Sunday, April 8th, 2018 at Pliny Park (Main & High Streets, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 7:25pm (Sunset). Email [email protected] or call (802) 464-3154 for more information.
The WE CELEBRATE DEMOCRACY/CIVIL RIGHTS FOR ALL banner will be hung for one week over Main Street in Brattleboro beginning early Sunday morning the 8th of April.
Democracy is the light of the world. But the Dark Force is trying to put it out. Stand up for democracy. Stand with people all around the world who cherish the promise of Democracy. We will gather at Pliny Park and light our candles for Democracy, hold a silent vigil, then listen to some speeches, sing some songs and finish up around 8:30pm. If you would like to speak or sing a song or two please let us know. In order to stand up to the bullies in our society, we always say at our events: All who attend agree to act nonviolently in word and deed. To donate to "WCD/CRFA", POB 6231, Brattleboro,VT,05301.
Banner Raising: We Celebrate Democracy/Civil Rights for All
Sunday, April 8th, 2018 at the Intersection of High Street and Main Street in Brattleboro, VT. 8:00am.
The We Celebrate Democracy/Civil Rights for All banner will be hung for one week over Main Street in Brattleboro beginning early Sunday morning the 8th of April. We are: Woody Bernhard and Susan Kunhardt of Marlboro, Vermont. We are dedicated to positive non-violent public action promoting Democracy and Civil Rights. We are fundraising for an anniversary solo flight of the "We Celebrate Democracy/Civil Rights For All" banner over Main Street in Brattleboro from Sunday, April 8th, to Sunday the 15th and to hold an anniversary "Light a Candle for Democracy" candle light vigil at Pliny Park, High and Main streets in Brattlleboro, Vermont at 7:25 p.m. (sunset) on April 8th. We need to raise $380: A $300 hanging fee for the Fire Department to hang the banner, and $80 for permits ($75) and supplies ($5) for the candle light vigil. Please make a small donation. Please join us.
We will be there to watch the banner go up on the morning of April 8th. The fire company hangs main street banners at High & Main streets in Brattleboro, on Sunday mornings at 8 a.m. or a little after. The Works will be open. The vigil later that evening begins at sunset (7:25pm) in Pliny Park, Main and High Streets in Brattleboro Vermont. Bring a candle; we will have some there, too. In order to stand up to the bullies in our society we say at all our events: "All people who attend this event agree to be nonviolent in word and in deed."
This is the anniversary of the first banner raising and "Light a Candle For Democracy" candlelight vigil . We raised funds to have the banner made by Ann Brush of Starksboro Vt. We raised funds to fly the banner over Main Street in Brattleboro in 2017 on April 23rd, June 25, September 3rd and October 8th. We also held a candle light vigil for democracy at Pliny Park on the 23rd of April 2017, and 40 of us marched and carried the banner in the Brattleboro 4th of July parade. It was also up on Martin Luther King Day week, 2018. It will be hung again on Main Street on April 8th, on the week before the 4th of July, on Labor Day and on Columbus Day/Indigenous People's Day. We have made postcards from pictures of supporters holding the banner at the Brattleboro, Marlboro and Putney post offices. The cards are available at the Marlboro and Brattleboro town offices, and at the Brooks Memorial Library.
We Celebrate Democracy / Civil Rights For All banner projects are funded by small local donations. Please make a small donation to "WCD/CRFA", POB 6231, Brattleboro VT, 05302. Any over-funding will be donated to Brattleboro Area Hospice. Since April 2017, we have donated $358 to Hospice. THANK YOU FOR DONATING!
Democracy in Theory, Democracy in Brattleboro and Its Applications: An Exploration of the Town Meeting and the Town Charter
Sunday, April 8th, 2018 at 145 Green Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301. 1pm.
For more information please call Spoon Agave at (802) 257-0533.
Most would probably agree we enjoyed another successful Representative Town Meeting (RTM)6+
. A little long, perhaps, but also little wasted time. It does get tough late in the day but, well, that’s a good discussion for another time. In any case we knocked out a lot of business, resolved or worked on some long standing issues and generally could depart with a reasonable sense of accomplishment. I felt some rich moments of genuine community spirit and cohesiveness. That’s worth a lot. Could the meeting have accomplished much more (in the same or less time)? Not just this meeting, perhaps, but the RTM organ itself? What does RTM actually do? Can it and/or should it do things we’ve never considered? What is its powers and are we fully exercising them? Whose meeting is it? Who sets the agenda and why? Can it take a different shape to do different things? Is its role sufficient? Can it approach problems that are considered inadequately in other places or not at all? Who determines what responsibilities RTM should take on?
As you can see there is a host of very interesting questions. They relate to the principles and elements of democracy itself. The warp and woof of the fabric of our society. Of our very community. As we reshape or re-interpret the elements of our democracy (make new laws and rules) we correspondingly change the way we live. The way we relate to one another. It’s not easy to see that connection but when one does it alters how we look at ourselves and community. It is too often said, as we tackle certain municipal problems, that we are helpless. That we are at the mercy of forces beyond our control. Developing a clearer understanding of democracy begins to create a sense or picture that we have more power and control, as a community, than we thought we did.
On Sunday, April 8th, after 1pm, my doors will be open to any and all who are drawn to discuss and learn more about this subject. It will be a slightly guided conversation. Let me know if you‘re interested. I’ll make a big pot of coffee if there’s a good bunch of people. If there are too many people I’ll try to figure out a different venue if possible. There can also be a second session. Bring a friend.
Community Meal, Health Fair, and Meeting on Health Care Issues
hosted by the Vermont Workers’ Center
Friday, April 13th, 2018 at the Centre Congregational Church (193 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5:15pm-8pm. Rides, childcare, and ASL interpretation available upon request. For more information please call (802) 257-4436 or email [email protected].
On April 13, the Vermont Workers’ Center will host a health fair and community meeting on health care issues accompanied by a free community meal. This event will take place from 5:15pm-8:00pm at the Centre Congregational Church; blood pressure and blood glucose screenings by registered nurses will be available, as well as other mutual aid and healthcare resources.
Having trouble getting the care you need? Concerned about cuts in services? Questions about healthcare? This meeting will include information and an opportunity to connect with others in the community on the (in)justice of our healthcare system and to discuss how we can make a difference.
Deeper Than Skin: Building Bridges with Music
Saturday, April 14th, 2018 at All Souls’ Unitarian Universalist Church (29 South St, Brattleboro, VT 05301). Time TBD.
From their website: Reggie and Greg were born three days apart, both with family ancestry flowing through the same portal of American history, Richmond, VA. They are now on a pilgrimage together - one that began three decades ago. The racial divisions that are the reality of America started each of them in two very different worlds. But, the amazing bonds of music, mutual respect, sheer admiration, and shared vision have brought them together as friends and colleagues.
Their stories together form a unique American experience. The music that flows from their lives is powered by unadorned truth, raw and riveting, beautiful and up-lifting. Echoing Gandhi, they believe that in telling our truths, we are able to rise up from the past and build bridges to the each other, and to the future.
Emilie Kornheiser for State Representative Campaign Kick-Off Party!
Saturday, April 14th, 2018 at American Traders (257 Marlboro Road, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 4pm-6pm.
Have you heard that saying, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for”? Our sister in activism, Emilie Kornheiser, is running for State Representative of District 1 in Brattleboro, and her whole campaign is about bringing people together to solve the problems in our communities. She has the amazing ability to have grand visions and very particular solutions. While the nuts and bolts of community building and governance are her wheelhouse, she is also the kind of inspirational, transformative leader this moment calls for. And she throws an amazing party. We’ll have music, tasty food, activities for kids, and plenty of conversation about our vision for community in our district, in Brattleboro, and in Vermont.
Don’t take our word for it. Come to the Campaign Kickoff on April 14th, 4pm-6pm, and join the conversation.
Apartheid from Gaza to the Reservation
presented by Brattleboro Common Sense
Sunday, April 29th, 2018 at First Baptist Church (190 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 2:00pm. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door and can be purchased by mailing payment to Brattleboro Common Sense, 16 Washington Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301. For further information please call Mia Feroleto at 802 952 6217.
Brattleboro Common Sense presents a discussion with Middle Eastern Scholar Norman Finkelstein and Lakota Sioux Elder Alex White Plume on Sunday, April 29th at 2:00 pm. at the First Baptist Church, located at 190 Main Street in Brattleboro, Vermont. The discussion will focus on the parallels between the treatment of Palestinians in Gaza and Native Americans here at home. BCS founder Kurt Daims will serve as moderator for the talk.
Norman Gary Finkelstein (born December 8, 1953) is an American political scientist, activist, professor, and author. His primary fields of research are the Israel-Palestinian conflict and the politics of the Holocaust, an interest motivated by the experiences of his parents who were Jewish Holocaust survivors. He is a graduate of Binghamton University, and received his PhD. D in political science at Princeton University. He has held faculty positions at Brooklyn University, Rutgers University, Hunter College, New York University, and DePaul University where he was an assistant professor from 2001 to 2007. In 2007, after a highly publicized feud between Finkelstein and an academic opponent, Alan Dershowitz, Finkelstein's tenure bid at DePaul was denied. Finkelstein was placed on administrative leave for the 2007–08 academic year, and on September 5, 2007, he announced his resignation after coming to a settlement with the university on generally undisclosed terms. An official statement from DePaul strongly defended the decision to deny Finkelstein tenure, stated that outside influence played no role in the decision. In 2008, he was banned from entering Israel for 10 years. Finkelstein taught at Sakarya University Middle East Institute in Turkey between 2014 and 2015.
ALEX WHITE PLUME
Alex White Plume was born on the Pine Ridge Reservation. He grew up strongly connected to traditional Lakota culture. He joined the US Army and was stationed in Berlin, Germany, where he left the US Army in 1978. White Plume’s interest in sociopolitical issues developed later in life after his return to Pine Ridge. White Plume has pursued a life of farming but had difficulty succeeding with crops on the limited agricultural lands of the reservation, where physical conditions are harsh and challenging. He and his extended family, or tiospaye, tried alfalfa, barley and corn; they also raised horse and bison, which are being raised by ranchers in growing herds on the Great Plains. All yielded little more than subsistence under the harsh conditions .After considerable research, in 1998 the Oglala Sioux Tribe passed an ordinance to allow the cultivation of low-THC-hemp on the reservation. The market for the crop was high around the world, and it is a sustainable product with a short growing season. During World War II, the US government encouraged hemp’s cultivation for its qualities of “hardiness, utility and low cost.” In April 2000 White Plume and his family planted industrial hemp on their farm on the Pine Ridge Reservation. At that time, he was reportedly the only farmer to openly plant, cultivate, and produce cannabis-related crops within the borders of the United States since it was prohibited by federal anti-drug laws in 1968. While hemp products can be sold in the United States, its cultivation is prohibited, a law implemented by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).Although related to cannabis, hemp does not have psychoactive properties and is used worldwide for a variety of applications, including processing as a cloth and as food. In addition, White Plume believed that the tribe’s sovereignty on its land would enable him to grow the crop. Federal DEA agents made a surprise raid on his field that August and destroyed his crops. In August 2002, he was served with eight civil charges by the US District Attorney related to the hemp cultivation, and a court order prohibiting continued growing of the crop. Although he has appealed, the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the DEA, while acknowledging that its registration process could be a burden and that hemp might be a good crop for the Pine Ridge Reservation. Finally in 2017, Alex White Plume has planted his first hemp crop in more than 15 years. He intends to build a hempcrete home for himself and his family.
BRATTLEBORO COMMON SENSE
Founded by Kurt Daims, BCS has advanced democracy for everyone in the state of Vermont. As Brattleboro has gained a small voice on the national stage, it becomes important for us living here to express ourselves on national issues. And as many people addressed global issues locally, others with a more traditional approach to government began in 2011 to actively suppress the peoples’ free speech and petition rights. Brattleboro Common Sense has gone to the streets and to the courts, to end voter suppression, to end the abuse of government power, and to restore those rights whose use gives Brattleboro so much of its character and reputation, rights that are essential to innovation in government and to democracy.
Incarceration in America: Immigration Detention, Part of the CAPA Symposium
Friday, May 11th – Saturday, May 12th, 2018 at the Center for the Advancement of Public Action (1 College Drive, Bennington, VT, 05201). Free and open to the public. For more information please contact [email protected] or 802-447-4267.
-General Trends in Immigration Enforcement
-Immigration Detention and Private Prisons
-Local Government and NGO Involvement
STANDING REGULAR MEETINGS
Lost River Racial Justice, Black Lives Matter-South, and People Of Color Caucus Regular Meeting
Reoccurring racial justice organizing meetings every 2nd Monday at The Root Social Justice Center (The Whetstone Studio of the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) on the First Floor. 6pm-8pm. Childcare provided. Fragrance & nut free space.
Youth4Change Regular Meeting
The Root Social Justice Center (The Whetstone Studio for the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). First Floor.
Youth4Change (Y4C), a program of The Root Social Justice Center, builds the leadership skills of youth ages 12-21, especially those from/in historically disenfranchised communities who want to use education, art, and action to address issues of racial, class, gender, queer, immigrant and indigenous justice.
Alternatives to Suicide meets every Wednesday 6pm-7:30PM at the Hive Space (24 Flat St, Suite 202, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). Second Floor, up one flight of stairs.
Alternatives to Suicide is a mutual support group open to anyone who has experienced thoughts of suicide. The group is guided by a charter of values provided by the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community. The group is non-clinical and does not link suicide with illness. Participants are free to talk about and find meaning in their experiences in/on their own terms.
Volunteer Sister District Soup Makers Needed
Volunteer soup chefs provide the time and the ingredients so that 100% of subscription fees went directly to support candidates. We distribute soup on the third Mondays of each month - February 19, March 19, April 16 and May 21. All soups are vegetarian, dairy free and gluten free. We need cooking volunteers each month during the weekend before distribution Monday. Volunteers receive a simple recipe the weekend before they cook and pick up containers and labels the next Friday. Soup makers cook in their own kitchens and purchase ingredients which should cost around $20/4 quarts. If you want to cook but can’t cover that expense, we will hook you up with an ingredient sponsor. Once prepared, the soup is delivered cold to our refrigerators in Putney or Brattleboro. From there, it is picked up by subscribers or donated to the Putney Food Shelf according to the subscriber’s instructions.
You can sign up to make soup as many months as you want. If you would like to cook or have questions, please email Diane Shamas at [email protected] or call 802-579-8294. We will need to know which months you’d like to cook, whether you’d like to make a single (4-5 quart) or double (8-10 quart) batch, and whether you want to pick up/drop off in Brattleboro or Putney.
A Little About Southern VT Sister District: Subscriptions to our SisterDistrict Soup CSA raised $10,000 for progressive Democrats in strategic races! We helped elect two fine candidates, John Bell and Jennifer Foye, to the Virginia House of Delegates and our third candidate, Margaret Good, is running for Florida's House of Representatives on February 13, 2018. Read more about her here. Many many thanks to all of you who’ve cooked so far and donated the soup that makes it possible!!!
Inclusion Center is Looking for People Who are Interested in Helping our Organization Grow and Mature in Various Directions
Inclusion Center is an amazing program that works with all people who have disabilities or medical issues, and everyone else who has an interest in being with us.
The possibilities for what Inclusion Center could be in the future are endless: A drop in center within another program! Have our own space with our doors always open. Offer classes. Offer services as well as being a drop in center! And those are just a few of our ideas!
However, in order for us to grow, we need a few more people who can either come to our board meetings (the second friday of each month at 2:00), or come to a work group each month (generally Friday mornings).
At Inclusion Center we all matter. Everyone helps make decisions. It doesn't matter if you want to join the board or just drop in as often as you can. Either way, your ideas and input matter just as much as everyone else's.
Please contact us ([email protected] or 802-387-5285) to discuss how we could work together.
ONGOING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING
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
WVEW 107.7FM, Brattleboro Community Radio Station
You can listen to recorded and archived episodes here: https://soundcloud.com/democracy-eventually and you can find us on Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/democracyeventually/ and on Twitter here @Democrazeee.
We are Democracy, Eventually a radio show covering local, state, and underreported national news stories from a progressive analysis. We air live on WVEW 107.7FM LP Brattleboro Community Radio Station.
Ann, Joanna, and Leslie