Weekly Email Update 7.22.19

"Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Do not become bitter or hostile. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble. We will find a way to make a way out of no way. #goodtrouble."
Representative John Lewis, (D-GA 5th District) since 1987
Twitter, July 16th, 2019

 There are lots of meeting and gathering options in this week's Weekly Email Update, Friends. Grab a cold drink, a bit of shade, and scroll down to see what's new.

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HAPPENING THIS WEEK, MONDAY, JULY 22nd, 2019-SUNDAY, JULY 28th, 2019

The Homeless Revolution
Monday, July 22nd, 2019 at Plaza Park (Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 4:30pm. Anyone who is homeless or interested in supporting the rights of the homeless are welcome. The goal is to perform the demonstration while the Amtrak Train is stopped at five p.m. so that those stuck in traffic nearby cannot drive past without noticing our protest.
We will be carrying signs that state our demands for housing, dignity, respect and a public meeting with the leaders in the community to voice our concerns, needs and desires. Due to the overwhelming support of this beautiful community of Brattleboro, the surrounding towns and our small budget, we are asking people to bring signs. They should be large, fit the theme of our demands and the message should be short so that they are easily read. Suggestions related to the three demands: "Homelessness is not a choice," "I want hope," "End police harassment against the homeless," "Alive with nowhere to live." "Housing", "Dignity"  and "Respect" are the basic demands. These words can even be used by themselves.
On behalf of myself, the homeless and many others...THANK YOU!!!
     A Homeless Revolution Mission Statement/Press Release
     Written by James Douglas, Matthew Vernon Whalan and homeless     citizens of Brattleboro.
     James Douglas, a homeless citizen of Brattleboro, was arrested on July 11, 2019, at 12:30 a.m. for sleeping in Plaza Park downtown. People who sleep there at night do so because they have no other safe place to go. Now that park is no longer safe.
     We in the homeless community feel that the police enforce and threaten to enforce the trespassing ordinances randomly – not consistently – and on public property, which, for the homeless, is like being terrorized; you never know when they will show up.
     Due to the recent increase in arrests, no trespass citations, and threats of arrest toward homeless people by police, the homeless community of Brattleboro will be taking direct action in order to demand 3 basic concessions from the community at large.
     These three demands are:
1) In the long-term, we demand housing.
2) In the short-term, we demand to be treated with dignity and respect – and no longer with prejudice – by the non-homeless community of Brattleboro.
3) Also in the short-term, we want consistent opportunities to publicly platform homeless voices on the subject of homeless life in the local democratic process – such as in select-board, the local press, and other forums. The community at large will never understand the realities of homeless life unless homeless people are on the frontlines of information gathering and decision-making related to their lives.
     The homeless community of Brattleboro and its allies will be participating in a series of demonstrations over the coming months themed around these three demands. The first of these demonstrations will take place on Monday, July 22, at 4:45 p.m., at which time homeless demonstrators and their allies will surround Plaza Park with Douglas, standing side by side and holding signs with messages themed around the three basic demands cited above – housing, dignity and respect, and a primary role in the political process.
"#Honelessness is not a choice"

Health Insurance Rate Hike Hearings
Green Mountain Care Board Rate Hike Hearing:
Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019 at Montpelier City Hall (39 Main Street, Montpelier, VT). 4:30pm-6:30pm. If you can’t make it to the public hearing in person, you can submit a comment electronically at: https://www.workerscenter.org/calendar/2019/07/23/public-forum-to-stop-health-insurance-rate-hikes. Alternately, you can contact windham@workerscenter.org to connect with a member who can help with the testimony and/or to sign up for a carpool.
Health insurance premiums for Blue Cross plans on Vermont Health Connect have risen 40 percent in just five years. Now, Blue Cross and MVP are asking for 15.6 and 8.5 percent average increases for next year’s premiums for plans purchased through VT Health Connect. On July 23 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. the Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB) will be taking public comment. This public forum will take place at Montpelier City Hall, 39 Main St., Montpelier. The Vermont Workers’ Center is organizing carpools to this public forum. It is particularly important that the GMCB hear from people who will be directly impacted by these increases and by high deductibles, either because they have one of the affected plans or because they can’t afford one and are uninsured or underinsured.

 

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Let the Earth Breathe: Protest Pollution in the School Budget
Wednesday July 24th, 2019, at 182 Westminster Ave (Putney, VT). 6pm. For more information please contact Brattleboro Common Sense at 802 490 9363.
The new Windham Southeast School district budget includes over a million dollars ($1,000,000) for covering the BUHS football field with plastic astroturf fake grass.  A BCS worker at the directors' June 25 meeting proposed a resolution to include Climate Crisis  on the agenda of every regular meeting of the school directors, and the resolution was approved.  The climate crisis agenda vote is additional basis for people making proposals relating to climate crisis. Come to the school board meeting to:
>  vote to amend the budget with a $1M reduction to eliminate the gross and unnecessary expense .  
>  Remind the directors that they are AUTHORIZED, not obligated to expend the school budget allotment, and vote to remove the astroturf pollution from the budget.
>  Demand that the June 25 vote be honored by keeping climate crisis on the directors' agenda.  NOT just to create a subcommittee, which can be scheduled and ignored at their convenience.  
> Under article 5 of the meeting people can make proposals even off the agenda.  People can also comment off agenda under article 2.The directors should be reminded of the world around them. People in Brattleboro want an office of sustainability (which the select-board is resisting), under Act 46 our local school districts were eliminated for centralized control and to reduce runaway costs; and people are talking about climate emergency.  This is no time to spend a million dollars covering the earth with glorified plastic pollution.  LET the EARTH BREATH !
The public is also welcome to BCS headquarters on Monday at 6 to plan this action and other climate crisis work.  at 16 Washington Street.

 

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Public Film Screening: "Within the Eye of the Storm”
hosted by Jerusalem Peacebuilders and the Windham World Affairs Council 
Thursday, July 25th, 2019 at 118 Gallery (118 Elliot Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5:30pm-8pm.
Please join us for a special program focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Jerusalem Peacebuilders will present the powerful Israeli film, “Within the Eye of the Storm,” followed by small group discussions led by pairs of Israelis and Palestinians from the Jerusalem Peacebuilders’ Vermont Leadership Institute. This is a rare opportunity to meet Israeli and Palestinian peacebuilders and to learn more about one of the most challenging conflicts of our time.  
“Within the Eye of the Storm” is the story of Bassam and Rami, a Palestinian and an Israeli who were once dedicated fighters willing to kill and be killed by one another for their nations. When faced with the tragic loss of their daughters in the conflict, they chose to do the unexpected, and, instead of seeking revenge, they turned from enemies into brothers.
Jerusalem Peacebuilders’ Vermont Leadership Institute brings together American, Israeli, and Palestinian young adults with the focus of creating a new generation of Peacebuilders and leaders. The program challenges participants to consider different perspectives around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In addition, it encourages participants to deepen their understanding of faith traditions and develop strategies for taking action to promote peace.

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Protest Vigil at TD Bank
sponsored by Post Oil Solutions
Friday, July 26th, 2019 (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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Critical Mass Bike Ride ~ Celebrate Summer
Image credit: Hugh D'Andrade
Friday, July 26th, 2019 at the Brattleboro Common (Park Place and the intersection of VT30 and Route 5, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5:30pm-6:30pm.
We're continuing with our monthly rides with rotating themes on the last Friday of each month. This month, we'll be celebrating summer! Kids and families welcome. Critical (and "Kidical") Mass rides have a unique way of energizing folks around bike mobility, transportation solutions, and amplifying our collective ability and power to begin reclaiming our streets and communities. We need this, and we need YOU!
Agenda:
5:30pm: We'll be starting AND ending at the Brattleboro Common. We'll begin by getting organized, signing in, decorating bikes, and going over our route.
6:00pm: Begin Critical Mass ride. This will be a high-visibility downtown route!
6:30pm: End ride back at the Brattleboro Common.
Help us spread the word to help make this another successful critical mass ride!

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Share the Harvest
hosted by Edible Brattleboro
Sundays through October 27th, 2019 at the Edible Garden at Turning Point (corner of Elm Street and Frost Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 11am-1pm. For information please email ediblebrattleboro@gmail.com. Please bring your own bags.
Edible Brattleboro’s "Share the Harvest" stand is open every Sunday from 11am-1pm, in their help-yourself garden at Turning Point, corner of Elm and Frost Street (diagonally across from NYET). All produce is free. 
Thanks to the generosity of local farmers and gardeners, Edible Brattleboro distributed approximately 2500 pounds of free produce last summer. Feel free to drop off produce from your garden during the Sunday hours. You may also visit either of Edible Brattleboro's two public help-yourself gardens to harvest whatever is ready. Simply look for the green flags and instructions on how to harvest. The two public gardens are located at the Co-op (rear parking lot) and Turning Point. Edible Brattleboro is fully volunteer run. If you would like to help out or would like more info, contact Marilyn at ediblebrattleboro@gmail.com or visit www.EdibleBrattleboro.org.

 

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Living Earth Potluck Picnic for Climate Justice
hosted by 350 Brattleboro, 350 VT, and Extinction Rebellion Southern VT
Sunday, July 28th, 2019 at Living Memorial Park (Memorial Park Drive, Brattleboro, VT, 05301), at the Kiwanis Shelter at the top of the hill. 4pm-7pm. Bring food or drink to share if you are able, but please come either way! (Note: the venue does not permit alcohol.) RSVP (requested but not required) to Nancy at nancykbraus@gmail.com or Mikaela at mikaelaq@gmail.com. ALL PEOPLE ARE WELCOME!!! Please bring your kids! Please feel free to invite anyone you think might be interested to join us.
Come connect with local as well as regional folks in the climate movement. With invitees hailing from Southern NH, the Upper Valley, Bennington, Brattleboro, and in between, this will be a chance to meet new people and to connect our collectives into a larger movement.
This will not be a meeting. This is a time to gather, meet, reflect, intend, plant and water seeds, nourish, and prepare for what's ahead, including the upcoming youth-led global week of climate action, Sept 20-27.
We will have space for some updates and networking, plenty of freedom to roam and flow as you will (including creating art and music together), and optional structured activities to help us connect with why we show up for this work, and how to plant in further if you wish. 
Please bring your identities, your complications, your reservations, your griefs, your joys, your passions, your angers, your hopes. Please come if your ancestors have been the victims and survivors of horrific crimes against life ~ Please come if your ancestors have committed said crimes ~ Please come if you don't know who your ancestors are. Please come if you don't fit into the outlines of socialized constructs of gender or sexuality or other limiting categories. Please come if you don't think you know what you're doing, or if you feel like you kick a** and aren't afraid to say it. Please come whatever your scope of "ability" looks like.
We want this gathering to be accessible to all who wish to join. Our gathering space is wheelchair accessible. If there is anything else we could provide that would help you feel more welcome in the space, please let us know. We are happy to access interpreter services or other things we may be overlooking. 

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UPCOMING EVENTS

Alley Lane Cleanup
hosted by Ask the River, Downtown Brattleboro Alliance, VT Center for Photography, Town of Brattleboro, Brattleboro Area Hospice, Brattleboro Prevention Coalition, with artists Evie Lovett, Andrea Wasserman, and Elizabeth Billings
Wednesday, July 31st, 2019 and Wednesday, September 4th, 2019 in the Transportation Center Alleyway off of Flat Street (77 Flat Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301), between the VT Center for Photography and Experienced Goods. 4pm-6pm. Public metered parking is available directly across from the Alleyway. 
Together we can do this! We invite you to help reimagine the transportation center alleyway off of Flat St. between Vermont Center for Photography & Experienced Goods. There will be three project days to clean up the area, mulch, garden and brainstorm.  The date: July 3rd, July 31st, and September 4th from 4-6 PM. 
This effort is part of a larger placemaking effort to transform the area into an inviting and inclusive area for community use and engagement. The effort will culminate with a  pop-event during the September Gallery Walk on Sept. 6th. 
Who is making this happen? Downtown Brattleboro Alliance, VT Center for Photography, Town of Brattleboro, Brattleboro Area Hospice, Brattleboro Prevention Coalition,  a team of regional artists– Evie Lovett, Andrea Wasserman, Elizabeth Billings and all of you! 

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Solutions Where Do We Go From Here? A Community Conversation
hosted by The Commons & 118 Elliot, evening moderated by Mac and Shanta Lee Gander
Wednesday, July 31st, 2019 at 118 Elliot Gallery (118 Elliot Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 6pm-7:30pm.
This conversation is an opportunity to invite everyone throughout the community to discuss some of the ways they are addressing some of the various topics that The Commons has covered in previous Special Focus sections—especially the most recent piece, Flying Signs.  
This is not about individuals from a seat of power or position helping individuals who aren’t in those positions of power. Instead, this is focused on asking the question what role do we all play as individuals who live and work in Brattleboro? How can we all see ourselves as a part of the solution and what does that look like for our community? Please join us as we explore what’s possible.

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Democratic Debate Watch Party, Round Two
hosted by Windham County Vermont Democrats and The Stone Church
Wednesday, July 31st, 2019 at The Stone Church (210 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 8:30pm-11pm.
Come out to the Stone Church to watch the second night of the Democratic Presidential Primary Debates, Round Two on the big screen. Join your fellow Democrats to participate in the conversation about our next president. The WCDC will be providing good food, the Stone Church will be offering an excellent drink selection, and we guarantee engaging conversation.

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Windham County Democratic Committee Meeting
Monday, August 5th, 2019 at the Winston Prouty Center (20 Winston Prouty Way (formerly Austine Drive), Brattleboro, VT, 05031). 6:30pm-8pm.
This committee meeting is open to the public.  The formal meeting convenes at 6:30pm but come early at 6pm for fellowship and snacks.  Be part of the process that puts Democrats back in the State House and the White House!

 

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August Meeting with Extinction Rebellion
hosted by The Putney Huddle
Sunday, August 11th, 2019 at the Putney Public Library (55 Main Street, Putney, VT, 05346). 1:30pm-3:30pm.
Extinction Rebellion Vermont representatives Maria Ogden and Ward Ogden will share a presentation on the work that their group is actively engaged in. More details to come! All are invited!

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Recovery: A Fables Storytelling at Next Stage Cafe Event
hosted by Peter “Fish” Case
Wednesday, August 14th, 2019 at Fables (`5 Kimball Hill, Putney, VT, 05346). 6:30pm-8:30pm. Show starts at 7pm. Entry is by donation with a portion of the evening going towards Turning Point of Windham County.
On August 14th at the Next Stage Arts Project in Putney Vermont four stories of recovery will be told. Afterwards there will be a Q&A for those interested. Doors open at 6:30pm and the Show starts at 7pm.


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RePeopling Vermont: The Paradox of Development in the Twentieth Century (part of the Community Conversations Series)
hosted by the Vermont Historical Society, Brooks Memorial Library, and the VT Dept of Libraries. A joint project of VHS and the Vermont Department of Libraries. Support provided by the Vermont Humanities Council and Northern Vermont University
Tuesday, September 17th, 2019 at Brooks Memorial Library (224 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 6:30pm-8pm. Free and open to everyone. For more information please go to www.vermonthistory.org/community-conversations.
Join fellow Vermonters in your community to learn about how the state has handled questions of development and progress in the past and how we might use those lessons to discuss a path forward to the future. The programs will open with Northern Vermont University professor Paul Searls, who will review themes and events featured in his newly-published book "Repeopling Vermont: The Paradox of Development in the Twentieth Century". In the book, he highlights the stories of different communities and their responses to difficult questions as part of his inquiry into how Vermont balanced competing visions for the state in the last century.
Following Searls’s presentation, attendees will be invited to share their own perspectives on their communities. How can we use the lessons of history to frame our planning going forward? What is important to preserve, and when is it important to move forward? How can we balance different interests and create a Vermont that works for everyone?

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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 were reminded of the Rapid Response text alerts system as President Trump moves towards firing Mueller. In the event Mueller is fired, MoveOn is planning a nation-wide simultaneous protest. The trick will be to get the word out fast if/when the time comes. 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. Upcoming Meetings: 3/21/19; 4/18/19; 5/16/19. 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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ONGOING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING 

Indigo Radio
Sundays at 12pm on Brattleboro Community Radio 107.7FMTo 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 actions this and every week, WeCANners. Your community appreciates your time and efforts in this uphill battle called justice. Until next week...