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Workers’ Rights Calendar

The 99 percent

If you missed the 99% Spring trainings, don’t worry – you can still check out the 99% Spring trainings online!

Wednesday April 25

RACIAL JUSTICE POLITICS: REFLECTIONS ON THE TRAYVON MARTIN CASE – AN URGENT CALL FOR EDUCATORS AND ACTIVISTS

1-3pm, Campus Center Room 168C, UMass Amherst. Panel and open dialogue about racial justice organizing and antiracist education.Info: Jennifer Cannon, jenwcannon@gmail.com.

 

Wednesday April 25 (Fourth Wednesday)

MASS SENIOR ACTION COUNCIL – WESTERN MASS

1:30-3pm, Hobby Club, 309 Chestnut St (enter off Franklin off Liberty; behind YMCA), Springfield (739-4874). Light refreshments, 50/50 raffle. MSAC was founded in 1981 to promote the rights, well being, and dignity of all people, particularly vulnerable senior citizens. Open to people of all ages. MSAC has a proud history of effective community organizing and legislative advocacy on health care, housing, transportation, and other issues.

On the agenda: Fight PVTA fare hikes. Info: 543-2334, lstone@masssenioraction.orgwww.masssenioraction.org.

 

Wednesday April 25

PROTEST: STUDENT DEBT REACHES $1,000,000,000,000

4:30‐5:30pm, Town Common, Routes 9 & 116, Amherst. US student debt at 1 trillion dollars shows how education is translating into huge profits for the 1%.  Join the national call to action to say NO to the debilitating ties that exist between Wall Street, Big Banks, and Higher Education! This is the beginning of a grassroots movement towards an education system the 99% can afford. Infoks12@hampshire.edu.

 

Wednesday April 25

NORTHAMPTON HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION: RESOLUTION REGARDING THE RIGHT TO ORGANIZE

7pm, City Hall Hearing Room, Room 18, on the second floor, 210 Main St, Northampton. Public Comment is 7:00-7:30; there will be a sign-up list for people wishing to speak for a maximum of three minutes. Please come and support union organizer Edan Dhanraj, who will speak on the Resolution. Info: Western Mass. Jobs with Justice, 827-0301, wmjwj@wmjwj.org.

 

April 26-28

WORKERS MEMORIAL DAY

Thursday April 26

Noon, Northampton: begin on the steps of City Hall and continue with a procession through the streets ending outside the Registry at 33 King St.

Friday April 27

1pm, Teamsters Local 404 Hall, 115 Progress Avenue, Springfield.

Saturday April 28

10:30am, Veterans Memorial Park, off of South St, Pittsfield.

We remember those who have been injured or killed on the job. Fifty-eight people were killed on the job in Massachusetts in 2011. We will read the names of those who died on the job in Massachusetts in 2011 and the first few months of 2012. Family, friends, injured workers, and interested members of the public are invited to attend. Info: Western Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health, (413) 731-0760westernmasscosh@verizon.net.

 

Thursday April 26

BUILDING A SOLIDARITY ECONOMY FOR PEOPLE AND PLANET: VIEWS FROM BRAZIL

2-4pm, Room 302-304, Gordon Hall, 418 N Pleasant St, Amherst. David Tygel, former executive secretary of the Brazilian Forum on the Solidarity Economy, speaks. The solidarity economy is a rapidly growing social movement that is grounded in principles of equity, democracy and sustainability. It serves people and the planet rather than corporate greed and blind growth. Currently, Brazil has one of the world’s most impressive expressions of solidarity economy, and the Brazilian Forum on the Solidarity Economy has played a key role in its development. Info:(413) 545-2590.

 

Thursday April 26

VISIBLE & INVISIBLE VIOLENCE: OCCUPY WALL STREET, TRAYVON MARTIN, & THE FABRIC OF EVERYDAY SOCIETY

7pm, Herter Hall 231, UMass Amherst. Since the emergence of Occupy Wall Street in September, there have been heated debates within the movement about questions of “violence”. Recent events, such as the murder of Trayvon Martin, have also provoked dialogues about the many structural forms of violence present in our society and institutions. Come hear scholars and activists discuss some of these issues and broaden the conversation around violence through lenses of strategy, history, sociology and discourse.

Panelists will engage with a variety of questions, such as: What is violence? How do we conceptualize different forms of violence – from the everyday violence of state and social structures, to physical confrontations that are more conventionally defined as violence? Is property destruction a form of violence? In what contexts is the use of violence acceptable? What are some moral and strategic frameworks for activists and social movements to think about “violence” or the use of tactics that can be construed as “violent”? What are the political motivations underlying different constructions and definitions of violence? And what is an appropriate response to violence? What is some historical and international context for how different social movements have engaged with questions of violence?

Info: American Friends Service Committee, (413) 584-8975office@afscwm.org.

 

Thursday April 26

GENE SHARP STUDY/DISCUSSION GROUP 

7-8:30pm, NACUL Center for Ecological Architecture, 592 Main St, Amherst. Continues on the fourth Thursday of the month, except June-September. Sharp is internationally recognized as the world’s foremost expert on non-violent revolution and credited with the strategy behind the toppling of the Egyptian government. His Key Steps on the Path to Revolution are:

•            Develop a strategy for winning freedom and a vision of the society you want

•            Overcome fear by small acts of resistance

•            Use colors and symbols to demonstrate unity of resistance

•            Learn from historical examples of the successes of non-violent movements

•            Use non-violent “weapons”

•            Identify the dictatorship’s pillars of support and develop a strategy for undermining each

•            Use oppressive or brutal acts by the regime as a recruiting tool for your movement

•            Isolate or remove from the movement people who use or advocate violence

This is a Working Group of Occupy Amherst, www.occupyamherst.comInfo(413) 522-7505.

 

Friday April 27

QUEBEC STUDENT STRIKERS VISIT

Noon, Thompson Hall Room 620, UMass Amherst. 165,000 students have been on strike against tuition increases in Quebec for the past 2 months. Demonstrations of 250,000 people have taken place in Montreal. This has turned into a major political showdown with the provincial government and has gone almost completely unreported in the US. Several of the strikers will be at in the Valley Friday. Join PHENOM (Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts) in welcoming them, hearing their stories, learning from them, and discussing what it means for us.

Event at Holyoke Community College also being planned. Info(413) 461-3300phenom@phenomonline.org.

 

Friday April 27

FREE FILMS: WHAT IS OCCUPY WALL STREET?

3-5pm, The Forum, Holyoke Community College, 303 Homestead Ave, Holyoke ((413) 538-7000). Occupy HCC is hosting a film screening of short films produced by Occupy Wall Street. Come and find out about the Occupy Movement that started on Wall Street and has spread across the globe! There will be a Q&A session following the films with activists from different Occupy groups across the Northeast. Sponsored by the Holyoke Community College Student Senate, (413) 552-2418.

 

Friday April 27

BREAD & ROSES CENTENNIAL FREE CONCERT

4:30pm, 6th floor of the Everett Mill, 15 Union St, Lawrence. Featuring Si Kahn, Charlie King, Karen Brandow, and some other surprises! The concert will take place in the Lawrence History Center’s bilingual exhibit, “Short pay! All out!” Infohttp://breadandrosescentennial.org/.

 

April 27, 28, 29

RADIUM GIRLS

8pm (Sundays 2pm), Shea Theater, 71 Avenue A, Turners Falls. Based on real events, Radium Girls tells the story of young American women who went to work painting watch dials for the US Radium Corporation in 1917. (This production is excellent! ~ JW)

Decent and good paying jobs for women were hard to come by. US Radium paid top dollar (more than $18 a week) and thousands of women went to work painting watch dials with a glow-in-the dark radium-based paint. Numerous women became sick with a crippling illness and died. The corporation blamed the victims and practiced a cover-up. But the “Radium Girls”, in the face of death, refused to go quietly. Against the corporation, the courts, and a terrible sickness the Radium Girls fought for justice. Their actions ultimately led to groundbreaking occupational disease law, the right to sue corporations for damages caused by labor abuse, and improved safety standards.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and students, and $8 for 12 and under. Tickets are available at the door, can be purchased at the World Eye Bookshop, Greenfield, and the Jones Library, Amherst. Directions to the Shea Theater: TheShea.orgInfo: Robert Freedman, 413-586-6095http://www.arenacivictheatre.org/.

 

Saturday April 28

BREAD & ROSES CENTENNIAL

Day-long signature event in the year-long remembrance of one of the epic battles in American Labor History. Many of the issues in the Great Lawrence Strike of 1912 have come full circle to confront us today! Together with an educational and provocative series of presentations, attendees will be able to visit the Centennial Exhibit established by the Lawrence Historical Society in the Everett Mill, and enjoy lunch and a powerful speech by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. Infohttp://breadandrosescentennial.org/.

 

Saturday April 28

VERIZON DAYS OF ACTION

Noon, rally and press conference at the West Springfield Verizon Wireless store, 1123 Riverdale St, West Springfield. On Thursday May 3, at Verizon’s annual shareholders meeting in Huntsville, Alabama, there will be a major demonstration, both inside and outside. To call local public attention to this in advance, our Western Mass. Verizon Street Heat committee will rally on April 28. We will get a report from John Rowley, Business Manager, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2324. Then we will fan out for an hour to leaflet shoppers coming and going at the Riverdale Shops.

To pull this off, we will have the regular Springfield and Hadley leafleters come to West Springfield, but we need more than that. We needyou and we need to know in advance that you’ll participate. Please email wmjwj@wmjwj.org now and tell us “I’ll be there!” at noon on April 28. And tell us if you are bringing folks. Best place to park is near Riverdale Street in the Table & Vine store’s lot, 1119 Riverdale StreetInfo: 827-0301, wmjwj@wmjwj.org.

 

Saturday April 28

OCCUPY GREENFIELD TOWN COMMON ENCAMPMENT

Noon, Main (Route 2A) & Federal (Route 5/10) Sts, Greenfield. Setting up tents, accompanied by music, food, and workshops. Includes a Really Really Free Market, a place where everything is free, and, if you choose, you can give things away. See http://www.reallyreallyfree.org. Restrooms at the Congregational Church across the street. Occupy Franklin County has obtained a permit for the weekend from the City of Greenfield. Infowww.Occupyfranklincounty.org. Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/268057253276463/.

 

Saturday April 28

MEMORIAL SERVICE CELEBRATING CARLOS VEGA’S LIFE & ACHIEVEMENTS

4pm, Holyoke High School, 500 Beech St (Route 202), Holyoke. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Carlos Vega Fund for Social Justice at http://www.communityfoundation.org/gifts/donate.html (please specify the Carlos Vega Fund).

 

Monday April 30

DEMAND A REAL HOUSING TASK FORCE

Mayor’s Office, 36 Court St, Springfield. See http://ariseforsocialjustice.blogspot.com/2012/04/when-streets-are-full-with-homeless.html. Arise is planning to visit the Mayor on April 30 and not leave until he agrees to a real housing task force, with 50% low and moderate income people. (If you want to get involved in fighting for housing justice, next meeting is Wednesday May 2, 6pm, at Arise, 467 State St, Springfield. Info, get involved in planning April 30: 734-4948, lizma62@yahoo.com.

 

Monday April 30

GETTING LAUNCHED

6pm, Room 106, Isenberg School of Management, UMass Amherst. Therapist and life coach Jonathan Goldin moderates a panel of leaders and a former student, representing a wide range of professional experience, all dedicated to helping students find their authentic path while leveling the playing field between employers and job-seekers. Presented in conjunction with the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce. Info: Jonathan Goldin, johnnygoldin@verizon.net.

 

Tuesday May 1 (Rain Date May 5)

MAY DAY: FOR SOCIAL & ECONOMIC JUSTICE!

Noon-7pm, Park Square, Pittsfield. Occupy Berkshires is sponsoring a May Day Peaceful Demonstration. Groups may come and go according to their own schedules and are highly encouraged to offer a talk and to participate in the General Assembly meeting. Demonstrators may display banners and signs and offer informational literature to each other and to the public to promote their issues and causes. Sign-up sheets and donation receptacles will be available. Donations will be split between participating groups after expenses. There will be three or four talks, possibly more, from 1 until 4:30pm. Intervals will be set aside to network, march, and/or listen to music. Volunteers may offer homemade or locally purchased foods, snacks, and drinks to the demonstrators. Local establishments have offered use of their restrooms.

The day will end with a General Assembly meeting from 5 to 7pm, where participants will split into working groups to brainstorm three or more selected social and/or economic issues, arising from the talks. Each working group will present a summary to the entire group and notes will be posted on the OB website.

Pittsfield political leaders and State government representatives will be invited to attend and participate. Info: Paul Schack,attyschack@gmail.com, or Occupy Berkshires, contact@occupyberkshires.comOccupyBerkshires.com.

 

Tuesday May 1

MAY DAY: VOICES OF WORKING PEOPLE’S HISTORY

7:00-9:00pm (doors open 6:30), Holyoke Heritage State Park Visitors Center, 221 Appleton St, Holyoke. A program ~ inspired by Howard Zinn ~ of dramatic readings ~ lots of songs ~ from people who make history happen but are usually left out of history books ~ with emphasis on Western Mass. voices.

Space is limited! Reserve a seat in advance: (413) 827-0301 or wmjwj@wmjwj.org or http://www.facebook.com/events/376043455767049/.

This year’s performance is dedicated to Greg Speeter (10/12/43 – 2/2/12) and Carlos Vega (11/26/50 – 4/12/12) and includes their voices and those of W.E.B. Du Bois; Peter McGuire; Albert Parsons; Dyer Lum; August Spies; Holyoke Transcript Reporter; Edward Bellamy; Tom Mooney; the Industrial Workers of the World; Big Bill Haywood; Lucy Parsons; Eugene Debs; Mother Jones; Elizabeth Gurley Flynn; Emma Goldman; Luisa Capetillo; Ludlow Mills Striker; Blair Mountain Miner; Frances Perkins; Anna Sullivan; Yuri Kochiyama; Paul Robeson; George Markham; Springfield African American Plaintiffs; Mother on AFDC; Jobs with Justice Founders; Cesar Chavez; Baystate Nurses; and Occupiers.

Readers & Performers: Irene Thornton (also Director); Tom Neilson (also Musical Director); Ben Grosscup; Bob Williams; Charlie Lotspeich; Chris Rohmann; Dan Inglis; Elizabeth Rausch; Ellen Reich; Ginetta Candelario; Hector Figarella; James Gallant; Jennieke Kranz-Howe; Joe Kurland; John Fitzgerald; Lynn Waldron; Peggy Pryor; Raging Grannies; Reynolds Winslow; Sean Landers; Sue Kranz; and Tom Weiner.

Sponsor the Program/Song Book: $50 per person or $100 per organization. Send to Western Mass. Jobs with Justice, PO Box 296, Granby MA 01033.

 

SAVE THE DATES

June 22-24

U S FEDERATION OF WORKER CO-OPS WORKER CO-OP CONFERENCE

Boston. Info: Melissa Hoover, melissa@usworker.coophttp://www.usworker.coop/front.

Saturday June 30

THIRD ANNUAL CORI INDEPENDENCE DAY

12-4pm, Blunt Park, Springfield. Details coming. We will need donations and support from all. Info: Betty Agin, 413-654-2888director@ucved.org.

 

 

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