Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Baltimore Activist Alert - August 22 - 24, 2017

16] Critical Conversation Town Hall Meeting – Aug. 22
17] Israel Anti-Boycott Act – Aug. 23
18] Progressive Happy Hour – Aug. 23
19] Rally for a 100% Renewable Energy Maryland -- Aug. 24
20] Food for Thought – Aug. 24
16] –  On Tues., Aug. 22 at 6:30 PM, Progressive Prince George’s will be coming together for a Critical Conversation Town Hall Meeting about how to strengthen public education at Prince George's Educators' Association, 8008 Marlboro Pike, Forestville, MD 20747.  Visit http://www.progressivemaryland.org/princegeorges.

17] – On Wed., Aug. 23 at 6 PM, Kathleen MacRae, Executive Director, ACLU-DE, speaks on 1st Amendment Rights, the right to boycott, and the Israel Anti-Boycott Act that would make it illegal for any U.S. person to support boycotts of illegal Israel settlements.  The talk will be happening at Westminster Church, 1502 W. 13th St., Wilmington, DE 19806.  Call 302-654- 5214. 

18] – Progressive MoCo on Wed., Aug. 23 at 6 PM is hosting a Progressive Happy Hour at Republic in Takoma Park. 6939 Laurel Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912. RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/315085108953760/?ti=icl.

19] – Rally for a 100% Renewable Energy Maryland in Federal Hill Park, 300 Warren Ave., Baltimore 21230 on Thurs., Aug. 24 at noon.  Meet at the flagpole, located at the northern end of the park by Key Highway. Maryland is at a tipping point that could lead to climate chaos and needs an ambitious plan to protect Maryland from the dire impacts of global warming and sea level rise. Climate change will have devastating effects on places like the Chesapeake Bay, the Eastern Shore, and the numerous coastal cities and towns. We must do everything within our power to stop our reliance on fossil fuels and ensure a just transition to 100% clean, renewable energy as soon as possible. Because of the federal administration’s opposition to even acknowledging climate change, it is up to local and state governments to lead in transitioning to 100% clean, renewable energy. On the heels of a fracking ban, Maryland has an opportunity to once again stand up for communities against the fossil fuel industry. Join a rally and press conference announcing next steps to immediately begin moving Maryland to 100% clean, renewable energy. Contact Rianna with questions - reckel@fwwatch.org or 410-394-7652.  Go to http://go.offfossilfuels.org/event/action_attend/401.

20] – On Thurs., Aug. 24 from 6:30 to 8 PM, there is a Food for Thought Baltimore County Town Hall Meeting at the Church of the Holy Comforter, 130 W Seminary Ave., Lutherville 21093. Representatives from schools, churches, and civic organizations who are partners or who are interested in learning more about becoming partners with the Food for Thought Baltimore County weekend backpack program come together to discuss program best practices and to celebrate the start of the new school year!

To be continued.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/.

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Baltimore Activist Alert August 20 – August 22, 2017

Baltimore Activist Alert August 20 – August 22, 2017

"I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours." -Martin Luther King Jr.

Friends, this list and other email documents which I send out are done under the auspices of the Baltimore Nonviolence Center.  Go to www.baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com.  If you appreciate this information and would like to make a donation, send contributions to BNC, 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218.  Max Obuszewski can be reached at 410-323-1607 or mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.net.

1] Books, buttons and stickers
2] Web site for info on federal legislation
3] Join Nonviolent Resistance lists  
4] Two friends are looking to buy a house in Baltimore
5] We are evolving – Aug. 20
7] Protest at the Pentagon – Aug. 21
8] Film “Power and Control-- Aug. 21
9] Hearing on a proposed concrete plant– Aug. 22
10] Reading Program at the Maryland SPCA – Aug. 22 & 26 
11] Peace vigil – Aug. 22
12] Protest drone research – Aug. 22
13] Film DO THE RIGHT THING – Aug. 22
15] Pray for Peace – Aug. 22
1] – Buttons, bumperstickers and books are available.  “God Bless the Whole World, No Exceptions” stickers are in stock. Call Max at 410-323-1607.

2] – To obtain information how your federal legislators voted on particular bills, go to http://thomas.loc.gov/.  Congressional toll-free numbers are 888-818-6641, 888-355-3588 or 800-426-8073. The White House Comment Email is accessible at http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/.

3] – THE ORGANIZING LIST will be the primary decision-making mechanism of the National Campaign of Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR].  It will be augmented by conference calls and possibly in-person meetings as needed.  It will consist of 1 or 2 representatives from each local, regional, or national organization (not coalitions) that wishes to actively work to carry out the NCNR campaign of facilitating and organizing nonviolent resistance to the war in Iraq.

To join the ORGANIZING List, please send your name, group affiliation, city and email address to mobuszewski at Verizon.net.  Different local chapters of a national organization are encouraged to subscribe.  

THE NOTICES LIST will include only notices of NCNR actions and related information and is open to any interested person to subscribe.  It will be moderated to maintain focus & will include periodic notices about getting involved in NCNR national organizing.  To join the NOTICES List, send an email message to ncnrnotices-subscribe@lists.riseup.net. You will get a confirmation message once subscribed.  If you have problems, please write to the list manager at ncnrnotices-admin@lists.riseup.net.

4] – Janice and Max are looking to buy a house in Baltimore.  Let Max know if you have any leads—410-323-1607 or mobuszewski 2001 at comcast dot net.

5] – Usually, the Baltimore Ethical Society, 306 W. Franklin St., Suite 102, Baltimore 21201-4661, meets on Sundays, and generally there is a speaker and discussion from 10:30 AM to noon.  On Sun., Aug. 20, the Sunday Platform is “What Does It Mean to be Evolved?”  Mike Kohut is a cultural anthropologist who has studied creationism in Tennessee. Even before the publication of Darwin’s “Origins of Species” in 1859, people have wondered about the implications of evolutionary origins for humans and ethical behavior. Kohut will discuss several attempts to determine this, and their problems. Finally, he will argue that the greatest implication of being evolved creatures is that we are free to figure out how we ought to be in the world without reference to how we got here.  Call 410-581-2322 or email ask@bmorethical.org.

6] – On Sun., Aug. 20 at 3 PM in the Free School classroom at Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse, 30 W. North Ave., Baltimore 21201, hear a story “More Than a Fraction,” which takes you on a journey with the Fraction family.  For example, two brothers, Thomas and Othello, fought in the Civil War, and had to fight after the war for rights and inclusion. Dr. Moseley-Hobbs is the 3rd great-granddaughter of Thomas Fraction. Her passion for education and history led to her uncovering hidden stories and forgotten legacies. Call 443-602-7585.  RSVP at http://www.redemmas.org.

7] -- There is a weekly Pentagon Peace Vigil from 7 to 8 AM on Mondays, since 1987, outside the Pentagon Metro stop.  The next vigil is Aug. 20, and it is sponsored by the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker.  Email artlaffin@hotmail.com or call 202-882-9649.  The vigil will be outside the Pentagon's south Metro entrance and in the designated "protest zone" behind bicycle fences across from the entrance to the Metro.  By Metro, take Yellow Line and get out at the "Pentagon" stop. Do not go to the Pentagon City stop! Go up south escalators and turn left and walk across to protest area. By car from D.C. area, take 395 South and get off at Exit 8A-Pentagon South Parking. Take slight right onto S. Rotary Rd. at end of ramp and right on S. Fern St. Then take left onto Army Navy Dr. You can "pay to park" on Army Navy Dr.,  and there is meter parking one block on right on Eads St. Payment for both of these spots begin at 8 AM.  No cameras are allowed on Pentagon grounds. Restrooms are located inside Marriott Residence Inn on corner of S. Fern and Army Navy Dr. 

8] – On Mon., Aug. 21, at 7 PM the "Reel & Meal at the New Deal" film series will show “Power and Control,” Peter Cohn’s 2010 documentary about physical and emotional abuse in families. After the film two Greenbelt actors, Kathy Gordon and Katherine Jones, will perform a skit about domestic violence.   Come to the New Deal CafĂ©, 113 Centerway in Roosevelt Center, Greenbelt.  Enjoy an optional buffet for $14 served from 6:30 PM.

9] – On Tues., Aug. 10 at 9 AM, there is a hearing on a proposed Port Towns concrete plant. Port Towns residents in Prince George's County and their organizations have been fighting a proposed industrial use, a concrete batching plant in Bladensburg, at the county level. Interested persons are encouraged to attend the hearing at the County Administration building, 14741 Gov. Oden Bowie Drive,  2nd floor, Upper Marlboro, MD 20710. Go to https://www.facebook.com/Port-Town-Environmental-Action-1851603078460419/.

10] – The Summer Reading Program at the Maryland SPCA and Project Adopt helps both children by strengthening their reading skills and the animals by giving them company, which helps to reduce stress if they are anxious in a kennel environment. The Summer Reading Program runs Tuesdays from 3 to 4 PM until the end of August at the Maryland SPCA, 3300 Falls Road, Baltimore 21211, and on Saturdays from 1 to 2 PM at Project Adopt in White Marsh Mall, 8200 Perry Hall Blvd., Baltimore 21236. There is no fee for the reading program, but space is limited and registration is required. Go to the Reading Program @ the MD SPCA on Tuesdays and the Reading Program @ Project Adopt on Saturdays.

11] –  Each Tuesday from 4:30 - 5:30 PM, the Catholic Peace Fellowship-Philadelphia for peace in Afghanistan and Iraq gathers at the Suburban Station, 16th St. & JFK Blvd., at the entrance to Tracks 3 and 4 on the mezzanine.  The next vigil is August 22.  Call 215-426-0364.

12] – Vigil to say "No Drone Research at JHU" each Tuesday at 33rd & North Charles Sts. join this ongoing vigil on August 22 from 5:30  to 6:30 PM. Call Max at 410-323-1607. 

13] – On Tues., Aug. 22 at 7 PM, attend the Pacem in Terris Film Series— The Best Peace and Justice Films of the Last 50 years—and seeDo the Right Thing” at Westminster Church, 1502 W. 13th St., Wilmington. Spike Lee’s classic film considers race relations in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, a cauldron of racial tensions that explodes on the hottest summer day of the year. The film was praised for its relevant depiction of race relations between whites and blacks and lauded actor Danny Aiello for his portrayal of Sal, a pizzeria owner, and director Spike Lee as Mookie, as the pizzeria’s deliveryman. (There will be snacks.)  

14] – On Tues., Aug. 22 at 7:30 PM at Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse, 30 W. North Ave., Baltimore 21201, hear a talk EDUCATIONAL JUSTICE WITH HOWARD RYAN. That education should instill and nurture democracy is a truism. Yet organizations such as the Business Roundtable, together with conservative philanthropists such as Bill Gates and the Walmart’s owners, the Waltons, have been turning public schools into corporate mills. Their top-down programs, such as Common Core State Standards, track, judge, and homogenize the minds of millions of students from kindergarten through high school. But corporate funders would not be able to implement this educational control without the de facto partnership of government at all levels, channeling public moneys into privatization initiatives, school closings, and high-stakes testing that discourages independent thinking.
The book offers hope that there’s still time to take on corporatized schools and build democratic alternatives. Forcefully written by educator and journalist Ryan, with contributing authors, the book deconstructs the corporate assault on schools, assesses the prevailing teachers union responses, and documents best teaching and organizing practices. Reports from various educational fronts include innovative union strategies against charter school expansion, as well as teaching visions drawn from the social justice and whole language traditions. Call 443-602-7585.  RSVP at http://www.redemmas.org.

15] – Interfaith Peace Partners, meet to Pray for Peace at 7:30 PM on Tues., Aug. 22  at St. Vincent’s de Paul Church, 120 North Front St., Baltimore. Contact The Rev. Charles Cloughen, Jr., Interfaith Peace Service Coordinator, at ccloughen@episcopalmaryland.org  or at 410-321-4545.

To be continued.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/.

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Comedian And Civil Rights Activist Dick Gregory Dies At 84


  The only time I encountered Dick Gregory was when he spoke at Mitch Snyder’s funeral, which was held outside the shelter on D Street in D.C.  As a believer in nonviolent direct action, I really like this quote attributed to Dick Gregory: “I want to be remembered as a turtle, hard on the outside, soft on the inside and willing to stick my neck out.”

Kagiso, Max

Published on Portside (https://portside.org)

Comedian And Civil Rights Activist Dick Gregory Dies At 84


James Doubek, Emma Bowman

Saturday, August 19, 2017

  Dick Gregory, the comedian and civil rights crusader, died Saturday. He was 84.
His family announced the news on his public Facebook page.

   "It is with enormous sadness that the Gregory family confirms that their father, comedic legend and civil rights activist Mr. Dick Gregory departed this earth tonight in Washington, DC," his son Christian Gregory said in the post [1]. "The family appreciates the outpouring of support and love and respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time. More details will be released over the next few days."

   According to The Associated Press, Gregory, who was recently in and out of the hospital, died following a severe bacterial infection. NPR has not independently confirmed the cause of death.

   Gregory gained attention as a comedian in the early 1960s, and was the first black comedian to widely win plaudits from white audiences. Darryl Littleton, author of the book Black Comedians on Black Comedy, told NPR in 2009 that Gregory broke barriers with his appearances on television, just by sitting down:

  "Dick Gregory is the first to recognized — and he'll say it — the first black comedian to be able to stand flat-footed, and just delivered comedy. You had other comedians back then but they always had to do a little song or a dance or whatever, Sammy Davis had to dance and sing, and then tell jokes. Same with Pearl Bailey and some of the other comedians. But Dick Gregory was able to grow on television, sit down on the Jack Paar show — and sit on the couch and actually have a discussion, and that it never happened in the history of television."

   Gregory "opened the door" for Bill Cosby to rise to fame, Littleton said.
He was noted for his political and social activism, beginning in the civil rights movement in the 1960s. He attended the historic 1963 March on Washington. Forty years later, Gregory told Tavis Smiley on NPR about his experience at the march, describing it as "joy. It was festivity, and as far as the human eye could see."

  Gregory talked in 2003 about his experience trying to integrate a restaurant in Mississippi before the march, showing he could inject some humor into a serious story:

   "We tried to integrate a restaurant, and they said, `We don't serve colored folk here,' and I said, `Well, I don't eat colored folk nowhere. Bring me some pork chops.' And then Ku Klux Klan come in, and the woman say, `We don't have no pork chops,' so I say, `Well, bring me a whole fried chicken.' And then the Klan walked up to me when they put that whole fried chicken in front of me, and they say, `Whatever you do to that chicken, boy, we're going to do to you.' So I opened up its legs and kissed it in the rump and tell you all, `Be my guest.' "

    He was direct in his language about race. He co-wrote with Robert Lipsyte the book nigger: An Autobiography — the "n" is lowercase — in 1964. Gregory explained to NPR why he chose that title:

   "So this word 'nigger' was one of the most well-used words in America, particularly among black folks. And I said, `Well, let's pull it out the closet. Let's lay it out here. Let's deal with it. Let's dissect it.' Now the problem I have today is people call it the N-word. It should never be called the N-word. You see, how do you talk about a swastika by using another term?"

   Gregory called the U.S. "the number-one most racist system on the planet. ... And I hope that America is willing to take this shoe of racism off and deal with racism and deal with sexism."

   He ran for mayor of Chicago in 1967 and ran for president in 1968 under the Freedom and Peace Party. He was on the ballot in eight states and got 47,133 votes, as Ken Rudin wrote [2] for NPR.

   Hunger strikes were a frequent activist tool for Gregory. He told Juan Williams on Talk of the Nation that he went without solid food for two and a half years to protest the war in Vietnam.

   At one point, he said he weighed 365 pounds. But he lost a lot of weight fasting to protest the war. "I went on a fast, 40 days of water. Forty days of fruit juice. Forty days of fruit. And then 40 days of water again," Gregory told NPR.
In 2000, Gregory went on a hunger strike to protest police brutality, long before the current wave of activism.

   Gregory promoted some conspiracy theories, telling NPR in 2005 about conspiracies involving the death of Princess Diana and the Sept. 11 attacks. "The FBI and the CIA is probably the two most evil entities that ever existed in the history of the planet," Gregory told Ed Gordon on News & Notes.

   He was also an inspired health guru, who doled out advice to many for better living, including celebrities like Michael Jackson, whom he advised during the singer's trial.

   The musician Questlove paid tribute [3] to Gregory's healthful influence on Instagram, as "one of the first major black figures I saw advocating for a healthier lifestyle for black folks that were caught on unhealthy choices we've made in the name of cheaper survival options," he wrote.

Gregory joked about getting old with Tavis Smiley in 2002:

"Here's how you can tell when you're getting old. When someone compliments those beautiful alligator shoes you're wearing and you're barefooted. ... Or when your lady or man hollers downstairs, `Dear, run upstairs and let's have some sex,' and you yell back, `You know I can just do one or the other,' then you kind of be in trouble, you know."

  Gregory was married for more than 50 years and had 10 children. His daughter Ayanna Gregory released a song called "A Ballad For My Father" in 2007. She told NPR [4] that her father was gone from home often, but it was because "human rights became his life."

  She sang: "As a little girl, I didn't know what you meant to this world. If I had a dime for every time somebody told me it's to save their lives and changed their minds. You planted seeds so long ago deep in me so I would grow."
Gregory mused about death in 2006, when talking with Ed Gordon about the passing at the time of Coretta Scott King:

  "Let me just say this, whenever you die from this planet, I feel you go some place, and my trip going to be so long to wherever I go, I got instructions from my wife to put on a couple of backpacks."


[1] https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1434025330008029&set=a.115692181841357.20207.100002017283937&type=3&theater
[2] http://www.npr.org/sections/politicaljunkie/2009/04/i_know_dick_gregory_but_who_is.html
[3] https://www.instagram.com/p/BYALMNCnVSO/
[4] http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11104848

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Baltimore Activist Alert - August 18 - 19, 2017

29] Zero Waste Tour – Aug. 18
30] Peace vigil at White House – Aug. 18
31] WIB peace vigil – Aug. 18
32] AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL: TRUTH TO POWER – continues through Aug. 24
33] Release Aging People in Prison – Aug. 18
34] Black Lives Matter vigil – Aug. 18
35] Ballroom Dancing – Aug. 18
36] Progressive Maryland healthcare deep canvasses -- Aug. 19
37] West Chester peace vigil – Aug. 19
38] Do you want to adopt a furry friend? – Aug. 19
39] Green Party meeting – Aug. 19
40] Support the Wheeler family who lost their home in a fire
41] Sign up with Washington Peace Center
42] Donate books, videos, DVDs and records
43] Do you need any book shelves?
44] Join the Global Zero campaign
29] –  On Fri., Aug. 18 from 9 to11 AM, take a Zero-Waste Tour of the Brown Station Road Landfill, Upper Marlboro. When you throw stuff away, where does it go? Learn more about the Prince George's County waste-management system through this tour of the Brown Station Road Landfill, including how landfills are designed and how environmental impacts are mitigated. This is organized by the Prince George's Sierra Club. The tour will include the leachate treatment plant and methane collection. Registration is required: https://sierra.secure.force.com/events/details?formcampaignid=7010Z000001ulVCQAY. Contact Janet Gingold at (jgingold3@gmail.com).

30] – On Fri., Aug. 18 from noon to 1 PM, join the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker in a vigil urging the powers that be to abolish war and torture, to disarm all weapons, to end indefinite detention, to close Guantanamo, to establish justice for all and help create the Beloved Community! This vigil will take place at the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Contract Art @ artlaffin@hotmail.com or at 202-360-6416. 

31] – On Fri., Aug. 18 from noon to 1 PM, join a Women in Black peace vigil. A vigil will take place in McKeldin Square at the corner of Light and Pratt Sts. Stay for as long as you can. Wear black. Dress for who knows what kind of weather. Bring your own poster or help with the "NO WAR IN MY NAME" banner.  When there are others to stand with, you don't need to carry the burden alone. Do this to be in solidarity with others....when everything around us says “Be afraid of the stranger.” Carpool and parking available. Just send an email that you need a ride [mailto:wibbaltimore@peacepath911.org].  Peace signs will be available. 

32] – Al Gore’s AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL: TRUTH TO POWER continues through Aug. 24 at the CHARLES THEATRE. A decade after AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH brought Climate Change into the heart of popular culture comes the follow-up that shows just how close we are to a real energy revolution.

33] – There is a DCRAPP (Release Aging People in Prison) Monthly Coalition Meeting at the BF Senior Wellness Center, 3531 Georgia Ave. NW, WDC 20010, on Fri., Aug. 19 from 3 to 4:15 PM.  DCRAPP is working together with other campaigns, groups, and organizations to take on the crucial issue of people aging and dying in prison without justification. There are elderly DC prisoners who are trapped in the federal prison system due to denials of parole, compassionate release, and clemency. Come out to the next coalition meeting to learn more about this issue; DCRAPP plans to usher in change; and how you can become involved in the campaign.  Email dcrappcampaign@gmail.com or go to www.rappcampaign.com.

34] – There is usually a silent vigil on Fridays, from 5 to 6 PM, sponsored by Homewood Friends Meeting, outside the Homewood Friends Meetinghouse, 3107 N. Charles St.  The next scheduled vigil is on Aug. 18. Black Lives Matter.  

35] – There is an opportunity to participate in ballroom dancing, usually every Friday of the month, in the JHU ROTC Bldg. at  8 PM.  Turn south on San Martin Dr. from the intersection of Univ. Parkway and 39th St.  Drive on campus by taking the third left turn. The next dance will be on Aug. 18. Call Dave Greene at 410-599-3725.

36] – Progressive Maryland is having healthcare deep canvasses on Sat., Aug. 19 from 10 AM to 2 PM. Contact Beth Landry at beth@progressivemaryland.org. RSVP at http://www.progressivemaryland.org/statewidehealthcarecanvass?utm_campaign=wkmem8_14&utm_medium=email&utm_source=progressivemaryland.

37] – Each Saturday, 11 AM – 1 PM, Chester County Peace Movement holds a peace vigil in West Chester in front of the Chester County Courthouse, High & Market Sts. Go to www.ccpeace.org. Email ccpeacemovement@aol.com.

38] – Looking to adopt? The Maryland SPCA is participating in the third annual Clear the Shelters, a nationwide pet adoption event on Sat., Aug. 19. To help people wanting to add a new fury addition to their families and to help every dog, cat and kitten needing the love of a family, the MD SPCA will be waiving adoption fees for ALL available animals. Visit the adoption center (3300 Falls Road, Baltimore 21211) from 11 AM to 4 PM or Project Adopt (cats & kittens) located in White Marsh Mall open from 11 AM to 7 PM, and you can find your match! The $25 Pet ID Package fee still applies and includes a collar, an engraved ID tag, microchip and license (Baltimore residents). Clear the Shelters sponsor VCA will be providing give-a-ways to adopters.  Bring your ID and information from your landlord (if you rent) granting you permission to adopt an animal. Out-of-state adopters welcome! Check the website or FB page for additional details http://www.mdspca.org/.

39] – On Sat., Aug. 19 from 1:15 to 3:15 PM, get over to a Prince George's County Green Party organizing meeting at the South Bowie Branch Library, 15301 Hall Road, Bowie 20721.  The Maryland Green Party has teamed up with local Prince George’s County greens and grassroots organizers to launch a Prince George’s county chapter of the Maryland Green Party.  The goal is to create an independent grassroots party committed to Peace, Ecological wisdom, Social Justice, and Grassroots democracy which can provide residents of Prince George’s county an opportunity to be active participants in shaping a better county, state, and world. 

40] – Activists Joyce and Tim Wheeler now live in Sequim, Washington, but their son, Morgan and his family have lived in the Wheeler’s Baltimore home, 816 Beaumont Avenue for some time.  Tragically, at 3 AM on February 4, the home was burned beyond recognition.  Morgan was able to get his family out, but the house and its contents are totally destroyed.  Morgan's daughter, Erin, has created a Go Fund Me page which you can access below.  Anything you are able to contribute to support Morgan and his family would be greatly appreciated. Go to https://www.gofundme.com/a7y7m-fire-leaves-family-with-nothing?ssid=904794688&pos=2.



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41] -- The Washington Peace Center has a progressive calendar & activist alert! Consider signing up to receive its weekly email: info@washingtonpeacecenter.org.

42] -- If you would like to get rid of books, videos, DVDs or records, contact Max at 410-323-1607 or mobuszewski at verizon.net.

43] -- Can you use any book shelves? Contact Max at 410-366-1637 or mobuszewski at verizon.net.

44] -- Join an extraordinary global campaign for the elimination of nuclear weapons: http://www.globalzero.org/sign-declaration. A growing group of leaders around the world is calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons and a majority of the global public agrees.  This is an historic window of opportunity.  With momentum already building in favor of Zero, a major show of support from people around the world could tip the balance. When it comes to nuclear weapons, one is one too many.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/.

“One is called to live nonviolently, even if the change one works for seems impossible. It may or may not be possible to turn the US around through nonviolent revolution. But one thing favors such an attempt: the total inability of violence to change anything for the better" - Daniel Berrigan

Baltimore Activist Alert - August 16 - 20, 2017

19] Janice & Max need a ride on Aug. 16 & 20
20] Hearing on oil trains – Aug. 16
21] Consent Decree Community Forum – Aug. 16
22] Emergency meeting on white supremacy – Aug. 16
23] Anti-corruption meeting Aug. 16
24] Baltimore Vegan Group Monthly Meetup – Aug. 16
25] Devin Allen speaks – Aug. 16
27] Civilian Review Board Meeting – Aug. 17
28] Fiction and social change – Aug, 17
19] – Janice and Max need a ride from Govans to the Light Rail stop on North Avenue on Wed., Aug. 16 at 2:30 PM.  On Sun., Aug. 20, they will need a ride at 8:30 PM from the Light Rail stop on North Avenue at 8:30 PM.  I f you can assist, let Max know at 410-323-1607 or mobuszewski 2001 at comcast dot net.

20] – On Wed., Aug. 16 at 1 PM, there will be an informational hearing for the Baltimore & Potomac Tunnel in West Baltimore in the Land Use & Transportation Committee, Du Burns Council Chambers, 4th Floor, City Hall.  The Baltimore City Council is sponsoring an informational hearing on the proposed replacement of the B&P Tunnel. Use this opportunity to attend and voice your concerns to the City Council Land Use and Transportation Committee. The details can be found in 17-0023R, Informational Hearing on Proposed Replacement of the Baltimore & Potomac Tunnel.

21] – The Consent Decree for Baltimore City Police is in the final stages of selecting the Independent Monitor. You are invited to a Community Forums for an opportunity to be heard and raise questions. A forum will be held on Wed., Aug. 16 from 6 to 8 PM at Morgan State University, Student Center, 2nd Floor, Ballroom C.

22] – On Wed., Aug. 16 at 6PM, there is an emergency meeting/potluck called by CodePink to discuss How to Confront White Supremacy.  It is happening at 1241 Evarts St. NE, WDC 20018-3710. In light of what took place in Charlottesville, come to a brainstorming session at the CODEPINK House. Bring your questions and ideas and some food to share.

23] – Learn about the Anti-Corruption Movement on Wed., Aug. 16 at 6 PM at the Enoch Pratt Free Library Waverly Branch.  Learn more about Represent.Maryland, a 100% volunteer operated, fiercely non-partisan group dedicated to diminishing the power of money in politics. Our political system is beholden to a small handful of wealthy contributors and special interests, meaning our voices as average citizens are often ignored by our elected officials. Help pass an anti-corruption resolution in Baltimore City. Go to www.anticorruptionact.org prior.

24] – The Baltimore Vegan Group Monthly Meetup is on Wed., Aug. 16 at 7 PM at Mr. Chan, 1000 Reisterstown Road, across the street from the Pikes Theater. There is often street parking available. And there is free parking behind the restaurant, and a public parking area adjacent to that lot.

It is a people-friendly group, which welcomes all who are interested in learning a healthier and more peaceful way of eating and living. Discussion topics include nutrition and health, food preparation, animal protection, ecology, activism, spirituality, and more. Come and join for great food and friendly, supportive conversation! Go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/103906449752363/.

25] – On Wed., Aug 16, meet the author: Devin Allen at 7 PM in the Randallstown Branch Library. Allen, the photographer of Baltimore's 2015 uprising, found fame with his Time magazine cover photo of a man fleeing riot-gear clad police. Allen discusses his new book, “A Beautiful Ghetto,” which contains nearly 100 powerful images shot throughout his beloved Baltimore community. Book sales and signings available following the discussion, provided by The Ivy Bookshop.

26] -- On Wed., Aug. 16 at 7:30 PM at Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse, 30 W. North Ave., Baltimore 21201, attend a talk THE RUSSIAN ANTI-FA MOVEMENT.  The problem of dealing with fascism, the problem of the rise of the neo-Nazi movements on the post-soviet territories started almost immediately after the fall of the Soviet Union. While the official propaganda praises the “memory of our grandfathers” and flirts with Stalinism, it also encourages the xenophobic attitude among the young (often combining the two). As a response to the neo-Nazi street violence, a new movement arose – an antiauthoritarian, antiracist group, which later, under the influence of Anarcho-Communism, became what we now know as “Antifa”. Please join us as we welcome Danya Piunov to speak about the current Russian antifa m0ovement and their persecution by the government. Call 443-602-7585.  RSVP at http://www.redemmas.org.

27] – On Thurs., Aug. 17 from 6 to 9 PM, attend a Civilian Review Board Meeting, hosted by Baltimore City Office of Civil Rights and Wage Enforcement, 7 E. Redwood St., Baltimore 21202.

28] – On Thurs., Aug. 17 at 7:30 PM at Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse, 30 W. North Ave., Baltimore 21201, attend a talk SPECULATIVE FICTION AND SOCIAL CHANGE with MARGARET KILLJOY AND K.M. SZPARA.  The stories we tell one another have an enormous impact on what we see as possible, what we strive to create, and what we know to resist. The speculative fiction landscape is changing. Killjoy, on tour with her new anarchist, punk fantasy novella “The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion” (tor.com, out on August 15) will join Baltimore native author K.M. Szparafor a reading and discussion. Call 443-602-7585.  RSVP at http://www.redemmas.org.

To be continued.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/.

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Monday, August 14, 2017

You’ll Never Be as Radical as This 18th-Century Quaker Dwarf

Sunday Review

You’ll Never Be as Radical as This 18th-Century Quaker Dwarf

AUGUST 12, 2017

It was September 1738, and Benjamin Lay had walked 20 miles, subsisting on “acorns and peaches,” to reach the Quakers’ Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. Beneath his overcoat he wore a military uniform and a sword — both anathema to Quaker teachings. He also carried a hollowed-out book with a secret compartment, into which he had tucked a tied-off animal bladder filled with bright red pokeberry juice.

   When it was Lay’s turn to speak, he rose to address the Quakers, many of whom had grown rich and bought African slaves. He was a dwarf, barely four feet tall, but from his small body came a thunderous voice. God, he intonedrespects all people equally, be they rich or poor, man or woman, white or black.

   Throwing his overcoat aside, he spoke his prophecy: “Thus shall God shed the blood of those persons who enslave their fellow creatures.” He raised the book above his head and plunged the sword through it. As the “blood” gushed down his arm, several members of the congregation swooned. He then splattered it on the heads and bodies of the slave keepers. His message was clear: Anyone who failed to heed his call must expect death — of body and soul.

   Lay did not resist when his fellow Quakers threw him out of the building. He knew he would be disowned by his beloved community for his performance, but he had made his point. As long as Quakers owned slaves, he would use his body and his words to disrupt their hypocritical routines.

  Lay’s methods made people talk about him, his ideas, the nature of Quakerism and Christianity, and, most of all, slavery. According to Benjamin Rush, a Philadelphia physician and signer of the Declaration of Independence, the name of this “celebrated Christian philosopher” became “familiar to every man, woman and to nearly every child, in Pennsylvania.” For or against, everyone told stories about Benjamin Lay.

  Lay, a hunchback as well as a dwarf, was the world’s first revolutionary abolitionist. Against the common sense of the day, when slavery seemed to most people as immutable as the stars in the heavens, Lay imagined a new world in which people would live simply, make their own food and clothes, and respect nature. He lived in a cave in Abington, Pa., ate only fruits and vegetables — “the innocent fruits of the earth” — and championed animal rights. He refused to consume any commodity produced by slave labor and was known to walk abruptly out of a dinner in protest when he found out that his host owned slaves.

  Today Benjamin Lay is largely forgotten, for essentially two reasons.

   The first is that he did not fit the dominant, long-told story about the history of the abolitionist movement. Formerly a common sailor, he was not one of the so-called gentleman saints like William Wilberforce, an aristocratic leader of the abolition movement in Britain. He was wild and confrontational, militant and uncompromising.

   A second reason is that he has long been considered deformed in both body and mind. As a little person and as a man thought eccentric at best and more commonly deranged or insane, he was ridiculed and dismissed, even among Quakers who were ostensibly committed to an ideal of spiritual equality. The condescension continued in subsequent accounts of his life.

  Yet Lay deserves a proud place in our history. He predicted that for Quakers and for America, slave-keeping would be a long, destructive burden. He wrote that it “will be as the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps, in the end.” The poison and the venom have had long lives indeed, as we still live with the consequences of slavery: prejudice, poverty, structural inequality and premature death.

   Disparaged and abandoned by his fellow Quakers, Lay eventually helped win the debate over slavery. He wanted to provoke, to unsettle, even to confound — to make people think and act. His greatest power, indeed his genius, lay in his gift as an agitator. In every meeting he attended, public or private, he drew a line over the issue of slavery. He asked everyone he met, Which side are you on?

   Slowly, over a quarter-century, his relentless agitation changed hearts and minds. In 1758 a friend arrived at his cave to inform him that the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting had finally taken the first big step toward abolition, ruling that those who traded in slaves would henceforth be disciplined and perhaps driven from the community. Lay fell silent for a few reverential moments, then rose from his chair, praised God and announced, “I can now die in peace.” He died a year later, an outsider to the Quaker community he loved, but a moral giant of a man.

   Benjamin Lay was, in sum, a class-conscious, race-conscious, environmentally conscious ultraradical. Most would think this combination of beliefs possible only since the 1960s, two centuries after Lay’s life ended. But by boycotting slave-produced commodities, Lay pioneered the politics of consumption and initiated a tactic that would become central to the ultimate success of abolitionism in the 19th century, and one that still motivates global movements against abuses like sweatshops today.

   In his time Lay may have been the most radical person on the planet. He helps us to understand what was politically and morally possible in the first half of the 18th century — and what may be possible now. It is more than we think.

Marcus Rediker, a professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh, is the author of the forthcoming “The Fearless Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Dwarf Who Became the First Revolutionary Abolitionist,” from which this essay was adapted.
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Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor De