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Dear WESPAC comrades and friends,
I’m writing to ask as many of you as possible to join us at an all-day parole justice advocacy day on Tues, Jan. 29th in Albany. The day is hosted by Release Aging People in Prison/RAPP, Parole Preparation Project and other advocates and communities across New York. We’ll march, rally and meet with legislators in support of our advocacy demands (see http://rappcampaign.com/wp-content/uploads/NEW-RAPP-Fact-Sheet.pdf). It is critical right now to show the policy-makers in Albany that our communities are watching them and will continue our fight for justice.
RSVP HERE: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeN6blXUUhOT5jkQTBILkfF8oG-mDSdL7set3Ma-TcZYfCqAw/viewform to join us on January 29th in Albany (IF ANY LINKS don’t work, please go to RAPPCampaign.com/events – everything is available there.)
Free transportation will be provided from NYC and other regions of the state as needed. Food will also be provided.
Can we expect to work together again, as we all have in the past? If so, how many of you can attend?
We have a real chance this legislative session to ensure that all incarcerated New Yorkers have a fair and meaningful opportunity for parole release. Join us on January 29th and help us get there.
Release Aging People in Prison/RAPP
National Council on Seniors Drug & Alcohol Rehab
810 7th Street NE
Washington DC 20001
Dear Friends and Members of WESPAC,
Statement of Solidarity on the Anniversary of Kristallnacht
by Howard Horowitz, member of the WESPAC Foundation Board
Tonight, we will commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Great Pogrom, which the Nazis euphemistically dubbed ‘the Night of Crystal’ – Kristallnacht. This anniversary comes at a moment in history when anti-Semitism is still prevalent, and we are still plagued by evil and hatred (Rabbi Josh Weinberg).
At WESPAC Foundation we remember Kristallnacht and the Holocaust with a message of “solidarity” with all those struggling for justice in these dark times. Solidarity is uplifting, meaningful and a call to action. In our thinking about this, let me share with you an excerpt from a post by Robert Herbst of Larchmont, a civil rights lawyer, a peace and justice activist and who identifies as Jewish:
“In the wake of Pittsburgh, there is no Jewish future in turning inward, either physically, spiritually, or politically, here in the United States, or in the Middle East. The insecurities of the nation and world we have made and live in since the Second World War are widely shared by all except those who have accumulated the money and power to escape them. Rather than locking ourselves away, it is to the Others we must turn – white, black and brown, Christian and Muslim, poor, working and middle class – if we are to have any hope of Tikkun Olam.”
There is an urgent and immediate need for a statement of solidarity. Echoing Charlottesville, there are those among us already muddying the waters claiming “there are bad guys on all sides—left and right.” We reject anti-Semitism in all its forms and expressions wherever and by whomever it is expressed. What happened at Tree of Life is Trump-supported, right wing white nationalism, plain and simple. It has nothing to do with left or anyone else and certainly not anywhere in the struggle for justice in Palestine.
Our struggles are bound up with the many communities facing violence and oppression during these dark times, and we call your attention to just a few of the statements of solidarity that are so needed as we commemorate Kristallnacht.
“Stewarding our own land, growing our own food, educating our own youth, participating in our own healthcare and justice systems, this is the source of real power and dignity,” writes Leah Penniman, co-founder of Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, NY. Her brand new book, “Farming While Black” is the centerpiece for a special gathering at WESPAC.
Come hear Amani Olugbala, Assistant Director of Programs at Soul Fire Farm, tell how our most cherished sustainable farming practices – from organic agriculture to the farm cooperative and the CSA – have roots in African wisdom. She is a gifted storyteller and food justice advocate with over 15 years of experience in youth education and community outreach and a vital part of Soul Fire Farm.
Soul Fire Farm is part of a global network of farmers working to increase farmland stewardship by people of color, restore Afro-indigenous farming practices, and end food apartheid.
Books will be available for sale. This event is free and open to the public. Plenty of free parking on site. Contributions to support this work will be gratefully accepted.