Economic and Human Rights :

Water

WESPAC promotes Economic Justice through promoting fair trade year round and helping to organize the annual Margaret Eberle Fair Trade Festival in White Plains. We also partner with the Wassaic Community Farm CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) http://wassaiccommunityfarm.com. WESPAC is an active member of the Hudson Valley Fair Economy Coalition that meets monthly at the Union Hall in Port Chester, and we have taken a lead role in promoting a public bank for the State of New York. To get involved, please contact the office at 914.449.6514 or by email at [email protected]

Losing Liberty through the Backdoor

Losing Liberty Through the Backdoor

Letting the government bypass iPhone security measures won’t stop terrorists—or make you safer.

The question of how to balance government surveillance with individual privacy is really quite simple. On one side the government believes that the investigation of someone who is either planning or has actually carried out a crime should be without any conditions, that all evidence potentially relating to the event should be accessible to law enforcement. On the other side, citizens have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their day to day activities, meaning that the government should have to demonstrate indisputable “probable cause” to a judge before undertaking any intrusion into an individual’s private space. And even then, the intrusion should be narrowly defined to include only the actual criminal activity under investigation. (more…)

WESPAC Intern Attends Local Conference

Imani McCalla is a Journalism Major at SUNY Purchase and has been interning this semester at WESPAC.  She recently attended the Westchester MLK Institute’s annual conference on Ending Violence, Building Hope and took the time to write an article about her experience.

“Rebuilding A Community And Reliving A Dream”
By Imani McCalla

Following years of civil unrest within black communities, Manhattanville College and staff joined Westchester Martin Luther King Jr. Institute for Nonviolence in their 17th annual Ending Violence, Building Hope community gathering this month to discuss tools for positive change.

Inspired by Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement, the organization, since 1987, facilitates nonviolent action for social justice and promotes nonviolence as a way of life. (more…)

Celebrating Our Community Self-Reliance

Community self-reliance Feb.25-page-001

Evening of Political Prisoner and Trans Prisoner Support at WESPAC

Pol Prisoner Support

A group gathered the evening of Tuesday, January 26, 2016, focused on supporting parole for Herman Bell as well as for the First International Day of Action in Solidarity with Trans Prisoners.

We wrote birthday cards to former Black Panther Herman Bell (freehermanbell.org), who just turned 68 on January 14. We watched the moving 8 minute documentary about Herman by Freedom Archives https://vimeo.com/51465733 and discussed our personal experiences and feelings around the prison system.

We wrote to trans prisoners, affirming our solidarity and support, as part of the First International Day of Action in Solidarity with Trans Prisoners, which took place January 22.

We learned more about the case of Rev. Joy Powell http://freejoypowell.org/, a political prisoner held in Bedford Women’s Prison, located in Westchester County, New York.

We wrote to other political prisoners including Jalil Muntaqim http://www.freejalil.com/ and we discussed how to push for passage of the SAFE Parole Act  http://www.parolereformnow.org/ which would reform the parole process.

It was a good night and we look forward to continuing the work locally on these issues. The night was sponsored by WESPAC Foundation and the Victory Bus Project and took place at WESPAC’s office in White Plains. #FreeEmAll

NY Wants to Tell You What You Can and Cannot Boycott

It is very disappointing that our local NYS Assembly Member David Buchwald is a co-sponsor of A8220.  I am trying to set up a meeting with him.  If you are in his district and would be willing to attend this meeting, please let me know.  In the meantime, please do be in touch with your state representatives on this free speech matter.  The NY State Senate passed a bill last week that will create a blacklist of individuals and institutions that are engaged in a boycott of a U.S. ally.  55 NY state senators voted in favor and 6 senators voted against

These six NYS Senators who voted against are all African American and Latino. (more…)

WESPAC 2015 Annual Report

A huge thank you to Francesca Kabemba, WESPAC’s Executive Assistant, for compiling this annual report 2015.  The WESPAC staff and board would like to thank all friends and donors for keeping the lights on at WESPAC and for all your support in so many ways.  We have much work to do together in 2016.  Please click the link under the photo for our annual report. annual report annual report 2015

Next WESPAC Food Justice Planning Committee Meeting

A big thank you to all who attended our community harvest dinner on Monday.  By all accounts, it was a memorable evening as we transition now to the holiday season.  A special thank you to Professor Tracy Basile at Pace University who brought Micmac elder Evan Pritchard with her as well as the students in her Food Revolution class.  We all appreciated Doug’s presentation that expressed a spiritual dimension to our life and work and relationship with the life around us, the plants and the food we eat. harvest dinner final

We announced that the next WESPAC Food Justice Planning Committee meeting will take place on Thursday, December 17th, at 7pm in the WESPAC office.  People may ask – what is food justice?  One definition that we are comfortable with is: Food Justice means communities exercising their right to grow, sell, and eat healthy food. Healthy food is fresh, nutritious, affordable, culturally-appropriate, and grown locally with care for the well-being of the land, workers, and animals. Our collective food justice work can lead to a strong local food system, self-reliant communities, and a healthy environment.

(more…)

Margaret Eberle Fair Trade Festival

Fair Trade Festival

Free Speech/Hate Speech: Where Do We Draw the Line?

FreeSpeech

The Westchester Coalition Against Islamophobia invites you to this important conversation:

Thursday, November 5, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Ethical Culture Society of Westchester
7 Saxon Wood Rd.
White Plains, NY 10605

 

(Ample, free parking available –
bus #60 stops on  nearby Mamaroneck Ave.)

Recent events raise complex questions about how we define freedom of expression and where we consider imposing (more…)

Fair and Affordable Housing Community Meeting

The Past, Present, and Future of Community Planning

For Fair and Affordable Housing
in Westchester

 A WESPAC Foundation / CSEA Roundtable / Planners Network Forum

oct-21-2015-gentrificationinconvenience

Saturday, October 24, 1pm

CSEA Local 860

595 W. Hartsdale Avenue, White Plains, NY 10607 (more…)

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