Movement Building :

Occupy may day

WESPAC connects organizations, people and issues across all divisions, recognizing that we cannot win a better world if we stay divided. WESPAC promotes movement building through regular potlucks that bring people together to share food, knowledge and build relationships. WESPAC has developed a Speakers Bureau that can provide effective speakers on a variety of current social justice issues. WESPAC is an active member of a number of local coalitions including: the Hudson Valley Fair Economy Coalition, the Hudson Valley Community Coalition and the Westchester Coalition for Police Reform.

Rally in support of Immigrant Rights – Monday, February 20th

Rally In in support of Immigrant Rights – Monday, February 20th

Rally at the fountain in downtown White Plains (intersection of Main Street and Mamamaroneck Ave) from 12 noon to 1pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/1345733042131900/

List of Participating Organizations in the Westchester Social Justice Community:

Community Voices Heard: http://www.cvhaction.org

Concerned Families of Westchester: https://www.facebook.com/ConcernedFamiliesofWestchester/

Food & Water Watch: https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/state/new-york

Hudson Valley Community Coalition: http://hvccoalition.org

Knowdrones.com: https://www.knowdrones.com

Lower Hudson Valley Progressive Action Network: https://www.facebook.com/LHVPAN/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE

Mount Vernon United Tenants: http://mvut.org

Indivisible Westchester: https://www.facebook.com/groups/228920050895653/

Prevent Gun Violence—Westchester: http://www.preventgunviolence.org

Up and Up Action Initiative: https://www.facebook.com/UUAction/?fref=ts

WESPAC Foundation: https://wespac.org

Westchester for Change: https://www.facebook.com/groups/westchester4change/

Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Director's Blog, Economic and Human Rights, Frontpage, Movement Building

Introducing the Westchester Coalition for Police Reform to the Yonkers Community

Introducing the Westchester Coalition for Police Reform to the Yonkers Community

Friday, February 10th at 2pm at the Yonkers Riverfront Library

1 Larkin Plaza in downtown Yonkers

This public forum is an introduction of the work of the Westchester Coalition for Police Reform to the Yonkers Community. Speakers include: co-founder of the coalition Kenneth Chamberlain, Jr., who lost his father in a police killing in the City of White Plains in 2011. Also, speaking will be the convener of the coalition, Rev. Doris Dalton, who is also the Executive Director of the Westchester MLK Institute for Nonviolence; Yonkers Community Organizer Hector Santiago and WCPR steering committee member Nada Khader who will speak about WCPR’s April forum on civilian oversight of local law enforcement.

Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Criminal Justice, Director's Blog, Movement Building, Racial Justice

WESPAC 2017 Awards Dinner

Please consider making an additional contribution to allow students and fixed income the opportunity to attend.

$

Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Director's Blog, Frontpage, Movement Building

Candlelight Vigil Monday at 6pm against gun violence and use of county center for gun shows

Candlelight Vigil

Marking Gun Violence Deaths in Westchester as Legislators Prepare to Vote to Ban Gun Shows on County Properties

Monday, January 9

6:30-7:00pm

Front steps of Michaelian Office Building

148 Martine Ave., White Plains, NY 10601

Sponsored by Interfaith Clergy for Social Action and WESPAC

 

As Westchester County legislators prepare to vote on a bill that would ban gun shows from being held at the County Center on Monday, January 9, Interfaith Clergy for Social Action and WESPAC will gather concerned county residents for candlelight vigil from 6:30-7:00pm. 

 

The Vigil will be a time of prayer, song and silence to show support for the ban and to remember many people killed due to gun violence in Westchester. 

 

At 7:00pm legislators will vote on the bill.  If approved, it will be sent to the County Executive who is expected to veto.  An override would require 12 votes.  The Westchester County Executive lifted the ban in 2010 and a gun show is planned for later in January.

 

All are welcome to this public witness.  Candles will be provided.  This vigil has a permit with the City of White Plains.

 

Additional background in The Journal News, “Lawmakers move to block gun show advances”, Jan. 3, 2017.

Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Director's Blog, Movement Building

Make Westchester a Sanctuary!

Satellite map of Westchester County, desaturated.

Satellite map of Westchester County, desaturated.

Make Westchester a Sanctuary! Convertir Westchester en un Santuario!

March and Rally in downtown White Plains on Black Friday, November 25th

Assemble at 12 noon at the Fountain (intersection of Main Street and Mamaroneck Avenue in downtown White Plains)
12:30pm march to the Dr. MLK Jr. Blvd statue located at 111 Dr. MLK Jr. Blvd. in White Plains

This march and rally has a permit with the City of White Plains and is organized by WESPAC Foundation, Inc. and supported by the Lower Hudson Valley Chapter of the NYCLU, the White Plains Greenburgh Chapter of the NAACP, the White Plains Religious Leaders, Westchester for Change (list in formation)

For more information contact [email protected] or call 914.449.6514.  Signs will be provided:

Make Westchester a Sanctuary       Convertir Westchester en un Santuario 

Keep Families Together                  Mantener unidas a las Familias

Path to Citizenship for All               Proceso de naturalización para todos

Drivers Licenses for the Undocumented      

Licencias de conducir para los indocumentados

Climate Change Action Now

Respect Indigenous Sovereignty 

Protect our Constitution

Protect our Bill of Rights

Support our Veterans

Black Lives Matter: support racial justice

Muslims are part of our Family

People with Disabilities are part of our Family

Respect and Support Women’s Rights

Respect and Support LGBTQ Rights

Support a Living Wage: we need economic democracy

Support our Workers and Unions

Westchester Welcomes Refugees

Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Director's Blog, Economic and Human Rights, Movement Building

Colorful Parade of Westchester Social Justice Community

BLM 2It seems like the moment for us to bring all our campaigns together in a show of force and to strengthen our social justice movement in the Westchester County area.

 
What about having a colorful parade of all of our contingents standing up for what we believe in:
 
Path to citizenship for all people and immediate end to deportations and steps to protect people in our midst – sanctuaries etc.
First Nations independence and respect for treaties
Racial equity
LGBTQ equality
Renewable energies
Police accountability
End to drone warfare and surveillance
Black Lives Matter
Palestinian human rights
Student debt forgiveness and free college education
Universal health care coverage – single payer
Farmworker rights, dignity and protections
Living wage jobs for all
Refugee resettlement and welcome
So much more
 
Can we organize this before the holidays?   We know there will be lots of folks going down to DC for the January 21st inauguration.  Let’s do something big in Westchester before that.  I will be at the WESPAC office (31 Mamaroneck Ave, 4th floor, White Plains) at 7pm on Tuesday, Nov. 15th for anyone who would like to be part of the planning.
 
Best,
 
Nada
Posted in Movement Building

The War in Syria Cannot Be Won. But It Can Be Ended.

 
Phyllis Bennis
October 31, 2016
The Nation
 
The left is profoundly divided over the conflict, but we should at least agree on a set of principles to end it.

 

yrian-Americans demonstrate near the United Nations to demand a cease-fire in Syria, New York, May 1, 2016.,  Sipa via AP Images

 

We need a powerful movement demanding an end to the war in Syria. The United States and to some extent the global antiwar movements remain largely paralyzed. There are some campaigns responding to specific congressional and other war moves, with some particularly good work against US support for Saudi Arabia. But as a movement, we seem unable to sort through the complexity of the multi-layered wars raging across Syria, and unable to respond to our internal divisions to create the kind of powerful movement we need to challenge the escalating conflict. (more…)

Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Director's Blog, Militarism and Foreign Policy, Movement Building, Racial Justice

Protecting Civil Liberties and Public Safety in an Age of Terror

issues-civil-liberties

Protecting Civil Liberties and Public Safety in an Age of Terror

 Monday, November 14th from 6pm to 8:30pm
Tudor Room at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University
78 N Broadway, White Plains, NY 10603

A panel discussion to address public concern about potential terrorist activity and to review procedures that are in place intended to keep us safe while at the same time respecting the rule of law, constitutional rights and civil liberties.  Panelists will explore why protecting civil rights domestically is important to fighting terrorism. 

Panelists include:

Mariko Hirose, senior staff attorney at the New York Civil Liberties Union, with a focus on statewide civil rights and civil liberties impact litigation and on cases involving free speech, privacy, government transparency and criminal justice.

Chief Inspector John Hodges with the Westchester County Police Department’s counter-terrorism unit will review recent steps taken in regional security coordination and intelligence gathering.

Pace Law Professor Thomas McDonnell is an expert in international human rights, the law of war, and the war on terrorism.

The panel will be moderated by Pace Law Professor David Dorfman.

This event is free and open to the public and is co-sponsored by the Lower Hudson Valley Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union, the Pace Criminal Justice Institute, WESPAC, the Westchester Coalition against Islamophobia and the Westchester Coalition for Police Reform.  For more information, please contact the Pace Criminal Justice Institute Director Lissa Griffin at [email protected].  Parking is available on campus for those attending this event.

Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Criminal Justice, Director's Blog, Frontpage, Militarism and Foreign Policy, Movement Building

WESPAC Membership Dues 2016

Dear Members and Friends of WESPAC,

freedom-to-boycott-march-in-mt-kisco-7-6-16

Protesting NYS Gov Cuomo in his hometown of Mt. Kisco, NY. WESPAC was the anchor organization for this protest organized by the Freedom to Boycott Coalition of NYS of which WESPAC is a member. July 6, 2016. Photo courtesy of Pauline Park.

First, we would like to thank you very much for your support of WESPAC over the past year.

The last few years have been extremely important and also challenging times for our movements. WESPAC continues to play a crucial role locally and beyond. 

Over the past year, we have worked together to oppose racialized policing, supported the #BlackLivesMatter movement locally and hosted several prisoner writing sessions at our office, centrally located in downtown White Plains.  We have marched in Manhattan, Albany and Mount Kisco to demand that Governor Cuomo rescind his unconstitutional executive order blacklisting organizations that support the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement which calls upon Israel to respect Palestinian human rights.  We have supported and marched with our immigrant rights allies to support better working conditions for New York State farmworkers, and we have marched with mothers and grandmothers from Harlem who led us to Albany to demand justice for the wrongfully incarcerated.

The only way we can continue our work is with your help.  Dues are $100 per person annually, or $50 for students and persons with a fixed income.  We are grateful for all levels of support and no one is turned away for lack of funds.  Volunteer hours are welcome in lieu of payment and can be arranged with the office.  Please make your tax-deductible contribution today securely at https://wespac.org/donate/ or by check to WESPAC, 31 Mamaroneck Ave, Suite 403, White Plains, NY 10601.  We are asking for all dues to be received by September 30th.

WESPAC has been part of the leadership of the local campaign for police accountability in Westchester County.  We have hosted film screenings and presentations on a wide range of social justice topics from military occupation and mental health, to hosting a screening of Michael Moore’s latest film “Where to Invade Next” which brought in a full house.  We have also worked with young farmers and farmers of color to support a more just food system. We continue to promote Community Supported Agriculture and connect people across the county who believe fresh, local, quality produce is a human right for all.

With your participation and support, we can continue to provide the space and support for high school and college students as they develop their organizing skills and become the next generation of agents for progressive social change. Recently, students have come from White Plains High School, Croton Harmon High School, Columbia University, Purchase College, Pace University, Iona College and Trinity College. 

We are proud of the role we continue to play as a hub for grassroots organizing with a mission to strengthen movement building in the promotion of human rights and self-determination for all communities.  We need your support to make this cherished community institution stronger! 

Our next general meeting will take place on Monday, September 26th at 6pm at our office space located at 31 Mamaroneck Avenue (4th floor) in downtown White Plains at the intersection with Martine Avenue.

Thank you for supporting our work.  Together we can change the world.

For the WESPAC Community,

Teresa Delgado, WESPAC Board Chair and Nada Khader, WESPAC Director

 PS.   Every tax-deductible donation you make goes to support our critical work for social justice and peace.  Please like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter! 

 

www.wespac.org       Facebook: Explore WESPAC            Twitter: @WESPAC_NY

Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Director's Blog, Frontpage, Movement Building

The birth of agro-resistance in Palestine

The birth of agro-resistance in Palestine

 
For decades Israel has been driving Palestinian farmers 
off their land by imposing restrictions on agriculture. 
But one company, Canaan Fair Trade, has found an innovative 
way to resist
 
 
Jonathan Cook
The Link (Americans for Middle East Understanding)
September – October 2016
 
Article pdf attached.

  
Jonathan Cook won the 2011 Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. 
His latest books are Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan 
to Remake the Middle East 
(Pluto Press) and Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s 
Experiments in Human Despair 
(Zed Books). You can read all of Jonathan’s 
recent reports and commentaries on his website, the View from Nazareth: 
www.Jonathan-Cook.net and on his blog: www.Jonathan-Cook.net/blog/

 
 
Article sources:
Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Director's Blog, Environmental and Food Justice, Militarism and Foreign Policy, Movement Building