Wednesday, March 15, 2017

When Pigs Have Wings

-Friday, March 3 from 7 to 9 pm: showing of “When Pigs have Wings” at the Woodstock Town Hall, 76 Tinker St. One day Jaafar, a hapless Palestinian fisherman, catches a Vietnamese pig in his net. His adventures are outrageous and entertaining, but this political parable also has a satirical bite. Winner of Munich and Tokyo film festivals. This free movie is cosponsored by: Middle East Crisis Response, Hudson Valley BDS and Hudson Valley Jewish Voice for Peace. Contact: or 518 291-6808.

We had a nice turnout, about 30 people in our new venue, the Woodstock Town Hall. The movie provoked some good discussion too. Was it too lenient on the Israeli Defense Force? Or was the film an allegory that helps viewers understand subjugation and racism? 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Woodstock Free Speech Resolution passed!

Nic and I just returned from tonight's meeting of the Woodstock Town Board, and we're thrilled to announce that the board approved the Woodstock Free Speech Resolution!

Thanks to Alan Levine (First Amendment Rights attorney) and Donna Nevel (former national board member of Jewish Voice for Peace) for their powerful panel discussion this past summer on Governor Cuomo's Executive Order #157; to Alan Sussman (local First Amendment Rights attorney) for his compelling letter to the Woodstock Town Board about free speech and the right to boycott; to members of the Woodstock Town Board, who supported this Resolution; and to MECR and to all of the people who supported Woodstock Free Speech and who signed the online and/or hard-copy of the Woodstock Free Speech Resolution.

Helaine and Nic

Friday, December 23, 2016

Standing against racism in Kingston, NY

MECR was privileged to join Hudson Valley Jewish Voice For Peace
in Kingston, NY. We had about 75 participants and got great
coverage in the Kingston Freeman.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

“Two Blue Lines” at the Woodstock Town Hall

-Friday, Nov. 4 from 7 to 9 pm: showing of “Two Blue Lines” at the Woodstock Town Hall, 76 Tinker St. This award winning new documentary explores the passionate dispute among Israeli citizens about their government’s Occupation of Palestine. The movie debates competing views of Judaism: a religious entitlement to land versus a spiritual commitment to freeing the oppressed. This free movie is cosponsored by: Middle East Crisis Response, Hudson Valley Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions and Hudson Valley Jewish Voice for Peace. Contact: or 518 291-6808

About 35 people attended this film showing, with many new faces since we moved the venue to Woodstock. We also showed the movie in conjunction with Hudson Valley Jewish Voice for Peace.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The War Around Us

-Friday, Oct 7 from 7 to 9 pm: showing of “The War Around Us” at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills, 320 Sawkill Road, Kingston (access to UU is from Rt. 209/Sawkill Road). In 2008, two best friends found themselves trapped in one of the most dangerous places on earth as the only western journalists in the Gaza Strip. The free film tells their true story as they witness and cover one of the most disturbing wars of our time. Sponsored by: Middle East Crisis Response Hudson Valley Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Contact: or 518 291-6808

We only had 18 people at this film showing, although the film and discussion afterwards was very good. There is a bridge out to the north and another one to the south. People may have had trouble getting to the UU.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Woodstock Town Board Adopts Resolution

September 21, 2016

Helaine Meisler 845-679-5301 (H); 914-466-0100 (C)

Woodstock Town Board Adopts Resolution Questioning the Constitutionality of New York Governor’s
Executive Order on BDS

Board Votes to Support Free Speech & the Right to Boycott

Yesterday evening, the Woodstock Town Board voted unanimously (4-0) to adopt a first-of- its-kind resolution in New York State that questions the Constitutionality of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order 157 (EO 157).
Widely criticized by human rights organizations, civil rights attorneys, and community groups, EO 157 mandates New York State to create a blacklist of institutions abiding by boycott or divestment campaigns related to Israeli human rights abuses, and further requires State agencies to divest themselves from such entities.

The newly passed Town Board resolution requires Governor Cuomo to submit the “legal basis or judicial opinion upon which he finds his action to be constitutional” by December 5, 2016. Further stating that “in the absence of a timely, cogent, and acceptable legal and judicial opinion in support of Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 157," the Town Board will "stand in opposition to Executive Order 157 and request that it be rescinded” in addition to encouraging any entity impacted by it to contest in a court of law.

"Boycotts against injustices are deeply rooted in U.S. history and are a form of collective protest that enjoy full protection under the First Amendment. Penalizing advocates of any such boycott – whether of Israel, North Carolina, grapes, or lettuce – is a flat-out violation of the Constitution,” said Alan Levine, a prominent First Amendment attorney who worked closely on drafting the resolution. ”By passing this resolution, Woodstock Town Board has set an admirable example to other communities, and a clear message to the Governor that we not stay silent when we are being denied our rights.”

“The Woodstock Town Board has taken a commendable stance on free speech and boycott rights with this resolution,” said Alan Sussman, a Woodstock resident and First Amendment rights attorney. “As Americans we have an obligation, in part stemming from our fierce tradition of freedom, and in greater part by our love of democracy and fairness, to object to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order.”

Woodstock Free Speech is a group of concerned citizens in the Town of Woodstock, NY who are working to educate others about their inalienable right to self-determination and all of the freedoms, liberties, rights and responsibilities that are espoused in the Bill of Rights and successive amendments to the Constitution.