Monday, December 3, 2012

Vigil in New Paltz...

Cold, but a good action. We went through over 120 flyers despite the weather.

People seem to read he flyer we hand out as opposed to some of the glossy cards. More to learn on it?

New Paltz continues to be a good location. The winter weather is not conducive to conversations, although we had a few.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Gaza rally in Poughkeepsie

In all, we had 18 protesters on Route 44/55 coming into Poughkeepsie. Some were from Occupy Poughkeepsie, some from the Hip Hop event at Vassar, and several from MECR. Eli got us interviewed by the Poughkeepsie Journal, and he was quoted in an article on the front page. His quote, however, was after three paragraphs of pro-Israeli war analysis, and five paragraphs from the Jewish Federation of Dutchess County.

Incarcerated at 14 years old

Palestinian from the West Bank speaking to the conference on criminal justice in Poughkeepsie. Describing his arrest and imprisonment at 14 years of age, he made the link between racism in America and racism in his own land.

Hip Hop event at Vassar

Hip Hop is Bigger Than the Occupation (Palestine) - free film showing

Thursday, Nov. 15 at 7:00 pm
Spitzer Auditorium, Sanders Hall
Vassar College
124 Raymond Ave.
Poughkeepsie, NY 12603

"Hip Hop Is Bigger Than The Occupation" is documentary about a ten day journey of artists traveling through the West Bank, Palestine, teaching and performing Non Violent Resistance. The tour included M1 of Dead Prez, Shadia Mansour, Lowkey, Marcel Cartier, Mazzi of Soul Purpose, DJ Vega Benetton, as well as many others. The group stayed at Bulata Refugee Camp in Nablus and experienced first hand what it felt like living under occupation. Both film showings will include some live performances.

Organized by The New Jim Crow Action Committee
Cosponsors: Middle East Crisis Response, Dutchess Peace, Peace Action NY, Vassar Grassroots Alliance for Alternative Politics (GAAP), the Vassar Prison Initiative (VPI), Hip Hop 101, and the Young Democratic Socialists (YDS).

Sunday, September 30, 2012

New Paltz BDS Action

Passing out new flyers in New Paltz
on a busy Saturday afternoon

Eight Middle East Crisis members passed out about 250 flyers at the main light in New Paltz. We reworded the flyer to cover several products made in the illegal West Bank settlements, rather than just concentrate on Ahava being distributed by CVS stores.

This freed us to go where the people are. Most people take the flyers. Some thank us, and a few stop to discuss the issues. 

The "I Am Jewish" signs provoked the most heated response of the day, a man screaming an obscenity from his car window. 

Two students from Saudi Arabia said that they never expected to see this in America, and that they were very thankful for us being there.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

CVS Demo June 3

Ten of us held signs and passed out flyers in front of the Woodstock CVS. We were able to give out about 100 flyers, mostly because we walked up to the Village Green at the end.

We have to pick a time when there are more pedestrians, like Saturday from 2 - 3 pm. Also, we need to identify other stores that carry settlement products.

Nevertheless, it was a good event, with lots of support from passing cars. One woman who got a flyer when into the store to talk to the manager. More people stopped and talked this time after they had gotten a flyer. Several people thanked us for doing the event.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Nakba day...

MECR in Woodstock remembering the Nakba. We also had a demonstration in New Paltz.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Showing of Steadfast Hope

Although Dutchess Peace was a cosponsor of this film rather than MECR, a few of us were involved in bringing the film to Christ Church in Poughkeepsie and showing it there. Lillian Rosengarten, a member of the Jewish Boat to Gaza, read one of her poems at the end. About 35 people attended. Only Tarak and I were there from MECR (thanks, Tarak), meaning we had almost all new people. They loved the film and several mentioned buying the film for their churches.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Bard Checkpoint Demonstration

Several numbers of MECR took part in this "checkpoint" at Bard College. Doing it in front of the student center during lunch got a lot of attention.

Being stopped and questioned based on one's ethnic identity seems antithetical to a free society. Imagine what it feels like to live under this racial profiling from day to day in the West Bank.

Thanks to the Bard ISM for inviting us to participate.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Poughkeepsie Journal

Dear Mrs. Corrie,

Once again residents of the Hudson Valley have paid tribute to your brave daughter with their annual newspaper "In Memoriam", a copy of which is attached. You may be interested that many of them are Jewish, and we have several Muslim contributors as well as those of other persuasions.  Her sacrifice is never far from our minds, nor are your efforts to secure a measure of justice in this matter.  We thank you also for your tireless work on behalf of the Palestinians.



Monday, March 5, 2012

Eight members of MECR traveled to DC for Occupy AIPEC. W had a great workshop on Saturday with up to 400 people. The demonstration at AIPEC on Sunday was smaller. We were out at 7:00 am when participants were making their way into the convention center. We could have used more people because it was a very effective time to engage those attending the AIPAC event.

Great poster about Obama and AIPAC.

Larger than life political con artist.

Celebrating at Busboys and Poets Saturday night.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Against the Wall: The Art of Resistance in Palestine

-We had about 30 people at this event. Mostly members of MECR, although there were about 5 new people who sat and watched at least some of the presentation. Will Parry gave an amazing talk, and his analysis of the wall art adds another layer to our understanding of how apartheid works in the West Bank. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Potluck at Pia's House

15 of us gathered at Pia's house for a potluck and a political discussion about Israel/Palestine. Many in the group have visited Israel, the occupied West Bank, Jordan and Egypt. We talked about our individual motivations as well as our commitment to bringing human rights to all peoples in the Middle East. A fine night of good food and lively conversation.

We want to hold these potlucks monthly as a way to consider broader issues and to build group solidarity. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Local activist Gale McGovern dies

By Anne Pyburn 1/11/12 - 11:42 am

Gale McGovern, 1938-2011 Prominent activist Gale McGovern, who played a leading role in dozens of Hudson Valley causes and campaigns, died suddenly on Tuesday, December 27 at her home in Olivebridge. She was 73.

An obituary published recently by the Mid-Hudson News recounts her early activism in the 1960s:

The sixties were just beginning, and McGovern embraced them with zest and a fierce intellect, working on Bella Abzug's first congressional campaign, protesting Vietnam, and becoming a driving force in both the Gay Activists Alliance and the Daughters of Bilitis.

“We specialized in 'zaps',” recounts McGovern in a resume she wrote several years ago, “fun and imaginative political actions...We occupied the offices of Harper's Magazine for a full day.

After moving from New York City to Ulster County in the early 1980s, McGovern founded and led W.E.B (Women Escaping Batterers) the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Youth, the Coalition for an Ulster County Human Rights Law, Friends of Comadres, People Against Racism, the Ulster County Global Warming Project and People for Medical Secularity. Her organizations, and others she supported, played roles in the Kingston Hospital merger, the New Paltz gay weddings of 2004, the preservation of the Rosendale Theatre and dozens of issues, local and national. Her winning lawsuit against the Town of New Paltz sought no money, but resulted in the town court being made handicapped accessible.

But it may have been her unclassifiable activities that made her so memorable: teaching phobic people to drive, helping families cope with legal troubles, refusing to take overtime pay in her home health aide cases when families needed her.

“She tackled big broad political, social and environmental issues and also helped her neighbors get to the store to shop for groceries,” said New Paltz businesswoman Ann Rodman.

McGovern was arrested on several occasions, notably for drawing a prison cell in sidewalk chalk outside the Ulster County courthouse (she appeared six times with her pro bono attorney before then-District Attorney Michael Kavanagh dropped the case) and on another occasion for letting the air out of an SUV tire (“nonviolently and very publicly,” she noted) in an environmental protest. That time McGovern performed fifty hours of community service.

Her friends say community service was what McGovern's life was all about.

“Gale was not "political," in the sense that something was Democratic or Republican, left or right, gay or straight,” said New Paltz town justice Judith Reichler. “She did not care about these labels. If she felt someone's actions supported human dignity, she did everything possible to support them.”

McGovern's writing frequently appeared in the Hudson Valley Black Press and other local publications and a play of hers, Voices from the Closet, was produced at Ulster County BOCES, and her life is chronicled in the National Women's Hall of Fame Book of Lives and Legacies.

A memorial page has been established at the Simpson-Gaus Funeral Home's website where friends and colleagues are invited to reminisce.

Thursday, January 12, 2012