by David Samuels
This column appears in the October 20 – 27 edition of the Hartford News.
Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio
Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. First, third and fifth Tuesday of each month. 8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific. Tune in! Next show: November 1. Our Policy Watch series continues with an Election Day Preview. Check out our No Sellout blog for info on the rest of our Community Party Media lineup, including False Choice: the Bipartisan Attack on the Working Class, the Poor and Communities of Color. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/12/20/community-party-media-3/
Community Party Radio Podcasts
Visit No Sellout to listen to podcasts of past shows. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/podcast-community-party-radio-on-so-metro-radio/
Josh Elliott, Candidate for State Representative
Check out CP’s No Sellout blog for a profile provided by Josh Elliott, who is running for a seat in the Connecticut General Assembly. Includes info on making a donation. Election Day is November 8. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/05/14/election-2016-candidate-tracker-josh-elliott/
Housing Code Awareness Forum
by Mary Sanders
Members of Community Party, Vecinos Unidos and Daughters & Sons of Eve will be hosting a Housing Code Awareness Forum. NEW LOCATION The event will be held Wednesday, October 26 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM at the Hartford Public Library Albany Avenue branch, 1250 Albany Avenue in Hartford. Free parking is available. http://www.hplct.org/locations-hours/albany Please join us to learn about Hartford housing code and enforcement. Listen to officials from various departments and agencies, including Licensing and Inspection, the Fire Department and Hartford Legal Services. We will present information and discuss issues related to tenants’ rights to safe and adequate housing. We will particularly discuss fire safety as related to existing state and city housing code, and what you can do if you feel your apartment is not safe. Join us and learn about these important issues that are intended to keep you and your families safe. Ask your related questions and contribute ideas in this public awareness forum. We will also discuss the Housing Commission re-established last December, and the current need for Housing Commissioners in our cities. If your group could provide bottled water, light refreshments or transportation from your neighborhood, it would be greatly appreciated.
Haiti has been devastated by Hurricane Matthew. Operation Blessing is accepting donations to support their work on the island. https://www.ob.org/
Police Reform in Connecticut
Protesters went to Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin’s house last week, in response to the video that shows Hartford Police Sgt. Sean Spell assaulting Ricardo Perez during an arrest in June. Unfortunately we don’t see these activists during the legislative session, when police reform bills are killed or weakened by lawmakers who are protecting the cops. The body cameras law that the Connecticut General Assembly passed last year is toothless: participation is voluntary, and only a couple of police departments are complying. The HPD is NOT one of those departments. The only reason that Spell’s assault on Perez was captured on video, is because a West Hartford Police dash camera caught it by accident. Those who truly want to stop police brutality must go from being reactive to proactive, by introducing and supporting police reform legislation. Most policy work takes place outside of the view of TV cameras, but it is the work that will ultimately bring about real change. The Community Party will introduce our Meagan Hockaday and Trayvon Martin Acts during the 2017 legislative session. More info soon.
Policy Watch: Jill Stein Debate Response
Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein responded to debate questions Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump answered October 9 at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Stein made her comments during the Democracy Now! Expanding the Debate special, hosted by Amy Goodman.
“This—this debate, so-called, is really a sad commentary on what our political system has become. This debate is indeed a sham debate. The League of Women Voters called this process established by the Commission on Presidential Debates a fraud being perpetrated on the American voter. What we’re hearing, as this debate opens, is the candidates go at it about their personal histories, about Hillary’s emails, about Donald’s despicable, abusive behavior and language towards women…. And yes, this is all, you know, fair terrain, but it’s—it’s shameful that this has to be the focus of the discussion here. The American people have very serious issues before us, and we need to get past this debate over whether Hillary or Donald is more corrupt, who has the more offensive history.
“These two are bickering about who is more abusive and who has been more derelict in their responsibilities towards the American people. And I—personally, I think they’re both right, that Donald Trump’s behavior is absolutely abusive and inexcusable; Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, though her demeanor is certainly much nicer and her message is easier to hear, it’s important to remember that it’s not the talk, it’s the walk. And while Hillary is talking about, you know, her history defending and promoting women and children and the cause of our families, remember, it was the Clintons who dismantled Aid to Families with Dependent Children—that is, the major social safety net—throwing over a million families and children into poverty. The Clintons actually passed—and I mean Bill signed, but Hillary supported—NAFTA, which sent millions of jobs overseas, and Wall Street deregulation, leading to the economic meltdown and, in fact, the miserable economic conditions that have led to the rise of Donald Trump.
So, let’s be clear, what Hillary is offering is more of this neoliberal centrism, especially now that Republicans are fleeing into her camp. It’s one big happy Demo-Republican party.
“This issue of Hillary’s statement about the public views versus the private views, that’s certainly borne out by her history, where, you know, her public statement is that she is the friend to women and children, but, in fact, privately and her actual track record is to dismantle Aid to Families with Dependent Children, to have supported NAFTA and the offshoring of our jobs, to support the Trans-Pacific Partnership. And now she says she’s against it, but her director of transition, Ken Salazar, is a big booster, as is her VP candidate. So, you know, which is it?
In Haiti, as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton led the charge to push down the abysmal poverty wages of the Haitian people from 60 cents an hour down to a shocking 40 cents an hour, so as to boost the profits of the American corporation. So, you know, and on Black Lives Matter, you know, there was lip service to the cause of racial justice. But the Democratic Party official position, revealed again in some leaked emails, was that, you know, pat them on the head, you know, meet with them, but don’t make any concessions to them, do not give them any ground, do not, in other words, acknowledge what a crisis situation this is, where African Americans are at risk, driving in their cars down the street, from police violence.”
Clinton supporters love to look down their noses at Trump supporters, while they engage in the same behavior. These liberals run off at the mouth about Trump getting the nuclear codes. Meanwhile, they cover their ears and yell, ‘La, La, La’ when confronted with recent statements by General Joseph Dunsford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Dunsford told Congress that establishing a no-fly zone in Syria, which Clinton has been pushing for years, would require going to war with Russia, an armed nuclear power. Dr. Stein has been warning about this for months. Gorbachev said he has never seen the United States and Russia so close to a nuclear war. Clinton supporters are so focused on parroting Democratic Party bs, they are in denial about the dangerous foreign policy of their candidate.
“Syria is a disaster, and it’s a very complicated disaster. It is a civil war. It is a proxy war among many nations. It is a pipeline war also between Russia and the Gulf states, who are competing to run their pipelines with fracked gas into Europe across Syria. So, this is a very complicated situation, and there is a hornets’ nest, a real circular firing squad of alliances here that’s, you know, extremely, extremely complicated. To present a no-fly zone here as a solution is extremely dangerous. A no-fly zone means we are going to war with Russia, because it means we will be shooting down planes in the sky in order to create this no-fly zone, which is where Russia has a commitment to defending the Assad government. So, remember, there was a ceasefire, which was very hard-won, and that ceasefire was destroyed by the action of the Americans bombing, apparently by mistake, although some people say not by mistake, but it was our bombing of the Syrian troops that destroyed that ceasefire.
We need to redouble our efforts here. And we need to acknowledge that war with Russia is not an option. There are 2,000 nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert. And who was it that dropped out of the nuclear arms control? That was George Bush. That was our part, the U.S., in allowing the nuclear arms race to re-engage. Mikhail Gorbachev, the former premier of the Soviet Union, said last week that we are now at a more dangerous period regarding nuclear war than we have ever been. So, it’s really important for the warmongers in the Democratic and Republican parties to be cooling their jets now and for us to be moving forward towards a weapons embargo and a freeze on the funding of those countries that are continuing to fund terrorist enterprises.”
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