As The Cold Weather Descends…

As the cold weather descends, we at the Amistad Catholic Worker invite you to join in an urgent work of mercy…

Almost two years ago, a movement for justice, human rights and refuge for the homeless began at our table here at Amistad; a campaign called “Where, Then, Shall We Go?”  which brought together a strong coalition of concerned citizens, both homeless and housed. It started as a response to proposed legislation being scheduled for deliberation at New Haven’s Board of Alders, which would have imposed a 10pm curfew on the New Haven Green, along with the City’s enforcement of its seasonal policy of closing the overflow shelter, sending more than a hundred additional people to New Haven’s streets on a nightly basis.  Through several months of action which included marches on City Hall, press conferences, meetings with Mayor Harp, the claiming of unused public land as places of refuge for people with nowhere to go, and denouncing city development plans which failed to address the dire need to increase the low income housing stock, we were able to expose and decry several intolerable realities in our city that still need to be changed.  Among these realities:

  

  1. Not only are there not enough shelter beds to accommodate the entire homeless population in our midst, but the City has no intention of either acknowledging or addressing that obligation.  As we were literally told at Mayor Harp’s office in July 2014, the City has no answer to the question: “Where, then, shall we go?”
  2. Economic reality in our city and state- namely, the vast shortage of jobs that pay a living wage- combined with dwindling housing subsidies an uptick in gentrification plans which leave the poor behind, have created a permanent underclass of people in our urban centers who will remain homeless on any/every given night.  As long as these conditions persist, efforts to find scarce apartments for people who are currently homeless, while crucial and necessary, will never eradicate homeless.  Only systemic change can achieve that.
  3. IN NEW HAVEN, THERE IS NO PLACE FOR A PERSON WITHOUT SHELTER TO GO WHERE THE LAW PROTECTS THEM FROM ARREST, HARASSMENT, OR EVICTION. The failure of New Haven to provide adequate shelter, combined with it’s refusal to recognize the right of homeless people to take refuge, together, on unused public land, effectually criminalizes homelessness.
  4. The United Nations Universal Declaration On Human Rights has expressly condemned policies and laws that are currently enforced in cities throughout the United States, including New Haven, that criminalize homelessness.

Many who share the table here at Amistad have, on their own initiative, assumed leadership roles in the “Where, Then, Shall We Go” campaign, exposing the hardships that homeless people in New Haven face by having their legal status constantly jeopardized.  Regrettably, their efforts have not yet resulted in a commitment from the city government to implement even the simple policy changes which would decriminalize their homelessness.  On the contrary, it has come to light now that some in positions of power in our city are renewing their pursuit of legislation imposing a curfew on the Green.

In light of this continuing and intolerable situation, we’ve begun a community project meant to respond to the immediate needs of our friends who now face another harsh Winter on the streets, in the way, on the margins, and quite probably entangled in the criminal justice system.  Through the grace and diligence of volunteers from several area churches, a large (16’x16’) wooden platform has been built aboveground in the backyard of the Amistad house of hospitality.  Now we want to raise a shelter around that floor, one that is sturdy, insulated, environmentally responsibly built, and welcoming to friends and strangers in need of emergency hospitality. 

Can you help?  We’re looking for friends to join us on Saturday, November 7, at 9am, to begin this project.  If you have any particular skills related to building things, this would be most welcome.  We also need to raise at least $1000 to cover the building costs.  Please contact us if you’d like to be involved.  (To make a donation, checks can be made payable to Amistad Catholic Worker, or you can go to our website and use the Paypal donation button:  amistadcw.wordpress.com).

Thank you.  Peace and Blessings….

The Amistad Catholic Worker

203 Rosette Street, New Haven, CT, 06519

amistadcwh@yahoo.com; (203)415-5896

Leave a comment

Filed under Amistad events, Homelessness

Thursday: A Festival of Hope

The Amistad Catholic Worker invites you to join us in celebration of our confrontation with the principalities and powers in resistance to endless war and illegal drone strikes.

This Thursday, November 20th, we will gather in hope, in celebration and in resistance, at St. Anthony Church, 25 Gold St. (off of Washington Avenue), New Haven, 6:30pm.  There will be plenty of food and fun.  Mark Colville of the Amistad community will speak about drones and their victims, his nonviolent act of resistance and trial, and how the courts are colluding with the Pentagon to keep this murderous program beyond the reach of law.  We will also discuss the challenges ahead for the Amistad community, and how we can face those challenges together.
*****
There will also be a performance: Orkestar BAM (https://orkestarbam.bandcamp.com/album/fahrrad-glockenspiel-polizeiwill play a half-hour set around 8:00. Expect yummy Puerto Rican food!
*****
On September 18, 2014, Mark was convicted on five criminal charges for walking peacefully to the front gate of the 174th Attack Wing at Hancock Airfield in Syracuse, NY, along with YDS students Creighton Chandler and Greg Williams, to deliver a People’s Order Of Protection For The Children OfAfghanistan.  Mark and his family/community are preparing for his sentencing on December 3rd, in a court that has gone to extreme lengths to justify the U.S. government’s extrajudicial killing and crimes against humanity perpetrated through weaponized drone strikes.  Before the trial, Judge Robert Jokl threatened to give Mark the maximum penalty allowable, which could amount to more than two years in prison.
*****
Note: As you who have supported us in the past know, this situation has placed a stress on the life of the Amistad Catholic Worker, and with Mark away it will continue to increase. We need people to think of ways to help us, both financially and by lending a hand to our work of hospitality. Please put some prayerful  consideration into this, and join us if you can! For more information, call Frances Goekler-Morneau:  (203)676-2066; (203)562-6165

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Mark speaks against the drones

Mark will be speaking on this topic all across upstate New York over the course of the next week.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Monday: Hold Yale Accountable for Harboring State criminal Ernesto Zedillo

Missing students

While Massacres and Disappearances Happen in Guerrero, Mexico, Migrants and Students hold Yale University Accountable for Harboring State Criminal Ernesto Zedillo

(Mientras suceden desapariciones y masacres en Iguala, Guerrero, denunciamos a la Universidad de Yale por albergar al criminal de Estado Ernesto Zedillo … espanol vea abajo)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

What: A Demonstration to denounce: 1) crimes of state committed by former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo during his presidency in 1997 in Acteal Chiapas, Mexico, 2) the immunity granted to Zedillo by the U.S. Department of State and Yale University, and 3) the current killings and disappearances of students in Guerrero, Mexico.

When: Monday October 20th at 5 pm

Where: JACKSON INSTITUTE FOR GLOBAL AFFAIRS, 393 Prospect St. New Haven, CT

Organized by:  Mexican nationals living in Connecticut, Unidad Latina en Accion, Yale students, and the Amistad Catholic Worker.

Contacts: Enedelia Cruz Dominguez (Spanish) 203-600-3018; Joe Foran 860-878-8675

To the International Community:

The wounds have not healed; they still bleed.  They are of brothers and sisters massacred in Acteal, Chiapas.  This mass killing was perpetrated by the Mexican state under the command of Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon in 1997.  Forty-five indigenous people of the State of Chiapas were killed; among those victims 15 were children.  There have been numerous international lawsuits and demands for accountability for the state-sponsored terrorism perpetrated during Zedillo’s U.S.-backed presidency, and the U.S. government in turn has granted ex-President Zedillo immunity.[1][2]  Zedillo, an internationally denounced state criminal, is now the director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization and acts as an adjunct professor.

Such acts of violence are the tools the Mexican state uses to criminalize social dissent and to build an apparatus of neoliberalism, militarization and genocide. Zedillo now lives right here in New Haven, but his legacy of violence is alive and well in Mexico. The current situation in Iguala, Guerrero demands our attention.  On September 26,  at Ayotzinapa, a regional school for teachers in rural Guerrero, Mexico, police opened fire on students; two students and a professional soccer player were killed.  During an emergency press conference, forty-three students were subsequently detained by police and placed in police trucks.  The students have disappeared.  In recent days ten mass graves have been discovered, but no students have been positively identified.  It appears that students have been handed over to drug cartels in collusion with local, state and federal authorities.

Parents and families from all over southern Mexico are demanding that their children be returned alive; meanwhile state aggression has continued, as state police have continued to fire live bullets on students.  The former mayor of Iguala has since fled as a fugitive of justice.

We must not be indifferent to the killing and disappearance of students.  These massacres and disappearances are related. More than 20,000 people are registered as having disappeared in Mexico in the past eight years. Most of them have never been found.[3]  We ask ourselves, in the name of the disappeared: why do these things happen to the poor?  Because we the poor have learned to fight for ourselves.  Because we know that no one else will fight for our liberation. Because we are tired of 520 years of mistreatment.  And because everyday we are more united, more organized.  That is why this keeps happening to us.  That is how we answer ourselves.

We are here because we cannot remain silent in the face of state-sponsored terrorism.  We denounce the daily killing of our people – in Acteal, in Iguala, in Guatemala, Honduras, in Colombia – all across the Global South.

We are here to hold Yale University accountable for harboring a war criminal in our community.

We are here to demand the safe return of our young teachers.  They took them alive and we want them back alive.

We remember.

The migrant community of Connecticut.

[1] Source: http://yaledailynews.com/blog/2014/10/07/supreme-court-dismisses-zedillo-suit/

[2] Source: http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/08/world/americas/mexico-ex-president-immunity/

[3] Source: http://www.hngn.com/articles/45998/20141015/mexicos-human-rights-atrocity-missing-students-remains-found-first-mass.htm

—-

PARA PUBLICACIÓN INMEDIATA

Qué: Protesta para denunciar: 1) Crimen de Estado realizado por el ex-presidente mexicano Ernesto Zedillo en 1997 en Acteal, Chiapas, México; 2) la reciente imunidad política garantarizada por el Departamento del Estado estadounidense; y 3) las actuales matanzas y desapariciones de estudiantes en Guerrero, México.

Cuándo: Lunes 20 de octubre del 2014

Dónde: JACKSON INSTITUTE FOR GLOBAL AFFAIRS, 393 Prospect St. New Haven, CT

Organizado por: Nacionales mexicanos viviendo en Connecticut, Unidad Latina en Accion, estudiantes de Yale, y la Casa trabajador católico “La Amistad”

Contactos:  Enedelia Cruz Dominguez 203-600-3018; Joseph Foran 860-878-8675

Las heridas no han cerrado, aún sangran, lo sentimos, compañeras y compañeros familiares de nuestros hermanos masacrados en Acteal, Chiapas. La matanza se llevó a cabo por el estado mexicano encabezado por Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León en 1997.  En la que perdieran la vida 45 personas de nuestros pueblos originarios en el estado de Chiapas. Entre las víctimas, 15 eran niños.

Ha habido múltiples demandas en contra del ex-presidente Zedillo y mientras tanto los responsables son exonerados, y en el peor de los casos convertidos en distinguidos catedráticos hospiciados en las Universidades de los Estados Unidos de Norte América. Convirtiéndose así en sus cómplices al permitir que los asesinos las ocupen como su refugio.  Ernesto Zedillo denunciado internacionalmente como criminal de Estado ahora es director del Centro de Estudios de la Globalización en la Universidad de Yale y donde da clases como profesor visitante.

Tales actos de violencia  son las herramientas que utiliza el Estado mexicano para criminalizar a los movimientos sociales y para construir un proyecto de neoliberalismo,  militarización y genocidio.  Zedillo vive aquí en New Haven, pero ha dejado el legado de violencia que en los últimos tiempos ha crecido de manera intempestiva. Los sucesos de Iguala Guerrero demandan nuestra atención.  El 26 de Septiembre  los policias agredieron a estudiantes de docencia de la Escuela Normal Rural de Ayotzinapa en la que perdieran la vida 2 estudiantes y 1 futbolista; poco después 43 estudiantes fueron detenidos por la policía llevandolos en patrullas.  Los 43 estudiantes han desaparecido.  En días recientes, se han encontrado 10 fosas con cadáveres, pero ningún estudiante ha sido identificado.  Al parecer los estudiantes fueron entregados a narcotraficantes en cooperación con las autoridades locales y estatales.

Los padres,  estudiantes, organizaciones de Derechos Humanos y civiles exigen la presentación con vida de los normalistas, mientras la agresión del Estado continúa y donde el Alcalde de Iguala permanece profugo de la justicia. En los recientes días otros estudiantes fueron agredidos por  las fuerzas policiacas de ese mismo Estado.

Siempre nos hemos preguntado ¿por qué nos pasa esto a los pobres?. Y nos respondemos a nombre de nuestros compañeros: Porque somos nosotros los pueblos pobres quienes tenemos que organizarnos y porque nadie va a luchar por nosotros para la liberación. Porque ya no queremos más de 520 años de maltrato y porque cada día nos organizamos mejor, por eso nos está pasando esto. Así nos contestamos.

Estamos aquí porque no podemos permanecer  en silencio  ante  el crimen de Estado. Denunciamos la matanza cotidiana de nuestra gente, de nuestros pueblos:  en Acteal, Iguala,  Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Paquistán, y todo el Sur Global.

Estamos aquí para que la Universidad de Yale no sea cómplice con los criminales de Guerra.

Estamos aquí para demandar el regreso con vida de nuestros jóvenes maestros.  Vivos se los llevaron, vivos los queremos.

Viva la memoria.

Atte: Unidad Latina en Acción, organización comunitaria de migrantes radicados en New Haven, CT, EEUU.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

This week at Amistad

imag1606

M-F/L-V – Breakfast/desayuno 7:30-8:30AM, Lunch/almuerzo 12:00-1:00PM

T/M ~1:00PM – Donation from Bishop’s Orchards: come help us sort and cook! Donación: ven para ayudar a ordenar y cocinar!

M/L 6:30PM ***New time*** evening prayer/oración de la tarde

Th/J 8:45AM @Amistad ***New time*** AmEN (Amistad Emancipation Network) meeting — this week we will be joined by several members of the Board of Alders for an update on the Board’s stance on policy change regarding decriminalizing homelessness in New Haven.  Reunión para discutir las preocupaciones de personas sin hogar.

Th/J – 9:30-11:00AM Give & Take/Dar y Recibir

Su/D – 2:00PM @Trinity Church, New Haven Green – Chapel on the Green, followed by lunch/Capilla en el Parque, seguido de un almuerzo

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Where, Then, Shall We Go?

marching

Amistad Catholic Worker – “The Only Solution is Love”

New Haven – June 11, 2014 – This morning, the Amistad Catholic Worker announced that, unless we receive some kind of an answer to our question to the Mayor, #wherethenshallwego, homeless and housed activists associated with our community plan to take over a city-owned property on July 24 for the purpose of offering hospitality and defending the rights of low income people to adequate housing. We call upon congregations, activists and people of conscience everywhere to prepare to “put their bodies and souls in motion” on 7/24 and to stand in solidarity with us in taking this action..Top of Form

It is still illegal to be homeless and without a shelter bed in the city of New Haven. On the one hand, there are not nearly enough shelter beds for the 1,400 people that Columbus House reported sought emergency housing from them this year. Moreover, during the summer months, with the closure of the Overflow Shelter and the reduction of the number of beds at Grand Avenue, homeless people are essentially legislated into sleeping outside. On the other hand, the city is not willing to allow these same people, that it has turned away, to camp on public land or take refuge together. They demonstrated this on May 16, when they evicted former overflow shelter residents from 211 Rosette Street, an unused public lot where they had set up camp. The only place where homeless people are allowed to live is on the New Haven side of the West River, which is subject to frequent flooding and mosquitos, is far from emergency services and where police still occasionally arrest people for sleeping outside.

For almost six months, our community has been demanding that the Mayor answer the question of where she would have homeless people go who do not have shelter beds. She has responded with token gestures (like extending the overflow shelter for a week to subdue protests of its closure) and broken promises (such as her unfulfilled pledge to increase the number of beds at Grand Avenue to 90 from its current 75). In a meeting after her eviction of low income community members from 211 Rosette Street, Mayor Harp’s chief of staff, Tomas Reyes openly admitted that, “You want us to provide an answer for the question, ‘where, then, shall we go’ and the bottom line is that we do not have an answer.”

Our community is not going to stop asking the question, however and until we get a decent answer, we are going to continue to engage in nonviolent direct action to defend the human rights of our community to safe-accessible housing. On July 24, we are planning to march from the Catholic Worker to an undisclosed piece of city property, which we will appropriate in order to extend hospitality to those whom the city has left without a roof over their heads. We invite people of faith and conscience, activists, allies and members of the public to join us in this action, and to support it with donations of food and camping supplies and by pledging to march with us on the 24th and/or to spend one or more nights defending the site that we choose from being dismantled.

 

We also call upon Mayor Harp and the entire municipal government to end this conflict by making real changes to public policy and by terminating their violent assault on homeless and low income people. There are many ways to do this, but we consider the following steps to be most essential and have already submitted them to Mayor Harp as our official demands:

IMMEDIATELY end practices that criminalize homeless people who have no shelter bed and seek refuge outdoors. Order police not to arrest or interfere with homeless people who choose to set up shelters for themselves on public land, in parks, or on the New Haven Green.

IN THE SHORT TERM restore all of the shelter beds that New Haven has lost since this winter, both through the closure of the Overflow Shelter and the reduction of the number of beds at Grand Avenue. Do this either by reopening the overflow shelter or by creating a new, publicly run facility.

IN THE LONG TERM create a city and neighborhood development plan that puts low income and affordable housing at the center of the “vision” for the city. This means guaranteeing the “1 for 1 replacement” of all low income housing that is redeveloped and passing “inclusive zoning” laws to ensure that all new housing in a given area will contain a particular percentage of low income housing.

None of these steps are difficult. None of them are new, since all of them have been modeled in other cities and some of them (like keeping the overflow open year-round) have even been previous public policy in New Haven.

We at the Amistad Catholic Worker are eager to begin working together with the Mayor and the entire municipal government in caring for everyone in New Haven who has been deprived of their human right to housing, but meeting the legitimate demands of our homeless brothers and sisters to immediate safety, supportive refuge and freedom from criminalization is an essential first step which the city can no longer ignore. Toward that end, we will not remain silent but will continue to take direct action. On July 24th, we will once again be claiming a piece of unused city-owned property for the refuge of those who have no place to go. We call upon the City of New Haven to either respect this action as the right of the people, or to take the immediate steps themselves to make it unnecessary.

The Amistad Catholic Worker is a community of faith dedicated to the daily practices of the Works of Mercy, voluntary poverty, personalism and prayer. Located in the Hill neighborhood of New Haven, Connecticut, our home is open as a house of hospitality offering sustenance and companionship We seek to be a safe haven and a public nonviolent witness in our neighborhood, and always try to blur the distinction between the people who are serving and those being served. Please contact Gregory Williams (203-440-6696 gregory.williams@yale.edu) or Mark Colville  (203-415-5896 amistadcw@yahoo.com) for more information or to get involved in this effort.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

This Week at Amistad

Scanned Image 103540002

MONDAY/LUNES 3/3/14, 6:00PM @corner of Elm and Broadway – Marking the Cost of War: A brief ecumenical prayer and stone laying ceremony to count the victims and cry out for peace/Marcando el Costo de la Guerra: Una breve oración ecuménica y una ceremonia de colocación de la piedra para contar las víctimas y clamar por la paz.

TUESDAY/MARTES 3/4/14, 12:00-1:00PM @Amistad – Shrove Tuesday pancake lunch/Almuerzo de panqueques para Martes de Carnaval

TUESDAY/MARTES 3/4/14, 9:00AM @New Haven Superior Courthouse, 121 Elm St. – Courthouse Rally for Justice at Gourmet Heaven. Check out recent press coverage of Gourmet Heaven on Univision and Yale Daily News. Also check out an opinion piece by Henry Fernandez calling on Yale properties to guarantee a $15 living wage, and the response from Mayor Toni Harp./Rally de Justicia en Gourmet Heaven.

WEDNESDAY/MIÉRCOLES 3/5/14, 12:15PM @New Haven Green – “Ashes to Go” at Chapel on the Green/Servicio de Miércoles de ceniza en Capilla en el Verde.

THURSDAY/JUEVES 3/6/14, 6:00PM – Canvassing for the People’s response to “Hill to Downtown;” contact us for more information/Escrutinio de la respuesta del pueblo a la “Colina a Downtown,” haz contacto con nosotros para recibir más información.

THURSDAY/JUEVES 3/6/14, 6:30PM @Hamden Middle School  2623 Dixwell Ave, Hamden – Hearing on United Illuminated’s tree trimming & removal plan, call us to get a ride/Audiencia sobre el plan de Estados Iluminado de la eliminción y poda de árboles, llámenos para obtener transporte. Click here for more information/haz clic aquí para leer más.

SATURDAY/SÁBADO 3/8/14, 10:00AM-5:00PM – Canvassing for the People’s response to “Hill to Downtown;” contact us for more information/Escrutinio de la respuesta del pueblo a la “Colina a Downtown,” haz contacto con nosotros para recibir más información.

SATURDAY & SUNDAY/SÁBADO & DOMINGO 3/8/14-3/9/14, 11:00AM-4:00PM @The Parachute Factory, Erector Square, 319 Peck St. Building 1 – Rainbow of Desire: Theater of the Oppressed training/Arco Iris del Deseo: Taller de Teatro del Oprimido.

 

MONDAY/LUNES 3/10/14, 5:30PM @Amistad – Mass/Misa.

Rainbow of Desire 2014

EVERY WEEK/TODAS LAS SEMANAS

M-F/L-V – Breakfast/desayuno 7:30-8:30AM, Lunch/almuerzo 12:00-1:00PM

W 9:00AM – AmEN (Amistad Emancipation Network) meeting to discuss the proposed amendments to the New Haven park ordinance, and their implications for those experiencing homelessness. Reunión para discutir las propuestas de enmienda a la ordenanza parque New Haven, y sus implicaciones para las personas sin hogar.

W 6:00PM – evening prayer/oración de la tarde

Th/J – 9:00AM Bible study/estudio Bíblico; 9:30-11:00AM Give & Take/Dar y Recibir

<<F/V – 5:30PM @Gourmet Heaven, 15 Broadway – Boycott Gourmet Heaven/Las manifestaciones contra Gourmet Heaven>>SUSPENDED until further notice/SUSPENDIDO hasta nuevo aviso

Su/D – 2:00PM @Trinity Church, New Haven Green – Chapel on the Green, followed by lunch/Capilla en el Parque, seguido de un almuerzo

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized