Archive for January 12th, 2018

ALBANY, NY — One year ago, the Resistance was born out of the desire to fight back against the Trump administration’s assault on our shared values and its attempt to erode our democracy and the rule of law. On Saturday, January 20, 2018, citizens of the Capital District will participate in a peaceful rally and march as we continue to demonstrate our determination to resist.

We will renew our insistence on the right of all Americans, no matter their race, religion, sexual orientation, or creed, to live without fear and discrimination. We will demand that the administration implement policies that lift up everyone rather than just the wealthy. We will voice our unbending resistance to this administration as we recapture the spirit of the historic Women’s Marches that took place all across the nation and the world one year ago. This rally will be in support of all members of our community, and it will be a public discussion and affirmation of the values we consider fundamental to our society: fairness, inclusiveness, community, justice, and respect – for each other and for the law.

“We’re standing in solidarity with marchers all over the world to resist,” said co-organizer Emily Marynczak.

Speakers will support and defend those pillars of American society constantly threatened by the administration and Republicans in Congress: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, voting and civil rights, justice, public education, and environmental protections.

Speakers will include: Congressman Paul Tonko; Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan; Assembly member Patricia Fahy; Judith Enck, former EPA Regional Administrator; Barbara Bartoletti, former legislative director of the League of Women Voters; Donna Young, Albany Law School Professor; Libby Post, co-founder, CapitalWomen; Deirdre Patterson, organizer with NY19 Votes and IndivisibleNY19); Fabrizia Rodriguez, attorney and advocate for the migrant community; Albany Councilwoman Dorcey Applyrs; Kathy Stevens, women’s rights advocate; and Jennifer Lemak, Chief Curator of History at the New York State Museum

There will be short musical performances by Annie and the Hedonists; and Kevin McKrell.

Co-Sponsors of the March include: Altamont Main Street USA / Bethlehem NY Indivisible / Bethlehem Morning Voice Huddle / Schenectady ROAR / Progressive Schenectady / IndivisibleNY19 / NY19 Votes / Labor-Religion Coalition / Indivisible Rensselaer County / Healthcare Education Project /Robert F. Kennedy Democrats of the Capital Region / CapitalWomen / Hudson Valley Labor Federation / Capital Region Resistance and Civic Action Coalition / Moms Demand Action / Albany Vegan Lady Gang / 1199 SEIU / NYS Nurses Association / Solidarity Committee of the Capital District / Watervliet Huddle / Planned Parenthood

CONTACTS: Castina Charles of Altamont Main Street USA, 917-335-8519, womensmarch2.0 [at]gmail[dot]com; Emily Marynczak of Bethlehem NY Indivisible, 518-478-0062

FOR MORE INFORMATION: https://www.facebook.com/womensmarchalbany/

Right photo by Howard Petrick

I was in Binghamton, NY, my hometown in October for a work-related trip. That evening, a couple of my friends get me to go to this film about Costa Rica, which I’ve written about. It was sponsored by the local Green Party and some other activist organization. The friend of an old high school buddy of mine says he’s from The Frances Beal Society. What?

I’ve known Fran Beal pretty much all my life. She was my mom’s only female cousin on her mother’s side of the family. Fran, her late mother Charlotte Yates, and her three late brothers, Raymond, Donald and Robert all lived in Binghamton or in nearby Johnson City until 1954, when her father, Ernie Yates, my maternal grandmother’s brother, died suddenly.

Charlotte moved the family to St. Albans, Queens, New York City and the Greens visited the Yates at a minimum annually. And they visited us frequently as well. I wrote up an excerpt of this 2005 interview, the early part about her growing up in our shared hometown.

Fran grew up to be a black feminist activist icon. A couple years ago, local author Barbara Smith told me how much she admired her. I told the FBS person that my cousin’s politics are so far left that she made me feel like William F. Buckley.

So what IS the Francis Beal Society? As far as I can ascertain, it’s an entity at Binghamton University that occupied the campus administration building for a couple weeks in the spring of 2017, in part over opposition to the Blue Lights Initiative. Now, community organizations have been offered a seat at the proposed Town-Gown Advisory Board by the school administration.

I think I let Fran know about the FBS via Facebook, but I don’t know if she saw the notice. For their part, the guy from the Frances Beal Society would LOVE to have contact with the organization’s namesake. I’m not feeling a desperate need to play matchmaker.

BTW, happy birthday, cousin. It’s SOMETIME this month.

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