Over the last half year and into the coming spring, the Greater New Haven Peace Council is bringing the message of peace and social justice to our schools and schools around the world and to the voters and of New Haven.
- On Sept. 21, International Day of Peace, we organized the second year of IDP live video conferences between students from around the world. We grew from video exchanges between two cities in 2011 to thirteen in 2012:
- Classes in New Haven met over the internet with Wielun, Poland; Slovenj Gradec, Slovenia with Mouphou-Limassol, Cyprus; Kragujevac, Serbia with Cambridge, Massachusetts; Plonsk, Poland with Hiroshima, Japan; Volgograd, Russia with Oswiecim, Poland; and Mexico City with both La Paz, Bolivia and Chicago.
- This year’s exchanges will be coordinated from Plonsk, Poland. We are working to grow the numbers of schools, cities and countries engaged in international video exchanges on IDP. Collaboration is with the International Association of Peace Messenger Cities and videos from previous exchanges can be viewed here: www.iapmc.org/.
- Last November’s election day ballot in New Haven carried a move-the-money question: “Shall Congress reduce military spending; transfer funds to convert to civilian production; create jobs to rebuild our infrastructure; and meet pressing human needs?” We waged a campaign with essentially no help from the moguls of the corporate media to alert the public about this crucial question. We mobilized support from many Democratic Party town officials, labor and peace activists. The result: a large majority of voters, 27,550, voted on the question and of them 85%, seven to one, voted YES! The question won handily even in the most conservative wards.
- In collaboration with the City of New Haven Peace Commission, an African-American Church and legislative allies, we just introduced into the CT State Legislature a bill calling for the state not to procure conflict minerals originating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and neighboring states and requiring disclosure of their sources. Should this bill pass, Connecticut would join California and Maryland with similar legislation. The bill would also require the state not to invest its various savings and pension funds in corporations that fail to disclose the source of minerals used in their products.
- Every year the city of Kragujevac, Serbia, runs a contest for the best peace cartoons. Many are powerfully stunning. It has created a traveling exhibit of such cartoons. For the first time, this coming March 11 to 22, in collaboration with the International Association of Peace Messenger Cities, the city of New Haven Peace Commission, the Mayor’s Office and Gateway Community College, we have arranged for the exhibit to be displayed at the college. We are reaching out broadly to attract visitors to this exhibit. Further we are working to introduce this contest to residents young and old, who have the combined artistic skills and political acuity, to draw their own cartoons and enter them in coming contest cycles.