Posted by: untitledbyanonymous | January 20, 2010

Keep the Pressure on Huntington!

The Huntington officials I spoke with yesterday have denied any wrongdoing, despite the involvement of the police in razing the homeless camp to the ground.  The township claims doing this “saved the men from the dangerously cold weather.”  Orwellian logic if you ask me.  We need to keep the pressure on Huntington to at least make them leave these men and women alone for the next couple of months, until winter is over. 

Please aim to call/email all the numbers, multiple times if possible. If the lines are busy it’s a good thing, it means our message is getting across; but with that said keep trying. If you end up getting the same person on the phone more than once you can simply reiterate your message and ask for any updates.
To be clear the Township of Huntington (200,000+) has no shelter system. We hope that you join us in asking that the town creates a 24/7 year round shelter system.

Phone Numbers:
Town Supervisor, Frank P. Petrone: (631) 351-3030
Councilman, Mark Cuthbertson: (631) 351-3172
Councilwoman, Susan A. Berland: (631) 351-3173
Councilwoman, Glenda A. Jackson: (631) 351-3174
Councilman, Mark Mayoka: (631)-351-3172
Make free calls:
If you are calling from out of state, country or do not wish to spend money on a phone call you can use the following web service to make the calls for free.
http://evaphone.com/

Emails:
fpetrone@town.huntington.ny.us, mcuthbertson@town.huntington.ny.us, sberland@town.huntington.ny.us, gjackson@town.huntington.ny.us, mmayoka@town.huntington.ny.us, jraia@town.huntington.ny.us, SCPD.2NDPRECINCT@suffolkcountyny.gov, SCPDINFO@suffolkcountyny.gov, jon.cooper@co.suffolk.ny.us

See my last post for a template on what to say or write.

Posted by: untitledbyanonymous | January 19, 2010

Stop Huntington Evictions! Call Today!!

Urgent Call to action for today, Tuesday, January 19th: Support the people of the Huntington Station Tent City!
Starting at 10am this morning (Jan.19th) and going through 4pm in the afternoon we are asking everyone to contact (call, email, fax, etc…) the Town of Huntington. Tell them to stop any further eviction activities until the Township of Huntington has an adequate Shelter System.
For all of those who have not heard about the destruction of the Huntington Station Tent City please click this link to learn more. http://www.lifnb.com/action_alert/police_destroy_huntington_tent_city_long_island_food_not_bombs_makes_call_solidarity
Long Island Food Not Bombs would like to thank everyone who’s helped collect warm clothing and materials in support of the residents of the Huntington Station Tent City. Many of these items, including 50 winter jackets, were shared today with former residents. Everyone is extremely grateful for the support but there’s still much more that needs to be done. It’s time we stand up as a community and show the culprits of these heinous actions that we are going to take no more of it!
Please aim to call/email all the numbers, multiple times if possible. If the lines are busy it’s a good thing, it means our message is getting across; but with that said keep trying. If you end up getting the same person on the phone more than once you can simply reiterate your message and ask for any updates.
To be clear the Township of Huntington (200,000+) has no shelter system. We hope that you join us in asking that the town creates a 24/7 year round shelter system.

Phone Numbers:
Town Supervisor, Frank P. Petrone: (631) 351-3030
Councilman, Mark Cuthbertson: (631) 351-3172
Councilwoman, Susan A. Berland: (631) 351-3173
Councilwoman, Glenda A. Jackson: (631) 351-3174
Councilman, Mark Mayoka: (631)-351-3172
Make free calls:
If you are calling from out of state, country or do not wish to spend money on a phone call you can use the following web service to make the calls for free.
http://evaphone.com/

Emails:
fpetrone@town.huntington.ny.us, mcuthbertson@town.huntington.ny.us, sberland@town.huntington.ny.us, gjackson@town.huntington.ny.us, mmayoka@town.huntington.ny.us, jraia@town.huntington.ny.us, SCPD.2NDPRECINCT@suffolkcountyny.gov, SCPDINFO@suffolkcountyny.gov, jon.cooper@co.suffolk.ny.us

Template Email letter/Suggestions on What to Say When Calling:
Stop the Huntington Station Tent City evictions!
As a concerned voter I was extremely disturbed to hear about the eviction of Huntington Station Tent City and the violent and wanton destruction suffered by its residents. As a compassionate and rational person I believe that everyone has a right to survival and that acting on such a right should not be against the law.
With that in mind, I ask that the Township of Huntington and the Suffolk County Police department delay any further actions against the residents of the Huntington Station Tent City until an adequate 24/7 year round shelter system is created within the town. The seasonal housing provide by HIHI, while well meaning, is not a solution and completely inadequate to handle the hundreds of homeless within our township. If this simple humanitarian action can not be met then I insist that any further actions against tent city residents be postponed to prevent these men from freezing to death – any shelter is better than none!
It is my hope that both the Township of Huntington and the Suffolk County Police Department can act as responsible, caring and intelligent arbiters in this situation, supporting both a temporary and permanent solution. I also suggest that community organizations, such as Long Island Food Not Bombs, be consulted in this process. Food Not Bombs has experience with these issues in Huntington Station and embodies the voices of many whom will feel the affects of your actions. I thank you for your time and hope for your immediate action to rectify this situation.
Regards,

YOUR NAME HERE

For Wednesday, January 20th:
We hope everyone continues the phone calls/emails to the Township of Huntington, but on Wednesday we ask that people also start making calls to Suffolk Legislator John Cooper.
Legislator, John Cooper: (631) 854-4500

Future Updates:
As developments arise, we’ll be posting updates on our website. Stay tuned for actions we’ll be taking later in the week. If you were forward this email, feel free to add yourself to our mailing list at www.lifnb.com/newsletter

Posted by: untitledbyanonymous | January 18, 2010

Victor Toro is NOT a terrorist!

On January 11, I went to the Federal Plaza Building in NYC to see a hearing in the US Immigration Court.  The hearing concerned Victor Toro, a former leader of the Chilean Movement of the Revolutionary Left (MIR), who has been put into deportation proceedings. 

Toro’s case first came to my attention when he spoke at a Militant Labor Forum in NYC on the eve of May Day 2009.  Every Friday the Socialist Workers Party holds a forum where they invite working class radicals to speak about their efforts to abolish capitalism and to gain power for working people.  Toro urged people to take to the streets on May 1st to demand amnesty for the millions of undocumented immigrants daily exploited and oppressed in the US.

The Militant, the SWP’s weekly paper, has a brief article on Toro’s hearing in their current issue: http://www.themilitant.com/2010/7403/740351.html

Toro is seeking asylum on the grounds of a well founded fear of persecution on account of his political opinion.  His fear stems from his past persecution under the US-backed Chilean dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.  After the CIA helped Pinochet overthrow the pro-socialist Allende government, Pinochet arrested, tortured and murdered countless members of MIR.  Toro was incarcerated and tortured by Pinochet’s fascist thugs.

The government argued that Toro’s asylum case is not very strong, owing to changed circumstances in Chile.  Bachelet, the current president, is affiliated with a center-left coalition, Juntos Podemos Mas, that includes the MIR.  Furthermore, Chile’s current ambassador to the US, Jose Goni, is a former MIR member.  With this government in power, the government argued, Toro has nothing to be afraid of.

However, this government is not going to be in power much longer!  Yesterday, billionaire businessman Sebastian Pinera defeated Eduardo Frei in Chile’s presidential election. AP reports: “Pinera’s election victory Sunday night ends two decades of uninterrupted rule by a centre-left coalition, and returns to power the same political parties that provided civic support for Augusto Pinochet’s brutal 1973-1990 dictatorship.” (article is available at http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5j3XbVvTtt73xXc0RkSJ-cuolQhfg )

What I found most interesting about Victor’s hearing on Jan. 11th was the attempts of the US government to portray him as a terrorist.  On Aug. 26, the Department of Homeland Security and ICE—Immigration Customs and Enforcement—issued a brief arguing that Toro is linked to a “terrorist” organization: the MIR.  The “terrorism” charge will make it very difficult for the Judge, Katherine Burr, to grant Toro political asylum.  Toro is surprisingly elated by this turn, because, he says, “If the U.S. government wants to put the MIR on trial, this gives us the opportunity to put the role of U.S. imperialism in Chile on trial.”

Well, that opportunity certainly was missed on Jan. 11th.  Instead of being on the offense against US imperialism, Toro was kept on the defensive by persistent and often obnoxious government questioning that mischaracterized the MIR as a “terrorist organization.”  At one point, the government attorney repeatedly asked Toro, “did the MIR ever advocate the use of violence to achieve political ends?”  Toro replied again and again that the MIR advocated the struggle of working people, or “la lucha.”  This included methods like sit-down strikes and factory occupations to prevent lay-offs. Resistance of this nature may lead to violence but is this violence in and of itself?   

If I was Toro I would have said that the issue is not choosing to be violent or non-violent.  Rather, violence exists in certain social situations.  After Pinochet came to power one could not choose to be non-violent; violence was forced upon all people agains their will by the dictatorship that the US put into power through military violence.  But Toro did not get a chance to say much.  The government repeatedly criticized him for “not answering the question.”  The government only wanted Yes or No answers.

The MIR is not a terrorist organization!  They supported the Allende government.  At one point the government asked Victor, “did MIR ever carry out terrorist attacks against the Allende government.”  This was the only time Victor answered succinctly – “No, MIR supported Allende.”  He was later asked, “Did MIR carry out terrorist attacks against the Pinochet government?”  Again the answer was clear: “No, we could not do anything because Pinochet destroyed MIR immediately.  He killed our leaders and imprisoned and tortured our members.”  Considering this, wouldn’t violence by MIR against the dictatorship have been justified?  According to the US government violence is never justied when you go against US interests

It was the Obama administrator that decided to charge Toro as a terrorist.  This decision seems to imply that Obama is willing to use the war on terror to attack the efforts of working people to resist imperialism and live in liberty and peace.  Victor Toro is not a terrorist; he is a man brave enough to oppose tyranny.   Please learn more about Victor’s case; visit www.may1.info or call 212-633-6646.  Victor’s next hearing is on May 20th.

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