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Dennis Kucinich, Move To Amend

Dennis Kucinich Speaks to Move To Amend On “The Otherside Of The News” with Dr. Robert Fitrakis


Dennis will be Keynote Speaker At Move To Amend Ohio Statewide meeting.

Join the MTA annual meeting April 1 and hear Dennis Kucinich at 1:00 p.m.

 

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Conference on the PUCO carbon-nuke bailout in Ohio

Join us at the conference on the PUCO carbon-nuke bailout in Ohio
Sunday
April 12, 2015
1-5:30PM
STOP THE CARBON-NUKE BAILOUTS!!!
CrbnFreeNucFree
Win a Carbon/Nuke Free Ohio
Move to Renewables and Efficiency
Mini Conference – SUNDAY APRIL 12, 2015, 1-5:30pm
Free and open to the public
Columbus State Community College Center for Teaching and Learning Innovation
339 Cleveland Avenue at the southwest corner of Grove Street
Parking is in the lot by the building.

AGENDA
1:10 pm: Kevin Kamps, Radioactive Waste Watchdog with Beyond Nuclear in Takoma Park, MD. Topic: Davis-Besse nuclear reactor, a threat to Ohio and the Great Lakes.
1:50 pm: Carolyn Harding, Organizer with Radioactive Waste Alert and the Columbus Community Bill of Rights. Topic: Challenging fracking in Columbus and Ohio – from injection wells to community rights.
2: 30 pm: Break
2:45 pm: Ned Ford, Veteran Ohio energy activist and consultant. Topic: EPA’s Clean Power Plan; Ohio’s Senate Bill 310; the big picture on Clean Energy in Ohio and what the PUCO, EPA and the Governor are wrong about.
3: 25 pm Neil Waggoner, Organizing Representative with the Sierra Club Coal Campaign. Topic: Stopping coal and Davis-Besse bailouts at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and the PUCO decision on AEP.
BREAKOUT
4: 05 pm Breakout with small group brainstorming on ideas for carrying our energy work forward and uniting the work of the various organizations.
4:50 pm Report back from small groups
5:15 pm Closing remarks
——————–
MONDAY APRIL 13, 2015 – Day of Action to Stop FirstEnergy Bailouts
11:00 am: Morning rally at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio offices, 180 East Broad Street
Lunchtime presentation [Time/Place TBD]. Bailout overview and planning future actions
Phoning the PUCO and Governor Kasich’s office, handwriting letters to the governor.

Participating organizations: Sierra Club, Ohio Environmental Council, Ohio Citizen Action, Ohio Organizing Collaborative, Public Citizen, Columbus Free Press, Columbus State Social Science Department

RSVP: solartopia@gmail.com

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Free Press Free Fourth Tuesday Film Night “Black Lives Matter”

Free Press free film night:
“Black Lives Matter”
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
7:30pm

Free Press free fourth Tuesday film night:
Black Lives Matter Newsreel: Why Columbus Needs a Citizens Review Board
Tues, March 24, 7:30pm, Drexel Theater, 2254 E. Main St.
Police shootings of citizens in Columbus are almost always ruled as justified, the Columbus Dispatch reported. “Of seven cities surveyed by The Dispatch — all similar in size to Columbus — Columbus had the second-highest rate of police shootings, both fatal and nonfatal, in 2013. Last year, the city ranked fourth, at 1.1 shootings per 100,000.”
To highlight the need for a civilian review board to investigate officer-involved shootings, videographer Will Delphia has compiled a newsreel of footage from the local and regional #BlackLivesMatter movement.
Discussion will follow.
colsfreepress@gmail.com or 614-253-2517

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Free Press Second Saturday Salon, Saturday March 14, 2015

Join us at the March
Free Press Second Saturday Salon
Saturday
March 14, 2015
6:30 – 11 PM

March Free Press Second Saturday Salon
Saturday, March 14, 6:30-11pm @ 1021 E. Broad St.
Free. No RSVP necessary.
Socialize and network with progressive friends for hors-d’oeuvres, drink, art and music. Showing “Maestra” [Teacher] about Cuban literacy program and music by Solartopia.
colsfreepress@gmail.com, (614) 253-2571.

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To Cuba With Love

by Bob Fitrakis
FEBRUARY 21, 2015

Americans In Cuba With Love

“…Cuba’s voice is a voice that must be heard in the United States of America. Yet it has not been heard. It must now be heard because the United States is too powerful, its responsibilities to the world and to itself are too great, for its people not to be able to listen to every voice of the hungry world.” ~ C. Wright Mills, Listen, Yankee: The Revolution in Cuba, 1960.

Mills’ words are unfortunately still true today. Cuban people remain hungry and we have not heard their voices because the U.S. has silenced them for more than 50 years by imposing a brutal “blockade” that we call an “embargo.” If any ship in the world goes to a Cuban port, they may not enter a U.S. port for six months. Any company that trades with Cuba is banned from the U.S. market. If any product uses any materials, pieces or parts from Cuba, it is not allowed to be sold in the United States.

Cuba’s crime? Being the only nation in the western hemisphere with the cojones to resist the world’s only “megapower.”

It appears that President Barack Obama however, in the aftermath of a thrashing by the Republican Party in the midterm Congressional elections, suddenly heard the whispers of his own conscience and the Cuban people. On December 17, he announced the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with the largest island in the Caribbean.

The action is largely symbolic, but did make it a bit easier for U.S. citizens to go to Cuba. You can now take an 80 minute-flight directly from the United States, receive an official visa and have a Cuban stamp on your passport. No more sneaking through Mexico or Canada, though you still cannot visit as a tourist.

We visited as educators and journalists with the folks from Code Pink.

Senator John McCain recently called Code Pink “low-life scum” for recently attempting a citizens’ arrest of Henry Kissinger for war crimes. The Code Pink organizers spurned in the U.S., sought affection elsewhere when they sent a delegation of 150 people “To Cuba with Love” from February 8-15, 2015. I was part of that “largest group to visit Cuba from the United States.” Code Pink director Medea Benjamin saw the trip as the “move toward world peace” and a “powerful solidarity message” to the Cuban people.

Because Cuba exists in part in a strange 1950s time warp thanks to the embargo that began in 1961 and continues to this day. The city of Havana seems frozen in time, like a 1950s postcard faded and frayed at the edges. The city of Havana’s architecture varies from crumbling but still stunning Spanish Colonial mansions to brightly colored stucco haciendas to huge art deco and art nouveau apartment buildings with each unit sporting its own balcony. In the rural areas, Cuba appears more Amish and pre-industrial with farmers using oxen and horse-drawn plows.

Cuban native Jesus Noguera Ravelo invited a small Code Pink group to his home in Havana, where he answered questions about life in Cuba and its future. He insisted that there has been more change in the last ten years than in the previous thirty.

Revalo had originally aspired to be a diplomat and majored in international studies. He was working on his Masters when he realized that, rather than stamping visas all day, he should be using his fluency in English to share the Cuban experience with English speaking visitors as a tour guide.

Tourism has been either the first or second leading industry in Cuba since the early 1990s. A key point is that Canada never broke diplomatic ties with Cuba and the rest of the English speaking world now has normal relations with the country.

The entire Code Pink group was greeted at the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the People (ICAP) by its President Ricardo Alarcon, who served for 30 years as Cuba’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) and was President of the National Assembly of People’s Power from 1993 to 2013. He expressed hope that the Code Pink visit would be an “exchange of knowledge.”

While the head of ICAP was encouraged by the restoration of diplomatic ties after President Kennedy broke them off 55 years ago, he called the remaining embargo of Cuba continuing “economic warfare.” He called Obama’s decision “very positive.”

Alarcon questioned the logic of Cuba remaining one of four countries on the U.S. list of governments that sponsor terrorism, along with Iran, Sudan and Syria. That’s right – North Korea isn’t on the list nor was Libya when the U.S. and NATO attacked it in 2011. He pointed out the irony of the United States torturing people at Guantanamo while labeling Cuba a terrorist state.

He also mentioned the hypocrisy of any demand by the U.S. for Cuba to restore fundamental human rights. The point was well made, since the U.S. is the world’s largest surveillance state and tortured both the guilty and innocent on Cuban soil at Guantanamo. Most Cubans we talked with conceded that there were problems in Cuba, but wondered why a country they associated with torture and the open shooting of blacks on the streets of major U.S. cities would be so concerned about Cuban human rights instead of putting their own house in order.

Alarcon also noted that the U.S. retains great relations with many countries that do not recognize fundamental human rights, especially rights of women. He proudly pointed out that Cuba’s Parliament is 48.8 percent female and the governments of the local provinces elected 46 percent women. Currently the U.S. Congress had 19.4 percent women.

Alarcon also reminded the delegates that since 2003, Cuban mothers and fathers receive one year paid maternity/paternity leave. The U.S. government has no law requiring paid leave for new parents.

Cuba, after being abandoned by the Soviet Union in 1991 is transitioning away from its old Soviet-style model of state planning of economy used in the 60s, 70s and 80s. In the new economy, the country – having survived the “Special Period” of the 1990s when the Soviet Union withdrew support – some 440,000 workers are now self-employed. Revalo is now one of the so-called self-employed Cubans. Virtually all Cubans worked for the state government until the Special Period.

Alarcon noted “we should not be afraid of capitalists. This time it won’t be like when Columbus came.” He emphatically stated, “Cuba is not for sale. You must get the approval of the government, which will say yes or no” to capital investment in the country.

Our tour guide Betty, who works for the same co-op travel agency as Jesus, told us we need to remember that “most Cubans owned nothing in 1959 when the nationalization of property occurred. Fidel recognizes we have made mistakes. Here we are now without any model, without anybody to look to, working out our problems.”

Ravelo said that one of the country’s major changes was moving from sugar-only agriculture to diversified organic farming “because they had to.” Without financial credits from the Soviet Union and a guaranteed market for the sugar exports, Cuba could no longer employ the industrial strength model of heavy herbicides and pesticides.

When asked why there was not better internet service in Cuba and whether it had to do with an authoritarian government, Alarcon answered that it was “because the U.S. does not permit us” to get internet service and it has to go through Canada which never broke relations with Cuba.

Alarcon offered a question to the delegates: “Why did your government make it so hard to come to Cuba? We invite you to come and make up your own mind. Why does your government stop people from coming and making up their own mind? One state cannot dictate to another state.”

He also suggested that one day the people of the U.S. may not be under the control of a “plutocracy” but it may “take some time” and that “we don’t want to impose a social revolution on the United States.”

The Code Pink delegates listened to the Cuban people, shared knowledge and ideas, and agreed to take their words back to the people of the United States. Their key request is that the U.S. government end the blockade. The second request is to remove Cuba from the state-sponsored terrorist list. The third request is to stop torturing detainees at Guantanamo and return that land to the Cuban people.

As C. Wright Mills stated, “If we do not listen to them, if we do not hear them well, we face all the perils of ignorance—and with these, the perils of dangerous mistakes.”

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Don’t miss these two Free Press films

Free Press free fourth Tuesday Movie: Racing to Zero, In Pursuit of Zero Waste
Tuesday, Nov 25, 7:30pm
Drexel Theater, 2254 E. Main St.
Racing To Zero (59 min) is a quick-moving, up-beat documentary that presents new solutions to the global problem of waste. Although waste may create garbage, garbage is in itself a resource, and that is the key. Our film follows the trail of trash and recycling with our guide, Robert Haley, Zero Waste Manager for the City of San Francisco as we travel the city from high to low and look behind-the-scenes at how zero waste can be achieved.
Co-sponsored by Simply Living, the Columbus Free Press, and the Columbus Film Council.
614-354-6172 or Chuck.Lynd@gmail.com or simplyliving.org
614-253-2517 or colsfreepress@ gmail.comThe Columbus International Film + Video Festival and LGBTFEST Stonewall Columbus present:

City of the Damned
15 minutes
Mor Albalak, Shaneika Lai, Stephanie Lee. Matthew Rogers, Nate Skeen, Stephanie Lincoln

Campaign of Hate: Russia and Gay Propaganda
Free Press film festival winner
78 minutes
Michael Lucas

Friday, November 21
Reception at 6:00pm, films at 7:30pm

Canzani Center at the Columbus College Of Art & Design
60 Cleveland Ave.
Columbus, Ohio
(Just south of the giant ART with free parking in CCAD lots)

City of the Damned

City of the Damned focuses on LGBT rights in the face of the brutal anti-homosexuality bill before the Ugandan Parliament. Although the death penalty has been withdrawn from the bill due heavily to international pressure, punishments are harsh and public opinion remains the biggest threat to the Ugandan LGBT community. The daring non-governmental organization Youth on Rock Foundation is fighting against this stigma by promoting economic empowerment among its members. Najib, YRF’s treasurer, sells clothes in Uganda’s largest market. He wants to prove that his sexuality does not define him; it’s his respect for life, his determination for equality, and his aspirations to become a lawyer and self-respecting Ugandan citizen.

Campaign of Hate: Russia and Gay Propaganda

As most of the world moves forward toward gay equality, Russia is seemingly heading backward. Antigay sentiment and legislation are spreading rapidly throughout the country. In 2013, the Russian parliament passed a ban on so-called ‘gay propaganda’ that effectively makes nearly any public discussion of gay equality a crime.

Q&A with filmmakers Michael Lucas and Stephanie Lincoln following the films.

Admission is $8 or FREE for 2014 CFC/CIF+VF Members, CCAD students and staff.

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Free Press Second Saturday Salon

Eddie Pfau and Bob Fitrakis

Free Press Second Saturday Salon
Saturday, July 12 – 6:30-11:30pm
1021 E. Broad St. (outdoors, weather permitting)

Eddie Pfau and Bob Fitrakis
Join progressive friends for socializing, networking, art, food, music by Stephen Dodge and a presentation by Eddie Pfau, Green Party candidate for Domestic Court Judge.
614-253-2571
colsfreepress@gmail.com

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Green Party to march in the Pride Parade, Free Press FREE Movie on Tuesday!

Join the Green Party to march in the
Pride Parade this weekend and
Join us for the Free Press FREE Movie on Tuesday!

March in the Columbus Pride Parade Saturday, June 21 @ 11am Join the Franklin County Green Party and the Hart for Congress campaign Meet on Front Street (between Main and Broad) at 11am. Look for the Hart for Congress banner or call 614-374-2380 for directions.

March in the Columbus Pride Parade
Saturday, June 21 @ 11am
Join the Franklin County Green Party and the
Hart for Congress campaign
Meet on Front Street (between Main and Broad) at 11am. Look for the Hart for Congress banner or call 614-374-2380 for directions.

<a href=Growing Cities: A Film about Urban Farming in America Tuesday, June 24, 7:30pm Drexel Theater, 2254 E. Main St. This award-winning documentary examines the role of urban farming in America and asks how much power it has to revitalize our cities and to change the way we eat. A question-and-answer discussion will follow with a panel moderated by Michelle Moskowitz Brown, Director of Local Matters. Co-sponsored by Simply Living, the Columbus Free Press, and the Columbus Film Council. Contact: Chuck.Lynd@gmail.com or call 614-354-6172 colsfreepress@gmail.com or (614) 253-2571

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Free Press Second Saturday Salon June ~14th

The latest issue of the Free Press is out and on news racks everywhere.

In this issue Bob discusses the implications of the defeat of the Zoo Levy. Columbus voters defied the downtown elite and voted the level down by an overwhelming 70%!

We will be talking about this and other important issues at our monthly Second Saturday Salon on June 14th. Join progressive friends for food, drink and music at 1021 east Broad from 6:30pm – 11:00pm.

We will also be talking about the Ohio Green Party’s extraordinary victory. Despite the obfuscation, last minute law changes, and interference from John Husted Ohio voters wrote in enough votes during the recent primary to keep the Green Party on the ballot.

The Free Press is still out investigating and still breaking the news. Read about Mike DeWine’s apparent cover-up of a controversial police shooting.

Our Arts and Entertainment section is still one step ahead of the Alive with a review of the recent X-Men release and a response to their flailing stab at a top 10 X-men story.

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Free Press Second Saturday Salon May 10

Free Press Second Saturday Salon
Saturday, May 10, 2014 from 6:30-11pm
1021 E. Broad St.
Join progressive friends for food, fun, music, art, socializing and networking. Presentation on new book “Condemned: The Whole Story” by death row inmate and one of Lucasville Five, Bomani Shakur. He will read from the book and call in live from prison.
614-253-2571
colsfreepress@gmail.com