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Elders’ Day of Action!!

We’re making some history and you can be part of it. You’ve made it possible; come and enjoy it.

We’re asking people to register for the March 16th Day of Action. It will help us plan our activities and the technology we need.

https://radicalelders.net/day-of-action-march-16/

March 16, Noon to 8:00 pm U.S. Eastern time.

Here’s what’s in store:

Opening Ceremony — Owl, representing the Ramapo Lanape Nation

Safety Net Panel — Alex Lawson, Executive Director, Social Security Works; Evelyn Jones Rich, NYC Municipal Retiree; Ana Malinow, National Single Payer Network; Jose R. Sanchez, Board Chair, National Institute for Latino Policy; Phil Warlick, Labor Leader, Coordination Team – Radical Elders

Triggered Action

Movement Exercise — Choreographer Rosalind Newman

Writing as Activism — Writer, Educator and Radical Elders leader Maritza Arrastia

Dance Performance — CUMBE Center for African & Diaspora Dance

Mapping the Future — workshop led by Makani Themba

Triggered Action

Performance — NYC Labor Chorus; Ted Glick & Solidarity Singers

Mini-Concert — Vibraphonist Kevin Norton and friends

Musical Performance — Luci Murphy and friends

Shout-outs from prominent activists all over the country;

Live broadcasts from various local events and actions by elders in cities nationwide.

Some of our members are planning their own activities: leafletting on some issue or getting together in someone’s house for a group viewing and conversation or…well…whatever you want to do. If that’s the case, let us know at info@radicalelders.net so we can support you and arrange to broadcast a few minutes from your action.

Otherwise, just tune into the Zoom link we’ll be sending out the week before the action and the leave your computer connected to the Zoom. You’ll be linked to the entire day’s activities and can participate whenever you want and can.

Finally, spread the word. Everyone’s invited, whatever age. You belong to other organizations? Invite them. This is an effort every member should be part of.

We’ll be in touch from now on pretty regularly with more information including a half-page leaflet for you to distribute among friends For now, though, we’re just asking that you register.

https://radicalelders.net/day-of-action-march-16/

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Ready?

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On the Situation in Gaza

a statement by Radical Elders

November 2, 2023

Radical Elders adds our voice to the worldwide outcry for an immediate ceasefire in the Israeli government’s genocidal war against Palestinians in Gaza. The insanity of our imperialist, racial capitalist world continues to explode. We add our voice to the world’s outrage at this most recent eruption, in one of the last settler colonialist struggles. The world must not remain silent to what Jewish Israeli historian Ilan Pappe calls the “incremental genocide” Israel has been inflicting on Gaza for the last 16 years.

We call for an immediate end to U.S material military support for the government of Israel; an end to the gigantic material support we, as taxpayers, give the Israeli government, which before the current crisis amounted to $10.4 million every day; a bill has been introduced in Congress to send an additional $14.3 billion to Israel.

We call for an end to U.S. political support for Israel’s current escalation of its long war on Gaza, and its 75 year war on the Palestinians.

We demand that our government call on our declared ally IMMEDIATELY to end the criminal shutdown of all food, water, fuel, electricity and medical supplies to Gaza, and demand an IMMEDIATE and complete ceasefire.

Some of our members criticize the actions of Hamas and other Palestinian organizations in their October 7, 2023 attack on Israel. Other members believe that sometimes people fighting for their freedom have no other option. In all cases, we mourn all deaths, believe that violence is an insane solution to this situation and absolutely reject war as an answer to this crisis.

As a US-based national organization of Radical Elders, united by our mini-program, we take stands on issues directly connected to our mini-program:

Racism and white supremacy: Our mini-program recognizes the importance of supporting struggles against “colonialism and imperialism, and … their enabling forms of oppression such as racism and white supremacy” as well as “the dehumanization of systematically excluded or oppressed populations.”

We oppose the racism structured into the apartheid Israeli state. We believe those structures underlie the settler colonialism that the Palestinians have been resisting since the Nakba. Further, we believe that opposing an ideology of white Jewish supremacy in Israel’s apartheid regime, connects to our struggle against racism in our country, whether it is the many United States police departments who train in Israel and learn how to “mow the lawn” here, or the impunity with which the Israeli regime has functioned in the world. We cannot eradicate the oppression of racism in our country while it flourishes anywhere in our world.

Further, the US government is supporting the racism of the Israeli apartheid regime both ideologically, and materially.

Impact of Militarism on elders: When all resources are cut off and a people are carpet-bombed, as in Gaza, elders are among the highest casualties.

As Radical Elders we have seen time and time again that by funding the military this country’s resources that should be used to provide its citizens with a sustainable productive life and clean renewable energy, are directed toward a criminal militarist foreign policy. We see the impact of that destructive waste of resources throughout the society and, as elders, we feel it particularly.

As our mini-program makes clear, we consider military aid an immoral, destructive scam that channels the resources that should be used to address our own problems and society’s deficiencies, into the hands of the arms industry. We see too many of our compatriots without decent shelter, medical care, and we need our government to pivot from supporting the arms contractors to supporting our citizens and residents. Instead of improving our society, they facilitate the destruction of lives and societies world-wide.

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Events Information

RE was there!

Radical Elders was part of the Elders hub (contingent) at the highly successful, huge March to End Fossil Fuels in New York City on September 17.

We helped lead the hub, carried its banners (pushing to make sure one of the two was in Spanish, btw) and made our presence (and position) felt in so many ways: including our t-shirts.

The spectacularly successful march of what some media are saying were 75,000 people was part of a Climate Change week of activities as the U.N. discusses that existential threat and what countries can do about it. Our mini-program makes it clear: stop using fossil fuels, start pushing sane energy solutions and start organizing our communities and lives to deal with this new normal capitalist greed has created.

This is the first of many public activities RE is planning so let’s get on board and tell the world: “We ain’t done yet!”

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Announcements Events Information

We’re Marching on Sept. 17!

On September 17, a Sunday, thousands of activists will take to the New York City streets in a march and demonstration to end fossil fuel use. The action coincides with the United Nations’ Climate Ambition Summit and its demand is simple: stop the use of fossil fuels, a major driver of the climate change and environmental instability that is threatening the continued existence of the human race.

Radical Elders is organizing a contingent for this march because, as activists, we’re deeply concerned about the issue. But we also feel we have a responsibility to point out to our movements and to the world that climate change, driven by fossil fuel, is an elder issue and that elder presence in these demonstrations and in their programs is essential.

  • We are quickest to die from climate instability and rapid temperature change events.
  • Disruption of our communities and destruction of our homes, devastating for all, particularly threatens us with permanent homelessness since it’s already tough for elders to find housing. Forcing elders out of a community is highly impactful since we, more than anyone else, depend on our neighbors for our sustainability.
  • The progressive homicidal deterioration of the quality of food, air and water kills us first because we’re older and more vulnerable.
  • After we’ve worked our whole lives for our children and grand-children, climate change will make their lives impossible.

It hurts everyone. It hurts us first. Everyone must act to contain it. We must be on the front-lines.

If you’re in or near the New York metropolitan area or can travel to it on September 17, consider joining us at this demonstration. We’ll have banners and leaflets and everything needed to make our statement and to support the demonstration’s statement. We’re also organizing with other elders groups to make a large elders contingent.

So…first step…sign up so we know you’re coming and can start organizing our participation.

Use this registration form:

You have questions? info@radicalelders.net

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Statements

The NYT and the “New McCarthyism”

Responding to a horrible article in the New York Times that included an attack on the People’s Forum, a group of organizations and people have signed a statement reprinted below. Radical Elders is one of those co-signers.

McCarthyism Is Back: Together We Can Stop It

We stand together against the rise of a new McCarthyism that is targeting peace activists, critics of US foreign policy, and Chinese Americans. Despite increased intimidation, we remain steadfast in our mission to foster peace and international solidarity, countering the narrative of militarism, hostility, and fear.

As the US government grapples with a major crisis of legitimacy, it has grown fearful of young people becoming conscious and organized to change the world. Influential media outlets like The New York Times have joined right-wing extremists in using intimidation tactics to silence these advocates for change, affecting not only the left but everyone who supports free speech and democratic rights.

The political and media establishments, both liberal and conservative, have initiated McCarthy-like attacks against individuals and organizations criticizing US foreign policy, labeling peace advocates as “Chinese or foreign agents.” This campaign uses innuendo and witch hunts, posing a threat to free speech and the right to dissent. We must oppose this trend.

Scientists, researchers, and service members of Chinese descent have been falsely accused of espionage and unregistered foreign agency, often with cases later collapsing due to insufficient evidence. Similar to the old “Red Scare” and McCarthy periods, when scores of organizations and leaders like W.E.B Du Bois, Eugene Debs, Emma Goldman, Paul Robeson and Martin Luther King Jr and others were attacked with fact-less accusations, today, prominent organizations and individuals, including CODEPINK, The People’s Forum, and Tricontinental Institute have been targeted, with smears and accusations propagated by outlets like The New York Times.

Their strategy paints a sinister image of a secret network funding the peace movement. However, there’s nothing illegal or fringe about opposing a New Cold War or a “major power conflict” with China, views shared by hundreds of millions globally. Receiving donations from US citizens who share these views is not illicit.

Media outlets have tried to scandalize funding sources of several organizations that are on the frontlines working with anti-racist, feminist, anti-war, abolitionist, climate justice, and other movements throughout the United States and globally. Meanwhile, when white neoliberal philanthropists flood the non-profit complex with significant funds to support their political agendas this is rarely scrutinized or made accountable to the communities they impact.

From The New York Times to Fox News, there’s a resurgence of the Red Scare that once shattered many lives and threatened movements for change and social justice. This attack isn’t only on the left but against everyone who exercises their free speech and democratic rights. We must firmly resist this racist, anti-communist witch hunt and remain committed to building an international peace movement. In the face of adversity, we say NO to xenophobic witch hunts and YES to peace.

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A Win in NYC — for now!

A Manhattan judge temporarily blocked the city Friday from switching all public sector retirees to a privatized healthcare plan.  Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Lyle Frank sided with retirees, issuing a temporary restraining order that prevents the city from proceeding with a plan to move the city’s 250,000 retirees to a Medicare Advantage plan managed by Aetna.

Radical Elders oppose NYC from switching NYC public sector retirees to privatized Medicare Advantage  plan.

Radical Elders members have been making calls, writing letters, testifying and participating in  rallies,marches and demos. They include (in alphabetical order) Jose Alfaro, Lizette Colon, David Forbes, Bobby Greenberg, Ana Juarbe, Kathe Karlson, Andrea Lyman, Angel Roman, Barbara Turk, and Blanca Vazquez
NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees : https://www.nycretirees.org/

The organization—along with a number of city unions and retiree groups—are opposing the change and advocating for retirees to maintain their current coverage through original Medicare and city-funded supplemental insurance. We are mobilizing both city retirees and active workers to advocate for maintaining the benefits to which they are entitled and are in the process of preparing legal actions to support this outcome.

PRESS:

1) Labor This Week (Video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zWJVhUSRxo

2) Daily News:https://www.yahoo.com/news/judge-temporarily-blocks-mayor-adams-193000605.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuYmluZy5jb20v&guce_referrer_sig=AQA

3. Gothamist: https://gothamist.com/news/judge-blocks-medicare-advantage-switch-for-250k-nyc-retirees-days-before-crucial-deadline

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Diane Dujon — Presente!

Radical Elders leader Diane Dujon joined our ancestors on May 29, 2023. Diane was an inspiration to us all as she confronted all challenges with clarity, political commitment and enormous warmth and love of people. We in RE will miss her and remain grateful for the opportunity to work with her. This is the leaflet for her life celebration.

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Disappearing Safety Net Webinar

This is the video of Radical Elders’ April 15 webinar/conversation on the Disappearing Safety Net

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Statements

Ten Reasons to Take Action Now on the Climate Emergency!

An Urgent Call by Radical Elders

We are Radical Elders who care deeply about the world our children and grandchildren are inheriting from us. We are particularly outraged by the continued dominance of the fossil fuel industry—oil, coal and methane gas—allied with other mega-corporations, and their criminal efforts to keep the world hooked on their destructive products as long as possible solely for private profit. Time is short and the need for action is urgent.

  1. Elders, especially low-income, low-wealth, and people of color elders, are and will be disproportionately affected by the increasing number and strength of heat waves, polar vortices, wildfires, floods, droughts, earthquakes, and major storms as the climate emergency deepens. Under our current corporate-dominated economic and political system, tens of millions of people do not have the resources to have a decent chance of dealing with these emergency situations. Emergency funding is needed now to expand inadequate local and state climate-change disaster infrastructure and personnel. We support the creation of climate-change disaster sanctuaries in all public schools and other public buildings in every neighborhood and town across the U.S.
  2. The world must rapidly shift from fossil fuels to wind, solar, and other as-clean-as-possible renewable energy sources, as well as energy conservation measures, such as massive insulation and air sealing of buildings, efficiency, and a widespread ethic of conservation. We particularly support “power to the people” in the form of solar and wind cooperatives including community-controlled and -led microgrids, such as the inspiring example of Casa Pueblo in Adjuntas, Puerto Rico. We support democratic and community, not corporate, control over all electricity production and distribution including the local, regional, and national electricity grid. We oppose nuclear power as a supposed “solution” and mega green energy projects that seize land, push people off it, and destroy Mother Nature
  3. Those of us who benefit economically because of the Global North’s historic and continuing oppression and exploitation of the Global South have a responsibility to both consciously challenge that reality and support programs that lead to society-wide reductions in wasteful and harmful overuse of energy. Without collective, cooperative, equitable energy reductions in the Global North and moving from individual solutions based on wealth to societal solutions based on need, humans will never win the race between fossil-fuel extraction and conservation-based renewable energy.
  4. In our work for a just transition to clean energy and sustainable living, we uplift that Indigenous resistance has stopped greenhouse gas pollution equivalent to nearly ¼ (24%) of annual, total U.S. and Canadian emissions. We support returning land to Native people, recognizing that while comprising less than 5% of the world’s population, Indigenous people protect 80% of global biodiversity. We recognize the fundamental importance of Indigenous rights and support honoring all treaties signed by the U.S. government with Indigenous Nations, noting that Article VI of the U.S. Constitution defines treaties as the supreme law of the land.
  5. We support organizations based in local environmental-justice communities, those who have suffered for decades from the air, land, and water pollution caused by the fossil-fuel industry, in their fights against environmental racism and classism. Especially egregious examples are the ongoing Flint, Michigan lead-in-water disaster and the racist proposed takeover and lack of funding and maintenance of the Jackson, Mississippi water system. We call for the shutting down of existing, polluting, fossil-fuel plants and other fossil-fuel infrastructure in EJ communities. We oppose the construction of any new fossil-fuel infrastructure, as called for by the International Energy Agency (!) two years ago.  
  6. We demand societal solutions that are of benefit to all. We need all-electric, free, accessible, 24/7/365 bus and rail public transportation funded by federal, state, and local governments. Electric cars and trucks are a better solution than gas-fueled vehicles, but all-electrified public transportation and all-electrified freight and passenger rail are the best options. We support not just heat pumps and solar panels, but also widespread insulation and weatherization of all buildings.
  7. We demand the enactment of a strong Green New Deal that connects action on the climate emergency with job creation, new housing construction, Medicare for All, poverty elimination, taxing the rich, and similar steps.
  8. We demand the shift of money from the Pentagon budget to Green New Deal–type programs. The U.S. military itself is the largest single institutional producer of greenhouse gases in the world. War is the most environmentally destructive human activity ever.
  9. We call for land reform that generates a shift away from corporate, industrial agriculture to local rural and urban farming cooperatives and family farms that produce organic healthy food and are democratically controlled by local families who work the land to naturally sequester carbon in the soil. We call for an end to large-scale monoculture plantations and the continuing destruction of woods and forests and those Indigenous and other peoples sustainably living within them all over the world. We oppose all forms of geoengineering, carbon capture and storage, and all corporate schemes that only perpetuate the fossil fuel industry.
  10. Most immediately, we demand that President Biden, governors, and mayors use their powers to issue Executive Orders declaring a climate emergency and then use those powers to advance these kinds of climate justice solutions.

Time is short. Climate scientists predict that the 2023 and especially the 2024 summers will be the hottest in recorded history because of the combined effects of El Niño and global heating. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in 2021 that the world must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 to have a chance of avoiding major and escalating ecosystem and societal breakdowns going forward. Some steps toward that end are being taken but nowhere near enough, while the extraction of fossil fuels is actually increasing. With young people and others, we must rise like the waters because we hear the voices of our grandchildren saying, shut this crisis down.