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Tidbits - January 26, 2017 - Reader Comments: Standing Against Trump - Defending Immigrants and the Massive Women's March; How Big Were the Marches; The '60s-Years that Changed America-Carnegie Hall Festival; and more...

Reader Comments: Standing Against Trump - Defending Immigrants and the Massive Women's March; How Big Were the Marches - links to local stories; March Size and City Population - Who Had the Best Turnout?; Marching in Pensacola, Florida After the Hurricane; Elizabeth Gurley Flynn-The Rebel Girl; Announcements: Fighting Fascism-Remembering the Abraham Lincoln Brigade; The '60s-The Years that Changed America Carnegie Hall Festival; and more...

Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources and Announcements - January 26, 2017,Portside
We must signal-now, while news of these likely actions is breaking-that we will not accept this assault on our communities and our values.
And we won't stop at signs-we'll follow up with pressure on our elected officials, advocacy on the state and local levels, and by exploring other legal avenues to block these outrageous acts.
Trump's executive actions desecrate values Americans hold dear:
  •     A promise-rooted in our nation's Constitution-which prevents people from being targeted based on their religion.
  •     A centuries-old commitment to opening our doors-lifting our lamp, as Emma Lazarus wrote in her famous 1883 poem emblazoned on the Statue of Liberty-to refugees and immigrants from around the world.
  •     And an understanding that we owe a great debt to generations of immigrants and refugees whose innovation and labor have driven this nation forward.
Click here to print out one (or more) 8.5" x 11" black-and-white sign and hang one in your home or on a bulletin board at a local school. Display it in the window of your car or pin it to your backpack. Post it at your town hall, library, community of faith, or in the window of a local business.
(And when you download the signs, be sure to tell us where you'll be posting them so we can make sure the national media and members of Congress understand the vast, passionate, and courageous opposition mobilizing today and for the days, weeks, and months to come.)
Your action today builds on the massive resistance exemplified by Saturday's exquisite and vast Women's Marches, as well as the 200 rallies that happened yesterday at Senate offices nationwide as part of #ResistTrumpTuesdays, powered by MoveOn members and our allies.
Thanks for all you do.
-Jo, Gabby, Mark, Robert, and the rest of the team
In just the first days of Trump's White House, we've seen proof that this is an extremist administration, relying on hurt and hate. The leader tells lies, seeks to appoint extremists, desires to repeal health care, and authorizes dangerous pipelines.
Now we hear that Trump is about to take on refugees, Muslims and immigration. 
The United States Constitution expressly establishes freedom of religion as a core American value. Furthermore, our deepest religious values call us to welcome and not refuse our brothers and sisters. It is also written on our shores:
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."
When these words were placed on Lady Liberty, they were not meant for only white, or only non-Muslims. Trump's proposed ban on travelers, even children, from Muslim-majority and Middle Eastern nations, along with threats against Mexicans and others who try to enter our country at our southern border, are the first steps in a Trump-era agenda that criminalizes faith, nationality, and people of color. This immoral agenda flies in the face of the values we hold dear. 
These acts smell of racism and reek of xenophobia. They are the antithesis of the Bible, which declares, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: `Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31)
An immoral agenda which contradicts Scripture and our deepest common values will make us less safe and weaken our democracy.
We do not -- we will not -- ban, register, or deport people based on their religion, their country of origin, or their skin color - not Muslims, not Mexicans, not Syrians - not anyone.
President, National Senior lecturer
Repairers of the Breach
Architect of Moral Mondays and Moral Revival
[Many thanks to Pat Fry for sending these photos to Portside from last nights' Emergency Rally in Opposition to Trump's Deportation Orders in New York City.]
Yesterday afternoon, President Trump signed an executive order threatening to withhold federal funding from cities that protect law-abiding immigrants from deportation.
This executive order runs contrary to the values of our city, and the values of the United States.
Immigrants are part of our communities, not second-class citizens. They are our neighbors. They own nearly half of the small-businesses in our city and create jobs and opportunity for many people. We are going to protect and respect them in New York City.
In solidarity,
Bill de Blasio
Mayor, New York City
This is how you #StandwithStandingRock
Read more here
If you need inspiration check out this link to see how many marched, world-wide:
Many could not march, but wish you could. No matter, there will be many more like this and many other activities.
Collection in progress by Jeremy Pressman (@djpressman, U of Connecticut) and Erica Chenoweth (@EricaChenoweth, U of Denver).
With thanks to Rivera Sun, Sarah Syverson, & many others for assistance compiling sources.
To submit additional information, please use this form.
January 22, 2017
On Friday, Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States before a crowd of about a quarter of a million people gathered on the National Mall.
The following day, half a million people took to the street's in our nation's capital for the #WomensMarch in order to "stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families - recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country." 
Along with the central march in Washington, DC, there were another 2.5 million… people participating in 600 sister marches world wide.
The largest marches were in Los Angeles (750k), Washington, DC (500k), New York (400k) and Chicago (250k). It is not surprising the biggest crowds were in the three most populous cities and our nation's capital. 
The top ten largest marches* were:
Los Angeles, CA: 750,000
Washington, DC: 500,000
New York, NY: 400,000
Boston, MA: 100,000
Chicago, IL: 250,000
Denver, CO: 100,000
Madison, WI: 100,000
Portland, OR: 100,000
Seattle, WA: 100,000
St. Paul, MN: 90,000
BUT, when we look at the size of the march compared to the city population, rather than the raw numbers by city, things get interesting. 
Washington, DC comes out on top, with number of  participants equivalent to 75% of their population. [Before we move forward, let's break that down: Washington, DC has a population of 659,000 people. They had 500,000 marchers. So the percentage of marchers, as compared to the city's population, was 500,000/659,000 = 75.87%.] But many people traveled from all over the country to participate in the central march.
Second to DC, the clear winner of marchers by city population was Madison, WI with over 40% turnout!!!
When rearranged for turnout ratio, the top marching cities are now as follows:
Washington, DC: 75.87%
Madison, WI: 41.15%
St. Paul, MN: 30.51%
Los Angeles, CA: 19.23%
Portland, OR: 16.42%
Boston, MA: 15.5%
Denver, CO: 15.38%
Seattle, WA: 15.34%
Chicago, IL: 9.26%
New York, NY: 4.76%
Great work Madison, Wisconsin. Way to represent your values.
Check out some of the great social content from the day at #WomensMarchMadison.
*March sizes sourced from The Hill.
Population size is based on city limits and sourced from the Google Knowledge Graph.
This awesome infographic was created by iCandy-Graphics and Web Design.  Follow them on Twitter @iCandyGraphics1.
Women's March: Jan. 21, 2017 Pensacola, Florida
The worst weather in the United States erupted this morning as our small band suited up to drive from Daphne, Alabama, my hometown, to Pensacola for the Women's March. Tornado alarms screamed as we drove through rain and wind toward Morning Joe's hometown.
Four women organizers in our crowded SUV talked to driver Kent about not hydroplaning.  "Warning," someone reminded us, "means there's a twister on the ground somewhere nearby."  Another declared that if there were only a dozen people at the march, at least we would be there.
Nearing the end of Palafox at Luna Plaza in Pensacola we could make out rainbows of bright umbrellas and rain slickers, as small groups with dripping signs surged toward the troubled waters of the bay.  The lighting cracking above raised signs and umbrellas ignited my moderate to severe PTSD.  Dark clouds hovered just above the water while Kent eased the BMW into a miraculously open parking place smack in front of a café awning shielding a few huddled marchers. Being the only man in the car, I was soon ordered to jump out for updated news of the march and rally. Smiling folks said the platform speaking was postponed till 12:30 pm due to the lightening. Thinking we might relax, we breathed relief but seconds later a huge army of shouting women, men, young people, and children came barreling down the flooded street. Sally Pat suddenly bailed out, disappearing in a sea of soaked but happy folks.
Michele grabbed her "Keep Abortion Legal" sign along with one of the two available beach umbrellas while I latched on to the other. We left Kent and Pamela alone figuring out the SUV's next move - give up a secure parking place or take a chance on finding one nearer the stage?
The protest river growing by the moment, we kept our phones as dry as possible, taking photos for Facebook and twitter. A multitude gathered where the sand met the bay, making me wonder how on earth there could be this many progressive people willing to risk death by lighting while protesting the new administration.  This, in the conservative, extremist, Florida panhandle known worldwide as LA, lower Alabama?!
       Something must be happening!
Bob Zellner
This is a March for everyone - women and men. It is against Trump's agenda, which is an anti-human agenda. If you can't go to D.C., then march near you!
Diane Laison
(posting on Portside Labor)
Also, the UAW is sending eleven buses from NY, as well as others from the Northeast.
Emily Barnett, President ACT-UAW Local 7902
The foreboding boggles the mind. Soon there will no scientists to issues warnings about global warning. Soon the carbon extractive energy (coal and oil) corporation will have us convinced that there is no discernible global warning that science cannot diminish, reduce, eradicate.
Dare I say, writing this word " RESIST" might be banned from FB? I do not think I am being hysterical.... Queen that I am of "worst case scenario" imagining.
Larry Aaronson
I'm puzzled, have been for a while, how did Red get to stand for the right wing, for reactionaries, for white supremacists? Isn't red the color of communists? Just saying
Cynthia Cuza
I think it derived from "rednecks" as used to describe working-class white men in the South...In other words, the conservatives moved to the right, the progressives moved to the center, and there's no Left left.
Jacqueline Lapidus
At the same time, successive Congresses and administrations have cut the programs that once helped sustain life in this country. Now, with the threatened repeal of Obamacare (and so the potential loss of medical insurance for at least 20 million Americans), the Republicans may literally cut off the lives of people who depend on that program for treatments that help them survive.
I call it mob Lynching
Melvin H King
The history of the USA shows that this country is very much like a coin: It has two inseparable sides. On one hand, it can be open-minded and generous; on the other hand, it can be prejudiced and viciously brutal. It can give you Jimmy Carter and also Richard Nixon. It can give you Barack Obama and then Donald Trump. As long as the hand of History continues to flip the American Coin, you are bound to periodically get one side or the other.
Serge Madhere
...well said. A major issue in this country is that however the coin flips several nefarious variables remain constant. Capitalism will now be more fully under the control of the severe capitalists. Institutional and individual white racism coupled with capitalism continue to disadvantage too many vulnerable American citizens.
Marcia Sutherland
What about loaded coins? As a mathematician you know that the probability to get a head on a coin toss is 50% and it is the same for a tail, but when the coin is loaded, you may have a different ball game...I submit that for this cycle the coin was loaded.
Marc-Arthur Pierre-Louis
Cartoon by Joe Heller
Green Bay Press-Gazette
January 23, 2017
To:  Mary Anne Trasciatti
Thank you for this wonderful article on Elizabeth Gurney Flynn.  I would like to tell you something about Flynn that I think you do not know and which is a moving and beautiful moment in her life.  Actually, in the lives of two great women - Flynn and Helen Keller. You did not include this in your article so I assume you may not know about it.
While Flynn was in prison, convicted I believe for "planning to teach the advocacy of the overthrow of the government," she had a birthday.  And the great Helen Keller (I have a pamphlet about her entitled "Helen Keller: Her Socialist Years") knew about this and wrote a birthday note to Flynn.  It was printed in the Daily Worker, the Communist Party USA newspaper, where I saw it.
It said, in Helen Keller's handwritten block letters:
Loving birthday greetings, dear Elizabeth Gurley Flynn.  May the sense of serving mankind bring peace and comfort to your courageous heart.
The caption in the Daily Worker was "Courageous Hearts."
I have never forgotten this.
Dena Barbara
Mt. Upton, NY
This is a comment I posted on the Jewish Currents website.  I think it's directly relevant to the subject Mary Anne Trasciatti just wrote about: Elizabeth Gurley Flynn
The most important leader in the founding of the ACLU was Roger Baldwin, who called Emma Goldman the greatest speaker he had ever heard, saying she had done more for civil liberties in this country than any organization, up to her deportation, Dec. 21, 1919. In 1940, Baldwin took a neutral stand when Ernst, Elmer Rice, and others attacked Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, defended by Corliss Lamont and others, re her dual membership on the boards of the ACLU and the American Communist Party. By a vote of 10-9 she was expelled from the ACLU board, later became one of the convicted Smith Act defendants, and exiled herself to Moscow, where she wrote her memoirs and died in 1964. (She is buried in Chicago's Waldheim Cemetery, right near Emma Goldman.) 
In 1972, the ACLU retroactively rescinded her expulsion.  She is memorialized in Joe Hill's song, "Rebel Girl," in Lamont's "The Trial of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn," Rosalyn Baxandall's biography of her, "Words on Fire," and my 7-song cycle based on her love poems, found in the Tamiment Library and dedicated to Baxandall and Lamont (who commissioned it).  The recording by Helene Williams was re-released by Parma Records Jan. 13, 2017. The title of the album, "Harmonize Your Spirit With My Calm" comes from the first song in the cycle, which Helene will sing at Community Church Feb. 3 and Queens College Feb. 9. Here is a video of her performing it Jan. 13, 2017. 
Leonard J. Lehrman
The article didn't mention that the Book "Rebel Girl", the autobiography of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn is available for immediate shipment from International Publishers, 212-366-9816, all credit cards accepted.
Gary Bono
Please note - Elizabeth Gurley Flynn was chairwoman of the CPUSA. Thanks for this piece. 
Len Yannielli
Gurley Flynn lived with Dr. Marie Equi in Portland for about 10 years from 1926 to 1936. (Portland Red Guide, pp 67-8)
"If  [Elizabeth Gurley] Flynn were alive today, she would surely be in the forefront of the struggle against the right-wing populism of the Trump administration. She would be resisting anti-free speech laws coming down the pipeline, and working to organize the unorganized.
For her, campaigns for democratic rights were bound up in the struggle for socialism, cross-racial solidarity was the foundation of any viable class politics, and the fight for liberation, while never over, always found its fullest expression in the streets."
Michael Munk
(posting on Portside Culture)
Now interested to read if books deal with specific work of Unions such as United Electrical Workers (UE) and their analysis and practices in bargaining, workplace struggles including organizing and legal strategies.
Leanna Noble
President Trumpery does not allow scientists to report to the public about research funded by the public.
Andrea Jacobs Talbutt
Say goodbye to the EPA. Just got in the way of making that one extra dollar!
Howie Leveton
I rely on Portside's newsfeed to get access to the best and most intelligent news. I had already taken Oxfam to task for its grossly innumerate, misleading headline on its repost of this story on my Facebook page, and then I saw that instead of picking up the original story with a correct headline (Eight richest men's total wealth equal to that of poorest 80%) you picked up the Oxfam blunder. It doesn't take more than a third-grade proficiency in arithmetic and a little common sense to realize that the Oxfam headline to this story involves a miscalculation by a factor of at least a few hundred billion, and a vast and pitiful lack of understanding about basic, basic statistical reporting. It's such a bad error that it actually fills me with dread for our future as a civilization. I think you owe your readers an apology.
Debra Keefer Ramage
Hello Team,
I emailed the reporter for Forbes last year asking why this list failed to mention Rotschilds, Papal holdings, various Royalty holdings and he never replied.
So in reality it is way worse than the 8 men with more resources than the bottom 3.6 billion people.
I hope you will post this.
Thanks so much for the excellent articles, always,
Vicki Gold
I hate these money faced people!
Elizabeth Cox
Seems like it.  Doesn't he have enough money?  Hasn't that bullshit he pioneered done enough damage (promoting mass narcissism and facilitating Trump's victory)?
Toure Reed
looking for solutions to this NEO-colonial behavior... suggestions welcome!
This struggle of Hawaiian people for the right to continue to live on their land and practice their own way of life is more than a just crusade, It is a sacred cause.  It is Zuckerburg and his billions who should have to vacate the land he has already managed to acquire and go elsewhere to settle in a place that will not disrupt the peaceful lives and cultures of human beings whom he may see as socially and culturally inferior to himself and other Europeans.
Myrtle Glascoe
A friend asked: "How do people keep hope alive under a dictatorship?" (Perhaps my relatively brief experience under a REAL dictatorship could help.)
First, it's not yet a dictatorship though the signs are not great. On the other hand what did people expect? But I cut my teeth as a musician learning to play concerts for the anti-Franco opposition when he was in power, and the Spanish people did not despair. They made jokes (I've got at least one great one I remember), held clandestine meetings, cultural events, etc.
I played some dozen or so concerts, only one of which was legal - for both the Workers Commissions (Comisiones Obreras) and at several solidly leftist universities - then as now the youth and students were among the vanguard of the opposition.
When we had to we drove around and around to make sure no one was following us (I was even blindfolded) and the concert were late at night. At the colleges the left was so strong the cops did not dare to show (though they were present and taking notes at least one of them, when the woman who split the show with me was arrested and they were looking for me). Demonstrations were illegal as well as gatherings of more than a half dozen or so people (don't remember the exact number).
So the anti-Franco left would have demos as follows: everyone would know in advance where it was to take place (including the cops), and hundreds would head there in small groups. People would then mill around until they felt there were enough of them - then out would come the banners and they would begin marching quickly. As they marched they would pass the word where to gather next - then quickly everyone would vanish. Later they would gather again - but this time there were a lot less cops and it would take longer for them to get there in strength. This would repeat.
The point is - whatever the conditions are, and we aren't there yet, as we can still assemble legally, and we have some hope in the courts and many states and cities - people who are determined to resist find ways to do so. As we should and we will.
Right now we need to protest when Steve Bannon (and make no mistake he's the one sitting on Trump's shoulder - arranging for all of these reactionary moves - Trump doesn't have the patience to come up with this stuff as rapidly as it's happening) - through Trump, orders and pushes for his backward proclamations.
And we need to organize locally and activate more people. Extend our hand to those honest Trump supporters who realize they were fooled (a lot voted for Obama, twice!) - and more importantly to those who sat out the election for whatever reason and didn't vote.
Run progressive candidates locally and state-wide, including and especially in the primaries where phony "liberals" are seated - and this will happen in many places even by November 2017! Our lawyers need to challenge regressive laws and proclamations in the courts. And we need to be ready to take back the Senate and/or the House in 2018. There's more, but this is for starters............
As they say, "where there's a will, there's a way." Hasta la Victoria Siempre!
Mike Glick
(posting on Portside Labor)
Many thanks to Jay Youngdahl for this excellent piece. It is interesting to hear that Andrew Stern now works openly as a corporate shill, but it is certainly no surprise. A dozen years ago I expended a lot of effort trying to make people understand that this man was, at that time, the fully embodied anti-Christ of American Labor.
Andrew Stern was always a businessman. Instead of going into the widget business, he elected to set out to make his fortune in the union business. (And let's give him his due credit. He retired from the union business as a wealthy man). He always considered unionism to be no more than a business model, and argued for more efficiency among union business entrepreneurs, like himself, in perfecting the model.
He rejected the very concept of unions as democratic organizations of workers, run by workers themselves. He openly sneered at the very idea, ("pastoral", he called it), of democracy in unions. He openly advocated that unions should be run from the top down, according to a military type chain of command. He `court-martialed' any leaders of SEIU locals, for insubordination, if they defied his commands. (He did not care how popular a union local leader might be in any local. If a person defied orders, she or he was stripped of rank and sent packing).
Stern conceived of unions as no more than service businesses, selling their services to a defined market. Like any business, unions should seek to expand so their revenues and profits, (and the salaries of their top managers), would continually grow.
Stern always advocated for extensive `cooperation' between unions' paying clients (workers) and the corporations for which their clients worked. It was best for the union business to maintain this atmosphere of cooperation with corporations in order to maximize union profits. Disruptions in the unions' `marketplace', though occasionally necessary, were, overall, bad for business, and were to be avoided unless absolutely necessary.
He tried hard, with considerable success, to `sell' the corporations themselves the concept that a union provided a corporation a service that was every bit as valuable to the corporations as that which the union provided to workers. In Stern's concept of unionism, a union was acting as an arm of management, helping to manage the workers by keeping them under control. He was largely successful in getting top corporate management to buy into the idea that giving workers a marginal raise, while still paying them sub-living wages, (i.e.: slave wages), was a good business move for the corporations.
Stern simply didn't care that many of his clients were working for `slave wages'. He used the marginal raises he influenced corporate management to provide, (to a slightly higher level of a sub-living wage), as a powerful and effective sales tool to expand the SEIU market share.
The concept of having a management agent whose function was to manage their workforces, with the workers actually paying the fees for this service, was an effective 'sales pitch' to present to the corporations. SEIU used this 'pitch' to build itself into the largest and most profitable union business in the US, whose paying clients are largely among the lowest paid segments of the American labor market.
Andrew Stern's concept of unionism is tailor-made for both our major political parties to embrace, and indeed for corporate management to adopt if and whenever their workers become so discontented that unions can no longer be avoided completely. Corporate unionism, the concept of unions functioning as an arm of management, to help control their workforces, is the perfect corporate device to forestall any possibility of true unionism among workers.
If this reptilian creature, Andrew Stern, is remembered by history at all, it will be as the `labor leader' who most effectively and insidiously undermined the power of the American Labor Movement.
Raymond Zwarich
David Berger
Saturday, January 28th -- 6 PM - 9 PM
176 St Nicholas Ave
The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives is proud to join forces with Mayday Space to commemorate the first deployment of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and its legacy for contemporary anti-fascism!
A moment to reflect on a struggle that captured the world's imagination.
With presentations by James D. Fernandez of ALBA and Lucas Shapiro of Mayday Space.
There will be snacks!
Special thanks to Sasha Hammad for organizing this event.
799 Broadway
Suite 341
New York, NY 10003
(212) 674-5398 ---
Listen here.
It was a time of turmoil. It was a time of change. A nation looked inward, reevaluating what it was and what it hoped to be. Half a century later, the cultural and social upheavals of the 1960s in the US and abroad inform nearly all aspects of our lives. For the first time, Carnegie Hall has looked to a figure outside the music world-Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist Robert A. Caro, famed biographer of Robert Moses and Lyndon B. Johnson-for inspiration in creating a festival, turning our attention to this singular decade.
The '60s: The Years that Changed America - Inspired by Robert A. Caro
Festival Events  --  January 14-March 24, 2018
The festival inevitably touches on the turbulent spirit of the '60s: the quest for civil rights, equal rights, and social justice; the empowerment of a young and restive generation; the division wrought by a distant war; and the emergence of a radical new aesthetic in reaction to modernism. Music was at the center of all these struggles and a meaningful vehicle to inspire change.
Among Carnegie Hall's offerings, two programs in the festival explore the nexus of music, protest, and social change: one featuring David Crosby with Snarky Puppy and guest artists, and the other led by composer, music director, and producer Ray Chew with a lineup of prominent fellow artists. There is also a performance by the Philip Glass Ensemble and new works premiered by the Kronos Quartet-one referencing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, and the other based on the work of author and activist Studs Terkel. Pianist Matthew Shipp and the legendary Roscoe Mitchell-a proponent of the free jazz movement that flourished in the '60s and a founder of the groundbreaking Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians-perform together for the first time. Other highlights include performances by Icelandic psychedelic pop band mùm, the socially and politically minded singer-songwriter Bhi Bhiman, and a multimedia concert that focuses on musical responses to the Vietnam War.
This special exploration of the 1960s extends citywide with music, lectures, panels, exhibitions, films, and more, thanks to partner programming created by leading cultural institutions, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Apollo Theater, the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, Keyes Art Projects, The Museum of Modern Art, New York City Center, New-York Historical Society, The New York Public Library, New York University, and The Paley Center for Media.
To understand where we were then, to understand where we are now, The '60s festival provides a guide to the years that forever changed America.
57th Street and Seventh Avenue, New York City
Monday, January 30 at 7 PM - 9 PM
Quinnipiac University
275 Mount Carmel Ave
Hamden, Connecticut 06518
Three members of the legendary Freedom Riders will discuss their faith and the role it played in their efforts to end segregation when they visit our Mount Carmel Auditorium at 7 p.m. on Monday, January 30. This program is free and open to the public
Joan C. Browning, Dion Diamond and the Rev. Reginald M. Green will discuss what it was like to be among the 436 Freedom Riders who rode interstate buses into the segregated southern United States in 1961 and the following years to challenge the nonenforcement of Supreme Court rulings that segregated buses were unconstitutional.
"The Freedom Riders' stories were forged in the crucible of a tumultuous time in American history," said Andrew Ober, Protestant chaplain at Quinnipiac, who is organizing the event. "Their stories provide vital insight for us today into how activists respond and persist in the face of social injustice and opposition-with tenacity, humility and a hope that non-violence can lead to a better future."
Browning grew up in rural Georgia, where she went from picking 100 pounds of cotton a day to volunteering with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. She participated in the Paine College steering committee demonstrations in Augusta, Georgia, in April 1961, and the Atlanta Student Movement sit-ins in Atlanta in 1961-63. She was one of nine Albany Freedom Riders on the last freedom ride. The first in her immediate family to attend college, she was asked to leave Georgia State College for Women in Milledgeville in 1961 because she had worshipped at a black church.
At age 19, Diamond, then a student at Howard University, was already a seasoned veteran of the nonviolent direct-action movement that began with sit-ins at public restaurants in 1960. On May 24, 1961, three weeks after the first Freedom Riders set out to take down the "white" and "colored" signs in public transportation, he boarded a Greyhound bus in Montgomery, Alabama, and headed to Jackson, Mississippi, where he was arrested the following day for his involvement.
In 1960, Green, who was a student at Virginia Union University, was arrested for participating in sit-ins in Richmond, Virginia. On June 7, 1961, he and five other Freedom Riders boarded a bus in Nashville, Tennessee, and headed to Jackson Mississippi, where they were arrested and spent the next several months in prison.