People of Faith

People of Faith articulates faith-based values as a foundation for progressive politics and mobilizes for social justice and peace activism.

Sep 1

Jul 15

Police Shoot Two in Hartford, one fatally!

SPECIAL EDITION!! Police Shoot Two in Hartford, one fatally!

Can a Bullet Stop a Car??

By Joanna Iovino
The Hart Monitor 

What made three men in a parked car in an apartment complex on Wadsworth Street “suspicious”? Were there any drugs or weapons found in this car to justify the “suspicions” of the police officers? The police observed the “activities” of a man on foot, then, when they went to investigate, saw a parked car… was the man they observed one of the people in the car? Did the police approach the car with their guns drawn, or did they draw their guns after the car started “driving towards” them?

These are some of the questions I am pondering in the aftermath of the police initiated shooting which killed Ernesto Morales and injured Martin Casseras. I posed a list of questions to the mayor, the city council members and Lt. Paul Vance, spokesman for the state police. The response I received from both the mayor and the police spokesman, was, basically “wait and see”. To me, these are simple questions to which the answers should already be known. But, of course, they will not be revealed to the public until an investigation, which Lt. Vance said would take several months, is completed.

I was able to clarify SOME information with Lt. Vance. I do know that the car was not pulled over by the police as some have said. The car was in the parking lot/driveway of the Casa Verde apartments on Wadsworth Street. Lt. Vance also informed me that the police officers did not know the car was stolen until AFTER the driver and his passenger had been shot. So, why did the police initially approach the vehicle? That information Lt. Vance could not, or would not, tell me.

I lived on Wadsworth Street until two months ago. I kept a close watch on police blotters during the time I lived there, and noticed that all too often, the police would arrest a person, or several people, at this specific address (60 Wadsworth Street). The arrests were almost always for “trespassing”. Basically, they would stop people who they deemed “suspicious”, then arrest them for trespassing if they were unable to find drugs or weapons on the individual. To me, this constitutes harassment.

This is why I would like to know what made this car “suspicious” enough for the police to approach the vehicle. Did the police observe illegal activities, or did they simply see a car with three men in it, in an area that is designated a “trouble spot” due to this ridiculous “War on Drugs” and decide that they would try to find evidence of wrongdoing?

The police say that the vehicle “drove towards” them. Once they were able to get out of the way, why resort to shooting the driver, rather than pursuing the vehicle? Can a bullet stop a car? Obviously, the shooting did not stop the vehicle, since the car then ended up inside an apartment. In fact, the shooting not only killed the driver, but it endangered the people living in that apartment building, because it caused the car to swerve into the apartment. So, what is the efficacy of using a gun to attempt to stop a motor vehicle?

Even for those who believe that the shooting was justified, because the car was a “deadly weapon” that was aimed at the police officers, there is the question of whether the initial contact was justified. The state police will not reveal exactly what made the police “suspicious”. If the police did not observe any illegal activities, why approach the car in the first place? And, I am of the view that if the police did not reveal that there were drugs or weapons in the car, they probably found nothing. They were very quick to mention that the car was stolen, to back up their implication of the “criminality” of the men in the car, so I am sure they would have been very happy to reveal the presence of drugs and or weapons to provide evidence that their suspicion was justified.

There are so many unanswered questions in the aftermath of this shooting. I can almost guarantee that the police officers involved will be cleared of any official wrongdoing. But the “rules” for police are different than for the rest of us, and what they might consider “justifiable” is not necessarily moral or righteous to the members of the public in Hartford, a city that is besieged by an often unwelcome and decidedly unfriendly police presence. 

Hartford Courant article on the police shooting 

Jul 7

5 Ways You Can Support Healthbridge Workers On Strike!


How You Can Help
(ver. 7/3/2012)

Here are the top 5 most valuable ways you can support the strike:
Your show of solidarity brings renewed
strength and energy to strikers every
time. Join us before work (between 6
AM – 9 AM) or for an afternoon break
(between 2-6 PM) – and feel free to
bring your kids or co-workers. (Call the
local strike organizer on back to ensure
the picket line is up and running at the
time you plan to come.) This could be a
very long strike, so consider setting a
regular weekly or monthly date for you
or your organization to “walk the line!”

Strike assistance, food, picket signs,
transportation to take action…in all, the
basic necessities of a strike this size will
cost thousands of dollars each week.
Your contribution of $30 will support a
striker for a day, $1,000 will feed a
picket line for two weeks, or $10,000
will sponsor an entire picket line of
striking workers for a week. Checks can
be made out to “1199 Strike & Defense
Fund” at 77 Husyhope Ave, Hartford,
CT 06106.

We can’t win this strike without the
community’s support. Strikers can come
speak about the details of this struggle
with you or to your entire organization.
Not only does this help educate members
of your group, it also provides strikers –
ignored by Healthbridge for over a year -
- with a chance to share their personal

Bottled water or healthy snacks,
popsicles or pizza! Be sure to give us a
call to ensure we are on-site to receive
(=eat) your donation.

Non-perishable staples like rice, pasta,
cereals and canned goods will be
distributed to strikers so they can feed
their families during this difficult fight.
Donations can be dropped off at the
1199 office in Hartford or call the strike
line organizer (see back) to arrange a
local drop-off.
Other ideas of unique ways you can be of help or support?  Call the 1199 strike
organizer at your local picket line (listed on back) or contact the 1199 Union
office at 860‐549‐1199

1199 Picket Lines at these HealthBridge Facilities
Call the local strike organizer ahead of time to confirm we’ll be there to greet you!
Danbury Health Care
107 Osborne St
Danbury, CT 06810 

Local Strike Organizer: Liz Goggin
Cell:  617‐733‐6973 
Long Ridge of Stamford
710 Long Ridge Rd
Stamford, CT 06902 

Local Strike Organizer: Joel Brooks 
Cell: 860‐882‐2202 
Newington Health Care
240 Church St
Newington, CT 06111 

Local Strike Organizer: Chris Wishart
Cell: 860‐819‐6810 
Westport Health Care
1 Burr Rd
Westport, CT 06880 

Local Strike Organizer: Ancy Destin
Cell: 845‐270‐9397 
West River Health Care
245 Orange Ave
Milford, CT 06460 

Local Strike Organizer: Jesse Martin
Cell: 413‐320‐8104 
Or contact the 1199 Union Office
77 Huyshope Ave
Hartford, CT 06106 

Jun 27

June 30—Say No More Wars, New Haven

Saturday, June 30

The Green

New Haven CT

11:00-8:00 p.m

A Day of Educational Flyering to Say No More Wars!

Join CT United for Peace and others for a day of flyering and literature distribution in opposition to the growing threat of US intervention in Syria and Iran, as well as the increasing death toll from the Orwellian drone wars in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia.

The site is the final day of the lively New Haven Arts and Ideas Festival.

This is part of a national week of actions in response to the growing threat of war on Syria and Iran.


Jun 26

Juneteenth & Fight for Black Liberation, Hartford, 6/29, 7:30PM‏

The Juneteenth Celebration and the Fight for Black Liberation Today

Hosted by Socialist Action                                                                                                                             

Friday, June 29th, 7:30pm

La Paloma Sabenera Café

405 Capitol Ave

Hartford, CT

Juneteenth is the oldest known commemoration of the abolition of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union troops landed in Galveston, Texas to announce the end of the Civil War and that slaves were free.

This year celebrate Juneteenth with Socialist Action as we commemorate the revolutionary struggle that ended slavery. This revolutionary struggle was waged over hundreds of years through slave uprisings, the Underground Railroad and the abolition movement. Out of these movements emerged inspiring leaders such as Harriet Tubman, Fredrick Douglas and John Brown. 

Today the revolutionary struggle for black liberation continues in the fight against racism, mass incarceration, the New Jim Crow and the wars of the 1%.  Join us for a talk and discussion by Trinity College professor Johnny E. Williams on the Juneteenth Celebration and the Fight for Black Liberation Today. 

Speaker Bio:

Johnny E. Williams is the author of African-American Religion and the Civil Rights Movement in Arkansas (University Press of Mississippi 2003) He is also the author of numerous articles examining culture’s role in politics, social movement mobilization and scientific knowledge production.

His forthcoming book Decoding Racial Ideology in Genomics (Lexington Press 2013) examines the complex role racialized culture plays in delimiting how genome researchers think about human genetic variation. His commentary has been featured in media outlets such as Racism Review, CounterPunch, and The Mark News (Toronto, Canada).

Jun 25

Vigil Against Torture, New Haven, Tuesday, 6/26, 4:30PM

From Reclaiming the Prophetic Voice:
We Are Responsible: Vigil Against Torture, In Support of the Tortured to mark United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
United Church on the Green,
Corner of Temple and Elm Streets
New Haven, CT
Tuesday, June 26; 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
To be followed by film screening/discussion of Doctors of the Dark Side in the Bradley Room of United Church on the Green at 6:30.

Jun 19

Interfaith event at the Berlin Mosque Wed. 6/20 at 6:15pm‏

From Ali and Fatma Antar

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Assalamu Alykum/ Peace be with you

We would like to invite you for an interfaith event with our Christian friends:


at the Berlin Mosque.

Please join us for POT -LUCK DINNER, DIALOGUE and PRAYER to know each other and to share our faith with our friends.

All are welcome; we hope you can be with us for this very special interfaith experience.

Date: Wednesday, June 20 at 6:15pm- 8:45pm

Location: Berlin Mosque, 1781 Wilbur Cross Highway, Berlin

Sponsored by: Islamic Association of Greater Hartford in Berlin and

Muslim and Christian Women of Hope and Faith & Men Fellowship of Saint Patrick Saint Anthony Church.

Jun 7

"Teachers Are Talking, Is The Nation Listening?" Film, Hartford, June 10, 5-8PM

TEACH: Teachers Are Talking, Is the Nation Listening?
June 10
Unitarian Meetinghouse
50 Bloomfield Avenue, Hartford.
Pizza and refreshments will be provided.
Robert and Yvonne Lamothe, teachers/screenwriters will be on site to field a discussion and Q&A session after the screening.
Don’t miss this ‘fearless’ documentary.
A Must See Film as the future of our public educational system impacts each one of us on some vital level.
A Free Event but donations will be gratefully accepted and DVDs will be on sale for distribution and independent showings.

May 28

S-Comm and the Assault on Immigrant Rights, Hartford, 5/31, 7:30PM

A Forum in Defense of Immigrant Rights,

Against Profiling and Against the Security State:

Say No to S-Comm!

 Thursday, May 31

7:30 pm 

La Paloma Sabanera Coffeehouse

405 Capitol Avenue

Hartford, CT 06106

On April 26, 50 activists from the CT Immigrant Rights Coalition held a press conference to demand that Governor Malloy dramatically restrict or end Connecticut’s participation in the notorious federal program known as “SECURE COMMUNITIES.”

 This program provides incentives to local police forces to pick and book those they profile as immigrant. There need be no conviction of any crime for the fingerprints of this police victim to be entered into a highly flawed national immigration database, an action which then can result in detention and deportation.

 Because the government databases, by their own admission, are full of errors, a number of US citizens and many Latino workers innocent of any crime have already been deported. 

This federal dragnet has already gone into effect in Connecticut and Rhode Island and in the third week of May launched in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. 

Come to a panel discussion on the truth about Secure Communities (S-Comm) and why the fight against it is critical for all the movements for social change.

 Panelists include:

 John Jairo Lugo, Unidad Latina en Accion, New Haven

Emma Roderick, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Western Massachusetts

Dan Piper, Socialist Action CT


$5 donation at the door but no one turned away for lack of funds

For more information, call Dan at 617-823-4068

Sponsored by CT Socialist Action

May 7

Rally to Support Striking Security Workers, Hartford, Thurs., 5/10, 11:30AM

Support the strike by SOS Security Workers!

Thursday, May 10, 2012, at 11:30 AM.

State of Connecticut Capitol Avenue Complex
410-472 Capitol Ave. in Hartford

Local 32BJ, SEIU Connecticut District
196 Trumbull St. 4th Flr., Hartford CT 06103

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