Thursday, December 29, 2005

Paper Clips the Movie -should we show it?

Paper Clips

Here is a suggested movie from a caller Dorothy from Yarmouth. Thanks for your suggestion.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

No Place for Hate campaign advances

No Place for Hate campaign advances
Harwich Oracle By Douglas Karlson/
Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Selectmen are expected to officially support a proclamation designating Harwich a No Place for Hate community. That's according to John Bangert of the No Place for Hate - Harwich coalition. He said he expects the board to sign the document at a press conference Jan. 16, Martin Luther King Day.
The move would be an important step in being officially certified by the Anti-Defamation League as a No Place for Hate community. The proclamation is a standard one prepared by the Anti-Defamation League. It has been used in more than 50 Massachusetts towns.
According to Bangert, the move to designate Harwich as a No Place for Hate participant began last year but gained momentum following last month's defacement of a sign near the bike path on Route 39. A swastika was spray painted on the sign, and its presence upset many townspeople.
At last week's selectmen's meeting, Selectman Robin Wilkins suggested that two or three members of the No Place for Hate - Harwich coalition sit down and also write their own proclamation. He explained that he preferred to have a home-grown anti-hate proclamation, rather than simply adopt the standard one furnished by the Anti-Defamation League. By writing it ourselves, said Wilkins, the community will be engaged.
Bangert said that he, selectmen chairman Ed McManus, and the Rev. Terry Newberry of First Congregational Church will draft the document.
Guidelines provided by the Anti-Defamation League state that "the official NPFH proclamation must be signed by each participating city/town. If your community wished to create its own proclamation, it can be done in addition to the official one."
Bangert said he expects the entire board to follow Wilkins' lead and support the program. "As Robin goes, so will, I think, the rest of the selectmen," said Bangert. A location for the event has not yet been determined.
To be certified as a No Place for Hate community, a town must first form a coalition, which has been done. Then the town must issue an official proclamation. After that,, communities must complete three activities. To choose these activities, the No Place for Hate Committee must complete a community assessment form to identify the needs of the town. Towns may then choose from a menu of activities, or create their own activities provided they are approved by the Anti-Defamation League.
Bangert told the Oracle that the coalition expects to host a pot luck dinner at the Community Center on Valentine's Day. Participants will be asked to bring a food they hated as a child. The exercise is intended to bridge differences, and illustrate how some people love what others hate, he explained.
He said other activities will probably include discussions of racism, and education on topics such as the Holocaust.
The Anti-Defamation League suggests a number of possible activities including school orientation programs and discussions, anti-bias training, hate crime training for police, civil rights day public forum, walks, films, library events, essay contests and pot luck dinners. Towns must be recertified every year, and must complete two anti-hate activities.
The No Place for Hate program was created in 1999 by the New England Region Anti-Defamation League and the Massachusetts Municipal Association. It is intended to provide towns a framework to fight bigotry and hate.
Regarding the program, selectmen chairman Ed McManus who recently attended a meeting of the Harwich clergy association and heard a presentation from Jennifer Smith of the Anti-Defamation League of New England, said, "It takes very little involvement in town government." He said local churches and schools play the biggest role.
"I think this is a fantastic idea for our community," said Newberry.
He described the program as a "very positive statement about who we are as a people."

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Meet the Press December 21, 2005

Harwich Plans Tolerance Event On Martin Luther King Day

The Cape Cod Chronicle
by William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The board of selectmen appears ready to embrace a No Place For Hate program in an official capacity, agreeing Monday night to hold events on Martin Luther King Day, including the reading of a proclamation, as an initial step in participating in the statewide initiative.

The No Place For Hate program is an effort by a group of residents to bring the community together to denounce hatred and bigotry, seen earlier this month when a swastika defaced a bike crossing sign located along Route 39 adjacent to the bike trail.

The mission of the program is “To empower Massachusetts municipalities to create local programs that will actively promote inclusion and respect for individual and group differences, while encouraging residents and officials to speak out against hate and intolerance.”

Board of Selectmen Chairman Ed McManus said he attended a Harwich Clergy Association meeting last week on the subject and listened to a presentation by Jennifer Smith, director of community outreach for the Anti-Defamation League. Smith and the late Rabi Leonard Zakim created the program.

The ADL and Massachusetts Municipal Associations, working with more than 50 coalition members, have been striving to have municipalities adopt the program and through a proclamation make a commitment to help set a community standard of respect for diversity and anti-bias efforts as well as maintaining a zero-tolerance policy for hate crimes.

There are 59 communities in the commonwealth which have adopted the program, according to resident and activist John Bangert. The towns of Falmouth , Mashpee and Provincetown on the Cape have embraced the program, he said.

McManus said there are procedures in place for a town to follow when adopting the program, including the reading of a proclamation and establishing a committee or community coalition to plan for events. The board chairman said there does not have to be major involvement from town government, and more of the activities can take place in the schools, churches and through other community organizations.

Rev. Terry Newberry of the First Congregational Church of Harwich Center said Monday night the program is a fantastic idea for the community. Newberry also said he does not think there is prejudice or discrimination in the community.

“To open up our community to this will make a very positive statement as a people,” Newberry said.

Selectman Robin Wilkins recommended a proclamation be read on Martin Luther King Day. He said a simple event could be planned in one of the churches or in a town park and the proclamation read at that time.

“There is an energy felt from the people who have gotten behind this and that energy should be sustained,” Wilkins said.

There was discussion about the language of the proclamation. Bangert said there is a uniform proclamation document that is read as the municipal acceptance of the program. But Wilkins said he has read those of Provincetown and Lowell and they are different. The selectman challenged the notion the town could not craft its own language for the proclamation. But Bangert said Smith has told him the uniform proclamation is the legal document in Massachusetts . Bangert said reading this proclamation and conducting three events over the year are required to become a No Place For Hate community.

Wilkins said he would prefer that a diverse group from throughout the community draft the proclamation and the board of selectmen “buy into it.” Bangert said additional proclamations could be read by members of a town coalition.

Selectmen agreed to refine plans for the Martin Luther King Day event, Monday Jan.16, at the board’s Jan. 9 meeting.


Monday, December 19, 2005

Board of Selectman Plan for MLK Day for Proclamation!

Merry Christmas! Happy Chanukah from the Selectman of Harwich!

Harwich Selectman will proclaim Harwich as a No Place for Hate Community on Monday, January 16, 2006 Martin Luther King's Birthday. Some details need to hammered out. Come to the meeting on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 Brooks Free Library 5 - 7PM

Chanukah, the Jewish festival of rededication, also known as the festival of lights, is an eight day festival beginning on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev.

Chanukah is probably one of the best known Jewish holidays, not because of any great religious significance, but because of its proximity to Christmas. Many non-Jews (and even many assimilated Jews!) think of this holiday as the Jewish Christmas, adopting many of the Christmas customs, such as elaborate gift-giving and decoration. It is bitterly ironic that this holiday, which has its roots in a revolution against assimilation and suppression of Jewish religion, has become the most assimilated, secular holiday on our calendar.

The story of Chanukah begins in the reign of Alexander the Great. Alexander conquered Syria, Egypt and Palestine, but allowed the lands under his control to continue observing their own religions and retain a certain degree of autonomy. Under this relatively benevolent rule, many Jews assimilated much of Hellenistic culture, adopting the language, the customs, the dress, etc., in much the same way that Jews in America today blend into the secular American society.

More than a century later, a successor of Alexander, Antiochus IV was in control of the region. He began to oppress the Jews severely, placing a Hellenistic priest in the Temple, massacring Jews, prohibiting the practice of the Jewish religion, and desecrating the Temple by requiring the sacrifice of pigs (a non-kosher animal) on the altar. Two groups opposed Antiochus: a basically nationalistic group led by Mattathias the Hasmonean and his son Judah Maccabee, and a religious traditionalist group known as the Chasidim, the forerunners of the Pharisees (no direct connection to the modern movement known as Chasidism). They joined forces in a revolt against both the assimilation of the Hellenistic Jews and oppression by the Selucid Greek government. The revolution succeeded and the Temple was rededicated.

According to tradition as recorded in the Talmud, at the time of the rededication, there was very little oil left that had not been defiled by the Greeks. Oil was needed for the menorah (candelabrum) in the Temple, which was supposed to burn throughout the night every night. There was only enough oil to burn for one day, yet miraculously, it burned for eight days. An eight day festival was declared to commemorate this miracle. Note that the holiday commemorates the miracle of the oil, not the military victory: Jews do not glorify war.

Chanukah is not a very important religious holiday. The holiday's religious significance is far less than that of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Passover, and Shavu'ot. It is roughly equivalent to Purim in significance, and you won't find many non-Jews who have even heard of Purim! Chanukah is not mentioned in Jewish scripture; the story is related in the book of Maccabbees, which Jews do not accept as scripture.

The only religious observance related to the holiday is the lighting of candles. The candles are arranged in a candelabrum called a menorah that holds nine candles: one for each night, plus a shammus (servant) at a different height. On the first night, one candle is placed at the far right. The shammus candle is lit and three berakhot (blessings) are recited: l'hadlik neir (a general prayer over candles), she-asah nisim (a prayer thanking G-d for performing miracles for our ancestors at this time), and she-hekhianu (a general prayer thanking G-d for allowing us to reach this time of year). The first candle is then lit using the shammus candle, and the shammus candle is placed in its holder. The candles are allowed to burn out on their own after a minimum of 1/2 hour. Each night, another candle is added from right to left (like the Hebrew language). Candles are lit from left to right (because you pay honor to the newer thing first).

Because ofthe law prohibiting the lighting of a fire on Shabbat, Chanukah candles are lit before the Shabbat candles on Friday night, and they are lit after Havdalah on Saturday night. The following blessings are said:
Blessed are You,
our God, Creator of time and space,
who enriches our lives with holiness,
commanding us to kinkle the Chanukah lights.

Baruch atah adonai eloheinu melech ha'olam asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu l'hadlik neir shel Chanukah.

Baruch atah adonai eloheinu melech ha'olam she'asah
nisim la'avoteinu bayamim haheim baz'man hazeh.

On the first night, the Shehecheyanu is also recited.

Why the shammus candle? The Chanukah candles are for pleasure only; we are not allowed to use them for any productive purpose. We keep an extra one around (the shammus), so that if we need to do something useful with a candle, we don't accidentally use the Chanukah candles. The shammus candle is at a different height so that it is easily identified as the shammus.

It is traditional to eat fried foods on this holiday, because of the significance of oil to the holiday. Among Ashkenazic Jews, this usually includes latkes (pronounced "lot-kuhs" or "lot-keys" depending on where your grandmother comes from. Pronounced "potato pancakes".)

Gift-giving is not a traditional part of the holiday, but has been added in places where Jews have a lot of contact with Christians, as a way of dealing with our children's jealousy of their Christian friends. The only traditional gift of the holiday is "gelt," small amounts of money.

Another tradition of the holiday is playing dreidel, a gambling game played with a square top. Most people play for matchsticks, pennies, M&Ms or chocolate coins. A dreidel is marked with the following four Hebrew letters: Nun, Gimmel, Heh and Shin. On Israeli dreidels, there is no Shin but rather a Peh, which stands for Po, meaning here.

This supposedly stands for the Hebrew phrase "nes gadol hayah sham," a great miracle happened there. Actually, it stands for the Yiddish words nit (nothing), gantz (all), halb (half) and shtell (put), which is the rules of the game! There are some variations in the way people play the game, but the way I learned it, everyone puts in one coin. A person spins the dreidel. On Nun, nothing happens; on Gimmel (or, as we called it as kids, "gimme!"), you get the whole pot; on Heh, you get half of the pot; and on Shin, you put one in. When the pot is empty, everybody puts one in. Keep playing until one person has everything. Then redivide it, because nobody likes a poor winner.

A traditional song of this holiday is "Maoz Tzur," better known to Christians as "Rock of Ages" (the tune is the same as one of the more popular ones; the Christian translation takes substantial liberties).

Chanukah began on the December 16, on the American calendar, the Jewish year is 5767!

From Cape Cod Today - Mayflower Compact

Anchored in Provincetown Harbor 385 years ago this week, after 66 harrowing days at sea in a leaking former wine vessel, the "Pilgrims", "Saints" or "Separatists " a they were variously called, signed the Mayflower Compact.

The Compact is often described as America's first constitution, but it is not a constitution in the sense of being a fundamental framework of government. Its importance lies in the signers' belief that government is a form of covenant between elected leaders and those governed, and that for government to be legitimate, it must derive from the consent of the governed. That was an original and astonishing idea at the time.

The Pilgrims, on their first day in Provincetown, recognized that individually they might not agree with all of the actions of the government they were creating, but they understood that government could be legitimate only if it originated with the consent of those it claimed to govern. Therefore they wrote what we call The Mayflower Compact.

Here is the short, simple beginning of America's democracy on November 21, 1620:

"In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord, King James, by the Grace of God, of England, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, e&.

Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia; do by these presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid; And by Virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the General good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In Witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, King James of England, France and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini, 1620."

The Compact was signed by 41 of the Mayflower's 102 passengers (women, children and the 30 crewmen didn't get to vote). 37 of the signers were "Separatists" fleeing religious persecution in Europe. The compact established the first basis for written laws in the New World. Half of the passengers did not survive the first winter, but the remainder lived on and prospered.
Cape Cod Today

North Carolina City Confronts Its Past in Report on White Vigilantes

New York Times Article By JOHN DeSANTIS
Published: December 19, 2005

WILMINGTON, N.C., Dec. 18 - Beneath canopies of moss-draped oaks, on sleepy streets graced by antebellum mansions, tour guides here spin stories of Cape Fear pirates and Civil War blockade-runners for eager tourists.


A photograph from the Nov. 26, 1898, issue of Collier's Weekly showed the offices of The Daily Record, a black-owned newspaper in Wilmington, N.C., after a group of white vigilantes wrecked the building and dismantled the printing press. A report about the riots was released last week.

Only scant mention is made, however, of the bloody rioting more than a century ago during which black residents were killed and survivors banished by white supremacists, who seized control of the city government in what historians say is the only successful overthrow of a local government in United States history.

But last week, Wilmington revisited that painful history with the release of a draft of a 500-page report ordered by the state legislature that not only tells the story of the Nov. 10, 1898, upheaval, but also presents an analysis of its effects on black families that persist to this day.

Culled from newspaper clippings, government records, historical archives and interviews, some previously unexplored, the report explodes oft-repeated local claims that the insurrection was a frantic response to a corrupt and ineffective post-Reconstruction government.

"The ultimate goal was the resurgence of white rule of the city and state for a handful of men through whatever means necessary," the historian LeRae Umfleet wrote in the report's introduction.

The report concludes that the rioting and coup fully ended black participation in local government until the civil rights era, and was a catalyst for the development of Jim Crow laws in North Carolina.

"Because Wilmington rioters were able to murder blacks in daylight and overthrow Republican government without penalty or federal intervention, everyone in the state, regardless of race, knew that the white supremacy campaign was victorious on all fronts," the report said.

In the period immediately after the Civil War, the Democratic Party-ruled government in Wilmington, which was then North Carolina's largest city, was displaced by a coalition that was largely Republican and included many blacks. The loss of power stirred dissatisfaction among a faction of white civic leaders and business owners.

The tensions came to a head on Election Day, Nov. 9, 1898, when the Democrats regained power, according to historians largely by stuffing ballot boxes and intimidating black voters to keep them from the polls. Not waiting for an orderly transition of government, a group of white vigilantes demanded that power be handed over immediately. When they were rebuffed, in the words of the report, "Hell jolted loose."

The mob - which the report said grew to as many as 2,000 - forced black leaders out of town, dismantled the printing press of a black-owned newspaper, The Daily Record, fired into the homes of blacks and shot down black men in the streets.

Estimates of the number of black deaths are as high as 100, state officials said, although they add that there is no way of truly knowing.

"No official count of dead can be ascertained due to a paucity of records from the coroner's office, hospital, or churches," the report said.

Black women and children fled to swamps on the city's outskirts made frigid by November's chill. There are accounts of pregnant women giving birth in the swamps, the babies dying soon after.

No white deaths were verified.

Five years ago, members of the North Carolina General Assembly commissioned a report on the incident that they said would be made part of the state's official record. The final report is to be presented to lawmakers next year.

The release of the draft report - and its painful conclusions - have been politely, if uncomfortably, received in this city.

"I spend a lot of time looking forward and not a lot of time looking in the rearview mirror," said Mayor Spence Broadhurst. "But we can use our history to grow on. It was a horrible situation in 1898, and this is 2005. But I think it is good for us to talk about it and to fully understand it."

Styled after similar efforts to document racial atrocities in Rosewood, Fla., and in Tulsa, Okla., the report begins with a thorough account of Wilmington's status as the Confederacy's premier port, and the complex structure of its black society, which included slaves as well as a sizable population of free black craftsmen before Emancipation. Rifts between black tradesmen and white Democrats in the years after Reconstruction are chronicled, along with the growth of black society in prominence and power. In 1897, a year before the race riot, black residents numbered 3,478 or 49 percent of Wilmington's working population, according to a directory for that year. By 1900 that number had fallen to 2,497, or 44 percent, according to data in the report.

According to the 2000 census, Wilmington had a population of 76,000, and nearly 71 percent of its residents were white and 26 percent were black.

Federal and state authorities did nothing in response to the racial rioting in Wilmington, and according to the report, the revolt became a model of sorts when violence later erupted in other cities.

A 1906 upheaval in Atlanta, the report said, "suggests that the lack of governmental response to the violence in Wilmington gave Southerners implicit license to suppress the black community under the right circumstances."

In the years after the Wilmington rebellion, blacks and whites alike tended not to speak of it.

"I did not even know it happened until I was a grandmother," said Lottie Clinton, 68, a lifelong resident of Wilmington who is black and a member of the Riot Commission. "My family thought the more positive things I learned, the better off I would be."

Another commission member, Anthony Gentile, a Wilmington contractor who is white, said he had questions initially about whether the report should have been done at all.

"We didn't want to keep open wounds open," Mr. Gentile said. "There were a lot of emotions, and there was a lot of animosity. I was not in favor of doing it."

He continued, "Everyone made mistakes 100 years ago, let's deal with today."

But, he said, "My opinion changed, and I was surprised to learn the depth of feeling that existed and that it was not that long ago."

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The ACLU FREEDOM FILES Racial Profiling

No Place for Hate Harwich will be showing this new video in January "Here in Harwich Series" of lectures and films.

ACLU Releases New 10-Part Series

The American Civil Liberties Union and Robert Greenwald to tell the stories behind the headlines in new 10-part series

Series To Reach National Audience Via Satellite Link TV, New Media, Technology And Grassroots Networks

NPFH Premiere Episode The most recent episode, "Racial Profiling," takes an unflinching look at a reality facing people of color around the country. You will meet people who have been recently harassed, threatened or jailed by the police because of the color of their skin.

Addressing Critical Civil Rights Issues Of The Day, Program Stars Real Clients And The Attorneys Who Defend Them

New York/Los Angeles, August 16, 2005 - Today, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and award-winning producer/director Robert Greenwald's Brave New Films announce an unprecedented new series entitled The ACLU Freedom Files. In ten 30-minute episodes, the series creators will explore pressing issues that are threatening the civil liberties of all Americans, regardless of political affiliation. The show will reach millions of viewers via satellite network Link TV, on college campuses across the country on Zilo TV, and via new media, technology and grassroots networks such as video blogs, podcasts, streaming video, viewing parties, screenings and more

Aiming to strip away the sound bytes to reveal how civil liberties affect real people everyday, The ACLU Freedom Files features real clients and the attorneys who defend them, as well as well-known actors, activists and comedians.

"Effects of overreaching laws like the Patriot Act or Supreme Court decisions are often talked about in abstract terms, but there is a very real human face to these issues that tends to get lost in the rhetoric," said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. "The ACLU Freedom Files will go behind the headlines to tell their stories."

"The critical work that the ACLU is doing is the stuff of real drama," said Robert Greenwald of Brave New Films, executive producer of the series. "These are regular people, people who could be a neighbor, who have found themselves fighting to defend their constitutionally-guaranteed rights. These are important and powerful stories that we need to tell."

During first week in September, The ACLU Freedom Files launches with the premiere episode "Beyond The Patriot Act." As the House and Senate versions of the Patriot Act go to conference to create a final bill to be presented to the President, "Beyond The Patriot Act" highlights the importance of this legislation and urges members of Congress to take the time to act sensibly and bring the law back in line with the Constitution by restoring proper checks and balances.

The ACLU Freedom Files will air the second Thursday of each month across the country at 8:00 p.m. Eastern and again at 8:00 p.m. on the West coast. Utilizing what Greenwald refers to as "moving media," the dynamic new series will use interviews, documentary, comedy, drama, music and animation to directly engage and alert viewers to the importance of the issues currently facing the American public. Greenwald serves as series executive producer and Jeremy Kagan as co-executive producer. Series topics will include the Patriot Act, the Supreme Court, free speech and dissent, religious freedom, gay and lesbian rights, drug policy, racial profiling, women's rights, and youth freedoms.

The ACLU Freedom Files will premiere on Link TV, the first nationwide television channel dedicated to providing Americans with global perspectives on news, events and culture. Link TV is available to over 26 million U.S. homes that receive direct broadcast satellite television through DIRECTV and DISH Network satellite services. The ACLU Freedom Files will also be broadcast on Zilo TV, the college television network that provides programming to over 5.5 million college students nationwide.

On the Web, The ACLU Freedom Files will foster a new kind of "information activism" with the launch of its website Like a DVD with extra features, the site will provide vital issue information for viewers, advocates and anyone who wants to learn more about civil liberties. It will also foster grassroots activism online and offline and educate teachers and students through curriculum guides and campus coordinator toolkits. The ACLU Freedom Files will also cultivate a grassroots network of podcasters, video bloggers and other web-savvy multimedia producers, to help pioneer new forms of "Do-It-Yourself" audio and video activism online.

Combining real stories and dynamic storytelling will create a powerful emotional effect that, Greenwald and Romero predict, will motivate viewers to action. Around each episode, the ACLU will hold screenings, house parties and events across the country. In addition, Zilo TV will produce and promote viewing parties featuring the series at select colleges and universities across the country.

DVDs of individual episodes of The ACLU Freedom Files will be made immediately available for purchase and information about each episode will also be available to the 1.2 million unique visitors to the ACLU website and more than 300,000 subscribers to its bi-weekly newsletter and Action Network alerts.

The ACLU Freedom Files features personal stories of average Americans, an entertaining format and the guiding vision of a respected and award-winning filmmaker. Through the powerful reach of satellite TV, blogs and the internet, the ACLU hopes to introduce more Americans, in particular young people and people living in rural America, to the ACLU's message of individual freedom and liberty.

For more information go to

Robert Greenwald/Brave New Films

Robert Greenwald is the president of brave new films and the director/producer of Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism and Uncovered: The Iraq War. He is the executive producer of Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election and Unconstitutional: The War on Our Civil Liberties, which was produced in conjunction with the ACLU. Greenwald has produced and/or directed more than 50 television movies, miniseries and feature films. His films have garnered 25 Emmy nominations, four cable ACE Award nominations, two Golden Globe nominations, the Peabody Award, the Robert Wood Johnson Award, and eight Awards of Excellence from the Film Advisory Board. He was awarded the 2002 Producer of the Year Award by the American Film Institute and recently received the Liberty Hill Foundation's prestigious Upton Sinclair Award. He is currently working on the documentary Wal-Mart: The High Cost Of Low Price.

Jeremy Kagan

Jeremy Kagan is an internationally recognized director/writer/producer of feature films and television. Credits include the box-office hits Heroes, the political thriller The Big Fix, The Chosen, The Journey Of Natty Gann (Gold Prize Moscow Film Festival), Katherine: The Making Of An American Revolutionary and Conspiracy: The Trial Of The Chicago 8 (Cable ACE Best Dramatic Special). He has won an Emmy Award for Dramatic Series Directing and has worked on "The West Wing," Spielberg's "Taken," and won the 2004 Humanitas Award for his most recent film, Crown Heights. A USC professor, he has served as Artistic Director at the Sundance Institute and is on the national board of the Directors Guild.

The American Civil Liberties Union

The American Civil Liberties Union works daily in courts, legislature and communities to protect the individual liberties, rights and freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution and the laws of the United States. Founded in 1920, the ACLU is a nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization with more than 550,000 members. It has offices in all 50 states and employs more than 150 permanent staff attorneys and 2,000 cooperating attorneys, litigating more than 6,000 cases annually.

Link TV

Link TV is a non-commercial television network available in more than 26 million U.S. homes on DIRECTV channel 375 and DISH Network channel 9410. The 24-hour programming is a mix of documentaries, international news, foreign films and the best of World Music. The network recently received the first satellite-only Peabody Award for MOSAIC: World News from the Middle East, a daily news show featuring English translations of national television reports from more than 24 countries in the Middle East. Select Link TV programs are streamed on the Internet at Link TV is operated by Link Media, Inc., a California non-profit organization, with production studios in San Francisco, New York and Washington, DC. The network is funded by viewer contributions and grants from more than 25 foundations.

Elite French Schools Block the Poor's Path to Power

Elite French Schools Block the Poor's Path to Power

New York Times By CRAIG S. SMITH
Published: December 18, 2005

PARIS, Dec. 17 - Even as the fires smoldered in France's working-class suburbs and paramilitary police officers patrolled Paris to guard against attacks by angry minority youths last month, dozens of young men and women dressed in elaborate, old-fashioned parade uniforms marched down the Champs-Élysées to commemorate Armistice Day.

A mural of Marianne, the symbol of the French Republic and liberty, at the exclusive École Polytechnique, a top institution of higher education.
Ed Alcock for The New York Times

One school, Sciences Po, has a program to recruit minority students.

They were students of the grandes écoles, the premier institutions of higher education here, from which the upper echelons of French society draw new blood. Few minority students were among them.

Nothing represents the stratification of French society more than the country's rigid educational system, which has reinforced the segregation of disadvantaged second-generation immigrant youths by effectively locking them out of the corridors of power.

While French universities are open to all high school graduates, the grandes écoles - great schools - from which many of the country's leaders emerge, weed out anyone who does not fit a finely honed mold. Of the 350,000 students graduating annually from French high schools, the top few grandes écoles accept only about 1,000, virtually all of whom come from a handful of elite preparatory schools.

Most of the country's political leaders, on both the right and the left, come from the grandes écoles. President Jacques Chirac and his prime minister, Dominique de Villepin, studied at the National School of Administration, which has produced most of the technocrats who have run France for the last 30 years. Two opposition leaders, François Hollande and Laurent Fabius, did, too.

"It's as if in the U.S., 80 percent of the heads of major corporations or top government officials came from Harvard Law School," said François Dubet, a sociologist at the University of Bordeaux.

These schools - officially there are 200 but only a half dozen are the most powerful - have their roots in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Empire. Just as the SAT's were meant to give all American students an equal shot at top universities, the examination-based grandes écoles were developed to give the bourgeoisie a means of rising in a society dominated by the aristocracy.

It worked for nearly two centuries. Throughout the 19th century, French administrations drew establishment cadres from the loyal ranks of the grandes écoles, avoiding the universities, which, outside the control of the government establishment, they saw as potential pools of dissent.

Even in the 20th century, the merit-based system allowed young people from modest backgrounds to move up into the corridors of power.

But children of blue-collar workers, who made up as much as 20 percent of the student body of the top grandes écoles 30 years ago, make up, at best, 2 percent today. Few are minority students.

In the 1950's, only a small proportion of French students pursued higher education, leaving room for a slice of the working classes to get into the schools, said Vincent Tiberj, a sociologist who studies social inequalities in France. Since then, the number of candidates for the schools has expanded far faster than the schools themselves.

At the same time, the channels leading into the schools have narrowed: the vast majority of students entering the grandes écoles today come from special two-year preparatory schools, which draw their students primarily from high schools in the country's wealthiest neighborhoods. "The top five or six grandes écoles recruit students from fewer than 50 high schools across France," said Richard Descoings, director of the elite Paris Institute of Political Studies, better known as Sciences Po.

Administrators at the grandes écoles say students who do not follow the focused, specialized curriculum of the preparatory schools have almost no chance of being accepted. And while, theoretically, top students from any high school in the country can apply for the preparatory schools, the system has become so rarefied that few people from working-class neighborhoods are even aware that the opportunity exists.

"There's a lack of information, no one talked to us about the preparatory schools," said Alexis Blasselle, 20, the daughter of working-class parents and now a student at the exclusive École Polytechnique. She learned of the preparatory schools by chance the summer after graduating from high school. "The solution isn't to open up another avenue to get into the grandes écoles, but to make people aware of the possibility."

Sciences Po (pronounced see-ahns po), alone among the elite schools, has opened a new avenue of entry for students. High schools from disadvantaged neighborhoods nominate students, and Sciences Po then gives them oral examinations for intellectual curiosity and critical thinking. This year, 50 students were admitted through the program, while 200 entered through the normal examination process.

The Conference of Grandes Écoles, an association of the 200 schools, has also started a program that reaches out to top students in working-class neighborhoods to help guide them through their high school years and better their chances of getting into a preparatory school.

But the top half-dozen grandes écoles, those that provide the country's leaders in politics and business, remain more or less closed.

The barriers for second-generation immigrants are enormous. Schools in poor, often immigrant neighborhoods get the most inexperienced teachers, who usually move on as soon as they have gained enough tenure for a job in a better area.

The initial fork in the lives of many young people comes when they are about 13 and have to choose between a general course of study or vocational training. Many young second-generation immigrants are guided into technical classes or, at best, post-high-school associate degree programs in marketing or business that are of little help in finding a job.

Second-generation immigrants also often "live in an environment that is outside of French culture," said Mr. Descoings of Sciences Po. "They are not in the proper social network. There isn't the socialization that exists in a wealthy family in an exclusive neighborhood of Paris."

Sitting outside Paul Éluard High School in Saint-Denis, one of the poorest suburbs north of Paris, Bélinda Caci, 16, calls the school guidance counselor "the head of disorientation," saying that the school cares only about making sure that the students graduate, not what happens after that.

"To become part of this crème de la crème, you have to have benefited from a favorable social environment and education," the sociologist, Mr. Dubet, said, calling graduates of the grandes écoles a sort of state nobility. "It's like the Olympics; you have to begin very, very early."

Friday, December 16, 2005


Stop Racist Billboard Campaign


The Coalition for a Secure Driver's License is launching a new billboard campaign in New Mexico and North Carolina, which contains extremely negative and racist images of Arabs and Arab cultural symbols.

The billboards unfairly conflate the question of immigration and national security, and further enflame fears about Arabs and Arab Americans. In doing so, the Coalition for a Secure Driver's license misleadingly utilizes false stereotypes and racist rhetoric to push an anti-immigration agenda.

The ad depicts an individual whose face is covered by a Kufiya (the traditional male headdress in some Arab countries,) carrying a hand-grenade with what appears to be a blood smear and a driver's license. The billboard also features nonsensical Arabic letters that were simply lined up without forming any words. Additionally, there are two figures in the background wearing military fatigues, black masks, and green bandanas on their heads with what appear to be Arabic words. Superimposed on the images is a caption that reads "Don't License Terrorists, North Carolina!" To view the billboard click here.

The fear is that the imagery, which very blatantly depicts a stereotypical Arab man as a threat to national security, will incite further mistrust towards Arab Americans and Arabs. While the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) values fair and honest political debate, this billboard unfairly portrays Arabs and Arab cultural symbols as dangerous. The advertisement transgresses the boundaries of political discussion and instead relies on stereotypes and hatemongering to support its views.

ADC understands that billboard companies do not want to infringe on the first amendment rights of its advertisers. However, hate speech and images that perpetuate racism and false stereotypes are unlawful and should not be tolerated. Billboard companies also have a responsibility to their costumers not to display ads that are racially offensive, and which contribute to the worsening problem of racism and prejudice towards any ethnic group or minority, including Arabs, Muslims, South Asians, and those perceived to be.

It is worth noting that the Coalition for a Secure Driver's License has a history of negative ad campaigns and racial profiling. In the past, ADC has objected to a television ad, which seemingly depicted a stereotypical Middle Eastern man as a threat to national security.


ADC urges you to contact the Coalition for a Secure Driver's License, North Carolina Governor Michael F. Easley, and New Mexico Governors Bill Richardson to express your dismay at the contents of the billboard, as well as past ad campaigns. For your convenience, ADC has prepared a letter that you may choose to send.

You may get in touch with the Coalition for a Secure Driver's License directly at:

1920 L Street, NW, Suite 210
Washington D.C. 20036

Tel: (202) 223 2386
Fax: (202) 835 9066

You may also contact North Carolina Governor Michael F. Easley at:

Office of the Governor
20301 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-0301

Tel: 1-800-662-7952 valid in North Carolina only
(919) 733 4240, (919) 733 5811
Fax: (919) 715 3175 or (919) 733 2120

You may contact New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson directly at:

Office of the Governor
490 Old Santa Fe Trail
Room 400
Santa Fe, NM 87501

Tel: (505) 476 2200
Fax: (505) 476 2226

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Billboard's Arab images sparks accusation of racism

By Donna Leinwand, USA TODAY
An anti-terrorism campaign by a group that wants tighter restrictions on driver's licenses has angered Arab-Americans who say that an image on a planned billboard — an

However, James Zogby, president of the Washington-based Arab American Institute, says the billboard planned by Bowman's group is "bigoted."

The billboard shows a man wearing a traditional Arab head scarf called a kaffiyeh and holding a grenade and a driver's license. The image planned for the Raleigh billboard is imposed over a North Carolina landscape with the slogan "Don't License Terrorists" above it. The Coalition for a Secure Driver's License is spending about $50,000 each in North Carolina and New Mexico to lease the billboards, spokesman Bill O'Reilly says.

"I think the motivation is anti-immigrant," Zogby says. "They are creating fear ... over Arabs. The message is very clear: 'Arabs are dangerous, Arabs should not get driver's licenses.' "

The coalition says it is targeting terrorism, not Muslims or Arab-Americans. The images adapted for the billboards came from Internet websites that sympathize with terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, says Bowman, who notes that North Carolina authorities broke up a cigarette smuggling ring that had alleged ties with Hezbollah. "The people who have objected to these billboards have attacked us at a very mean-spirited level," Bowman says. "It's an attempt to bully."

Tuesday, the coalition removed Arabic writing from a draft version of the billboard after receiving what Bowman describes as "thoughtful letters that say the writing could be construed as inflammatory."

"For us, the issue is terrorism. It's certainly not about racism," says Colleen Gilbert, the coalition's executive director. "We're trying to highlight the fact that the 9/11 hijackers had 60-plus driver's licenses. It's not about immigration for us. It's about security."

North Carolina did not issue any of the licenses that were obtained by the 19 hijackers in various states, and it has tightened up its licensing process during the past three years, says state Department of Transportation spokesman Ernie Seneca. He says the state now requires applicants to provide multiple forms of identification.

Seneca says his department objects to the billboard and has received complaints from people who find it offensive.

"It's misleading, totally inaccurate and offensive," Seneca says. "They're entitled to their freedom of speech, but North Carolina is not the right place for its campaign. They ought to look elsewhere."

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Meet the Press December 14, 2005

Harwich Oracle
Modest turnout for 'No Hate' walk

By Donna Tunney
Wednesday, December 14, 2005

There was borscht. French onion. Italian bean. Portuguese kale. Chicken noodle.
In a "celebration of diversity," members of the Harwich No Place for Hate Coalition shared a bowl of soup outside the Community Center Sunday, following a silent walk aimed to show unity among neighbors.

The coalition has gathered steam since a bike path sign on Route 39 was defaced with a swastika a few weeks ago. Sunday's event drew 25 to 30 people - organizer John Bangert had expected more, but told the Oracle it was a good start.
"People are out shopping, a lot of people have been without power in their homes (since Friday's storm).

I'm satisfied with the turnout," he said.
Bangert formed the local No Place for Hate group in response to a cross-burning incident in Sandwich last month, but has considerably stepped up his message in town since the swastika appeared in Harwich.

Three selectmen participated in Sunday's event, which was timed to coincide with the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN on Dec. 10, 1948.

Chairman Ed McManus, vice chairman Robin Wilkins and Don Howell walked with the group and chatted with others over a bowl of soup afterward. The fourth selectmen, Peter Piekarski, wasn't there.

"I had no opposition to the event, I was attending to other responsibilities," Piekarski said Tuesday. In recent weeks, Piekarski has said he wants to research other options before committing the town to this program. "I'm still in the process of looking at options," he said.

Bangert on Monday again appealed to selectmen for their endorsement of the coalition. He spoke during the open public forum, but there was no discussion of the No Hate program, or other options, by selectmen.

The No Place for Hate campaign was started in 1999 by the Anti-Defamation League. Its website describes it as a "community based campaign that empowers participants to challenge anti-Semitism, racism, hate and bigotry of all forms."

Cape Cod Chronical
Three Dozen March For Peace, Tolerance

by Alan Pollock

HARWICH — To send a message that peace is stronger than hatred, a small crowd of people rallied Sunday near the site where a sign was defaced with a swastika earlier this month.

Organized by resident John Bangert, the group gathered outside the Harwich Community Center , where tables were set up under the portico by the council on aging (see related story).

Bangert said the Cape is not immune to acts of hatred and bigotry, and said a five-foot cross was burned in Sandwich in September.

“We have to be outraged about these things,” he said.

Over the weekend of Nov. 26, someone spray-painted a swastika on a bike trail crossing sign on Route 39. Bangert said he doesn’t know who would perpetrate the hate crime.

“I want to compassionately educate this person,” he said.

East Harwich resident Susan Leven was one of the first to report the vandalism to police. On Sunday, Leven and around three dozen others marched from the community center down Oak Street to the bike path, and along the path to Route 39. Near the intersection, the participants took turns reading passages from the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. The group then marched back to the tables outside the community center, where they shared soup and discussion.

Bangert said it is important to speak up against acts of hate, but real action is needed.

“We have to go beyond words and we have to institute a response,” he said. Bangert is lobbying for creation of a local No Place for Hate committee, which would implement that program in Harwich. Designed by the Anti-Defamation League of Philadelphia, the No Place for Hate program encourages communities to take part in activities to challenge anti-Semitism, racism, hate and bigotry. A community which successfully completes three of the activities in a year earns the “No Place for Hate” designation for that year. The activities range from school programs and law enforcement training to special events and essay contests.


Monday, December 12, 2005

The Beloved Community


by Richard Flyer

Dr. Martin Luther King challenged us-to go beyond our limited vision to work toward the "Beloved Community." This was the central theme of his teachings. What is this community, what keeps us from realizing it, and how can we work towards this community in our lives?

In this community he said "our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation..."

This would be a community where love and justice prevailed. Love here is not sentimental affection, but the binding power that holds the universe together. In this community we would know that "we are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality."

The ideal for the Beloved Community is not new. People from every culture and time throughout history have dreamed of this nonviolent and cooperative society. It has been called by many names.

Why haven't we developed the Beloved Community?

Our communities are divided by violence to the body, mind, and spirit. Each day we hear the same news about violence and other problems. Alone, these problems are immense. Together, they seem overwhelming.. Many feel powerless and numb.

Current approaches to solving community problems are not working. The reason: we are all divided into special interest groups, the new Tower of Babel.

These include racial, ethnic, religious, political, economic, civic, peace, social justice, and environmental groups, etc.

In the long run, the special interest approach can't be effective. All social problems are connected and have a common basis.

For example, look at how we deal with gang violence. We are kidding ourselves if we think brute force by the police or mainstreaming gang members will solve the problem. Dealing with gang violence in isolation from its interconnected root causes makes no sense. Why does a gang form?

Our society has not provided many youth with fellowship, love, a sense of purpose, relevant education or employment. A gang is an alternative society, a reaction and an indictment against the present one.

The way we have solved problems in the past, then, is like putting out small fires here and there, while the main fire rages out of control.

What is this raging fire?

Conflicts in communities are a mirrored reflection of the battles inside ourselves. As Pogo said, "We have met the enemy, and it is us."

Our little egos have gotten out of control, always grasping, "me, me, mine." Our own fears, insecurities, self-centeredness, and self-righteousness blinds us. Each day we harm ourselves and others. We are just too busy to notice . Ego-centered behavior becomes fossilized in social institutions. Greed and narrow self-interest have become the lubrication for our political and economic machinery.

Daily, we conform with these values, unquestioning, even though they are self-destructive. Look what we've become. We sing the virtues of materialism, consumerism, while hoarding greater profits, as the gap between the rich and poor increases. Then, we say we must use brute force, it's an "eye for an eye" trying to defend our way of life."

Think about the results of this way of life. We are destroying our life support system - Mother Earth -while poverty, hunger, wars, racism, and for many, hopelessness continues unabated.

Where do we go from here?

We must see that the raging fire is our ego-centered attitude and selfish lifestyle. This is the root cause of social conflict. Admitting this deep problem is a first step toward health and sanity.

There are many pioneers who taught us the way of going beyond self-interest. They taught practical means to help make our personal interest one with the common interest of all life. Dr. King is the most recent example. Great teachers of humanity such as Jesus, Buddha, Lao-Tse, Mahatma Gandhi and others were all saying the same thing.

Dr. King was killed because he was a non-violent revolutionary. He challenged us to be honest with ourselves. He saw that a radical change in our values, way of life, and institutions was necessary for there to be peace. He saw that in order to conquer the "giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism... we must rapidly begin the shift from a 'thing'-oriented society to a 'person'-oriented society. "

We have no choice today, but to follow on the same path. There is no time left for just talking about spirituality in the clouds, in the churches or in the ivory towers. We must live and practice it.

Now is the time to consciously develop a new society from the old, a Beloved Community based on love, justice, and fellowship. Begin with an inner attitude change. Dr. King spoke of an "inner spiritual transformation" that would give us strength to fight social injustice and lead us to "personal and social transformation."

The power to change our lives comes from within us and not outside. And, we don't have to wait for anyone else. We can start right where we live. Each day presents opportunities to practice love in action.

We can work locally, knowing that we are part of a larger global awakening. Humanity is leaving its childhood behind and is growing up.

We are witnessing the birth of a new world civilization. The truth is that we are one Spirit, one Earth, one Life, and one People. Every loving act that we perform, no matter how small fosters the awakening of ourselves, our families, then cities, nations, the world, and finally, the entire cosmos.

Working together and sharing ourselves, we can build a Beloved Community inside ourselves, with our families, anywhere we live. The dreamer may have given his life, but the dream lives on. The new dreamers are here, ready to carry the torch.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

March against Hate News Update - Sunday December 11, 2005

Warmer December skys opened after days of tempest cold and, testing storms. Around thirty five town's people gathered at the Harwich Community Center to take to the task of becoming first responders to racism and hate. Included in Sunday's dignified walk were teachers from Harwich schools as well as school committee members, and students from both middle and high school, who walked together as equals. They walked down sunny Oak Street, on to the bike path, and stopped at the bike path rotary, where everyone read sections of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights aloud.

Three of the Harwich Board of Selectman Ed Mc Manus, Don Howell, and Robin Wilkins marched along to share their support with No Place for Hate and took a stand against the recent display of hostility in our "beloved" community. The walk was followed by a long moment of silence in rememberance of all victims of hate, racism and violence.

The topic and discussion following the walk was what to do next.
Homemade soups and bread from differing cultures were served outside the Red Cross shelter by organizers, who later shared this soup with the folks stranded at the Harwich Community Center.

We hope many supporters will attend Monday's BOS (Board of Selectmen) meeting to speak on this issue. Organizer John Bangert will also be attending the Harwich Clergy Association meeting on Wednesday, December 14th. John's presentation at this meeting has been scheduled since last month, when John was invited by Rev. Terry Newberry to introduce the No Place for Hate agenda. Unfortunately, the meeting did not occur before the march. Later, Jennifer Smith, Outreach Coordinator for New England's ADL office, will be visiting our town for educational and diccussion purposes. Anyone interested in participating in the discussion should contact John Bangert.

One of the members of the school committee, Polly Hemstock, who is now a member of our NPFH Harwich read this poem before the silent moment. Thanks to all!

Original Poem in German

Als die Nazis die Kommunisten holten,
habe ich geschwiegen;
ich war ja kein Kommunist.

Als sie die Sozialdemokraten einsperrten,
habe ich geschwiegen;
ich war ja kein Sozialdemokrat.

Als sie die Gewerkschafter holten,
habe ich nicht protestiert;
ich war ja kein Gewerkschafter.

Als sie die Juden holten,
habe ich nicht protestiert;
ich war ja kein Jude.

Als sie mich holten,
gab es keinen mehr, der protestierte.

English Translation

When they came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I did not speak out;
I was not a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

Boston Version

First they came for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time there was no one
left to speak up for me.

by Rev. Martin Niemoller, 1945

Hi John,

Representative Gomes asked me to contact you to let you know that she fully supports your efforts to make Harwich a "no place for hate" town.
Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help.

Brian Powers

Brian Powers
Administrative Aide
Office of State Representative Shirley Gomes


Great speaking with you today about Harwich getting involved with ADL’s “No Place for Hate” project – it is a very worthy program and we welcome you aboard!
Please keep us posted on your progress and let me know if we can help with anything.

Best regards and Happy Holidays,


Ted Meyer



Please cut and paste this petition and send it to 10 folks in Harwich

We, the undersigned residents of Harwich, respectfully ask the Board of Selectmen to join with the Mass Municipal Association (MMA) and the towns of Falmouth, Provincetown and over 50 other communities in the Commonwealth and vote to designate Harwich as a “No Place for Hate” community.
Please bring them to Monday's Selectman's Meeting 7:00 PM Town Hall Don Griffin Meeting Room. Email us a copy
















Friday, December 09, 2005

Provinctown No Place for Hate ! Proclamation

"Haters watch to see what leaders do!" Keith Bergman Provincetown Town Manager

Provincetown's Plan to Overcome Hate Incidents

No Place for Hate. The Board of Selectmen has proclaimed Provincetown as "No Place for Hate." Earlier, the Board of Selectmen has voted, upon the occasion of the 10th anniversary of its adoption in 1992 of the resolution that "hate crimes of any type will not be tolerated in the Town of Provincetown.


Be it hereby resolved by the Provincetown Board of Selectmen that

1. Hate Crimes of any type will not be tolerated in the Town of Provincetown. It is the policy that the Provincetown Police Department shall investigate and seek prosecution of hate crimes to the fullest extent of the law, which shall include the use whenever possible of state civil rights statutes: Sections 37 and 39 of Chapter 265, Section 127A of Chapter 266 and Sections 92A and 98 of Chapter 272. The Town of Provincetown encourages the Office of the District Attorney, the Attorney General of the Commonwealth, federal law enforcement agencies, and the Courts to prosecute these cases to the fullest extent of the law.

2. As used in this Resolution, a hate crime is any criminal act that manifests bigotry, bias, animus or prejudice against the victim on account of this victim's race, religion, ethnicity, disability, sex, sexual orientation or age.

Adopted June 8, 1992; Renewed June 9, 1997 and July 22, 2002.

No Place For Hate

Adoption of “No Place for Hate” Proclamation. On September 9, 2002, the Provincetown Board of Selectmen voted "to join with other sponsoring agencies in the town of Provincetown and adopt the 'No Place for Hate'proclamation drafted by the Anti-Defamation League and the Massachusetts Municipal Association.“

Members of Provincetown's No Place for Hate Committee, led by Chief of Police Ted Meyer.

No Place for Hate Provincetown

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Harwich Board of Selectmen Mission Statement and Vision Principles

First of all we want to thank the Honorable Board of Selectmen for having an honest, frank, and public debate at Selectmen's meeting held on Monday, 12/5/2005. We also applaud the fast response to the removal of the bike crossing sign (within a day) after is was spotted, defaced with a swatiska sprayed on it with red paint. This rapid response was collaborative effort between Harwich citizens, Harwich Police Department, and Department of Public Works, and Highway Department. This immediate response is to be commended. Some communities on the Cape still carry hate signs from other smears and sign defacements still not removed or not corrected after several years. Harwich is different! Now, let's get together on Sunday and show that love for our brothers and sisters. Take an hour and come join this walk at 1:00 PM, bring a can of soup for the Food Pantry and join in afterward for soup and breaking bread together. Tell your neighbors, friends, and community of faiths.

The Harwich No Place for Hate Coalition is seeking popular support to encourage our Board of Selectman to join in with 59 other Massachusetts Communities including Provincetown and Falmouth of the and to study then adopt the NPFH initiative for Harwich. The No Place for Hate Campaign was initiated in Philadelphia by the Anti-Defamation League or ADL. It was brought to New England by the late Leonard P. Zakim as a collaborative effort between the ADL and The Massachusetts Municipal Association, (MMA). According to the MMA Outreach Coordinator Patricia Mikes, "In the fall of 1999 information packages were sent out to all the Mayors and Selectmen of all cities and towns across the Commonwealth, including Harwich. No action was ever taken." The Harwich NPFH committee believes that this is the right time to revisit this initiative for the town of Harwich.

The NPFH initiative is in harmony with the stated polices and mission statement for our schools. (*) The values of respect, individual and collective responsibility, honesty, integrity, tolerance and acceptance of self and others are essential to an ever-changing school community. * Excerpt from the Town of Harwich Mission Statement for all Schools.

The Mission Statement of the Town of Harwich is to ensure the safety, education, and well being of the community; to deliver efficient, effective economically viable services that respond to community needs; to encourage a community of trust and honesty; to respect cultural and economic diversity and to present the historic character of the community.


Citizen Participation

"We will govern ourselves in a manner that encourages participation by all, that provides adequate information for making informed choices and acts in the interests of the community as a whole. We will acknowledge the needs of others and consider compromises that are in the best interests of the Town."

Next time you have to go to Boston, as you cross this magnificent bridge named after Lenny Zakim, be mindful of the battle of Bunker Hill and pray that we can bridge our own differences with a safe crossing for all involved. This can be that perfect teaching moment for all of us in Harwich to adhere to our own mission statement.. "We will acknowledge the needs of others and consider compromises that are in the best interests of the Town."

Meet the Press

Selectmen Guarded About ‘No Place For Hate’ Event On Town Property

by William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Tolerance within the community is important to members of the board of selectmen and they agree the town should stand together against the hatred displayed last week when a roadside sign was spray-painted with a swastika. But there was reluctance this week by the board to jump headlong into commitments to particular organizations, without first doing research.

A silent march has been scheduled from the community center down Oak Street to the bike trail and over to Route 39 and the site of the defaced sign. The plan calls for townspeople, clergy, town officials and others to participate in the reading of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights affirming Harwich is “No Place For Hate.”

Then, according to a No Place For Hate Harwich blog edited by John Bangert, the group will return to the community center for hot soup and discussions. Bangert is also urging participants to bring a can of soup to be delivered to the Harwich Food Pantry.

“This action will be a positive response to a negative display of hate,” Bangert stated.

Board of Selectmen Chairman Ed McManus presented selectmen with information Monday night on the No Place For Hate program, which is associated with the Anti-defamation League and is a concept first started in Philadelphia .

McManus said the goal is to bring to the fore discussions about community tolerance and greater acceptance of groups that make up the community. Calling it a good thing, he said there appears to be a number of people in town who wish to participate.

The walk is scheduled the day after International Human Rights Day and the board might want to present a proclamation on that doctrine, McManus said. There will be a community meeting with “the breaking of bread and soup,” the board chairman said.

Selectman Donald Howell recommended getting the clergy involved, urging all aspects of the community to come together to show Harwich is “and open and caring community, instead of hostile.”

“I’m not one to jump,” Selectman Peter Piekarski responded. “I have not had a lot of time to look into these things. There are other organizations out there.”

Piekarski urged the board to move slowly, looking at other approaches than those spelled out in the No Place For Hate program, stating there is a lot to commit to with that program over the next 12 months.

“We don’t want to tolerate any kind of hate or prejudice,” Piekarski said. “But I don’t want the impression Harwich is running rampant with hate and prejudice. It’s no different than a month ago.”

The selectman said that particular program requires the town to commit to serious responsibilities and it might be premature to jump into it without first doing research. Piekarski called the sign defacing “a despicable incident” and he agreed the town should give it recognition. Howell agreed with that position, stating the community should not tolerate such an action and he would support a march.

Selectman Robin Wilkins wanted to know who is hosting the event and whether it had a particular title. He said any message from the board must be clear and supported by the membership.

McManus said Bangert has preliminarily referred to the event as “No Place For Hate Harwich.”

The board chairman said Bangert had intended to be at the meeting, but had to work and could not be present.

“I’d like to support A World of Difference Day,” Wilkins responded, citing a negative connotation in No Place For Hate Harwich. “If you lead with a negative it ends up negative.”

Wilkins said he respects Bangert and the work he has done on this issue, but he cautioned the board not to start down a road it does not intend to travel.

Howell agreed, stating the No Place For Hate title implies there is hate. He said it sounds like the town is looking for hate.

“This should be a positive response to a negative experience,” Howell said. “This Sunday should be about the response to a sign painted and not about preliminarily selling a slogan.”

Piekarski also said the town is walking a fine line by allowing the event to take place on town property. He cautioned against one particular organization controlling what happens there.

McManus said it is not an organization, rather a group of people who have come together. He referred to Bangert as one person who has read about a particular program. Piekarski said he had concern about the distribution of literature in a town building.

“I don’t anticipate any literature other than maybe the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” McManus responded.

The board asked Town Administrator Wayne Melville what he knew about the organization and the planning for this event. He said all he knew is what was presented to selectmen last week. It was pointed out community center director Carolyn Carey has spoke earlier on Monday night about planned use of the community center.

“We can’t have one organization presenting their side in a town building,” Piekarski said. “We need to be careful as a town as to what’s taking place in our town buildings.”

The board directed Melville to find out what will be occurring in the community center on Sunday and who will be in charge of the event. Melville was to report to each member of the board his findings before the event is held.


Let The Community Lead

The discovery of a swastika spray-painted on a sign at the bike trail near Harwich Center recently could be dismissed as a random prank. But the power of the Nazi symbol is too strong, its weight heavy with the deaths of millions at the hands of those who adopted the ancient bent cross as their emblem. It can’t be ignored.

Yet addressing the hate and intolerance the appearance of the symbol represents is problematic. The perpetrator of the crime has yet to be identified. Evidence of other hate crimes in town is limited, to say the least. There have been incidents in the past, the community has been swift to address them. Harwich is not exactly a hot bed of intolerance and discrimination. It is, to say the least, a difficult situation.

Those who raised concerns last week are taking what is probably the best approach. A silent march is planned for Sunday to show that members of the community do not condone this sort of hurtful vandalism and will gather together afterwards in the community center over food and conversation to strengthen the bonds of community. Doing this is a far more effective way to combat hate than making speeches or instituting “educational” programs that won’t, in the end, attract those who need them the most.

The concerns some selectmen expressed Monday about allowing the No Place For Hate organization to use the community center are misplaced. Organizations should not have to undergo a litmus test or disclose the information they will disseminate in order to be allowed to use a public facility. Any group should be given equal access to public facilities --- even those whose message may be counter to that of No Place For Hate --- in deference to our free society, as long as those organizations adhere to the rules and policies put in place for use of the facilities. Ensuring free speech by all is the best way to guarantee that those who espouse hate or intolerance are marginalized.

We fail to see the problem with the use of town facilities for Sunday’s event. Further, we’re not convinced that it is up to the selectmen or any other town agency to take on the task of countering whatever influence in the community led to the spray-painted swastika. Private individuals appear to be willing and able to organize and provide the community guidance that appears warranted here. Town government’s role should be limited, at best, to an endorsement. In order to be effective, a campaign to counter the sentiment represented by that swastika has to come from the people.


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United against hate' walk Sunday
By Douglas Karlson/

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

In a loosely organized grassroots campaign to show that the Harwich community is united against hate, Harwich residents are invited to walk together Sunday afternoon. The event was suggested by resident John Bangert in response to the defacing of a bike path sign on Route 39 in Harwich Center late last month. A swastika was spray painted on the sign.
Bangert is a local organizer of the No Place for Hate Committee, a program under the umbrella of the Anti-Defamation League. At Monday’s selectmen’s meeting, town officials endorsed the walk, which begins at the Community Center at 1 p.m. Afterward, around 3 p.m., selectmen chairman Ed McManus said the town would open the Community Center and host a discussion of the situation. Details were still being sorted out as the Oracle went to press.

While the board condemned the vandalism, selectmen stopped short of advocating becoming an official No Place for Hate community, saying they want the community to weigh in first. Bangert did not attend Monday’s selectmen’s meeting, but according to McManus, he has been contacting local clergy to seek their support for the walk.
According to the website of the Anti-Defamation League, No Place for Hate is a “community based campaign that empowers participants to challenge anti-Semitism, racism, hate and bigotry of all forms.”
Towns may be designated as No Place for Hate communities by forming a committee, issuing an official proclamation and press release, and organizing anti-bias programs.
In addition, towns must carry out at least three activities to promote respect and understanding. These activities are chosen from a list of more than 30 activities recommended by the Anti-Defamation League. The activities include creating school orientation programs, sending teachers and administrators to diversity training seminars, sending police officers to hate crime training, and holding community forums on civil rights.
Selectman Peter Piekarski isn’t ready to commit to the No Place for Hate program until he learns more about it.“I want some more time to do some research on other organizations that do the same thing but in a different fashion,” he said Monday. “A walk to wash away hate and discrimination I support. [But] I don’t want the impression that Harwich is running rampant with hate and prejudice.” Selectman Don Howell agreed, but said it’s important for the community to “coalesce around this thing this weekend.”
Selectman Robin Wilkins suggested that the event be called A World of Difference Day rather than No Place for Hate.Drawing on terminology from the Anti-Defamation League, he said, “I would support a World of Difference Day ... if you lead with a negative it becomes negative.” No Place for Hate conveys the wrong message, he said.
The walk coincides with the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the UN on Dec. 10, 1948.
Participants in Sunday’s walk and discussion are asked to bring a can of soup that will be donated to the Harwich Food Pantry.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

A Prayer from John Brown - Harper's Ferry 1859

" Now let us thank the Eternal Power:
convinced That Heaven but tries our virtue by affliction,—
That oft the cloud which wraps the present hour
Serves but to brighten all our future days."

Friday, December 02, 2005

Souper Sunday December 11th March to Reclaim Bike Path Signs!


This idea just in from No Place for Hate Harwich committee Cathy Comeau, and her Harwich High School daughter, Jesse Comeau. Our committee is open to all who share our commitment to non-violent social change. Call (508) 432-9256 or (508) 432-4988 for more information.

On Sunday, November 27 a Nazi Swastika was sprayed on the bike crossing sign on Route 39 in Harwich Center. On this coming Sunday December, 11th, at 1:00 PM we will gather at the Harwich Community Center and walk / march silently to the site of the bike crossingÂ’s road sign defacement, exactly two weeks to the day it was noticed and reported by Harwich Town Planner, Sue Leven.

We invite towns people, clergy, town officials, and or whomever wishes to join us.

Our program will include the reading aloud of the UN Declaration of Human Rights affirming, that Harwich is No Place for Hate! Followed by a moment of silence to reflect on this season of peace.

We would like to celebrate our town's diversity.

Return to the Harwich Community Center for hot soup from borscht to zucchini.

We also are asking folks to bring cans of soup for the Harwich Food Pantry so that this activity will be positive response to the negative display of hate. If this is something folks want to do please support this by telling others in your neighborhood. The No Place for Hate Harwich committee is open to all who share a commitment to non-violent social change. Please join us!

Here is a bit of information on our Harwich Community Center.

Harwich Community Center Director, Carolyn B. Carey

Hours of Operation:
Monday through Friday - 8:30am to 10:00pm
Saturday - 9:00am to 5:00pm
One weekend a month the Community Center is open extended hours.
For more information please call the Main Desk at 508-430-7568


Mission Statement

The mission of the Harwich Community Center is to provide facilities for the residents (permanent and nonresident taxpayers) of Harwich to engage in recreational, social, educational, cultural, community service, civic, and governmental activities. The Center should provide opportunities for persons of all ages to participate in a wide range of programs that educate and stimulate the public, enhance self-confidence, and promote mental and physical health.

The primary responsibility for the program and activity development lies with the Council on Aging and the Recreation and Youth Department. However, the Community Center Facilities Committee and the Community Center Manager may develop and/or promote social, cultural, community service, or governmental activities in keeping with this mission statement and the policies outlined in the Use Policy.