Four Freedoms Coalition will safeguard our basic freedoms

On Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 residents of the Berkshires will  gather together at 12:30 p.m. in front of St. Joseph’s Parish on North Street for a march that will begin at 1:00pm, and will culminate inside the First Church of Christ at Park Square, with various speakers, including James Roosevelt III, the paternal grandson of FDR.

The timing is noteworthy, for it happens the day after the 75th anniversary of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s landmark 1941 “Four Freedoms” speech to the 77th Congress. At that time, Roosevelt, with the nation on the brink of World War II, outlined a democracy that was “founded upon four essential human freedoms”: “freedom of speech and expression,” “freedom of every person to worship God in his own way — everywhere in the world,” “freedom from want,” and “freedom from fear.”

This statement of purpose can also be applied to the newly convened Four Freedoms Coalition, a grassroots group of concerned citizens which is organizing the Jan. 7 march and rally, which declares that is core purpose is “to defend and reclaim the Four Freedoms for all peoples.”

"Hope will never be silent." - Harvey Milk, LBGTQ activist

“Hope will never be silent.” – Harvey Milk, LBGTQ activist


Partners & anyone interested in volunteering are invited to our Four Freedoms March & Rally planning meeting next Wednesday, December 28th at 7pm at Barrington Stage Company’s Stage 2, located at 36 Linden Street in downtown Pittsfield. Everyone is invited to help make this event a powerful statement of unity.

12:30pm: Gather in front of St. Joseph’s Church, 414 North Street, Pittsfield
1pm: We march down North Street towards Park Square. Bring banners, flags and signs
1:30pm: Indoor rally at First Church of Christ on Park Square, 27 East Street (confirmed speaker list below)
2:15pm: Community open house featuring info tables from many four partners: an opportunity to explore great local organizations.
For more information, go to the Four Freedom’s Facebook Page.

(l to r) Sherwood Guernsey, Shirley Edgerton, Dennis Powell, Brian Morrison and Megan Whilden.

(l to r) Sherwood Guernsey, Shirley Edgerton, Dennis Powell, Brian Morrison and Megan Whilden.

Confirmed rally speakers include:
U.S. Senator Edward Markey
Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, member, Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women
James Roosevelt, grandson of Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Elizabeth “Liz” Recko-Morrison, 2015 Berkshire Labor Person of the Year
Dennis Powell, President, Berkshire County Branch of the NAACP
Eleanore Velez, BCC Multicultural Center Director
Ethan Zuckerman, Director, MIT Center for Civic Media
Lead partners:
Berkshire County Branch of the NAACP
Berkshire Central Labor Council
Berkshire Brigades

Community organizations (partial list):
350Mass – Berkshires
Barrington Stage Company
Becket Democratic Committee
Berkshire Citizens for Peace & Justice
Berkshire Community College
Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT)
Berkshire Family YMCA
Berkshire Immigrant Center
Berkshire Museum
Berkshire Stonewall Community Coalition
Berkshire Theatre Group
Cafe Palestina of the Southern Berkshires
Community Access to the Arts (CATA)
Congregation Ahavath Sholom
Elegant Stitches
Elizabeth Freeman Center
First Church of Christ on Park Square
First United Methodist Church of Pittsfield
Great Barrington Democratic Committee
IS183 Art School of the Berkshires
Jewish Federation of the Berkshires
Knesset Israel
Lift Ev’ry Voice
Living the Change Berkshires
MadJacks BBQ
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
Manos Unidas
Morningside Neighborhood Initiative
Multicultural BRIDGE
Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires
Out in the Berkshires
Pittsfield Democratic Committee
Progressive Democrats of America
Rites of Passage & Empowerment (R.O.P.E.)
Sheffield Democratic Committee
Sheffield Historical Society
Temple Anshe Amunim
Unitarian Universalist Meeting of South Berkshire – Social Justice Committee
United Africans of the Berkshires
United Educators of Pittsfield
WAM Theatre
West Stockbridge Democratic Committee
The White Rose Party
Williamstown Democratic Committee
Women of Color Giving Circle
Young Democrats of Massachusetts
Youth Alive

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