NEW HAVEN, CONN. – It was standing room only Dec. 9 at the New Haven People’s Center as an array of activists from across Connecticut came out to honor four leaders and celebrate the 82nd anniversary of the Communist Party USA.

The annual event, hosted by the People’s Weekly World in Connecticut, was a demonstration of broad support for the struggle for a “World of Economic and Social Justice, Peace and Democracy.”

A greeting book and other contributions raised $3,500 to complete the $10,000 Connecticut fund drive goal.

In her welcome remarks, Joelle Fishman, chair of the Connecticut Communist Party, cited the victory of the Charleston Five to emphasize that this is not a time for despair, but a time to stand up, speak out and collectively win new gains for peace and justice.

Remarks by the honorees reflected the issues affecting working people and the world after Sept. 11 and in the midst of the economic crisis. They included: Pearl Granat, a veteran Hartford union leader and now a vice president for Local 1199 New York; Teresa Younger, the first African-American and first woman executive director of the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union; State Representative Evelyn Mantilla, a leader for an End Child Poverty Social Investment Fund; and Dr. David Adams and Lindsay Mathews, who returned to Connecticut after a decade in Paris where David worked for UNESCO as director of the International Year for the Culture of Peace (2000).

The pro-labor, pro-people’s message of the reception was highlighted with a call to support Pratt and Whitney workers on strike at four Connecticut plants.