Peacemakers, This will be my last Weekly Update as Interim Exec. Director of the WNY Peace Center. As some of you know, I am stepping down to lighten the load on my reduced energy levels and tomorrow I will be undergoing extensive medical tests (the allergy theory now occupies the top of the infinite list having displaced bacterial, viral infections, and more serious stuff – so the tests continue and the fee-for-service rate structure continues to help out the doc(s), so at least one of us will feel better at the conclusion of the tests). Having zero experience at organizational leadership when Jim Anderson and Lynda Schneekloth hired me March 2011, I was unsure I would last more than a few months. I could not have predicted the learning path upon which I was about to embark. Starting in October of 2011,Occupy Buffalo was absolutely terrific! I now know how to order porta potties, and many churches, secular organizations and individuals stepped up to fund that critical infrastructure on Niagara Square. The only person to get pooped out about the 99%’s three-month occupation of Niagara Square was Buffalo’s Mayor Byron Brown. The occupation of Niagara Square represented a perfect reminder of the extreme wealth disparity in this country, and the imperialistic symbolism expressed by the monument to President McKinley and his foreign adventures. The Peace Center’s credit union account grew 4 fold in 2011 because we did not pay anyone during that time and because about 400 members continued expressing hope through their checkbooks and volunteer time – perfectly happy with a highly inexperienced Executive Director. We had no task forces in March 2011. During the summer of 2011, we mounted an unsuccessful effort to get the Cost of War Clock mounted on Buffalo City Hall. Mayor Brown never responded to our infinite number of requests for a meeting with him. Eric Gallion formed the Global Economic Task Force and Bruce Beyer formed a task force to support military resistors residing in Canada. Russell Brown formed the Resist Militarism! Task Force which now focuses on drones and military recruitment. During the summer of 2012, Occupy Buffalo and PC members paraded the Peace Center’s drone in front of Buffalo’s City Hall, much to the dismay of city hall officials who said they would call the police --- the police were already double-parked in front of City Hall and they didn’t seem to care about the drone, so we continued parading the drone in an effort to get the Common Council to vote on a drone ban ordinance: it remains tabled. In the spring of 2013, that task force began anti-drone vigils at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. They also participate in Gandhian anti-drone efforts at Hancock Field near Syracuse NY. This year, Russell Brown, Valerie Niederhoffer and Bonny Mahoney were arrested at the April event: total bail was $5,000. The Peace Center picked up $4,500 and the Peace and Education Fund of Riverside Salem UCC/DC picked up $500. Two years ago, Vicki Ross was arrested at Hancock Field at the same event. Those efforts will continue. LASC came back to the WNY Peace Center, and they began hosting their monthly talks at Daemen College, in an effort to educate young people. They will continue that great effort during the fall of 2013. In the fall of 2011, Rita Yelda and Frank Gage taught me the evils of hydrofracking. They then formed the Anti-Hydrofracking TF, and Rita organized the effort to force the City of Niagara Falls to ban the transport of hydrofracking waste water into Niagara Falls NY for “treatment” (i.e., send the toxic solids to a landfill and send the toxic radioactive liquid over Niagara Falls). That victory continues to pay huge dividends for the environment, because it increased the costs to gas companies to deal with their waste water and continues to do its part in delaying hydrofracking in NY State. John Washington formed the Economic Empowerment TF that works to inform homeowners in debt how to deal with banks. Jean Dickson recently formed the Middle East TF and its first meeting was a classic: about 40 people showed up and a spirited discussion on Palestine and Israel ensued –- an excellent catharsis for lots of angst on all sides and the catharsis lasted for several months. We now have 7 busy task forces and pay 3 people non-living wages -- all supported by your continued generosity. Prompted by Buffalo News articles in the spring of 2012 about drones coming to the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, we created an alternative vision for that unneeded military base: a gigantic solar array. The United State’s industrial policy is totally war-related and we need to extricate ourselves from the military thinking box, as the world is nearing a point of no return in terms of global warming: 20-30 years from now the Arctic sea ice will disappear if we continue burning fossil fuels as we do. The melting sea ice will raise sea levels inundating low lands, and the warming oceans will power more terrible storms. A recent report indicates the bacteria that hold the soil structure together are also at risk. All this anthropogenic warming will create climate shifts and subsequent migrations in human populations: if it continues, global warming will create the perfect conditions for global war -- and lots more countries will have nuclear arms and drones by then. WWII will be considered a temporary skirmish by comparison, if it’s remembered in the history books at all. So we need to immediately lower atmospheric and human emotional temperatures with renewable energy and renewable spirit respectively. Perhaps the WNY Peace Center should have a new vision statement: Peace Through Justice, Renewable Energy and Spirit. Our two Peaceful Conflict Resolution specialists – Vicki Ross and Carlanda Wilson – continue to do their wonderful work on reducing human emotional temperatures. And Peggy Matteliano – our office manager – will keep the Peace Center’s office functioning properly. I will continue working on the solar array project, and recently testified at SUNY Fredonia about switching the Dunkirk Coal Plant to natural gas: Bad idea. Renewable energy is a better idea. From now on, Board member Eric Gallion will take over the Weekly Update. If you want to have your event posted in that extensive listing, send your event to: email@example.com. Eric and Peggy – our office manager – will monitor Director@wnypeace.org and respond accordingly. In the absence of a director, it’s not clear how the Peace Center will handle requests for Peace Center endorsement of events. Most likely your request will be decided at the Peace Center’s monthly board meeting. So get your request in 2 months ahead of time to assure adequate timing. Over the past 2 weeks I received many kind notes and I thank each one of you. Peace, --- Charley
Monday, 29 July 2013
Tuesday, 2 July 2013
Please Come to a BBQ fun time & fundraiser for
this year's Pastors for Peace Caravan to Cuba
Friday July 12 5 - 9 PM
74 Wellington Rd. near Hertel Ave. in Buffalo, phone 835 4705 for info
(suggested donation $10 - $20 +)
WITH Dave Thomas,Canadian Cuban Friendship Association, Niagara Chair who
spends months in Cuba motor cycling & also caravanistas past & present.
AND music by La Marimba:
Tiffany Nicely, Ringo Brill, and Gabriel Gutierrez perform original
arrangements of traditional music from Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.
See them on YouTube:
IFCO/Pastors for Peace in Buffalo, NY this year, through an exciting educational and
cultural program will celebrate the 24th Friendshipment Caravan to Cuba! In July 2013 the
caravan will travel visiting 100 US and Canadian cities, educating people about the
CARAVAN ROUTE SCHEDULE
July 8-15 Cuba Caravan Week: Organizing
events throughout the US*and Canada
July 16 Travel to Mexico City/ Participant orientation
July 17 Participate in major event in
July 18 Depart from Mexico City
July 19- 29 Caravan program in Cuba
July 29 Return to Mexico City
July 30 Return to the Hub City & Report Back
P4P will go directly to Santiago de Cuba to help reconstruct after Hurricane Sandy and to
be part of the 60th Anniversary of the attack on the Moncada Barracks. This year P4P will
not be traveling on school busses, but first fly from our hub cities to Mexico City, where
we will join our Mexican partners in a gala event. Cuba is well known for its rich culture
& focus on human development – all which comes from investment in human beings. We will
meet the young scientists, doctors, teachers, social workers, artists, musicians and
community activists who are increasingly at the forefront of developing their own society
and participating in internationalist missions to assist the peoples of other countries.
P4P is accepting the advice that Fidel gave: "Victory is winning the Battle of Ideas". We
want to end the Blockade. P4P is organizing on a new & exciting model this year, so stay
tuned for details!
WAYS YOU CAN GET INVOLVED Join us on a voyage of friendship and discovery!
•Join the caravan as a caravanista – contact P4P for an application form.
•Sponsor a young person or encourage others to apply – distribute our
brochure; sponsor someone from your community.
•Get involved locally – host a caravan event in your community and come
* Friday July 12 to a BBQ fun time & fundraiser:
5 - 9 PM 74 Wellington Rd. near Hertel Ave. in Buffalo, phone 835 4705 for info
(suggested donation $10 - $20 +)
with speakers from Canada & and also caravanistas past & present.
Contact Info: IFCO/Pastors for Peace
418 W. 145th St., New York, NY 10031
Ph: 212-926-5757 Fax: 212-926-5842
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org web site: www.pastorsforpeace.org