Weekly Update – March 25, 2016

March 25, 2016

1.  Events (WNYPC followed by allies – chronological within category)
2.  WNY Peace Center Membership Drive
3. ** Special Public Outcry Section: TPP (Federal) and Anti-BDS (Federal)
+ General Info** 

Send announcements to weeklynews@wnypeace.org for possible inclusion in the Weekly Update.

1. Events

“Week of the Warriors” for Peace, Justice and Nonviolence
March 21 – 27
Listen to WBNY (91.3 FM) when you get a chance. Various WNY Peace Center members will be interviewed over the rest of this week.

#JusticeForIndia – Continuing Vigil at Erie County Holding Center (ECHC)
4-5pm, Wednesday March 30. 40 Delaware Ave, Buffalo.
4 people were arrested on Friday March 18, in a related action called by BARC, which the Peace Center is part of.

Book Release: Kent State: Death and Dissent in the Long Sixties
7 pm, Thursday March 31. Burning Books, 420 Connecticut St, Buffalo.
Tom Grace, shooting victim of the Kent State massacre, releases his groundbreaking new book.

Nonviolence Training for Direct Action
A particularly scary political season is upon us, so be prepared to be tested. Come practice so you are ready to de-escalate yourself and everyone else.
Choose from 3 sessions and be prepared to stay for the full length (about 2 hours):
2 pm, Saturday April 2. WNY Peace Center, NRC Building, 1272 Delaware Ave., Buffalo
7 pm, Tuesday April 5. ‘Rafi’ Greene, Jr. Masten Resource Center 1423 Fillmore Avenue, Buffalo
6 pm, Wednesday April 13. Lincoln Memorial United Methodist Church, 641 Masten Avenue, Buffalo

Please RSVP if possible at 716-332-3904.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Service and Rally
6 pm, Monday April 4. Lincoln Memorial United Methodist Church, 641 Masten Avenue, Buffalo
Sponsored by various organizations including Concerned Clergy of WNY, BLAC, BUILD, We Are Women Warriors, WNY Peace Center and others.

Resist Militarism! Taskforce Monthly meeting:
5 pm, Thursday April 7. WNY Peace Center, NRC Building, 1272 Delaware Ave., Buffalo.
Vigil: Disrupt the death squadron operating at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station (NFARS).
Join us at the main gate to the NFARS on the 2nd & 4th Thursday each month (April 14) at 3:30-4:30pm (or pick another day of the week and bring a group with signs).
For more information, contact Russell Brown, at 716-570-5200; hobadoxa@me.com.

Multifaith Anti-Drone Conference
Sunday-Monday, April 8-9 Stony Point Center, 17 Cricketown Road, Stony Point, NY  10980
Keynote speakers include Media Benjamin of Code Pink and Arun Kundnani, author of “The Muslims Are Coming!”. Early bird registration rate: $169, includes program, housing, meals and entertainment. Special rates available for students and commuters. To register and learn more, go to www.stonypointcenter.org/anti-drone. Questions, contact (845) 786-5674 x106 or ssmith@stonypointcenter.org

Environmental Justice Taskforce Meeting
6: 30 pm, Thursday Apr 7. Crane Library, 633 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo, NY 14222

Bissonette Evening Celebration with Kathy Kelly!
Thursday, April 21. Daemon College, 4380 Main Street, Wick Center
6:30 pm – Social and refreshments. 7:30 pm – Speaker.
The WNY Peace Center and particularly its Latin American Solidarity Committee are thrilled to invite you to the Bissonette Evening with Kathy Kelly, founder of Voices for Creative Nonviolence (vcnv.org).
“Solidarity Across War Zones: Lessons Learned in Central America, the Middle East, and Central Asia”
During the cold war between the Soviet Union and the United States, the  U.S. claimed to be fighting communism in Central America by training, arming and supporting various militaries and paramilitaries that committed hideous human rights abuses and slaughtered hundreds of thousands of civilians.  Now, as the U.S. provokes a new cold war with both China and Russia, the U.S. is exacerbating violence by insisting on military intervention. Kathy Kelly will discuss effects of U.S. military invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq. Kathy, nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize, is a courageous, eloquent, and insightful activist you won’t want to miss.  www.lascwny.org  716 332-3904
Tickets: $15 in advance, $20 at the door, students with ID are free. Patron: $25 or more per person.

WNY Peace Center ANNUAL MEETING, Funraiser, and PotLuck
2 pm Sat., April 30. St. Mary’s School for the Deaf, 2253 Main St (main building), Buffalo, NY 14214
3:30-4 pm Peace Market and Info-Tabling
4 pm Peace 4 Ways Fun-Raiser: 1) Peace Education Fund; 2) Fun School #1 (cooperative childcare exchange); 3) Mission Improvable – Buffalo Contact Improvisation Community; and 4) WNY Peace Center.
5pm Potluck
If you are interested in being on the Coordinating Board of the WNY Peace Center, please call the office at 716-332-3904 for information.

Peaceful Conflict Resolution / Peace Education Project
For Teens:
PeaceJam is an international organization with 13 Nobel Laureates on its board that uses fun activities to provide youth with inspiration, education, and action.
PeaceJam also fulfills community service hours!
Wednesdays 5:00-6:30pm – every Wednesday that school is in session.
(Dinner served at 5pm. – Program starts at 5:30pm.)
Delavan – Grider Community Center, 877 East Delavan Avenue, Buffalo, NY
Contact Vicki (716-931-3520) for more information.

Environmental Justice Taskforce
Ban Trapping on Public Land in Grand Island!
Campaign initiated by David A. Reilly, Ph.D. and Nicole Gerber.
Pass a law that prohibits trapping on ALL public lands, not just parks and trails.  Learn more at:

Climate and Clean Energy Writers Group – The Sierra Club
Renewable Energy in Erie County
6-7:30 pm,  Monday April 4. Unitarian Universalist Church, 695 Elmwood (at Ferry), Garden entrance. 2nd Floor Alliance Room.  Free and open to the public. billnowak@gmail.com  for info.
Eric Walker, Erie County Director of Energy Development and Management, will speak about the County’s greenhouse gas inventory and their plans and initiatives for renewable energy.

Stations of the Cross – SSJ Sister Karen Klimczak Center For Nonviolence
Good Friday, March 25. Eagle & Hickory Streets, 418 N. Division St., Buffalo.  Phone: 716-852-3331.

Prisoners Are People Too Meeting
Monday, March 28, 7 pm – 9pm, at the Pratt-Willert Center, 422 Pratt St., Buffalo.

¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art
Artist’s Talk: Ashley Powell. “Climate Change, System Change, Personal Change”
Friday, April 1 at 7 pm, 148 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo. Powell’s installation challenges people to think about environmental racism and classism. Phone:  1.716.931.5833, photolangelle.org

Women In Black – weekly vigil for nonviolence. Every Saturday, noon to 1pm, Bidwell and Elmwood. Signs provided. (You don’t need to be a woman or wear black.)

2.  WNY Peace Center – Membership Drive!

You know how important our mission is right now. Please help us stop militarism, racism and weaponized drones and work for human rights, justice (including economic and environmental) and peace education.
Your donation is a key ingredient to making it all happen!

*** If your membership has lapsed, now’s the time to renew. That’ll enable you to vote on anything that comes up, and support the work you know is so important!! So . . .
Please RENEW your current or previous membership and/or
JOIN and be a NEW member!

Although knowing that you are a part of the solution is the best reward, we offer you Thank-You gifts to show our deep gratitude.
*  Bumper sticker at the $10+ Student/Low Income membership level
*  T-shirt + Bumper sticker at the $50+ Peacenik level
*  Noam Chomsky DVD at the $125+ Sustainer’s Circle level
*  “Blood on the Tracks,” a book by S. Brian Willson + Chomsky DVD when you join the Director’s Circle at $250+
*  Book, DVD, T-shirt and Bumper sticker when you join as a Major Donor at $1000+ or a Lifetime Membership for $2,500+

To join:
Make a check payable to: WNY Peace Center, and mail it to: WNY Peace Center, 1272 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo NY, 14209. Please write “Membership” on the memo line of your check.
Pay securely on-line via PayPal with your credit card. Go to http://www.wnypeace.org/new/membership.html

The Peace Center is a 501(c)(3) organization. Your membership is tax-deductible. A copy of our latest annual report may be obtained, upon request, from the WNY Peace Center (1272 Delaware Ave., Buffalo NY 14209) or from the NYS Charities Bureau (120 Broadway, 3rd Floor, New York, New York 10271).

Thank you so much!
3. ** Special Public Outcry Section
Human and Civil Rights Alerts!!!
Federal legislation: Trans-Pacific Partnership and Anti-Boycott/Divestment/&Sanction

Please contact your federal Senators and Congress members re – the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) & Anti-Boycott/Divestment/&Sanction (Anti-BDS) legislation.
The TPP, detailed below, allows corporations to make their own rules and judge their own cases and the Anti-BDS outlaws specific constitutionally-protected political action. Both are severe challenges to our civil and human rights. Again, see below.
And go to
to find all of your federal and state representatives.
Peace and Thanks.

TPP per Democracy Now! Feb 4, 2016:
One of the world’s biggest multinational trade deals, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, has been signed by 12 member nations in New Zealand and will now undergo a two-year ratification period in which at least six countries must approve the final text for the deal to be implemented. The Trans-Pacific Partnership encompasses 12 Pacific Rim nations, including the United States, and 40 percent of the world’s economy. Opponents say it will benefit corporations at the expense of health, the environment, free speech and labor rights.
Activists have kicked off a worldwide series of protests around the signing of the trade pact, including a nonviolent blockade of the convention center in Auckland where the signing took place. A Maori tribe refused a request to perform at a welcome ceremony for trade ministers, saying the TPP threatens sovereignty.
Meanwhile, the White House has warned Congress that a delay in ratifying the deal will cost the U.S. economy. Trade Representative Michael Froman said the Obama administration is doing everything in its power to move it forward. But Lori Wallach of Public Citizen, argues, “We have to make sure every member of Congress says there’s no way, we’re not meant to do this.” The deal has also become a campaign issue, and Wallach notes, “There’s no presidential candidate in any state polling over 5 percent who supports the TPP.”

The TPP can take effect only if the U.S. Congress approves it, and its fate in Congress is uncertain at best. Opposition to the TPP is growing at home and in many of the other countries involved. Many of our WNY Congressional Representatives have recently taken a stance against the TPP. Please call to find out if your representative is amongst them and, if so, thank him or her (includes Reps. Brian Higgins, Louise Slaughter, and Chris Collins).

Dangerous Anti-BDS Legislation Blacklists Political Activists

Hi, All! For those of you who haven’t heard about the anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) bills:
– A bill was passed quickly in the NYS Senate that would blacklist and ban companies that are boycotting an ally country of the U.S., from doing business with NYS.  The boycotts being targeted by this legislation are those directed at Israeli businesses operating in the (illegal) settlements, although it would apply to boycotts etc. re any allied country. The bill passed the Senate with no debate, but apparently we managed to have it stopped in the Assembly and the Governmental Operations Committee by Crystal Peoples-Stokes, chairwoman of the committee.
Unfortunately, however, a new bill has been proposed in Congress – HR 4514, the “Combatting BDS” bill. It’s an appalling attack on our free speech rights, as well as a brazen attempt to legitimize Israel’s illegal settlements. Please urge your Congressperson to oppose HR 4514.

Letters to the Editor would also be very helpful. Any moves to increase public awareness would be helpful.
If political action against “allies” is outlawed, how well will it be received re the U.S. Govt? The implications are terrible.
We hope you can help out. We’re all in this together.
Peace and Thanks
Talking Points:
– These bills infringe on our First Amendment rights to free speech.
– The Supreme Court has long held that boycotts to bring about political, social, and economic change are protected under the First Amendment. In fact, our country has a proud history of protecting boycotts as a form of political speech – from pre-Civil War boycotts against slavery to the Montgomery bus boycotts during the Civil Rights Movement to the boycott of apartheid South Africa.
– The U.S. should be a leader on human rights issues. It has no business shielding Israel from boycotts protesting human rights abuses and settlements, which are considered illegal under international law and violate official US policy going back decades.
– Human Rights Watch recently issued a report calling for companies to cease doing business with illegal Israeli settlements. Human Rights Watch is one of the most respected human rights defenders in the country.
– Our government should be passing laws that protect our First Amendment rights, not laws that restrict those rights.
– Efforts such as these to punish individuals who choose to engage in boycotts to protest Israeli human rights abuses have an unconstitutional chilling effect on the First Amendment right of all Americans to engage in human rights boycotts of any kind.

General Info :

For questions, comments, inquiries, suggestions, and concerns regarding the Peace Center, contact our Executive Director at:
Victoria (Vicki) Ross
Phone: (716) 931-3520
Email: victoryross9@gmail.com

Our Weekly Office Hours (for drop-in visits, calls, etc.) are:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday:  1-3 p.m., or by appointment.
1272 Delaware Avenue (use back entrance and ring buzzer to get inside), Buffalo, NY 14209
Phone: (716) 332-3904


Eric Gallion
Phone: (716) 310-4292
Email: egallion@verizon.net

Charley Bowman
Phone: (716) 688-2374
Email: CandABowman@verzion.net
Website: http://wnypeace.org/new/projects.html
Frank Gage
Phone: (716)893-5584
Email: snowbird1967@roadrunner.com

Phone: (716) 876-3872
Main Website: http://www.lascwny.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/LASC-wny/143873822377380/
WNY Peace Center Page: http://wnypeace.org/program/lasc.php/

Victoria Ross
Phone: (716) 884-0582, (716) 931-3520
Email: victoryross9@gmail.com

Chuck Culhane
Phone: (716) 228-2076
Email: culhane9@gmail.com
Website: http://wnypeace.org/program/Prison%20Action%20Committee.php/

Heron Simmonds-Price
Email: heronimousphunk@gmail.com
Phone: (716) 768-2986

Russell Brown
Phone: (716) 570-5200
Email: hobadoxa@me.com
Website: http://wnypeace.org/program/ResistMilitarism.php/

Student/Low Income: $10
Peacenik: $50
Sustainer’s Circle: $125
Director’s Circle: $250
Major Donor:  $1000
Lifetime Membership: $2500
Other Donations (you may indicate any reason):
Send Checks and/or Money Orders (made out to “WNY Peace Center”) to:
Western New York Peace Center, 1272 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14209. Please write “Membership” or your purpose for your donation on the memo line of your check.
You can also pay with your credit card via PayPal at www.wnypeace.org

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