Speak-out on ECHC; Racial Justice + Prisoners’ Rights; Talking Peace

Sunday, December 6th, 2020

We want to highlight our upcoming Zoom event: Speak-out on Erie County Holding Center. Join the WNYPC this Thursday, December 10th at 6:30 PM – on International Human Rights Day – for an opportunity to share your lived experience and/or perspective on the Erie County Holding Center, and to hear from authorities. Details to join are below.

– Superintendent – Jail Division, Thomas Diina will be attending, as will Miles Gresham, Esq., and Heron Simmonds, members of the Corrections Specialist Advisory Board.

– Heron, Racial Justice Taskforce Co-Chair, and other WNY Peace Center members, including its Racial Justice Taskforce and Prisoners’ Rights Taskforces, will also be involved. Other officials have also been invited (attendance TBD).

– Please come to tell your story and hear what current plans are. We’ll start with a Community Agreement to ensure we have a productive conversation, in truth and love.

Please also join us for the following preparatory events and activities TOMORROW:

– At 1PM, tune in to Talking Peace on WBNY. We’re thrilled, in the first hour, to have Medea Benjamin on, covering Cabinet appointments (tell Biden not to pick Flourney!), endless war, War Powers Act, sanctions, Cuba, and more; followed second hour by a conversation with community activist Myles Carter discussing the Speak-out, Erie County budget, and the vicious cycle of violence visited on BIPOC communities; please see more below.

– At 5PM, join the Racial Justice and Prisoners’ Rights task forces for a joint meeting on Zoom. We’ll plan for the upcoming Speak-out and explore other criminal justice and racial justice issues and campaigns. All are welcome; please see more below.

We also want to mention the recent NAPL victory. National Fuel was denied an extension of its deadline to complete a new pipeline carrying natural gas from PA to Canada through WNY. They’ve won every lawsuit over the pipeline so far, so this rejection is worth celebrating! Kudos to all those who worked on this, especially the Sierra Club and Diana Strablow. Now we need to be persistent on West Valley – please see more on that below.

Lastly, today is the final day of our Annual Fundraiser auction! We had many wonderful donations from our generous supporters, and there is still time to visit our virtual marketplace (Bidding Owl registration required) – perfect for holiday gift ideas! Includes items from great local businesses: El Buen Amigo, Burning Books, Black Monarchy, and more! Ends tonight at 11:59 PM!

Please also note that our campaigns below have been *updated* to include urgent items related environmental justice, antiwar foreign policy, and policing/criminal justice reform!

Please see details and much more below, including special and regularly scheduled events this week, plus campaigns, fundraisers, and more at wnypeace.org, on our Facebook page, Twitter (@wnypeace), and Instagram (@wnypeace)!

Peace, thanks, solidarity, and yes – love!

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3


Find more details and additional special events on our Event Calendar at


MONDAY, 12/7

1-3 PM – Talking Peace with the WNY Peace Center. On WBNY 91.3 FM or streaming on wbny.buffalostate.edu. First hour: Medea Benjamin, #CODEPINK, on US endless “war on terror”, Biden cabinet picks including war-hawks; activists working to stop war profiteer Michele Flourney; US violence and war crimes including economic sanctions and drones, interventions; foreign policy dangers in remainder of Trump’s term; campaign for Cuban doctors to receive Nobel Peace Prize for international service during pandemic. Second hour: Myles Carter, community activist, on the County budget; legislature votes (Tues 12/8); County lock-ups (ECHC and Alden) together at 1/3 capacity taking ~10{18f4e0a41fddb2e88741536e88191ef0d4c56a815c6739466934f6385f4e0c26} funds during economic crisis; huge toll on POC in Buffalo; vicious cycle of violence visited on BIPOC communities; Speak-out on ECHC.

5 PM –Racial Justice/Prisoners’ Rights Joint Task Force Meeting. On Zoom (Meeting ID: 876 1394 5074 and Passcode: 397856). See more above.


10 AM – Making the Case: Why the US-Saudi Relationship Needs to Change. On Zoom – register here. Join the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) as they convene leading experts to make the case for why the United States should prioritize promoting human rights and countering authoritarianism in its relations with Saudi Arabia; on what issues the Biden administration should focus; and how the U.S. government, civil society, and private sector can stand up against Saudi repression.

4:30 PM – Fostering Civil Discourse in the (Remote) Classroom. Online – register here. Join Facing History for an interactive webinar where they’ll explore their newly updated guide “Fostering Civil Discourse: How Do We Talk About Issues that Matter?” which is designed to help teachers create brave in-person and virtual spaces where students can speak openly, listen empathically, reflect, and learn from each other.

5 PM – Justice For Migrant Families Annual Holida Card-Making Party. On Zoom – register here. JFMF will be making cards to send to those currently detained in the Buffalo Federal Detention Center in Batavia, NY. If you are unable to attend, but still want to contribute, please consider covering the cost of a book of stamps ($11) by donating here.

~7:20 PM – Talking Peace livestream/taping. On FB Live. Featuring Dr. Rolanda Ward, Director, Ostapenko Center for Race, Equity & Mission at Niagara University.


6:30 PM – Speak-out on Erie County Holding Center. On Zoom (Meeting ID: 843 4514 5004 and Passcode: 023625). See details above.

7 PM – For the Students: 2020 Buffalo Education Equity Forum. Online – register here. Come hear from Buffalo’s leaders about current equity efforts in light of the “dual public health crises” of COVID-19 and systemic racism.


Find more details and additional weekly/monthly events on our website at



1pm – Talking Peace (WNYPC radio show). On WBNY 91.3 FM or streaming online at wbny.buffalostate.edu. Insights on peace and justice with the WNYPC. At the moment, the show is being pre-recorded by Think Twice Radio: The Home of the Future!


3pm – Weekly Vigil and March Against the Death Penalty. From the Robert L. Jackson Courthouse to the ECHC. (Please bring your own sign.)

4pm – Prisoners’ Rights weekly vigil: No More ECHC Deaths! at the Erie County Holding Center. (Please bring your own sign.)


5pm – Immigrant & Refugee Justice (IRJ) weekly vigil: End Ice Terror! Outside the Delaware North Building. (Please bring your own sign.)


2pm – Environmental Justice weekly vigil: No Nuclear Waste over the Peace Bridge! At Front Park. (Signs on hand.)


12 pm – Women in Black weekly vigil. At Elmwood & Bidwell. (Plenty of signs on hand!)


Find more details and additional campaigns and fundraisers at



Environmental Justice

– Join the West Valley Action Network and support the full cleanup of one of WNY’s most dangerous radioactive pollution problems. Help protect our drinking water, environmental, and community! Join in proactively protecting our region from the long-lasting, deadly nuclear and hazardous waste at the West Valley site. Please also contact all of your legislators – local, state, and federal – to urge full covered cleanup with extensive monitoring! (They say they’re planning full clean-up but are not planning to cover the site, and only minimal monitoring.)

Resist Militarism!

Tell the Senate to choose peace and oppose notorious war-hawk Michele Flournoy for Biden’s Secretary of Defense! Flournoy, a former Obama Defense official, serves on the board of a major defense contractor and co-founded a consulting firm that’s done business with companies in the tech and defense industries. She also supported the wars in Iraq, Libya, and Syria when she worked at the Pentagon. We can’t let Biden’s foreign policy be dictated by a former Pentagon official who sits on the board of a company connected to Mohammed bin Salman and the brutal war in Yemen!

Policing & Criminal Justice Reform

City of Buffalo’s Parking Amnesty Program: December 31st deadline! The program allows individuals whose tickets are older (i.e., issued prior to June 30th, 2019) to pay the original amount owed without late fees and clear their records. Contact pvboffice@city-buffalo.com or 716-851-5182 for more information, and please help the Fair Fines + Fees Coalition spread the word about this very important program!

– Please support the Cariol Horne Whistleblower Fund!

– Contact ECDA John Flynn’s office (by phone: 716-858-2424 and by web: https://www2.erie.gov/da/) urging him to:

  1. drop all charges against Willie Henley! If you are able, please also contribute to Willie’s lawyer fee funds at gofundme.com/f/willie-henley-lawyer-fee
  2. re-visit the Buffalo 5 case (indictment no. 41-413)! Three of the original Buffalo 5 remain living and are seeking a complete exoneration and clearing of their names. Please also see the change.org petition and GoFundMe.com campaign.
  3. give Deyanna Davis more freedom while she’s in house arrest! Visit linktr.ee/deyannadavis for a petition, fundraiser, and more information.

Buffalo needs LEAD now! We recently saw a clear example of how the current way police respond to community members with mental health issues fails our community. This entire situation could have been avoided with Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD), a program that offers an alternative to arrest or hospitalization: diverting individuals into intensive management so their underlying needs are addressed. Learn more about LEAD here and SHARE WIDELY!

Support the demand that the police budget is de-funded to invest in traffic calming infrastructure and take BPD out of traffic enforcement all together. Please fill out the questionnaire shared by Fair Fines + Fees to participate in a budgetary process that aims to make positive changes to the City’s budget. NEW! You can also share your ideas and priorities for changing the Buffalo Police Department through this survey by Free the People WNY.

– If you are a social worker or mental health professional, please sign the WNY Agents of Change open letter to Mayor Brown re: working with the BPD.

#UNITEtheStruggles | #OneLove | #WeShallOvercome | #SiSePuede