Peace Action of Central New York, an affiliate of Peace Action national office and Peace Action of New York State, is an organization that strives to engage and inform its membership and the greater community in activities that promote peace, human rights, the abolition of nuclear power and weapons of mass destruction. In pursuit of peace since 1981.
2013 E. Genesee Street
Syracuse, NY 13210
October potluck: watch for details
November 10: Peace Action movie night at ArtRage Gallery, 505 Hawley Ave. Film to be announced.
Time to Ban Nuclear Weapons
Nuclear weapons are the only weapons of mass destruction not banned by international convention. Yet the use of only one nuclear weapon would have devastating consequences for the climate, environment, health, food production, and economy of our planet...
Read the full article here.
HONORING NELSON MANDELA: NO TO NUCLEAR WEAPONS
We in the US are indebted to Mandela for his strong, principled stance, which gives us work to do even now.
First, we need to halt the ongoing waste of our tax dollars on nuclear weapons as it impoverishes people everywhere.
Second, we must stop plans for "modernization" and "life extension" of US nuclear weapons, which would escalate their lethality into new military capabilities, and scuttle disarmament negotiations between NATO and Russia.
Third, we need to ratify existing treaties to reduce strategic nuclear arms and ban nuclear testing comprehensively.
ALERT #1: This month(Dec. 2013) Congress considers S.1197, the Defense Authorization Bill, which (in Section E)seeks to upgrade the B-61 bomb, each of which would cost $25 billion -- the most expensive warheads in the US arsenal. We need to urge Rep. Dan Maffei, who sits on the House Armed Services Committee, and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand to oppose the wasteful "life extension" and "modernization" of these weapons. Better to extend the lives of people !
ALERT #2: As Congress debates raising the "debt ceiling" this month, we have the opportunity to cut even more Pentagon waste than the "sequester" did. Recall that the sequester only reduced the increase slightly: the Defense Bill is still $626 billion. We need to remind Congress that the Cold War is over, current wars are winding down and we don't want to start new ones. In fact, investing in "defense transition assistance" for defense contractors to convert their manufacturing to civilian purposes would both stimulate the economy by creating more jobs (e.g. Lockheed could diversify and maintain a local presence) and reduce our reliance on Pentagon procurement (which wastes money). Please write your representatives and urge them to cut more from the Pentagon, not less (seehttp://pullthepork.org/).
We will safeguard our children's future education, health, nutrition and well being by working for peace the way Mandela did. Thanks for your support for Peace Action CNY!
Sign this petition calling for peace and jobs
Mr. President and Members of Congress:
During this period, when people of faith and secular people alike reflect on the year that is ending and look forward with hope to the year ahead, it is a time to put aside differences and enmities to celebrate our universal values... (Read the full petition)
We need jobs not cuts! Work not Wars!
Coverup: Risk of Nuclear Melt-Down in U.S. Higher than it was at Fukushima
October 20, 2012
Numerous American nuclear reactors are built within flood zones. The Huntsville Times wrote in an editorial last year:
"A tornado or a ravaging flood could just as easily be like the tsunami that unleashed the final blow [at Fukushima as an earthquake]."
An engineer with the NRC says that a reactor meltdown is an "absolute certainty" if a dam upstream of a nuclear plant fails . and that such a scenario is hundreds of times more likely than the tsunami that hit Fukushima.
Albany County Legislature Passes Move the Money Proclamation!
Thanks to Upper Hudson Peace Action for their work to get this passed!
Sept. 23 marked 20 years since the last nuclear bomb test in the United States. For those of us working for nuclear disarmament, this is a moment to celebrate and to rededicate ourselves to eradicating weapons of mass destruction. The United States was the first country to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1996. However, our government has failed to ratify the CTBT and now is one of eight governments whose non-ratification prevents the treaty from entering into force.
Please take a moment to write to President Obama and ask him to follow through on his promise to ratify the CTBT.
Staff organizer for Peace Action of Central New York
Printed in the Post-Standard on October 14, 2012.
Videos from Reclaiming Power: The Fukushima Nuclear Accident and Combating Nuclear Threats in CNY
Speakers: Paul Gunter from Beyond Nuclear in Washington, DC; Tim Judson from Citizens' Awareness Network; Steve Penn, Physics professor from Hobart William Smith College
Tim Judson/Getting involved/Q&A)
Short interview pre-event with Paul Gunter
A Nuclear Facility We Don't Need
from New York Times
Anti-Nuclear Groups Protest Proposed Manhattan Project Park
from New York Times
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar last week offered his support for the establishment of a Manhattan Project National Park, and top leaders on Capitol Hill have already vowed to move a plan developed by the National Park Service through Congress in the coming months. But Michael Mariotte, executive director of the Maryland-based Nuclear Information Resource Service, said today that the effort runs contrary to the goals of the national park system.
Dear Poor People, Thank You For Going Without Heat So We Can Buy Another Week of War.
Dear low-income American,
I know times are tough. I know many of you saw your savings and home values hurt by Wall Street recklessness. I also know that, with official unemployment above 9 percent, it is tough to find a job, and many have been forced to choose part-time employment that lacks benefits. But as a result of extending the Bush tax cuts for millionaires, the budget deficit has grown.
So, despite your problems, you are going to be “asked” to sacrifice. Your president is planning to cut $2.6 billion
As a result of your going without heat next winter, we will be able to afford almost one whole week of fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which cost about $468 million a day
I hope you understand that when we had to choose between providing basic necessities to our citizens or fighting about five more days in Iraq and Afghanistan because of [insert newest justification here], we clearly just had to choose the wars over you.
The Democrats in Washington
Military robots and the future of war.
What Kind Of Top-Secret Assassination Tech Does $58 Billion Buy?
by Sharon Weinberger Copyright © 2009 Popular Science
A Bonnier Corporation Company. All rights reserved.
Under Cover The Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel, an unmanned reconnaissance drone, is the most recent aircraft to emerge from the military's "black" budget.
Every year, tens of billions of Pentagon dollars go missing. The money vanishes not because of fraud, waste or abuse, but because U.S. military planners have appropriated it to secretly develop advanced weapons and fund clandestine operations. Next year, this so-called black budget will be even larger than it was in the Cold War days of 1987, when the leading black-budget watchdog, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), began gathering reliable estimates. The current total is staggering: $58 billion—enough to pay for two complete Manhattan Projects.
Where does the money go? Tracking the black budget has always been a challenge. Constantly shifting project names that seem to be randomly generated by computers—Tractor Cage, Tractor Card, Tractor Dirt, Tractor Hike and Tractor Hip are all real examples—make linking dollar amounts to technologies impossible for outsiders. But there are clues.
According to Todd Harrison, an analyst at the CSBA, the allocations for classified operations in the 2011 federal budget include $19.4 billion for research and development across all four branches of the military (funding for the CIA, including its drone strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan, is contained within the Defense Department black budget), another $16.9 billion for procurement, and $14.6 billion for “operations and maintenance.” This latter category, Harrison notes, has been expanding quickly. This may suggest that many classified technologies are now moving from the laboratory to the battlefield.
Chernobyl: 25 Years After The Nuclear Disaster (PHOTOS).
Since 1993, renowned National Geographic photographer Gerd Ludwig has visited the site several times, creating an in-depth look at the many consequences of tragedy. The thawing of bureaucratic barriers in Ukraine enabled him to move freely within the Exclusion Zone and delve deeper into contaminated reactor than any other Western still photographer. "I know that my explorations are not without personal risk. However," he says, "I do this on behalf of otherwise voiceless victims who allow me to expose their suffering solely in the hope that tragedies like Chernobyl may be prevented in the future."
This spring, Gerd Ludwig plans to return to the reactor and the areas around it to investigate the state of contamination to the land; to report on the progress of its cleanup; and to examine the health consequences in the fallout regions of Ukraine and Belarus. Harnessing social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, his project entitled The Long Shadow of Chernobyl is funded partially through the crowd-funding website Kickstarter, where individuals can pledge their support for the project.
The Sly Fox Congress.
by Rick Olanoff
But this particular post-2010 election Congress has been remarkably productive! Therefore I suggest that we call them the “Sly Fox Congress”. First they made a necessary, if somewhat repugnant, compromise with Republican leaders that kept working class and middle class tax cuts, extended unemployment benefits, and created other job-producing incentives. The GOP insistence on preserving tax cuts for the very wealthy was morally and economically wrong, yet thanks to their greed, nothing would have been done about the good parts of this deal otherwise.
And what a wonderful series of bills have been passed by both the Senate and the House since this compromise on taxes! These include:
1) The end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, allowing gay, lesbian and bi-sexual soldiers to serve openly.
2) Passage of the New Start Treaty with Russia to allow for nuclear weapon inspections, American-Russian cooperation on nuclear issues, and a significant reduction in each country’s nuclear arsenal.
3) A food safety bill, including 1800 more inspectors, and new standards.
4) A very overdue and deserved health care coverage plan for 9/11 responders.
All of this was done in just a few weeks and each bill represents a major accomplishment. Wisdom and common sense prevailed over partisan politics, a very welcome change in Washington. Still there is so much more we need our government to do, even in these 4 areas:
by Gerald R. Lotierzo - Chair of Peace Action of Central New York.
On Friday, November 19th sixteen Central New Yorkers arrived in Columbus, Georgia once again to march in front of the gate at Fort Benning to protest the existence of the School of the Americas (aka Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation). Ever since the execution of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter in El Salvador on November 16, 1989 by soldiers trained by Fort Benning military personnel, protesters have stood at the gate in mid November demanding the closure of this School of Assassins. Those six Jesuits had been outspoken advocates for the poor and critics of human rights abuses committed by the Salvadorian government. This notorious U.S. Army School’s graduates continue to be linked to decades of documented human rights atrocities and massacres throughout Central and South America.
The protesters have always been committed to the philosophy of non-violence and those who wanted to commit acts of civil disobedience were prepared to accept the consequences. Since 1990, there have been close to 300 convictions of human rights activists who have served nearly 100 years of collective jail and prison time. The recent relationships marchers had with the Columbus police at times were cordial and respectful but not this year as the Federal, City and State authorities randomly accosted and arrested innocent bystanders. Twenty-four were arrested on city and state charges, including unlawful assembly, failure to disperse, and parading without a permit. Two were charged but not taken into custody. Some were blockading the highway leading into Fort Benning with a sign that read, "Stop: This is the End of the Road for the SOA" and intended to be arrested. But many of those arrested were not intending to risk arrest but were swept up as they walked back to their cars after they left the permitted protest following the vigil on Saturday. These included four credentialed journalists and a Columbus, Georgia barber, who came out of his barbershop to take a photo of the protest. A minister from Tennessee walking side by side with his wife was arrested walking to his bus in the parking lot but she was not.
US lost communication temporarily with 50 ICBMs.
by Alicia Godsberg - Executive Director, Peace Action New York State.
There has been no official explanation as to why the 50 ICBMs at Warren AFB went offline for approximately one hour in October, but an investigation is ongoing. Twelve years ago, similar failures to ICBM computer systems occurred at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota and at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana.
The U.S. currently has 450 Minuteman ICBMs on high alert at all times as well as 288 Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs) carrying 1,152 nuclear warheads. The U.S. also fields 113 nuclear capable bombers able to deliver 316 deployed nuclear bombs or cruise missiles, and approximately 250 nuclear gravity bombs are deployed in Europe as part of NATO's Strategic Concept (which is being reviewed this month). We should not let Senate Republicans opposed to further nuclear arms reductions and the New START treaty use this incident to prevent the Treaty from being ratified, and we should not wait for a tragic accident involving missiles equipped with nuclear weapons to pressure our government to move more quickly toward eliminating all nuclear weapons.
Learning from the Tea Party.
by Ted Glick Active in the climate movement since 2003, the progressive third party movement since 1975 and the progressive movement since 1968. Past writings and other information can be found at tedglick.com.
This is how I concluded a Future Hope column on September 12th of last year reporting on the first major demonstration of what has become the Tea Party. I spent several hours at this 2009 demonstration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., listening to the speakers, checking out the signs and feeling the crowd vibes. My overall assessment was that although the politics were very different, their action had a lot of similarities to the massive peace and justice demonstrations our side organized during the early years of the George W. Bush administration. These demonstrations, many of them much bigger than the one organized by the Tea Party, took place from 2002-2006, when the rightist-led Republicans controlled the White House and both houses of Congress. Being out of power, we back then and the tea baggers in 2009 both felt the need to demonstrate in the streets.
Nuclear Power: Dirty, Dangerous and Expensive--Enviro Close-Up.
by Karl Grossman - Blip_TV
He tells of the insoluble problems of nuclear waste, how nuclear power plants routinely emit radioactive poisons, how catastrophic accidents can happen, how nuclear power plants are pre-deployed weapons of mass destruction for terrorists, and the enormously high costs of nuclear power.
He exposes the falsehood that the French nuclear program has been a success and that nuclear power does not contribute to global warming.
BP's Other Gifts to America—and to the World.
by Lawrence S. Wittner - Dr. Wittner is Professor of History at the State University of New York/Albany. His latest book is Confronting the Bomb: A Short History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement (Stanford University Press).
BP originated in 1908 as the Anglo-Persian Oil Company—a British corporation whose name was changed to the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company two decades later. With exclusive rights to extract, refine, export, and sell Iran's rich oil resources, the company reaped enormous profits. Meanwhile, it shared only a tiny fraction of the proceeds with the Iranian government. Similarly, although the company's British personnel lived in great luxury, its Iranian laborers endured lives of squalor and privation.
In 1947, as Iranian resentment grew at the giant oil company's practices, the Iranian parliament called upon the Shah, Iran's feudal potentate, to renegotiate the agreement with Anglo-Iranian. Four years later, Mohammed Mossadeq, riding a tide of nationalism, became the nation's prime minister. As an enthusiastic advocate of taking control of Iran's oil resources and using the profits from them to develop his deeply impoverished nation, Mossadeq signed legislation, passed unanimously by the country's parliament, to nationalize the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company.
$33 billion for war while communities can't pay teachers? Seriously?
Abolish nuclear weapons, say members of Peace Action Central New York.
by Diane Swords and Tom Bennett, PeaceActionCNY.org
Today nine countries maintain nuclear arsenals, over 23,000 warheads, 95 percent of which are held by the United States and Russia. These uniquely destructive weapons can destroy life on our planet many times over. They are used as political weapons of terror, reinforcing global inequality.
Eradication of these weapons will end the threat of global annihilation and end this hierarchy of terror. It will unlock enormous resources to address global warming and mass poverty, and to lead in the global trend towards demilitarization.
Stop armed drone attacks.
by MacGregor Eddy
Watch the slideshow for more information.
Imposing Middle East Peace.
by - Henry Siegman
The inevitability of such a transformation has been held out not by "Israel bashers" but by the country's own leaders. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon referred to that danger, as did Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who warned that Israel could not escape turning into an apartheid state if it did not relinquish "almost all the territories, if not all," including the Arab parts of East Jerusalem.
Olmert ridiculed Israeli defense strategists who, he said, had learned nothing from past experiences and were stuck in the mindset of the 1948 war of independence. "With them, it is all about tanks and land and controlling territories and controlled territories and this hilltop and that hilltop," he said. "All these things are worthless. Who thinks seriously that if we sit on another hilltop, on another hundred meters, that this is what will make the difference for the State of Israel's basic security?"
It is now widely recognized in most Israeli circles--although denied by Israel's government--that the settlements have become so widespread and so deeply implanted in the West Bank as to rule out the possibility of their removal (except for a few isolated and sparsely populated ones) by this or any future Israeli government unless compelled to do so by international intervention, an eventuality until now considered entirely unlikely.
by George Haeseler - Retired dentist and a very engaged political, social activist in Upstate New York. He is a member of Broome County Peace Action.
He cited past successful social movements as examples, but I maintain that now it will take more than just public demand to eliminate these two. These threats and others like them are global in extent and social movements alone will go nowhere if there is no structure to implement them.
Here is a short list of some other global threats, not in any particular order of urgency or magnitude:
No Good War protest.
by Kevin M. Martin - Executive Director Peace Action
That day Peace Action staff and members from around the country reminded the administration that if the US isn't leaving then we aren't leaving either.
Check out photos from the No Good War protest that members of Peace Action Central NY and staff also took part in. Take action!