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"When the power of love overcomes the love of power,

the world will know peace."

-Jimi Hendrix



SUFFOLK PEACE NETWORK meetings are usually held the first Tuesday of each month at the Cinema Arts Centre. 423 Park Avenue Huntington NY at 7:15 pm in the Sky Room Cafe.

Join the discussion at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SPNorg/


For information regarding the Counter Military Recruiting Committee of SPN, go to:

http://www.freewebs.com/suffolkprogressivevision/licmrc.htm

Peace and Social Justice Groups in Suffolk County include:

 

Babylon Green Party (631-422-4702): www.babylongreens.org
Bellport Women In Black (631-286-5879)

Code Pink LI Women For Peace:  codepinkli@aim.com

Food Not Bombs: www.lifnb.com

North Country Peace Group (631-331-3419)

North Fork People of Conscience (631-765-4612) www.nfpofc.blogspot.com

Pax Christi Long Island (631-896-3375)

Peace & Justice Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bellport (631-286-8459)

PeaceSmiths (631-798-0778)  www.PeaceSmiths.org

School of the Americas Watch Long Island (631-751-2097)

South Country Peace Group (631-281-0055) www.SouthCountryPeace.active.ws

Veterans For Peace, Raheen Tyson Heighter Memorial Chapter 138 (631-987-3338)  www.vfpli.com

World Can�t Wait (631-672-5409)



The NORTH COUNTRY PEACE GROUP stands in protest of the occupation of Iraq every Saturday from 11:00 until noon on the corner of Bennetts Road and N. Country Road in Setauket. Recently a group of pro-war demonstrators have been standing across the street. Both groups participated in a forum to discuss the American intervention in the Middle East. LI VFP member Mac Bica wrote this essay regarding the event: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/102207B.sht

Photos from the event can be found here: http://www.pbase.com/rakelly/communityforum



Check out our photo website here to see pictures from the LI Walk and more!


"Never in the world can hatred be stilled by hatred;

it will be stilled only by non-hatred.

This is the law eternal."

--Buddha


9-21-2010 From The SayvillePatch Website in The Neighborhood Files
Local Residents Celebrate World Peace Day

The annual World Peace Day was celebrated by local residents with music and outreach efforts.

Local residents gathered to celebrate International Day of Peace in Sayville on Tuesday, singing songs such as Bob Dylan's famous  Blowin in the Wind, and encouraging fellow residents to do what they can to stop war around the globe.

Peace Day was established in 1981 and officially recognized by the United Nations in 2001 as an annual day of non-violence and cease-fire.

The event, held at the corner of Montauk Highway and Broadway Avenue, was organized by residents active in Women in Black and the Suffolk Peace Network organizations. Women in Black is a group that demonstrates against war by standing quietly at various community locations.

Colorful flags depicting peace signs flapped nearby as the group set up its table and monument of peace for the one and half hour event.

Rich Sackett tuned his guitar as fellow organizers welcomed attendees and distributed a sing-along booklet.

Last year the event drew over 40 people, said Nancy Doxee.

That celebration was held at Railroad Avenue and Montauk Highway, in the heart of Sayville, and proved too small to accommodate attendees.

Anyone interested in getting involved in the World Peace Day event and other peace activities can visit the Suffolk Progressive Vision website, which lists various groups involved the effort.




A Presence For Peace
Protestors ask senators to retract war votes

After a meeting with Senators Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Charles Schumer�s (D-NY) representatives on August 31, members of several Long Island peace groups were unsatisfied with the lack of response and decided to take action. On Tuesday, the groups gathered in front of the senators� offices on Pinelawn Rd. in Melville to begin four days of protesting.

The groups are asking for the senators to retract their �war vote,� admit they made a mistake and direct their efforts toward pulling the troops out of Iraq. Both senators registered a vote of �Yea� during the Senate�s passage of the resolution to use military force in Iraq in October of 2002.

The protestors� �presence,� as they call it, is dubbed Camp Casey Long Island, and their reception seems to be overwhelming.

As cars drove by, beeping incessantly in response to activist Diane Atkinson�s �Honk For Peace, Stop the War, Save the Children� sign, only a handful of rush hour drivers stopped to tell the protestors to �go home� or �get a job.�

Among the groups represented were Pax Christi, Suffolk Peace Network, South Country Peace Organization and CODE PINK. People came from as far as Bayport and Setauket to hold signs calling for peace and asking, �What is the noble cause our children are dying for?� a question that Susan McKeon sang to passing drivers.

Bill McNulty, who traveled from Setauket for the demonstration, is part of Veterans for Peace and other groups, including Pax Christi, having served time between the Korean War and Vietnam War. McNulty went to Crawford to see Cindy Sheehan, and came home echoing her question, �What is the global cause that took her son�s life?�

These protestors also addressed the lack of federal response to the hurricane damage in Louisiana and Mississippi, speculating that the administration is preoccupied with the war in Iraq. �The government has time to traipse all over the world, but they don�t have time to help their own people right here,� McNulty said.

McKeon agreed. �They should have had the National Guard here, helping people. Instead all the people and equipment are in Iraq on some foggy-headed scheme that Bush came up with,� he said. �The absurdity of it is FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] said they couldn�t get there, yet Halliburton already has a contract to do rebuilding in New Orleans.�

Rosalie Yelen, a Huntington Station resident and member of CODE PINK, a women-initiated peace and social justice movement, also saw the link. �I think people are also starting to see the connection between Mississippi and the war. Forty percent of the National Guard is in Iraq,� Yelen said, adding that Senator Clinton is looking to send more troops to Iraq.

Atkinson, who has six children and 19 grandchildren, is appalled at recruitment efforts for young men and women to serve in the Army. She works diligently on counter-recruitment initiatives in local schools, giving students an alternative to enlisting by counseling them on how to declare conscientious objection status.

The majority of the protestors commented on their disappointment in the Democratic Party, as well as their two Democratic senators whom they believe turned their backs on their constituents. �The Democrats are a disgrace,� McNulty said. �They are dead and ready for burial.� McKeon said she felt that the party wasn�t properly representing its members.

Risa Heller, a representative for Schumer said that the senator planned on meeting with the groups over the next several weeks. Representatives for Clinton did not return calls for comment before deadline.

The peace groups will be outside of the senators� Melville offices until Friday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., calling attention to their plea. Many will also be attending the March on Washington calling for an end to the war on September 24.

As McKeon said, �Nobody has to be afraid of being unpatriotic now.�

The Taco Bell Celebration in Louisville,

My Dear Friends,

This is just a little note to let you know about the amazing experience I had  in Louisville Kentucky,   I thank Rev. Noelle D'Amico for inviting us to go to Louisville to protest the slavery and exploitation of these tomato pickers who provide the tomatoes for Taco Bell and other fast food companies. 
 
The Taco Bell boycott is over and I was profoundly moved by the people I met as some of us from Suffolk Peace Network, Jobs with Justice, a church youth group member and teacher,and others from Suffolk County who took our bus to Brooklyn and picked up a community family group from Bushwick called Make the Way by Walking, and went with them to help celebrate the victory of the Taco Bell strike.  The pickers penny more a pound is a precedent setting event.  It makes the large corporate fast food giant state publicly that it takes responsibility that its suppliers do not base their profits on slavery and suffering.  The anti-sweatshop students that I met their, the  Presbyterian Church USA who hosted us their in Louisville showed me that victories can be won and there is hope in a movement for change.
 
The Dominican, Mexican and other people I met on the bus who brought their whole families from Brooklyn to help the union celebrate their triumph were wonderful and warm to us, and
shared their food with us as we shared ours with them.  The Urban Spirit church community center in Louisville fed us with all kinds of salads and fahitas.  Their was such friendship between the tomato pickers, religious people, students  and other farm worker organizations.  Mr. Benitez of the United Farm Workers( Cesar Chavez's union) was there and spoke emotionally about the job that these workers do to pick our food.  Kerry Kennedy, Robert Kennedy's daughter was there and spoke of justice for those who pick our food, Immigrant's rights advocates who themselves had done picking as children and who are now lawyers and advocates spoke of the work they do, and all stressed that this is only the beginning of this movement for justice.
 
I wrote a poem that I want to share with you.
 
 
Bushels of Dignity
 
They were standing
packed together,
Mexican faces, Guatemalan faces, Haitian faces,
care worn woman faces, young hair swinging fresh
smiling, mahogany faces,
butternut faces, walnut faces, clean shaven and not,
all packed together so their bodies were not separate,
up there on the stage
organic pillars supporting
their tender picking, fast grabbing fingers,
filling up containers with tons of tomatoes,
the seconds ticking their lives filled,
expressions so proud
they forced a giant to see and recognize
who they are
struggles inflicted on their flesh and families,
facing pesticides and machinery
church people, student flowing faces,
innocent yet wise, there to see triumph
over their repetitive hours and celebrate
their joyful spirits,
Mexican musicians, African dancing, rappers,
chants and hymns affirming that life can be better,
artists and tomato pickers
clutching hands and futures
 
Si Se Puede
 
 
This is an experience I will never forget.  May I take the love, belief, hope and spirit of these people who pick the food into everything I do. Especially the struggle to bring peace into this world.

Warmest Regards,
Susan McKeon-Steinmann


Congratulations to the Peace Walkers from May 17, 2004

For a picture of the Peace Walkers at the Federal Courthouse in Islip Click here. and other various peace efforts in our vicinity check out our photo album. Click here.

Cablevision's News 12 had a brief mention along with some footage from the Federal Courthouse. Here is the transcript:

"Anti-war protestors marched from Bridgehampton to Central Islip demanding an end to the fighting in Iraq. The demonstrators say they were tired of hearing about friends and relatives that were killed over seas. They carried signs saying 'Build Homes Not Bombs' and 'End the War'. The 60mile trek began at the flagpole in Bridgehampton and ended at the federal courthouse in Central Islip."


NAACP Stand in Solidarity with the Peace Walkers

On the day the Peace walkers arrived at the Islip Federal Court; Members of the NAACP who were attending a court proceeding for a discrimination case against the Suffolk County Police Department, stood in solidarity with the peace walkers while they trespassed on federal  property without incidence. Newsday had an article describing the case and ultimate victory for the police officer.

Peace Walkers attend court cases to Support Peace Activist, Connor Cash and Officer Felicia Collins

In a return gesture of solidarity, the Peace Walkers show their support of Felicia Collins and Connor Cash by attending court cases after the walk was complete. An article had appeared in Newsday.



- PeaceSmiths

'Being an activist means being aware of what's happening around you as well as being in touch with your feelings about it -- your rage, your sadness, your excitement, your curiosity, your feeling of helplessnes, and your refusal to surrender. Being an activist means owning your desire.'

-Paula Allen



 PEACESMITHS

Community Organizing for Peace and Justice - Education, Activism, Culture, Mutual Help.

P.O. Box 312, Massapequa, NY 11758

Contact: Kimberly Wilder, Interim Coordinator

(631) 798-0778
peacesmiths@yahoo.com

PEACESMITHS WEBSITE:  www.peacesmiths.org

and a My Space: myspace.com/peacesmiths

Please visit these two sites for up to date information regarding PeaceSmiths.

******************************************************************************

 
Susan Blake passed away on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007. Sympathy and love to her sister Nancy and her many friends. She will be missed.
A beautiful memorium to Susan can be found here including a link to her speaking at the 2007 LI Peace Summit: http://wilderside.wordpress.com/ 
 
******************************************************************************
      NEW YORKERS AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY    www.nyadp.org
Questions, or to set up an event in your neighborhood:
Colleen.Eren@yahoo.com (Organizer)
516 849 2363

******************************************************************************
 
School of the Americas Watch
www.SOAW.org | 202-234-3440 |

Every November, a demonstration against the School of the Americas/Western Hemisphere Intitute For Security Cooperation (www.soaw.org) takes place in front of the office of Rep Peter King in Massapequa Park. This is held in solidarity with the annual SOA Watch vigil in Fort Benning, Georgia. The SOA/WHISC is an institution long associated with human rights abuses.  So many of the Latin American soldiers who have graduated from this "school" have committed numerous atrocoties against the civilians in their native countries. Many who have worked for labor & human rights in Latin American nations have been tortured & murdrerd by graduates of the SOA.  REP. KING IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST SUPPORTERS OF THE SOA and the only Long Island congressperson who has not signed on to close this school of the assassins!! Call King's office (516) 541-4225 and urge him to sign on to HR 1217, "The Latin America Military Training Review Act of 2005."

 
In The News . . . John Phillips staged a one-man sit-in October 2005, in Hilary Clinton's Melville, Long Island office, during the Long Island Camp Casey vigil. He chose the day the 2000th American soldier died in Iraq. His aim was to focus attention on Clinton's Iraq war position. More information at NYC Indymedia click here.

Retired Police Officer and Peace Activist Faces Court

1/27/06  Inspired by Camp Casey, John Phillips was arrested for refusing to leave Clinton's Melville office.

By Doris S. Wilk

John Phillips, a Captree Island resident, was accustomed to court appearances as a New York City Police Officer. Now retired, he finds himself on the other side of the law after he was arrested last October during the Long Island Camp Casey vigil in Mellville.

John Phillips, a Captree Island, Long Island resident, was accustomed to court appearances as a New York City Police Officer. Now retired, he finds himself on the other side of the law after he was arrested last October during the Long Island Camp Casey vigil in Mellville. Inspired by Cindy Sheehan, he decided to stage a one-man protest, sitting in Hilary Rodham Clinton's office until she would explain her vote for the Iraq invasion and continued occupation. He chose the day on which th 2000th American soldier died there.

After a postponement of his case on January 4, 2006, Mr. Phillips is now scheduled to appear in the 1st District Court, 400 Carlton Ave. Central Islip on Friday, February 3, 2006 at 9:00AM. Representatives of Long Island peace groups will again gather at the courthouse in solidarity with Mr. Phillips. Supporters include Pax Christi Long Island, The Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives, The Counter-Recruiting Committee of The Suffolk Peace Network, The Long Island School of the Americas Watch, and Peacesmiths. He was not permitted to speak at his first court appearance on January 4th. Mr. Phillips and the Peace Groups will make a public statement outisde of the court after his February 3rd appearance.

John Phillips  returns to the 1st District Court, 400 Carlton Avenue, Central Islip on Friday, February 3, at 9:00AM. He will be joined by supporters from many Peace Groups on Long Island.

Read the report by Sheila Croke (of Pax Christi LI) reguarding John Phillips' day in court click here.


 'Fighting crime by building more jails is like fighting cancer by building more cemeteries.'

-Paul Kelly


. . . New! booklet - 'The Prison inside the Prison' available here.

. . . Dr. Richard D. Bartel's paper - 'Prisons For Non-Violent Offenders?' Click here.

. . . Prison Families Anonymous - A program of FEGS. For more info click here. Contact Barbara Allen: ballanpfa@aol.com

. . . Petitions for opposing jail click here. Arrangements can be made to pick up petitons or you can send them directly to your representative. Call or contact the Suffolk Progressive Vision at 631-875-8647 or spv@active.ws


WOULD YOU SPEND YOUR TAX DOLLARS THIS WAY?

$200 MILLION DOLLARS TO BUILD.

$30-60 MILION A YEAR TO RUN.

INCREASED DEBT AND PROPERTY TAXES.

NO IMPROVEMENT IN PUBLIC SAFETY.

NO COMMON SENSE REFORMS TO THE SYSTEM.

We need you to join us. Don't allow your voice to be absent from this important debate. Click here now!


Excellent site put together by public access producer ('Talk It Up!') Annie McKenna, outlines the criminal trial process.

www.perjury.us

"The truth as to what really happens during a criminal trial, and why so many innocent people are being prosecuted and convicted, is presented within the following pages and will scare you. You may not want to believe it."


Excerpt from an early article by Nancy Swett found at the Eastend Independent Newspapers site describes the situation then:

"Some questioned the size and scope of plans to expand jail facilities, arguing that portions of the growing jail population would be better served elsewhere, including the mentally ill and those in need of training, education, and social services. Statistics show a growing jail population is inmates with mental illness. Those inmates account for 16 percent of the jail population, according to Dr. James Golbin of the county Department of Probation, who has extensively studied the problem with a multi-disciplinary team.

The vast majority of inmates are from the lower socio-economic strata. About two-thirds of the inmates are awaiting trial and cant make bail. According to a November 2003 county needs assessment study, over 41 percent of county inmates in 2002 were unemployed when admitted. In the same year, over 48 percent didnt have a high school diploma. There is a high rate of recidivism because once inmates get out, they often have no housing, no job, and no community support system."

Read the complete article here.

Probation is a Cost Effective Sanction:

"Probation offers maximum benefit to the public which it serves. The cost of probation supervision in Suffolk County is approximately $4.00 per day, as compared to $125.00 per day to house a prisoner in our local jail. Probation is one of the only areas in the criminal justice system that generates substantial reimbursement for programs that protect the community.

In 1999, The Suffolk County Probation Department collected:

-over $1,000,000 in restitution for crime victims,

-over $870,000 in administrative fees from offenders."

Visit the Suffolk County Probation Department's very informative web site here.

Legislator David Bishop seeks Alternatives to New Jail Facility:

"Unless we explore alternatives, we will have to double county General Fund property taxes, which I am not prepared to do," said Bishop. "Nearly all alternatives [to building the new jail] are cheaper, and many are safer."

Article from the Long Island Press outlining Bishop's proposal here.

Sheriff's Department says Bishop's plan won't work:

"In order for something like this to happen you need the judges, district attorney's office, legal aide and the probation office to work together," John Desmond said.

Article from the Long Island Press illustrating the Sheriff's response here.


The peace symbol was designed and completed February 21, 1958 by Gerald Holtom, a commercial artist in Britain. The symbol resembles a crow's foot in a circle.

Holtom had been commissioned by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament to design a symbol for use at an Easter march to Canterbury Cathedral in protest against the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment at Aldermaston in England.

The symbol itself is a combination of the semaphore signals for the letters "N" and "D", standing for Nuclear Disarmament. (The letter "N" is two flags held in an upside-down "V", and the letter "D" is one flag pointed straight up and the other pointed straight down).

Conspiracy theorists have ascribed a number of occult meanings to the symbol, rejecting the explanation that it stems from the semaphore.

From, www.wikipedia.org

For more information on the design and the designer click here.


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