Thursday, 30 August 2012

Bflo DA should drop charges against Nate Buckley

Sign a petition to drop charges against anti-war protestor Nate Buckley.
I was at the demonstration that day, and find the article in the posting below to be accurate. Here's the petition site:


An active contributing member of his Buffalo community, Nate Buckley was maced in the face and arrested last year in April 2011 at an anti-war demonstration. Here is a short video documentary on what ha
ppened that day:

Nate was with a group of peaceful protesters, marching through Buffalo without incident - stopping for short rallies at key locations, such as City Hall. When they reached the financial district for singing and a speak out, they stopped mostly on the sidewalk but some were on a ledge familiar to most in the group as a gathering place for the public to eat and enjoy the sun on their lunch breaks.

What the group didn’t realize was that the ledge and the area behind it - a fountain area with seats , also frequented by and in fact designed for the public - was allegedly owned by M&T Bank.

M&T Bank doesn’t normally call the police when people gather for lunch on their property but when people are there to speak out about important social issues, the formerly unrestricted space suddenly becomes off limits. Fortunately, the quick turn to violence brought by police actions was caught on video.

Rather than focusing on keeping people off of bank property, the transit police officers used intimidating tactics to break up the demonstration. They scuffled with Nate when he attempted to talk to one of the officers. One of the officers actually pulled out his taser in a move designed to instill fear in those participating in the demonstration. The police steered protesters onto the area allegedly owned by M & T Bank by dragging and eventually spraying mace directly into Nate’s eyes, inches away from his face!

Nate is accused of trespassing, obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest. He faces up over two years in prison if convicted on all counts. His trial lasted a week and a half, however, a mistrial was declared after one juror had an improper communication with the judge. Now, the District Attorney is ready to use the vast weight and resources of his office to try Nate once again.

The prosecution brought up Nate’s and even his family members’ active involvement in their community with important social and environmental issues as if this was evidence of a crime. The prosecution also brought up the fact that Nate spoke out about what happened to various news outlets as if this exercise of First Amendment rights was an example of guilt.

It is clear from the video evidence that the only person that suffered as a result of this incident was Nate Buckley. In his brief time on the force, the NFTA officer that maced Nate in the face had already thrown an elderly man on the ground because he for using a bus station restroom. (

The prosecution of this case is an affront to free speech and our right to assemble. The charges against Nate should be dropped immediately! Sign our petition to the District Attorney urging him to drop the case against Nate.

PS- Nate now needs to raise money for another trial with a new attorney - any amount small or large helps. If you want to help, go to this website:

No Drones Over Buffalo!

WNY Peace Center, August 1
Activists entreat City of Buffalo to be first in U.S. to prohibit use of drones

Photo: Activists entreat City of Buffalo to be first in U.S. to prohibit use of drones

WNY Peace Center, July 30
No Drones Over Buffalo!
Occupy Buffalo and WNY Peace Center will be showing our model Reaper drone and flyering again outside Buffalo's City Hall at NOONTIME Tuesday, July 31, 2012. Please stop by and help out.

At 2 PM, we will gather in Buffalo Common Council Chambers to hear how the Buffalo Common Council will vote on our petition prohibiting the use of police controlled drones flying over Buffalo NY.

Thanks to Eric G. (Buffalo's Billionaire!) for posting the drone photos from today's flyering activities in front of city hall.

Friday, 24 August 2012

military recruitment in the schools

Russell Brown and MaryAnne Coyle had a successful evening at the Board of Education (BoE) meeting last night. Russell had been looking for their policy on the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Test. We got the citation and Russell got a promise to meet. That was in public and is now documented in print that we have a starting point. Thanks to Dr. Brown for addressing the situation and thanks to Lou P. for giving us the policy reference number. Thanks, too, to Acting Superintendent Amber Dixon, for her service to the community.

posted August 23, 2012,   on

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

a letter to the Buffalo News

Here is a letter from Vicki Ross, published in the Buffalo News, August 20, 2012

Society must truly embrace nonviolence on every level   Published:    August 20, 2012, 12:07 AM

The Community Forum on Youth Violence and Safe Neighborhoods at Buffalo State College on Aug. 6 was a successful and important event. Many came to work on this vital topic: city, county and state representatives, academics, professionals (including from Buffalo Public Schools), parents and community leaders and, significantly, youth.
The forum was a great vehicle to explore the issue and possible solutions. Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes made perhaps the most important point - the violence of our own government is an often-ignored but absolutely critical factor in the violence we see in our streets and in our society in general.
When "might is right" (also known as bullying) is our foreign policy; when pre-emptive strikes, pre-emptive surveillance and torture are acceptable; when "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today [is] my own government," as Dr. King said, we shouldn't be surprised that violence is what really trickles down.
If and when we truly embrace nonviolence and use its tools of communication and cooperation, our communities and our world will become dramatically safer. Let's work toward that - for and with our youth. Forming a citywide task force, as wisely suggested by Lafayette High School Principal Naomi Cerre, would be a crucial next step.
Victoria Ross
Peaceful Conflict Resolution Consultant
Interfaith Peace Network
Western New York Peace Center

Monday, 13 August 2012

Protest and Panetta at Niagara Falls Airbase

Here's a report from  (WIVB / WNLO-TV)
on the Peace Center event from Thursday morning, August 9, 2012.
First hand report or pictures are welcome!

Protesters greet Panetta at Airbase

Updated: Thursday, 09 Aug 2012, 5:34 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 09 Aug 2012, 5:34 PM EDT
NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) - The Secretary of Defense didn't receive a warm welcome from everyone on Thursday.
The WNY Peace Center and Occupy Buffalo staged a protest near the Airbase. The groups are criticizing Leon Panetta for his time as the director of the CIA and the military's use of unmanned drones overseas.
Charley Bowman said, "Children, hundreds of children that were executed by CIA-controlled drones and Leon Panetta was the CIA director during many of those executions."
The protesters say they are are opposed to further military missions for the Niagara Falls Airbase.

In memory of the Nagasaki bombing

Here's some information about an event that took place August 9, 2012:

The Japanese Lantern ceremony commemorating the lives lost in the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki Japan,

combined with celebrating the United Nations' Indigenous Peoples Day with the Indigenous Women's Initiatives at the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, 25 Nottingham Court in Delarware Park, Buffalo New York 14209 from 5pm to 10pm.

This year we welcome the NO MORE FUKUSHIMA PEACE WALKERS to Buffalo, will hear about the Peacemaker's childhood who founded the Iroquois Confederacy in the early 900's AD, hear from the campaign for a Nuclear Free Cattaraugus Creek, participate in a Japanese Lantern ceremony commemorating the lives lost in the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki Japan, and share information about the peace movement in western New York. Pictures or first-hand report welcomed.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Banning drones in Buffalo

Here is Charley Bowman's report (from the weekly email) on the Common Council hearings:

Tuesday afternoon, July 31, Occupy Buffalo and the WNY Peace Center brought forth a resolution to Buffalo's Common Council to ban police - controlled drones in the City of Buffalo....the Council voted to table the issue, but two council members said informally they will support a vote on the issue when the Common Council returns to session in September. Those two council members seemed deeply concerned about the drone issue.

In the interim, we need to call, write email our representatives on the Buffalo Common Council letting them know we do not want police controlled drones flying over Buffalo, watching us enjoying our backyard scooping up dew from our dog. We can think of better ways to spend $30 million instead of on a Reaper drone. The $30 million could be divided among the 41,000 children in Western NY who go hungry each month (Rod Watson, Buffalo News, July 19, 2012), giving each $742 to spend for food each year, especially during the summer months when they do not have access to school breakfast or lunch programs. Police departments will be encouraged by the Department of Homeland Security to buy several drones, so multiply those figures accordingly. Money for food, not drones!

In Washington DC view, homeland security does not include eliminating child hunger in the US, much less the 41,000 hungry children living in and around Buffalo NY.

Food is just one issue, similar arguments can be made for student debt, access to health care, renewable energy projects, jobs....all of these are desperately needed but Washington DC continues to drone on instilling fear of crime and terror into the hearts and minds of every uninformed Fox News- watching American.

Thanks to Occupy Buffalo and members of the WNY Peace Center who kept the Peace Center's model Reaper Drone in front of City Hall for about an hour on three separate days during the past two weeks. We scheduled two other days in front of City Hall but we're rained out once and had a conflicting court appearance date another time. We ran out of flyers several times...but many hundreds of flyers were handed out. We will continue to make and hand out 100's more in the weeks ahead.

Let Buffalo NY become the first Drone-Free City in the U.S.!

Peace, Charley Bowman