November 5, 2007: This website is an archive of the former website, traprockpeace.org, which was created 10 years ago by Charles Jenks. It became one of the most populace sites in the US, and an important resource on the antiwar movement, student activism, 'depleted' uranium and other topics. Jenks authored virtually all of its web pages and multimedia content (photographs, audio, video, and pdf files. As the author and registered owner of that site, his purpose here is to preserve an important slice of the history of the grassroots peace movement in the US over the past decade. He is maintaining this historical archive as a service to the greater peace movement, and to the many friends of Traprock Peace Center. Blogs have been consolidated and the calendar has been archived for security reasons; all other links remain the same, and virtually all blog content remains intact.THIS SITE NO LONGER REFLECTS THE CURRENT AND ONGOING WORK OF TRAPROCK PEACE CENTER, which has reorganized its board and moved to Greenfield, Mass. To contact Traprock Peace Center, call 413-773-7427 or visit its site. Charles Jenks is posting new material to PeaceJournal.org, a multimedia blog and resource center.
October 7, 2002 Protests in Greenfield and Northampton
The following articles are reprinted from The Greenfield Recorder and the Hampshire Gazzette as a "fair use" for educational purposes. Copies of this article may be available from the source on-line or via mail. This website has no authority to grant permission to reprint this article. At times we copy an article, with attribution, rather than link directly to the source as media links are often unstable, e.g. the article moves from the source's linked page to an archive, thereby creating a bad link on this site. Related story: Olver against; Neal undecided (Massachusetts Representatives for Greenfield and Northampton.)
Tuesday, October 8, 2002
Activists oppose Iraq war
GREENFIELD - George Touloumtzis of Greenfield stood on the Town Common in the cool fall air Monday evening, holding his right hand in the peace sign toward the rush hour traffic on Main Street.
"War should be the last resort. Finding a peaceful solution to any problem should take precedence over violence."
About 100 people gathered on the Town Common to speak and sing their views in opposition to U.S. forces making war on Iraq.
Some lined the sidewalks facing Bank Row and Main Street, holding signs saying, "Food Not Bombs," "Just What We Need, More Enemies" and "George, don't put U.S. between Iraq and a hard place."
Speakers and members of the crowd urged those gathered to write or call their representatives in Congress, talk to their neighbors and meet with like-minded people to steer the nation away from a war against Iraq.
"I am not affiliated with any group, but I just wanted to tell you all that war is hell," said Bob Lehay of Gill, raising his left hand, with his fingers crumpled as a result of injuries he suffered during his time in the Vietnam War. "You don't have to be a part of any group to do what is right. You just have to be a citizen of this country." He said he doesn't see any justification for sending the country's sons and daughters to a war in Iraq.
Throughout the event, people drove by, honked and flashed peace signs in support of the marchers. A few people drove by and voiced their opposition to the crowd, yelling "traitor" or "go to f------ Russia if you don't want to fight."
The Rev. Stanley Aksamit, pastor for three churches in Greenfield and Turners Falls, said society should remember that nonviolence and the theory of a justified war are both meant to work against using force as a way to settle disputes. "In the past 100 years, we've created wars and killed more civilians. I wonder if we can call ourselves civilized."
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Protesters oppose war on Iraq
Hundreds of people from throughout the Pioneer Valley attended the anti-war rally and candlelight vigil in Northampton Monday.
By KRISTI CECCAROSSI, Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 8, 2002 -- NORTHAMPTON - In a clamor of pots and wooden spoons, about 250 people made their outrage about the threat of military action in Iraq loud and clear Monday night as they flooded downtown.
Gathering first on the steps of the courthouse at 6:30 p.m., protesters spilled onto two blocks of sidewalk along Main Street. Those who weren't armed with kitchen utensils carried drums, tambourines, or empty water jugs - anything to join in the cacophony. Some cried out while clutching signs that blasted President George W. Bush and his willingness to strike Saddam Hussein's regime.
"People in our country need to realize this proposed war is just an excuse for gaining a stronghold on oil reserves and the rest of the world," said Stanley Pollack of Northampton. "Many people feel the president does not represent their interest, and that's why we are standing up. This is what our nation was founded on: the voice of the people."
Men, women and children gathered in the early autumn air. With a poster calling for peace draped over his shoulders, Northampton residents Lucas Sillars, 10, said it was important for him and his 6-year-old sister Emily to join their parents, Anthony and Cherese, at the event.
"We wanted to come tonight because we shouldn't be bombing Iraq. A lot of innocent people there will die. And we want to tell people that," he said.
"We are waking up the town because too many people are asleep. We stand as a symbol of resistance to war. And we're making joyful noise because we're listening to one another," said Valley Street resident Claudia Lefko. "We're banging in harmony. This is not random noise."
Within a half-hour the thunderous noise hit a crescendo, and as people drove by, many honked their horns to chime in. Protesters slammed their makeshift drumsticks against the iron gates around the courthouse, and on the bus stop, benches and street signs.
At around 7 p.m. the long, noisy line of demonstrators headed north, drawing curious onlookers into the doorways of several Main Street shops. The protesters packed into the front lawn of the Unitarian Society at 220 Main St., where speakers took turns addressing the need for international peace.
The Rev. Jay Deacon, minister of the Unitarian Society, introduced three flags hanging over the front steps of the church: the U.S. flag to honor the country, the United Nations flag to honor America's place in the world and a flag with a picture of Earth on it for universal perspective. He applauded the event's large turnout and praised people for carrying out what he called a patriotic act.
"Those love their nation best who call on it to carry out its highest promise," Deacon said. "If we do violence to others we do violence to ourselves."
The crowd joined in songs and anti-war chants before slowing the protest to a noiseless stance in solidarity with victims of violence. The event closed with a silent candlelight vigil. Speakers concluded by urging people to contact lawmakers and spread the word against war until their voices are heard.
The protest was sponsored by the Western Massachusetts Interfaith Coalition for Peace and Justice, the Northampton Committee to Lift Sanctions and Stop Bombing of Iraq, the Western Massachusetts Office of the American Friends Service Committee and the Western Massachusetts Anti-War Alliance.
During the event, a petition calling for peace circulated among the crowd. Organized in part with the National Priorities Project and the Media Education Foundation, the petition will be used as a full-page advertisement in several newspapers. Organizers expect to gather close to 6,000 signatures.
Kristi Ceccarossi can be reached at