Sane Freeze=Peace Action —1980’s to present
Veterans for Peace—-2002 to present
Friends of Franz & Ben—2007 to present
PaxChristi Upstate NY—-2021
Find link at bensalmon.org
Examples of Grassroots Action by above organizations; all four groups focus on what we believe is the cancer of American culture—Militarism.
We use education as our main action:
- Frequent use of social media to educate and gather support for justice issues.
- Frequent letters to the editor of area newspapers
- Frequent Viewpoints articles in Gannett publications
- 21 years of Federal Building (Binghamton) Monday afternoon vigils for peace and justice
- Use of handbills to educate people in the street (e.g Art exhibits, churches,)—street theater one of our specialties
- Direct action—e.g., digging graves on war industry grounds, climbing fences into world’s largest nuclear depot (actions ended when nukes removed from Seneca Army Depot) painting peace symbol on US Aircraft being shown off to the public on Vestal Hwy
- Trips to US Army School of the Americas from 1995 to 2012.
- Direct actions at the School of Assassins with some of our members going to jail and prison.
- Multiple parades to advertise our groups—most recent was St Patricks Day with thousands cheering our large banner that proclaims: HEALTH CARE & EDUCATION NOT MILITARIZATION.
- Multiple trees planted in celebration of the earth and in the memory of our passed activists for peace and justice.
- Creation of a Children’s Garden (Otsiningo Park) in memory of Children who died of violence inflicted by adults. Publication of books about young men who refused to train to kill by order of the US Government.
- Use of Burma Shave signs to catch the attention of drivers going into war shows (air shows at Binghamton airport) or traveling local busy highways and streets.
- Taking a stand at the NYS assassination base at Hancock Airfield in Syracuse (a number of us arrested and jailed for extended time periods) See upstatedroneaction.org
- Frequent use of TV media with interviews outside of Sen Schumer’s office in Binghamton
- Organizing a state wide conference call with all US Senate offices of both Sen Schumer and Sen Gillibrand (this is ongoing and will occur again this month and into May with a focus on the 2023 military budget)
- Articles on militarism by local members of our team in national journals such as Counterpunch, Covert Action and National Catholic Reporter
- Multiple banners for events such as today’s where we were told no banners but grassroots activism is not always put off by finger-wagging or establishment rules.
- Signs with messages for peace and justice are frequently modified to adjust to recent injustices.
- Using music to bring attention to events or celebrate little victories and big ones—e.g. Our New Orleans line dance around the Federal Bldg the day the UN officially abolished nuclear weapons Jan 22, 2021. Trumpets, sax, tambourine and happy activists
- Brought in an exhibit from Chicago on My Lai. Our members took 8 hours to assemble and 6 hours to break down one week later in the Broome County Public Library.
- Brought in portraits of Americans Who Tell the Truth for two weeks of display in BC Public Library, two weeks at Maine Endwell High School and one month at Cornell University. All funded by generous members of our peace and justice community.
- Ceremony on Mark Twain’s Grave and a dramatic reading of Twain’s War Prayer Memorial Day 2020—covered by area TV as an example of our key activity—educate the public.
- Plans set for Memorial Day 2022 on the grave of former slave and abolitionist John W Jones —we will have Ithaca College Gospel Singers sing at the grave of JWJ —11 AM on May 30
- Mother’s Day event each year with a dramatic reading of Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation opposing all war
- Annual Hiroshima & Nagasaki Day…each August 6 or August 9 at First Congregational church in Binghamton ringing the huge outdoor bell (and encouraging other churches to do the same) and open microphone
- Children’s Peace Fair—an annual event and likely the only one of it’s kind in the USA go to childrenspeacefair.org
- Working in solidarity with multiple peace and justice groups like Veterans for Peace, Peace Action, World Beyond War Code Pink, Upstate Drone Action, Answer, Pax Christi, Pace e Bene, Friends of Franz & Ben, (and it was Peace Action of Broome that organized the student Peace Action team at Binghamton University—voted best group of over 200 campus organizations)
Be the change you want to see in the world – it won’t happen by inaction