[1/9/21 (l-r) Peter Mitchell, Hank Stone and Sandy Gilman. Not pictured, Hal Bauer. Photo: David Kramer]
We’ve been to the weekly peace vigil on East and Goodman, now in its 20th year, several times.
The long vigil for peace on the corner of East and Goodman (2015) looks at the history of the vigil that began as part of large demonstrations in Rochester and nationwide protesting the anticipated invasion of Iraq in the aftermath of 9/11.
Conversations on Peace and War at East and Goodman (2019) looks at the moment when Trump announced a complete withdrawal of American troops from Syria and a major withdrawal from Afghanistan.
On Sunday, I spoke with Hank Stone about the immediate concern of the vigil which is to support the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. As explained by Hank:
Weekly Peace Vigil
There is a small gathering every Sunday at the corner of East and Goodman in Rochester, from noon to 1:00. People simply stand holding signs, and wave to passersby. Some of these honk, wave, smile, and/or flash us the peace sign. It is a moment of peace and sanity in a world that can sometimes seem anything but sane. It’s fun! Come do this some Sunday and see what you think!
Nuclear Weapons are Illegal!People can be forgiven for not knowing this, but the world has made designing, building, stockpiling, owning, selling, transferring, using, and threatening to use nuclear weapons illegal, anywhere on Earth!
This is the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which went into effect on January 22, 2021, after being ratified by the 50th country. So, does this mean the U.S. is on a course to give up its nuclear weapons? Not anytime soon. Because the 9 nuclear weapons states, including the U.S., did not sign the treaty, so the nuclear weapons ban doesn’t apply to them.Still, the U.S. SHOULD join the rest of the world in this ban. Any town, county, or state can declare itself in solidarity with this treaty. This gives cover to national elected officials who want the U.S. to stand with the rest of the world for peace.
Help us spread the word about this historic opportunity! Join Genesee Valley Citizens for Peace (GVCP) at the corner of Main St. and Route 20A in Geneseo. Saturday, January 22, 2022, from noon to 1:00. Come and stand with us!Join with other Americans who believe our country should be an international leader, not a pariah.
Hank Stone, Genesee Valley Citizens for Peace
What I did not know was that any town, county, or state can declare itself in solidarity with this treaty. Rochester could join other cities that have done just that.
US CAMPAIGN TO SUPPORT UN NUCLEAR BAN TREATY LAUNCHED IN NEW YORK (Nuclearban.us) explains:
Towns and cities in the US cannot “sign” an international treaty, nor can they remove the nuclear weapons that may be stationed or their soil, since this is the sole prerogative of the US government. They can, however, pass legally-binding resolutions and local ordinances and statutes that prohibit companies from manufacturing and maintaining these weapons within their jurisdiction. They can divest city and state funds from these companies and they can refuse to sign city and state contracts with these companies.
As seen in CITIES AND TOWNS (Nuclearban.us) over 200 towns have passed resolutions to align with the Treaty, including Oneanta, New York.
Recently, New York and Boston acted to support the Treaty.
Here in Rochester, City Councilmember Mitch Gruber has joined the cause.
As seen in NUCLEAR WEAPONS ARE A LOCAL ISSUE, (Preventnuclearwar.org) on September 23, 2021 Gruber signed a letter signed by over 300 local, county and state officials representing 41 states, calling on President Joe Biden and Congress to reduce and eliminate the threat nuclear weapons pose to their communities and the world.
I would like to see the entire Rochester City Council proclaim to support United Nations’ Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
For more info contact Hank Stone at [email protected]
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