Thurs. May 22nd: Court support for Long Island peace people

May 20, 2008 at 11:00 am Leave a comment

Greetings. Suffolk Peace Network, PeaceSmiths, and other Nassau and Suffolk groups held a peace demonstration at Smith Haven Mall on Saturday, March 29, 2008.

On that day, two people were arrested at the mall. One man was arrested for wearing the 4,000 soldiers killed t-shirt, while eating at the food court. In another corner of the mall, Susan McKeon Steinmann was arrested for refusing to stop reading the names of the fallen soldiers. (Susan is in this photo from a festival in Patchogue, she is on the right, looking down.) Susan McKeon has written a statement about civil disobedience, which is on the “more” section of this post, and also here.

Both people will appear separately in court on Thursday, May 22nd. PeaceSmiths urges you to attend to offer court support. Peace groups are asking people to gather in the parking lot outside court at 7:30am to show their support for Susan McKeon Steinmann and all peace activists, and to make another statement for peace.

Thank you,
Kimberly Wilder and the PeaceSmiths, Inc. Board

From Dennis Urlaub:

All Long Island peace & justice activists need to show camaraderie and support for two fellow peace activists arrested at the March demonstration at Smith Haven Mall. (See photo below from that day.) This was a demonstration to protest the war in Iraq as the 4,000th death of an American soldier was reached. It also marked the killing of one million Iraqis. Susan McKeon Steinmann is being arraigned in Court on May 22 at 8:30 AM. She was arrested for reading the names of those American soldiers killed in Iraq at the center of the Smith Haven Mall.

MArch 2007 Peace Demo at Smith Haven MallPlease join us as we gather in the parking lot of the Court at 7:30 AM. Please bring signs and wear “the t-shirts”. Please remember not to bring any signs or wear the t shirts into the court room. But, please DO join us IN the court room in support.

AND…..Let’s put the Iraq War on trial in the parking lot…..bring your anti-war messages and t shirts and join the LI peace community in saying that the war is wrong, the war is criminal…not the peace activists arrested at the Mall. REMEMBER!!! The war is what this is all about. It is because of this unjust, illegal and immoral war why Susan let herself be arrested.

The Court can be reached by taking Sunrise Highway to the Southern State Parkway . Go north/west onto the Parkway. It will be the first exit. The sign should say Courts. [Susan McKeon’s arraignment will happen in the District Court, the red, brick building.]

Please read the attached statement from Susan. This is a deep reflection of the times.

Thanks for your support.

Dennis Urlaub

For information about how to offer financial support for Susan McKeon and other peace demonstrators, please go here.

Statement on Arrest at Smith Haven Mall
by Susan McKeon Steinmann

Since the demonstration at Smith Haven Mall protesting the war on the occasion of the 4,000th death of an American soldier almost 100 more troops have been killed.

That means 100 more families will have to live their lives with grief at the death of a husband, father, wife, mother, son or daughter. Each of these individuals was precious to their families.
Each of this individuals had smiles and potential, enjoyment in life and dreams that are now gone for them and their loved ones. The machine of war has taken them. I might add that it is a war whose rationale has changed numerous times often after the perpetrators of this war have been caught in yet another lie.

In American history there have been times when injustice has had to be struggled against by non-violent civil disobedience. Without the citizens of this country getting involved in changing policies and laws we would still have segregation, women would still not be voting and unions would still be outlawed in most places. That is because we were conceived of by the founders as a democracy. The democracy was exclusionary yes, but the history of our country has always been the people working to push the boundaries back and extend the democracy.

We are at a time where an elective war is being fought by private contracting companies making millions, and soldiers who are treated with much less concern. Some have been stop-lossed two and three times. They have been put in the middle of an unwinnable war which hurts our nation and makes us less safe. In many cases they are denied the medical care and benefits they need when they come back. If they get wounded and cannot complete their contract, they must pay education money back.

While this goes on, most of our country’s citizens make no sacrifice, but go shopping and struggle with a faltering economy to do so. It is ironic that the mall personnel told me that they wanted to create a “pleasant shopping environment” for their customers. It is immoral that I was arrested for reading the names of the dead publicly aloud in the mall. Does society want to shove this horrendous loss under the rug while we all go about our business.

This war needs to be brought to a speedy end. It damages our reputation in the world, erodes
our moral fiber, kills innocent people and bankrupts our economy. Changing this situation is of a higher moral order than a pleasant shopping environment.

The Iraqis did nothing to deserve this war. They were innocent of 9/11. Hundreds of thousands are dead, wounded, millions refugees, and yet day by day we ignore it and do not express our outrage at this loss of precious human life.

Sometimes there is a higher law. I think saving human life is a higher law. We must bring this war to an end. We must speak out. We must resist going along when we know the path is a wrong one.

Many of these soldiers and Iraqi citizens will have their whole lives irretrievably destroyed because of these unwise, callous, and evil decisions. As an American citizen, and as a person who truly believes in the sanctity of human life, I chose to speak out. Reading the names of the dead should be a moral duty so that going to war becomes not an adventure or political football, but something that is not even considered as an elective theory to reshape other countries.

Memorial Day is coming up. What better way to remember the dead in this war than to publicly say their names. They existed, they sacrificed for what they thought was right for them. Can we do any less to stop the pointless loss of life. There is a song current that says it well “Who will be
the last to die for a mistake.”

Susan McKeon Steinmann

Entry filed under: PeaceSmiths Calendar.

From the Archives: A Workshop On Undoing Racism Tomorrow, 5/22/08: Court support for Suffolk peace activists

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Fri. March 9, 2018
Art & Music
Robyn Bellospirito &
Jimi Durso
Bryan Gallo
Open Mic!

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Tom Ryan

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Eli Maniscalco


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The banner photo is PeaceSmiths friends and banner in Washington, D.C. for a peace march on January 27, 2007. Susan is waving on the left, above the "e". Photo copyright Merly Thinanyi of Thihanyi Photography in Valley Stream.

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