Sunday, July 20, 2008


"What Do I Know About War"
Featuring Margo Lee Sherman

Sunday, July 20 at 7:00 pm
Kleinert/James Art Center, 34 Tinker St.
Woodstock, NY 12498

"What Do I Know About War?" is an internationally acclaimed one-woman show by theater artist, Margo Lee Sherman, which tells actual stories about our men and women stationed in Iraq. This unflinching look at the human cost of war was described by "The New York Times" as: "Brilliant…surreal…the experience is like eavesdropping on a small sorrowful town."

Cost: $10
Performance co-sponsored by:
Arts for Peace
International Women's Peace Service
Kingston Women In Black
Middle East Crisis Response
New Paltz Women in Black
Peace Action Network
Woodstock Veterans for Peace
Woodstock Women in Black

Friday, July 11, 2008

Freeman letter to the editor on lawsuit

Police saved them

Dear Editor:

Those anti-Israel demonstrators are lucky the Kingston Police Department moved them so nicely to another location. They were rude, loud and boisterous during a lovely celebration of Israel's freedom.

Remember, Israel is American's only true friend and democracy in that God forsaken region of the earth. We celebrated its independence while these detractors only wanted to disrupt our legal celebration. The mayor, assemblyman, congressman, rabbis and many other fine folks came and spoke in favor of a free and independent Israel. Bravo to them.

The demonstrators are also lucky that the police moved them because I and a few others would not have been so nice as KPD was to them.

Boos to those idiots who spout the lies of terrorists and murderers just because they were unloved by their parents, or whatever drives them. They will lose in the court of law because they are wrong. They are wrong in their views and wrong in their charges against Kingston. Never again!

BUTCH DENER, New Paltz
bubbaband@aol.com

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Editorial Kingston Freeman (on lawsuit)

First and foremost 07/09/2008

We who cherish the First Amendment know it can be tricky thing. Advertisement

Some people, for instance, don't fully understand it. They cite free speech and First Amendment rights when the circumstances don't apply.

Others believe the First Amendment applies only to them, particularly if they'd rather not be exposed to a contrary point of view.

Which brings us a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Albany by a group called Middle East Crisis Response. Its members say their First Amendment rights were violated when Kingston police escorted them away from a recent Downtown celebration of Israel's 60th anniversary.

We suppose it's germane here to point out that we support Israel as an ally and beacon of democracy in the Middle East.

That duly noted, those who believe otherwise are entitled to say so in a public place without fear of government interference.

"The bedrock principle of American constitutional law is that public parks and sidewalks are free-speech zones," said attorney Stephen Bergstein, who is representing the protesters. "The government can not pick and choose which advocacy groups may use the areas and which cannot."

"I believe the police officers (acted as they did) for public safety purposes," said Mayor James Sottile. "But they (the protesters) were certainly heard (from the nearby parking lot to which they were moved). Their message was heard loud and clear."

Again, we said the First Amendment can be tricky.

Protesters claim they were denied their rights because they were told to move. The city claims their rights weren't denied just because they were moved.

"There was ample room for the (protesters) to peacefully assemble at Gallo Park, and the city had no right to expel them," said Bergstein.

However, had they stayed, police would say, might hotter heads have prevailed?

We say the city was appropriately attentive to the possibility of conflict, but didn't need to step in unless it actually occurred.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Israel/Palestine: Up close and personal

A talk by Paul Rehm, member of Christian Peacekeepers

Tuesday, July 8 at 7:00 pm
Saugerties Senior Center
207 Market Street
Saugerties, NY 12477


"They come in the middle of the night, some with blackened faces, all with automatic weapons....Who are they, these men and women who steal food and clothing meant for students, orphans and needy families in Hebron, who raid and destroy bakeries that make the bread for the orphans' breakfast? They're Israeli soldiers..."

Recently returned from his third period of service with Christian Peacemaker Teams, Paul Rehm will share some of the experiences that shaped his days and nights in the West Bank.

Sponsored by the Middle East Crisis Response
http://www.mideastcrisis.org
Cost: free
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Over 40 people attended this event, with many new faces.


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Demonstrators sue Kingston over park expulsion

By Paul Kirby, Freeman staff
07/02/2008
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KINGSTON - A group has filed a lawsuit against the city of Kingston, saying its right to protest in a city park was violated when police kicked demonstrators out during a local celebration of Israel's 60th anniversary.

Attorney Stephen Bergstein, representing the group Middle East Crisis Response, said on Tuesday that the suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Albany, alleges the group was denied its First Amendment rights to assembly and free speech when members of the Kingston Police Department on May 4 ordered the demonstrators out of T.R. Gallo Park, where the celebration was being held.

The group, comprising about eight people, was protesting policies of Israel and the United States.

"The bedrock principle of American constitutional law is that public parks and sidewalks are free-speech zones," Bergstein said in a prepared statement. "The government can not pick and choose which advocacy groups may use the areas and which cannot."

City Police Chief Gerald Keller said it is the policy of the department not to comment on pending lawsuits. He referred questions about the legal action to the city attorney's office.

Mayor James Sottile said he supported the police department's decision to separate the Middle East Crisis Response protesters from people participating in the Israel celebration. Sottile said the action was taken in the interest of public safety.

"I believe the police officers (acted as they did) for public safety purposes," Sottile said. "But they (the protesters) were certainly heard. Their message was heard loud and clear."

The protesters were allowed to continue their demonstration in a parking area near the Rondout Creek waterfront, not far from the Israel festival, after being ordered out of the park.

Bergstein said the parking area was "ill-suited" to engage "the public in meaningful dialogue about this important matter of public concern."

The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages, Bergstein said. But he said the group is more interested in having Kingston change its first-come, first-served policy regarding the use of city parks.

"There was ample room for the (protesters) to peacefully assemble at Gallo Park, and the city had no right to expel them," the attorney said.

©Daily Freeman 2008