We’ll be back at the Norfolk-Southern crossing on State St. downtown Fremont, this Wednesday at 4:00 pm to keep up the pressure after East Palestine: stricter rail safety laws NOW!
**We’ve notified the Toledo television stations.** Can you join us?
Deregulation is a TRAINWRECK! Listen to rail workers, not lobbyists.
Last week 20 people showed up, and so did the News-Messenger, who ran this front-page report on our protest.
But we know the lobbyists are working even harder than ever to DERAIL any government efforts toward stricter regulations in the wake of East Palestine!
So let’s speak up for the safety of our community…
1. Pick up a marker and make a snarky sign…or hold one of ours! This Wednesday at 4 pm, corner of Front and State downtown Fremont.
2. Call your members of Congress to demand stricter rail safety laws.
Representative Marcy Kaptur gave a brief impassioned floor speech in the House last week on this topic. Watch it here.
She spoke in Sandusky today, again calling for stricter rail safety and accountability from Norfolk-Southern. Read the report here.
Call her office to support her efforts: 419-259-7500.
In a nutshell, here’s what has happened in recent years to train regulations:
Train-brake rules were rolled back under the Trump administration and have not been restored; hazardous material regulations were watered down at the behest of the railroad industry; and railroad workers have been decrying the safety impacts incited by years of staffing cuts, poor working conditions and neglect by railroad corporations in favor of Wall Street investors.–from The Guardian (full article)
Demonstrators to gather at Norfolk Southern tracks in downtown Fremont to demand: Rail Safety NOW, Accountability for East Palestine
Where: Next to the Norfolk Southern rail crossing, W. State St. at Front St., Fremont When: Wednesday, March 1, 4:00 – 5:00 pm Sponsor: People for Peace & Justice Sandusky County
In the wake of the recent toxic derailment disaster in East Palestine, People for Peace & Justice Sandusky County will host a demonstration near the Norfolk Southern railroad crossing on W. State St. at Front St. in Fremont on Wednesday, March 1, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm, to demand greater rail safety and accountability.
Members will stand in solidarity with the people of East Palestine. The demonstration makes the following demands:
Congress must pass stricter laws on rail safety, including modern electronically controlled braking systems, hazardous materials transport regulation, and staffing requirements.
Norfolk Southern must be held accountable to fully clean up East Palestine and pay damages to area residents impacted by the toxic contamination of air, water, and soil.
The rail industry must stop short-staffing railroads, cutting inspections, maintenance, and training, and overscheduling its workers.
Regulatory agencies must provide full transparency to the residents of East Palestine and surrounding communities.
Protect community safety over railroad profits.
The train that derailed in East Palestine might have passed through Fremont or Sandusky on its eastward path that day. In fact, just last fall a Norfolk Southern train derailed in Sandusky spilling a large load of molten paraffin. Fremont, Sandusky, and any cities along a railroad line find themselves vulnerable in today’s lax regulatory environment that privileges rail industry profits over the safety of our communities.
The demonstration is sponsored by People for Peace & Justice Sandusky County and is open to the public.
Guest presentation at the Feb. 15th meeting of People for Peace & Justice Sandusky County:
Veterans for Peace: Climate Crisis and Militarism Project
Presenters: Veterans for Peace members Steve Morse, Cindy Piester, and Gary Butterfield
Feb. 15, First UCC Church, 1500 Tiffin Rd., Fremont 6:30 pm Potluck and short business meeting. 7:30 – 8:30 pm Presentation and discussion. The presenters will use Zoom to join our in-person meeting. The public is welcome.
The VFP slide show presentation will include issues of military greenhouse gas emissions, the economics of US militarism, environmental devastation and climate damage from the military and from the current war, and opposition to these.
Steve Morse was in the US Army from 1969-1971 and was active in the GI Resistance Movement, which included time in Viet Nam and in Army prisons.He has been active in Veterans For Peace (VFP) for many years; in August 2020…
People for Peace & Justice will participate in four Fremont events this summer! We hope you can stop by for a chat!
1. Juneteenth, June 25th: We’ll have a display table at Fremont NAACP’s Juneteenth event in Birchard Park, Saturday, June 25th, noon – 4:00 pm. We’ll be featuring several examples of banned books, providing an opportunity to discuss intellectual freedom and write postcards to our state legislators to oppose ‘divisive concepts’ billsbeing introduced in the Ohio General Assembly.
2. Pride Parade, July 9th: We’ll be walking in the parade, stepping off from Front and State at 11 am and heading to Rodger Young Park, where folks can cross the river for the Pride Festival in Walsh Park. If you’d like to join us, just look for our big blue “Peace Now, People for Peace and Justice” banner during parade lineup time.
3. Farmers Market, July 16th: We’ll be giving away tree saplings at our booth, highlighting the environment, climate change, and a more peaceful world. We would especially like to reach out to kids with an accompanying craft activity!
4. Sandusky County Fair Booth, Aug. 22- 28th. This is our 10th booth, if we can trust our archives! “Protect our Democracy” is our overall theme this year. We’ll make connections to intellectual freedom and honesty for Ohio education, climate change and the influence of fossil fuel money, and voting, of course! Come by to pick up a free fan, participate in a bit of art, sign a postcard, and have some good discussion!
On the eve of Earth Day, join us by Zoom as we host activist Brenna Cussen Anglada on her nonviolent action to address the climate crisis by turning off the valves of Enbridge Energy oil pipelines.
April 21, 7 pm Brenna, an activist from Wisconsin, will speak to us by Zoom about efforts to stop Enbridge Energy from building Line 3, a pipeline moving tar sands oil across Minnesota and Wisconsin, including the treaty lands of the Anishinaabe communities.
She would like to center the voices of the indigenous people who have worked so hard on this cause, so she will begin with a 38-minute Frontline documentary about their effort.
Then she will explain her own participation and arrest as a member of the Four Necessity Valve Turners, followed by Q/A. Sponsored by People for Peace & Justice Sandusky County.
Rev. Matt Wahlgren of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and Cassandrea Jones-Tucker of CommonUnity gave the opening remarks for Fremont’s Anti-Racism Vigil on June 3, 2020 attended by over 500 community residents. We would like to share with you their inspiring words.
The Rev. Matt Wahlgren St Paul’s Episcopal Church Fremont, Ohio
Today I am here to repent. I here to repent for all the times I have been silent. All the times I didn’t stand up to racist statements, and demeaning jokes. I repent of the deep damage my silence has done to this world.
Rabbi Joachim Prinz, a refugee from Germany at the March on Washington said,
The most urgent and most disgraceful, the most shameful, the most tragic problem is silence.”
We are here to lift the dark veil of silence.
We are here to stand with those who have been oppressed for far too long. What has been happening in this country to our black and brown friends, neighbors, and fellow citizens is not civil and it’s not right. We gather because there is clearly more work to be done. I am sorry that I have not been moved to this point earlier in my life. I am sorry that I thought I could pretend I was not part of the problem and quietly live my life. But the time for that delusion is over. So today I stand with all of you. I have learned that it is not enough to say ‘I’m not a racist’…it is not enough claim to be an ally and stand beside someone else in their fight. I have learned that we need work hand in hand to make change. Today we raise our voices together and cry out ENOUGH! and tomorrow and the days after we work for long lasting systemic changes for equality and equity for all.”
This is not a momentary stand we make together today, but a turning and setting a new trajectory that must continue until justice is done. Until laws are created to hold accountable those that abuse power, until the talks we have with our children are the same talks.
We stand against racism in all its subtle and not so subtle forms. We stand against the systems that incarcerate black and brown bodies at unjust rates. We stand against those that fear others, and do violence to bodies because of pigmentation. We stand against the hurt that continues to be caused by even those that are supposed to protect. We are only against these things because we are for something so much greater. Today… We stand for equity and equality for all. We stand for love that can celebrate the differences between us. We stand for ears that can hear even when the message hurts because it shines a bright light on our souls. We stand for a world where we all come together. We stand today because love calls us to. Love calls us to go out and open some eyes.
James Baldwin said “Neither love nor terror makes one blind: indifference makes one blind.”
Today we stand out here with our signs and our voices because this blindness is unacceptable. I pray and I hope that love will open our eyes and the eyes of those passers by.
Lets get out there and help some people see! Let’s heal the blind!
KEITH LAMONT SCOTT ERIC GARER EZELL FLOYD DANTE PARKS FREDDIE GRAY LAQUAN MCDRONALD GEORGE MANN AKAI GURLEY TAMIR RICE NATASHA MCKENNA ANTHONY HILL WALTER SCOTT FREDDIE BLUE JOSEPH MANN SANDRA BLAND JUNIOR PROSPER FLOYD DENSE ALTON STERLING PHILANDRO CASTILLE BOTHAN JEAN ATATIANA JEFFERSON AHMAUD AUBREY SEAN REED BREONNA TAYLOR GEORGE FLOYD
OUR CHARGE From Noose to Knee – I cannot breath…Hands up
As I briefly speak with you, you will hear excerpts from The Negro National Anthem, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Langston Hughes.
We feel injustice has transitioned from a noose to a knee.
We are here acknowledging the deaths of the names just called and granted those were only a few. Whenever pain is inflicted or the body is cut, we hurt and we bleed. We are bleeding for justice. We are present to represent people that are tired, rightly, we are frustrated with failed policies and practices in systems we encounter daily, we are angry and grieved, we are heartbroken and honestly we are exhausted with the systemic problems of injustice and disparities harming our communities. We hear and see our family being senselessly killed, and lack of consequences of not confronting long-standing problems, law enforcement bias, and the false myth that we, people of color are dangerous or guilty until proven innocent.
We don’t have to be violent to protest, to have our voices heard, but we must be focused, we must be effective and we must be purposeful.
We must evaluate ourselves. What is fueling the momentum we have right now? Is it anger, frustration, hurt or injustice?
I appeal to you, the energy we have now is what must fuel us. But, it cannot be fueled with OUR anger and frustration because that turns into rage.
We must stay fueled with purpose. We must stay fueled to be heard. When we are heard, we can bring about change. We cannot become weary. Look at those standing next to you, this problem is not Black, Brown or White problem. Neither can this be fixed if we feel it is not our problem. It is moral problem of right and wrong! Dr. King stated, “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” We cannot generalize and put everyone in the same category.
We cannot paint law enforcement officers with one broad stroke, as we cannot and do not appreciate being categorized with those whose behaviors do not represent us.
We cannot go back to where we were prior to May 25, 2020, neither would we choose to go back.
Reduce violence against unarmed Black and Brown Men and Women.
We must demand and expect better for ourselves and our children.
Who are we?
We are: Tenacious Resilient We are no longer tolerating what we once tolerated. We are courageous, we are fueled with determination, inspiration and hope. We are raising awareness. We need to stay informed. We agree time for change is way overdue. We want justice, not only from the lives taken from us, but for our children. We must acknowledge the culture we live in and change the culture. We can do that with peaceful protesting, putting ourselves in the position to have a voice and change policies and Know, the world is forever changed by who we are!
Langston Hughes wrote, I had only hope then, but now through you, Dark ones of today, my dreams must come true: All you dark children in the world out there, Remember my sweat, my pain, my despair. Remember my years, heavy with sorrow – And make of those years a torch for tomorrow. Make of my pass a road to the light Out of the darkness, the ignorance, the night. Lift high my banner out of the dust. S tand like free men supporting my trust. Believe in the right, let none push you back.
We must respond as one voice in CommonUnity.
Our children are watching us, their future depends on our actions today and as we move forward.
I pray for us, our courage, strength our peace and direction
Marching progress forward and not forget what drives us push forward, our work is not done until we feel victory is won, until we can boldly stand and say Liberty & Justice for ALL.
Anti-Racism Vigil: Stand for Justice for George Floyd and all victims of racist violence
Today, 4:30 – 5:30 pm, Corner of Front and State, Fremont, OH
Contact: Josie Setzler, 419-559-3759
Community members will stand vigil for justice for George Floyd and all victims of racist violence. The Rev. Matt Wahlgren and Cassandrea Jones-Tucker will offer opening remarks at the park at the corner of Front and State St. Participants will line the sidewalks on State St.
Vigil cosponsors are People for Peace & Justice Sandusky County, Fremont Chapter NAACP, CommonUnity, and Justice for Migrant Women.
Statements from our speakers and cosponsors:
The Rev. Matt Wahlgren, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church: “I have learned that it is not enough to say ‘I’m not a racist’…it is not enough claim to be an ally and stand beside someone in their fight. I have learned that we need to work hand in hand to make change. Today we raise our voices together and cry out ENOUGH! and tomorrow and the days after we work for long lasting systemic changes for equality and equity for all.”
Dr. Regina Vincent-Williams, Fremont Chapter NAACP: “We all want change. Who wants to see anyone Black or White, male or female, old or young on the ground with that person’s life squeezed out of him or her? We want all policemen involved in Mr. George Floyd’s murder to be arrested and charged. We also want equality. In jobs, in housing, in education, in healthcare access – in all areas! We helped build this country and we are tired of being second class citizens.”
Mónica Ramírez, Founder and President of Justice for Migrant Women: “Justice for Migrant Women joins all of those fighting for the safety, dignity & humanity of the Black community. We are heartbroken that the Black people continue to be attacked, discriminated against, and denied rights, protections and fair treatment by police, institutions and people across our country. We demand the defense of Black Lives and lift our voices, once again, in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.”
Cassandrea Jones-Tucker, CommonUnity: “CommonUnity’s mission is to offer community leaders a voice, address concerns, bring awareness of community events as we strive towards the betterment of our community. I recall Harriet Tubman’s words: ‘If you hear dogs, keep going if you see the torches in the woods, keep going, if there’s shouting after you, keep going. Don’t ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.’ I will keep going until we have liberty and justice for all.”
Josie Setzler, People for Peace & Justice Sandusky County: “Law enforcement and government leaders need to know that community members are paying attention. We see the racist violence our black brothers and sisters have been suffering, and we want accountability. We stand publicly to support the Black Lives Matter movement and to call for respect, dignity, and justice now. The black community has waited far too long.”
1. Vigils: PPJ will resume our weekly vigils for peace and justice, beginning May 20, and every Wednesday, 4:30 – 5:30 pm, weather permitting, corner of Front and State St., Fremont. We will wear masks and observe strict social distancing. To join our vigil phone notification list, call our vigil convener Dave Pasch, 419-419-8625.
2. Meetings: PPJ has adopted a monthly Zoom meeting schedule on the third Wednesday of each month, 7:00 – 8:00 pm. The Zoom meeting link will be provided through our new Google group. See #3. Spring/Summer PPJ Zoom meetings: May 20, June 17, July 15, and August 19.
3. Google group: Routine communication and discussion (including zoom meeting info) is now being shared via our new Google group [PPJFremont]. If you would like to join this group, please let Josie know (email@example.com).
Peace and solidarity,
People for Peace & Justice Sandusky County
Bringing together Sandusky County residents and friends who want to work together for peace, social justice, and environmental sanity.