Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

    Demand ceasefire now in Gaza protesters tell Schumer

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    About two dozen people braved the bitter cold Wednesday afternoon in front of Senator Chuck Schumer’s Peekskill office, joining their voices with protesters at seven of the majority leader’s other offices throughout New York State in Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Melville, Rochester, Syracuse and New York City. 

    They were calling for Schumer to endorse a ceasefire in the Israel Hamas war. “We’re here demanding a permanent ceasefire,” said speakers from various peace groups throughout Westchester, including Jewish Voice for Peace, the Democratic Socialists of America, and local peace groups such as Westchester Peace Action Committee and the Muslim Peace Fellowship. 

    Protester holding a handmade sign at Wednesday’s event. (Photo by Andrew Courtney) 

    “This geographically dispersed action shows a deep level of coordination by a broad base of organizations. It reflects the growing sentiment across the state that New Yorkers want a ceasefire,” said the protest’s organizers. 

    The petition implores Senator Schumer to “call for and facilitate an immediate permanent ceasefire,” and “Stop sending the Israeli military more weapons.” Citing the 14,000 Palestinians killed by recent Israeli military actions, and UN reports of “genocide in the making,” the petition says, “We refuse to be complicit in these war crimes.” 

    The group had planned to deliver a letter with more than 20,000 signatures from residents across New York State to Senator Schumer demanding “humanity, compassion and an end to Islamophobia and war mongering.” The Senator’s office was closed for the day. 

    Protesters inside the Park Place office of Senator Schumer. (Photo by Andrew Courtney)

    At the same time as the protest in Peekskill, Schumer was delivering remarks on the floor of the US Senate as the highest-ranking elected Jewish official in the country. He spoke of the rise of antisemitism throughout the period since October 7 when Hamas attacked Israel. He said that Jews believe the rise of antisemitism as “a crisis, a five-alarm fire that must be extinguished,” and said that many of his non-Jewish friends consider it “merely a problem, a matter of concern.”   He added that some young people who may not know the history of Jewish persecution are “unknowingly aiding and abetting” antisemitism in the name of social justice. 

    Protesters singing Cease Fire Now to the tune of Tumbalalaika played on the trombone. (Photo by Regina Clarkin)

    People happened upon the peaceful protest in Peekskill as they entered the Park Street building which houses Social Security offices along with Schumer’s office. There were chants and songs and a reading of the letter and petition under the watchful eye of two Peekskill police cars and two NY State Troopers.  

     

    About the Contributor
    Regina Clarkin, Editor and Publisher
    When the Peekskill Herald weekly newspaper ceased publishing in August 2000 it was the first time in the history of the city that there wasn’t a local newspaper.  The award-winning weekly was often referred to as the ‘glue’ of the community. Founded on January 9, 1986 by Regina Clarkin, Kathy Daley and Rich Zahradnik with a $7,000 credit card line, the paper filled the void created when the daily Evening Star was sold to Gannett and moved out of town. Founding publisher Regina Clarkin continued to live in the Peekskill Cortlandt area and turned her attention to other life endeavors.  Through the ensuing 19 years, Clarkin was frequently stopped in town and asked when she would start up the Herald again. In January 2019, Clarkin decided it was less labor intensive to deliver a weekly blog than a print newspaper so she began posting one story a week about life in Peekskill. After a successful crowd funding campaign in 2020, the Herald was incorporated as a non-profit corporation in July of 2021. Peekskill Herald is a digital relative of the former print edition, featuring many of the favorite aspects of the beloved Peekskill Herald such as old pictures, personality profiles and well written stories about newsworthy events. Regina Clarkin is the editor and publisher of the site. Photo by Joe Squillante