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May 5, 2012 - 12:15am

Anti-U.N. residents plan protest during peace garden dedication Sunday

posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Peace Garden.

The dedication of the peace garden in Batavia on Sunday will draw a quiet protest from some local residents, according to Mike Barrett, owner of Barrett's Batavia Marine.

The problem, Barrett said, is that the peace garden is a little too closely linked with the United Nations and Barrett and others are no fan of the U.N.

One of Barrett's current concerns is a U.N. push to create an international treaty on the trade of guns, and while supporters of the treaty say it merely deals with the illicit sale of guns, groups such as the NRA fear it's really an attempt to circumvent the 2nd Amendment (Wikipedia).

"(The peace garden is) a noble effort," Barrett said, "but when one of the principles of the peace garden gets an award from the United Nations and they're going to have a torch run via the U.N. from Buffalo to Albany, that concerns us. We don't want anything to do with the U.N."

Barrett is referring to Paula Savage, a Batavia native who organized the first peace garden in Ottawa and is now part of the International Peace Garden Foundation.

Savage was recently honored by the U.N. for her peace garden efforts.

The Batavia garden is adjacent to the Holland Land Office Museum on West Main Street and the protest is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. on the opposite side of the street.

"It will be peaceful. There will be no bullhorns," Barrett said. "We're going to have an informational protest to show that the the peace garden is associated with the United Nations and that we're dead set against what the U.N. does."

Paula Ferraro
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Really? Staging an informational protest at a Peace Garden dedication because the woman who started it was honored by the UN which MIGHT create an international treaty that COULD be an attempt to circumvent the 2nd amendment? Sounds like a stretch. I would think there would be other ways to get your information out other than to take advantage of some one else's accomplishments. Just my opinion.

Irene Will
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Paula - - I agree

Pat McGinnis
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He has every right to protest whatever he wants as long as it’s peaceful and it doesn’t hurt anyone. Maybe he has some good points maybe he doesn’t, but it’s his right to voice his opinion.

John Roach
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Gotta agree with Pat.

Ken Herrmann
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Another taking marching orders from the NRA. The paranoia is stunning. I suppose the anti-UN nuts also oppose the work of the UN in feeding millions of children, fighting malaria and HIV/AIDS, helping refugees, fighting human trafficking, advancing human rights, providing the poor in developing nations with clean water, working to end the use of child soldiers, etc., etc. The efforts of the UN to end illegal gun trafficking are seen by Barrett and his NRA buddies as a means of taking guns away from local hunters? That is crazy!

Paula Ferraro
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My post says nothing about the right to free speech. Have at it. I am merely questioning the choice of venue taking into consideration what it seems they are trying to communicate.

Charlie Mallow
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Anti-UN, garden haters. Where has sanity gone? Mexico blames their violence and the gun trafficking on us. We expect them to keep terrorists and drugs out of our country but we are unwilling to keep Illigal guns from crossing back.

John Woodworth JR
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Paula, I did not see anywhere in the article that, MR Barrett was against the Peace Garden because; Paula Savage was honored by the UN. You are misreading the article. He is against the support of the UN and the International Treaty of Fire Arms Trade. I am not big fan of the United Nations either. I believe they are a burden on the US tax payers and should be sent to Geneva, Switzerland (They are truly neutral!).

Peace is a wonderful idea and desired more by " U.S. Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors" than anyone else!

John Woodworth JR
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That is funny Mexico blames their violence and the gun trafficking on the US. They are extremely corrupted in Mexico. Thanks for the laugh Charlie. :-)

Paula Ferraro
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The problem, Barrett said, is that the peace garden is a little too closely linked with the United Nations and Barrett and others are no fan of the U.N."

(The peace garden is) a noble effort," Barrett said, "but when one of the principles of the peace garden gets an award from the United Nations and they're going to have a torch run via the U.N. from Buffalo to Albany, that concerns us. We don't want anything to do with the U.N."

Barrett is referring to Paula Savage, a Batavia native who organized the first peace garden in Ottawa and is now part of the International Peace Garden Foundation.

IDK, maybe I am reading it wrong.... Paula (great name BTW)organized the first peace garden, gets acknowledged by the UN and that is the link that Barrett mentions as to why they are choosing that venue to communicate their message. The link with the Peace Garden and the UN - 2nd ammendment issue seems weak and it occurred to me there may be a more suited time/place to get their point across. Not sure who their intended audience is and why they think the audience that will be there doesn't already support their views.

Daniel Jones
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Wow, this is the kind of regressive garbage that makes this area look like a reactionary outpost for insanity. I understand that there are arguments against the UN, I do not agree with them, but I do not doubt the sincerity of them and the passion of which they are argued. That being said, protesting a peace garden? I'm working Sunday, but if I wasn't I'd make my own sign that says "Please Don't Think We're All LIke This" and stand next to them.

I also think that reasonable people should boycott Mr. Barrett's shop, I wouldn't want to support someone who thinks like him.

Daniel Jones
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To the people who say he has a right to be there, yes, he does, and those of us who disagree with him have the right to speak out against him. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from being criticized for that speech. Your Mommy was wrong, you aren't special, you don't get a pass from critical examination of your publicly spoken ideas in a free society.

Rex Lampke
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If Obamas ATF was not responsable for the sham that sent the weapons there and worried a little more about our borders maybe just maybe there would not be as many weapons going there

Daniel Jones
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Charlie - They might use a hammer, or even a sickle, therefore the garden is a communist plot! (sarcasm)

Charlie Mallow
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What's amazing to me is that there are actual people out there who are going to protest a "Peace" Garden. What's more puzzling is there are actually more than one of them too. There has to be some environmental cause of this stupidity. Was there another toxic train derailment? Just how many people are we talking about? Is Fox News going to cover this important protest?

Mike Kelly
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carol grasso
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Charlie you are tooo funny! Thank you!!Carol

carol grasso
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Thank you Paula, Paula Savage was given the Peace Award from the Harmony PEACE Run Group from Ireland which started at the UN in Honor of Peace, my God get the story straight she is not against GUNS!!!

RICHARD L. HALE
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Whatever takes place on Sunday afternoon, on either side of the street, only goes to prove one thing.

And that is, we live in the greatest country in the world, may freedom of speech live forever...!!

daniel cherry
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I do not believe that the intent of a peace garden here is to violate the second amendment.

Daniel Jones
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Dan - It doesn't matter what the actual intent is, these people are determined that the peace garden is part of a vast conspiracy even if it isn't.

daniel cherry
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i don't beleive that but commenting on things like this seems to get me in trouble.

Mark Brudz
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It's funny, everyone seems to agree that we have the right to free speech, the right to protest, the right to our opinion etc.etc.

All this so long as when they do excercise that right, they do so at a venue other than the one that they are endeared to or support.

The word regressive was used, what is more regressive than calling for a boycott of a local business solely because the owner of that business is willing to stand up for what he believes?

Charlie Mallow
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Mark, the only thing that is puzzling is the idea that gun rights have anything to do with a garden. It's seems like a poor way to get a point across. If I was leading the charge against the UN, the last thing I would do is protest a "Peace" Garden. It would make my group look like a bunch of idiots. Everyone has the right of free speach, other people also have the right to laugh at you during that expression as well.

Daniel Jones
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Mark - Freedom of speech does not include freedom from criticism. I'm glad he can make his ridiculous case, and I have the right to make mine, it's funny how these so called 'tough' people are awful sensitive to being rebutted....and no, it's not regressive when what he's standing for is ridiculous and asinine.

Mark Brudz
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Charlie, I took no position on this either way, was simply an observation,

Daniel, I actually agree that if you take a position that you are going to be open to critism.

The ONLY thing I take an exception too is the call for the boycott of a local business. That goes beyond criticism and into the realm of manipulation

Phil Ricci
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I would never boycotts someone's business because I disagreed with their politics...I wouldn't have anywhere to shop! Well...except here, as Howard is the only Localist Libertarian I know that owns a business in town.

I don't agree with his association, or the fact he would waste a perfect spring afternoon on it, but I say have fun. The peace garden is a welcomed addition, and I will visit it and think about how many of our soldiers are still dying for useless politics. I truly would love to see peace for my children, but as long as the people in charge don't value life, we never will.

Howard B. Owens
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This would be a far more civilized world if we had intelligent debates that focused on facts and issues rather than emotional responses, which includes ridicule and threats of boycotts and such.

There is clearly a disrespect for somebody's right to free speech when you ridicule that speech or threaten actions to curtail that speech. To respect another person's right to speak freely means that when you disagree, you respond based on facts and reason, not emotion and not with threats.

John Woodworth JR
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I am confused how the Peace Garden vs Gun Rights got started? What I understood from the article is that MR Barrett was just against the support from the United Nation because, he does not agree with the United Nations' International Treaty for Firearms Trade. What I can see is that he is not against the Peace Garden but, the sponsorship of the UN. Sounds like he is using this "Peace Garden" event as an attempt of getting his voice heard by the UN. Especially, since MS Paula Savage was recently honored by the UN. I do not much imagine that any UN Official will be present or concerned about the protest either. People's feathers get ruffled so easily. If, people do not like the protest then do not consume your thoughts about it.

Daniel Jones
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Howard - Boycotts and free market economic actions _are_ speech, the government censoring speech is bad, but people responding by speaking out and taking action on their own is called Democracy. Quite frankly, these kinds of shenangins make the entire region look bad, it's the sort of thing that leads people to believe that Western New York is filled with conspiracy theorists. I've had to combat that perception in my work in politics, but it still persists and the protest of a peace garden because of some imaginary UN action to ban guns does not help matters. I respect his right to speak freely, but I find his outrage over this to be inane and absurd, so no, I reject his premise outright. It's not emotional, it's logical, it's taken as emotional by people who are so sensitive that they cannot handle anyone rejecting their ideas.

Daniel Jones
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I think it's great that someone of the humanitarian leadership of Ms. Savage came to Batavia, and I think we should welcome the international community to this region, rather than chase anything that has to do with the UN away because some people pretend that they're coming to take away their guns.

Daniel Jones
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I'm glad to see that Assemblyman Steve Hawley was there today and embraced what was happening, it shows that he's the sort of responsible public servant that we need more of.

Charlie Mallow
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Let's be serious, Peace Gardens have nothing to do with guns, unless of course your looking to drum up some business. This whole post was nothing more than a transparent advertising stunt. I can't see hunters boycotting a sporting goods store because, SUPRISE the owner supports gun sales. Dan's boycott talk will probably increase business further, don't you think?

Howard, I can see this from your point of view as well. A loyal advertiser has an idea and you do your best to publicize it. Not everyone agrees and now your site has comments against a good local business. I think they say all plublicity is good publicity.

Mary E DelPlato
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A protest???? Cool!!!!!

Daniel Jones
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You would think there would be this sort of outrage every time local taxes skyrocket, but no, only a protest when the big, bad UN comes to town (with their food programs and rice bags) and imaginary rumors fly that they're coming to take everyone's guns away.

Howard B. Owens
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Dan, a boycott is coercion. Coercion is an attempt to use force to stifle free speech. It's saying, "I want you to shut the hell up."

If you can't see that is totally counter to the very nature of free speech and ultimately destructive of a free society, I can't help you. You should ask for a refund on your college tuition if you can't see it.

Charlie, don't be insulting. This isn't about advertising. If you don't understand by now how much I believe in individual rights, you obviously haven't been paying attention to what I've been writing for the past few years.

No person who truly respects freedom would ever try to deny another person the right to their freedom of expression. To ridicule another person's opinion or to threaten to harm them for that opinion is dictatorial, selfish, anti-freedom and anti-democracy. It is reprehensible and offensive.

Daniel Jones
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Howard - The Government is being coercive when it censors free speech, ordinary people choosing not to shop somewhere because the owner of the establishment is supporting an extreme agenda that harms the community's image is not. If you're arrogant enough to think you define free speech on a case by case basis by yourself, then congratulations, you're ridiculous. I did not have to go to college to understand this, but I learned it there, and quite frankly the fact that you can't see this after your years in journalism speaks for itself.

Daniel Jones
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To criticize another persons opinion is American, to take action on your own to correct an injustice is American, and to say that those things are not American is un-American.

Mark Brudz
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Maybe every republican should boycott Settlers becasue Hillary Clinton visted there,

Maybe we shopuld boycott Hawley insurance because Steve may have backed legislation that you didn't like.

Let's Boycott Rosemary Christian's diner becaus she is a Democrat.

Let's boycott Notre Dame High school because the Catholic church opposes abortion

Daniel, boycotts are coersion, plain and simple. People didn't en masse call for a Boycott of Barrett's YOU DID

To disagree is great, to question the venue of the protest greater, to call one an idiot, stupid or to call for a boycott of his business is wrong.

To suggest paid advertisor of the site should nopt have a public opinion or Howard should not have put up the article because he is, borders on juvenile

Charlie Mallow
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Howard, I'm doing my best to try an understand why anyone on earth could possibly protest a Peace Garden.

The basis for this protest as presented is suspect. Other than a stunt, I can think of no other rational reason. Did actual people with signs show up? Are they occupying the garden?

Howard B. Owens
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Dan, clearly, do you not comprehend the meaning of coercion. And I never used the word censor.

If you don't understand that a boycott is coercion, and that it's a singular attempt to stifle speech, I simply can't help you. There is some point at which reason fails.

Charlie, I've not entered the debate about the merits of the protest or the peace garden. My only concern is the ease at which people want to diminish the free speech right of others.

Daniel Jones
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Howard - You clearly do not understand the meaning of free speech, and clearly your warped sense of what constitutes coercion and what constitutes legitimate free market action is in play, at which point you really cannot be reasoned with. If only we were all as smart as you are, Howard.

Daniel Jones
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Mark - Do you stretch like that all the time? There is a difference between being a political candidate or hosting a politician and extolling an extreme agenda that hurts the image of this community. I will not shop at places that display a confederate flag, because I consider it to be a symbol of hate and a yearning for an era of time that was oppressive, just like I will not shop at a place where the owner wants to do something as asinine as protest a peace garden. If that means I called for a boycott, so be it, I really do not view boycotts as negative, I view them as consumers taking action on their own without government involvement.

Howard B. Owens
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Or to put it another way:

"The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins." -- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Speak all you want, but when you threaten the other person with harm because you disagree with his speech, you are in effect attempting to curtail his right to speak his mind.

You can punch him in his nose, or you can threaten his pocketbook. It all amounts to the same thing. It is saying, "shut up, you don't have a right to speak because I disagree with your ideas."

If a person's ideas are so disagreeable, the mature, intelligent, reasonable person will be able to present a cogent argument against those disagreeable ideas without resulting to force, either of a physical nature or of a fiscal nature.

This also goes for attempting to shut the other person up through ridicule, which is another form of coercion.

Daniel Jones
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Howard - Choosing not to shop at someone's store is not the same as punching him in the nose. Come on man, you know better than that. Criticizing another person for the views they speak about is not threatening them. Free speech is not a right that comes without the right of others to critically examine what you are saying.

Howard B. Owens
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Dan, I can be reasoned with when presented with reason. That is something so far you have failed to do. Enjoy your bliss.

Mark Brudz
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Dan,

To criticize a position is free speech, and no matter what the position.

To boycott is to punish a company because thier position is different than yours, that is coersion.

It is saying if you do not believe the same as I do, I will hit you where it hurts, punish you, or maybe even destroy you, that is not free speech.

Howard B. Owens
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Dan, it's exactly the same.

Daniel Jones
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Mark - I'll say to you what I said to Howard, not shopping at someone's store because of the views they espouse is not threatening to harm them, it's choosing not to shop at their store. They aren't even close.

Daniel Jones
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No Howard, it isn't, I'm choosing not to shop where I do not want to shop because the owners of said shop engaged in an activity that I think is dangerous to the community. I didn't threaten him with any physical harm, but I do not want to spend my money at his establishment. Saying that's threatening them with harm is a sign of weakness in debate and is nothing more than a straw man.

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