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Many across the world have viewed media images of mass protests and demonstrations in collective and individual exasperation at the [yet another] filmed, deliberate, senseless death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The millions of people who have exercised their First Amendment rights–freedom of speech, freedom of the press, peaceable assembly, and petition of the government for redress of grievances–have done so mostly in keeping with these mandates. Most demonstrations have been peaceful, but some violence and property destruction have given rise to those seeking to justify the use of force. Many strategies other than the simple truth seek to confuse and exalt chaos.
We saw a simple truth in Buffalo when a elderly man who approached police was knocked down and left on the street, as claimed, by other officers in an advancing crew for medical attention. That 75-year-old man has a name and has a history of peace activism and peaceful protesting for decades.
Martin Gugino, as of Friday evening, was in stable condition in the hospital. He protested against the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and protesting in favor of murder charges against the killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. Gugino is a member of People United for Sustainable Housing (Buffalo) and the Western NY Peace Center.
A public appeal from the Western New York Peace Center was posted by Voices for Creative Nonviolence activist, Kathy Kelly on Facebook:
Western New York Peace Center has received many requests to send messages and donations to Martin Gugino. We welcome you to send letters and cards to the WNYPeace Center’s office at: 1272 Delaware Ave, Buffalo 14209. We will be sure they get to Martin. If you would like to donate to Martin’s medical bills and/or other essential needs, you can do so at wnypeace.org. Please be sure to include “Martin Gugino” in the memo. We can’t thank you all enough for your support.