Hamilton Community Protests Syrian Strike

Holly Macolo

Hamilton community members came together to hold a candlelight vigil to protest the U.S. bombing of Syria. This vigil was just one of the 224 nationwide gatherings that took place on September 9.

A group of about 20 people took part in Monday night’s vigil, which was led by Associate Professor of Educational Studies Barbara Regenspan. The group processed around the Hamilton Green in the center of town, holding candles and signs that read the twitter hashtag, #Don’tBombSyria. Other members held up a sign that read, “War is not the answer.” The community members ranged in age, from young children to Colgate students and Hamilton residents. One woman traveled from Clinton for the vigil because she was inspired by the gathering.

“I’m passionate about the dishonesty of the term ‘targeted strike’ and the dishonesty of the government,” Regenspan said, when asked about why she was protesting the bombing of Syria. “What’s the exit strategy?”

Many U.S. citizens holding the same doubts as Regenspan gathered nationwide on September 9. These vigils, like the one held on the Hamilton Green, were started by MoveOn.org, a website that inspires civic action. The site encourages people to speak out in their communities and to take action against what many people think are political injustices.

For this movement, MoveOn.org worked with other progressive organizations, such as U.S. Action and Win Without War, to encourage communities to unite and protest against the bombing. Their idea was to have “Millions of members mobilizing to stop war in the Middle East.” As with most movements, the more grassroots

support the better.

Colgate student Mary DiNapoli, who is in the master’s program for education at the university and is attending her first year here at Colgate, was also in

attendance at the vigil.

“I was inspired by the political activism, bridging the school and the community at events like this,”

DiNapoli said.

Regenspan also added that much of Hamilton was at a meeting for the merge of schools in Hamilton on Monday night, in which the town was trying to figure out how to save money for the education budget. She was upset by how the government seems to be putting a strong emphasis on international war and destruction, while the budget for education for future generations

is lacking.

“Why should we privilege bombing over public education?” Regenspan said. “Education is the most valuable resource, so why put money into destruction over spending money

on education?”

Contact Holly Mascolo at [email protected]