"SENECA COUNTY RESIDENTS DECLARE THEIR SUPPORT OF SENECA DEPOT AND VOW TO HALT PROTEST."
Photo by Tom Buchanan
The Citizen (Auburn, NY), July 31, 1983
Newspaper clipping provided by Merry Hilton
SENECA DECLARES EMERGENCY
Sheriff borrows deputies; residents vow to stop women’s protest
By Al Speck and Tom Buchanan
WATERLOO - A state of emergency was declared in Seneca County on Saturday hours after women from the encampment for a Future Peace and Justice [sic] in Romulus and counter demonstrators clashed on the streets of Waterloo.
Sheriff’s deputies were called in from Cayuga, Onondaga and Schuyler counties to beef up “hot spots,” and replace Sheriff Kenneth Greer’s exhausted deputies. “My guys are dead,” said Greer’s chief deputy Dale Arcangli. Greer declared the emergency at 6 p.m. Cayuga County Sheriff Robert Sponable sent 10 deputies. Onondaga County reportedly sent 30 men. It was not determined how many deputies Schuyler County detailed.
At about 10:45 p.m., about 30 local residents encountered about eight women near gate No. 2 at the depot and chased them away. The gate is located on Route 96A, north of Sampson State Park. The residents told The Citizen they intend to continue interrupting the women’s peace effort at the depot.“When they go to storm a gate from now on they’re gong to find us,” said Evelyn McIntyre of Seneca Falls.
Maria Haston of Waterloo said, “We don’t want them here. We’ll be here every night til they’re out of here. They’re not representing us. They’ve disgraced our community.
At the peace camp the women were gathered for an “energy exchange” in light of the day’s events, said Jana Bluejay.
“To me it’s an us and them thing. Members of the community feel threatened (by the peace camp). The sheriff was in his hometown (when he arrested the women marchers earlier in the day). I’m a local person too. (She said she’s from Mecklenburg.) “We’re scared.”
Police reported 53 arrests, mostly women from the encampment, during the early afternoon confrontation in the village. About 100 women from the camp, marching from Seneca Falls to the Seneca Army Depot in Romulus, were met by a number of Waterloo residents on Washington Street.
Waterloo police requested assistance from the sheriff’s department and at 1 p.m. Washington Street was closed to traffic. The local residents were protesting the women’s actions. “The general sense of its kind of America, love it or leave it,” Carol Mangan, a spokeswoman for the women’s encampment told UPI.
Mary Donnelly, 23, of Worcester, Mass., one of the women walkers, estimated the local group to be 150 people carrying flags. She said one man was carrying a rifle with a flag inside the barrel. “There was a very intimidating air to it,” she said.
A group of women from the camp, trained in peacekeeping, walked the women the remaining eight miles to the depot.
Arcangli said in addition to the “hot spots,” the additional deputies would be used at the county jail and for perimeter work near the depot. He did not elaborate.
Between 1, 000 and 3,000 people are expected at the depot Monday for a major demonstration of non-violent civil disobedience.
Meanwhile, seven women from Massachusetts and Vermont, left Saturday in a small bicycle convoy bound for the peace camp. The group will be traveling along Route 5 and plans to pass through Auburn on Aug. 5, arriving at the encampment the following day. “None of us are professional athletes, but we do have a lot of determination,” said Susanae Hoch, a spokeswoman. “We’re the ones with signs on our backs and on our bikes – moving billboards. We’re asking people to think about these issues and let their views be known. We think we can make a difference if enough of us speak up.”