No War, No Occupation, No Empire

Write Letters to End the Militarism at the NYS Fair

Last year we circulated a petition at the Fair calling for an end to the 174th Attack Wing’s exhibit at the Fair enticing youth to operate simulated weaponry. We sent the Fair Director, the Governor and two Admisory Board members the 600

petition signatures and photos of the military equipment children were playing with in the military recruiting tent.


This year we are continuing with letters. Please write to the peple listed below, calling to reverse the weaponization and militarization infecting the Fair. A starter letter is also included.

Write to:

Troy Waffner, Acting Director of NYS Fair
581 State Fair Blvd
Syracuse, NY 13209

Henry Greenberg, Chair, NYS Fair Advisory Board
Greenberg Traurig LLP
54 State StAlbany, NY 12207

Bethaida Gonzales, NYS Fair Advisory Board
5570 South Salina St
Syracuse, NY 13205

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
State Capital Building
Albany, NY 12224

Sample letter

“Firearms and/or weapons of any kind are prohibited from Fairgrounds, except for those carried by authorized enforcement Personnel and Peace officers.” -- NYS Fair Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan Annex A, Section  11A2

Dear Mr. Waffner:

I applaud the NYS Fair’s policy (above) re weaponry on its premises.  As a Syracuse native who has attended the Fair many times over the decades, I write to you out of a deep concern for its increasing weaponization -- especially regarding the Fair’s role in fostering weaponization beyond its grounds. I think of the Fair as providing a family-friendly atmosphere that usefully promotes New York State agriculture, commerce and tourism. Sadly the Fair has drifted well beyond that worthy mission.

For some time I have been appalled by how militarized the Fair had become.  Friends who visited the Fair’s “military row” last August reported seeing a child in the 174th Attack Wing of the NY National Guard exhibit crouching over some kind of automatic firearm. They also report seeing youngsters playing with a joy stick in the simulated MQ9 Reaper drone “ground control station.” (The Pentagon proudly calls the Reaper its “hunter/killer” drone. Its job is to assassinate people – children are often “collateral damage” – in Afghanistan and elsewhere.)  I fear for impressionable young minds.

I’m not the only fair-goer with such concerns. I was one of over 600 signatures on petitions addressing this issue. I helped gather these signatures mostly from fair-goers last year. I know that last January copies of these signatures were forwarded to you and Governor Cuomo and to your colleagues on the State Fair Advisory Board.

I write today to urge the Advisory Board to carefully review your NYS Fair policies and practices regarding the weaponization of the Fair. My hope is that you will agree that exposing our youth to killer drone and other weaponry is unhealthy for them and for our society. I hope you will do what you can as the Acting NYS Fair Director ban such practice at the Fair.

Mr Waffner, I write knowing that you’ll give this matter your close attention…and I thank you for that. May I hear from you as to the results of your efforts to deal with this lethal matter.