Summer of Nonviolent Creek Resistance Begins
by Paul Frazier

So what will it take? Onondaga County wants to stick an above-ground sewage treatment plant in a predominantly Black low-income neighborhood on the near-south side of Syracuse. Area residents, five years into the struggle, support underground storage to keep partially treated raw sewage out of Onondaga Creek and save the residential neighborhood from further decay.

For five years residents have opposed county plans to locate the proposed plant at Midland and Blaine. Residents have organized, researched, met with city, county, and state officials; educated the community; gathered petitions; celebrated Onondaga Creek; and identified viable alternatives.

Organizing moved on to protest. Rallies, vigils, more petitions. Filing a Title VI claim of racial discrimination with the US Environmental Protection Agency. Waiting to hear the response. Now comes nonviolent resistance. According to organizer Aggie Lane, ”The resistance has begun and we need everybody.” A Summer of Nonviolent Resistance.

Underground Storage - A Civil Right

Injustice continues here in Syracuse, 40 years after passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The County offers out-dated technology — penny-wise, pound foolish — as the minority community takes the hit for a sewage treatment plant in the middle of their neighborhood. What is the role of race, of power in this plan? Nonviolence training has begun and affinity groups are forming. It is time to step forward and take part in the struggle. Forty years from now let the record show that many from Syracuse and Onondaga County were counted in the struggle.

What You Can DO:

• Come to Partnership meetings Tuesdays, 6 pm. For location call Zac Moore, 445-2273.
• Check out<> for upcoming meetings and actions. Join demonstrations and picket lines.
• Call County Executive Pirro, 435-3516, and demand underground storage!
• Call and email:

* US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (315) 448-0470; (202) 224-4451; <>
* NYS Senator Nancy Larraine Hoffman (315) 478-0072; <hoffmann@>
and tell them to send a letter of support for the Partnership’s Civil Rights complaint.

• Join the Resistance Media or Publicity Team. Ongoing nonviolent actions need support work.

So what will it take? You, PNL reader. You, concerned citizen, You, champion of racial equality. You may have missed out on the nonviolent resistance that led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964. Step forward now.

Paul is a local resident and active member of the Partnership.