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Despite protests, Ulster County Legislature buys equipment from company selling Israel weapons

Dec 20, 2023 12:45 am

Patricia R. Doxsey reports in the Daily Freeman that the Ulster County Legislature voted Dec. 19 17-to-5 to approve two contracts with Axon Enterprise Inc., despite many protests from residents about the company's ties with a company that is supplying Israel with weapons used in its war in Gaza. Many speakers opposed the contracts during a long, rowdy public comment period during the legislature meeting. Kingston resident Callie MacKenzie Jayne said Axon is “profiting off the atrocities” taking place in Gaza, and that, "What is happening to Palestine is disgusting.... U.S.-funded bombs” are killing children, she said. Marvin Warren, a Hurley resident who described himself as a Jewish American, said Axon was “war profiteering,” and that, “‘Never again’ means ‘never again,'.... ‘Never again’ for anyone, not ‘never again’ just for us.” But the legislature voted against the wishes of the many speakers for a contract for $111,588.50 for cameras, wired mics, camera cover sensors, switches, serve lights, motion sensors and thermostats, and a second for $440,172.43, for body cameras and related equipment, software and accessories to the Sheriff’s Office. The five legislators who voted against the purchases were Phil Erner, D-Kingston; Laura Petit, D-Esopus; Chris Hewitt, D-Kerhonkson; Peter Criswell, D-Kingston; and Abe Uchitelle, D-Kingston. Read more about this story in the Daily Freeman.