SPC in Action

From the January 2013 PNL #820

compiled by Jessica Azulay

December 15, 2012 demonstration on Erie Blvd against expansion of Israeli settlements. Banner by Weston Hoy. Photo: Jessica AzulayDecember 15, 2012 demonstration on Erie Blvd against expansion of Israeli settlements. Banner by Weston Hoy. Photo: Jessica AzulayDear Plowshares Committee (Barb Floch, Lanny Freshman, Karen Kerney, Rae Kramer, Andy Molloy, Beth Mosley, Marie Summer­wood, and Mardea Warner):

Thank you for creating a beautiful celebration of art, music and community again this year. Without the Plowshares Craftsfair and Peace Festival in December, the Syracuse Peace Council would not have the funds to do much of our organizing work throughout the year. Plowshares represents a wonderful example of the world in which we wish to live, and its spirit buoys us through the dark winter. We appreciate the huge amount of work you all do throughout the year to make Plowshares happen, and we are so grateful.

–SPC staff

(Jessica, Amelia, Ursula and Carol)


Stop Hydrofracking—Get on the Ban Wagon to Albany!

On January 9th, as Gov. Cuomo gives his annual State of the State address, fracktiv­ists from across New York will descend upon Albany to make our collective voices heard in support of a permanent statewide hydrofracking ban. The Peace Council and Alliance for a Green Economy are organizing a bus from Central New York, at a cost of $25 for a seat. If you can’t go yourself, please consider donating so that we can offer some reduced cost seats. Contact Jessica.

While Cuomo has not yet made a deci­sion about whether to permit or prohibit fracking in NYS, on November 29, the DEC quietly issued a set of revised rules that would govern how fracking would be practiced, were it to be permitted. The Peace Council is among the many local groups that support a full hydrofracking ban – and we ask that if you decide to comment on the regulations, you also insist that there is no such thing as safe or responsible hydrofracking. Dr. Sandra Steingraber has created an excellent, plainspoken English resource to help us all participate in the public comment period (which ends January 11). Visit www.thirtydaysoffrackingregs.com to learn how to submit your comments.


Resist the Drones Here and Abroad

Drones around town. CNY drone resisters have been busy at work again this month educating, agitating and organizing. At Plowshares we displayed our model drone and gathered over 400 signatures petitioning the Common Council to ban surveillance drones in Syracuse. As our city gains prominence as a hot spot of anti-drone activity, our actions and vigils at Hancock Airbase increasingly garner press attention from journalists in Syracuse, Oswego, NYC and elsewhere.

On December 9, about 25 members of the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars gathered near Rochester to strategize and plan for the next six months. Mark your calendars for a rally in Syracuse to ground the drones during the weekend of April 27-28.

Drones on trial. On December 13, Judge Robert Jokl found eleven activists guilty of trespass for their June 2012 action at Hancock Airbase. These members of the Upstate Coalition were arrested while attempting to deliver a citizens’ indictment for war crimes to personnel at the base. Defendants acted as their own lawyers and argued that they were not breaking the law but were in fact upholding it. Multiple defendants pointed to the testimony of former Attorney General Ramsey Clark in the same courtroom in November 2011. He explained that the Nuremburg Principles require citizens to do everything in their power to prevent their government from committing war crimes.

Six defendants received a one-year conditional discharge and 25 hours of community service; five defendants were sentenced to 15 days in Jamesville Prison plus fines. Ed Kinane and James Ricks elected to start their sentences immediately and are serving sentences as we go to print. Claire Grady, Ellen Grady, and Rae Kramer will commence their sentences on January 11.

Additionally, activists are preparing for pretrial and motions hearings on January 10 & 16 for two October attempts to deliver the indictment. Contact Amelia for details.


Interns Wanted!

SPC is seeking interns to work with us on a number of projects, including: Carbon-Free, Nuclear-Free Organizing; Anti-War Organiz­ing; Outreach & Community Engagement; and Fundraising and Development. Intern­ships are flexible and we guarantee plenty of practical hands on experience (and fun, too.) See full descriptions of internships available at http://www.peacecouncil.net/ intern or contact Ursula to learn more!

Big thanks to last semester’s interns whose contributions helped out big time as our staff collective underwent some tran­sitions. They took on a diversity of work including - Hyun Gi Kim (SU) assisted with the Move to Amend campaign, Mitch Lucas (LeMoyne) worked on the Peace Newsletter Committee, and Lindsay Rexer (LeMoyne) staffed counter recruitment outreach tables in Syracuse High Schools. Interns, you’re awesome!


Peace is Priceless…

As another year comes to a close, we’re reflecting on the many ways, large and small, that the Peace Council worked for peace and social justice this year. Please make a year-end contribution to the Syracuse Peace Council to catapult us into next year. We’ve had a fantastic year of organiz­ing but our fundraising efforts need a boost. We make every dollar count, so please contribute as generously as you can. More information at www. peacecouncil.net/donate.


Jobs Not Wars!

SPC has joined a national campaign led by US Labor Against the War urging the President and Congress to aban­don austerity solutions to the deficit and instead end the war, cut military spending, and tax the super-rich. Tell Congress to redirect resources to re­store and protect the social safety net, create jobs, deal with climate change and meet other urgent social needs. We all lose when the US spends 57% of our discretionary funds on war and preparations for war. Sign and share the petition on the web at http://bit.ly/jobs-not-wars-spc, or come into the SPC office for a paper copy. Contact Ursula.


Carbon-Free, Nuclear-Free Postcards

Together with the Alliance for a Green Economy, SPC is asking the New York State Legislature to fund a study that will show whether and how New York could switch to a carbon-free, nuclear-free energy supply. We need your help to show public support for this. Sign one of our postcards. If you’re a Syracuse PNL subscriber, there is one included inside this newsletter. Otherwise, you can come by the Peace Council to sign one. Or, you can also sign one virtually at www.agreenewyork.org.


December 15, 2012 demonstration on Erie Blvd against expansion of Israeli settlements. Banner by Weston Hoy. Photo: Jessica AzulayDecember 15, 2012 demonstration on Erie Blvd against expansion of Israeli settlements. Banner by Weston Hoy. Photo: Jessica AzulayWorking for a Just Peace

If you missed it, you can read our statement on Israel’s overwhelming use of force against Gaza in November at www.peacecouncil. net/statements/Gaza2012.htm. The Peace Council’s committee, Central New York Working for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel, had a busy December. On December 12, we showed the film “Where Should the Birds Fly,” by Palestinian film-maker Fida Qishta, created during the 2008/2009 Israeli assault on Gaza. On December 15, we vigiled on Erie Blvd in protest against Israeli expansion of settlements. We con­tinue to gather signatures of people who pledge not to buy goods manufactured in Israeli settlements, and we are planning some actions supporting the international boycott in early 2013.


Welcome New Steering Committee!

The SPC Steering Committee is responsible for the organizational health of the Peace Council. In January 2013, we welcome Ben Kuebrich, Aly Wane, Claire Bach. Rachel Cary, and Jim Weidman to the Steering Committee (SC). SC members are also engaged in the Peace Council’s activism in an ongoing way. They serve two-year terms on the SC where decisions on topics ranging from our annual budget to program priorities are made by consensus. Thank you for stepping up and caring about the future of SPC.


400th Anniversary of Two Row is Here!

The 400th anniversary of the Two Row Wampum Treaty is upon us. The Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign has been organizing for a year and a half to prepare a year-long campaign to Honor Native Treaties and Protect the Earth. Support from around the state continues to grow with over 60 organizational co-sponsors and lots of enthusiasm from hundreds of people around the state.

Mark your calendars for the opening event: Sharing the River of Life, at 7 pm on Monday, February 11 at Syracuse Stage. In the meantime, check out our redesigned website (www.honorthetworow.org), consider applying to join us for the symbolic enactment paddling trip down the Hudson (July 28-August 9), and make a donation to our online fundraising campaign (www.indiegogo.com/ HonorTheTwoRow).

We’ve just set up a new office adjacent to SPC’s main offices. We need lots of help to make this effort a game changer for Haudenosaunee- New York State relations. Contact Andy at 701-1592 or tworow@ peacecouncil.net.


Another Great Plowshares

We had another successful Plowshares Craftsfair and Peace Festival in December, We couldn’t have done it without the many hands of craftspeople, volunteers, cooks, performers, prize donors and shoppers. We believe we had the second highest attendance on record. Special thanks to the Plowshares Committee, the SPC Marketplace Commit­tee (Stephanie Leeds, Kim McCoy, Wendy Yost), the Mission Restaurant, Nottingham High School, Jessica Maxwell (program and publicity), the entertainers, and the many people who volunteered to staff the greeting stations, the cash registers, the crafts table, the raffle, the SPC info table, and the silent auction. Thanks to the setup and cleanup crew. And most of all, thanks to everyone who attended Plowshares and enjoyed the weekend with us.