Educate, Agitate, Organize: SPC IN ACTION

From the June 2015 PNL #843

combiled by Carol Baum

No More Hiroshimas
The Nuclear Free World committee is busy planning a procession to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. The next organizing meeting will take place at 4:45 pm on June 11 at The Center (2013 E. Genesee St.). The annual procession to mark the horrific crime perpetrated on the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will take place on August 6, meeting place to be determined. We need many volunteers and activists to help prepare for the procession and to create a visually stunning, artistic anti-war action—we will be carrying 70 peace doves to mark 70 years of work for peace and disarmament. In the lead up to the procession, we are planning educational presentations with local faith groups—if you would like to host a presentation and discussion about the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with your faith or community group, contact Ursula.

Downtown Summer Tabling
June starts SPC’s summer outreach tabling in Syracuse’s downtown on Tuesdays. Positioned just outside the Downtown Farmers’ Market, we provide information and action opportunities to people going to the market. Each week the focus is on a different issue. It’s a great way to interact with people and go beyond “preaching to the choir.” Enjoy the summer in a new way—help gather materials, bring them there and back, or staff the table. Contact Carol.

Films for Peace
Films play a significant role in creating our shared conception of history, culture and politics. This summer, SPC is hosting “Anti-War Intervention Films,” a film series to engage the wider Syracuse community in discussions about war and militarism and how we can organize to resist. On June 19, we will screen the classic film The War Game, a mockumentary about nuclear war which was banned from screening by the BBC. On July 17, we present The War You Don’t See. This noteworthy film is a timely investigation into the media’s role in war. Both films will be presented at 8 pm at ArtRage Gallery, 505 Hawley Ave. Free admission with $5 suggested donation. We welcome volunteers to help with promotion and event organizing. Contact Ursula.

New Public Access Cable TV Show for Syracuse
SPC is sponsoring Other Voices, Other Choices on the Time Warner Cable Public Access channel. The show promotes non-corporate political, social, and environmental news and commentary. Recent programs include sessions from the Interfaith Conference on Drone Warfare and public comments from Reforming the Energy Vision.  We expect to see broadcasts from the United National Antiwar Coalition’s National Conference. Thanks to Wilton Vought, the show’s creator, for approaching us about sponsorship. See www.othervoicesotherchoices.blogspot.com for programming information.

No Drones, No Wars
SPC’s Ground the Drones and End the Wars Committee works locally and as part of the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars. The focus of both is Syracuse’s Hancock Air Base, where military personnel pilot drones over Afghanistan. It is also a training site for drone pilots, sensor operators and maintenance technicians. What we’re up to:

Anti drone ad showing in Syracuse area. Activists with KnowDrones.com have created a 15-second anti-drone ad to be shown in areas near drone bases. It just started a three week run on Time Warner Cable in the Syracuse area the week of May 25. They hope to run it in Buffalo (Niagara Falls Air National Guard Base) and other places. To help with funding the ad, go to KnowDrones.com. To see the ad, go to SPC’s website.

SPC activists demonstrate outside of Hancock Airbase on May 21
SPC activists demonstrate outside of Hancock Airbase on May 21 to demand that a US drone base in Germany
be closed. Photo: Ursula Rozum

Protesting the US Base in Ramstein, Germany.  A US military base in Ramstein, Germany is the site of a satellite relay station that plays a key role in the communication between US drone operators and their drones in the Middle East and Africa.  For example, signals from Hancock drone operators are sent via transatlantic fiber optic cables to Ramstein, where they are relayed to the drones over Afghanistan. Ramstein’s importance in the global drone war can’t be overstated (see www.firstlook.org/theintercept).

On May 21, SPC held a gathering outside Hancock in support of the German call to “Stop US Drone Warfare Via Ramstein.” May 27 was a hearing in German court in which the bin Ali Jaber family of Yemen (who lost two family members to US drone strikes) demanded that Germany stop allowing Ramstein to be used in US drone warfare. For more details contact Carol or see SPC’s website.

Drone Resisters in Court. It is important to continue to support the Hancock drone resisters—some of whom were arrested for nonviolent actions over two years ago—in court. Upcoming dates are June 24-26 (trial of four resisters from the NYC area) and July 9 (when many motions will be heard). As usual, dates and times are subject to change. Check www.upstatedroneaction.org or contact Carol.

Staged readings of The Predator, a play in which four characters—a Senator, peace activist, drone pilot and college student—first explore the use of weaponized drones from their different perspectives and then, still in character, dialog with the audience. Upcoming performances are:
Thursday, June 4 at 6:45 – Baldwinsville Library (33 E Genesee St., Baldwinsville)
Sunday, June 7 at noon – Syracuse Friends Meeting (821 Euclid Ave.)
Tuesday, July 14 at 7 pm – Liverpool Library (310 Tulip St., Liverpool)
To join us, contact Carol. We need your imagination, commitment and activism.

June 19 – Benefit for Mohawk Community
Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation is organizing a concert to benefit the traditional Kanatsiohareke Mohawk Community (4934 SH Rt 5, Fonda). Hear Tom Porter speak and listen to music performed by Joanne Bakeman and Mark Hoffman, with Sandy Bigtree and Ahnas Porter on June 19 starting at 7 pm. Admission is on a sliding scale from $10-100, and the event will also feature a silent auction and 50/50 raffle to benefit Kanatsiohareke. Contact Andy Mager for more information, 315-559-7058.

Peace Council Calling
Expect a phone call from SPC in July. Our annual Phonathon is an important fundraiser, raising about $4200 last year. It’s also an opportunity for SPC supporters to share their thoughts about our work. The 2015 Phonathon will be on July 7, 9 and 15 from 6-9 pm. We will have dinner and then hit the phones! To help with calling or cooking, contact Amelia.

CNY Working for a Just Peace in Palestine & Israel
On May 17, we offered our 6th annual community event to commemorate the Nakba. Translated into English, al Nakba is “the Catastrophe,” marking the establishment of Israel in 1947-1948 and the expulsion of 700,000 Palestinian Arabs from their homes and their land. Today, it is against Israeli law to commemorate the Nakba.
The event began with very powerful poetry read by Sabreen Mere, including her piece, “Past the Olive Tree.” The documentary film, On the Side of the Road was shown, investigating the Nakba through the eyes and memory of Israeli veterans of the ’48 war.  Excellent food and conversation followed. Please join us if you’re interested in this issue, as we continue to work towards more effective community education and stronger campaigns in support of the international BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement. Contact Ursula.

Be a Summer SPC Activist
We’re excited to welcome two enthusiastic interns this summer. Kate Mouradian is a Corcoran High School graduate and will enter her junior year at Wells College this fall. Kate is managing our social media campaigns and doing anti-war outreach and education. Spring intern Brian Escobar is staying on and will increase his hours and receive a small stipend for the summer.
As much as we love having interns, SPC can’t do all we want and need to do without YOU. Please join us—summer is a great time for building our movement.

CNY Veterans for Peace Chapter on the Rise
A small group has committed to reach out to veterans, their families and loved ones to join us at our next meeting on June 17 at 7 pm in the Center’s ground floor Community Room (2013 E. Genesee St., enter from parking lot). We are making connections with other veterans’ groups, and we plan to be in SPC’s Hiroshima Day procession on August 6. Please join us. Contact Barb Humphrey, behumphrey@gmail.com.
SPC encourages everyone to support the reorganization of the CNY Veterans for Peace Chapter.

Powerful Antiwar Conference
A carful of SPC and Upstate Drone Action activists headed to the United National Antiwar Coalition’s (UNAC) National Conference in Secaucus, NJ from May 8-10. Titled “Stop the Wars at Home and Abroad,” the conference examined the connections between US wars and domestic issues. Diverse groups of panelists addressed topics such as the militarization of the police and structural racism, endless imperial war and its costs, political prisoners, and challenging the warfare state.
You can still register for the next conferences—the Left Forum (May 29-31, New York City) and the US Social Forum (June 25-28, Philadelphia). Contact Carol.

Aly Wane speaks on behalf of the Peace Council at a Black Lives Matter rally
Aly Wane speaks on behalf of the Peace Council at a Black Lives Matter rally and march organized by
THE General Body (SU student group) on April 30. Photo: Ursula Rozum

Parading Peace Council
SPC will be out in the streets in support of the annual Juneteenth and Pride celebrations. The Juneteenth parade will line up at State & Castle Sts. at 11:15 am on June 13, ending at Clinton Square. The Pride parade will line up at Belden & W. Genesee Sts. at 10:15 am on June 20, ending at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater. It’s important for allies to show solidarity by showing up at these events. Please contact Amelia if you would like to join the SPC contingent at either parade.

Activist Appreciation: Sharon Dellinger
Sharon Dellinger is a rare gem. A former navy lieutenant turned anti-war activist, she first came to SPC as a summer intern and has since jumped into organizing with the Ground the Drones, End the Wars Committee. Sharon’s organizational skills are unparalleled, and she is quick, smart, funny, knows her way around technology, and has an amazing personal style (when the committee met with Senator Gillibrand’s aide, Sharon’s hair color matched the shade of the blue scarves we wore in support of the Afghan Peace Volunteers). Recently Sharon went to Washington, DC to lobby for the Global Marshall Plan, which proposes that the US dedicate 1-2% of its gross domestic product for the next 20 years toward eliminating poverty, homelessness, hunger, etc. She is fearless in her advocacy and has the energy to help make change happen. Thanks, Sharon!

Win a Bike!
It’s time again for SPC’s Bike Raffle fundraiser. This year’s bike is from Mello Velo Bike Shop (550 Westcott St.). Tickets are $2 for 1, $5 for 3 and $10 for 7, and are available at SPC, Mello Velo, and from SPC volunteers. The drawing is September 27 at the Westcott Street Fair. To help with selling raffle tickets, contact Ursula.

NYS Parole System Troubled
NYC-based activists with Milk Not Jails will be visiting Syracuse on Sunday, June 7 to share a new video that sheds light on our state’s flawed parole system and offer training for families interacting with that system. The event will go from 4-6 pm at ArtRage Gallery (505 Hawley Ave). SPC is a co-sponsor of this event, along with the Center for Community Alternatives and the Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse. Contact Amelia.

United as One
The United as One Coalition’s quarterly meeting will be Tuesday, July 21 at 6 pm. The Coalition works on justice system issues in Onondaga County. Contact Amelia if you are interested in representing the Peace Council in this group.

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