SPC in Action

From the March 2013 PNL #822

compiled by Jessica Azulay

Chris Hedges: Save the Date, April 27

The Peace Council is thrilled to be hosting prolific journalist and activist Chris Hedges for a fundraising event on April 27.  Hedges’ talk will be the keynote of a regional anti-war convergence hosted by the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones, April 26-28. More details regarding time and location to come, but please save the date! Contact Ursula.


Resist the War Machine

Drones are the “cutting edge” of military technology, making it easier for the US government to fight and kill—in both declared and undeclared wars. The CIA and US military have killed countless civilians using drones, particularly in Pakistan and Yemen. Come out to ArtRage on March 6 at 6:30pm to meet others concerned about US wars of empire. Come share your ideas and hear about the various ways that SPC activists are organizing to RESIST THE WAR MACHINE! Don’t just get mad, organize! The Anti-War movement needs you! Contact Ursula.


A Grand Launch for the Two Row

Jake Edwards presents the Hiawentha Belt at the
Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign's kickoff
event (Feb. 11). Photo: Merry Leonard

Over 500 people filled Syracuse Stage for the launch of the Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign on February 11. The crowd responded enthusiastically to the presentation of 22 pairs of people working actively in our community in the spirit of the Two Row treaty: Haudenosaunee and non-Native partners, collaborating in peace and friendship while respecting their differences.  A NYC kickoff event, with major support from SU, is set for March 12 with a presentation at SUNY New Paltz the following evening. We’ve received almost 100 applications for participation in our epic canoe journey down the Hudson this coming summer. We’ve got room for many more folks to participate in this historic effort, both in the water, on land and in many other ways. See www.honorthe-tworow.org or contact Andy, tworow@peacecouncil.net or 701-1592.


SPC Bowlathon - March 24

Costumes, prizes, team spirit, and funny shoes—that’s right, it’s time for the annual Strike for Peace Bowlathon! Spend an afternoon socializing in a fun atmosphere to benefit SPC’s peace and justice organizing. This year we’ll once again be at Flamingo Bowl for two sessions. Teams are 4-6 people (individuals are welcome — we’ll match you with a team). Entry fee is $15 for adults, $10 for kids (12 and under) and includes two games plus shoes. The alley is completely accessible and bumpers are available. Registration is open until March 15, and discounts are available for early reservations (by March 6). Call Amelia or register online at www.peacecouncil.net/bowl.


End Corporate Rule

Have you signed the petition to amend the Constitution yet? Move to Amend (MTA) is a national grassroots movement to amend the Constitution to say that money is not equal to speech and that only “We the People,” not corporations, have protected rights. In February, the “We the People” amendment was introduced in Congress. To learn more, visit www.movetoamend.org. Locally, MTA democracy activists are door knocking and petitioning in Syracuse and throughout Onondaga County to pass local resolutions in support of the Constitutional amendment. Please contact your City Councilors and County Legislators and let them know you support Move to Amend. MTA of CNY meets every 3rd Thursday at 7pm at the Center for Peace and Social Justice. Contact Michael, 663-5640.


Work for Peace: Resist the Drones

Resisting Drones, Global Wars and Empire: April 26-28

Weaponized drones are more than just new weapons—they are changing the face of warfare and US empire-building. Because Hancock Air National Guard Base has become a hub of Reaper drone activity, the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars has organized a weekend of workshops and action to be held in Syracuse April 26-28.

As the host group, SPC has a lot to do—especially since we want to use this as an opportunity to educate and motivate our local community.

For details as they develop or to get involved, go to peacecouncil.net or upstatedroneaction.org or contact Carol.

Civil Resistance Continues at the Base

On February 13, protesters again blocked the gates at Hancock Air Base. Nine people were arrested. To learn about their (and others’) court dates, contact Ed (315-478-4571, edkinane@verizon.net).


Anti-Drone Organizing Around Town

SPC’s Ground the Drones End the Wars Committee has been pursuing the passage of an ordinance by the Syracuse Common Council prohibiting the use of surveillance drones. We’ll especially need your support once the proposed ordinance goes into study session. We continue to distribute the excellent study Living Under Drones (Stanford and NYU Law Schools). To purchase a copy, contact Carol; to download the report, go to livingunderdrones.org.

We’re happy to provide speakers for your group; we also can perform a staged reading of the play The Predator, or demonstrate our dramatic tableau, both fantastic vehicles for stimulating discussion. Contact Carol. 


Green Energy Roadmap

As a member of Alliance for a Green Economy (AGREE), the Peace Council is supporting efforts to convince the New York State legislature to fund an investigation into the question: Can New York get all of its energy from renewable sources? In February, AGREE made great progress in getting funding for the study included in the state budget. Assemblyman Kevin Cahill is sponsoring the appropriation in the Assembly, and 24 other assembly members signed in support. At press time, AGREE was working to score a matching appropriation in the Senate version of the budget. For more information or to get involved, contact Jessica.


No More Illegal Settlements

Protest Israel’s plans to expand its illegal settlement of the West Bank in Occupied Palestine from 12:30-1:30 on March 23, corner of Erie Blvd. and East Genesee St. Bring a sign or use one of ours.

On March 30, we will commemorate Land Day, with a 7:00 pm film showing and talk at ArtRage Gallery (505 Hawley Ave, Syracuse). More details to come. Visit the Peace Council website for updates or contact Jessica.


Marge Rusk at the Hiroshima
Day Procession, 2009. Photo:
Mike Greenlar

Peace Isn’t Just for the Birds!
Activist Appreciation: Marge Rusk

Marge Rusk has been sharing her time and talents at the Syracuse Peace Council as long as most of us can remember. For at least a few decades she’s come into the office on a weekly basis to help out wherever she can, and she frequently helps with the PNL mailings as well.

Marge connected with SPC during the late 1950s through the annual Institute for International Relations. Since then, she’s been part of our efforts to end the Viet Nam War, fight nuclear power, oppose US intervention in Latin America, the Middle East and elsewhere, and to support the rights of all people. She is also active with Syracuse United Neighbors.

Many people have passed through SPC while Marge remained a steady and consistent figure. A thoughtful story teller and avid bird watcher, Marge provides an important link to SPC’s pre-digital age. Marge is in the office almost every Wednesday afternoon, sharing a meal with the staff, keeping the plants alive, making us laugh, and helping us all feel just a little more connected.


United as One

Four activists spoke to the Onondaga County Legislature on February 5 demanding independent oversight of the county jail, known as the Justice Center. We believe justice will be served only when needless deaths at the hands of correctional officers stop forever.

Speakers addressed the apparent pattern of correctional officer misconduct, stressing that current oversight structures are insufficient. United as One hopes to have a much stronger presence at the next County Legislature meeting on March 5 at 1 pm (401 Montgomery St., Rm 407).

United as One will demand community participation in any new oversight mechanism and let the Legislature know that we’ll be paying attention. The United as One coalition meets the second Thursday of each month. Contact Amelia for details or if you need a ride on March 5.