Educate, Agitate, Organize: SPC IN ACTION

From the October 2015 PNL #846

Compiled by Carol Baum
Iran Nuclear Deal Victory - War Averted
After two months of vigorous tabling, rallying, phoning and sending postcards to representatives, enough members of the US Senate voted not to oppose the Iran Nuclear Deal. SPC members did all of the above. SPC members also met with Senator Gillibrand to talk to her about the deal. SPC was able to shore up her support by amplifying the voices of the majority of people who support the deal, despite the Senator being under enormous pressure to oppose it. The deal, lifting economic sanctions in exchange for stringent inspections of Iran’s nuclear program, is expected to be implemented. The end of painful economic sanctions will directly help the Iranian people. The deal will likely lead to de-escalation of tensions between Iran and the US, and in the region, and decreased likelihood of war. Special appreciation goes to Nuclear Free World committee members Diane Swords and Simon Morrin, whose persistence and creativity were essential.
Kathy Kelly to Speak October 6
On Tuesday, October 6 at 7 pm, Voices for Creative Nonviolence co-coordinator Kathy Kelly will speak at All Saints Church (1340 Lancaster Ave., Syracuse). She recently returned from one of her many trips to Afghanistan and will speak on “Kabul to Syracuse to Niagara Falls: A Walk to Ground the Drones and End the Wars.” 
Kathy is here to participate in the beginning of the Undrone Upstate walk, which begins at Hancock Air Base and ends 165 miles later at Niagara Falls Air Base. The Walk is being planned by the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars to heighten public awareness of the mindless murder and relentless terror perpetrated in our names by the use of killer drones. Hancock is a drone base just outside Syracuse; Niagara Falls, another, just outside of Buffalo. The walk is scheduled to end October 21; people are welcome to walk for all or part of it. It will include outreach programs at colleges and community centers along the way, including Rochester, Brockport, and Niagara Falls.
To learn more, go to www.upstatedroneaction.org or contact Carol.
NOON Supports Lacrosse Championship
Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation congratulates the Onondaga for hosting the World Indoor Lacrosse Championship—a historic milestone. This is the first time that an indigenous nation has hosted such an international sporting event. 
NOON has been busy recruiting volunteers to help at the Championship and tabling with NOON materials at the Vendors Village at Onondaga. We—and the Onondaga—have given away hundreds of our Neighbor to Neighbor, Nation to Nation booklets. Each person who had their passport stamped at the Onondaga Nation received one. The Post-Standard published our op-ed pushing for greater recognition of the sovereignty of the Onondaga Nation and the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. The print version was on the front page of a Sunday Commentary section, taking up three-quarters of the page. (Oh yeah—we saw some great lacrosse games, too!)
Onondaga Land Rights—
10 Years Later
In 2005, the Onondaga Nation filed a Land Rights Action in NYS courts that asked for official recognition that their land had been stolen and a seat at the table to determine how to clean up the natural environment in their historic territory. Today the case is in the international arena and the Onondaga are waiting to hear from the Organization of the Americas. In the mean time, what has changed here in this area that neighbors and Onondaga alike call home? What clean ups have happened and protections put in place for the precious earth? And what remains to be done?
These are the questions we hope to answer at a mid-November event to reflect on the decade since the Onondaga filed their Land Rights Action. Stay tuned for date and location details. Contact Amelia to get on the NOON email announcements list.
Goodbye to Barb Humphrey
SPC and the Syracuse community are saying a fond farewell to Barbara Humphrey who, after calling Syracuse home for several decades, is moving to Florida to be closer to her son and his family. In recent years, Barbara has served on the SPC Steering Committee, the Ground the Drones Committee, and the Fundraising Committee. She has also been an active organizer of the new local Veterans for Peace chapter. In her decades living in Syracuse, she has worked with neighborhood groups, social services organizations, local government, on political campaigns and as an active and reliable SPC activist.
Barbara Humphrey exemplifies what it means to be a “community activist.” Barbara, we wish you joy in the next phase of your life.  Your camaraderie and righteous passion for justice will be missed. Thank you for all you’ve given to the Syracuse community!
Anti-Racism Study Group
The Peace Council’s Anti-Racism & White Privilege Study Group is halfway through its first session. About 30 anti-racist white people have been gathering every few weeks to examine our own white privilege and educate ourselves about institutional racism. When we learn and talk together about racism and our role in interrupting it, we can become better equipped to work in multi-racial coalitions to end centuries of oppression caused by white supremacy. (See page 5 for a glossary of racism-related terms.) To learn more, visit www.peacecouncil.net/study-group.
Contact Amelia to receive information about the next session of the Study Group, starting in early 2016. Dates have not been chosen yet, so please let us know about your availability.
Justice for Palestine
The CNY Working for Just Peace in Palestine and Israel committee is currently researching local corporations that profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestine. Several international companies with operations in Central New York provide services to Israel and are targets of the international movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. The realty company RE/MAX is involved with illegal settlement expansion in the West Bank. The security firm G4S, which provides security services at the Syracuse Airport, operates prisons and checkpoints in Palestine, and global defense contractor Lockheed Martin produces the F-16 jets that Israel has used in its assaults on the Gaza strip. The committee’s next meeting is Monday October 19 at 6 pm. Contact Ursula.
Volunteers Wanted!
The Syracuse Peace Council runs on people power. If you are passionate about working for peace and challenging US militarism, racism and capitalism, then there is a role for you at SPC. We are particularly in need of activists who want to volunteer regularly at the office. Consider signing up for weekly “office hours” to help with office and organizational tasks. Are you more interested in joining a committee? Our program committees (see page 2) welcome new activists to join in strategizing and planning local campaigns, actions and events. 
Getting involved with SPC can be a great opportunity to develop new skills, connect with other social justice activists, and contribute to the collective project of building the just and peaceful world we know is possible. Don’t hesitate to contact the SPC office to speak with our staff organizers to find the role that’s right for you.
Seeking New Steering Committee Members
The SPC Steering Committee is responsible for the organizational and political health of the Peace Council. If you are already engaged in SPC’s work in an ongoing way and would like to deepen your involvement, consider joining the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee oversees decisions on topics ranging from our annual budget to program priorities and members serve two-year terms (exceptions can be made in special circumstances). Decisions are made by consensus. If you are interested or would like to know more, contact Carol.
Record Breaking Garage Sale!
Despite a rainy Saturday, the SPC Garage Sale was a record success with over $2500 raised to power SPC’s peace and justice work. We are thanking our lucky stars that we had more great stuff donated than ever before!
SUPER thanks to set-up extraordinaires Lanny Freshman, Theresa Buck-Bieling, Ann Tiffany, Marie Summerwood and Geoff Wright. BIG thanks to Ed Kinane, Shirley Novak, Jessica Maxwell, Brian Escobar and Joshua. There’s a MOUNTAIN of thanks to Rae Kramer, the heart and soul of the Garage Sale. Thanks also to everyone who donated and everyone who shopped, and thanks especially to the donors of big-ticket items like large furniture and a canoe!
Bike Goes to a Good Home
Congratulations, John Burdick, the lucky winner of another fantastic bike from Mello Velo Bike Shop on Westcott Street!
The Peace Council’s annual bike raffle raised a hefty $950 this year. Our profuse thanks go to Wendy Yost who sold raffle tickets all day long at the Westcott Street Cultural Fair, where the majority of tickets were sold. Thanks also to everyone who bought and sold raffle tickets. Bikes not bombs!
Welcome Fall Interns!
We are pleased to welcome Kirstyn, Manny and Ashley as SPC’s Fall 2015 interns. Among a variety of projects, Kirstyn Ross Roach is working on graphic design and website development, Manny Martinez is helping with event organizing, and Ashley Ventura is working with Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Land Rights Action. Please extend a warm welcome to these bright and motivated interns when you see them at the SPC office and at events.
Activist Appreciation:
Geoff Oldfield
Geoff Oldfield (above) is the perfect example of the apple not falling far from the tree. His father John helped raise the alarm about weaponized drones early on, and his mother Julienne has been a peace and social justice worker for much of her life.
 Geoff is a genuinely nice person who often works in a background support role. Need things carried or hauled, or people transported? Geoff is there—and with good humor and a smile. He is a quiet, generous person willing to help. He has often transported people and props to the State Fair for the tableau— which is not an easy task. Last year he also joined in as the “drone operator” (see photo).
We thank you Geoff—for sharing your strength and equipment with SPC … and for your kindness as you do that.
Urban Jobs Task Force
The Urban Jobs Task Force (UJTF), of which SPC is a member organization, had a Rally for Jobs on September 23 before a study session for the Syracuse Resident Employment Ordinance to require more local hiring. The UJTF is distributing a petition in support of the ordinance, which requires that city residents comprise 20% of the workforce on city public works contracts and half of that from impoverished neighborhoods or persons in a workforce database. With the ordinance, community organizations, unions, and workforce developers help contractors find skilled resident labor to meet the goals of the ordinance. Sign the petition at www. actionnetwork.org/groups/urban-jobs-task-force (or come to SPC to sign a hard copy).
Joe Leonard ¡Presente!
Joe Leonard lived life on his own terms whether it was managing a rock band or the Dragons Emporium (a head shop), teaching math to high school students or workers returning for a college refresher, fighting for civil rights, spearheading a program for seniors teaching them how not to fall, fighting for LGBT rights, working for peace and social justice. He was a proud member of the ACLU, Sage Upstate and the Syracuse Peace Council. The last time he was at SPC, he had come to improve his “letters to the editor” writing skills. He was a sweet, gentle soul who cared about everyone’s rights. The world is a finer place for having had Joe in it.
Plowshares Lawn Signs Need Good Homes
Now that fall is here, SPC’s Plowshares Craftsfair and Peace Festival is just around the corner (December 5-6). Helping make the Craftsfair successful is fun and easy – adopt a Plowshares lawn sign for your front yard. We’ll put them out the week before and then pick them up the day after the Fair. People living on high visibility streets are especially encouraged, but anyone is welcome to help out. Contact Carol to be put on the lawn sign list.
ACTS’ Criminal Justice Task Force Takes Action
The Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse (ACTS) is a grassroots network of faith communities and organizations in the Syracuse area advocating for social justice. SPC is a member group.
ACTS’ Criminal Justice Task Force has been particularly busy lately. Earlier this year they learned that 16- and 17-year-old youth were routinely being held in solitary confinement at Jamesville Prison, locked in their cells for 23 hours a day, excluded from programming and prohibited from interacting with anyone else being held at the jail. ACTS is calling for an end to solitary confinement of 16- and 17-year-olds in Onondaga County. Please sign the petition at http://tinyurl.com/o4dwws4.
To get involved with any ACTS task force as an SPC representative, please contact Carol.

Iran Nuclear Deal Victory - War Averted

After two months of vigorous tabling, rallying, phoning and sending postcards to representatives, enough members of the US Senate voted not to oppose the Iran Nuclear Deal. SPC members did all of the above. SPC members also met with Senator Gillibrand to talk to her about the deal. SPC was able to shore up her support by amplifying the voices of the majority of people who support the deal, despite the Senator being under enormous pressure to oppose it. The deal, lifting economic sanctions in exchange for stringent inspections of Iran’s nuclear program, is expected to be implemented. The end of painful economic sanctions will directly help the Iranian people. The deal will likely lead to de-escalation of tensions between Iran and the US, and in the region, and decreased likelihood of war. Special appreciation goes to Nuclear Free World committee members Diane Swords and Simon Morrin, whose persistence and creativity were essential.

 

Kathy Kelly to Speak October 6

On Tuesday, October 6 at 7 pm, Voices for Creative Nonviolence co-coordinator Kathy Kelly will speak at All Saints Church (1340 Lancaster Ave., Syracuse). She recently returned from one of her many trips to Afghanistan and will speak on “Kabul to Syracuse to Niagara Falls: A Walk to Ground the Drones and End the Wars.” 

Kathy is here to participate in the beginning of the Undrone Upstate walk, which begins at Hancock Air Base and ends 165 miles later at Niagara Falls Air Base. The Walk is being planned by the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars to heighten public awareness of the mindless murder and relentless terror perpetrated in our names by the use of killer drones. Hancock is a drone base just outside Syracuse; Niagara Falls, another, just outside of Buffalo. The walk is scheduled to end October 21; people are welcome to walk for all or part of it. It will include outreach programs at colleges and community centers along the way, including Rochester, Brockport, and Niagara Falls.

To learn more, go to www.upstatedroneaction.org or contact Carol.

 

 

On September 21, the UN-designated World Day of Peace, five members of Upstate Drone Action Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars were arrested as they held large banners reading "Drones Kill Children" across the main entrance of Hancock Air Base, a home of the weaponized MQ9 Reaper drone. Visit peacecouncil.net for a list of arrestees. Join them in court on October 14 at 6pm in the Town of Dewitt Court (5400 Butternut Dr., East Syracuse) photo: Ellen Grady


NOON Supports Lacrosse Championship

Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation congratulates the Onondaga for hosting the World Indoor Lacrosse Championship—a historic milestone. This is the first time that an indigenous nation has hosted such an international sporting event. 

NOON has been busy recruiting volunteers to help at the Championship and tabling with NOON materials at the Vendors Village at Onondaga. We—and the Onondaga—have given away hundreds of our Neighbor to Neighbor, Nation to Nation booklets. Each person who had their passport stamped at the Onondaga Nation received one. The Post-Standard published our op-ed pushing for greater recognition of the sovereignty of the Onondaga Nation and the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. The print version was on the front page of a Sunday Commentary section, taking up three-quarters of the page. (Oh yeah—we saw some great lacrosse games, too!)

 

Onondaga Land Rights—

10 Years Later

In 2005, the Onondaga Nation filed a Land Rights Action in NYS courts that asked for official recognition that their land had been stolen and a seat at the table to determine how to clean up the natural environment in their historic territory. Today the case is in the international arena and the Onondaga are waiting to hear from the Organization of the Americas. In the mean time, what has changed here in this area that neighbors and Onondaga alike call home? What clean ups have happened and protections put in place for the precious earth? And what remains to be done?

These are the questions we hope to answer at a mid-November event to reflect on the decade since the Onondaga filed their Land Rights Action. Stay tuned for date and location details. Contact Amelia to get on the NOON email announcements list.

 

Goodbye to Barb Humphrey

SPC and the Syracuse community are saying a fond farewell to Barbara Humphrey who, after calling Syracuse home for several decades, is moving to Florida to be closer to her son and his family. In recent years, Barbara has served on the SPC Steering Committee, the Ground the Drones Committee, and the Fundraising Committee. She has also been an active organizer of the new local Veterans for Peace chapter. In her decades living in Syracuse, she has worked with neighborhood groups, social services organizations, local government, on political campaigns and as an active and reliable SPC activist.

Barbara Humphrey exemplifies what it means to be a “community activist.” Barbara, we wish you joy in the next phase of your life.  Your camaraderie and righteous passion for justice will be missed. Thank you for all you’ve given to the Syracuse community!

 

Anti-Racism Study Group

The Peace Council’s Anti-Racism & White Privilege Study Group is halfway through its first session. About 30 anti-racist white people have been gathering every few weeks to examine our own white privilege and educate ourselves about institutional racism. When we learn and talk together about racism and our role in interrupting it, we can become better equipped to work in multi-racial coalitions to end centuries of oppression caused by white supremacy. (See page 5 for a glossary of racism-related terms.) To learn more, visit www.peacecouncil.net/study-group.

Contact Amelia to receive information about the next session of the Study Group, starting in early 2016. Dates have not been chosen yet, so please let us know about your availability.

 

Justice for Palestine

The CNY Working for Just Peace in Palestine and Israel committee is currently researching local corporations that profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestine. Several international companies with operations in Central New York provide services to Israel and are targets of the international movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. The realty company RE/MAX is involved with illegal settlement expansion in the West Bank. The security firm G4S, which provides security services at the Syracuse Airport, operates prisons and checkpoints in Palestine, and global defense contractor Lockheed Martin produces the F-16 jets that Israel has used in its assaults on the Gaza strip. The committee’s next meeting is Monday October 19 at 6 pm. Contact Ursula.

 

Volunteers Wanted!

The Syracuse Peace Council runs on people power. If you are passionate about working for peace and challenging US militarism, racism and capitalism, then there is a role for you at SPC. We are particularly in need of activists who want to volunteer regularly at the office. Consider signing up for weekly “office hours” to help with office and organizational tasks. Are you more interested in joining a committee? Our program committees (see page 2) welcome new activists to join in strategizing and planning local campaigns, actions and events. 

Getting involved with SPC can be a great opportunity to develop new skills, connect with other social justice activists, and contribute to the collective project of building the just and peaceful world we know is possible. Don’t hesitate to contact the SPC office to speak with our staff organizers to find the role that’s right for you.

Seeking New Steering Committee Members

The SPC Steering Committee is responsible for the organizational and political health of the Peace Council. If you are already engaged in SPC’s work in an ongoing way and would like to deepen your involvement, consider joining the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee oversees decisions on topics ranging from our annual budget to program priorities and members serve two-year terms (exceptions can be made in special circumstances). Decisions are made by consensus. If you are interested or would like to know more, contact Carol.

 

Record Breaking Garage Sale!

Despite a rainy Saturday, the SPC Garage Sale was a record success with over $2500 raised to power SPC’s peace and justice work. We are thanking our lucky stars that we had more great stuff donated than ever before!

SUPER thanks to set-up extraordinaires Lanny Freshman, Theresa Buck-Bieling, Ann Tiffany, Marie Summerwood and Geoff Wright. BIG thanks to Ed Kinane, Shirley Novak, Jessica Maxwell, Brian Escobar and Joshua. There’s a MOUNTAIN of thanks to Rae Kramer, the heart and soul of the Garage Sale. Thanks also to everyone who donated and everyone who shopped, and thanks especially to the donors of big-ticket items like large furniture and a canoe!

 

Ursula Rozum and Wendy Yost staffing SPC's booth at the State Fair.

Bike Goes to a Good Home

Congratulations, John Burdick, the lucky winner of another fantastic bike from Mello Velo Bike Shop on Westcott Street!

The Peace Council’s annual bike raffle raised a hefty $950 this year. Our profuse thanks go to Wendy Yost who sold raffle tickets all day long at the Westcott Street Cultural Fair, where the majority of tickets were sold. Thanks also to everyone who bought and sold raffle tickets. Bikes not bombs!

 

Welcome Fall Interns!

We are pleased to welcome Kirstyn, Manny and Ashley as SPC’s Fall 2015 interns. Among a variety of projects, Kirstyn Ross Roach is working on graphic design and website development, Manny Martinez is helping with event organizing, and Ashley Ventura is working with Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Land Rights Action. Please extend a warm welcome to these bright and motivated interns when you see them at the SPC office and at events.

 

Activist Appreciation:

Geoff Oldfield

Geoff Oldfield (above) is the perfect example of the apple not falling far from the tree. His father John helped raise the alarm about weaponized drones early on, and his mother Julienne has been a peace and social justice worker for much of her life.

 Geoff is a genuinely nice person who often works in a background support role. Need things carried or hauled, or people transported? Geoff is there—and with good humor and a smile. He is a quiet, generous person willing to help. He has often transported people and props to the State Fair for the tableau— which is not an easy task. Last year he also joined in as the “drone operator” (see photo).

We thank you Geoff—for sharing your strength and equipment with SPC … and for your kindness as you do that.


Geoff Oldfield

Urban Jobs Task Force

The Urban Jobs Task Force (UJTF), of which SPC is a member organization, had a Rally for Jobs on September 23 before a study session for the Syracuse Resident Employment Ordinance to require more local hiring. The UJTF is distributing a petition in support of the ordinance, which requires that city residents comprise 20% of the workforce on city public works contracts and half of that from impoverished neighborhoods or persons in a workforce database. With the ordinance, community organizations, unions, and workforce developers help contractors find skilled resident labor to meet the goals of the ordinance. Sign the petition at www. actionnetwork.org/groups/urban-jobs-task-force (or come to SPC to sign a hard copy).

 

Joe Leonard ¡Presente!

Joe Leonard lived life on his own terms whether it was managing a rock band or the Dragons Emporium (a head shop), teaching math to high school students or workers returning for a college refresher, fighting for civil rights, spearheading a program for seniors teaching them how not to fall, fighting for LGBT rights, working for peace and social justice. He was a proud member of the ACLU, Sage Upstate and the Syracuse Peace Council. The last time he was at SPC, he had come to improve his “letters to the editor” writing skills. He was a sweet, gentle soul who cared about everyone’s rights. The world is a finer place for having had Joe in it.

 

Plowshares Lawn Signs Need Good Homes

Now that fall is here, SPC’s Plowshares Craftsfair and Peace Festival is just around the corner (December 5-6). Helping make the Craftsfair successful is fun and easy – adopt a Plowshares lawn sign for your front yard. We’ll put them out the week before and then pick them up the day after the Fair. People living on high visibility streets are especially encouraged, but anyone is welcome to help out. Contact Carol to be put on the lawn sign list.

 

ACTS’ Criminal Justice Task Force Takes Action

The Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse (ACTS) is a grassroots network of faith communities and organizations in the Syracuse area advocating for social justice. SPC is a member group.

ACTS’ Criminal Justice Task Force has been particularly busy lately. Earlier this year they learned that 16- and 17-year-old youth were routinely being held in solitary confinement at Jamesville Prison, locked in their cells for 23 hours a day, excluded from programming and prohibited from interacting with anyone else being held at the jail. ACTS is calling for an end to solitary confinement of 16- and 17-year-olds in Onondaga County. Please sign the petition at http://tinyurl.com/o4dwws4.

To get involved with any ACTS task force as an SPC representative, please contact Carol.

 

 

 

 

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