Educate, Agitate, Organize: SPC IN ACTION

From the September 2015 PNL #845

Compiled by Carol Baum

 

SPC’s 79th Birthday with Poet Remi Kanazi
Remi Kanazi’s poetry, full of defiance and longing, allows us to feel the power and pain of Palestine’s struggle. - John Pilger 
Please join us at the Peace Council’s Birthday Dinner on Saturday, October 3 at Bellevue Heights Methodist Church (2112 S. Geddes St., Syracuse). Dinner is at 6:30 and the program starts at 7:30 pm. Doors open at 6.
We will welcome Palestinian-American poet Remi Kanazi, author of Before the Next Bomb Drops: Rising Up from Brooklyn to Palestine. Remi’s political commentary has been featured by news outlets throughout the world, including Salon, Al Jazeera English, and BBC Radio. See page 9 for one of his poems. We are thrilled to have Remi join us for this important annual event, as we celebrate our collective work for a just and peaceful world.
Suggested donation is $30, with a sliding scale of $15-75 (more if you can, less if you can’t). Visit www.peacecouncil.net/remi to make your reservation.
We need people to help with outreach and food preparation. Contact Ursula or Amelia to lend a hand!
Support the Iran Deal
On August 11, the Nuclear Free World Committee met with the office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to thank her for supporting the proposed Iran nuclear agreement and to discuss the need to move federal dollars away from nuclear weapons and wars abroad to human needs at home. We also plan to meet with the office of Senator Chuck Schumer, the leader of fifteen swing Democratic senators who may decide the fate of the Iran nuclear agreement in the Senate. 
The Iran deal would lift sanctions against the Iranian people, drastically reduce Iran’s technology for nuclear weapons, and allow inspectors 24/7 access to Iran’s nuclear facilities. It will reverse the very real threat of a US and/or Israeli war against Iran, and proves that diplomacy works. New Yorkers are in a special position to help win approval of the Iran nuclear deal. 
Call Senator Schumer (315-423-5471) to urge him to choose diplomacy over war by supporting the agreement with Iran; contact Senator Gillibrand (315-448-0470) to thank her for supporting peace. 
A Success: Historic Marker Installed 
Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation is proud to announce that years of work have culminated in the installation of a new historic marker at Onondaga Lake Park. The full-color sign, located at Hiawatha Point (roughly a half mile north from the Salt Museum), tells the history of the founding of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and the Great Law of Peace. The sign also recognizes the Haudenosaunee Confederacy as the oldest continuous democracy on earth, credits them with inspiring the vision of democracy held by the writers of the US Constitution, and includes a quote from a 1988 Joint Resolution of Congress acknowledging the Haudenosaunee’s important contributions to shaping of the foundations of this country.
Many thanks to Wendy Gonyea, Bob Venables, the Onondaga Nation Council, Karen Kerney, and the Onondaga Lake Park Superintendant for making this project possible. Special thanks go to Sue Eiholzer for her persistent and dedicated work on this project.
Onondaga to Present on Lake Cleanup
As part of our ongoing support of the traditional government of the Onondaga Nation, we encourage you to attend a Sierra Club program on Wednesday, September 23 at 7:30 pm at University United Methodist Church (1085 E. Genesee St., enter on University Ave.). The topic is the Onondaga perspective on the Onondaga Lake cleanup. 
Renewing SPC’s Commitment 
to Anti-Racism Work
Motivated by recent and ongoing tragedies, and by the inspiring and historic growth of the Black Lives Matter movement in the past year, the Peace Council has renewed its commitment to anti-racism work. We seek to become effective accomplices in the work of dismantling white domination in our society. We have a long way to go.
 The Steering Committee and other activists have started a process with a few interrelated goals. We seek to strengthen the anti-racism message that is inherent in each issue area we currently work on. We are also beginning to examine our own institutional culture to root out ways that we perpetuate racism inside the Peace Council. In addition, we hosted the first meeting of an Anti-Racism and White Privilege Study Group on August 17 (which is now full, but we hope to run it again).
Due to the complexity of the issues, it’s impossible to give a full picture in this small space. For more information or to get involved please contact Amelia or Carol.
 
Black Lives Matter
I attended the Movement for Black Lives gathering from July 24-26 in Cleveland, on behalf of both the Syracuse Peace Council and the Black Alliance for Just Immigration. It was the first national meeting of organizers, activists, educators, healers, and social workers all gathering under the banner of the now two-year-old Black Lives Matter movement. It was one of the most powerful conferences I have attended.  There was intentional space in the program for healing and grieving beyond the educational workshops. I plan to write more about this at a future date, and SPC will be circulating it. Needless to say, I hope to use what I learned that weekend to help SPC, as it strives to be an explicitly anti-racist organization.         – Aly Wane
SPC Open House for New Activists
If you’ve been looking for a way to get more involved with the Peace Council and the local peace movement, then SPC’s Fall Open House is for you! Join us on Thursday, September 24 at 6 pm at the Center’s accessible Ground Floor Conference Room (enter from the back). There are many ways to contribute your talents, skills and knowledge to the Peace Council’s organizing work. We need people of all trades: artists, writers, organizers, learners, educators, bakers, sign-makers, tablers, etc. Refreshments served. RSVP to Ursula. Can’t make it then? Get in touch with one of our staff organizers and we’d be happy to talk with you about opportunities to educate, agitate and organize with SPC!
Donate to SPC’s Garage Sale
Reduce—get rid of unwanted stuff. Reuse—your unwanted stuff is our treasure. Recycle—down with planned obsolescence. And support SPC at the same time!
This year’s garage sale is September 12-13; Saturday 9 am-4 pm, Sunday 9 am-12 pm at 401 Scottholm Blvd., Syracuse. 
Drop off your “gently used” items Wednesday-Friday, September 9-11 between 10 am-10 pm. Wanted: household and sporting goods, books, DVDs, games, toys, furniture, linens, tools, plants, art, jewelry, lamps, holiday items, appliances and more. Please, NO clothing, old electronics, things that don’t work or other miscellaneous junk. 
Helpers are especially welcome for Friday set-up, and food will be provided. Questions? Call Rae, 445-2840.
Interns Wanted
SPC is seeking interns to work with us in a number of project areas, including: anti-war organiz­ing, fundraising and development, e-communications and social media, event organizing and more (details at www.peacecouncil.net/intern). Intern­ships are flexible and can be from 8-15 hours per week. Internship opportunities are unpaid. We guarantee plenty of practical hands on experience and opportunities to take on responsibility. Contact Ursula to learn more.
Win a Great Bike!
It’s time again for SPC’s Bike Raffle fundraiser. This year’s bike is a Bianchi Cortina hybrid, valued at $450 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, Syracuse Real Food Co-op, Syracuse Cultural Workers and from SPC volunteers. Make sure you get your tickets before the drawing at the Westcott Street Cultural Fair on September 20.
To sell raffle tickets in your faith community, your workplace, to your family, or anywhere else you gather with people, contact Ursula.
Solidarity with Gaza
Gaza remains in crisis one year after a 50-day Israeli assault killed 2,200 Palestinians, including 500 children. On the Israeli side, 73 people were killed, all but six of them soldiers. A year later, none of the 12,000 homes destroyed in Gaza have been rebuilt, due in large part to the ongoing Israeli blockade. Unemployment in Gaza now stands at 43%, the highest in the world. To show solidarity and love for the people in Gaza and to speak out against US complicity in the massacre, CNY for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel held weekly vigils Fridays in July and August. The committee looks forward to the SPC Birthday Dinner with Remi Kanazi, Palestinian American spoken word artist, on October 3. To get involved, contact Ursula.
Let’s Go Solar
Building on the success of last year’s Solarize Syracuse campaign, Alliance for a Green Economy (of which SPC is a founding member) has helped launch Solarize CNY to make going solar simpler and more affordable than ever – now in the five counties of Central New York. Solarize CNY is a non-profit, community effort to help homeowners, business owners, and landlords make the switch to sustainable energy. Solarize CNY is holding dozens of community education workshops about our program. We are also offering free site assessments and bulk discounts through our chosen partner solar installers. The program is open to anyone in Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, and Oswego Counties. For a full workshop listing and information, visit: www.solarizeCNY.org.   
Ground the Drones at the State Fair (and more)
It’s State Fair season, which means that SPC’s Ground the Drones, End the Wars Committee presented our tableau outside the Fair’s main entrance. This year’s theme was “Drones Fly, Children Die.”  Thousands of people saw the tableau and received leaflets.
Recently, four Hancock drone resisters were found guilty of trespass stemming from their nonviolent civil resistance action at the base in April, 2013. Two went to jail for a fifteen day sentence; all four received a one year conditional discharge, fines, and a two-year order of protection.
Also in July the Upstate Coalition held a “Drones Fly, Children Die Vigil of Compassion.” The powerful event featured photos of children and a talk by Cathy Breen, who had recently returned to the US from Iraq.
Coming up in early October is a walk from Hancock Air Base in Syracuse to Niagara Falls Air Base, which will soon be working with weaponized drones.
To get involved, contact Carol.
Donate to Sustain Peace and Justice Work
At time of writing, we are about half-way to reaching the fundraising goal for SPC’s Summer Phonation – after three nights of calling by fifteen volunteers, we raised $2500 of the $5000 that was our goal. The average Phonathon donation is $47. Please consider a one-time contribution or commit to a monthly/quarterly pledge to help sustain our critical organizing work. If you would like your contribution to be tax deductible, please make it out to “Center for Peace and Social Justice” with SPC in the memo line. Visit www.peacecouncil.net/donate.
Petition for Jobs in Syracuse
The Urban Jobs Task Force, of which SPC is part, is dedicated to creating a local economy that provides good jobs and job training for local communities of color and low income families, and more opportunities for local woman and minority-owned enterprises. The Task Force is currently working on the Syracuse Resident Employment Ordinance which strives to provide jobs for city residents, half of which would go to residents of distressed neighborhoods. You can sign the petition online at www.actionnetwork.org/groups/urban-jobs-task-force; download the petition at http://tinyurl.com/okp4vct or come to SPC to sign a hard copy and pick some up to distribute.
Plowshares Silent Auction Donations Needed
It’s not too early to start thinking about what valuable service or item you have to offer to the Peace Council’s annual Silent Auction at Plowshares. Are you a photographer? Do you have a camp or summer house you could donate for a weekend? Can you offer a gift certificate to your restaurant or other business? All proceeds benefit SPC’s work for peace and social justice! Contact Ursula.
Rockstar Interns:
Kate and Brian
This summer the SPC office was filled with energy and ideas from super-interns Kate Mouradian and Brian Escobar. Kate brought focus, knowledge of US foreign policy and excellent communication skills to her internship. She wrote numerous media advisories and developed most of SPC’s social media content this summer. Kate also played a significant organizing role with SPC’s summer Phonathon. 
Brian Escobar was the lead organizer for SPC’s summer tabling at the Downtown Farmer’s Market. He has also written SPC’s weekly e-newletter, been an active member of the Peace Newsletter committee and has pitched in for any number of small projects.  If you see Brian and Kate, thank them for their good work. We wish them both well and feel privileged to have worked with them.
SPC at the Downtown Farmer’s Market
SPC tabling at the Downtown Farmer’s Market has continued throughout the summer, highlighting a different issue each Tuesday. In the last month, Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation, Veterans for Peace and the Nuclear Free World Committee have all been there.
If you go to the Market be sure to look for us!
Fabulous Sycamore
Hill Gardens
Here’s your chance to check out the gorgeous Sycamore Hill Gardens in Marcellus—full of beautiful trees and flowers, statues and interesting structures, a pond, a maze, and more! On Sunday, September 27 from 11 am-4 pm, the Syracuse Center for Peace and Social Justice (SPC’s home) will host its annual fundraiser at the gardens, which is otherwise not open to the public.
This year’s event will feature portraits by photographer Ray Trudell as well as yoga at 2 pm. Tickets are $5-10 (kids under 8 free). All proceeds benefit the Center. Contact Jerry, 243-9823.

 

SPC’s 79th Birthday with Poet Remi Kanazi

Remi Kanazi’s poetry, full of defiance and longing, allows us to feel the power and pain of Palestine’s struggle. - John Pilger 

Please join us at the Peace Council’s Birthday Dinner on Saturday, October 3 at Bellevue Heights Methodist Church (2112 S. Geddes St., Syracuse). Dinner is at 6:30 and the program starts at 7:30 pm. Doors open at 6.

We will welcome Palestinian-American poet Remi Kanazi, author of Before the Next Bomb Drops: Rising Up from Brooklyn to Palestine. Remi’s political commentary has been featured by news outlets throughout the world, including Salon, Al Jazeera English, and BBC Radio. See page 9 for one of his poems. We are thrilled to have Remi join us for this important annual event, as we celebrate our collective work for a just and peaceful world.

Suggested donation is $30, with a sliding scale of $15-75 (more if you can, less if you can’t). Visit www.peacecouncil.net/remi to make your reservation.

We need people to help with outreach and food preparation. Contact Ursula or Amelia to lend a hand!

 

Support the Iran Deal

On August 11, the Nuclear Free World Committee met with the office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to thank her for supporting the proposed Iran nuclear agreement and to discuss the need to move federal dollars away from nuclear weapons and wars abroad to human needs at home. We also plan to meet with the office of Senator Chuck Schumer, the leader of fifteen swing Democratic senators who may decide the fate of the Iran nuclear agreement in the Senate. 

The Iran deal would lift sanctions against the Iranian people, drastically reduce Iran’s technology for nuclear weapons, and allow inspectors 24/7 access to Iran’s nuclear facilities. It will reverse the very real threat of a US and/or Israeli war against Iran, and proves that diplomacy works. New Yorkers are in a special position to help win approval of the Iran nuclear deal. 

Call Senator Schumer (315-423-5471) to urge him to choose diplomacy over war by supporting the agreement with Iran; contact Senator Gillibrand (315-448-0470) to thank her for supporting peace. 

 

A Success: Historic Marker Installed

 

 


A new historic marker at Onondaga Lake Park highlights Haudenosaunee history.
Photo: Sue Eiholzer

 

 

Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation is proud to announce that years of work have culminated in the installation of a new historic marker at Onondaga Lake Park. The full-color sign, located at Hiawatha Point (roughly a half mile north from the Salt Museum), tells the history of the founding of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and the Great Law of Peace. The sign also recognizes the Haudenosaunee Confederacy as the oldest continuous democracy on earth, credits them with inspiring the vision of democracy held by the writers of the US Constitution, and includes a quote from a 1988 Joint Resolution of Congress acknowledging the Haudenosaunee’s important contributions to shaping of the foundations of this country.

Many thanks to Wendy Gonyea, Bob Venables, the Onondaga Nation Council, Karen Kerney, and the Onondaga Lake Park Superintendant for making this project possible. Special thanks go to Sue Eiholzer for her persistent and dedicated work on this project.

 

Onondaga to Present on Lake Cleanup

As part of our ongoing support of the traditional government of the Onondaga Nation, we encourage you to attend a Sierra Club program on Wednesday, September 23 at 7:30 pm at University United Methodist Church (1085 E. Genesee St., enter on University Ave.). The topic is the Onondaga perspective on the Onondaga Lake cleanup. 

 

Renewing SPC’s Commitment 

to Anti-Racism Work

Motivated by recent and ongoing tragedies, and by the inspiring and historic growth of the Black Lives Matter movement in the past year, the Peace Council has renewed its commitment to anti-racism work. We seek to become effective accomplices in the work of dismantling white domination in our society. We have a long way to go.

 The Steering Committee and other activists have started a process with a few interrelated goals. We seek to strengthen the anti-racism message that is inherent in each issue area we currently work on. We are also beginning to examine our own institutional culture to root out ways that we perpetuate racism inside the Peace Council. In addition, we hosted the first meeting of an Anti-Racism and White Privilege Study Group on August 17 (which is now full, but we hope to run it again).

Due to the complexity of the issues, it’s impossible to give a full picture in this small space. For more information or to get involved please contact Amelia or Carol.

 

Black Lives Matter

I attended the Movement for Black Lives gathering from July 24-26 in Cleveland, on behalf of both the Syracuse Peace Council and the Black Alliance for Just Immigration. It was the first national meeting of organizers, activists, educators, healers, and social workers all gathering under the banner of the now two-year-old Black Lives Matter movement. It was one of the most powerful conferences I have attended.  There was intentional space in the program for healing and grieving beyond the educational workshops. I plan to write more about this at a future date, and SPC will be circulating it. Needless to say, I hope to use what I learned that weekend to help SPC, as it strives to be an explicitly anti-racist organization.         – Aly Wane

 

SPC Open House for New Activists

If you’ve been looking for a way to get more involved with the Peace Council and the local peace movement, then SPC’s Fall Open House is for you! Join us on Thursday, September 24 at 6 pm at the Center’s accessible Ground Floor Conference Room (enter from the back). There are many ways to contribute your talents, skills and knowledge to the Peace Council’s organizing work. We need people of all trades: artists, writers, organizers, learners, educators, bakers, sign-makers, tablers, etc. Refreshments served. RSVP to Ursula. Can’t make it then? Get in touch with one of our staff organizers and we’d be happy to talk with you about opportunities to educate, agitate and organize with SPC!

 

Donate to SPC’s Garage Sale

Reduce—get rid of unwanted stuff. Reuse—your unwanted stuff is our treasure. Recycle—down with planned obsolescence. And support SPC at the same time!

This year’s garage sale is September 12-13; Saturday 9 am-4 pm, Sunday 9 am-12 pm at 401 Scottholm Blvd., Syracuse. 

Drop off your “gently used” items Wednesday-Friday, September 9-11 between 10 am-10 pm. Wanted: household and sporting goods, books, DVDs, games, toys, furniture, linens, tools, plants, art, jewelry, lamps, holiday items, appliances and more. Please, NO clothing, old electronics, things that don’t work or other miscellaneous junk. 

Helpers are especially welcome for Friday set-up, and food will be provided. Questions? Call Rae, 445-2840.

 

Interns Wanted

SPC is seeking interns to work with us in a number of project areas, including: anti-war organiz­ing, fundraising and development, e-communications and social media, event organizing and more (details at www.peacecouncil.net/intern). Intern­ships are flexible and can be from 8-15 hours per week. Internship opportunities are unpaid. We guarantee plenty of practical hands on experience and opportunities to take on responsibility. Contact Ursula to learn more.

 

 

 

Over 80 people commemorated the 70th anniversary of the bombings of the Japanese cities
of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6.
Photo: Kim McCoy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Win a Great Bike!

It’s time again for SPC’s Bike Raffle fundraiser. This year’s bike is a Bianchi Cortina hybrid, valued at $450 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, Syracuse Real Food Co-op, Syracuse Cultural Workers and from SPC volunteers. Make sure you get your tickets before the drawing at the Westcott Street Cultural Fair on September 20.

To sell raffle tickets in your faith community, your workplace, to your family, or anywhere else you gather with people, contact Ursula.

Solidarity with Gaza

Gaza remains in crisis one year after a 50-day Israeli assault killed 2,200 Palestinians, including 500 children. On the Israeli side, 73 people were killed, all but six of them soldiers. A year later, none of the 12,000 homes destroyed in Gaza have been rebuilt, due in large part to the ongoing Israeli blockade. Unemployment in Gaza now stands at 43%, the highest in the world. To show solidarity and love for the people in Gaza and to speak out against US complicity in the massacre, CNY for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel held weekly vigils Fridays in July and August. The committee looks forward to the SPC Birthday Dinner with Remi Kanazi, Palestinian American spoken word artist, on October 3. To get involved, contact Ursula.

 

Let’s Go Solar

Building on the success of last year’s Solarize Syracuse campaign, Alliance for a Green Economy (of which SPC is a founding member) has helped launch Solarize CNY to make going solar simpler and more affordable than ever – now in the five counties of Central New York. Solarize CNY is a non-profit, community effort to help homeowners, business owners, and landlords make the switch to sustainable energy. Solarize CNY is holding dozens of community education workshops about our program. We are also offering free site assessments and bulk discounts through our chosen partner solar installers. The program is open to anyone in Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, and Oswego Counties. For a full workshop listing and information, visit: www.solarizeCNY.org.   

 

Ground the Drones at the State Fair (and more)

It’s State Fair season, which means that SPC’s Ground the Drones, End the Wars Committee presented our tableau outside the Fair’s main entrance. This year’s theme was “Drones Fly, Children Die.”  Thousands of people saw the tableau and received leaflets.

Recently, four Hancock drone resisters were found guilty of trespass stemming from their nonviolent civil resistance action at the base in April, 2013. Two went to jail for a fifteen day sentence; all four received a one year conditional discharge, fines, and a two-year order of protection.

Also in July the Upstate Coalition held a “Drones Fly, Children Die Vigil of Compassion.” The powerful event featured photos of children and a talk by Cathy Breen, who had recently returned to the US from Iraq.

Coming up in early October is a walk from Hancock Air Base in Syracuse to Niagara Falls Air Base, which will soon be working with weaponized drones.

To get involved, contact Carol.

 

Donate to Sustain Peace and Justice Work

At time of writing, we are about half-way to reaching the fundraising goal for SPC’s Summer Phonation – after three nights of calling by fifteen volunteers, we raised $2500 of the $5000 that was our goal. The average Phonathon donation is $47. Please consider a one-time contribution or commit to a monthly/quarterly pledge to help sustain our critical organizing work. If you would like your contribution to be tax deductible, please make it out to “Center for Peace and Social Justice” with SPC in the memo line. Visit www.peacecouncil.net/donate.

 

Petition for Jobs in Syracuse

The Urban Jobs Task Force, of which SPC is part, is dedicated to creating a local economy that provides good jobs and job training for local communities of color and low income families, and more opportunities for local woman and minority-owned enterprises. The Task Force is currently working on the Syracuse Resident Employment Ordinance which strives to provide jobs for city residents, half of which would go to residents of distressed neighborhoods. You can sign the petition online at www.actionnetwork.org/groups/urban-jobs-task-force; download the petition at http://tinyurl.com/okp4vct or come to SPC to sign a hard copy and pick some up to distribute.

 

Plowshares Silent Auction Donations Needed

It’s not too early to start thinking about what valuable service or item you have to offer to the Peace Council’s annual Silent Auction at Plowshares. Are you a photographer? Do you have a camp or summer house you could donate for a weekend? Can you offer a gift certificate to your restaurant or other business? All proceeds benefit SPC’s work for peace and social justice! Contact Ursula.

 

Rockstar Interns:

Kate and Brian

This summer the SPC office was filled with energy and ideas from super-interns Kate Mouradian and Brian Escobar. Kate brought focus, knowledge of US foreign policy and excellent communication skills to her internship. She wrote numerous media advisories and developed most of SPC’s social media content this summer. Kate also played a significant organizing role with SPC’s summer Phonathon. 

Brian Escobar was the lead organizer for SPC’s summer tabling at the Downtown Farmer’s Market. He has also written SPC’s weekly e-newletter, been an active member of the Peace Newsletter committee and has pitched in for any number of small projects.  If you see Brian and Kate, thank them for their good work. We wish them both well and feel privileged to have worked with them.

 

SPC at the Downtown Farmer’s Market

SPC tabling at the Downtown Farmer’s Market has continued throughout the summer, highlighting a different issue each Tuesday. In the last month, Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation, Veterans for Peace and the Nuclear Free World Committee have all been there.

If you go to the Market be sure to look for us!

 

Fabulous Sycamore

Hill Gardens

Here’s your chance to check out the gorgeous Sycamore Hill Gardens in Marcellus—full of beautiful trees and flowers, statues and interesting structures, a pond, a maze, and more! On Sunday, September 27 from 11 am-4 pm, the Syracuse Center for Peace and Social Justice (SPC’s home) will host its annual fundraiser at the gardens, which is otherwise not open to the public.

This year’s event will feature portraits by photographer Ray Trudell as well as yoga at 2 pm. Tickets are $5-10 (kids under 8 free). All proceeds benefit the Center. Contact Jerry, 243-9823.

Close