Why Only 8 Pages?
You will certainly notice that this Peace Newsletter feels a little flimsy. As part of the effort to rebuild the Peace Council, we have decided to prioritize active organizing work. Given that we have only the equivalent of one full-time staffperson, this means that we need to limit the amount of stafftime which goes into the Peace Newsletter. We have yet to develop a long-term plan, but are likely to alternate between 8 pages and 16 or 24 pages in the coming months. Of course, if there were more PNL volunteers, we could consider publishing larger newsletters each month. Call Carol at 472-5478 if you'd like to help.
The new Peace Council Steering Committee met twice in February and got off to a running start. The Committee includes a wonderful mix of 10 experienced and "newer" SPC activists. They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the task of setting policy and direction for the organization.
Several committees have been established which will draw from the Steering Committee as well as other SPC activists. Standing committees include: Personnel, Finance & Fundraising, Facilities and the "Interim" Committee (to set the agenda for meetings and respond to decisions needed between the monthly meetings). Finance & Fundraising, Facilities and the short-term Birthday Dinner Committee are all in need of additional members; contact the office, 472-5478 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
Last month's PNL featured a stuffer about the "Democracy Now" Campaign, our effort to convince WRVO to begin running a progressive daily newsmagazine programDemocracy Now. Hosted by feisty Amy Goodman, the show calls itself the "Exception to the Rulers" and has been broadcasting from "the first ground zero" (Afghanistan being the second). Democracy Now features interviews with people who are rarely, if ever, heard on National Public Radio or the other talk shows aired regularly on WRVO. If successful, this effort would support activist work in our region by providing hard-to-find information and analysis about the most important issues of the day for people from Watertown to Homer and Weedsport to Little Falls.
WRVO says they haven't heard from many people who want this show, so please encourage them to run Democracy Now. WRVO: Tel: 315-312-3690, Fax: (315) 312-3174, email: email@example.com, Attn: John Hurlbutt, Program Manager.
At press time, SPC had received over a dozen copies of letters and emails sent to WRVO in support of this effort. Please send us a copy of your letter and contact us to help spread the word. Cassette tapes and CDs of Democracy Now can be borrowed from the office or heard on the web at www.webactive.com.
On February 14, Peace Council activists turned over petitions with nearly 800 signatures to the offices of Representative Jim Walsh and Senators Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer. The petitions call on the US government to:
1. Seek justice not revenge
2. Address the United States' policies that have laid the groundwork for violent attacks against the US.
3. Forge an international agreement against the use of weapons of mass destruction and end the use of military weapons against civilian populations
4. Oppose a massive, widespread, and prolonged military response
5. Resist the attempts by corporate interests to profit from "Homeland Security"
6. Protect our basic civil liberties
7. Speak out against profiling and targeted violence
The signatures were gathered at a variety of community events since September 11. In spite of the newsworthiness of this event, it was covered only by WAER and WRVO. For more information about SPC's Global Justice Committee, the originators of the petition, contact the office.
The Peace Council has changed its internet service and has new email addresses. The new addresses are: firstname.lastname@example.org and spc@peace council.net. Please use these rather than the old address, and don't add us to any email lists without checking with us first. See you online.
The Peace Council is co-sponsoring a visit from an expert on Colombia in mid-March. Sanho Tree, a Fellow at the Drug Policy Project of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington DC, is coming to Syracuse on March 21-22 under the auspices of the Colombia Support Network. He will speak on Colombia's Conflict: Narcoterrorism or Military Quagmire at the Westcott Community Center on Friday, March 22 at 7 pm. He will also speak on March 21 at noon at 220 Eggers Hall at Syracuse University.
Mr. Tree's project works to end the domestic and international "War on Drugs" and replace it with a harm reduction approach that focuses on public health and safety as well as economic alternatives to the illicit drug economy. The intersection of race and poverty in the drug war is at the heart of the Project's work. He has worked on a variety of human rights and social justice projects since the late 1980s. For further information, call 478-4571, or see the enclosed flier.
The Committee to End the Sanctions: Let Iraqi Children Live Coalition has begun to meet at the Peace Council. We're very happy to share our office space. Their February 3 meeting drew an enthusiastic group of 30 people who heard Cynthia Banas report on her recent visit to Iraq. They will meet again on Sunday, March 3 from 2-4 pm at SPC, 924 Burnet Ave., Syracuse. For further information, contact Len Bjorkman, 492-9042.