Syracuse Peace Council Pages

compiled by Andy Mager

March on Washington

Momentum is building to make April 20 the largest peace demonstration that Washington, DC has seen for many years. Don't miss this opportunity to join tens of thousands of other people marching and speaking out for peace and justice. The easiest route is on the Peace Council's charter bus. For $45 you can ride to DC without a care about driving, parking, etc. Limited scholarships are available, thanks, in part, to CNY Peace Action. (Donations to the scholarship are welcomed.) The bus will leave at midnight on Friday night and return to Syracuse at midnight on Saturday night.

A broad-based coalition of over 100 progressive organizations, including major student organizations and national peace groups, has organized this march to "Stop the War, at Home and Abroad!" An initial gathering at the Washington Monument will be followed by a march to the Capitol and a concluding rally. The organizers have coordinated this action with previously-planned activities to address the escalating war in Colombia.

The "War on Terrorism" is a dangerous threat not only to people in Iraq, Somalia, North Korea and other "targets," but also to democratic rights here at home. Hundreds of people have been "disappeared" into jails and prisons, and corporate interests are shamelessly trying to use this crisis to their advantage. We can make a difference if we stand together.

Join us on April 20th to demand:

· A US foreign policy based upon social and economic justice, not military and corporate oppression

· An end to racial profiling and military recruitment targeting youth of color and working class youth

· Government funding for pro-grams to benefit the economic victims of the 9-11 attacks and the recession

· An end to the degrading and secret imprisonment of immigrants

· Increased funding for non-military-based financial aid for education

· Full disclosure of military contracts with universities

"Let us work toward a world beyond war and terrorism," said Damu Smith, national co-coordinator for the April 20th mobilization and coordinator of Black Voices for Peace. "Let's invest in education and health care, instead of war—and in eradicating hunger and disease around the world, instead of war—and in our children's safety, instead of war."

We'd like to send a large Syracuse contingent. Seats on the bus are limited, so contact us soon. Call or email to reserve your seat (472-5478, spc@peace council.net) or best of all, mail in your check to 924 Burnet Ave., Syracuse, NY 13203. Don't forget to bring your pillow so you can catch up on your sleep.

SPC Open Meeting

April 14

Please join us for an Open Peace Council meeting on Sunday, April 14 from 1:30 _3:30 pm at the Westcott Community Center (corner of Westcott St. and Euclid Ave., Syracuse). The meeting will be a great opportunity to learn more about the recent work to revitalize the Peace Council and to share your thoughts about organizational directions for the coming year.

Input will be sought in two particular areas: "How to challenge the `War on Terrorism?" and "How can SPC's resources be used most effectively to foster social change in our community?"

As a community-based organization, the Peace Council needs broad input and participation to make our work effective. Learn more about specific projects and talk about how you can plug in to the Peace Council's work. Refreshments and door prizes will be provided.

SPC Budget vs. US Budget

The Bush Administration has called for a $48 billion increase in the military budget for 2003. The increase alone is more than the military budget of any other nation except Russia. While 46% of the proposed US budget goes for current or past warmaking, .00001% of the Peace Council budget is used for "Security" (curtains, lights and locks).

The Peace Council's $46,000 budget for 2002 is nearly double that of 2000 and is the largest annual budget in the organization's history. The Steering Committee recognizes that this is a minimum budget for SPC to be a strong voice for peace and social justice in our community.

Staff-related expenses account for 62% of the budget, basic infrastructure of the house, phones, etc. for 20% and the remaining 18% goes to the Peace Newsletter and other program work.

There has been a very positive response to our fundraising efforts thus far, reinforcing our belief that there is support in this community for a vibrant Peace Council. However, we are also realizing that carrying out our full agenda will require additional staff time. For this to happen we must build a larger pool of contributors. Please consider making a donation if you haven't done so recently, and share information about the Peace Council with others who you think would want to support our work.

Living Wage Update

The Labor-Religion Coalition has been meeting with the Syracuse City Council to review the proposed Living Wage ordinance, answer questions and work with the City's attorneys on language. The proposal would mandate a "Living Wage" for city workers and employees of businesses which have contracts with, or accept subsidies from, the city ($8.96 per hour if the employer pays 64% of a health care premium, or $10.58 per hour without health care benefits). While there is significant support for this effort on the City Council, there is opposition from the business community and others. The mayor's recent proposal for a special study committee is seen by many supporters as a delaying tactic. The earliest date for a vote is April 8. Cast your vote now by calling your councilor and/or sending a letter to the editor. For more information, contact Bonnie Pierce at the CNY Labor-Religion Coalition, 4983 Brittonfield Pkwy, PO Box 247, E. Syracuse NY 13057, 431-4040.

The Hank Strunk Memorial Dubber

Some of you may recall the audiotapes distributed for many years by former Peace Council member Hank Strunk. Hank understood the power of words and the fact that most people don't have access to thoughtful viewpoints critical of the status quo. Martha Strunk (Hank's daughter) has donated his audiotape duplicator to the Peace Council. We are already using the duplicator to spread the word about Democracy Now, which we are campaigning to have added to WRVO's broadcast line-up. (See page 8 for further information about Democracy Now.)

Correction

The February Peace Newsletter included an article about the situation at the 32 acre Oneida Territory. The website listed at the end for further information was incorrect. The correct address is: www.oneidasfor democracy.org.

Rest in Peaces

Mike Kernahan died peacefully with family and friends on March 12 in North Carolina, ending his battle with cancer.

For years, readers of the PNL have enjoyed Mike's comprehensive and witty compilations of news and commentary we call the "Peaces Page." A long-time member of the newsletter committee, Mike wrote, edited, and did page layout.

Mike applied his physical skills and energy to SPC needs, including room remodeling and tree trimming.

Mike loved the outdoors and lived his commitment to eco-sustainability at his home at Common Place Land Trust in Truxton.

Mike was a "no nonsense" guy while being very adaptable and cooperative. His sense of humor permeated even the most serious conversations.

Mike's ashes will be taken to his special place in the Adirondack mountains. We miss him and dedicate our work in his honor.

April Peace Vigils

Please join the Peace Council's weekly Vigil for Peace. We move to different visible spots in the community to spread our message of peace and justice.

Wed. April 3, 4:45 _ 5:45 Corner of Lodi and James St. (Northside)

Wed. April 10 4:30 _ 5:30 Blue Cross/Blue Shield Bldg, Warren St. (Downtown)

Wed. April 17, 4:45 _ 5:45 Rt. 690 exit ramp to W. Genesee St. (Fairmount)

Wed. April 24, 4:45 _ 5:45 Erie Blvd. W. and West Genesee St. (Westside)

Wed. May 1, 4:45 _ 5:45 Valley Drive and Seneca Turnpike (Valley)