Syracuse Peace Council Pages

compiled by Andy Mager

Hiroshima/Nagasaki Commemoration

Over the past month, the Peace Council has provided leadership to revive the historic Hiroshima Day Procession. On Tuesday, August 6, the 57th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, a procession of mourning and hope will weave its way through downtown Syracuse, ending with a vigil at Columbus Circle. The procession is a powerful way to remind people of the horror of nuclear weapons and the dangers posed by Bush's call for an overt "first strike" policy. Gather for the procession at 11:30 am outside Plymouth Church at the corner of East Onondaga and Warren Sts. The procession will leave at noon and the vigil will run from 1-2 pm.

Assistance is needed, particularly in creating props for the procession. Contact Andy at the Peace Council to sign-up to help in advance or to participate in the procession. The event is co-sponsored by American Friends Service Committee, Citizens Awareness Network and Peace Action.

SPC Plans to Commemorate 9-11

The Peace Council has laid plans for a series of events running from September 11 through October 7 (the start of the US invasion of Afghanistan) as part of our ongoing challenge to the "War on Terrorism." The early events include:

• A special, larger issue of the Peace Newsletter will be published. Contact the office to help with distribution or to get extra copies.

• Tuesday, September 10, "Nukes in Space" featuring Bruce Gagnon, 7:30 pm at May Memorial Unitarian Society, 3800 E. Genesee St. Peace Action's monthly program, co-sponsored by SPC.

• Wednesday, September 11, 4:30- 6:00 pm, the weekly Peace Vigil will be expanded and held at the Federal Building to say, "Our Grief is Not a Cry for War."

• Thursday, September 12 at 7:00 pm at Plymouth Church (242 E. Onondaga St., Syracuse), the Peace Council and Plymouth Church are sponsoring an evening of Dances of Universal Peace for people to focus on our deep desire for peace and justice for all people. The Dances use simple music, lyrics, and movements to explore themes of peace (both inner and outer), healing (the Earth, individuals, and the global family), and the celebration of life's great mystery. These participatory Dances are drawn from many spiritual traditions. No musical or dance experience of any kind is required and everyone is welcome to join in.

Additional Staffing Requires Additional Funding

In early June the Peace Council Steering Committee decided to pay staff for more of the hours that they have been working. An additional 15 hours per week of paid staff time were allotted on a trial basis for the summer months. This desperately needed staff time will continue only if we are able to increase income during the next month and a half.

The bulk of the Peace Council budget comes from individuals who donate on a periodic or regular basis. It is important to expand the pool of contributors. Please consider asking your friends, co-workers, neighbors, and others to support the Peace Council's work. We are happy to provide extra Peace Newsletters or other materials, or to have a staffperson or Steering Committee member come to talk to people at a house meeting. To hear more about this, contact Carol at the office.

SPC Birthday Event

a Big Success

Nearly 200 people celebrated the Peace Council's 66th birthday on June 15, 2002. Tantalizing desserts were followed by a riveting presentation by Amy Goodman, the host of Democracy Now.

Amy shared her experiences covering the deadly Indonesian occupation of East Timor over the past 15 years and then East Timor's inspiring independence celebrations which she attended in May. She wove stories about the repressive role of the US government with media complicity in these horrors. We laughed and cringed at her tales of being honored for her documentary radio program "Drilling and Killing: Chevron And Nigeria's Oil Dictatorship."

Her inside look at the incestuous connection between the corporate media and government/corporate officials confirmed some of our worst suspicions.

Amy saluted the Peace Council's many years of activist work and encouraged us to work diligently to get Democracy Now on the air in Central New York (see below). Videotapes of the event (two hours and 15 minutes) are available for $15 from the office.

Many people contributed to the success of the event, with dozens of volunteers putting in hundreds of hours of labor to carry it off. The Peace Council netted $2,300 as a result.

Democracy Now Campaign Continues

Many people have already contacted WAER and asked them to begin airing Democracy Now. While WAER is considering these requests it is vital that they continue to hear from more people. It seems particularly important that they hear from WAER members and jazz afficionados.

Please write to: Ron Ockert, Director of Programming and Operations, WAER JAZZ 88, 215 University Place, Syracuse, NY 13244, phone: 443-4021, email: rgockert@syr.edu. It is particularly important for him to hear why you think that Democracy Now would be an important addition to the news programming available in Central New York.

For further information, or to pick up a CD or cassette sample of the show, stop by or contact our office.

Weekly Peace Vigils

Join this valuable community presence, Wednesdays from 4:45-5:45 pm.

• July 31 & August 7 _ E. Genesee St. and Erie Blvd. (Dewitt)

• August 14 & 21 _ Rt. 695 exit ramp to W. Genesee St. (Fairmount)

• August 28 _ New York State Fairgrounds, Main Entrance (Solvay)

• September 4 _ Hiawatha Blvd., in front of Carousel Center (Northside)

Out and About

The Peace Council continues to be visible in the community. We organized a "Global Pride" contingent to march in the GLBT Pride Parade, and a separate group staged a "tableau" to challenge the theme of "US Pride" (see page 9 for details).

In an interesting turnabout, the Peace Council tabled outside the Federal Building at Party in the Plaza on June 19. Although we're more accustomed to holding protest signs or supporting our co-workers in Federal Court, we were well-received by the crowd who had gathered to hear Atlas perform. We want to have increased public visibility at other events in Central New York. Contact Andy if you have ideas or would like to help staff tables.

SPC & Youth Violence

As part of our effort to draw connections between issues, the Peace Council Steering Committee wrote a statement entitled "Youth Violence, Not Just a Kid Problem" which was published in the June 11 issue of the Post-Standard. The statement addressed the links between youth violence and militarism and an economic system based on greed and consumption. (See www. peacecouncil.net/SPCStatements.htm for the full statement.) The Peace Council also had a table at the "Rally for Life" organized by the Partnership to End Juvenile Gun Violence on June 18.

The Peace Council hopes to develop an ongoing program to addresses these issues and work with young activists. Contact Andy to get involved.

Internships at SPC

The Peace Council welcomes interns to work with us on particular projects. This past spring we had two wonderful interns from Jamesville-Dewitt High School _ Xander Karkruff and Katie Drew. In the past we've had interns from Syracuse University and other local and distant colleges. We're very flexible, but need people who are responsible and committed to our mission. Contact Carol for more information.

Fixing Up the House

Work continues to renovate the office _ maintaining it and making it a more effective place for us to work. Carol Baum recently moved into her newly-renovated office. A donated air-conditioner has been installed on a trial basis for use on those days when it gets intolerably hot. (this came after a great deal of discussion about the ecological consequences). A new stove was donated by James Shattel and renovation work continues in the kitchen.

We have two new tables _ a massive conference table (thanks to Julianne and John Oldfield) and a functional picnic table (thanks to Deb Kenn).

Painting on the outside of the house continues at a slower place than we would like. Painting Parties are scheduled in August on Saturdays, August 3 and 17 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Call Andy if you'd like to help at other times.

SPC Wish List

Summer Volunteers (both Carol and Andy want to take some vacation time in the summer, but we'd like to keep the office open)

A volunteer bookkeeper (Duane is leaving us after 13 years)

Card tables (sturdy ones, for tabling at events)