compiled by Andy Mager
Over the past year the Peace Council has seen a significant revitalization, both internally and in our public visibility. Many people have played a part in this resurgencecontributors of money, painters, leafletters, meeting attenders, data entry workers, writers, desktop publishers, carpenters, phone answerers and more.
An office which was rarely staffed, while not yet an ongoing beehive of activity, is now open five days a week and has regular volunteers assisting our small paid staff. The house looks and feels like a better place to be and the organizational infrastructure is being steadily reconstructed.
Monthly potlucks have been interesting and well-attended, we've worked hard to get media attention for peace perspectives and our mailing list and income are steadily growing, as is free distribution of the Peace Newsletter throughout Central New York. Our website is regularly updated and is an increasingly valuable source of information and on ways to plug in.
The Peace Council coordinated two busloads, and many cars heading to Washington, DC in April to express opposition to Bush's "Permanent War." In June we hosted a wonderful birthday celebration featuring Amy Goodman of Democracy Now.
It's been a very successful year, though certainly not sufficient to respond to the darkening world situation. Please consider how you might play a role, or a larger role in our efforts. Contact Carol or Andy to discuss how your talents can be best utilized.
The Peace Council, in conjunction with others, is organizing a series of events 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." Please read the enclosed poster about these events (if you are a subscriber) and then post it in a prominent place.
Peace Council events include:
Weekly Peace Vigil: Wednesday, September 4, 4:45-5:45 pm, Hiawatha Blvd., in front of Carousel Center (Northside)
Nukes in Space: Tuesday, September 10, 7:30 pm at May Memorial Unitarian Society, 3800 E. Genesee St. Features Bruce Gagnon, co-coordinator of The Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space. Peace Action's monthly program, co-sponsored by SPC.
"Our Grief is Not a Cry for War" Vigil: Wednesday, September 11 from 4:45-5:45 pm at the Federal Building to mourn ALL the dead and call for peace and justice. This is a continuation of nearly a year-long weekly peace vigil.
Dances of Universal Peace, Thursday, September 12 at 7:00 pm at Plymouth Church, 242 E. Onondaga St., Syracuse, sponsored by the Syracuse Peace Council and Plymouth Church. An evening of simple, participatory dances drawn from many spiritual traditions, exploring themes of peace, healing and the celebration of life's great mystery. No dance experience necessary. Donation.
Weekly Peace Vigil: Wednesday, September 18, 4:45-5:45 pm, Valley Drive and Seneca Turnpike (Valley)
Weekly Peace Vigil: Wednesday, September 25, 4:45-5:45 pm, Adams St. and Rt. 81 (Downtown)
SPC Potluck Program: Collateral Damage of the "War on Terrorism," Thursday, September 26, 6:00 pm potluck, 7:00 pm program at Westcott Community Center (Westcott & Euclid Sts., Syracuse). A panel presentation on the domestic and international consequences of this war, featuring Diane Swords, John Freie (see page 5) and Brian Dominick (see page 15).
Weekly Peace Vigil: Wednesday, October 2, 4:45-5:45 pm, Erie Blvd. W. and W. Genesee St. (Westside)
Opening of the USA Patriot Act Show : Cartooning & Free Speech in Time of War, Monday, October 7 at 7:00 pm at Community Folk Art Gallery, 2223 E. Genesee St. The show will run through October 31. Co-sponsored by Syracuse Peace Council, Syracuse Cultural Workers and the Community Folk Art Gallery.
We have printed nearly 8,000 copies of this Peace Newsletter, more than double our usual print run. We are distributing it more broadly than usual. Please consider taking a handful or several hundred to distribute. Contact Andy to get extra copies.
Over 60 people, young and old, participated in a powerful procession and vigil to mark the 57th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing on August 6. On a pleasant summer day, hundreds of people watched our procession file through downtown Syracuse, the silence punctuated by the dirge-like beat of a bass drum. We passed out 300 fliers and would have distributed more if we had them. Participants were moved by the power of our presence as we stopped traffic and passers-by. The flier highlighted the connection between terrorism and nuclear weapons and called on the Bush Administration to take true steps toward nuclear disarmament.
Special thanks to Jessica Maxwell, who coordinated the event, and the rest of the planning committeeTim Judson, Xander Karkruff, Andy Mager, Chrissie Rizzo, Amy Dickinson and Diane Swords. Xander, Jessica, Amanda Brown and others did a great job creating new props and banners so that the Peace Council now has our own materials to conduct the procession.
There was some media coverage, though not nearly what the event merited. The Post-Standard ran an article, WRVO, WAER and WSYR covered the event and Channel 3 sent a camera person. The following day an Op Ed piece by Peace Council Co-coordinator Andy Mager was printed in the Post-Standard (see www.peacecouncil.net under SPC Statements if you didn't read it).
The event was co-sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee, Citizens Awareness Network and Peace Action.
The Peace Council has received a $3,000 grant from RESIST, a radical foundation in Boston, to help us expand our outreach efforts. The money will support staff time and additional mailings to increase ongoing support for our efforts. A proposal to the Central New York Community Foundation was submitted in August to support a "Social Justice Skill-Sharing Project" this coming winter.
Democracy Now isn't on the air yet in Central New York. If you've already contacted WAER, think about following up. If you haven't written or called, please do so now. WAER members seem to have a particularly important voice here. See page 7 to remember why this is so important.
Please write to: Ron Ockert, Director of Programming and Operations, WAER JAZZ 88, 215 University Place, Syracuse, NY 13244, e-mail: email@example.com, 443-4021. Tell him 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.
The Peace Council had a table at the outstanding Native American Festival in Clinton Square on August 3. Thanks to Amy Dickinson, Rick Martin, Ron Shuffler, Rae Kramer, Lanny Freshman, Evy Kennenwood and Madis Senner for staffing it. We hope to get out to many more events in the region to spread our message of peace and justice and solicit support.
Upcoming events at which we'll be tabling include:
Westcott Street Fair, Sunday, September 22 (raindate 9/29),
Regional Peace Studies Association at ColgateSaturday Sept. 21
Hobart & William Smith Folk FestSept. 28-29
Central NY Social Studies Association conferenceOctober 29
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.
Clean deposit cans and bottles are being collected to help support jailed (and soon-to-be-jailed) School of the Americas activists). Drop them off at:
Syracuse Peace Council, 924 Burnet Ave.
Syracuse Food Co-op, 618 Kensington Rd.
Westcott Community Center, 826 Euclid Ave., or 401 Scottholm Blvd., all in Syracuse. For more information, contact the SOA Abolitionists at 478-4571.
Fall is a great time to start an internship at the Peace Council. We're very flexible, but need people who are responsible and committed to our mission. Contact Carol for more information. Special thanks to Xander Karkruff who continued working as a Peace Council intern through the summer. Her beautiful work can be seen every week in the beautiful signs at our Wednesday peace vigils and on page 9 in this issue.
The Plowshares Committee has been meeting to plan for another inspiring Plowshares Craftsfair and Winter Peace FestivalDecember 7 and 8 at the Southwest Community Center. Mark your calendars now. Applications for crafters and community groups are available from our office or on our website and are due by Friday, September 27.