Syracuse Peace Council Pages

Compiled by Carol Baum and Andy Mager, SPC staff

Ed Kinane To Speak on Iraq
On Wednesday, December 10, Ed Kinane will talk about his most recent experiences in Iraq. The free program will be at the Westcott Day Hab Center (522 Westcott St., Syracuse) from 7-8:30 pm.
Ed and Cynthia Banas have just returned, having lived in Baghdad for several months. During the last year, both have spent many months there with Voices in the Wilderness. Since they’ve come back home, SPC has been organizing press events for them and they’ve barely stopped running. If you’d like to have either one of them come to speak to your group, contact Carol Baum or Jessica Maxwell at SPC.

Cheney “Welcome”
On a chilly, wet November morning, 300 people “greeted” Dick Cheney as he arrived at a $1000 a plate fundraising breakfast at a hotel in Liverpool. The march and rally, organized by the Syracuse Peace Council and the CNY Labor Federation, was an opportunity for us to jointly express our outrage at the Bush/Cheney agenda at home and abroad. Speakers ranged from labor activists to peace activists to the Supervisor of the Town of Salina (where the event was being held) to radical cheerleaders.
Originally the rally was to have been in the hotel’s parking lot, but we were moved four times by the police. The happy irony is that we ended up at a highly visible location across the street from the hotel, and were actually able to “greet” Cheney’s motorcade.

Standing Room Only for Town Meeting
A diverse crowd of Central New Yorkers packed South Presbyterian Church on November 13 to express their outrage about the Bush agenda and propose ideas for turning our nation around. Representatives of nearly 20 community organizations spoke on behalf of constituencies ranging from unionized healthcare workers to environmentalists, peace activists to tenants, women’s rights activists to civil libertarians and more. Some dozen individuals spoke out as well.
Speak Up: The Bush Agenda and You brought together an unusual mix of community activists and concerned citizens with the goal of unifying to oppose the Bush/Cheney Agenda in Central New York. The room was full of energy and dynamism as people spoke from their hearts, shared their fears and enjoyed some laughs. Mark Spadafore of the CNY Labor Federation ignited the crowd with a rousing call to action to unseat the current squatters in the White House. Radical cheerleaders Becky Johnson and Kim McCoy lightened the air and garnered applause with a pithy cheer.
Although the Peace Council carried much more of the organizing load for the event than had been hoped, it came together well with broad participation. Special appreciation goes to Peace Council volunteers Julie Gozan and Marty Kelly who have been working consistently on this project since June, as well as the dozens of other people who helped with organizing, publicity, set-up, food, childcare and more.
The true value of the event will be determined in the coming months as we see what type of action emerges from the energy generated that night. To get involved in follow-up efforts, contact Andy Mager.

Plowshares Craftsfair
Please join us for the Plowshares Craftsfair and Peace Festival, December 6-7 at the Southwest Community Center. This year we welcome crafts from the Rochester Folk Art Guild. See pages 11-14 for more details.
The Plowshares Committee meets year round, and as it gets closer to the craftsfair, it meets weekly. Plowshares is organized almost entirely outside of the SPC office – the committee has no staffpeople on it – and it is SPC’s major fundraising event of the year (as well as a very fun time). Thank you so much to the hard-working and creative Committee of Barb Floch, Lanny Freshman, Karen Kerney, Rae Kramer, Andy Molloy, Beth Mosley, Marie Summerwood and Mardea Warner.

Weekly Peace Outreach
It’s getting cold out, but we’re undeterred. Please join us in our public outreach and help hold the new banner made by Kate Woodle. Tuesdays, 7:45-8:30 am, at a different location each week.
• December 2 Rt. 57, Village of Liverpool (near skating rink)
• December 9 Valley Drive and Seneca Turnpike (Valley)
• December 16 Erie Blvd. W. and W. Genesee St. (Westside)
• December 23 S. Salina and East Colvin (Southside)
• December 30 E. Genesee St. and Erie Blvd. (Dewitt)

Keep Posted on Up-To-the-Minute Events
Occasionally events need to be organized quickly and so are not able to be publicized easily in the Peace Newsletter (an example is the details of the Cheney protest, which were unavailable at the time of the last issue’s publication).
To keep yourself aware of the latest SPC news, subscribe to the SPC Announcements list, a low-volume email list of upcoming events. Send a blank email to <spcannouncements-subscribe@lists. riseup.net>. We also regularly update the website <www.peacecouncil.net.>

BORDC
The Bill of Rights Defense Campaign, which actively organizes against laws and executive orders infringing on the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights (in particular, the so-called “Patriot” Act), has been busy giving presentations, making posters and distributing them. SPC is an active member of the Campaign. If you can help with distributing posters, contact Carol Baum.

Constant Star Stunning
About 100 people joined the SPC group attending Constant Star, the Syracuse Stage play on the life of African American turn of the twentieth century activist Ida B. Wells. It was an inspirational, moving tribute to a fiery, determined organizer, as well as a good fundraiser for SPC, and an opportunity to do outreach in a new venue. Thanks to the organizing of Kathy Barry, Carol Baum, Dik Cool, Barb Kobritz and Linda Perla.

Oct 25 March in DC
Fifty-five people took the SPC bus to the “End the US Occupation of Iraq” March in Washington, DC on October 25. The 24-hour trip went smoothly and the event was energizing. Several participants have said that the March was one of the most diverse events they had ever been to.
Thanks to Rae Kramer and Ann Tiffany for being bus stewards. Thanks also to the donations of many, we were able to easily provide scholarship assistance to ten people and actually end up with some money in the credit union.

Money Coming In From Fund Appeal
Thanks so much to everyone who responded to the recent SPC fund appeal mailing (and to Ed Kinane and Cynthia Banas who wrote the letter from Baghdad). So far we’ve raised about $5000, which helps a lot after the financially dry summer. It’s not too late to send yours in!

Winter Holiday Gifts
If you give gifts this time of year, and would like to give SPC something, here are some ideas:
• You at our next Volunteer Orientation – Tuesday, December 9 from 7-8:30 pm at the office.
• An easel (the kind you can hang pads of agenda paper on).
• Big pads of paper (the flipchart kind) to put onto the easel.
• Display racks for tabling.
• Can opener, coffeemaker, a few medium-sized pots.
• Coat rack
• Photocopier (we can dream, can’t we?)

SPC Advisory Committee To Meet
Over the summer the Steering Committee decided to create an Advisory Committee to support the Peace Council’s work. The first meeting is in early December. This group has the following goals:
• Develop stronger organizational links with natural allies in the labor, civil rights, feminist, LGBT, environmental, civil liberties, global justice, student and other social movements
• Provide ongoing feedback to SPC from people supportive of our mission but unable to serve in a capacity which requires greater commitment
• Increase the diversity of those who influence the direction and work of SPC
• Boost fundraising and outreach work by developing broader contacts in the community

The Advisory Committee will meet twice yearly. It includes: Gabe Barry-Caufield, Magda Bayoumi, Bill Coop, Maureen Curtin, Brian Dominick, Julius Edwards, Bea Gonzalez, Linda Hall, Becky Johnson, Rev. Marty Metzler, Phil Prehn, Sally Roesch Wagner, Eileen Schell, Beth Schmidt, Audrey Shenandoah, Lauren Shields, Mark Spadafore, Sharon Jack Williams, and Frank Woolever.