Syracuse Peace Council Pages

Compiled by Carol Baum, SPC staff

Solidarity with Local Muslims and Arabs
From 6 -10 am on February 26, 2003, government agents aggressively interrogated 150 Muslim and Arab families in Central New York, a frightening experience for those concerned.
This February 26, the Bill of Rights Defense Campaign (of which SPC is an active part) is organizing a day of solidarity with the local Muslim and Arab community. We are asking people to pledge to perform an act of support on that day (suggestions are on the pledge form). We want to get at least 150 people to pledge, one for each of the families affected, in order to show that the kind of insensitive, discriminatory treatment they experienced is not acceptable in our community.
Pledge forms and other information are available as a stuffer in this PNL for local subscribers. For forms and information, contact Carol Baum at SPC or Barrie Gewanter at the NY Civil Liberties Union (471-2821), or <www.peace council.net/pledge>.

Presidential Election 2004
About 75 people attended the SPC monthly program on “Activists and the 2004 Presidential Election.” Different organizing approaches were discussed, and information was shared about specific Democratic candidates and the Green Party.
SPC plans to use the elections to promote the issues of peace and justice, make sure that Bush is replaced, and move forward no matter who is elected. There is much we can do – contact SPC if you want to help.

Cynthia Banas on Iraq
Central New Yorker Cynthia Banas, who has lived in Iraq most of the past year, will speak on February 10, as an “Eyewitness to War.” She was in Iraq before, during and after the invasion. Her most recent visit was in late December, after the capture of Sadaam Hussein. She plans to return to Iraq in early March.
The free talk is at 7:30 pm in the Special Events room of the Dining Center at Le Moyne College (call SPC or see <www.lemoyne.edu/resources/map_info.htm> for directions). It is co-sponsored by SPC and International House of Le Moyne.

Angus MacDonald: An MLK Day Unsung Hero
We’re delighted to report that longtime SPC activist (and all-around terrific person) Angus MacDonald recently received an “Unsung Hero” award at the Martin Luther King dinner at Syracuse University. A lifelong critic of war and injustice, Angus commemorated King’s birthday last year by being arrested during a nonviolent anti-war protest at the Federal Building.
SPC had nominated Angus for the award, noting that, “For us, Angus best exemplifies the MLK, Jr. spirit of nonviolence not only in his activism but in his interactions with others … He constantly seeks to see the best in us all and to affirm us despite our limitations.”

Plugging In To SPC
Come to February’s Volunteer Orientation. Everyone is welcome – from people who have just heard of the Peace Council to people who want to get re-involved. It’s always an interesting group – meet new people who share your concerns and want to do something about them. The orientation is Tuesday, February 17, 7-8:30 pm at the SPC office.

Weekly Peace Outreach
Join our hardy group Tuesday mornings, 7:45-8:30 am, as we provide an alternative information source to people as they drive to work. Contact Andy Mager.
• February 3: E. Genesee St. and Erie Blvd. (Dewitt)
• February 10: Rt. 57 and Vine St., Village of Liverpool
• February 17: Valley Dr. and Seneca Tpk. (Valley)
• February 24: Erie Blvd. W. and W. Genesee St. (Westside)

SPC Monthly Program: The Patriot Act Comes Home
Thursday, February 19
7 – 8:30 pm
Westcott Community Center
(corner of Euclid and Westcott, Syracuse)
followed by refreshments and socializing

SPC’s February program focuses on the local effects of the Patriot Act, an act passed immediately after 9-11-01 which erodes people’s civil rights in the name of Bush’s “war on terrorism.” A representative of the local Bill of Rights Defense Campaign will speak. Several Central New Yorkers whose lives have been affected by the Patriot Act itself or the atmosphere it fosters will also share their experiences.

World-Wide Protest Against War/Occupation March 20
United for Peace and Justice is calling for a “Global Day of Action against War and Occupation” on March 20, the one-year anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq.
There will be demonstrations in key cities across the US, and around the world. The US protests will also take on the war at home, opposing the Patriot Act, detentions and deportations of innocent immigrants, and the massive spending on the military amid vast cuts in vital domestic, social and economic programs.
SPC is sending buses to New York City, the site for Northeast. Tickets will cost $30-50. Details will be forthcoming. To help out, or to get more information, contact the SPC office.

Justice Breakfast
The Justice Breakfast is an opportunity for local community organizers and activists to gather informally for conversation and a simple breakfast. The first was hosted by the Greater Syracuse Labor Federation and was a productive way to start the day. The next will be at Planned Parenthood, 1120 E. Genesee St., Syracuse, on Friday, February 13 from 7:30 – 8:30 am. Please RSVP to Andy Mager.

Faces of Globalization
Photojournalist Jim Harney is speaking on “Faces of Globalization: Argentina and the FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas).” Jim recently returned from Argentina and has compelling slides and stories to share.
The event is co-sponsored by SPC and International House (Le Moyne College) and is February 2 at 7:30 pm in the Reilly Room at Le Moyne (on the 4th floor of Reilly Hall). See <www.lemoyne.edu/resources/map_info.htm> for directions or call SPC.

Nonviolence Training for Trainers
Ten organizations from Upstate NY will co-sponsor a weekend-long training being organized by SPC: “Learning to Plan and Facilitate Trainings for Nonviolent Action.” The training, designed for activists and organizers with previous action experience, will be held April 2-4 at the Cayuga Nature Center near Ithaca. Brochures and application information are available at the SPC office and on the web at <www.peacecouncil.net/NVT4T.htm>. Applications are due by February 16. A sliding scale fee of $50-100 will cover the cost of workshop materials, housing and vegetarian meals for the duration of the training. Contact Jessica Maxwell.

Bowl-a-thon for Peace
No…you don’t have to be a good bowler to have fun at the SPC “Strike for Peace” Bowl-a-thon.
Enthusiasm, striking (sic) attire and even performance art desired. Register by yourself or as part of a team from home, work, place of worship, or the regime change organization of your choice.
Join us Sunday, March 14, 2-4 pm at Strike ‘N Spare Lanes in Mattydale. Call SPC, or check out <www. peacecouncil.net/bowlathon> for more info. Local readers see enclosed flier.
Register by March 5 and the $10 / person entry fee covers two games, shoes, and an SPC donation (fee is $12 after March 5). We hope you’ll seek out sponsors to help with the fundraising part of the day’s fun. Kids welcome; bumper lanes available.
Prizes…prizes…prizes!

2003 Financial Report
Despite the finance committee’s prediction of a net loss for last year (to be covered by savings), SPC just about broke even – thanks to our community’s outpouring of support during a time of political crisis. SPC took in and spent about $86,000 (not including finances from the 14 buses we sent to demonstrations). About two-thirds of it went to salaries. Contact Carol Baum if you would like to see a copy of the financial statement.
Much work needs to be done this year – the sense of urgency is still strong. Contributions of any amount are always welcome – we only send acknowledgements for contributions of $50 or more in order to use everyone’s contributions as fully as possible for activist work.
For information on making a tax exempt donation of $50 or more, please contact Carol Baum.

Important Plowshares PS
The raffle is always a key piece of successful fundraising at our annual December Plowshares Craftsfair. Over the years we have tried to offer an interesting array of prizes. While a number of our prize donors vary each year, there are some “angels” that have been wonderfully generous year after year. We hope you will share our thanks to them by patronizing their shops or services; letting them know you appreciate their generosity would be nice too.
Special raffle Angels:
Seven Rays Book Store
Nottingham Pet Clinic
The Jerk Hut
Samir’s Imported Foods
Syracuse Real Food Co-op
Syracuse Cultural Workers
Syracuse Cooperative Federal Credit Union

Interns at SPC
SPC is actively interested in working with student interns. They provide energy, ideas, enthusiasm, and great help. Last semester we were fortunate to have high school activist Gabe Barry-Caufield work with us. We look forward to Syracuse University student David Salati joining us for the summer.
We are now in discussion with Antioch College about being an internship possibility for their students. For room, board and $100/mo stipend, we could have up to three interns a year, each staying for four months.
If you might be willing to host an Antioch intern, please contact Andy Mager.

SPC Study Group
The Study Group on the US Global Agenda is always open to new members – as long as you have done the reading . Learn about and discuss important issues in a supportive, friendly environment.
The group meets the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month at the Friends Meeting House (821 Euclid Ave., Syracuse) from 7 – 8:30 pm. To find out what we’re reading next, contact Carol Baum.