Peace Council Pages


Buses to NYC March 20

On Saturday, March 20 — the one-year anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq — hundreds of thousands of people will converge at regional demonstrations around the globe to say “No!” to war and occupation. The Peace Council is sending buses to the New York City march and rally, the major convergence site for the Northeast US.
Tickets are $30-50 sliding scale (scholarships are available). We will probably leave around 5 am and return by midnight. To reserve a seat, contact Ace at bus@tools4change.org;or 423-4783.
Organizing bus trips to large demonstrations is a valuable and energizing experience, but much help is needed to make it successful. If you can distribute flyers, take sign-up sheets to events, help put together informational packets, or assist with other tasks as they come up, please contact Jessica Maxwell at SPC.

Bush Must Go!

The 2004 presidential election is a critical event for all people concerned about peace and social justice. The Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Ashcroft agenda has been deadly — to people in Afghanistan and Iraq, to our civil liberties, to the environment, to the economy, to educational opportunity, to democracy…
Bush Must Go! in order to ease the terror being waged around the world and to provide some hope for people struggling on a daily basis at home and abroad. Given our two party system, we know that Bush’s removal will still leave us with much important work to do.
The Peace Council is finalizing plans for a major campaign to help unseat the current squatters in the White House. The campaign involves visibility (including new lawn signs), education (with a focus on the creation and distribution of tens of thousands of educational fliers about why Bush Must Go!) and action (including local actions and participation in national demonstrations).
Our small staff cannot carry out this ambitious effort without lots of help from people like you. Contact Andy Mager or see <www.peacecouncil.net/Bush>.

Help SPC Make Our Move
After 30-plus years at 924 Burnet Ave., the Peace Council is planning to move — but only a few blocks. At a special half-day meeting in late January, the Steering Committee approved a phased plan to move to 1419 E. Fayette St. in the spring of 2005.
The “new” building (the Syracuse Cultural Workers’ former home) has more usable space, is structurally in better shape and will put us in a real neighborhood.
Although SCW has generously offered to donate the building, it needs significant renovation to effectively meet our needs. The draft workplan calls for a Capital Campaign to raise the $40-$70 thousand required for renovation, added operating costs and a rainy day fund. Our plan also includes benchmarks for raising money and getting other logistical help in order for the move to proceed. Lots of help is needed raising money, putting up sheetrock, cleaning our current office, etc.
Contact Andy Mager.

Weekly Peace Outreach: Back to PM
Now that we’re changing the time to 4:45-5:30 pm on Tuesdays, we expect to see many of you late risers who couldn’t make the early morning winter events.
• March 2: S. Salina and E. Colvin (Southside)
• March 9: Rt. 695 exit ramp to W. Genesee St. (Fairmount)
• March 16: Teall Ave. and Rt. 690 (Eastside)
• March 23: Adams St. and Rt. 81 (Downtown)
• March 30: James St. and Thompson Rd. (Northside)

Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation (NOON)
Prior to 9-11-01, this had been an active group within the Peace Council, doing educational programs on the relationship between the US and the Onondaga Nation. In November 2001, NOON produced and distributed 3000 copies of Neighbor to Neighbor, Nation to Nation, a 40-page booklet (copies are still available).
NOON then became dormant, as fighting Bush’s so-called “war on terrorism” and the march towards war on Iraq became all-encompassing.
Recently, NOON has restarted. It will initially be doing self-education, along with planning an educational outreach event in the near future. For more information, contact Carol Baum at SPC.

US Exit Strategy: Transition to Iraqi Self-Governance
Thursday, March 18
7 – 8:30 pm
Westcott Community Center
(corner of Euclid and Westcott, Syr.)
followed by refreshments & socializing
SPC’s March program focuses on strategies to end the US military and corporate occupation of Iraq and to support a transition to Iraqi self-governance. There is ongoing debate regarding the Bush administration’s June deadline for turning over control of Iraq to an Iraqi body. There are also differing opinions regarding the role of the UN, timeframe for US troop withdrawal, control of Iraqi resources, and the process for establishing an Iraqi government.

Bowl-a-thon Final Call
Get your teams together for SPC’s Bowl-a-thon Sunday, March 14 from 2-4 pm at Strike ‘N Spare Lanes in Mattydale. Get in out of the cold, have fun, and raise money for SPC! Pre-registration is $10 (deadline March 5), or $12 at the door. Join us as we “strike” for peace. Contact Andy Mager or see <www.peacecouncil. net/bowlathon.htm>.

Program Committee

An active Program Committee has been working since mid-December to assist the staff and steering committee in clarifying program priorities for SPC. Besides staff members Carol Baum, Andy Mager, and Jessica Maxwell, committee members are Mary Cunningham, Ed Kinane, Nick Poulos, Carole Resnick, Ron Shuffler, Rose Viviano, and Aly Wayne.
Our task has been to look within the strategic framework already established by the steering committee, and suggest specific areas of focus for the rest of 2004. Some questions on our agenda have been:
• What goals should SPC have for upcoming program work?
• What do we want to accomplish both organizationally (for example, increase the number of active volunteers) and politically (for example, prevent Bush from being elected)?
• What balance should SPC maintain between work that’s local (for example, youth violence), national (for example, the 2004 election) and global (for example, the Iraq war)?
• How much of our work to address national and global issues should be focused on local organizing, and how much should be connected to larger coalitions and campaigns?
The committee is now creating a proposal for the steering committee, so that we can take the next steps together to establish a clear plan and guidelines for SPC’s efforts.
A “final” plan will be ready for release soon!! Get ready to find your niche and contribute your energy!

Solidarity Pledge

The CNY Bill of Rights Defense Campaign (BORDC) is a coalition of 18 local groups (including SPC) fighting the continued erosion of our civil rights by the federal government since 9-11-01. The most recent activity was “A Pledge of Solidarity with the Muslim Community” on February 26. One year ago on that day, federal agents aggressively interrogated 150 Muslim and Arab families while investigating a local charity. Pledgers wore headscarves in the Muslim tradition, vigiled, went to our federal representatives’ offices, sent donations to Muslim organizations, and prayed or stood in silent contemplation at the times Muslims pause in daily prayer.
The BORDC continues to seek more endorsing groups, as well as opportunities for presentations. For more information, contact Barrie Gewanter at 471-2821 or Carol Baum.

SPC Study Group
Winter is a perfect time for reading and discussing important issues. Since January, SPC’s study group on the US global agenda has looked at the National Security Strategy document, along with some articles on the connections between militarism and economic globalization. We’ve just started Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic, a new book by Chalmers Johnson.
Anyone is welcome to come and check out the study group. If you can, do the reading first. We meet the second and fourth Mondays from 7-8:30 pm at the Friends Meeting House (821 Euclid Ave., Syracuse). For more information, contact Carol Baum at SPC.

Peace Action Offers Young Peacemakers Award
Peace Action of Central New York is again offering its Young Peacemakers Award. The $500 award will be presented to a high school senior in Onondaga County who has shown a devotion and commitment to peace, justice, and conflict resolution. The student should have engaged in activities — in school, church, or community — which indicate his or her passion to work on the underlying causes of war, violence, and injustice.
Peace Action has presented awards to local peace activists for many years, but only recently has offered an award exclusively for high school students. Peace Action hopes the award will encourage young people to become more aware of the issues of peace and justice in our communities, in our country, and in the world.
Anyone who knows a high school senior who might qualify for this award, should urge him or her to apply. A description of the student’s peace-making activities is required, plus a short essay. To obtain an application, call the Peace Action office at 478-7442 or download it at <www.peaceactioncny.org>. The application deadline is March 18, 2004.