Peace Council Pages

Educate, Agitate, Organize
SPC IN ACTION

Syracuse Peace Council
924 Burnet Ave., Syracuse, NY 13203
(315) 472-5478
spc@peacecouncil.net
www.peacecouncil.net
OFFICE HOURS: Mon.-Fri. 10 am - 5 pm
Staff Email Addresses:
Andy Mager andy@peacecouncil.net
Carol Baum carol@peacecouncil.net
Jessica Maxwell jessica@peacecouncil.net

compiled by Jessica Maxwell

 

Onondaga Nation Tadadaho Sid Hill speaks at the Land Rights Action news conference at the Onodaga Nation Cookhouse on March 11. Photo: Phil Arnold

Onondaga Nation Files its Historic Land Rights Action
The Syracuse Peace Council has great respect and gratitude for the Land Rights Action filed by the Onondaga Nation on March 11 (see article). Its action is unique in its focus on restoring the Earth and seeking healing, while striving for justice.

Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation (a Peace Council committee) worked hard in recent months to prepare for the day when the Onondagas would seek justice from our community. The response thus far to their compassionate call for redress and environmental clean up has been heartening.

Within two weeks nearly 200 people signed NOON's "Pledge of Support for the Onondaga People."

SPC’s Monthly Program
What Ever Happened to Colombia's Drug War?
Thursday, April 21
7-8:30 pm

Westcott Community Center
(corner of Euclid and Westcott, Syracuse)
followed by refreshments & discussion

Three local activists report back on their recent trip to remote and wartorn Putumayo- land of oil, cocoa, guerrillas and paramilitaries.

On March 24 the Westcott Community Center was packed with people eager to hear Tadadaho Sid Hill and Jeanne Shenandoah of the Onondaga Nation talk about their connection with the water. The spirited crowd responded enthusiastically to the Land Rights Action as described by Onondaga Nation attorney Joe Heath.

Much work lies ahead to be sure that our community responds productively. Please join us in supporting their action:
. Wear a Proud Neighbor of the Onondaga Nation button or put the bumpersticker on your car (available at SPC).
. Learn more. Visit the NOON [www.peacecouncil.net/NOON] and Onondaga Nation websites [www.onondaganation.org].
. Sign the Statement of Support (on the website) and circulate it.
. Invite NOON to provide a presentation for groups in which you're involved.
. Write a letter to the editor.

Learn more and get involved at a NOON meeting on Monday, April 4 at 7 pm at the Westcott Day Hab Center, 522 Westcott St., Syracuse. Contact Carol or Andy.

Two Years Too Long
Activists demonstrated for peace in almost 800 communities around the US to protest the beginning of the third year of the Iraq war. On Friday, March 18, 70 people demonstrated at the Federal Building in Syracuse calling for a peaceful and democratic resolution to the war. Days earlier (March 15) the House of Representatives, including local Rep.Jim Walsh, voted overwhelmingly to approve Bush's $80 billion war appropriation request despite the lack
SPC supporters have initiated a "pledge a counter-protester," project 448-0470 (Clinton), 423-to raise money from the harrassment of SPC. Sign up to participate 5471 (Schumer). for April and May: 472-5478 or [carol@peacecouncil.net]. This is from our March 18 demonstration to mark the 2nd anniversary of the Friday - US invasion of Iraq. Photo: Mike Greenlar
of a clear exit strategy. The Senate has yet to vote. The moral and economic costs of this war keep escalating - and so does opposition to it in the US. Contact Senators Clinton and Schumer and urge them to represent their constituents and refuse to pass Bush's Iraq spending bill: SPC supporters have initiated a "pledge a counter-protester," project 448-0470 (Clinton), 423-to raise money from the harrassment of SPC. Sign up to participate 5471 (Schumer).

On March 25 - Good Friday - several dozen people gathered to begin reading the names of those who have died in Iraq. Besides the names of each of the over 1,500 US soldiers killed, we have a list of over 3,000 names of the estimated 100,000 Iraqi civilians killed or who died prematurely due to the war. The reading will continue each Friday in April, noon-2 pm at Columbus Circle until we have completed all the names. We mourn all loss of life - soldier and civilian, invader and invaded - resulting from the war.

Spring Appeal

The snow melts, snowdrops and crocuses bloom, and SPC's Spring fund Appeal arrives in the mail. Everyone who receives the PNL by mail should receive the fund appeal by late April. Please give as generously as you can. Feel free to make a contribution even if you're not on the mailing list!

Youth and Militarism Task Force on the Move
The Youth and Militarism Task Force has several exciting new engagements. Coalition members recently tabled at Nottingham High School, leading to a student-initiated request for counter-recruitment action. We are mobilizing peace and social justice organizations and affiliated individuals to participate in the Jamesville-Dewitt High School Sophomore Career Day on Wednesday, April 13. The military will have a strong presence at the event. Help young people see the alternatives to the military by presenting your socially conscious vocation. Contact: Kelsy, antioch@peacecouncil.net, 472-5478.

Kelsy will represent the Youth and Militarism Task Force on a panel at the Student Environmental Action Coalition's Militarization Conference on Friday, April 22from 1-5:30 pm in HBC Hall's Kitteredge Auditorium at Syracuse University.

Jimmy Massey: The Courage to Say No
Former Marine Sgt. Jimmy Massey spoke to over 500 people on March 10 in Syracuse about the "genocide" of civilians in Iraq and the illegal tactics of Marine Recruiters. His full day of presentations ranged from the Thursday Morning Round Table, a group of business and political figures, to an intimate group of students sitting on the floor at Nottingham High School. His message was poignant, passionate and universal: the death and destruction caused by the Iraq War and the recruiting system of the armed forces are coming at an unjustifiable human cost. With every talk, Jimmy Massey says audiences help him to heal his soul - one day, one night at a time. See article for more.

Strike for Peace a Success!
The annual SPC Bowl-a-thon in early March drew some 200 peace-loving bowlers! Youth were well represented, with teams from Corcoran High School, Cazenovia High School, Syracuse University and El Progreso at Le Moyne. Many activist and community groups and faith communities also organized teams.

We raised over $3000, and the pledges are still coming in. Forty-five teams participated with amazing costumes, decorations, and team spirit. If you still have outstanding pledges, please collect them and turn them in so we can close the books. We look forward to seeing you at our 2006 Bowl-a-thon. Thanks to all who made this event successful: Kathy Barry, Brian Caufield, Joan Conley, Lanny Freshman, Barb Humphrey, Rae Kramer, Mike Pasquale, Mayer Shevin and the dozens of folks who organized teams, solicited pledges and bowled.

Chuck Lochner reminds us that there's more to activism than meetings and demonstrations. If you use our bathroom, you'll understand. Photo: Paul Pearce

Activist Appreciation
We have a newly renovated bathroom at SPC thanks to the hard work of Chuck Lochner. Chuck came to our volunteer orientation in February and over a couple of weeks in March hung dry wall, spackled, sanded and painted. When he was finished, he even brought us new soap! We're thrilled. Many others helped previously with cutting out the old drywall, putting in insulation, picking up materials, and starting the new drywall. These included Herman Beiling, Marc Kapilla and Brian Post.

Make a Difference
SPC always needs people to participate in our work for peace and social justice. You can plug in with specific tasks or help organize ongoing campaigns and projects. Current priority work needs are:

Tax Day Organizing - Help coordinate a "Peoples' Poll" among area students to help educate people about the federal government's outrageous spending priorities (10-20 hours over the next three weeks)

Peace Newsletter Scanning - scan old Peace Newsletters to create a complete searchable archive of Peace Newsletters for our website (5-10 hours/month)

Iraq Organizing Committee - help develop our plans to end the Iraq war (510 hours/month)

Peace Newsletter Committee - participate in article selection, working with authors and editing (10-20 hours/month)

Peace Newsletter Editing - assist with copy editing of Peace Newsletter articles (3-8 hours/month)

Phone Calling - make phone calls to SPC supporters about upcoming activities (varied time commitment)

SPC Three-year Plan
SPC activists from various standing committees, steering committee and staff have been meeting this winter to think critically about SPC's work for the next three years:
- how to build a stronger Peace Council, how to empower more people, what issues to focus on and other questions. We're grateful we have so many clear thinkers in our community to help build the movement. Stay tuned for the results of our planning process later this spring.

UFPJ National Assembly
SPC is one of the 800 local and national groups joined together to oppose the US government's policy of permanent warfare and empire-building. That coalition, United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ), held its second national assembly in St. Louis in late February. Carol Baum represented SPC. Decisions made by the over 500 representatives include:

. Devoting the bulk of UFPJ's resources to ending the US war in Iraq and bringing the troops home asap.
. Focusing on six campaigns: grassroots education, local costs of the war, legislation, community implications of using the National Guard, supporting Clergy and Laity Concerned about Iraq, and a mass mobilization on September 10.

Weekly Peace Outreach

Join us at busy intersections to say "End the Iraq War." Every Tuesday, 4:45-5:30 pm.
April 5: E. Genesee St. and Erie Blvd. (Dewitt)
April 12: Teall Ave. & Rt. 690 (Eastside)
April 19: Adams St. and Rt. 81 (Downtown)
April 26: Rt. 57 and Vine St, (Village of Liverpool)
May 3: Valley Dr. and Seneca Tnpk. (Valley)

. Electing a new 41-person steering committee.

Carol is happy to share more details. You can also visit [www.unitedforpeace.org].

La Estancia
SPC Steering Committee member Shirley Novak accompanied 12 people to El Salvador February 19-26 as part this year's Syracuse, NY-La Estancia, El Salvador Sister Community delegation. The group included one university and five high school students, a timpanist with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, two youth group leaders and three teachers. Besides visiting each of the five caserios that make up the remote, mountainous community of La Estancia, the group visited El Mozote, site of the 1981 massacre of nearly 1,000 civilians by the Salvadoran military. It also visited the National Cathedral, site of the slain Archbishop Oscar Romero's tomb. For information about presentations, contact Shirley: 446-6099 or [shirleynovak@ yahoo.com].