Peace Council Pages
Educate, Agitate, Organize
SPC IN ACTION
compiled by Carol Baum
|On March 20, people came out of downtown Syracuse shops and restaurants to watch the peace march of almost 100 people chant Year 4, Stop the War. Photo: Carol Baum|
"No More War"
About 80 people came out on March 19 for an inspiring rally against the US war on Iraq. The following day, almost 100 gathered at the Syracuse Federal Building to take action with the message "Year 4: No More War." Participants hung a large banner, photos of Iraqi children, and paper "dog tags" bearing the names of dead US soldiers on the sculpture in the Federal Building plaza. The crowd then marched through Armory Square, drumming, chanting and encouraging passersby to join in. The march culminated at a military recruitment office where nine participants engaged in direct action. They entered the office to challenge misleading military recruitment materials and practices. Military officers immediately called the police. All nine were arrested after refusing to leave. They were arraigned March 28.
Local Cost of the War
As part of its commitment to act locally while thinking globally, SPC is bringing the war home by looking at the human cost of the war to the Syracuse community - how lives are harmed by the defunding of crucial services in order to pay for war. The committee began with research, and is now moving into action. Come Tax Day, we will begin distributing "Truth Sheets." Each sheet will highlight a different local program compromised by the war budget. We need people to help create and distribute the "Truth Sheets," and work in other creative ways to wake Central New Yorkers up to what is happening. To help, contact Jessica or Carol.
April 29 Mass Mobilization
After numerous phone calls to bus companies and regional peace groups, SPC has been unable to secure any charter busses to NYC on Saturday, April 29. But we can't let that stop us from joining tens of thousands marching for an end to the US occupation. SPC will organize carpools, mostly leaving at 5am and returning by midnight. Some folks may want to leave Friday or return Sunday. We're happy to help link folks up in any case. Contact Aimee Jurista, 655-2804, firstname.lastname@example.org, if you can drive or would like a ride.
SPCs Monthly Program
US Policy on Iran: Manufacturing a Threat
A presentation by three Albany activists who recently traveled to Iran and Syria as part of an international peace delegation and SU political science professor Mehrzad Boroujerdi.
Wednesday, April 12 7-8:30 pm
University United Methodist Church (corner E. Genesee
St. & University Ave, entrance on University)
SPC apologizes for the conflict with Passover, but could
not reschedule. Videotapes of the program will be available for those
who can't attend. Call us, 472-5478.
Bush Not Welcome in Canadaigua
On Tuesday, March 14, George W. Bush visited Canandaigua, NY, to promote his Medicare policy. Coordinated by SPC and the Syracuse Cultural Workers, two carloads of activists drove from Syracuse to join the protest. Despite the frigid cold and blustery wind, over 100 people gathered at the intersection of Routes 5, 20 and 332 for the evening rush hour. Along with bundled-up children, people drumming, and many, many signs, a former Marine in a wheelchair, flying a full-sized Marine flag, joined us in protest. I got to be the letter "A" in a row of folks spelling out "I-M-P-E-A-C-H."
When I stand and protest, I see how polarized much of the public is, and wonder how we can help the finger-flippers realize how much we all have in common. We as protesters are doing what we feel is best for our nation, and each other. And it's that last part - each other - that can be the unifying, all-important part. We want decent healthcare for all. We want the money spent to kill people just like us on the other side of the world to stay at home, and be used to improve our schools and cities, and to help the poor. When I can figure out how to fit all that on a sign, I'll carry it to my next protest. - Kimberly Rejman
Walkin' to New Orleans
SPC helped local vet Dave Lester get to Mobile, Alabama to join Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) and Katrina survivors on a 140 mile, week-long march to New Orleans. Participants arrived in New Orleans on March 19 - the anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq. Their message: "Peace in Iraq and Justice on the Gulf Coast." According to Dave, the march was not only an opportunity to reach out to communities along the route, but allowed veterans to share their experiences and organize plans for future actions. Dave returned to CNY with a renewed commitment to reach out to other vets and potential military recruits. If you're interested in connecting with the CNY chapter of IVAW, you can contact Dave through the SPC office.
Onondaga Speaker Series Draws Hundreds
|Tadadaho Sid Hill and Clan Mother Audrey Shenandoah spoke quietly, yet powerfully, at the first program in the series Onondaga Land Rights and Our Common Future. Next up: Chief Irving Powless, Jr. and Robert W. Venables on early Onondaga encounters with European settlers Tuesday, April 11, 7 pm at Syracuse Stage. Photo: Paul Pearce|
Large crowds turned out on February 27 and March 7 for the first two programs in the year-long educational series "Onondaga Land Rights and Our Common Future." At the opening program Tadadaho Sid Hill and Clan Mother Audrey Shenandoah stressed the central role that spirituality plays in the lives of the Onondaga people. They outlined the centuries-long struggle to maintain their culture and land base, describing their Land Rights Action as only the most recent initiative.
Jeanne Shenandoah and Sally Roesch Wagner shared the stage for the second program, engaging in an informal conversation about the real-life example of equality that European women found among their Haudenosaunee neighbors in the 1800s.
Two excellent programs are scheduled for April: "The Onondaga Nation Encounters European Settlers," with Robert W. Venables and Chief Irving Powless, Jr. on Tuesday, April 11 and "'Discovering' the US: Haudenosaunee Influences on US Culture and Democracy" with John Mohawk the following Tuesday, April 18. Both programs begin at 7 pm at Syracuse Stage, 820 E. Genesee St. and are free.
(Re)cycling for Mother Earth
SPC's Bikes 4 Peace program will coordinate bike repair and maintenance stations at the April 29 Earth Day celebration to be held in Lexington Park. A coalition of student and community organizations is planning the annual environmental celebration. Bikes 4 Peace promotes environmental sustainability and youth empowerment through free summer bike clinics and trainings for city youth and volunteers. Interested in helping? Contact Jessica
|Andy greets a new friend at the 2003 Plowshares Craftsfair. Photo: Paul Pearce|
When computers at the office make us want to scream, we contact our personal help desk, Andy Molloy. Among his many gifts to the Peace Council, Andy is our primary computer support person - he solves problems, locates new equipment, upgrades software, suggests ways to work more effectively, teaches us how to solve problems ourselves, and most recently set up a true server for the office. Andy worked on staff at SPC from 1989 to 1992 and has been active ever since. In addition to tech support, he served on the initial Steering Committee after the revitalization in 2002, and has been a mainstay of the Plowshares Committee for many years. He brings efficiency, good-humor, responsibility and kindness to everything he does. Andy is one of those people who is simply irreplaceable.
|Weekly Peace Outreach|
End the War;
Be a visible part of the growing opposition
to the war on Iraq
4 Rt. 57 and Vine St., Village of Liverpool
SPC and CLAC Partner
In order to strengthen and enrich both organizations, SPC and the Caribbean Latin America Coalition (CLAC) recently formed a closer and more formalized working relationship as partners. This was a natural outgrowth of the strong support we have had for each other, and the fact that many people are active with both groups. SPC continues to look to CLAC for leadership in organizing around Caribbean and Latin American issues, including closing the School of the Americas. CLAC acknowledges SPC as Central New York's leading grassroots peace and social justice group, working on a wide range of issues, many of which affect Latin America and the Caribbean.
The CNY Bill of Rights Defense Campaign (BORDC), of which SPC is an active part, once again organized a Muslim Solidarity Day on February 26, the third anniversary of the day when law enforcement agents aggressively interrogated 150 Muslim and Arab families in CNY (during the course of investigating Dr. Dhafir). In previous years, theBORDC had asked people to commit to individual acts of solidarity. This year, we asked faith communities to demonstrate solidarity in a more collective way, by sharing stories with their congregations of what Arabs, Muslims and South Asians have faced in the US since 9-11. We provided sets of stories related to actual experiences of hate crimes, travel problems, and immigration issues, as well as deportation, rendition and detainee abuse. So far eight congregations have participated. If you would like a set of the stories, or your group/ congregation would like to invite a Muslim speaker, contact Carol.
Save the Date
June 10, 2006
Syracuse Peace Councils Birthday Dinner
Featuring Kathy Kelly
inspiring, passionate activist and co-founder of Voices in the Wilderness.
Details to come.