Peace Council Pages

Educate, Agitate, Organize

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

SPC IN ACTION

compiled by Carol Baum


Summertime at SPC
Ah summer - a time to play outside, garden, go on vacation … but also to continue working for peace in myriad ways (see all the pieces on these pages).


We're fortunate that Jackie Hayes, Zach Lahey and Aly Wane have joined us for the summer. They are all highly skilled, enthusiastic, good organizers and political analysts. Aly will be interning at SPC for a year. With Zach's help, he organized SPC's showing of An Inconvenient Truth. Aly is also organizing outreach tabling and participating on the Local Cost of the War and the PNL Editorial Committees.
Before this year’s Pride Parade, a brief ceremony was held to raise the Pride Flag at Syracuse City Hall. After raising that flag, Nick Orth and Michael DeSalvo asked to add the Peace Flag (created by Syracuse Cultural Workers). As usual SPC had a contingent in the Parade.
Photo: Harry Freeman-Jones.

The office will not be open Wednesday nights in the summer. Daytime hours continue to be Monday-Friday, 10-5. There might be some slight variation due to vacations. If you are traveling from a distance, please call first. If you'd like to help out, please contact the office.

 

March for Nuclear Free Future:
Pre-empt the Strikes, Public Power NOW!

This year's annual dramatic procession to mark the US bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will be held on Tuesday, August 8. We will gather near City Hall at 11:30. The march will begin promptly at noon, passing through Columbus Circle and Armory Square before arriving at Clinton Square. We will once again deliver a message to our federal representatives - this time demanding that the US stop its threats to attack Iran and North Korea, publicly declare that it will not use nuclear weapons in any attack, and pursue a sustainable energy policy.

We have many beautiful props and banners to be carried during the march. Please contact Jessica if you are coming and can carry something.

Local Cost of the War Leaflets
The war goes on and so do we. SPC's Local Cost of the War Committee continues to meet and we urge you to join us. We have produced six leaflets (with number seven in the wings) illustrating how much the occupation of Iraq is costing us in reduced and eliminated services to Onondaga County, New York State and the nation. From healthcare to veterans benefits, The Shared Times asks people to face the facts and do something. To view all six leaflets go to www.peacecouncil.net/sharedtimes.

We distribute leaflets as handouts and online. Please consider helping with either distribution and/or printing costs (a single printing is about $75). Future leaflet topics include education, labor/economy and the environment. We are also planning an event for the fall. To join in with a great group of people working on this project, contact Jessica or Carol.

Weekly Peace Outreach

“End the War;
Bring the Troops Home”

Want a quick and concrete way to help end the invasion of Iraq? Join us every Tuesday rush hour as we reach out to thousands of local drivers and their passengers....

Every Tuesday, 4:45-5:30 pm

Carpooling available from SPC.
July 25 Geddes St. and W. Genesee St. (Westside)
August 1 E. Genesee St. and Erie Blvd. (Dewitt)
August 8 Rt. 11 (in front of Northern Lights Shopping Center, Mattydale)
August 15 Genesee St. and East Lake Rd. (Skaneateles)
August 22 S. Salina St. and E. Colvin St. (Southside)
August 29 NYS Fair (main entrance)

 

Hot on the Trail of An Activist Center
As first reported in the March 2004 PNL, SPC has been searching for a new home which better suits our needs, allows us to take a major step forward organizationally and work more closely with other organizations.

We're very excited about a commercial building at 2013 E. Genesee St. which we hope will become the home to a new "Syracuse Social Justice Center." It offers more space, a large meeting/workshop room, increased visibility, space for various groups and it's in good condition. American Friends Service Committee and Peace Action are already there! However, it comes with a hefty price tag.

A new 501c(3) organization, the Alliance for Peace and Social Justice, Inc. is in formation to own and operate the building,

Until the Alliance is fully established, SPC is helping to assess the viability of purchasing the building.

Suggestions and offers of assistance are warmly welcomed. Contact Andy.

Bikes 4 Peace in the News
Both Channel 5 and Channel 9 covered the Bikes 4 Peace clinic at the Northeast Community Center on June 26. Despite a short rain shower halfway through the clinic, youth kept stopping by, and we continued fixing bikes until 8:30 pm. In our first three clinics this year we have worked with over 50 young people, given away 15 recycled bikes to youth who worked during the clinics and distributed nine free helmets and many brochures for Onondaga County's low cost helmet program.

As we go to print, we are preparing for our next two clinics at South Presbyterian Church (July 17 and 31). We'll hold our last two clinics at the Spanish Action League on August 14 and 28. Donations and new volunteers are always welcome. Contact Jessica.

NOON Reading Group
Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation has started its first reading group, focusing on Robert W. Venables' two-volume history American Indian History: Five Centuries of Conflict and Coexistence. The group, which meets monthly, had its first meeting in May and is currently discussing the first volume, which describes the initial encounters between Europeans and Native Americans throughout North America. Later this summer, chapters to be discussed include Massachusetts and Virginia settlers' interaction with Native Americans, and the French and Indian War.

American Indian History is available at a discounted price of $30 (for the two-volume set) from SPC. All are welcome to join the monthly discussions at the Westcott Day Hab Center, 522 Westcott Street. The next gathering is 7 pm on Tuesday, August 15. Contact Ellen at ebedgert@gmail.com to find out what chapters will be discussed.

Onondaga Land Rights Series
Over 150 people came inside on two beautiful evenings in June and July for the Onondaga Land Rights programs. On July 11, "The Onondaga Nation and the US Courts," featured Attorney Joe Heath and historian Larry Hauptman tracing the historical relationship of the Onondaga Nation to New York State. They highlighted the illegal theft of Onondaga land and tied it to the current land rights action. (See article for additional historical background.)

"Onondaga Land Rights: All Central New Yorkers Can Benefit" was addressed by Syracuse Common Council President Bea Gonzalez, Onondaga Faithkeeper Wendy Gonyea and SPC's own Andy Mager on June 13. The lively conversation stimulated by the series continues on Monday, September 11 (7 pm at Syracuse Stage) with Onondaga faithkeeper Oren Lyons speaking on "Racism, Native American Human Rights and the UN."

Getting it on Tape
As part of the effort to mark our 70th anniversary, a Peace Council committee is creating a short video about SPC and our history. After a series of meetings to develop themes for the video and identify folks to interview, 23 interviews were conducted in the fall of 2005. The committee is combing through the transcripts to cull out the pieces best suited for a short video, a very challenging task indeed.

Funding for the project comes from the DeFrancisco Grant Program administered by the Cultural Resources Council. Tim Brachocki of the Syracuse Alternative Media Network is coordinating the technical work of the committee which includes Jackie Hayes, Ed Kinane, Rae Kramer and Andy Mager.

We aim to have a 20 minute video ready for preview this fall. Watch for details.

An Inconvenient Truth
On Sunday, June 18, SPC organized a fundraising event around the screening of Al Gore's new documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. Close to a 150 people came to the Westcott Cinema to view the film and participate in a free-flowing and fruitful discussion on global warming, its impact, and ways to reduce it. The discussion was led by members of the Global Warming Action Network (Ollie Clubb and Richard Smardon) and the Citizen's Awareness Network (Tim Judson and Thom Dellwo).

The high level of participation by the community was encouraging; SPC would like to thank all the people who came and the wonderful volunteers who made this event possible.

SPC's Newest Intern
My name is Aly Wane and I am excited to be joining the Peace Council as an intern. I am a graduate of Le Moyne College with a B.A. in Political Science. After graduating, I worked at the American Friends Service Committee in Chicago, and at Unity Acres, a homeless shelter near Pulaski, NY. My areas of interest include economic justice and grassroots community organizing. I hope that I will be involved with SPC for years to come.

Active Solidarity: Let's Get It Together!
Active Solidarity (AS) hosted its first event late in June - a screening of Spike Lee's Malcolm X with an introduction by Sundiata Salaam, a Master's student in Syracuse University's Pan-Afrikan Studies department. The event was a fundraiser for the Partnership for Onondaga Creek (POC), a Southside-based community organization fighting environmental racism in Syracuse. (See POC update.) About 30 people attended the screening at the Westcott Community Center and AS raised over $160 for the POC. While there is certainly room for improvement, AS was generally pleased with the event and the turnout. Did you go? We welcome feedback! Though currently focused on anti-racism, we hope to expand our alliance-growing work to reflect our commitment to collective liberation from all forms of oppression. You can help - contact Candace.

Nobel Peace Prize nominee Kathy Kelly shared her experiences in the
Middle East at SPC’s 70th birthday dinner. Photo: Ray Trudell

Happy 70th Birthday SPC
SPC recently celebrated our 70th Birthday with a tasty vegetarian dinner, inspiring speakers, and great community spirit. Almost 200 people came for dinner, with more joining for the talks afterwards. Two powerful speakers who had recently returned from Iraq - Kathy Kelly (Voices for Creative Nonviolence) and Beth Pyles (Christian Peacemaker Teams) - inspired us. The evening raised about $5800 to help us make it through the summer, which is typically a low-income period for SPC.

Organizing an event like this takes a community of support. Special thanks to Joanne Grisanti and the Syracuse Real Food Co-op for donating food; Sr. Pat Bergan and St. Andrew the Apostle Church for their hospitality; Aimee Jurista and Rose Viviano for food coordination and cooking; cooks Tessa Corcoran-Sayers, Paul Melnikow, Carole Resnick, Evelyn Kennenwood and Magda Bayoumi; Brian Caufield and the Syracuse Community Choir for sound; overall organizers Carol Baum and Rae Kramer; and Herm Bieling, Mary Cunningham, Mark Feldman, John Fitzsimmons, Lanny Freshman, Ed Kinane, Andy Mager, Christopher Peltz, Chris Riley, Ann Tiffany, Wendy Yost, all the table hosts, and everyone else who helped with set-up, clean-up, and the program.

Responses to the Spring Fund Appeal Greatly Appreciated
Our annual spring fund appeal went out in May; as of early July, fifty-seven people have responded, contributing almost $3900. Thank you - we use each dollar to the fullest. If you have just not quite gotten around to responding, or if you never received a fund appeal packet by mail (or email), it is never too late to make a donation - of money, materials or time.
For information on SPC's finances, contact Carol.