Peace Council Pages

Educate, Agitate, Organize

SPC IN ACTION


compiled by Carol Baum
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 and INTERN Email Addresses:
Andy Mager andy@peacecouncil.net
Carol Baum carol@peacecouncil.net
Jessica Maxwell jessica@peacecouncil.net
Aly Wane aly@peacecouncil.net
Eric Benner eric@peacecouncil.net

January 27 Protests in DC and Syracuse

About 25 Syracusans demonstrated at Clinton Square on January 11 as part of an international call to Close Guantanamo Bay. After the demonstration, a letter from SPC to our federal representatives (www.peacecouncil.net/statements/Guant07.htm) was read at a news conference and then delivered. Pictured (from left): Roger Cunningham, Ann Tiffany, John Yorks.
Photo: Cailin Neal


It's hard to describe what being among so many people feels like, but there was grim satisfaction knowing that about 300 Syracuse area folks traveled to Washington, D.C. to join those voices opposing the war and occupation of Iraq. Grim because we were there again, satisfied because we were so many.

While most Americans think both troops and Bush need to be "Out Now!" SPC believes that regime change is just the beginning. That view was echoed by the crowd in an overwhelming "boo" when Hillary Clinton was mentioned as a presidential candidate.

Now is the time to step up the pressure and work for fundamental change in our government. Join us. To quote Howard Zinn, "The question is not whether Iraq will be a democracy when this is over but whether we will still be a democracy."

As we began to march around the Capitol, a similar march occurred in Syracuse. The cold, snowy weather was no obstacle to the energetic crowd of 200 people who gathered at Clinton Square and marched around the Federal Building chanting, "I like snow, I like hail. I like President Bush in jail!" The group was also encouraged by the supportive honks from passing traffic at every intersection it passed.
-Rose Viviano and Jessica Maxwell

SPC’s Monthly Program

DARFUR: BEYOND THE HEADLINES

Thursday, February 22 7:00 pm

Westcott Community Center (corner of Euclid and Westcott, Syracuse)

Come see the highly-acclaimed documentary, All about Darfur, directed by Sudanese-born Taghreed Elsanhouri. The film seeks to not "define them [the Sudanese people] solely by their suffering, but also pay homage to their dignity, courage and fortitude

followed by refreshments & discussion. FREE

Keep Up the Pressure End the Occupation
SPC's Local Cost of the War Committee (LCW) delivered a dozen giant "postcards" to Congressman Walsh on January 25 (see photo). Hundreds of signatures and personal messages were gathered at different events in December and January on large foam boards titled "End the Occupation". Groups "hosting" postcards included Nottingham Youth Action at Nottingham H.S., Student Environmental Action Coalition at SU and SUNY ESF, and the Syracuse Community Choir.

As momentum continues to build to bring the troops home, LCW has launched a petition campaign to pressure Rep. Walsh and Senators Clinton and Schumer to:

1. Bring the troops home immediately

2. Vote no to funding for new troop deployments

3. Support the returning veterans and their families

4. Fund and support Iraqi-led reconstruction and peace process

See www.peacecouncil.net/iraq to download the petition.

We are reaching out to groups and individuals to gather support, through meetings, presentations, events and actions throughout the next two months in conjunction with the national Declaration of Peace Campaign (www.declarationofpeace.org). We have contacted Walsh's office to schedule an appointment for early March. The campaign will culminate with a large demonstration in mid-March for the 4th anniversary of the US invasion.

Contact Jessica if you would like to host a speaker/film, participate in actions, gather petition signatures or join our work.t 3 pm at Syracuse Stage.

Weekly Peace Outreach

Join 94 year-old Angus MacDonald and other hearty folks to publicly call for an end to the Iraq war.

Thursdays 12 noon to 12:45 pm

Carpooling available from SPC

February 8 Geddes St. and W. Genesee St. (Westside)
February 15 Adams St. and Rt. 81 (Downtown)
February 22 Rt. 57 and Vine St., Village of Liverpool
March 1 Seneca Tpk. and S. Salina St. (Valley)
March 8 Rt. 257 (Fayette St.) and Rt. 173 (E. Seneca Tpk.), Manlius

Material Aid for Iraq
Recently SPC sent two Physician's Desk Reference books, and dental material and instruments to an Iraqi oral surgeon, who travels between Amman, Jordan (where he performs surgeries on Iraqis who are able to make the trip) and Iraq. The supplies were hand carried to Amman by a member of Voices for Creative Nonviolence.

We received an email from the surgeon thanking us, but with tragic news. He had been communicating with an assistant professor - "a man of honour" - at Iraq's main dental school, who was shot dead by a sniper while driving his car from the college to his home. The surgeon wrote, "We are losing our people on a daily basis…

" We are investigating how best to get money and supplies to Iraqis in need, either in Iraq or in Jordan. To learn more, contact Carol

BORDC Email Alert System
The Bill of Rights Defense Campaign of Central New York is pursuing one of Martin Luther King's teachings, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." To that end, we have set up an email alert system. We'll send alerts on civil liberties issues and developments, focusing on attacks on the Bill of Rights, domestic spying, and other related issues. Each alert will provide a brief summary of the issue and information about how to respond. No more than one alert will be sent each week, and the names and email addresses of people who receive them will be kept confidential.

To receive the alerts, contact John Brule at jbrule3@twcny.rr.com .
-John Brulé


SPC Meet-Ups to Continue
Want to hear in-person updates on SPC's work, meet others in your neighborhood interested in peace and social justice, share ideas and find out how to get involved? Come to the next SPC meetup: Tuesday, February 20, 6:45 pm at the Recess Café at 110 Harvard Place off Westcott Street. Contact Aly with questions or to RSVP.

SPC's Syracuse Stage Fundraiser March 10
On March 10 SPC will once again sponsor an afternoon fundraiser at Syracuse Stage. Since the tradition began several years ago, we have looked for productions that would be of special interest to our members.

This year we have chosen Gem of the Ocean by August Wilson, who is the most honored playwright in US history. His life's work is a 10-play cycle about African-American life, including such theatrical treasures as The Piano Lesson, Fences and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Each play in the cycle is set in a different decade of the twentieth century and explores African-American reality in the changing historical context.

Gem of the Ocean is the last play Wilson completed before his death, but the first chronologically in the cycle. It is set in the author's native Pittsburgh in 1904 and explores the themes of redemption, racial memory and the legacy of slavery in the last generation of survivors.

SPC has reserved a block of seats for Gem of the Ocean on Saturday, March 10, 2007. The show is at 3 pm and will be followed by a reception for Peace Council ticket holders. Tickets are just $28 per person for the play and reception, and can be reserved with Barb Kobritz at 476-1588. We hope you can join us!
-Barb Kobritz

Katie Nadieu on the shore of Onondaga Lake for the Environmental Racism tour which she coordinated in Syracuse, September 25, 2006.
Photo: Carol Baum

 

Activist Appreciation: Katie Nadeau
Our appreciation this month goes to Katie Nadeau, who has done great work in the community and just moved to Albany.

Katie came to Syracuse to do public relations work for the Onondaga Nation. She joined the steering committee of SPC's Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation, and provided insight, up-to-the-moment information and humor, often writing articles at a moment's notice. A whirlwind of organizing energy, she coordinated the Syracuse leg of the fall Environmental Justice Tour, highlighting the Midland Ave. sewage treatment plant and Onondaga Lake. Syracuse's loss is Albany's gain - she's now working with Environmental Advocates of New York. Katie, we wish you the best.

Celebrate Spring at the Strike For Peace Bowlathon
Once again April 1 (Sunday) will be a day for fun and foolishness at Bowlmor Lanes in East Syracuse. Form your teams (four to six people) early so you can begin soliciting pledges to support SPC. There will be prizes for best costumes, biggest age spread on a team and more.

Similar to last year, there will be two sessions, one at 12:30 pm and one at 3 pm. Cost for shoes and two games is $10 for kids and $15 for adults. The registration deadline is March 19. Places fill up fast, so register and send your money in soon to reserve a lane.

More information and registration forms are at www.peacecouncil.net/bowl. Call 471-0269 if you have questions or need help getting a form.
-Joan Conley

Get Involved with NOON
Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation (NOON) held a well-attended general information meeting January 16. Professor Phil Arnold of Syracuse University's Religion Department spoke on the Van Schiack and Sullivan/Clinton military campaigns of 1779. These campaigns were a concerted effort by the US to destroy the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Fortunately the campaigns failed, but not without creating great suffering.

A brief history of NOON followed, noting roots that go back to the 1960s with people from SPC, the United Nations Association, the American Friends Service Committee and others. Precursor groups to NOON offered assistance to the Onondaga Nation during various difficult times. NOON itself came to be in 2000, becoming much more active after the Onondagas filed their land rights action.

In late January, the purchase agreement was finalized for the building which will become the Syracuse Center for Peace and Social Justice at 2013 E. Genesee St. (just east of Westcott St.).

The Center's Board of Directors is working on the many details to prepare for the closing. Planning is also underway for renovations to customize the building for the various organizations to be housed there and to turn it into an ecologically-friendly "Green Building."

The Center's plans call for the American Friends Service Committee and Peace Action to remain on the first floor. The Center has invited SPC to occupy the second floor, which offers ample office space along with a comfortable lounge and meeting area. The Peace Council is expected to move in the spring after renovations have been completed.

The capital campaign to raise the $307,000+ needed for the full project continues. In addition to individual solicitations, work is beginning on proposals for foundation funding.

To make a donation or learn more, see www.alliance4peace.org or call (315) 478-4571. -Karen Hall

 

NOON supports the sovereignty of the Onondaga Nation's traditional government and their Land Rights Action, joining in their call for justice, reconciliation and healing. There are various projects people can get involved in such as writing letters to the editor, information tabling, setting up presentations, helping to educate lawmakers on relevant issues and organizing educational events. To help, contact Carol or Andy.
-Candee Wadsworth

Bookkeeper Changes at SPC Bookkeeping at SPC has been transformed over the last ten years. First there was Duane Hardy, who kept meticulous handwritten records. Then Karen Hall put SPC's finances onto the computer. Then came Bob Kehoe, who for the last year and a half diligently continued to upgrade our financial record-keeping. Now we welcome the tag team of Chris Riley and Nina Wickett. Due to previous commitments, Nina can't start until May. We are immensely grateful that Chris volunteered to fill in until then. Chris, SPC Finance Committee member and former operations manager of the Syracuse Cooperative Federal Credit Union, brings considerable expertise to the job. Thank you, Chris for what you are doing, and to all the previous bookkeepers for what you have done.