Peace Council Pages
Educate, Agitate, Organize
SPC IN ACTION
compiled by Carol Baum
Syracuse Peace Council
Over 3,000 people came to Nottingham High School to be part of SPC’s 37th annual Plowshares Craftsfair and Winter Peace Festival. With the school transformed into a community marketplace, the fair hosted 132 craftspeople (including Marla Jones pictured above) and community groups for two days of commerce, grassroots style. Fairgoers enjoyed varied entertainment and tasty food, complementing the wide selection of interesting and handmade crafts. Adding to the fun (and fundraising for SPC), were more than 50 raffle prizes, 20 silent auction items, and a table filled with specially priced craft items donated by the artists. All this plus reunions with old friends and info about SPC’s ongoing peace and justice work...Plowshares was the place to be. Put the first weekend in December 2008 on your calendar now. We hope to see you there.
SPCs Monthly Program
Thursday, January 17, 7 pm
A presentation on resistance and solidarity between activists in the US and Colombia (see Dec. PNL articles by Colleen Kattau and Laura MacDonald).
Free and open to the public.
Supporting the IVAW’s Winter Soldier Project
The Local Cost of the War Committee (LCW) recently held a strategy meeting with CNY/Fort Drum members of Iraq Veterans Against the War. They asked us to support their Winter Soldier Project, scheduled for March 13-16. US veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as Iraqi and Afghan survivors, will gather in Washington, DC to share their experiences in a public investigation called Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan. Winter Soldiers, according to Thomas Paine, are those who stand up for the soul of their country, even in its darkest hours (see ivaw.org/wintersoldier).
Other LCW upcoming plans include: workshops and skill shares; an anti-war protest on the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq; a material aid campaign; an Iran emergency response; and coming up with a new name. Upcoming meetings are Wednesday January 9 and 23 at 7 pm. Please join in. Contact Carol or Jessica for location.
Stand Against War on New Year’s Eve
What better way for peace/anti-war activists to end the old year and begin the new…Join SPC and Peace Action on New Year’s Eve to demonstrate our ever-strengthening determination to end the US occupation of Iraq. We’ll vigil at Clinton Square from 5 to 6 pm; heat-producing activities (such as a march to the Federal Building) can be arranged.
SPC To Move in January (or February)
One of the top questions asked of SPC staff lately has been “Where are you located now? Have you moved yet?” The SPC office continues to be at 924 Burnet Ave., but we expect to move in January or February.
Since 924 is still not yet sold, our plan is to move in two stages. First we’ll move the staff and everything needed for day-to-day work. Then we’ll move everything else (archives, old posters, Hiroshima Day props, etc). Who is this “we” doing the grunt work? Anyone who can carry a box or share their truck or van! If you can help, contact Carol.
Witness Against Torture: January 11
Friday, January 11 marks 6 years since the first prisoners were brought to Guantánamo. There will be a demonstration in Washington, DC; SPC will hold a support vigil in Syracuse in front of the WSYR radio offices (500 Plum St., Syracuse) from 1:30 - 2:15 pm. Come help us hold the media accountable for giving credibility to torture. See witnesstorture.org/node or contact SPC for more information.
New Year – New Opportunity to Fight (nonviolently) for Peace and Justice
Come to our next Volunteer/Activist Orientation on Tuesday, January 15 at 7 pm at the SPC office (still at 924 Burnet Ave.). We have succeeded in winning the people over; now it’s time to escalate the pressure on Congress to stop funding the war in Iraq and prevent a war with Iran. Come and be part of the solution. Find out about the many other ways you can contribute to SPC’s work. We need your skill, talent, and any time you can spare. To get involved, contact Aly.
Steering Committee Comings and Goings
After serving three years on SPC’s Steering Committee, Shirley Novak is rotating off. While her energy there will be missed, we’re thrilled that she has offered to continue serving on our newly formed membership committee. Joining our Steering Committee in 2008 are Khadija Mehter, currently finishing an internship with the Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse (see article), and Sera Brown, a local community organizer involved with the Syracuse Solidarity Network (see article). Both bring toSPC connections to new communities, organizing skills, and creative energy.
SPC welcomed a new Americorps VISTA volunteer at the end of November. Beverly Springer will work for the next year primarily with the Military Alternatives Education Project. Her main work will be volunteer recruitment, youth empowerment and outreach, developing non-traditional career and educational resources, and assisting with general SPC development and networking. Beverly’s enthusiasm and energy were a very welcomed addition during our hectic December organizing.
|Michele (center) setting up food at an IVAW picnic this summer. Photo: Carol Baum|
Activist Appreciation – Michelle Feak
Michele started coming to the weekly peace outreach when her son received orders for his second tour to Iraq. She showed up on a frigid day in February, reasoning that if her son had to be on patrol in 130 degree heat, she would work equally hard for peace.
Since those days Michele has become a mainstay of SPC’s Local Cost of the War Committee and a great supporter of Iraq Veterans Against the War, being the unofficial IVAW room mother for anyone who comes to Syracuse. Her love for the young men and women of IVAW and concern for all veterans has added to the moral underpinning of our anti-war work.
Michele is hospitality personified. She is always happy to provide food and housing, never forgetting that a movement is about people and their needs. She is a woman who stretches to try new things – speaking to groups, talking to the media, writing SPC’s most recent fund appeal letter.
Thank you Michele, for your kindness, perseverance, humor and courage!
Passing of a Peacemaker: Thank You Dick Mundy
Dick Mundy, a World War II conscientious objector and longtime peace activist, passed away on November 20. Active in the Syracuse Friends Meeting, Dick also sang with the Syracuse Community Choir and taught social work at Syracuse University for many years. His voice and gentle presence will be missed.
Strike for Peace Bowlathon
|Weekly Peace Outreach|
Snow or shine, the hearty peace outreach crew always welcomes new folks.
Thursdays, noon - 12:45 pm
3 Geddes St. and W. Genesee St. (Westside)
Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation (NOON) Update
At press time there was still no word about a ruling on the initial phase of the Onondaga Land Rights Action. Federal District Judge Kahn heard arguments on October 11 about whether the case should continue (New York State is pushing for dismissal).
In the coming months NOON will be developing a stronger Advocacy Campaign to complement our ongoing educational work. That effort recently received a boost with a $3,000 grant from the Cottonwood Foundation. NOON is always looking for more folks to help. Contact Andy.
Thanks to Sal
We really appreciate working with young people, including student interns. This fall, Salvatore Sciandra, an SU political science major, worked with NOON. Sal cheerfully handled tasks both interesting and mundane. Sal also engaged in many intense conversations in the office about US foreign policy, particularly related to Iran.
NOON will have two SU students working with us during the coming semester as part of a new “Community Fellows” program. We’d welcome additional student interns to work on other SPC projects – learn more at peacecouncil.net/vol.