Peace Council Pages
Educate, Agitate, Organize
SPC IN ACTION
compiled by Andy Mager
Syracuse Peace Council
Get out and enjoy our lovely spring and help raise consciousness! Contact Ed or Ann, 478-4571.
Also every Saturday 9-10 am on Park St. across from the Regional Market
Protesting the Reaper Drones in Our Midst
On Sunday, April 25, about 80 people from Upstate New York came to Syracuse to speak out against war and protest the reaper drones. Folks from Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Ithaca, Rochester, Staten Island and Utica joined Syracusans in a three-mile solemn march to Hancock Air National Guard Base (reaper drones are “piloted” from the base, which is also a drone maintenance center). Afterwards, about 40 people gathered at ArtRage for food and a regional organizing meeting.
Throughout the event, we collected signatures on a letter to Governor Patterson, urging him to “expel the criminal Reaper form our midst…to restore our Air Reserve to its legitimate role: protecting – not risking and shaming – the people of New York.”
Thanks to SPC’s NO War, NO Occupation, NO Empire committee, for organizing this – Ed Kinane, Rae Kramer, Katherine Raymond, Peter Sinatra, Ann Tiffany and Carol Baum and to Jerry Lotierzo from Peace Action. Please join us. Contact Carol.
Gearing Up with Mello Velo
Bikes for Peace will hold its annual volunteer training on Wednesday, May 19. We have a new format this year – we’ll meet from 6-6:45 pm at Recess Café (110 Havard Pl.) for an overview of the project. We’ll then head to the new Westcott bike shop (556 Westcott St.), Mello Velo, whose owners will review common bike repairs (flat tires, rusty chains, replacing brake pads, etc.) and share some tips. We ask volunteers to commit to work at two or more “clinics” during the summer in exchange for the free tutorial. In addition to aspiring mechanics, we also welcome artists to assist with promotion and signs, and outgoing adults to staff our sign-in table. This year’s clinic dates and locations are TBA. Contact Jessica.
Youth for Peace
We’ve received over 20 posters and 40 poems from city high school students in response to our call for Art for Peace! We shared these works with the larger community through an event and exhibit at the ArtRage Gallery on Thursday, April 29. We will also feature some of the work in an upcoming issue of the Peace Newsletter. We are in the process of scheduling tabling dates at Hannibal High School – our first rural school – and have also begun distributing counter-recruitment displays with information brochures to local schools and community centers.
We are also working with the Youth Taskforce of the Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse (ACTS) to build relationships with local church groups and other community organizations. We would warmly welcome help in scheduling and leading presentations as well as staffing tables at high schools. Contact Jessica.
|Oren Lyons, Phil Arnold, Roy Simmons, Jr. and Jim Ridlon spoke about the Haudenosaunee Roots of Lacrosse to nearly 600 people at Syracuse Stage (April 5) as part of the Onondaga Land Rights & Our Common Future series. Photo: Elisa Iribarne|
April a Packed Month for Onondaga Land Rights Series
Nearly 600 people packed Syracuse Stage for a groundbreaking historical presentation about the Haudenosaunee roots of lacrosse on April 5, in the first of three Onondaga Land Rights series programs for the month. On April 19, the Onondaga Nation unveiled their Vision for the Future of Onondaga Lake, calling on the larger community to truly clean this critical community resource (the document is available on our website). As the PNL goes to press, “Sacred Waters II: The Danger of Hydrofracking” is underway. Join us on Monday, May 24 at 7 pm at Syracuse Stage to hear Onondaga activist Jeanne Shenandoah and Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation director Sally Roesch Wagner discuss “The Influence of Haudenosaunee Women.” For full details on past and upcoming events, see peacecouncil.net/noon.
NOON Music Benefit
NOON (Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation) continues to be busy on many fronts. Join us for some great music on Tuesday, May 4 at the Palace Theater, 2384 James St., $8-$25 sliding scale. Doors open at 7 pm and the music starts at 8 with local modern fusion band Sophistafunk and Ithaca’s Thousands of One whose Afro-Hiphop-Funk-Soul groove has been widely acclaimed. NOON’s biannual potluck with Onondaga leaders is also set for early May. See peacecouncil.net/noon for details. Contact Andy.
|Ursula Rozum, aka Super Woman, leads anti-drone chants in front of Hancock Air Field on November 15, 2009. Photo: Kimberley McCoy|
Activist Appreciation: Ursula Rozum
Ursula is a whiz of energy and creativity, bringing fun, strong analysis and good spirit to everything she does. A dedicated cyclist, she’s become a mainstay of SPC’s Bikes 4 Peace project. Last fall she joined SPC’s Steering Committee and seems to be always ready to work (and play) when needed. She is an ace outreach tabler, has organized sign making parties and just finished coordinating the special section on Latin America in this month’s PNL (and writing an article). Salsa dancer extraordinaire, Ursula organized a fundraising salsa dance party for the Caribbean/Latin America Coalition (with another Solidarity Salsa coming up Saturday, May 8 – see calendar). Thanks, Ursula!
Maffei Taking a Stand on Afghanistan…Sort of
After persistent followup and several delays, SPC and Peace Action representatives met with Rep. Dan Maffei on April 2 to discuss the US occupation of Afghanistan. After thanking Rep. Maffei for his vote in favor of the recent Kucinich resolution to end the US occupation, we encouraged him to also take a stand against funding the war. While he made no promises, we will continue to follow up as specific bills are introduced. Congress has the power to end US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq by choosing not to provide additional funding. Please watch for the supplemental funding request and look for our alerts to urge Congressman Maffei to take the next step and defund the war.
Spring Appeal on the Way
Look for SPC’s spring fund appeal in your mailbox before mid May. Despite the difficult economic times, we hope you’ll be generous. The summer is a very slow time for fundraising, so if you contribute now we’ll be able to focus more energy on activist work over the summer and won’t call you as part of the Phonathon in late July. If you aren’t a subscriber, please see peacecouncil.net/donate to contribute. Contact Andy.
|SPC salutes the bold Syracuse University students challenging the decision to invite JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon as their commencement speaker. We’ve offered support and encouragement as they’ve sought to reverse this step which so deeply contradicts SU’s “Insights Incite Change” slogan. See peacecouncil.net/dimon for more. Photo: Leslie Feinberg|
Learning from Palestinians
On April 13, CNY Working for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel hosted a lunchtime talk by Fakhira Halloun and Zain Abu-Qasem, two eloquent and courageous Palestinian women. Fakhira is a Palestinian Israeli who has worked for years on dialogue between Palestinians and Jews, while struggling to forge a stronger Palestinian identity. She spoke of her efforts to work in liberal Jewish organizations which operate in ways that unconsciously ignore the Palestinian historical experience. Zaib spoke about the terror she felt living in her native Gaza during the January ’09 Israeli assault. Nevertheless, she emerged even more determined to engage in nonviolent direct conversation with Israelis. We salute their spirit. Join our group, as we struggle to create such a spirit in Syracuse. Contact Ann, 478-4571.
PNL Special Sections
This month’s PNL includes a special section (pp. 7-13) coordinated by our partner organization, the Caribbean/Latin America Coalition (CLAC). In June look for a special section on Hydrofracking, coordinated by the hydrofracking subcommittee of Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation.
The PNL offers special sections of 5-7 pages to groups closely allied with SPC, including SPC working groups, other organizations, or SPC activists who want to cover a special topic. Contact Carol.
SPCs Monthly Program
Remembering the Nakba: Stories of the 1947-48 Palestinian Catastrophe
Sunday, May 16, 4-6 pm
Come hear local Palestinian-Americans share their stories to put a local, human face on this overlooked series of events which resulted in the displacement of some 700,000 Palestinians, massacres of civilians and the destruction of hundreds of Palestinian villages. In the US it’s commonly celebrated as Israeli Independence Day. Sponsored by CNY Working for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel. Light Middle Eastern food will be served. Pat, 546-4514.
EPA Environmental Quality Award Goes to Local Groups
This past November, after 20 contentious years, the US district court approved a combined sewer overflow (CSO) plan allowing Onondaga County to use storage and green infrastructure instead of building outdated, unhealthy chlorination/swirler sewage plants. This ruling results from the hard work of three entities: Atlantic States Legal Foundation, the Partnership for Onondaga Creek (POC), and the Onondaga Nation, as well as Onondaga County Executive Joanne Mahoney.
Recently they were collectively awarded the EPA’s Environmental Quality Award. Through the years SPC has worked as an ally, especially to the POC and the Onondaga Nation. We congratulate them on a hard-earned, well-deserved honor.
Nuclear Power: Exposing the Lies
Massachusetts antinuclear activist Randy Kehler’s speaking tour in CNY provided an opportunity to engage the Post-Standard editorial board in a dialogue on nuclear power. Randy’s compelling information regarding Entergy corporation’s recently publicized lies and mismanagement of the Vermont Yankee power plant provided local activists Diane Swords and Jessica Maxwell with the perfect opportunity to question Entergy’s practices in NYS, where it owns the Fitzpatrick reactor near Oswego and the Indian Point reactors downstate. Post-Standard editors Fred Fiske and Paul Reide listened attentively, asked questions and engaged in a lively discussion. We hope such efforts will create more critical debate of nuclear power in CNY. Contact Jessica.
Colleen Kattau heading to Venezuela
Central New York's favorite bi-lingual chanteuse, Colleen Kattau, will be representing the CNY SOA Abolitionists at an international "Encuentro" of anti-School of the Americas activists from the US and throughout Latin America for five days in late June in Venezuela.
Colleen – with the late Jolie Christine Rickman – produced "Sing It Down," a CD calling for the closing of the SOA. A longtime Latin America solidarity activist, every November Colleen sings on stage at the Close the SOA convergence at Ft. Benning, Georgia.
Plowshares Craftsfair Application Deadline Approaching
Yes, it’s only spring, but applications are now available for the 40th Annual Plowshares Craftsfair & Winter Peace Festival. Scheduled for December 4-5, 2010 at Nottingham High School, the application deadline is Monday, May 17 for both craftspeople and community groups. Applications received after the deadline will be placed on a waiting list. Download an application at peacecouncil.net/plowshares or have one sent from our office, 472-5478.