Peace Council Pages
Educate, Agitate, Organize
SPC IN ACTION
compiled by Carol Baum
Syracuse Peace Council
Anti-Wars Activists Continue
to Be Busy
|Ursula Rozum participates in SPC’s tableau on drones, destruction and blowback in front of the main entrance to the NYS Fair. Photo: John C. Liau|
NYS Fair Outreach. For 12 straight days, SPC activists participated in a dramatic tableau just outside the main entrance of the Fair. “Our Tax Dollars Pay for Drones at Syracuse's Hancock Air Base: Destruction – Death – Blowback in Afghanistan,” was a theater piece in which the actors are completely still, and the message is told through costumes, props and signs. The tableau's “scenes” told the story of a drone attack – from the “pilot” at a computer console in the US, to dead civilians and the rubble of an Afghani home, to the “blowback” – a relative of a victim being recruited by Al-Qaeda. It generated a lot of interest and we distributed hundreds of leaflets. Thanks to primary organizers Rae Kramer and Ann Tiffany, to Peter Forbes for building the drone model, and to the 26 other people who participated.
In a joint SPC-Peace Action project, an electronic sign broadcasting information on the local cost of the war was mounted on a truck parked near the Fair’s entrance for six days. Thousands of people saw the sign. Thanks to Jerry Lotierzo and Maryann Zimmerman of Peace Action, Herm Bieling, Pat Carmelli and Broome County Peace Action (for loaning us the sign).
Parking Day. Five years ago, San Francisco artists took over a parking space for several hours, turning it into a park in order to reclaim some of the public space typically reserved for private vehicles. The idea spread, and Syracuse now has its own Parking Day.
SPC got wind of it and set up an educational display from 8am-5pm in a parking space in front of Varsity Pizza on Crouse Ave. We used props from the Fair tableau and the electronic sign, and handed out over 400 Peace Newsletters.
Thanks to Syracuse University’s COLAB for organizing this, and to all who helped with SPC’s space.
Weekly Peace Outreach
Join SPC’s visible on-the-streets inspiration to CNYers to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.. Contact Ed or Ann, 478-4571.
Tuesdays: 4:45 - 5:30 pm
Saturdays 9-10 am: Regional Market,
10.2.10 One Nation Rally. On Saturday, October 2,
hundreds of Syracuse residents will join hundreds of thousands of people from
all over the US in Washington, DC to demonstrate our re-commitment to change
– to reorder our national priorities so that people come first –
and hold our elected representatives accountable.
We will demonstrate for:
• Funding for healthcare, jobs and schools—not war
• An economy that works for everyone and jobs for all
• Renewable energy and green jobs
• Unity not division
SPC is one of 15 groups working together to organize this locally. The coalition plans to continue working together after the rally. Thanks to SEIU 1199 for taking the leadership on this and providing free bus seats.
Birthday Dinner a Success
Over 130 people turned out on September 25 to hear Ann Wright speak at SPC’s 74th annual birthday celebration. The food was excellent, Ann’s talk inspiring and the community energized. Thanks to the committee of Jessica Maxwell, Shirley Novak and Amelia Ramsey-Lefevre who organized the event, as well as to cooks Pam Gefell (menu coordinator), Magda Bayoumi, Paul Frazier, Terry Gavagan, Kimberley McCoy, Carole Resnick and Rose Viviano. Many others set up, cleaned up or hosted a table, helping to raise over $4,000 to support our work for peace and social justice. Ann also signed books at ArtRage Gallery the following afternoon and met with local antiwar activists – specifically to help us strategize. Her NYS tour was coordinated by the Rochester chapter of Military Families Speak Out.
Youth and Militarism
We are coming down from a busy summer of building connections with youth while gearing up for a new school year. Following up on a meeting with city school teachers in July, we are getting information out to all faculty about our monthly information tables (including information on how students can opt out); classroom presentations (on youth in social movements, the economics of violence and veterans’ first hand experiences of military service); the Art for Peace contest; workshops on nonviolent conflict resolution; and community service or internship opportunities.
To get involved co-staffing a table with one of our experienced organizers or making phone calls to schools to gather contact information and schedule classroom presentations, contact Andy or Jessica.
ACTS Public Action Meeting October 10
Last year’s Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse (ACTS) Public Action meeting drew 1200 people (and many politicians) to demand change on a variety of progressive issues. Mark your calendars for Sunday, October 10 at 4 pm at Hendricks Chapel (Syracuse University) for this year's meeting, which promises to be just as big.
ACTS is an interfaith, multi-racial, urban-suburban coalition of faith communities and community organizations. The ACTS issue teams – civil rights for immigrants; food access on the South Side; health care; economic development and jobs; and justice – will present what they have been working on, their successes, and what they’re asking of local politicians. With a great turnout, we will be in a better position to influence public officials.
As one of over 40 member groups, SPC has committed to bringing at least 25 people. Please contact Carol if you’re planning to come – the format is that we sit together as a group.
Join SPC’s Steering Committee
Anyone involved with SPC is welcome to consider joining SPC’s Steering Committee. The Steering Committee is responsible for SPC’s political direction and financial health. It meets once (occasionally twice) per month, and members are expected to serve on a subcommittee or project committee. Potential Steering Committee members need to have been involved in SPC in some other way first; joining the Steering Committee should not be one’s first introduction to the Peace Council.
If you would like to consider making this important and interesting contribution to SPC, contact carol
Bikes for Peace a Success at Acts Of
SPC’s Bikes for Peace project hosted a free bike clinic at St. Lucy’s as part of the Acts of Kindness events on September 11.
We worked with a steady stream of neighborhood youth and adults throughout the day. We sent at least six children and youth home with donated bikes that were fixed during the clinic, and repaired bikes for many others, finally finishing at almost 3pm – two hours after our scheduled end time. Many thanks to St. Lucy’s and Women Transcending Boundaries for organizing the day’s events and to our dedicated mechanics who put in a long and rewarding afternoon of work in the community. Bikes for Peace will have an evaluation and planning meeting in early October. Contact Jessica for details.
The PNL Hits 800 issues!
The January 2011 issue of the Peace Newsletter will be #800! In an especially nice coincidence, our 800th issue will also be the first PNL of our 75th anniversary year. A committee of newer and older activists will be formed to produce a special PNL. If you have suggestions of images or article topics, please contact Jessica.
Peace Council to Expand Staff
For the first time since 2003, the SPC staff is expanding. We plan to hire a fourth staff organizer to focus on strengthening our base of local activists. The new hire will participate in our staff collective, sharing administrative and office tasks. The position is 20 hours/week and will be funded for at least one year. To apply, send a cover letter, resume and application (available at our office or online) to firstname.lastname@example.org, our postal address or drop it off at our office.
|The talented Peter Forbes - he not only “piloted” the drone as an actor in SPC’s tableau, he built the model. Photo: Diana Cramer|
Activist Appreciation: Peter
Peter Forbes is an out-of-the-box kind of person. He is a sweet, gentle man who happens to be a brilliant artist/sculptor. He is always available for anti-war activism, and this year his art and politics came together. Peter built a scale model of a drone for the State Fair tableau – not a little model, but one with a six foot wingspan. And he built the boxes to carry it in. And he scavenged a tripod to put it on. And, wearing fatigues and sitting at a computer console, he became a drone “pilot” – for every single day of the Fair.
When Peter stops by SPC, you know you’re in for something interesting, be it an album of photos from the Parking Day installation, photos of his own sculptures or an idea he came up with.
Thanks, Peter, for sharing your artistic visions and sensibility with SPC.
SPC joins United as One for March on
An emerging coalition of organizations has come together under the name “United as One” to demand justice and accountability from our local jail and police. In addition to two community forums, the coalition organized a march from Kirk Park to the Justice Center on Saturday, September 4. SPC assisted with march organizing and participated along with the CNY chapter of the NYCLU, League of United Latin American Citizens, NAACP, National Action Network, International ANSWER coalition, Jail Ministry, Lighthouse of Love Ministries, Center for Community Alternatives and many others. Plans are moving forward on several other
|Over 100 people marched to demand accountability and real justice following two deaths at the “Justice” Center. Photo: Richard Vallejo|
initiatives. Contact Jessica for information on the coalition’s next meeting.
Outreach Tabling is Hopping
Early fall is a busy time for tabling.
SPC had a huge presence at the Westcott Street Cultural Fair this year. Four separate tables represented SPC – the Peace Council booth, NOON, Caribbean Latin America Coalition, and CNY Working for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel. With an encore presentation of the State Fair tableau, a large audience was exposed to our views and our work. We've also tabled at several smaller college events, and our high school tabling has just restarted.
Join the tabling team. Contact Amelia or Carol.
Paying for Peace
SPC’s Fundraising/Development Committee is working to raise the additional $14,800 needed for our new staff position. In addition to organizing special events to commemorate SPC’s 75th anniversary in 2011, much of that work will focus on making our existing fundraising more effective. Money continues to come in from the summer phonathon and we hope to raise over $8,000 (thank you!). If you made a pledge or received a phone message, we hope you’ll be generous. This small, but energetic committee welcomes new folks. .Contact Andy
Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation Update
Energy is building for an exciting fall with Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation. There are five programs scheduled as part of the Onondaga Land Rights & Our Common Future Series (see web page). We have a busy schedule of educational outreach tables, now coordinated by Mary Ronan. The effort to spare New York State the horrors of hydrofracking continues. The new Haudenosaunee Curriculum project has had two well-attended meetings to begin the long process of changing how the history of the Haudenosaunee and their present status as sovereign nations is presented in schools. Contact Andy.
Palestine-Israel Work Continues
CNY Working for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel supported and publicized the spectacular LeMoyne lecture by Norman Finkelstein. The overflow crowd heard a powerful and thoughtful analysis of the Israeli occupation and encouragement to engage in grassroots activism.
In August the group met with Rep. Dan Maffei, urging him to take a more active role in supporting a just peace. In an early September meeting, we encouraged the Post Standard editorial board to confront the growing Islamophobia in our nation and its impact on the Palestine/Israel conflict.
On Friday, November 5, come hear Palestinian farmer and activist Daoud Nasser speak at 7 pm at University United Methodist Church, 1085 E. Genesee St. Nasser founded the Tent of Nations to promote reconciliation. As an act of nonviolent resistance, Nasser refuses to sell his family farm near Bethlehem, despite the ongoing encroachment of Israeli settlements. Contact Andy.
Hiroshima Committee to Meet in October
The Hiroshima Day Committee–an SPC-Peace Action collaboration – has decided to become a year-round project. This past summer we organized Sadako/paper crane making workshops for children, an Interfaith Sharing and the Hiroshima Day Procession. We realized that our organizing would be more effective with greater lead time.
Our next meeting is Wednesday, October 6 at 7:30 at the Syracuse Center for Peace and Social Justice (2013 E. Genesee St.) first floor conference room. Please join us. Contact Carol.
Where Have All the Interns Gone?
NOON bids farewell to our first full-year intern Erin O’Neill, who is moving on to an environmental job in Connecticut. Erin worked on a variety of NOON projects, particularly outreach tabling, hydrofracking and the Onondaga Land Rights series. We welcome SU student Michael Contino who will be working on environmental issues with NOON. We’ve had surprisingly little interest from interns this semester, but it’s not too late. Contact Carol.