Peace Council Pages
Educate, Agitate, Organize
SPC IN ACTION
compiled by Carol Baum
Syracuse Peace Council
Japanís Nuclear Nightmare
The devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11 was quickly followed by the largest nuclear accident since Three Mile Island (1979). SPC joined with other antinuclear activists (Citizens Awareness Network, Peace Action of CNY, Iroquois Chapter of the Sierra Club) on March 17 to express our sympathies for the people of Japan and to call for renewed opposition to nuclear power. As we go to print, we continue to hold out hope that Japanese workers may yet prevent a catastrophic full-scale meltdown.
|Hundreds of people came out to support workers’ rights at the Wisconsin Solidarity Rally, held on March 3 at the now closed Syracuse China factory. Photo: Ursula Rozum|
There is little grassroots activists can do to stop unfolding events at the Fukushima site, but much we can do to prevent such an accident from occurring elsewhere. With this undeniable example of the risks of nuclear power, activists have stepped in to pressure and guide elected officials. Already NYS Governor Cuomo has called for the shut down of Indian Point 1. Located on two fault lines and just 24 miles from NYC, it has been deemed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to be the reactor most susceptible to earthquake damage. Obama has called on the NRC to conduct a full safety review of all US reactors. Ongoing grassroots activism will be necessary to be sure the lessons of Japan are given more than lip service. To learn more about local efforts or to request a speaker on this topic, contact Jessica.
From Hiroshima to Fukushima: Educating for Peace and Nuclear Sanity
When we decided to educate year round for Hiroshima and Nagasaki Days in August, we didn’t realize how important this decision would be following the tragedies in Japan.
Since our February training on facilitating children’s peace workshops, we’ve recruited volunteers at OCC, held a workshop at St. Lucy’s, and participated with Liverpool Library’s effort to collect 1000 cranes to send with Diane Lansing to Hiroshima. Her trip was postponed when the earthquake and nuclear disaster hit. The library continues to collect and display origami cranes. We are collaborating in discussions of how to support both education and fundraising efforts for Japan.
We are seeking additional trainers for children’s workshops. Anyone interested should contact Terry (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Carol at SPC.
Wisconsin Support Rally
On March 3, hundreds of people rallied at the former Syracuse China factory in Lyncourt in solidarity with workers in Wisconsin. The rally was organized by labor and community activists (including SPC). The local organizing group will continue to respond to attacks on public workers in NYS and to resist Governor Cuomo’s proposed budget cuts to public services in Syracuse. Another rally will be held on April 4 at 5:30 pm at MLK School in Syracuse.
To get involved, contact Ursula.
Ground the Drones: April 21-22 in Syracuse
SPCs Monthly Program
Confronting War with Peace:
The Peace Community of San José de Apartadó
Wednesday, APRIL 13, 7pm
ArtRage Gallery, 505 Hawley Ave.
In the midst of Colombia’s civil war, 800 small farmers claimed their territory as a neutral civilian community, refusing to cooperate with any armed groups –military, paramilitary or guerrilla. Thus began the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó in 1997.
Hear founding community member and legal representative Jesús Emilio Tuberquia, currently on a speaking tour sponsored by Peace Brigades International and Fellowship of Reconiliation.
Refreshments and discussion follow.
The events begin on Thursday, April 21 with a potluck dinner at St. Lucy’s gym (432 Gifford St.)at 6 pm, followed at 7 pm by a talk by Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, who will have just returned from Afghanistan.
Friday, April 22 starts at 9 am with a walk from the Federal Building in downtown Syracuse to ArtRage Gallery (505 Hawley Ave.) at 11am for a light lunch and speaker. Leaving ArtRage at 12:30 pm, we’ll walk to Hancock Air Base for a 3 pm rally and speakers, or you can meet us there – park on Moore or Falso Streets. Feel free join in at any time. Contact Carol.
Help needed – we would like to provide beds and breakfast for our out-of-town guests. If you can help, please contact Carol.
See article for more information on the drones at Hancock.
Demonstrate in NYC April 9
The United National AntiWar Committee (UNAC) is organizing a “Brings the Troops Home NOW, Stop the Wars at Home and Abroad” march and rally in NYC on Saturday, April 9 at noon, starting at Union Square (14 St. and Broadway).
SPC is is working with Rochester Against War to organize a bus to NYC. The expected price is sliding scale $40-60 (the actual price per person is $50), with some partial scholarships available. We will leave in the wee hours of the morning of the 9th and return late that night. Contact Carol.
UNAC is a loose affiliation of groups founded at a conference of 800 people (which SPC people attended) in 2010.
An Evening with Noam Chomsky
The Peace Council is delighted to present An Evening with Noam Chomsky on Wednesday, May 11 at 7 pm at Nottingham High School, 3100 E. Genesee St.
Called by The New York Times “arguably the most important intellectual alive,” Noam is a prolific writer and speaker on US foreign policy. For more than five decades his pointed political analysis has supported and educated movements for peace and social justice here and around the world.
Tickets are available now or at the door, $5-15 sliding scale. Don’t miss it.
Marking 8 Years of Occupation
SPC and the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition co-sponsored a rally at the Federal Building on Friday, March 18 to protest the start of the ninth year of the US occupation of Iraq. About 30 people attended. Then on March 19, twenty people held signs on Erie Blvd. in the rhyming Burma Shave sign tradition: March 19, 2003/ Eight years back/ We’re still there/ Get out of Iraq!
To get involved with SPC’s Anti-wars Committee, contact Carol.
Youth and Militarism
SPC intern Hannah Dean-Wood has spent many hours on the phone scheduling informational tables at nearby rural schools. If you would like to be trained to help staff these tables, contact Andy or Jessica. This year’s Art for Peace contest, organized by interns Elisabeth Hess and Samantha Salvato, asks Syracuse High School students to create a poster or write a poem reflecting the theme “Creating a Community of Understanding.” This theme encourages students to consider diversity, identity, self-expression and tolerance. Entries, due on April 8, have the following requirements: posters must be on 11” x 17” white paper and poems must be typed and less than 50 lines. The winners of the contest choose from a variety of prizes and their work will be published in the PNL. The contest will conclude with a reception on April 26 at 6:30 pm at the ArtRage Gallery, where the winning entries will be displayed.
Do Some Radical Reading
The Radical Reading Group is currently reading Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet by climate scientist and founder of 350.org Bill McKibben. We are also reading essays from The Revolution Will Not Be Funded, a radical analysis of the non-profit industrial complex. Earth is available through the Onondaga County library system; the essays can be obtained by contacting Ursula. We welcome new folks to join us for discussions at 7 pm on April 12 at 300 Berkeley Dr., Syracuse.
|Rally marking the beginning of the ninth year of the US occupation of Iraq. Photo: Carol Baum|
Come May, the Peace Outreach will expand to include every Tuesday and Saturday. Contact Carol.
On March 25, SPC kicked off a new Friday night tradition on the ground floor of the Center for Peace and Social Justice. About 40 activists and self-identified lefties came together to foster the “social” part of our social movement. We were inspired by YouTube clips of flashmobs and radical cheerleaders. We’ll be doing it again on April 29, so if you like hanging out sans agenda with other politically minded people, come on down!
An ESF graduate student is in the process of completing a map of National Grid’s substations and other properties in Syracuse. The Public Power Coalition initiated this research to assist with the development of a financial analysis for the creation of a municipal utility in the city of Syracuse. We also continue to meet with Andy Maxwell, city director of planning and sustainability, and with Common Councilors to educate them on Public Power. Our next meeting is Thursday, April 7 at 7:30 pm at the Syracuse Center for Peace and Social Justice.
|Nancy Hallock’s teams, the “UU Snowballers/UU Wrecking Balls” won one of the coveted team spirit awards at SPC’s Strike for Peace Bowlathon. Nancy is wearing a big floppy hat, farthest to the right. Photo: Carol Baum|
Activist Appreciation: Nancy Hallock
Nancy Hallock started her active involvement with SPC through joining our study group seven years ago. A Central Square resident working in Syracuse, she would stay in town after work to open up the building and set up our meeting space. In her quiet way, she became a backbone of the study group.
Since then Nancy has helped organize Birthday Dinners and can be counted on to help out with other projects as they come up. She’s participated on several Bowlathon Committees and for the last year has been the Peace Newsletter mailing party coordinator (come to a mailing party and meet her!).
Thanks, Nancy, for your dedication, willingness to take on tasks, and your impeccable reliability and follow through.
NOON Prepares for Spring
Over a dozen veteran and new NOON activists gathered for NOON’s Advocacy discussion in March. The NOON Steering Committee will continue the deliberations in early April.
On the environmental front, NOON is supporting the statewide Rally/Lobby Day to stop hydrofracking on Monday, April 11 in Albany. See citizenscampaign.org/hfrac for registration and transportation information. NOON is also partnering with the Onondaga Environmental Institute to offer educational presentations on “The Past, Present and Future of Onondaga Lake.” To schedule, a presentation, contact Andy. See "Learn More" for a full report on the recently-completed Onondaga Land Rights & Our Common Future speakers series. To get involved, contact Andy.
Bikes for Peace Spring Meeting
It’s time to bike over to the SPC office to kick off this season’s Bikes 4 Peace program. We’ll have a general interest meeting for past and new activists on Wednesday April 27 at 5:30 pm. Meet us at the picnic table on the front lawn at the Syracuse Center for Peace and Social Justice. We’ll give an overview of the program and you can sign up for this year’s free training, once again offered by Steve and Sara at our neighborhood bike shop, Mello Velo (date TBA). Last year Bikes 4 Peace organized six free clinics, working with over 60 youth
to fix their bikes and recycle donated bikes. In order to participate in the free training, we’ll ask you to commit to helping at two of this year’s summer clinics. Contact Jessica or Ursula with any questions.
Will Winds of Change Reach Israel and Palestine?
On March 30, we will commemorate Land Day, a day of Palestinian protest against Israel’s discriminatory policies toward its one million Palestinian citizens. We’ll show the video “...until when,” an in-depth portrait of Palestinian lives under occupation at 7 pm at ArtRage, 505 Hawley Ave.
Plans are being made for the second local Nakba Commemoration on Sunday, May 15 to mark the massive dispossession of Palestinians that accompanied the founding of the State of Israel. Contact Andy.
Join a 75th Anniversary Committee
In the works to celebrate SPC’s 75th Anniversary are three exciting events. The ideas are there—all we need now are people to help make them happen. Contact Andy if you’d like to join a committee or help in some other way:
• An Evening with Noam Chomsky – May 11. Work has begun; we could use a few more people to help organize, as well as do things the day of the event.
• SPC’s 75th Birthday Dinner featuring an appearance by the Yes Men – this fall. Details with the Yes Men are being finalized; help is needed to find a venue. Serious work will start in the late summer and early fall.
• 75th Anniversary Music CD – a committee is forming now to create a CD of political music by local artists.
United As One Continues Work for Jail Accountability
This new coalition that SPC joined in the fall continues to meet with county and jail officials to advocate for transparency as Onondaga County implements a new contract to privatize medical care at the jail. Thanks to John Brulé, who represented SPC at a meeting with the County Executive. Coalition members also supported a rally on March 23 outside of the local Immigration and Customs Enforcement office calling for them to drop deportation charges against community activist and legal permanent resident Juan Mejia. Thanks to Richard Vallejo who represents SPC at United as One Coalition meetings.
Bowling for SPC
|Remember Hank Strunk??|
Memories, photos, recollections sought of Hank Strunk’s life and activism for book project. Hank was a cofounder of Common Place Land Trust and an active Peace Council member from the early 1980s until his untimely death in 1995. He always sought new and creative ways to reach people and build the movement.
Send information and suggestions for contacts to: Win Skeele,
SPC’s Bowlathon was a striking success. This year we had 54 teams, with 246 bowlers. The spirit, costumes, team names and enthusiasm were outstanding! Best team name awards went to “The Egyptian Solidarity Bowling Alliance and Lovers of Ices” and “General Strike,” and team spirit awards went to the “UU Snowballers/UU Wrecking Balls” and “Vera House: On The Frontline.”
Not only was it fun, but a moneymaker too, netting SPC about $3700. Special thanks to people who collected pledges and to the fourteen teams who joined the Team Pledging Hall of Fame (for collecting $75+ in pledges as a team).
Great thanks go to the organizing committee: Carol Baum, Jane Garlow, Nancy Hallock, Rae Kramer and Wendy Yost and to our interns Hannah Dean-Wood and Carol Halter.
ACTS Spring Banquet
The Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse (ACTS) is holding its spring banquet Thursday, April 28. The theme is “Planting Seeds of Hope,” featuring Rev. David Bigsby, a community organizer and pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church in Chicago. SPC is one of more than forty local member organizations of ACTS. The banquet is ACTS’ primary fundraiser of the year. Help the Peace Council do its part as an ACTS member organization and consider attending. Tickets are $50. Contact Carol.