Peace Council Pages
Educate, Agitate, Organize
SPC IN ACTION
compiled by Carol Baum
Syracuse Peace Council
|Noam Chomsky responds to audience questions as SPC staff organizer Jessica Maxwell facilitates. Photo: Xue Wang|
Noam Rocks Syracuse
When we booked the Nottingham High School auditorium for Noam Chomsky’s talk we never imagined that we’d have to turn people away. That’s exactly what happened as nearly 1300 people jammed the 1150 seat space to hear the words of the most quoted writer alive today (according to Wikipedia). The tremendous turnout and thirst to hear Noam are powerful signals that our community desires thoughtful, radical analysis.
Noam offered an insightful overview of US policies around the world and responded to wide-ranging questions. Hundreds of people new to SPC came and we’re working hard to get many of them involved and supporting our ongoing organizing work. For a full report on the event, including video and photos, see peacecouncil.net.
Marking the Nakba, Working for Justice
CNY Working for a Just Peace in Palestine & Israel drew nearly 60 people on May 15 to a second annual Nakba Commemoration. Three featured speakers, Shaw Dallal, Ahmad El Hindi and Dana Olwan, shared their personal/family experiences with the Nakba and reflections on finding a just solution to the conflict. The recent unity agreement between Fatah and Hamas as well as the “Arab Spring” have each bolstered the Palestinian cause.
At presstime, several members of CNY Working were in DC to participate in a conference and actions as part of the national “Move Over AIPAC” (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) effort. We are part of a growing movement which will ultimately force the US government to cease supporting Israeli occupation and begin supporting justice. Contact Andy.
SPCs Monthly Program
Poetry/Spoken Word for Peace
Wednesday, June 15, 7 PM
Thornden Park Amphitheater
Come share your words (or those of a favorite poet) and listen to readings by a wide range of local artists, including Jack Brown.Sponsored by Syracuse Peace Council, www.peacecouncil.net or 472-5478.
Update: Civil Resistance at Hancock Air Base
Thirty-eight people from throughout Upstate NY and beyond were arrested on April 22 at the Ground the Drones – End the Wars action at Hancock Air National Guard Base in Mattydale. They held a die-in on the drive entering the base, symbolizing the hundreds of civilians who have died from drone attacks. They were charged with obstruction of governmental administration and disorderly conduct. We expect that there will be one or more trials and will hold educational events in conjunction with them. We will keep you updated as they go through the process.
The action was part of a weeklong series of events organized by SPC and other groups, primarily from Binghamton, Buffalo, Ithaca, Rochester and Utica. Formerly housing F-16 fighter jets, the base has become an important player in the military’s increasing use of robots in warfare. Pilots stationed at the base fly Reaper drones remotely over Afghanistan; the base is a national training center for Reaper maintenance; and it is preparing to become a training center for drone pilots and sensor operators as well.
Nick Mottern wrote an excellent article on the civil resistance for Truthout.org. There is a link to it from SPC’s website.
To get involved with anti-drones organizing or trial support, contact Carol at SPC or Ed at 478-4571.
Salt City DISHES about Bike 4 Peace
SPC’s summer bike program will be the second recipient of a $1,000 Salt City DISHES grant to encourage community happenings in Syracuse. We’re busy finalizing a supply order, purchasing helmets to distribute, and getting T-shirts made for our mechanics. On May 16 and 23, Westcott bike shop Mello Velo hosted training sessions for our team of volunteer mechanics. This summer’s free clinics for youth will be held on Wednesdsays from 5-7 pm. We kick off our season at the Northeast Community Center on June 15 and 22. We’ll be at the Spanish Action League on July 6 and 13 and at Lexington Park on August 3 and 10. We’re currently looking into adding a Southside site on August 24 and 31.
If you’d like to donate a gently used bike that needs minor repairs, contact Jessica or Ursula. To learn more about DISHES, visit www.saltcitydishes.blogspot.com or for photos of the DISHES event and our presentation, visit www.eaglenewsonline.com and look for their May 3rd article on it.
Move the Money
SPC is joining dozens of antiwar groups nationwide in a renewed focus on shifting federal funding from the military to community needs (education, healthcare, infrastructure, jobs, etc.) and reparations. An initial organizing meeting was held on May 25 to begin planning our local campaign. Check out educational resources and action suggestions at www.newprioritiesnetwork.org and www.costofwar.com, and then work with us over the next year to bring change to our budget priorities. Contact Jessica or Carol.
¡Cuba, Sí! ¡Bloqueo, No!
All aboard the 22nd Pastors for Peace Friendship Caravan to Cuba! Pastors for Peace challenges the US travel and trade embargo by bringing activists and material aid to Cuba. On Sunday, June 26, join the Caribbean/Latin America Coalition for Curious About Cuba, a food and a flick fundraising event at ArtRage Gallery. Dinner, served at 6:30 pm, will be followed by films about Cuba’s efforts to maintain a high standard of living for its citizens despite decades of economic isolation, through a universal healthcare system and an impressive development of urban agriculture to meet the challenges of peak oil. Sliding scale $2-25.
On Thursday, July 7, Pastors for Peace will visit May Memorial (3800 E. Genesee St., Syracuse) for a community potluck and a presentation about their work to challenge the economic blockade of Cuba. If you’d like to visit Cuba, the caravan is still accepting participants—visit pastorsforpeace.org. Contact Doug 471-5749 to learn more.Cuba, yes! Blockade, no!
|SPC intern Hannah Dean-Wood working the SPC table at the Noam Chomsky event. We’ll miss her and all our other interns. Photo: Simon Asbury|
Thank You Interns!
SPC had an amazing five interns this spring, who helped us with everything from mailings and answering phones to organizing events and writing letters to the editor. Elisabeth Hess, a communications major at Syracuse University (SU), compiled our weekly e-newsletter and coordinated our 2nd annual Art for Peace contest. Hope Collins, a Middle East studies major at SU, supported CNY Working for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel by updating fact sheets and tabling, and she also helped straighten up in the office. SUNY-ESF senior Rose Dillman worked with the Peace Newsletter committee by compiling calendar events and posting issues online, as well as organizing for a ban on hydrofracking. Hannah Dean-Wood, another SUNY-ESF senior, was a member of the 2011 Bowlathon committee, organized outreach to rural schools for our Youth and Militarism program, staffed outreach tables, and had a letter to the editor published in the Post-Standard. LeMoyne student Candace Bonaventura worked on video editing and significantly improved SPC’s presence on YouTube.
Summer Fun in the City with SPC
What better way to enjoy summer events in Syracuse than to spend them with the Peace Council? SPC will march in the Juneteenth Parade and the CNY Pride Parade, both on June 18. We’ll also be tabling at festivals throughout the summer. Helping out at a Peace Council table is a great way to connect with people in the community and to get new folks involved in the issues we work on. Contact Ursula if you’d like to join our contingent in either parade or if you’d like to join our summer tabling team!
Justice for Onondaga Again Delayed
In what appears to be partisan politicking, the Onondaga County Legislature on May 3 stalled progress on a resolution expressing their intent to return county land on the Onondaga Lake shoreline to the Onondaga Nation. The resolution was withdrawn by Democrat Tom Buckel after Republicans tried to table it. Sources tell us that it is likely to pass when Jim Corbett, the original Republican sponsor of the bill, returns in the next month or so. NOON is actively promoting the resolution.
Our work to stop hydrofracking continues with Syracuse Big Splash: A Concert to Defend NYS’s Waters Against Unsafe Gas Drilling on Sunday, June 12 from 11 am - 8 pm at the Syracuse Inner Harbor, W. Kirkpatrick Street. The free event will feature Donna the Buffalo, Sophistafunk, and seven other acts! Contact Andy.
|Dave Griola helping Noam Chomsky during the book signing after the talk. Photo: Simon Asbury|
Sustaining SPC for the Next 75 Years
The success of our 75th anniversary celebrations with Harry Belafonte and Noam Chomsky have put us in good financial shape as we enter the dry summer months. However, we want to continue using this anniversary to create a larger, sustained base of support. Please consider joining the three new pledgers who signed up at the Noam Chomsky event as part of our campaign to end the year with 75 Pledgers for 75 Years. Contact Andy.
We will be continuing to offer our Children’s Peace Workshops as a lead-up to the annual Hiroshima/Nagasaki dramatic procession through downtown Syracuse. This year the procession will be on Tuesday, August 9, the day an atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.
To help organize the procession or an interfaith service, or to assist at a workshop, contact Carol.
Activist Appreciation – Dave Griola
All who were inspired by the opportunity to hear Noam Chomsky can thank Dave Griola for his persistent efforts to arrange for Noam to speak in Syracuse. Although Dave studiously avoids committees, he has contributed in a variety of ways to SPC’s work for at least a decade. Like many of us, Dave struggles at times to maintain his sense of hope, but always comes back with some new idea to reach more people and build the movement. As Dave goes about his daily work assisting and befriending people with disabilities, he has identified and made arrangements for a number of new distribution sites for the Peace Newsletter. Thanks Dave. We’re waiting for your next great idea!
Weekly Peace Outreach
Join our weekly on-the-streets presence to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan!
Tuesdays: 4:15-5 pm
Also Saturdays 8-9 am on Park St. across from the Regional Market.
75th Anniversary Events Continue in the Fall
SPC’s awesome 75th year will continue in the fall with more inspiring speakers. Mark your calendars for: Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel, Tuesday, October 4 at 7 pm at Hendricks Chapel, SU; SPC Birthday Dinner with The Yes Men, Saturday, October 22 at 6 pm, site TBA; and Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman, Thursday, November 3 at 7 pm at Hendricks Chapel, SU (and broadcasting from Syracuse the following morning!).
We’re looking for a few new people to join the Birthday Dinner Committee. Contact Carol.
SPC Advisory Committee Meets
SPC’s Advisory Committee is a group of nearly twenty people who support the Peace Council’s statement of purpose and represent various constituencies in the Syracuse area. The committee met recently and discussed ideas for our new program connecting our anti-wars work with the economy, how to make our summer outreach tables more engaging and interactive, and ideas for fundraising to make the Center completely accessible.
We are grateful to Advisory Committee members for their participation. It is very helpful to get a perspective on our work from friends who are not intensely involved with SPC.
African Activist Archive Project – Help Needed
SPC would like to provide information the African Activist Archive Project (africanactivist.msu.edu) requested from us. The Project is working to preserve the history of US activism in support of African struggles against colonialism and apartheid. If you know anything about the following, please contact Carol:
•South Africa Committee (SU group, mid ‘60s)
•Syracuse Committee on Southern African Liberation (project connected to SPC, mid ‘70s)
•Committee to End Apartheid (SU group, founded in 1985)
•People for Peace and Justice (SU, ‘80s)
•Any other relevant organization