SPC in Action

From the Nov/Dec 2019 PNL #869

various authors

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CNY Solidarity: Actions on Impeachment

The Central New York Solidarity Coalition supports the House inquiry into whether to impeach President Trump in light of his effort to pressure its President to investigate Vice-President Joe Biden. It focuses in part on encouraging Rep. John Katko, a key Congressman on this, to support the impeachment inquiry. The group hosts an ongoing series of demonstrations in front of Katko’s office at 444 South Warren Street. Its members seek to confront Katko personally with the question of whether he thinks inviting foreign interference in American elections is acceptable. It encourages letters to the editor on impeachment, and has posted a guide on the cnysolidarity.org site to help people do this.  The group also wants citizens to encourage our Senators to demand an open and real impeachment trial in the Senate. Furthermore, we have hosted teach-ins and town halls on impeachment. You can sign up for action alerts or check for new events here: https://www.cnysolidarity.org/. The coalition welcomes your participation in this critical effort to save our democracy.

- Peter McCarthy



NOON unraveled their banner over I-81 on Indigenous Peoples Day. Photo: Kristin Mosher



Indigenous Solidarity Continues

Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation (NOON) organized three actions to mark Indigenous Peoples Day on October 14. The day began with a banner drop over Rt. 81 with a banner reading “Columbus Didn’t Discover Anything - Thousands of Native Nations Were Already Here.” In the afternoon a diverse mix of about 125 indigenous people and allies joined the White Pine Singers and Dancers for Haudenosaunee Social Dancing at the Inner Harbor, while learning more about culture and history. At the same time, over 30 people participated in a Witness to Injustice exercise at Plymouth Church downtown.

Our annual Thanksgiving Circle of Peace and Hope is set for Thursday, November 28 (Thanksgiving morning) at 10 am at Willow Bay (north end of Onondaga Lake). The gathering is an opportunity to express thanks for the goodness of the Earth and to each other —  for our ongoing friendship, working side-by-side in peace and hope for healing, justice, and environmental restoration. See: facebook.com/OnondagaNeighbors for full details and to invite friends.

- Andy Mager



Street Heat Schedule

Since April, our on-the-streets presence has been twice a week in various locations in the Syracuse area. From November through March we'll be out only once a month, at the main entrance of Hancock Air Base (home of the 174th Attack Wing of reaper drones, 6000 E. Molloy Rd., DeWitt) on the first Tuesday of the month from 4:15-5pm. Please join us—bring a sign or use one of ours. Contact Ann Tiffany or Ed Kinane, 315-478-4571.




The community choir always draws a crowd when it performs at Plowshares!
Photo: SPC Archives



Plowshares Craftsfair & Peace Festival


Ok, so maybe that is actually false news, but now that you are reading this, it is time to remind you that Plowshares will be here very soon, actually Saturday and Sunday the 7th. and 8th. of December. This will be the 49th annual Plowshares Peace and Crafts Festival. There will be over 100 artisans from the greater Central New York area, as well as yummy food from the Mission Restaurant in downtown Syracuse, and free entertainment all day long. Plowshares is a weekend of extreme good humanship and meeting with friends old and new. It is also a place to buy all your Chanukah, Kwanzaa and Christmas needs, made by hand, by real humans and without the need for batteries.  Please come and join us - Sat. 10-5, Sun 10:30- 4:30. We will do everything possible to assure you a fine time

Interested in helping make Plowshares the wonderful event you know and love? Contact michaela@peacecouncil.net to volunteer with set-up the Friday before, staffing a table during the weekend, or clean-up that Sunday afternoon & evening.

- Lanny Freshman

Three Ways to get Involved with SPC

Plowshares Craftsfair and Peace Festival is coming right up on December 7-8! We need all hands on deck to ensure our largest event of the year goes smoothly. Take a volunteer shift for a couple of hours - support is needed with set-up on Friday Dec. 6, clean-up on Sunday Dec 8, or staffing one of our many tables during the weekend on Saturday and Sunday.

Gather petition signatures - Petition signatures are one of the vital ways to make your voice heard by your representatives, at all levels of government. We have several active petitioning campaigns, including Nuclear Free World’s Back from the Brink campaign, Justice for Palestine’s No Way to Treat a Child campaign, and A Better Future for Onondaga Lake’s campaign (petition enclosed!) Getting petition signatures can be as simple as circulating a petition among your family and friends, or you can petition during outreach tabling! (See below)

Outreach tabling - During the winter months, opportunities for outreach tabling do not present themselves as frequently! If you have ideas for locations or events to table at and/or would like to table for SPC, please let us know.

If interested in any of these, contact michaela@peacecouncil.net or call the SPC office.



Richelle Brown, Lindsay Speer, Alma Lowry, and Marianna Kaufman at the People’s Forum
on Onondaga Lake in October. Photo: Andra Leimanis


A Better Future for Onondaga Lake

A Better Future for Onondaga Lake, a working group of SPC, NOON, and CNY Solidarity Coalition activists, has grown out of the need to address issues of lack of accountability and lack of transparency in Onondaga County's push for a swimming beach on Onondaga Lake. The group held a true Public Forum on October 2nd. Panelists with significant knowledge of the industrial contaminants present at the bottom of this superfund site spoke openly regarding the lake’s history, the current lack of adequate testing, the high levels of mercury accumulating in those consuming fish from the lake, the potential dangers of cumulative exposure to industrial pollutants not addressed in recent claims of a swimmable beach, and the unacceptable risk of a plan that hastily discounts the health and opinions of the urban residents of Syracuse. A Better Future for Onondaga Lake works in solidarity with voices of the Onondaga Nation and is looking for additional volunteers and organizers. Please see the enclosed petition and sign and share with neighbors and friends. Call your county legislator and request a stop to the feasibility study for all the reasons above. Read more at https://tinyurl.com/y5xab53j and contact marianna.kaufman@gmail.com to volunteer or for questions.

- Marianna Kaufman


Nuclear Free World

The Nuclear Free World committee has been working to get more endorsements for “Back from the Brink,” a coordinated international campaign to abolish nuclear weapons initiated by Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Union of Concerned Scientists. We are getting petitions signed and doing presentations to local community groups to build grassroots support to

enlist the mayor and the common council to sign a municipal resolution endorsing “Back

from the Brink” as communities around the country have done. The resolution was unanimously passed by US mayors at the last meeting of the US Conference of Mayors in June 2019. If you know of an organization that might endorse the resolution and would be interested in a presentation, contact drswords@gmail.com or margrit.diehl@gmail.com. To learn more about Back from the Brink go to www.preventnuclearwar.org.

On March 28 Dr. Ira Helfand, co-founder and past president of Physicians for Social

Responsibility, will be the keynote speaker at the Syracuse Peace Council dinner as part

of a state-wide tour from March 28 to April 1. Dr. Helfand led the session on the

humanitarian consequences of nuclear war at the UN in Geneva that resulted in the

successful negotiation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in 2017.

- Margrit Diehl


Justice for Palestine

Building support for the international campaign No Way to Treat a Child (co-sponsored by American Friends Service Committee and Defense for Children International – Palestine) has been the focus of Justice for Palestine activities the past six months. Palestinian children have the right to a safe and just future. The No Way to Treat a Child campaign believes the U.S. and Canadian governments must take concrete steps towards this future by holding Israeli authorities accountable for its violations of Palestinian children’s rights. Committee members have been educating the public about HR 2407, a proposed human rights bill in the House, sponsored by Rep. Betty McCollum, and circulating a petition in support of it. The aim is to deliver the petition with over 500 signatures to Rep. Katko on International Children’s Day November 20. Committee members are also meeting with a range of faith groups and other community organizations to share information and ask for support. Thus far, six organizations have signed onto a resolution advocating for HR 2407 and the No Way to Treat a Child campaign.

- Julia Ganson


Activist Appreciation: Elinor Cramer

Elinor made a decision a few years ago that learning about the history, values and culture of the people of the Onondaga Nation and other Haudenosaunee peoples was something she wanted and needed to do. She joined NOON’s Steering Committee and began to ask questions, read background information, and volunteered for several things right away – she even took minutes at her first NOON meeting! She quickly became involved with helping to organize our Indigenous People’s Day Speak out and Celebration; which was not an easy thing to do.

Elinor has a ‘can do’ attitude, smiles easily and is not afraid to jump in and help wherever she sees a need. She was instrumental this fall in bringing the Witness to Injustice/KAIROS Blanket Exercise to the Plymouth Church Community where she was a member. Because of her efforts and steady advocacy there, we were able to help 30 more people, including the Mayor of Syracuse, learn about the Doctrine of Discovery, the boarding schools and the attempted genocide of Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island.

Thank you Elinor for your humor, hard work and steady commitment to making our

world a better place.

  • Cindy Squillace



Two Veterans for Peace members were arrested for an action in March at Shannon airport, protesting
Ireland’s complicity with wwar crimes by allowing US military planes to refuel at Shannon.  
Photo: Ron VanNorstrand



BWAM's Alternative Education Speaker Series Continues

The Beyond War and Militarism Committee (BWaM) continues our Alternative Education series at ArtRage Gallery. At our October 21 program we heard from Greta Zarro, the Organizing Director of World Beyond War (WBW).  She presented “Highlights from Limerick”. Yes, Limerick, Ireland, where WBW organizers from around the world gathered on October 6 and 7 for the No War 2019 International Conference. Her presentation included guidance concerning the decisive question, “How Do We De-Militarize?” There were also reports from local activists who attended the conference. 

In November, together with Veterans for Peace Chapter 51, we focused our attention, on our Reclaim Armistice Day campaign. On November 11th, we called upon veterans and community members to gather at the steps of Syracuse City Hall. We invited Mayor Walsh to join us. He was not able to be there, however, he did issue a proclamation declaring November 11, 2019 to be Armistice Day for Peace in the City of Syracuse. At 11:00 the bells of our city rang out in remembrance of the joy and celebration of peace. 

As a joint committee of SPC and the CNY Solidarity Coalition, BWaM continues to provide reports during Coalition meetings, emphasizing the connections between the resources taken from us by the War Budget and how those funds could be used at home.

  • Ron Van Norstrand

Close the Camps!

SPC joined immigrant rights activists and organizations in solidarity with a national day of action on October 11 calling for an end to the inhumane border camps. A spirited march flowed from the Federal Building downtown to the ICE office on Salina St., chanting “Up, up with liberation! Down, down with deporation!” Speakers addressed the racist nature of current immigration policies, shared a personal testimonial from a local mother detained at the border with her young child, and urged more people to support the work of the Syracuse Immigrant and Refugee Defense Network (SIRDN). Attend the next SIRDN organizing meeting Monday, December 9, 6:30 PM at 2013 E. Genesee St. to get involved. 

- Jessica Maxwell