Work on the ground in Iraq appears to be going extremely well _ scores of sites have been inspected without incident and reams of documents were turned over to the UN _ unless you're the Bush administration.
Iraq's compliance with UN Resolution 1441 is causing problems for the oiligarchy's plans to invade and take control of the world's second largest oil reserves. Now is a crucial time to maintain pressure for peace and to continue debunking Bush's reasons for war against Iraq.
Please get involved in the many efforts underway to stop this war:
¨ Take the Peace Council's bus to Washington, DC for the national anti-war mobilization on January 18. The bus will leave at 1 am and return about 24 hours later. The cost is $40/person with some scholarship assistance available.
¨ Post a lawn sign or window sign at your house. We now have both our grassroots version and a red, white and blue preprinted sign available for a donation.
¨ Write a letter to the editor opposing war.
¨ Help distribute our poster for peace to businesses, places of worship, etc.
¨ Help write and/or circulate a statement for peace among your colleagues. "Educators for Peace" is underway and plans are being laid for "Social Workers for Peace," "Lawyer for Peace," "Landscapers for Peace" and "Doctors for Peace." Contact Andy, or see our website for more information.
¨ Attend the weekly peace vigils (schedule next page).
¨ Participate in the local Pledge of Resistance action in mid-January (details forthcoming).
¨ Participate in an existing material aid campaign to gather and send needed supplies to Iraq.
¨ Pass out copies of our half-page flier "A Dozen Reasons to Oppose War with Iraq." They are available at the office.
SPC is pleased to welcome Jessica Maxwell to its staff! Jessica, who was already actively involved in our efforts as a volunteer, was hired in December to help coordinate our work to oppose war on Iraq. She will be with us 20 hours per week over the next four months to assist with organizing meetings, outreach and education, planning events and actions, increasing the visibility of local anti-war efforts and working on the Peace Newsletter. In the past, Jessica has been involved locally with refugee resettlement efforts, the Syracuse Real Food Coop, the Syracuse Women's Collective, the anti-nuclear movement, global justice work, advocacy for local inmates, and establishing a cooperative house.
Nearly 40 Peace Council folks fasted and joined with the Islamic Society of Central New York for a meal and sharing to break the Ramadan Fast. It was a delightful opportunity to build on our connection with local Muslims. Participants contributed $404 which will provide assistance to refugees in Iraq.
December 6, Southwest Community Center
3 pm _ An empty gym, a can of purple Tempera paint and me.
4 pm _ Paul Pearce arrives with a selection of vibrant and colorful banners to hang from the rafters and begin the gym's transition to Plowshares 2002.
5 pm _ Barb Floch, Marie Summerwood, Karen Kerney, Beth Mosley, Andy Molloy and Mardea Warner (the other members of the Plowshares Committee) join the set-up. JoAnn Grisanti, Theresa Bizzell and Daniel Freshman fire up the kitchen. Only Rae Kramer is missing, but her spirit reaches out to us from Danbury Federal Prison (where she is incarcerated for her nonviolent efforts to close the US Army's School of the Americas).
7 pm _ Enter the crafters, community activists, farmers and other Peace Council helpers. Nearly 70 of them spread throughout the gym and community room.
By 9 pm the empty gym has become our 32nd annual festival, a two-day celebration of good crafts, good food and good feelings.
In the midst of an uncertain and frightening era in world history, Plowshares is a glimpse of the good people can do when directing their energy towards creativity and community. Ask any of the crafters and they will tell you that, profitable or not, Plowshares is a breath of fresh air in a gray time.
By Sunday evening at 7 pm, 31 raffle winners have been picked, the gym looks nearly as it did on Friday at 3 pm, the Irish, the belly, the Rapper and the African dancers have all left, and most crafters report that it was a good year for them.
In addition to the organizing committee, thanks go to the staff at Southwest, to all those who donated raffle prizes and silent auction items, and to the greeters, security, raffle and other volunteers. A special thanks to Sue Nuccio, who set up the raffle table in Rae's absence, and missed the fair after a fall off the stage. She is recovering well.
The fair was a big financial success for the Peace Council, netting some $8,500, an increase of nearly $3,000 over any previous year. That money is certainly needed to support our desperately-needed work for peace.
_ Lanny Freshman
The early part of the year is typically a very slow time financially for the Peace Council. Given the world situation, we hope to maintain or increase our current level of staffing. Ongoing financial support is needed for that to be a reality. Please consider how you can help.
On a busy December Sunday, SPC tabled at Carousel Mall for the first time ever. We were there from 10 am - 8 pm, selling buttons, giving away free literature, and talking with people. The shoppers' reactions ranged from positive, to negative, to oblivious. Six people signed up for the January 18 bus to the DC march and rally, and 25 signed the Iraq Peace Pledge.
Call SPC if you are interested in future tabling at the mall. Thanks to the American Friends Service Committee for helping with the required million dollar insurance policy (we almost didn't go because of how difficult it was to get one).
_ Carol Baum
Due to early darkness and the coming holidays, the weekly peace vigils will be held on Tuesday mornings from 7:30-8:30 am. Please come out to say "No War on Iraq."
January 7 _ Teall Ave. & Rt. 690 (Eastside)
January 14 _ Hiawatha Blvd., in front of Carousel Center (Northside)
January 21 _ Adams St. and Rt. 81 (Downtown)
January 28 _ James Street and Thompson Rd.
February 4 _ Valley Drive and Seneca Turnpike (Valley)