Syracuse Peace Council Pages

Compiled by Carol Baum, SPC staff

SPC Responds to Capture of Saddam Hussein
On December 14, the day of Hussein’s capture, the Syracuse Peace Council immediately responded with a press release and arranged for a media spokesperson.
The press release stated in part that, “We hope his capture will help relieve the fear of his return to power, a fear which has hindered the Iraqi people from reconstructing their nation. For many Iraqis the ongoing US occupation is also a major obstacle to self-governance…The US government now has the opportunity to continue this process by spelling out a timetable for the departure of US troops and the end of the occupation…
“From the beginning of his reign, and for many years thereafter, the US was Saddam’s key ally, providing him with arms and funding. Our nation must remember this as we continue such ‘realpolitik’ arrangements today with repressive governments in countries such as Colombia, Cameroon and Saudi Arabia.
“The Syracuse Peace Council hopes that the capture of Saddam Hussein opens the way for the Iraqi people to develop their nation as they see fit. While those words are similar to those from the White House, we continue to believe that the Bush administration is motivated by a desire to control Iraq’s oil and gain geopolitical advantages from the creation of a client state in Iraq. This flies in the face of our nation’s ideals and would not serve the people of Iraq.”

SPC Office Takes a Break
The office will be officially closed from Dec 24-Jan 2. But people will be in and out – call first if you need to stop in. We’ll be using this opportunity to clean and organize the building. Stop by to help on Friday, January 2 from 10-4 pm.

Activists and the Election
SPC’s January monthly program is on “Campaigning for Peace and Justice: Activists and the 2004 Presidential Election.” Join us for a stimulating panel presentation followed by group discussion. It’s 7 pm Thursday, January 15 at the Westcott Community Center (826 Euclid Ave, at the corner of Westcott St.). Refreshments and conversation will follow the free program.

Steering Committee
Steering Committee members’ terms end in December, so come January, SPC will have a “new” steering committee.
Andy Molloy and Linda Perla are leaving the steering committee, but staying very connected. Thanks very much to them for their good work.
We’re excited to welcome Gary Bonaparte, Roxanne Hill, Tina Musa, Shirley Novak, and Carole Resnick to the Steering Committee. Remaining on the committee are Dik Cool, Doug Igelsrud, Rae Kramer, Emily Moeller, Beth Mosley, Nick Poulos, Ann Tiffany, and the staff. Thanks to all for taking on this role.

Study Group Starts New Series
SPC’s study group on the US Global Agenda has just finished reading Power Trip: US Unilateralism and Global Strategy After September 11. The group will restart on January 12, 7-8:30 pm and will continue to meet on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month. At the first meeting, we will discuss this PNL’s cover story on war and globalization. We will also decide on reading material for future meetings. Contact Carol Baum for more information.
Volunteer Orientation
Wondering how to spend those cold winter days? Come to January’s volunteer orientation for warm companionship and good work. New volunteers and people getting re-involved are welcome. It’s Tuesday, January 13 from 7-8:30 pm at the SPC office.

Weekly Peace Outreach
Please join us Tuesdays 7:45-8:30 am, in public outreach at busy intersections. We’ll provide the signs. We often have a breakfast together afterwards – a great way to start the day.
· Jan. 6, Onondaga Rd. and W. Genesee St.
· Jan. 13, Teall Ave. and Rt. 690
· Jan. 20, Adams St. and Rt. 81
· Jan. 27, James St. and Thompson Rd.

Breaking the Ramadan Fast
For the third year, the local Islamic Society invited SPC to break the fast with them during Ramadan. Participants contributed for humanitarian relief to Iraq. The next day SPC sent $227 to the American Friends Service Committee to spend where most needed in Iraq.
As always, we thank the members of the Islamic Society for their gracious hospitality.

Plowshares Craftsfair
A beautiful new banner welcomed all who joined us for the 33rd annual Plowshares Craftsfair and Winter Peace Festival. Hundreds of people wandered through over 60 tables and booths of diverse crafts and information, meeting old friends and making new ones. For many, crafters, shoppers, dancers, cooks, and other Plowshares fans, this annual gathering allows us to enjoy the holiday season with fellowship and pleasure, far from the maddening (sic) crowds and overwhelming commercialism. The Rochester Folk Art Guild’s presence was an added treat.
In this shorter issue of the PNL, space constraints limit room for thank yous. While the Plowshares committee works throughout the year, the work of many others is one of the ways that Plowshares exemplifies our dreams of community. So...thanks to the SPC staff, greeters, crafters, cooks, servers, entertainers, stage crew, set-up and clean-up crew, Southwest Community Center staff, raffle and silent auction prize donors, ticket sellers, and the folks who prepared and staffed the SPC info, crafts, and Front Room tables. Thanks too, to those whose help falls outside these categories — less visible, but appreciated.
We raised about $11,000, that will be well used to maintain and strengthen our peace and justice work. How wonderful that we can help “earn our living” while having such a good time!

Fund Appeal a Success
Thanks to everyone who contributed. Since late October we raised $6500. And it’s not too late to contribute if you haven’t – we depend on income we receive this time of year to help us get through drier periods.
Your contribution of $50 or more can be tax deductible, make the check out to the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute, and write “SPC” in the memo area.

Nonviolence Training for Trainers
Thanks to help from a grant from the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute, SPC is organizing weekend training for nonviolence trainers on April 2-4, 2004. The training is geared toward activists and organizers with some experience in nonviolent direct action/civil disobedience rather than to newcomers. Application information will be available in mid-January. The deadline for registration is February 16. For more information contact Jessica Maxwell.

Bowlathon Coming
Plans are in the works for an SPC Benefit Bowlathon in late February. Look for more information soon.