Peace Council Pages
Educate, Agitate, Organize
SPC IN ACTION
compiled by Jessica Maxwell
From Crawford to DC: Stop the
Bush is preparing to return to Washington, DC after a five-week stay at his ranch in Crawford, TX during which the peace movement was galvanized by the persistent vigil of Cindy Shaheen. He'll find no relief in the nation's capitol, however, as thousands travel from around the country for four days of strategic anti-war actions, including a mass march on September 24 and civil disobedience on September 26. The Syracuse Peace Council is organizing busses and carpools. Sign up soon - seats are going fast! See page 5 for details.
Cazenovia Anti-War Activism
Nearly 40 demonstrators from the Syracuse Peace Council and Cazenovia Youth Activists (CYA) gathered on Tuesday, August 2 for SPC's weekly peace outreach, the second such demonstration held in Cazenovia this year. Attendees shared a potluck dinner at Bob Skellan's home, followed by a roundtable discussion at Common Grounds coffeehouse.
"Our goal is to keep reminding people that Bush said that the war was going to be quick and simple It's been more than two years," said CYA President Liz Marris.
Reaction to SPC's presence was overwhelmingly positive despite the late arrival of a small group of counterprotesters. The evening discussion gave rise to a newly-formed satellite group called "Cazenovians for Peace," which will hold its own weekly peace vigil every Thursday night at rush hour on the main road through Cazenovia. For more information about the group, call Aimee Jurista at 655-2804.
|This year's procession to mark the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the largest in years, building on the March for a Nuclear-Free Future which preceded it. Photo: Tammy Crandall|
Marching for a Nuclear-Free
This year's commemoration of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear attacks was a tremendous expansion over recent years. The Peace Council joined four other groups in organizing a March for a Nuclear-Free Future: American Friends Service Committee, Citizens Awareness Network, Pax Christi, and Peace Action.
Beginning near the Oswego nuclear power plants on August 5, a total of 35 people marched through Oswego, Fulton, Baldwinsville, and Liverpool into Syracuse. The march concluded on August 9 - the anniversary of the Nagasaki bombing - with a 150-person procession through downtown Syracuse.
The procession's route reflected another significant show of progress. It began at Syracuse's City Hall, where Mayor Matthew Driscoll had signed the international Mayors for Peace resolution, calling for an end to nuclear weapons by 2020, and ended at the Federal Building where a contingent of marchers delivered a copy of the resolution to the offices of our federal representatives, Congressman Walsh and Senators Clinton and Schumer.
The turnout for the procession was the largest in many years, in great part due to the coalition's ambitious organizing and the extensive media coverage the March generated. This year's Hiroshima day activities have laid a solid foundation for building a local grassroots movement to stop the US nuclear weapons and power programs - and the proposal for a fourth nuclear power plant in Oswego.
SPC's Peaceful New Sidewalk
|Twenty-five people came out to "stand with Cindy Sheehan" in a demonstration in front of the "Armed Forces Career Center" in Mattydale. Cindy's stand has brought new people out to the streets. Photo: Betty DuBose|
Thanks to the hard work of Herman Bieling, Daniel Bowers, Lanny Freshman, Ronnie Unger and David Unger, SPC has a beautiful new sidewalk - complete with a peace sign stenciled just before the walk to our front door. The required time and labor, especially Herm's, would have cost hundreds of dollars if it hadn't been generously donated. We couldn't have possibly found a better crew to do the work. Our staff, volunteers and neighbors all love it - especially those of us with bikes and strollers!
Weekly Peace Outreach
End the Iraq
Join us at busy intersections
at busy intersections to say "End the Iraq War." Every Tuesday,
Goes Back to School
The Military Alternatives Education Project is gearing up for another school year of outreach and education. We have a core of volunteers trained to offer draft and Selective Service counseling to military and draft age youth and parents. We plan to continue our tabling efforts at local high schools, informing students of their rights and providing crucial facts about military service and recruitment. Check out our webpage (www.peacecouncil.net/MAEP) or contact Jessica to get involved.
Jump into the Fall with
the SPC Study Group
SPC's Study Group on the US Global Agenda will restart Monday, September 12. We meet the second and fourth Mondays of the month from 7-8:30 pm at the Friends Meeting House (821 Euclid Ave.). You don't have to attend every meeting - we just ask that you try to do the reading before you come.
At this first meeting of the fall, we'll discuss what to read next.
What has the group been like? We are sensitive to people's time pressures and keep reading "assignments" reasonable. We share facilitation, and opening and closing (including making coffee), and ask for a dollar or two (if possible) to help pay for the space. Participants come from a wide range of previous background knowledge, and conversations have been respectful and interesting.
Please try the group out! Everyone is welcome; no experience necessary - just a desire to learn, willingness to discuss ideas respectfully, and general support of the SPC Statement of Purpose (see page 2). Contact Carol with questions.
Want to Work for Peace?
Want to do something for peace and social justice but aren't sure where to start? Or have you been involved but want to learn about other activities? Are you curious about SPC?
If so, come to SPC's first orientation of the fall - on Tuesday, September 13, 7-8:30 pm at SPC's office. We'll talk about what SPC is working on, how we operate, answer questions you may have, and help you get started working with SPC if you're interested. Contact Carol.
Haudenosaunee World View
On July 12, Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation (NOON) hosted an educational program with Onondagas Freida Jacques of the Turtle Clan and Faithkeeper Wendy Gonyea of the Beaver Clan. More than 30 people attended this wide-ranging discussion of Haudenosaunee perspectives on the earth, the important role of women, and the history of their relationship with European and American settlers.
Freida began the meeting with an abbreviated version of the traditional Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address. Frieda, the home/school liaison for the Onondaga Nation School, discussed the history of Native American boarding schools and their negative emotional impact on generations of young Onondagas.
Wendy displayed a copy of the Two Row Wampum that represents the original 17th-century agreement between European settlers and the Haudenosaunee to co-exist as equals.
Both women discussed the roles of personal freedom and consensus in Haudenosaunee governance and spoke about the leadership and influence of clan mothers, who select new chiefs and are consulted when the chiefs make critical decisions.
Many thanks to Freida and Wendy for this informative session.
|The Downtown Arts&Craftsfair is a great annual outreach opportunity for the Peace Council. This year we sold about $1200 worth of progressive buttons, bumperstickers and t-shirts, as well as distributing lots of free information. We're always looking for help with this type of outreach. Contact Jessica to help. Photo: Tammy Crandall|
In early spring and summer, Jackie Hayes put in many hours each week at SPC helping with general office work, newsletter layout, posting flyers, organizing events and working with the Military Alternatives Education Project. Her creativity, energy and enthusiasm helped contribute to the success of the SPC birthday event - she designed our program and made all of the phone calls for ads! It also made it more fun to be at the office during those hot summer days. Thanks, Jackie!
Bikes 4 Peace at Westcott Street
After offering free bike clinics for youth all over the city this summer, Bikes 4 Peace will wind up its program at the Westcott Street Cultural Fair. The core of biking enthusiasts, recycling advocates and energetic peace activists who coordinate Bikes 4 Peace, will provide bike fix-it demos as well as activities for youth. The Fair is scheduled for Sunday, September 18, noon-7 pm (rain date is September 25). Bikes 4 Peace has completed seven free clinics - working with about 100 youth! We have one more regular clinic scheduled before the Street Fair - Wednesday, September 14, 5-7:30 pm at St. Lucy's gym (425 Gifford St.).
SPC History Video
In conjunction with the Peace Council's 70th anniversary next year, work has begun on a video history of SPC. A DeFrancisco Heritage Grant, through the Cultural Resources Council, provided start up funds for the project. Tim Brachocki of the Syracuse Alternative Media Network is coordinating the project, working with a committee of Peace Council folks.
If you have memories you'd like to share or suggestions of people we should interview (including yourself) let us know. We'll also need many hours of help transcribing interviews, a great at-home task. Contact Andy.
Talk To Us!
Got creative ideas? SPC's program committee is soliciting proposals for SPC's program work from individuals and organizations. All proposals should be submitted to SPC by September 26 so that they can be shared at an open meeting on October 5. We welcome all SPC supporters to come help SPC clarify its program priorities. For background on how this proces developed, see page 11. Full details are available at our website (www.peacecouncil.net/proposals) or by contacting Carol or Jessica.
Laughing Out Loud
About 100 SPC supporters enjoyed an evening of hilarious political humor thanks to political satirist Barry Crimmins. Originally from Skaneateles, Crimmins was the featured cover story for the July 31 edition of the Stars magazine in the Sunday paper. He contacted SPC in early July and offered to do a benefit performance for us to take advantage of the free publicity. Given Barry's success in the infamous Boston comedy scene and his long history of supporting politically progressive causes, it seemed like a perfect match. The event netted about $1000 to help SPC through the slow summer months! If you missed the show, you can catch Barry's work by listening to the Randi Rhodes Show on Air America (www.airamericaradio.com), for which Barry is a writer, or check out his website: www.barrycrimmins.com
SPCs Monthly Program
Iraq War on Trial
Westcott Community Center, 826 Euclid Ave., Syracuse
On September 19 in Binghamton, NY four Ithaca peace activists will be tried in federal court for an act of nonviolent civil disobedience committed just before the invasion of Iraq. The same day, activists will begin a simultaneous trial of the US war on Iraq. Come hear from some of the activists organizing this extraordinary effort.
Free. Open to the public. Refreshments will be provided.
|Hiroshima/Nagasaki Procession, August 9,2005. Photo: Tammy Crandall|