Peace Council Pages

Educate, Agitate, Organize

Syracuse Peace Council
924 Burnet Ave., Syracuse, NY 13203
(315) 472-5478
OFFICE HOURS: Mon.-Fri. 10 am - 5 pm
Staff Email Addresses:
Andy Mager
Carol Baum
Jessica Maxwell


compiled by Jessica Maxwell

SPC Goes to Washington
It was a damp, chilly night outside National Park Service headquarters in the crime-ridden Anacostia section of Washington, D.C. Our support people Mike Pasquale and Ann Tiffany had spent hours there in Mike's car waiting for us.

The previous afternoon, September 26, four more SPCers - Carol Baum, Rae Kramer, Paul Frazier and I - had tried to meet with George Bush as part of the massive United for Peace and Justice national action to end the war in Iraq.

Ed Kinane was arrested along with over 370 other anti-war activists for trying to ask George Bush about the Iraq War on September 26 outside the White House. Photo: Ann Tiffany

We wanted to ask George why he thought Iraqi oil was worth the lives of thousands of US soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens. But our AWOL president never showed. Because we wouldn't leave the public sidewalk outside the White House, police carted off over 370 of us.

Charged with "demonstrating w/o a permit," a violation, the four of us - after sitting handcuffed for hours on buses, being fingerprinted and getting mug shots - were each released by 4:30 am.

The Metro subway had closed for the night. It was great to have Ann and Mike there for us.
- Ed Kinane

Dr. Dhafir Program on SPC-TV

The People's 60 Minutes, SPC's weekly cable television show, recently broadcast a panel discussion on Dr. Dhafir's case. The panelists (and SPC) believe there has been a serious miscarriage of justice.

Dr. Dhafir is a Syracuse-area Muslim and physician, who was arrested in February 2003, and charged with violating the economic sanctions against Iraq and money laundering. He was held without bail for 19 months, awaiting trial, during which time other charges were added. He was found guilty of 59 of 60 charges.

The panelists - Magda Bayoumi, Linda Bergh, Barrie Gewanter and Gay Montague - had attended most (or all) of Dr. Dhafir's 17-week trial. If you missed the show, a tape is available at SPC.

Thanks to the panelists, and a special thanks to the Media Unit, who did the taping and editing. Thanks always to Paul Pearce for his final tweaking, and making sure that SPC-TV stays on the air.

Organizer Training: Facilitating Meetings
Instead of a generic orientation for new activists, we'll focus on learning to plan and facilitate effective meetings this month. Join us on Monday, November 21 from 7-8:30 pm at the SPC office, 924 Burnet Ave. Until we figure out how to change the world without meetings, we can at least make our meetings more productive and fun.

This workshop will be valuable for newcomers and experienced folks looking for new ideas or to brush up. RSVP is helpful, but not necessary. Contact Andy.

New Orleans Plea
I recently returned from New Orleans, where people still struggle for basic necessities like food and water. Residents live in homes with holes in their roofs and moldy walls. Aid from FEMA and the Red Cross is not reaching vast areas, and grassroots organizations are scrambling to fill in the enormous gaps. The people of New Orleans need activists from across the nation to help meet immediate needs and to fight for their rights and their neighborhoods. There are a number of amazing organizations working to help New Orleanians return, rebuild and fight massive police repression and gentrification programs. To help, contact or 423-4783.
- Jessica Azulay
Jessica will speak at the November monthly program. See box below.

SPC’s Monthly Program

A Grassroots Response to Katrina

Local activist and independent journalist Jessica Azulay traveled to New Orleans on assignment for The NewStandard, an independent on-line news site. Jessica will share her first-hand experiences and the stories she gathered during her recent trip, highlighting the efforts of grassroots organizers to seek justice in the reconstruction process.

Thursday, November 17 7-8:30 pm

Westcott Community Center (corner of Euclid and Westcott, Syracuse)

followed by refreshments & discussion. FREE

Friends Bring Friends to Plowshares
When we return to Nottingham High School on December 3-4, we'll have an even larger show than last year. Can you spare a couple of hours to help make this a successful event? We need help Friday night for set up and during the weekend. Or, you could help hang posters before the event or sell extra raffle tickets. At the very least, please bring someone who has never been. We can guarantee the handmade crafts, good food, and lively entertainment will bestow some holiday spirit. Contact SPC to help.
- Andy Molloy, Plowshares Committee

Poets for Peace Vigil
Between rain showers, by the tree across the sunken courtyard from the waterfall of Hanover Square, 30 individuals huddled together at noon on October 14 around shared words of poems of peace.

Local poet Georgia Popoff and SPC

Meredith Leonard reads at the Poets for Peace vigil. Also pictured: Michael DuBose, Sam Hamill (founder of Poets Against War), elana levy, and event organizer Georgia Popoff.
Photo: Betty DuBose

gave an open invitation to join visiting poet and founder of Poets Against War, Sam Hamill, in a peace vigil.
And come they did, to witness with their words or those of favorite poets the dehumanizing nature of war and the liberation of peace.

Reading their poems for the first time in public were a high school student and a Vietnam vet, a victim of that war concerned with the soldiers of this war and the bleak futures they may face upon returning home, if they are even that fortunate.
- David Forest Hitchcock

Breaking the Ramadan Fast Together

For the fifth year, the Syracuse Peace Council was invited to join our Muslim sisters and brothers from the Islamic Society of CNY in breaking the Ramadan fast. As always, we were warmly welcomed, well fed and encouraged to ask questions about Ramadan and the Muslim faith. We deeply appreciate their openness and hospitality, and look forward to our continued learning and working together.

Weekly Peace Outreach

“End the War;
Bring the Troops Home”

Join us for this regular opportunity to publicly voice your support for peace and social justice, in spite of government efforts to stifle dissent.

Now Thursdays 12 noon to 12:45 pm (note change in date and time)

November 3 Rt. 257 (Fayette St.) & Rt. 173 (E. Seneca Tpk.), Manlius
November 10 Teall Ave. & Rt. 690 (Eastside)
November 17 Adams St. & Rt. 81 (Downtown)
Friday, November 25 (first holiday shopping day): Carousel Mall, Hiawatha Blvd. entrance

They Lied to You in School
"Civilization today is not a white man's civilization; it's made up of the gifts of all races - white, black, red, yellow - each important."

On September 26, Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation (NOON) hosted a public showing of They Lied to You in School, a DVD from Ray Fadden (Tehanetorens) of the Mohawk Nation, founder of the Six Nations Indian Museum in Onchiota, NY. Fadden's energetic presentation challenges the often-dismissive portrayal of Native Americans in our school history curriculums. He explores the impact of Native Americans on world history, including their many crucial contributions to global agriculture, and their influence on American democracy.

The screening inspired lively discussion (and applause) from the two dozen people who attended. If you are interested in getting your own copy of They Lied to You in School, it is available for $24.95 plus shipping from White Buffalo Multi Media, PO Box 73, Woodstock, NY 12498, or (845) 246-9995.
- Ellen Edgerton

Check Your Mailboxes …

…for SPC's Fall Fund Appeal. SPC's major fall fundraiser is mailed to Peace Newsletter subscribers. Please give as generously as you can - to keep us moving forward. If you are not a subscriber, consider subscribing and contributing a little extra. We make your dollar go far in the work for peace and social justice.

A New Face at SPC
Candace Saunders, a local activist and former VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America, a national anti-poverty initiative) at Eastside Neighbors in Partnership, is now working full-time at SPC. When ENIP was forced to close its doors due to financial hardship, several community organizations stepped in to sponsor their almost 30 VISTAs. The Westcott Community Center helped to coordinate the placement, sponsorship and supervision of almost a third of the VISTAs, including Candace. Candace's work at SPC will focus on developing educational and employment resources for local inner-city youth, continuing SPC's youth anti-violence initiatives, community organizer skills training, and supporting the Partnership for Onondaga Creek. Welcome Candace!

A Good Home Is Hard to Find
SPC continues to search for a more ideal facility for our operations. While 1419 E. Fayette St. (the former home of the Syracuse Cultural Workers) remains a possibility, we hope to find a site better suited for our needs.

We want a building with more space, a large meeting/workshop room, increased visibility, prospects for collaboration with other groups, energy efficiency and one which won't need lots of upkeep.

Over the past several months, a search committee has looked at over a dozen properties. Our goal remains to purchase and renovate a building in time for a move next Spring. If you know of a building that might suit us, or to lend a hand, contact Andy.