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 Carol Baum

Plowshares-35 Years and Still Going Strong
Neither the wind and snow of the dreaded "lake effect," nor the last-minute scheduling of a Friday night basketball game could keep nearly 130 crafters and several thousand close friends from enjoying SPC's 35th annual Plowshares Craftsfair at Nottingham High School, in Syracuse.

Friends of the Peace Council volunteered in unprecedented numbers to help set up, run, and take down a wonderful craft fair and peace festival. The crafts on display represented the skilled handiwork of friends and neighbors in and around Syracuse; the food was tasty and vegetarian; performers ranged from drummers to dancers to musicians; and old and new friends found each other.
Kids admire award-winning hammer dulcimer player Dan Duggan (accompanied by Tom Hodgson) performing at the 35th Annual Plowshares Craftsfair. Music, crafts, food and community make Plowshares an annual event not to be missed. Photo: Ray Trudell

Space does not allow us to individually recognize all those whose work made Plowshares so successful. A host of movers, site layout teams, and banner and sign hangers were just some of the crew that worked until nearly midnight on Friday and then returned at 7 am Saturday to be sure that we would be ready for the 10 am opening. They were followed by many more shifts of volunteers doing greeting, tabling and more.

The Plowshares Committee extends its thanks to all who helped make our 35th anniversary another banner year - the crafters, volunteers, performers, and everyone who donated items to the raffle, silent auction and the Front Room.

Last year's move to Nottingham has resulted in a festival substantially larger than ever before, and we will continue our report in the next PNL.
- Lanny Freshman

Local Media and the Public Interest
Over the past few years there have been major changes in ownership and operation of the national broadcast media, with corresponding impact on us locally. There are presently both concerns and opportunities to see that public interest is at the forefront.

All radio broadcasting stations in New York State must renew their licenses by mid- 2006. The regulations of the Federal Communications Commission emphasize that this is a public process, and stations must show that they have and will continue to broadcast in the public interest. You are encouraged to inspect the public files of stations before they file in February. If not satisfied, individuals or groups may petition the FCC by May 1. This may be an opportunity to remind stations of the wish expressed by many locally to hear Democracy Now! on local airwaves.

The Peace Council has set up a group headed by Doug Igelsrud (471-5749) and John Oldfield (475-6251). Contact them if you share the concern.
- John Oldfield

How's About This Alternative To Military Service
Thanks to a recent $3000 grant from the Cottonwood Foundation, SPC plans to hire a high school/recent graduate intern to work with the Military Alternatives Education Project (MAEP) organizing an alternative career fair this spring.

More good news! The Syracuse City School Board passed a policy December 14 allowing students to "opt-out" of the provision of Bush's No Child Left Behind Act requiring schools to release student information to military recruiters. Throughout mid-December, MAEP tabled at schools with opt-out forms and information on alternatives to military service. Our next meeting is January 9 at 2013 E. Genesee - we'll discuss how MAEP can be a creative movement-building force through work with high school student organizations. Contact Candace at SPC.
- Candace Saunders
SPC’s Monthly Program

Reclaiming the Hidden Legacy of Dr. King

Commemorations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. usually focus on his "I Have a Dream" speech, omitting his anti-war perspectives, active nonviolence and radical critique of economic inequality. Come hear a panel of activists and scholars explore this legacy.

Thursday, January 26 7-8:30 pm

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

followed by refreshments & discussion. FREE

SPC on the Road in South America
SPC activists Ann Tiffany, Jessica Maxwell and Rae Kramer will travel to Cajibío, Colombia with Ithaca activist Dana Brown from January 14-23. The trip is being organized by the CNY-Cajibío Sister Community Partnership and the Colombia Support Network. Before returning to the US, Ann, Dana and Jessica will stop over in Caracas, Venezuela to participate in the Americas venue of the 2006 World Social Forum (WSF). This year's WSF is being carried out through multiple regional gatherings, including Karachi, Pakistan (Asia) and Bamako, Mali (Africa).

Look for a feature article on their experience in the March issue of the PNL. Contact Jessica for more information or to arrange for a presentation.

Appreciation: Sara Smits
For the last year, Sara Smits has brought her insightful political analysis, reliability and editing skills to the PNL editorial committee. Sara, a graduate student working on a dissertation and teaching classes, has been a pleasure to work with - even under the challenges of deadlines and last-minute snags she maintained her humor and grace.

The November PNL was Sara's last issue - she is leaving Syracuse for Boston. We are very grateful for her participation, and look forward to her writing an article on her research on land mines in Viet Nam.

2006: Thinking Globally, Acting Locally
SPC's Steering Committee recently approved the 2006 program plan submitted by the SPC Program Committee. We hope this plan will help us to link global issues and local realities and have allocated more resources to local issues than in the recent past. Some of the highlights are a local "Cost of the War" campaign, a new media committee to evaluate SPC's approach to mainstream and alternative media (including our own media), and small steps to work towards constructive alternatives. We will also continue our general outreach and education work, participation in several local coalitions, support for NOON, Bikes for Peace and other annual events. We welcome new energy from anyone interested in helping us move these projects forward. Contact the office to get involved.

Challenging Cheney
A hearty crew of Syracusans and North Country activists
“welcomed” Cheney to Fort Drum. Photo: Ramonita Scott

At 7:15 am on December 6, five SPC activists piled into a car to start the drive from Syracuse to Ft. Drum, Watertown. The occasion - a visit from Dick Cheney. Thinly veiled as a trip to "thank" the troops, the stop was clearly one of the many recent desperate attempts by the Bush administration to rally support for the failing US occupation of Iraq. Despite the heavy lake effect snow, we simply couldn't allow Cheney to show up unopposed.

Although we were turned back as we tried to enter the base near the "Media Operations" center, we regrouped just off the base at the busy intersection of routes 26 and 11. A local resident (who served ten years in Army Intelligence) joined us, as well as two Veterans for Peace from Potsdam and an activist from Alternatives to War. We received an overwhelmingly positive response from passing traffic - including at least one soldier. Interviews with local Watertown and Syracuse media helped to ensure that any news of Cheney's visit would be followed by criticism of Cheney's message and calls to "Bring the Troops Home Now!"

Weekly Peace Outreach

“End the War;
Bring the Troops Home”

Be a visible part of the growing opposition to the war on Iraq.

Every Thursday noon to 12:45 pm (note change in date and time).

January 5 S. Salina and East Colvin (Southside)
January 12 Rt. 257 (Fayette St.) and Rt. 173 (E. Seneca Tpk.), Manlius
January 19 Teall Ave. & Rt. 690 (Eastside)
January 26 Adams St. and Rt. 81 (Downtown)
February 2 Rt. 57 and Vine St., Village of Liverpool

Onondaga Land Rights and Our Common Future
The Syracuse community will have an unprecedented opportunity to learn about the Onondaga Nation and their Land Rights Action through a year-long series of educational programs. "Onondaga Land Rights and Our Common Future" begins on February 27 and runs through December with programs nearly every month.

The programs will be held at Syracuse Stage and feature Onondagas and other Haudenosaunee, scholars and activists. See the February Peace Newsletter for a full schedule or

SPC's Bowl-a-thon April 1
SPC's Annual Strike for Peace is set for Saturday, April 1 from 12:30-5:00 pm at Bowlmor Lanes in East Syracuse. This is a fun fundraiser (especially on April Fools Day). We encourage you to participate, either as a bowler on a team of 4-5 members (including children), and/or to help plan the event. Last year, the Peace Council netted more than $3,000, and we hope to exceed that amount in 2006.

To help plan this event, please contact Barb Humphrey at or leave a message at the SPC office.
- Barb Humphrey

Thanks Fund Appeal Donors
Thanks to everyone who contributed to our Fall Fund Appeal, which raised $2750 through December 9. Last year's Fall Appeal raised $1420 by this time, but went on to raise over $7000 by the end of March. So, even though it is called the "Fall" Fund Appeal, it is never too late to contribute.