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

Candace Saunders


compiled by Carol Baum

SPC Files FOIA Request
On April 18, SPC and the Islamic Society of Central New York held a joint news conference announcing the filing of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests regarding government spying on the two organizations.

SPC is no stranger to surveillance. Having lost its non-profit status during the Nixon era, in the late '70s SPC requested and received its 125-page FBI file. In the current political climate, given SPC's history and present activities, there is good cause for concern. Similarly the Islamic Society is sensitive to the fact that since 9/11 and the passage of the Patriot Act, the Muslim community in the US has been a target of Federal scrutiny.

The FOIA requests are being filed by the CNY chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union. The requests seek information from the FBI, Onondaga County Sheriff's Department and Syracuse City Police Department

The Local Cost of the War: Tax Day and Beyond
Did you know that since 2003, Onondaga County taxpayers have contributed $603 million to the cost of the invasion and occupation of Iraq? Think of what this money could have gone for instead!

SPC's Tax Day leaflet challenged people to do just that. On April 17, twelve people handed out almost 1000 leaflets in downtown Syracuse and Syracuse University (see

This was volume one of The Shared Times, the Local Cost of the War Committee's leaflets connecting the spending on the war on Iraq to the defunding of social programs in Onondaga County. Future volumes will be produced every few weeks - please help distribute them. Contact Jess or Carol.

SPC’s Monthly Program

Civil Liberties and National Security Update

Join the CNY Bill of Rights Defense Campaign for up-to-the minute info on domestic spying, changes in the Patriot Act, and other erosions to our civil liberties…and discuss strategies to affect the public debate on these issues.

Sponsored by the Syracuse Peace Council and the CNY Bill of Rights Defense Campaign.

Thursday, May 18
7-8:30 pm

Westcott Community Center (corner Euclid Ave. and Westcott St.)

Followed by refreshments & discussion. FREE

SPC's Birthday Dinner June 10
Clear your calendars for the 2nd weekend in June for an amazing array of activities.

Please join us Saturday, June 10 for SPC's 70th Birthday Dinner. We are thrilled that Kathy Kelly will be our speaker. Kathy, founder of Voices in the Wilderness and Nobel peace prize nominee, traveled numerous times to Iraq, first bringing humanitarian aid during the years of sanctions and then as a member of the Iraq Peace Team. She will have just returned from Iraq when she comes to Syracuse. Help is needed - no amount of time available is too small or too large. Contact Carol.

Earlier that day, you can go to the GLBT Pride Parade and the Community Wide Dialogue's Duck Race to End Racism. On Sunday June 11, come to the Syracuse Community Choir's Summer Solstice Concert.


"Judge" Mayer Shevin, or was it jester, added to the fun at SPC's strike for Peace Bowl-a-thon. Photo: Steve Reiter.

Bowled Over!
Thanks to gaggles of giggling gutterballs, this year's April Fool's Day "Strike for Peace" Bowl-a-thon was a silly success! 37 teams of Peace Council supporters showed up for an afternoon of friendly competition and fundraising fun. The event raised about $3000 for SPC and pledge money is still rolling in. (By the way, don't forget to send in your pledge money as soon as possible.) Team names ranged from the sublime ("Raging Grannies") to the ridiculous ("International Jewish Bowling Conspiracy"), to just plain expressive ("Tired of War!" wore pajamas and brought their cuddlies). Team members from 2 to 92 represented a rainbow of lifestyles, cultures, ethnicities, and genders.

A big thanks to all who helped make the day a great success, including the bowlers (and supporters), the organizers (Joan Conley, Barb Humphrey, Rae Kramer, Candace Saunders, and Marie Summerwood), and the owners and staff of Bowl Mor lanes, particularly Queen Alice.

The bowl-a-thon is an annual spring event. We welcome your feedback. Please send comments to SPC.

NOON Rolls On
"Onondaga Land Rights and Our Common Future," the year-long educational series initiated by Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation (NOON), continues to draw hundreds of people to each of the informative and inspirational programs (see page 11).

NOON's educational efforts recently received a major boost with a nearly $10,000 grant from the Gifford Foundation. The grant is the largest in SPC's history and will be well used to continue educating Central New Yorkers about the Onondaga Nation and their Land Rights Action.

NOON is also launching a Reading Group, which will begin with American Indian History: Five Centuries of Conflict and Coexistence by Robert W. Venables. The first meeting is Wednesday, May 10 at 7 pm at the Westcott Day Hab Center, 522 Westcott St. (enter from rear parking lot off Beech St.). The two-volume set is available at $30 (reduced from $40) from SPC. Much cheaper editions can be ordered online. If you have any problems obtaining a book, contact Carol. For other questions, call Peter at 472-1339.

SPC Outreach Gears Up
Now that Central New Yorkers are going outside in large numbers again, there are more opportunities for Peace Council information tables at community events. This is a perfect way to lend a hand and at the same time participate in some great events. Help is needed for: Duck Race to End Racism, Saturday, June 10, 12-4 pm; CNY Pride Festival, Saturday, June 10, 12-6 pm . Contact Andy to offer help for specific events or to express general interest.

Spring Cleaning at SPC
It's time for spring cleaning at the Peace Council. Please join us 10 am - 3 pm on Saturday May 6, to clear away those winter cobwebs, both inside and out. Come for part or the entire time. Healthy lunch provided. BYO elbow grease and good spirit. Contact Carol.

BORDC Visits Rep. Walsh
On April 19, five members of the CNY Bill of Rights Defense Campaign steering committee (of which SPC is an active part) met with Rep. James Walsh. We addressed the unchecked exercise of executive authority since 9/11; governmental spying on activist groups who have done nothing more than speak out; and the use of immigration laws to target and discriminate against people based on racial/ethnic categories.

Mr. Walsh acknowledged that this administration has pushed the boundaries of executive power, and supported the principle that people should not be investigated for free speech or association.

Activist Appreciation: Elisha Peck
Elisha Peck brought a smile and excitement for the Peace Council's work to all the projects on which she worked. Photo: Carol Baum

Elisha Peck became an SPC intern in Fall 2005 and then stayed for a second term in the spring. Elisha worked on many different aspects of the PNL as part of an internship for her journalism major at Le Moyne College. Her work included soliciting ads and articles, writing, editing, and proofing. In addition to her many skills, we also appreciated Elisha's perspective. A native of Watertown, near Fort Drum, Elisha was new to activism and brought a fresh set of eyes to our work. She will graduate this month, and we wish her all the best as she moves on to new experiences.

MAEP Career Fair
The Career Fair is fast approaching - May 15, 16, 17 and 18 at Nottingham, Corcoran, Henninger, and Fowler High Schools.

SPC had received a grant for the Military Alternatives Education Project (MAEP) to organize a Career Fair so that students would be exposed to alternatives to military service. We expect organizations such as Planned Parenthood, Syracuse Cultural Workers, the NAACP and many more to be there. If you or someone you know is interested in participating please don't hesitate to contact Tessa or Candace.
- Tessa Corcoran-Sayers

Weekly Peace Outreach

Express your anti-war sentiment to thousands of commuters as part of a fun-loving crew of peace and justice-seekers.

Every Tuesday, 4:45-5:30 pm

May 2 Geddes St. and W. Genesee St. (Westside)
May 9 E. Genesee St. and Erie Blvd. (Dewitt)
May 16 Rt. 11, in front of Northern Lights Shopping Center (Mattydale)
May 23 Rt. 20 (Albany St) and Lincklaen St. (Cazenovia)
May 30 S. Salina and E. Colvin (Southside)

Broadcast Media Review Group of CNY
On April 5, the Broadcast Media Review Group of Central New York held its first meeting. Attendees came from several CNY groups including SPC.

Participants noted the importance of maintaining the public interest and including fully diverse viewpoints in the broadcast media. They also discussed the need to examine the role we can play in the FCC license renewal process, and even more urgently, unresolved public access issues in cable television.

Public access is under threat from legislation in Congress (see Of particular concern is the multi-year City of Syracuse Cable Franchise Agreement with Time Warner Cable, which comes up for renewal in September 2007. This opportunity for public input may be the only chance for many years to come to ensure that the public interest is served. We need to pay attention to new technologies and pending federal legislation that will have profound effects on future internet and cable service. Please contact Doug Igelsrud (471-5749) or John Oldfield (475-6251) for more information.
- Doug Igelsrud