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
Aly Wane
Eric Benner


compiled by Carol Baum

Israel-Lebanon: Violence Begets Violence
In early August SPC sent the Post Standard a statement on the Israel-Lebanon War, which, as we go to press, has not been printed. To read the statement, see page 5.

In late July SPC organized a vigil calling for an immediate cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah, a condemnation of attacks on civilians and immediate humanitarian aid for the people of Lebanon.

An August program featured a talk by Radney Wood, a Utica-area native of Lebanese descent, who worked in Beirut before being evacuated because of the Israeli attack.

If you are interested in working to help support a just and sustainable peace for the Lebanese, Israelis and Palestinians, contact SPC.

elana levy was among some 50 participants in SPC’s July 24 vigil for an end to the Middle East violence. Photo: Carol

Get Involved!
Through our summer activities, we gathered a long list of new folks interested in becoming more active working for peace and social justice. There are also many SPC supporters who have been away for the summer and will be looking to get reconnected in September. All are welcome to come to an orientation Tuesday, September 12, 7-8:30 pm at the SPC office. After a brief introduction to SPC, we'll talk about ways to get involved, including current projects, upcoming events and ongoing volunteer tasks. RSVP to Jessica.

MAEP Wants YOU to Counter-Recruit
As summer turns to fall, MAEP (Military Alternatives Education Project) has been busy planning for the upcoming school year. After recruiting new MAEPsters from local colleges and universities as part of a broader outreach campaign, we will focus on distributing and collecting student "opt-out" forms at Corcoran, Nottingham, Henninger, and Fowler high schools. The opt-out forms, thanks to the CNY Chapter of the NY Civil Liberties Union and MAEP, now allow students to get their names off the contact lists handed over to recruiters by schools under the Bush administration's No Child Left Behind Act. We're also gearing up for more action and education with Nottingham Youth Action, a student activist group MAEP kick started this past winter.

Look forward this fall to a MAEP/Iraq Veterans Against the War screening of the new documentary Sir, No Sir about the conscientious objector movement during the Vietnam War.

Want to get involved? We NEED you! Contact Eric.

Acting Neighborly
Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation (NOON) is preparing for a busy fall of activity - tabling, presentations to community groups and the final five programs in the Onondaga Land Rights and Our Common Future series.

SPC’s Monthly Program

Electoral Politics and Participatory Democracy

What would a healthy, participatory democracy look like? What steps can we take in our community to create more democracy? What are other communities doing? Join us for a discussion about community empowerment and political strategies for social change.

Thursday, Sept. 21
7-8:30 pm

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

followed by refreshments & discussion. FREE

As expected, NYS filed a motion on August 15 in Syracuse federal court seeking to have the Onondaga Land Rights Action dismissed. Lawyers for the Onondaga Nation will respond by October 15, and a court appearance is scheduled for December 1.

NOON immediately responded to the state's action with a letter to the editor supporting the Onondaga action. While recent court decisions have continued the centuries-long assault on the rights of Native Americans, NOON will continue the struggle in the court of public opinion. To stay current with the issue, see Contact Carol or Andy.

Local Cost of the War
Whether it's a $40,000 cut in funding to a local wheelchair ramp building program, a 40% cut to thWestcott Community Center's After School Program, or a proposed $8.5 million cut to Central New York hospitals, the ongoing invasion and occupation of Iraq is having a devastating effect on Onondaga County. To point this out, SPC's Local Cost of the War Committee has produced seven leaflets which address health care, hunger, youth programs, veterans' benefits, mental health, education and jobs. A recent leaflet, "Education Bites the Bullet," draws the connection between funding for the war and cuts to the federal financial aid program.

To see these leaflets, go to To join the committee, distribute leaflets or help with printing costs contact Jessica or Carol.
Hiroshema/Nagasaki procession, August 8, 2006. Photo: DJ Igelsrud

Hiroshima/Nagasaki Day
On August 8, a coalition of local peace groups commemorated the US bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with our annual theatrical procession through downtown Syracuse. Approximately 75 people participated, and 1,000 leaflets were distributed. Organizers also met with staff for Rep. James Walsh and Sens. Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer. Our message focused on the need for all nations - especially the US - to work towards abolishing nuclear weapons, as well as our concerns regarding US threats against Iran.

SPC Study Group Re-Starts
The first meeting of the Peace Council's study group will be Monday, September 18 from 7 to 8:30 at the Friends Meeting House (821 Euclid Ave., near the corner of Euclid and Westcott). Come with ideas - at that meeting we'll pick our first book to discuss. The theme for the study group has been the "US Global Agenda," but we can tailor our selections to fit the needs of the group.

The group meets twice a month. All are welcome - just bring an open mind, basic agreement with SPC's Statement of Purpose, and the desire to discuss important issues respectfully. If interested, contact Aly.


Progressive Coalition Fights "Black Box" Voting <
A new Peace Newsletter feature reporting on our successes and victories. This is only a tentative title, so send in your suggestions!

Onondaga County, like all New York counties, must decide what kind of voting machines to purchase for the coming years. Unfortunately our two election commissioners favor computerized voting systems which can be easily hacked, are controlled by private corporations, have higher long-term costs and an abysmal performance record.

The Greater Syracuse Progressive Coalition is calling on the County Legislature to take a stand for a fully verifiable system using paper ballots, optical scanners and ballot marking devices for voters with disabilities. In saying that the election commissioners make the decision, our elected officials are abdicating their responsibility to protect our interests. Please educate yourself and contact your county legislator. The DVD Help America Vote on Paper is available from the SPC office. Check out or for more information. To get involved, contact Linda DeStefano, Chair Election Reform Task Force, Sierra Club, 488-7877, or Joan Johnson, Advocacy Director, Syracuse Metropolitan League of Women Voters, 488-4339 (8 am-6 pm).


Weekly Peace Outreach

“End the War;
Bring the Troops Home”

Are you one of those serene souls who can handle someone flipping you the bird?
If so, please join us at busy intersections around Syracuse - and see how the great majority of those who respond strongly support our work to end the war.

Every Tuesday, 4:45-5:30 pm

Carpooling available from SPC.

September 5 Teall Ave. & Rt. 690 (Eastside)
September 12 Adams St. and Rt. 81 (Downtown)
September 19 Rt. 11 (Northern Lights Shopping Ctr, Mattydale)
September 26 Rt. 57 and Vine St., Village of Liverpool
October 3 Rt. 695 exit ramp to W. Genesee St. (Fairmount)

Good-bye Candace
Candace Saunders was an Americorps VISTA worker without a placement, so she asked if SPC wanted her services. Knowing that she was an experienced SEAC (Student Environmental Action Coalition) activist and a cool person, we jumped at the chance, and Candace was placed at SPC for a year.

Candace's creativity, feistiness and political analysis have been put to good use. She is passionate about developing an anti-racist ally movement in Syracuse, and helped initiate Active Solidarity, recently raising money for the Partnership for Onondaga Creek. She spent most of her time organizing with MAEP (Military Alternatives Education Project), creating materials and tabling at local high schools, and supported students to form Nottingham Youth Action. She did all this with style and humor.

Candace is off to Philadelphia and further adventures. We wish her the best - and hope she ends up back here someday.


Summer Becomes Fall
This is a transition time for the SPC office - people who worked here over the summer leave, and new people join in.

This summer has been high energy, thanks in part to Brandon Gustafson, Jackie Hayes, Zach Lahey, and Aly Wane. Aly is staying as a long-term intern; Zach, Brandon and Jackie are all returning to school. We want to especially appreciate: Brandon for working on the PNL editorial committee; Jackie for writing the Local Cost of the War's education leaflet, and Zach for helping organize SPC's benefit showing of An Inconvenient Truth.

Kerry Hanley has just joined us, and is volunteering 12 hours a week. Eric Benner recently accepted the VISTA position that Candace held and will work full-time at SPC for the next year. He will help with web support, funding development for Bikes 4 Peace and SPC's alternative career fair, and coalition building. We are delighted that they have chosen to share their talents with SPC.