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

Peace Council Pages

Educate, Agitate, Organize


compiled by Carol Baum

A panel addresses the contamination of Onondaga Lake and how to truly “clean” it. Ironically, the three environmental programs were held shortly after Honeywell’s sham “clean up” plan for Onondaga Lake was announced. Right to left: Chief Bradley Powless, Jeanne Shenandoah, Emmanuel Carter, Richard Smardon, Ed Michalenko, Chris Amato and Jack Manno. Photo: Andy

Onondaga Land Rights and
Our Shared Environment

A broad range of environmental issues related to the Onondaga Land Rights Action were explored during two packed days of learning on October 16-17. Two evening programs and a day-long teach-in under the title "Reflections on the Journey from Environmental Reciprocity to Environmental Exploitation and Back" drew a total attendance of nearly 1,000 people.

We began with an exploration of the cultural ecology of Onondaga territory before European colonization. SUNY ESF Botany Professor Robin Kimmerer challenged us to debunk myths of "virgin" territory, pointing out the many ways the Onondagas and other Haudenosaunee people actively engaged with and altered their environment in a harmonious manner. Jeanne Shenandoah, an Onondaga, shared information about Onondaga names for many parts of the region, describing the deep spiritual and emotional connection of her people to the land.

Onondaga Lake and its watershed were the focus of the closing program. Environmental lawyer Chris Amato outlined the "cover-up" plan recently approved by the NYS DEC for the lake, informing us that the area would still qualify as a toxic Superfund Site after the planned "clean-up." A panel of scientists, activists and Onondagas discussed how we came to this point and how we might move forward to reclaim a clean lake as a central feature of our community. For more details and photos from the programs see

The lack of both grassroots and political leadership to lead this process was highlighted. If you'd like to help fill this void, contact Andy.


Plowshares Craftsfair & Winter Peace Festival
Join us at Nottingham High School on Saturday, December 2 (10 am-5 pm) and Sunday, December 3 (11 am-5 pm) for the 36th annual SPC winter gathering. You will find more than 100 booths of craftspeople and community groups eager to share their wares and info, along with wonderful food, entertainment and good cheer. In the spirit of half-full glasses, we are hopeful that we can also celebrate some significant political changes together.

The Plowshares Fair is our creative winter marketplace, an opportunity to value the work of local friends, and affirm our belief in economic exchange uncontrolled by corporate greed and arrogance. Amidst the suffering in the world, these two days are an oasis of connection and community; talking over lunch as enjoyable as the wonderful arts and crafts you can purchase.

SPC’s Monthly Program

Iraq for Sale:
The War Profiteers

Thursday, November 17 7-8:30 pm

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

Iraq for Sale uncovers the connections between private corporations making a killing in Iraq and the decision-makers who allow them to do so. By acclaimed director Robert Greenwald (Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, Outfoxed and Uncovered), the film takes you inside the lives of soldiers, truck drivers, widows and children who have been changed forever as a result of profiteering in the reconstruction of Iraq. (75 minutes)

followed by refreshments & discussion. FREE

Look for posters around town, make a plan to come with a friend and see how much fun it can be to do holiday shopping the grassroots way. Can't wait to see you there.

-Rae Kramer

P.S. Let us know if you have a service or an item that can be donated as a raffle prize. Our eclectic prize list is always open for that unusual lampshade from Aunt Sadie or magic brownie recipe you have perfected (call Rae 445-2840).


MAEP Shows Film November 1
The Military Alternatives Education Project (MAEP) is excited to be showing Sir! No Sir at 7 pm on November 1 at The Palace Theater (2384 James St.), $5-15 sliding scale (more if you can afford it, less if you can't). After the film representatives from Iraq Veterans Against the War will discuss their experiences speaking out against the war and how this relates to the film.

MAEP has also been busy visiting the Syracuse City High Schools. We've been distributing "opt-out" forms so that kids know they have a choice about whether or not their information is passed onto the military. We also provide materials to counter what is provided by military recruiters.

We are looking for people to help with numerous tabling opportunities we have at area high schools. For more information contact Eric.

Weekly Peace Outreach

“End the War;
Bring the Troops Home”

After Halloween (don't forget your costume), Peace Outreach will move to lunchtime on Thursdays, noon-12:45 pm. Show your anti-war spirit in the aftermath of the Congressional elections. Carpooling available from SPC.

Last time Tuesday, 4:45-5:30 pm

October 31 Geddes St. and W. Genesee St. (Westside) Thursdays, noon-12:45 pm
November 9 E. Genesee St. and Erie Blvd. (Dewitt)
November 16 Rt. 257 (Fayette St.) and Rt. 173 (E. Seneca Tpk.), Manlius
Friday, November 24, noon-12:45 pm - the busiest shopping day of the year! Carousel Center, Hiawatha Blvd. entrance
Back to Thursday, noon-12:45 pm
November 30 Rt. 11 (in front of Northern Lights Shopping Center, Mattydale)

Study Group Looks at Power and Health Care
The SPC Study Group will be reading Paul Farmer's riveting book, Pathologies of Power. This highly praised work is filled with as much passion as it is with detailed scholarship. An international human rights activist and physician, Farmer makes a radical critique of market-based health care and its inherent injustices. He makes an eloquent case that health care should be a human right, not a privilege. The New England Journal of Medicine's glowing review states that "Pathologies of Power is a profound work; it deserves the widest possible audience."

The Study Group meets the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month at the Friends Meeting House (821 Euclid Ave). All are welcome. Please join us as we learn from each other. Contact Aly.


Fall Clean-up and Winterizing
Please join us Saturday, November 4 as we transform SPC's house from its spring/summer look to its fall/winter look. From 10-3 pm we'll clean inside, do last minute yardwork, and put plastic over the windows. Come for the entire time or part. Lunch is provided, so please RSVP to Aly.


Activist Appreciation - Roger Cunningham
Roger out in the cold, calling on Jim walsh to Starve the War and feed the Furnace (for poor folks). February 18, 2006. Photo: Ray Trudell

He spends untold hours scanning old Peace Newsletters to make them accessible to the world, brings the signs to Peace Outreach every week and fetches the Peace Newsletter from the printer each month, then trims 5,000 copies for mailing and distribution. Those are only the regular contributions Roger Cunningham makes at SPC.

His dependability and willingness to take on mundane tasks with good humor take a huge burden off SPC staff. We often turn to Roger when we can't find someone to assist with a needed task. At our Thursday house lunches Roger often regales us with stories from his time in Asia or growing up in the Midwest.

During heated moments at demonstrations one can see Roger's social work skills swing into gear as he calmly engages counter-demonstrators or angry passersby. Roger plays a vital role in maintaining the foundation that allows other things to happen.

World Can't Wait Outreach
People across the US observed this past October 5 as the World Can't Wait national peace outreach day. Here in CNY over 20 SPC folks gathered from noon-1 pm at one of Syracuse's busiest intersections - that vehicular vortex where Adams St. goes under Rt. 81 between downtown and the university.

We deployed ourselves at the various corners facing the noon traffic and held aloft our signs. Thousands of motorists and their passengers couldn't escape reading our messages:

War Will Not Make Us Safer
Bring Our Troops Home … Now
War is Terrorism with a Bigger Budget
Bush Lies and People Die

And so on.

A handful of folks stood in a line on the northwest corner with placards spelling out: I M P E A C H.

Does it make a difference? We think it does. All those folks giving us the peace sign and the thumbs up and honking their horns seem to think so too.

Let's keep keeping this rotten war on everyone's radar screen. Join us every Tuesday reaching out at other busy intersections around Syracuse. (See schedule above). Use one of our signs or bring your own.


Breaking the Ramadan Fast
This year the fasting month of Ramadan began September 23. The Islamic Society of CNY continued the tradition started in 200l of inviting people connected with SPC to join them in the iftar, the evening meal breaking the day's fast. As usual the food and generosity of spirit warmed us all. We appreciated our hosts' graciousness in sharing their culture and religion, and answering our many questions. We truly are all part of one community.