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

Step Up the Pressure
End the War
Cheney protest, July 14, 2006, Utica. Photo: Ray Trudell

The election results were a resounding rejection of the war and a tribute to both the organizing of progressive forces and the utter failures of the Bush administration. Democratic control of Congress has opened up an important opportunity for the peace movement to bring an end to our nation's immoral occupation of Iraq. While this is a hopeful time, we must remember that the war was launched and continues to be waged with considerable bi-partisan support.

Our task now is to hold the new Congress accountable - to step up the pressure to end the war. In the process, we need to stress that the problem isn't
the way the war was fought, but that war is wrong, particularly when based on lies and a goal of gaining control of Iraq's oil resources.

United for Peace and Justice (the national coalition of which SPC is a part) has identified four goals for our pressure on Congress:
1. Bring US troops home immediately;
2. Support the Iraqi people with significant funds for Iraqi-led reconstruction work;
3. Support an Iraqi-led reconciliation process;
4. Declare that the US will not pursue a permanent military presence in Iraq and the US will not attempt to control Iraqi oil.

Big Response to Local Cost of War
SPC's Local Cost of the War Committee gained three new members after the October 20 rally and our follow-up dessert meeting (was it the sugar?). We set three follow-up meetings to plan the next few months of activities, and will soon be asking you to support our latest efforts to mobilize our local community into action against the occupation of Iraq.

The media response to our rally was mixed - lots of attention from print and radio, but not a single TV station (despite press releases and phone calls) came to cover an event that brought 200 people out in the cold rain to hear internationally-recognized speaker Angela Davis. We responded with letters to all four local stations and letters to the editor. Two letters made it into the Post-Standard, and we received a reply from Channel 5 - apologetic and encouraging us to please keep them informed of future events. More than one jaded activist almost fell off her chair.

To help organize and hold our politicians and media accountable to the community, contact Carol or Jess.

Weekly Peace Outreach

“End the War;
Bring the Troops Home”

While there may be no free lunch, Peace Outreach is free and more nourishing to the spirit!

Thursdays 12 noon to 12:45 pm
Carpooling available from SPC.

Friday, November 24 Carousel Center, Hiawatha Blvd.
November 30 Rt. 11 Northern Lights Shopping Center (Mattydale)
December 7 Teall Ave. & Rt. 690 (Eastside)
December 14 Adams St. and Rt. 81 (Downtown)
December 21 Rt. 57 and Vine St. (Liverpool)
December 28 Seneca Tpk. and S. Salina St. (Valley)
January 4 James Street and Thompson Rd. (Northside)

Onondaga Land Rights Series to Conclude
The collaborative educational series, Onondaga Land Rights and Our Common Future, ends in December, having started last February. The November 27 program, "Why Native American Sovereignty Makes Sense for All of Us," is at 7 pm at Syracuse Stage (820 E. Genesee). Speakers include Tonya Gonnella Frichner, president and founder of the American Indian Law Alliance in New York City; Richard Loder, Director of SU's Native American Studies Program; and Scott Lyons, Director of the Center for Indigenous Studies at St.
John Fisher College. The series' finale is a cultural sharing, "Sing and Dance with the Haudenosaunee Singers and Dancers," December 6 at the Women's Building Gym (corner of Comstock and Euclid Aves.) at 7 pm.

Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation (NOON) initiated and has coordinated the series. NOON provides an information table at these events and others too. If you would like to help table, attend interesting events and meet concerned people, please contact Nick Cavanaugh at or Carol at the SPC office.

Activist Appreciation -Plowshares Committee
They are the organizer/hosts of SPC's annual craftsfair and winter peace festival. They work year round to bring us this warm event the first weekend of December, celebrating the work of people's hands and our peace and justice loving community. Each is an activist in other areas as well, and our community benefits from their work and persistence. They are artists, performers, educators, agitators and organizers.

The committee works all year and with great intensity since September. They do it all: find the place, fill the place, and clean up the place. The Plowshares Committee is the one large committee that SPC staff help and support but are not actually on - something the staff are incredibly grateful for. We thank you, Mardea Warner, Sam Tarbania, Marie Summerwood, Beth Mosley, Andy Molloy, Karen Kerney, Rae Kramer, Lanny Freshman, Barbara Floch, and fall intern, Lea Abe.

Syracuse veteran and MAEP activist Dave Lester (center) talks with others who came out for the opening of the Different Drummer Café in Watertown. Photo: Joel
Different Drummer Café
On Friday, October 27, the Different Drummer GI Café opened in Watertown, just outside the Ft. Drum military base. For several months, SPC has been assisting Citizen Soldier in planning, recruiting volunteers and fundraising to help get the café off the ground. SPC steering committee member and Viet Nam draft resister Dik Cool attended the opening, as well as MAEP activist and veteran Dave Lester. GI cafés played a key role in supporting the GI resistance movement during the Viet Nam war. As the brutal US occupation of Iraq continues unabated, supporting the thousands of US soldiers who do not wish to participate is a strategic and ethical priority for anti-war activists. For more information:

Military Alternatives Education Project (MAEP) Update
On November 1, over 90 people from the community viewed Sir! No Sir!, the new documentary about the GI resistance to the war in Viet Nam. Many stayed afterwards to hear Frank Houde from the Albany Chapter of Veterans for Peace share his recollections of the Viet Nam War. Following Frank, Dave Lester from Iraq Veterans Against the War spoke about the importance of organizing today's soldiers against the current war while making connections between the Viet Nam War and the war in Iraq.

On November 15, people came together to begin planning for the next year of activity for MAEP. It is not too late to get involved in this critical work. Contact Eric.

SPC Wish List
If you like to give gifts around the winter holiday season, consider a gift for SPC. While we always appreciate financial contributions, there are many other ways you can support our work. A few are listed below (more are listed at our website).
o Display supplies (brochure holders, exhibit boards, etc.)
o A few good folding tables to take to events (ours are rickety)
o A manual button-making machine (for small quantity buttons) - about $70
o Good progressive films/documentaries on DVD
o A volunteer to help organize buttons and bumperstickers
o A volunteer to coordinate the free distribution of PNLs in Central New York
o A photocopy machine in good working order
o A laser printer
o A desktop computer (Pentium III or better)

This powerful photo of an anti-war demonstration at Clinton Square in 1975 is one of many images you’ll find in the SPC video. Photo: Ruth

SPC's Reel Truth
We're on the home stretch of SPC's video, as we approach final editing after nearly two years of work. Tentatively titled Educate, Agitate, Organize: The Syracuse Peace Council, the video addresses our history, current work and vision. Funded in part by a DeFrancisco Heritage Grant through the Cultural Resources Council, the video includes excerpts from over 20 lengthy interviews.

Tim Brachocki of the Syracuse Alternative Media Network is the videographer and editor, and many folks have assisted with interviews, transcribing, scanning photos and more. Early reviews of the piece have been highly favorable. Keep your eye out for the premiere sometime this winter.

It's in the Mail…
November and December are typically our largest fund-raising months - due to the Fall Fund Appeal and Plowshares. We are currently running at a slight net loss, which is not unusual, but we need to make up for it now to carry us through the winter months (which tend to have fewer fund-raising activities).

Please respond as generously as you can to the fund appeal - even if you did not get one in the mail. We stretch your dollar to the fullest. Donations of $50 or more can be made out to the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute (please write SPC on the memo line); these will be tax-deductible to the extent allowed by the IRS. For more information on SPC finances, please contact Carol.