Peace Council Pages

Educate, Agitate, Organize


compiled by Carol Baum
Syracuse Peace Council
924 Burnet Ave., Syracuse, NY 13203
(315) 472-5478
OFFICE HOURS: Mon.-Fri. 10 am - 5 pm
STAFF and INTERN Email Addresses:
Andy Mager
Carol Baum
Jessica Maxwell
Aly Wane
Eric Benner

Act to End the Occupation!
On December 6, SPC held a press conference critiquing the over-publicized Iraq Study Group report. The report fails to call for the fundamental change in policy demanded by people at the polls in November. There is no timeframe for a US withdrawal and no commitment to funding an Iraqi-led reconstruction. We call for an immediate ceasefire, an end to the US air war, complete and prompt withdrawal of US troops, full funding for an Iraqi-led reconstruction, and an end to any appropriations for new troop deployments.

SPC's Local Cost of the War campaign is gearing up for pressure and action. We have gathered hundreds of signatures on giant postcards to give Rep. Walsh. We plan to deliver the postcards to his office before the new Congress starts up in January. Contact Jessica if you'd like to host a postcard to gather more signatures.

On January 27, we'll join thousands of people from across the country for a mass rally and march on Congress in Washington, DC. SPC has reserved two busses leaving early Saturday morning and returning that same evening. Cost is $45-75 sliding scale (payments of $75 will allow us to offer some half-price or free seats). Please contact us as soon as possible to reserve your seat.

SPC staffer Jessica Maxwell and member and SU professor John Burdick critique the “bi-partisan” Iraq Study Group report at a December 6 news conference. Photo: Andy Mager

SPC Meetup
Do you want to hear face to face updates on SPC's work, to meet others in your neighborhood interested in peace and social justice, to share ideas and find out how to get involved? Come to an SPC meetup. The first will be held Tuesday, January 9 from 6-7 pm at the Recess Café at 110 Harvard Place in the Westcott neighborhood. Contact Jessica with questions or to RSVP.

Plowshares 2006
Unlike some other years, the gods of weather and high school basketball looked down upon the Fair and said let them commune and sing and participate in good fellowship.
Steering Committee member Rose Viviano staffs the SPC table at Plowshares. Photo: Carol Baum

Basketball was played at someone else's gym and the sun came out for the 36th annual Plowshares Craftsfair and Peace Festival.

Approximately 120 artisans displayed their wares. Potters, jewelers, tailors, stained glass artists, spoon makers and fine woodworkers were some of those who displayed their work.

Organic farmers and community groups representing social justice, Native American, environmental and anti-war issues provided information and education often unavailable in the local or national media. Although principally from the Syracuse metropolitan area, craftspersons now come from as far away as Albany, Buffalo and Ithaca.

Entertainment included African drumming, Irish, Chinese and Middle Eastern dancing, as well as blue grass, folk and protest music. Hammered dulcimer and Native
SPC’s Monthly Program


Wednesday, January 31 7:30 - 9:00 pm

From the highly contested national election that has resulted in a shadow government, to the recent uprising in Oaxaca, the people of Mexico have many lessons to offer on organizing and democracy. Join us for a multimedia presentation and discussion.

Co-Sponsored by SPC and the Caribbean Latin America Coalition (CLAC).

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

followed by refreshments & discussion. FREE

American flute music could also be heard at individual booths throughout the weekend. Food was plentiful, vegetarian, primarily from local sources and delicious. As is well known, food always tastes better at a gathering with friends and smiling neighbors.

Estimated attendance was over 3000 people. Clearly an undertaking of this size requires the skills and energy of many volunteers. If we counted them all, the attendance figures would be greatly increased. On behalf of the organizing committee, we extend our thanks and gratitude to the movers and shakers, decorators, cleaners and all the others who make Plowshares an event that brightens everyone's spirits at a gray time of year.

The Plowshares organizing committee of Andy, Barbara, Beth, Karen, Lanny, Lea, Mardea, Marie, Rae and Sam has retired to places unknown for a brief and well-deserved rest before beginning plans for the 37th annual Fair.
- Lanny Freshman

Activist Appreciation: Karen Hall
You might have been entertained (even educated) by one of Karen Hall's many insightful and witty articles in the PNL about war toys, pop culture or film. Karen has also donated her skills behind the scenes at SPC, doing some of the least exciting but necessary work. She's served as SPC's volunteer bookkeeper, been a member of the Steering Committee and most recently helped to kick-start the personnel committee to support SPC's staff. Whether it's the drudgery of balancing the checkbook or difficult decisions regarding organizational priorities, Karen's enthusiasm, supportive nature, and creativity make it all seem like fun.

NOON Update
Most people who attended the Grand Finale of the Onondaga Land Rights & Our Common Future series accepted the invitation to get up and join the dancing. Photo: Andy Mager

The Onondaga Land Rights & Our Common Future series, initiated and coordinated by the Peace Council's Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation (NOON) project, came to a close on December 6. The Grand Finale featured social dancing led by the Haudenosaunee Singers and Dancers from the Onondaga Nation. Nearly 300 people came out to celebrate the success of the series and continue the learning, sharing and relationship-building.

The organizing committee of the collaborative series deserves special mention - Linda Alcoff, SU Women's Studies; Phil Arnold, SU Religion Department; Regina Jones, SU Native Students Program; Richard Loder, SU Native American Studies Program; Andy Mager, NOON/SPC; and Jack Manno, SUNY ESF. While the series has concluded, the work will continue in other forms and the series lives on through the DVDs of the programs (available for $12 each from SPC or at

NOON's educational work will soon be complimented by an ongoing advocacy campaign. To learn about and join in that effort come to NOON's general information meeting on Tuesday, January 16 from 6-7:30 pm at the Westcott Day Hab Center (522 Westcott St., enter from parking lot in rear, off Beech St.). The program will begin with a presentation on the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign against the Haudenosaunee (1778-1779) by Phil Arnold. Contact Carol or Andy.

Save These Dates
Weekly Peace Outreach

“End the War;
Bring the Troops Home”
Carpooling available from SPC

Yup, it'll be chilly standing out on those corners in January. but you won't be alone...and think how impressed all those who drive by will be!

Thursdays, noon - 12:45 pm

Carpooling available from SPC

January 4 James Street and Thompson Rd. (Northside)
January 11 W. Genesee St. and N. Clinton St. (Clinton Square, downtown) Special Focus: Close Guantanamo Bay
January 18 E. Genesee St. and Erie Blvd. (Dewitt)
January 25 Rt. 11 (in front of Northern Lights Shopping Center, Mattydale)

February 1 Teall Ave. and Rt. 690 (Eastside)

Gem of the Ocean, Saturday March 10 at 3 pm at Syracuse Stage.

August Wilson is the most honored playwright in US history. His life's work is a 10-play cycle about African-American life, including such theatrical treasures as The Piano Lesson, Fences and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Each play in the cycle is set in a different decade of the twentieth century and explores African-American reality in the changing historical context.

Gem of the Ocean is the last play Wilson completed before his death, but the first one chronologically in the cycle. It is set in Wilson's native Pittsburgh in 1904 and explores issues of redemption, racial memory and the legacy of slavery within the last generation of survivors. SPC has reserved a block of seats for the Syracuse Stage production of Gem of the Ocean on Saturday, March 10, 2007. The show is at 3 pm and will be followed by a reception for Peace Council ticket holders in the Sutton Pavillion. Tickets are just $28 each for the play and reception and can be reserved with Barb Kobritz at 476-1588.
- Barb Kobritz

4th Annual Strike for Peace Bowlathon, Sunday, April 1 at Bowlmor Lanes.

Come and enjoy the fun and foolery (along with some bowling) at the Peace Council's 4th Annual Strike for Peace Bowlathon on April 1st. There's plenty of room for the kids - it's a real family event. Prizes will be awarded and costumes are welcome. Contact Joan at 471-0269.
- Joan Conley

America: Empire vs. Democracy
Noam Chomsky's scintillating Hegemony or Survival is up next for the SPC Study Group. The New York Times has called Chomsky "arguably the most important intellectual alive." In this work, he trains his powerful intellect on America's imperial ambitions in the 21st century. Armed with an encyclopedic knowledge of little-reported facts about US foreign policy, he posits that the architects of the "War on Terror" aim beyond securing America's borders to "full spectrum dominance." Far from leading to greater safety, this path is creating animosity towards the US, and Chomsky makes the case for re-examining our priorities.

The first meeting of 2007 will be Monday, January 15 at 7 pm, 821 Euclid Avenue. We will finish up our current book (Pathologies of Power), and have copies of this new book available for about $8. As usual, all are welcome. Contact Aly.

Welcome to New Interns
We are happy to have two students with us from Bennington College (Vermont) - Cailin Neal and Ian Kowaleski. They will work with SPC from January 2 through February 16 for their field work term. Cailin will focus on Local Cost of the War Committee organizing and Ian will concentrate on media/PR work.

"Crossing the Line" at the SOA
Julienne Oldfield (left) of Syracuse was among 16 arrested "crossing the line" at Fort Benning, GA on November 19. Charged with trespass, their federal trial in Columbus, GA begins on January 29.

Julienne was among over 16,000 who gathered outside Benning's gate for the annual commemoration of the tens of thousands of Latin American victims of the graduates of the US Army's notorious School of the Americas. She and her cohorts face fines and up to six months each in federal prison. To learn more, visit To join local support efforts, contact Ann Tiffany, CNY SOA Abolitionists, 478-4571.