Peace Council Pages

Educate, Agitate, Organize


compiled by Andy Mager
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

End the Iraq War Updates

We have gathered over a thousand individual signatures as of March 26 supporting our call for Immediate Congressional Action to End the War. Eleven organizations have also signed on. The deadline for petitions has been extended to April 5 (copies available at or the SPC office). We plan to deliver the petitions to Congressional representatives Walsh, Clinton and Schumer during the April congressional recess.

Hundreds of angry Central New Yorkers expressed their outrage at the continuation of the Iraq War. Clinton Square, March 19, 2007. Photo: Aimee Jurista

On Monday, March 19, 400-500 people gathered at Clinton Square for a mass rally and march to the Federal Building - making it the largest local anti-war demonstration since the first year of the war. Downtown was flooded with the sounds of anti-war chants, banging pots and pans, and the Bread & Puppet Circus band. "Stop the Funding, End the War, What the Hell is Congress for," rang through the streets of downtown Syracuse.

At the conclusion of the March 19 march, demonstrators hung red paper hands on a construction fence with a banner reading: “We all have Blood on our Hands. End the War Now.” March 19, 2007. Photo: Aimee Jurista

When the march reached the Federal Building, participants hung peace signs on the chain link construction fence surrounding the plaza alongside a banner that read "We all have Blood on our Hands. End the War Now." More than 250 red paper hands accompanied the banner.

On Tuesday morning, a group of 20 activists returned to the Federal Building to continue the call for our federal representatives to take action to end the war. Several people stood outside holding giant signs that read "3,218" (the number of US soldiers killed as of March 19) and "Out of Iraq." In the main lobby and in Senator Schumer's office 15 peace protesters read the names of US soldiers and Iraqi civilians who have been killed in the war. Late in the afternoon Cynthia Banas and Paul Frazier were arrested when they refused to cease the protest. They will appear before Judge Vanessa Bogan in Syracuse City Court on April 11 at 2 pm.

A follow-up meeting for people interested in continuing nonviolent resistance to the war is set for Wednesday, April 4 at 6 pm. For information or the meeting location, contact Rae at 445-2840.

Don't miss SPC's Birthday
SPC 's 71st Birthday Celebration, Saturday, April 28 at St. Andrew's Church (124 Alden St.), will feature a sumptuous dinner followed by the premiere of a 30-minute documentary on the Syracuse Peace Council. Produced, filmed and edited by local activists, the film takes a look at the many different people, movements and actions that have shaped SPC .

SPC’s Monthly Program

Venezuela, Natural Resources
and US Foreign Policy

Thursday, April 19, 7 pm

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

Presentation and discussion with
Nancy Gwin and Doug Igelsrud, longtime
local Latin America solidarity
activists. In January, they traveled to
Venezuela as part of a Witness for
Peace delegation.

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

followed by refreshments & discussion. FREE

The suggested donation at the door is $10-70. Doors open at 6 pm, and dinner will be served at 6:30 pm. Reservations for dinner are strongly recommended by April 20. Walk-ins are welcome if we're not full. You are also welcome to come just for the program at 7:30. Contact Jessica to make a reservation or to help at the event.

Onondaga Land Rights Hearing Postponed
At the educational program "The Case for Justice: an Onondaga Land Rights Update" on March 20, Onondaga attorney Joe Heath announced that the court hearing scheduled for March 28 had been postponed. The hearing had been set to determine whether the Onondagas will actually have the opportunity to argue their case in court. The delay is due to indications that the federal government may "join" the Onondagas in their suit, which would eliminate one of the legal hurdles.

Joe provided an update on the legal status of the Onondaga case, thoroughly debunking New York State's argument that the case should be dismissed.
Bradley Powless, who represents the Eel Clan on the Onondaga Council of Chiefs, spoke eloquently on March 20 about the theft of his peoples' land. Photo: Andy Mager

Bradley Powless, the eel clan representative on the Onondaga Council of Chiefs, described the history of dispossession experienced by the Onondagas. Using slides of wampum belts, maps, paintings and historical illustrations, Bradley used the statements of President George Washington and others to illustrate the systematic theft of Onondaga lands. His quiet tone allowed the horror of the information to seep deeply into the audience.

A charter bus, which was already oversubscribed with Onondagas and supporters wanting to travel to Albany for the hearing, has been cancelled, along with a planned support gathering in Clinton Square. Check out upcoming Peace Newsletters or the NOON website ( for updates.

SPC Bowl-a-thon

Rescheduled for April 15
Due to a miscommunication with the bowling alley, this year's bowl-a-thon has been rescheduled for Sunday, April 15. The other details remain the same, two sessions: 12:30 and 3 pm. The entry fee is $15 for adults and $12 for those under 12. Please organize your team now. To register or for information, contact Joan 471-0269 or

Sorting Through 35 Years of Hard Work

SPC 's move to the new Syracuse Center for Peace and Social Justice is expected late in the spring, so help is needed to prepare to depart from our home of 35 years on Burnet Ave. Progress has already been made in organizing and recycling. Join us on Saturday, April 7, 10 am-4 pm at 924 Burnet Ave. Dress in work clothes. A healthy lunch will be provided.

SPC Benefit: The Vagina Monologues

A fantastic group of high school students, collectively known as "Syracuse High School" recently put on a production of the Vagina Monologues at May Memorial Unitarian Society. This feminist play spawned an annual event called V-Day to combat women's rights abuses around the globe. Each V-Day has a theme, and this year's theme was "Women in Combat Zones."

Eric Benner (center) listens attentively at one of the largest SPC staff meetings in decades. Photo: Andy Mager
With that in mind, the Syracuse High School group generously donated a large portion of their proceeds (over $600!), as well as a brand new button maker to SPC.

We are extremely grateful and commend the group for their effort and initiative. Special thanks to Toby Luft and Katie Yates, cocoordinators, and all of the cast and crew for their work and generosity. We continue to be impressed with the activism and leadership from the youth of our community.

Activist Appreciation: Eric Benner
In mid-March, Eric Benner left his position as an SPC intern. Always friendly and creative, Eric's work focussed on the Military Alternatives Education Project. In that capacity, he organized many activities aimed at combating the creeping militarism in our schools. Those activities included setting up information tables at high schools and organizing anti-war film events.

Eric also worked with the Partnership for Onondaga Creek, and was responsible for numerous and thankless administrative tasks such as the Peace Newsletter calendar and our weekly e-newsletter. He is heading "back to the land" to work on an organic farm. We are grateful that he shared his gifts with us for the past seven months and we wish him the best.

On a related note, SPC in conjunction with the Westcott Community Center is looking to fill Eric's VISTA position. To learn more, contact Kora Ebling,, 218-0218.
Weekly Peace Outreach

“End the War;
Bring the Troops Home”

Spring is in the air, a perfect time to take to the streets and help end the war.

Tuesdays: 4:45-5:30 pm

Carpooling available from SPC

April 3: Teall Ave. and Rt. 690 (Eastside)
April 10: Geddes St. and W. Genesee St. (Westside)
April 17: Rt. 481 and Rt. 31 (Great Northern Mall)
April 24: Adams St. and Rt. 81 (Downtown)

May 1: Rt. 57 and Vine St. (Village of Liverpool)

Military Alternatives Education Project
MAEP continues to have a strong presence in the schools, with tabling dates scheduled in each of the four city high schools every month through the end of the school year. Local activist Amber Coon is now coordinating tabling. You can contact her at Grant proposals have also been submitted by SPC and the American Friends Service Committee to help fund a fall career fair in the schools and the production of a resource pamphlet on career and educational opportunities outside of the military.

Want to go to Cuba in July?
Pastors for Peace is planning a delegation to Cuba in July. Financial assistance may be available. Call Doug, 471-5749, for more information.