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
Felice Osband's beautiful blown glass crafts have been a Plowshares staple for many years. There will be over 120 craftspeople this year along with great food, lively entertainment and perhaps the warmest winter gathering in Central New York. Don't miss this chance to expose new people to the peace and social justice community. Photo: Paul Pearce.

Welcome to Plowshares
We hope to see you at the 37th annual Plowshares Craftsfair and Winter Peace Festival. We will be at Nottingham High School on Saturday, December 1 from 10 to 5, and Sunday December 2 from 11 to 5.

This annual event celebrates the opportunity for craftsperson and buyer to personally connect in a marketplace free from corporate control and profit. Add to this good food (much locally grown), diverse entertainment and the chance to see old friends and make some new ones. And...add to that, information about a variety of peace and justice community groups, a silent auction and a raffle with lots of prizes...and you have a wonderful way to jump into the holiday season.

 For many years Plowshares has been one of the highlights of the season, a time of good fellowship and commerce grassroots style, a welcome change from the frantic consumerism and artificial good cheer associated with shopping at the mall or from commercial catalogs. For full details about craftspeople and entertainment see:  

Bring a friend or someone who has never been. We look forward to seeing you there.

9-29: An Antiwar Movement of Movements
September 29 was an historic moment for the Upstate NY antiwar movement - 2500 people marched and rallied in Syracuse for an immediate, unconditional US withdrawal from Iraq (see page 12 for photos). With the prominent participation of active duty soldiers from Fort Drum, veterans, military families, union members, students and peace activists from diverse backgrounds - a broad movement of movements marched out into the streets together - and into the living rooms of much of CNY via the front page of the Sunday newspaper and coverage on all local TV stations. September 29 was a victory, and we at SPC took a little time in October to celebrate.

Energized and inspired, we've come out of 9-29 with several next steps to continue building the movement:
an Upstate NY conference call in mid-November will allow activists to debate proposals, including a potential regional conference and training in January and proposals for regional political and/or corporate targets for direct action.
a strategy meeting with Fort Drum Iraq Vets Against the War to see how we can best continue to support active military resistance - we will interrupt our regularly scheduled Wednesday meetings once or twice a month with trainings and skill shares open to anyone in the community interested in building the antiwar movement. Look for details soon.
we're taking it on the road -participating in strategy meetings, offering trainings and presentations. Jessica of SPC and Mike Blake of IVAW spoke to over 50 students at Fayetteville-Manlius High School in October at the first meeting of the newly formed Students Against Violence. Members of our Iraq committee will meet with the Mohawk Valley Peace Coalition and Lewis County peace activists in November, as well as making a presentation to the Solvay-Camillus-Geddes Kiwanis Club.

Contact Carol or Jessica.

SPC Holiday Wish List

  people to help us move and/or renovate our new offices!
  LCD flat screen computer monitors
Peace Newsletter
distribution coordinator (6 hours/month)
used computers (Pentium 4+)
shelving or display racks for our new office
someone to write grant proposals (at least 8 hours/month)
computer work stations
desk chairs
Peace Newsletter mailing partycoordinator (6 hours/month)
 a paper folder (ideally able to fold up to 11" x 17" paper)
people available to help run errands during the day
 a manual paper cutter in good condition
people to serve on our Bowl-a-thon Committee
Contact the office at 472-5478.

SPC's Fall Fund Appeal Out
If you are on the mailing list, you will have recently received SPC's Fall Fund Appeal. Please contribute as generously as you can - as of November 1, SPC has had a net loss of about $4000 this year.  If you didn't receive the mailing, please consider contributing anyway (you can see the materials and donate online at

We have been so busy organizing to end the occupation of Iraq and to support the Onondaga Nation's land rights action, along with preparing for our upcoming move, that we have been unable to do much fund raising.

For details about SPC's finances or to receive a copy of the financial statement (included in the mailing) contact Carol.

Activist Appreciation—Mike Pasquale
Mike Pasquale has been an integral part of SPC's Local Cost of the War Committee and Affinity Group. He is an extremely capable organizer, having worked for many years on the campaign to close the School of the Americas/ WHINSEC (see SOA).

Mike was a lead organizer of the September 29 march and rallies in Syracuse. He coordinated the rallies and the evening program, which was a huge challenge and time commitment. Among other things, Mike facilitated the decision-making about speakers and performers; contacted them, making sure everyone knew their roles; prepared the bios for the written program and the website; negotiated last minute requests; and did general troubleshooting. Mike was the definition of grace under pressure. Thank you, Mike!

Mike (with Rae Kramer on his left) participating in a civil disobedience action to end the Iraq War at the Federal Building in Syracuse on May 15, 2007. Photo: Kristin Mosher

Sharing the Work
SPC operates as a staff collective, sharing the many tasks, decisions, challenges and rewards that come with organizing for peace and social justice. As part of our commitment to skill sharing and maintaining an equitable work environment, we rotate many roles at SPC.

For the past half year, Carol Baum has coordinated the Peace Newsletter editorial committee, Jessica Maxwell has organized the mailing party, and Andy Mager has compiled "SPC in Action" and designed the layout. This issue Carol rotates off the editorial committee and Jessica assumes the coordinator role.

SPC and the PNL committee appreciate the many, many hours of work that Carol has dedicated to ensuring a quality publication each month. The PNL is also sad to lose Julie Norman from the editorial committee as she prepares to move. Julie's editing and writing skills, along with her reliability, willingness to learn and gentle humor made her an important part of the committee.

If you are interested in joining the committee, please contact Jessica.

Military Alternatives Education Project Welcomes New VISTA
Beverly Springer has recently been accepted as the Americorps VISTA volunteer working with SPC. Among the projects she will focus on is the MAEP coalition, including assisting with a spring career fair.

Originally from Panama, Beverly brings a unique background, strong people skills and enthusiasm for the work. Her official start date is November 19. Please introduce yourself to her at an upcoming event.

Serve on SPC's Steering Committee
SPC is recruiting new members to serve on our steering committee, the body that coordinates overall organizational direction and program work. It's an active committee of 12-15 people that generally meets monthly. Meetings are run by consensus process. Members are asked to participate in at least one other SPC committee or project. If you have been active in SPC and are looking for a new way to participate, consider joining us. Terms are 1-3 years. Contact Jessica.

Weekly Peace Outreach

Get some fresh air during your lunch hour and help end the war

NOW Thursdays
12 noon-12:45 pm

FRI. Nov. 23   Hiawatha Blvd. entrance to Carousel Center Mall
November 29  James Street and Thompson Rd. (Northside)
December 6    S. Salina St. and E. Colvin St. (Southside)
December 13  Rt. 695 exit ramp to W. Genesee St. (Fairmount)

December 20  S. Salina St. near Christmas tree in Clinton Square
December 27  E. Genesee St. and Erie Blvd. (Dewitt)

Learning in Community
After a brief hiatus, the SPC Study group is back with a newfound sense of purpose and energy.  The group continues with the current format of open dialogue and respectful discussion, while striving to be as flexible as possible. In the next few weeks, the Study Group will be reading two books simultaneously. 

One is Naomi Klein's powerful new work of nonfiction entitled "The Shock Doctrine" in which she makes the case that the free market system has only been able to thrive by taking advantage of world-changing crises and wars that soften up populations for exploitation.  The other is a spiritual and philosophical classic "Markings."  In this little diary, Dag Hammarskjold (former UN Secretary General who died in 1961) reflects on his struggle to maintain a spiritual life as a career diplomat.  Feel free to join us anytime, whether you want to read, or just have an open discussion about issues of peace and justice. We meet the 2nd and 4th Monday of the each month at 821 Euclid Ave. Contact Aly.

A Community Bike Coop  for Syracuse?
As we wrap up our fifth season of Bikes 4 Peace, we've begun conversations with other community bike programs (BikeSyracuse, BikeCNY, the Campus Commuter Challenge) and local students about joining forces to promote biking in Syracuse. In November we made a trip to Rochester to check out their community bike program for inspiration. If you're interested in participating in future conversations about starting a Syracuse bike cooperative or community bike workshop, contact Jessica or join our new meetup group:

SPC to Move Soon
Three and a half years ago, we announced in the Peace Newsletter that SPC was making plans to move. After various twists and turns, we're now confident that the feat will happen in the next month or so. Work is underway to prepare the second floor of the Syracuse Center for Peace and Social Justice ( for SPC. Many hands can make light work of moving many decades of paper, equipment, signs, banners, props, etc. Contact Jessica to help.

924 Burnet Ave. for Sale
SPC's longtime home at 924 Burnet Ave. is for sale. Please spread the word. The solid house, chock full of good karma is available for only $32,500 (negotiable). Contact Don Radke of FM Realty at 637-5195.


Onondaga Land Rights DVDs Available
In 2006 NOON coordinated the historic educational series "Onondaga Land Rights and our Common Future." Recognizing the long-term value of the presentations, we worked hard to have all the programs videotaped and turned into high quality dvds. DVDs of all 11 programs are now available for only $12 each plus shipping and handling ($100 for the series). Many of the programs are also available for viewing on the SPC website. Contact NOON, 472-5478.

Fall Interns
NOON's work was assisted greatly this fall by SU student intern Salvatore Sciandra. Sal, who was drawn to NOON because of its cross-cultural nature, assisted with projects large and small. Two other SU students conducted research projects for SPC which we expect will provide some insights to help us improve future work. We're always looking for more young folks who want to learn how to organize! Contact Andy.

Thank You from Angus
Thank you for the wonderful PNL birthday greeting! (In the  September issue we wished Angus MacDonald a happy 95th birthday and four SPC activists wrote of  their respect and appreciation for him. - ed.)

Fighting nonviolently beside you, whose contributions far exceed mine, for peace and justice has been joyful for me. I think of it as "Marching with the Heroes," not heroes with blood on their hands, but heroes with love in their hearts for the whole world.

My deepest and warmest love to every one of you.