Peace Council Pages

Educate, Agitate, Organize


compiled by Jessica Maxwell

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
Beverly Springer

End the US Occupation of Iraq

Iraq: No Business as Usual
On March 19, a crowd of about 200 gathered in Clinton Square for a march and street theatre to mark the 5th year since the US invasion of Iraq. Led by a giant Uncle Sam octopus puppet representing US imperialism and war, marchers snaked through downtown and stopped at local sites representing different institutions that support the war: the federal building (US government), a military recruitment office (military recruiters), Bank of America (war profiteers), the Post-Standard (corporate media). At the end of the march, participants toppled US imperialism (the octopus) and claimed the streets for peace.

SPC’s Monthly Program

Syracuse University:
A player in the Military-Industrial-Academic Complex?

Tuesday, April 29 @ 7:30 pm
Westcott Community Center (corner of Euclid and Westcott, Syracuse)

Following up on the special section in this newsletter, a panel will discuss the Pentagon's role at SU and what we can do about it.

Free and open to the public.

Acting creatively and nonviolently, about 60 people occupied all four lanes of Salina St., just north of James alongside the Post-Standard building. Yarn was woven across the streets, a die-in occurred, and people chanted and drummed for an end to the war. A banner held across the road read, "Sorry, road closed due to US government killing of Iraqi civilians."

The street was held for over an hour. Eventually the police declared the gathering an "unlawful assembly." Everyone who remained in the street was arrested, along with several others who had committed such high crimes as taking photos and drumming after they'd been told to stop - for a total of 22 people.

SPC fully supports everyone who took democracy and free speech into their hands today and will do support work as their cases go through the court system.

Activist Skill Shares
We have just one activist skill share left in our series - "Outreach and Publicity," Wednesday, April 9, 6:30-8:30 at Women's Info (601 Allen St.). Through the series we met a few new folks, reconnected with some and shared ideas. There was enough interest in the puppet-making/street theatre session that we're considering a longer follow-up session. If you might be interested or have suggestions of other topics, contact Jessica.

Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan
From March 13-16, veterans of the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan gathered just outside Washington, DC to give their eyewitness accounts. The hearing, sponsored by Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), was called Winter Soldier, in recognition of the first Winter Soldier hearing, sponsored by Vietnam Veterans Against the War in 1971.

With SU's Student Peace Action Network, SPC organized a Rock Against the War benefit in late February to support Winter Soldier. This was followed by educational events at Le Moyne College and Syracuse University (both co-sponsored with student groups). In early March, SPC hosted a screening of Winter Soldier, the documentary of the 1971 hearing, which also featured a panel of IVAW and Veterans for Peace members. Throughout all of this, we worked hard to promote the Winter Soldier hearings in the mainstream media.

We raised $800 to help local IVAW members attend the hearing. Thanks to those who helped and spoke, in particular Laura Bruner, Dave Lester, Rose Viviano, Carol Baum, Phil Aliff, Mike Blake, Bill Cross, Joe Heath and Eli Wright.

The hearings were broadcast over the internet and Dish Network TV. Audio of the hearing is available at; video, as it becomes available, will be on SPC will schedule public viewing times over the next month. Contact Carol.

SPC Birthday/Fall Plans
SPC has been forced to reschedule our Birthday Celebration after learning that Howard Zinn couldn't come for our April 26 date due to a family illness. At press time we are trying to book another inspiring speaker for an early fall date. A benefit of having a fall dinner is that our meal can be composed of locally-produced foods from the fall harvest. Contact Andy.

Move Update
Due to requests from the SPC space renovators (many of whom are volunteers), as well as the volume of anti-war activism that has been generated this month, SPC has moved "The Move" date two weeks. Please join us on Saturday, April 12 starting at 9 am as SPC moves into our new home at the Syracuse Center for Peace and Social Justice (2013 E. Genesee St., Syracuse).

During the week of April 7, we'll need people to help with packing. On April 12, we'll need vans or trucks, people to help lift and carry, and people to provide food and snacks. Contact Carol or Jessica.

We apologize that our projected date move date has changed several times, but it's a momentous undertaking for SPC. We very much appreciate everyone who has worked to prepare our space, the Center Board for its work, and SPC's general community for your patience.

On Sunday, March 2, 115 people participated in SPC's annual Strike for Peace Bowl-a-thon at Flamingo Bowl in Liverpool. A raucous good time was had by all, with prizes distributed for biggest age spread on a team (59 years!), highest score, best team name (Pre-emptive Strike) and most creative costume. We also initiated a new annual tradition with a highly coveted bowling shoe trophy awarded each session for team spirit. We're still receiving pledge checks in the mail, but have already raised $1700 to support SPC's work. Thanks to all those who participated, and especially to committee members Joan Conley, Ruth Florey, Rae Kramer, Jessica Maxwell and Wendy Yost.

The NOON bowling team seeking, with limited success to “Strike” for Peace. Photo: Michelle Bersani

NOON Plans for Spring Activity
As part of our ongoing effort to be good neighbors, members from Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation (NOON) spent an enjoyable evening in early March eating and socializing with friends from the Onondaga Nation. Thanks to Sandy Bigtree and Phil Arnold for hosting the event and to Candee Wadsworth and Sue Eiholzer for organizing work.

With the assistance of two interns from Syracuse University's new Community Fellows program, NOON is planning an educational event as part of SU's MayFest on Tuesday, April 22 at 1 pm at Hendricks Chapel. One intern is researching the way Onondaga and Haudenosaunee history and current life are taught in Central New York schools. Her research will be used to fuel efforts to change NYS curriculum so that young people receive accurate information about both the history and current situation of our native neighbors. Contact Andy.

Weekly Peace Outreach

Politicians won't end the war without strong grassroots pressure. Help keep it upů

Tuesdays: 4:45 - 5:30 pm

April 1 Adams St. and Rt. 81 (Downtown)
April 8 Rt. 257 (Fayette St.) and Rt. 173 (E. Seneca Tpk.), Manlius
April 15 Seneca Tpk. and S. Salina St. (Valley)

April 22 James St. and Thompson Rd. (Northside)
April 29 S. Salina St. and E. Colvin St. (Southside)

Tabling Outreach Coordinators Needed
SPC often has information tables at events - it is a great way to get out information and an opportunity to talk with people holding varying points of view. We hope to create a team of 2-3 people to organize tabling. What this entails:

Arrange places/events at which to table
Find people to staff the table
Prepare the materials
Replenish supplies as needed
Improve the look of the displays

Experienced former tabling coordinators will train you. It is more time intensive in the spring/summer than the fall/winter. Contact Carol.

No Noose in the 'Cuse
In early March SPC was approached by the National Action Network (NAN) to provide peacekeeping support at a demonstration calling on the city to assure that the fire department is "bias free." The energetic demonstration responded to an incident involving a noose and some new recruits in the Syracuse Fire Department. SPC looks forward to additional opportunities to work with NAN to build a more peaceful and just community. Contact NAN at 424-1262,

SPC Nominated for Common Cents
SPC has once again been nominated to receive a Common Cents donation from the Syracuse Cooperative Federal Credit Union (SCFCU). A special feature of SCFCU's VISA check card is that purchases made with it generate "small change" for the Credit Union, which is then awarded to community organizations. Community organizations are nominated and voting for the final awards occurs until May 31. If you are a SCFCU member, please consider voting for SPC.

In February, SPC received a Common Cents award of $457 from last year's vote.Thanks to Credit Union members for nominating and voting for SPC, and to the Credit Union for its support.

Dr. King's Vision of Peace and Social Justice
The Peace Council is co-sponsoring an upcoming forum entitled "Martin Luther King and the Vision of World Peace and Social Justice." Organized by Syracuse University's Africa Initiative, the forum is scheduled for 5 pm on Friday, April 4, the 40th anniversary of Dr. King's assassination, at Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium, Newhouse III on the SU campus. The headline speaker is UN Deputy Secretary-General Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro of Tanzania. Dr. Migiro is a lawyer by training and was formerly a Professor of Law at the University of Dar es Salaam. Walter Robinson Davies, Minister of Regional Development of Costa Rica, and an SPC spokesperson will also speak. Space is limited; contact SPC for a ticket.

Activist Appreciation: Debbie Olson
Debbie Olson quietly undertook an amazing task - as a gift to SPC, she created an index of the Peace Newsletter that spans 1936-1985. A professional indexer and librarian, she spent 425+ hours on this project, starting in December 2005 in honor of SPC's 70th birthday, and concluding in September 2007. The index comes in two parts: 1936-1960 and 1961-1985. Both are available as pdfs on SPC's website and Debbie's website (

Anyone who has ever searched for particular information in a PNL can appreciate how incredibly helpful an index is. Thank you, Debbie, for your incredible gift.