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

The NY State Fair draws hundreds of thousands of people so SPC activists were there on six different days. Outside the main gate, our anti-Iraq occupation street theater scene and weekly Peace Outreach drew people’s attention. We marched in the Labor Day parade and tabled during the program. Rae Kramer led Ed Kinane, handcuffed and dressed as a Guantanamo prisoner, inside the Fairgrounds. The actions all were effective – many opinions were expressed (supportive and not), information distributed and letters to the editor written (and responded to). Whether or not there is a right to free speech inside the Fairgrounds has been shown to be an open question.


Election Time – Make Ending the War a Priority
 It’s October and our local candidates for Congress are out and about. In the electioneering hubbub, our challenge is to make ending the US occupation of Iraq a priority in the Congressional debate. To that end, the Iraq Organizing Committee invites you to join an anti-war presence before some of the debates and forums begin (times listed are twenty minutes before events):

•          Monday, October 6, meet at 6:30 pm (Parents for Public Schools forum): Henninger High School, Robinson Rd.

           Saturday, October 18, meet at 3:30 pm (debate): Syracuse Stage, 820 E. Genesee St.

Bring a sign or use one of ours. Then let’s go in and ask some questions!

Additional venues may be added – for updates check SPC’s website or contact Carol or Jessica.

We are also planning a walk from the military recruiting office in North Syracuse to Democratic Headquarters. Check the website or contact Carol or Jessica for details.

Iraq War vet Bryan Casler shares his story at the SPC Birthday Celebration. Fellow vets and speakers Sam Feld (left) and Joe Heath (right) listen in. Photo: Paul Pearce

See Tales From the Salt City November 1 with SPC
Tales from the Salt City is not to be missed. Created by Ping Chong and produced by Syracuse Stage, it features seven residents of the Syracuse area – both recent arrivals and long-standing residents – telling their personal stories. Constructed as a chamber piece of storytelling, Tales explores the divergent lives that make up our community.

SPC’s performance is Saturday, November 1 at 3 pm. To benefit SPC, you must buy your ticket through SPC. Tickets are $28 each; contact Barb Kobritz for your reservation (315-476-1588 or

A reception follows the performance for everyone coming through SPC.

The cast includes Jeanne Shenandoah (a member of the Eel Clan of the Onondaga Nation), Lino Ariloka (originally from Sudan), Gordana Dudevski (formerly a kindergarten teacher in Macedonia), Rebecca Isabel Fuentes (an immigrant rights activist who grew up in Tijuana), José Miguel Hernández (originally from Cuba), Albert Marshall (a Syracuse native) and Emad Rahim (originally from Cambodia).

Learning From Veterans: SPC Celebrates 72 Years
SPC’s 72nd Birthday Celebration featured inspired presentations by veterans Sam Feld (World War II), Joe Heath (Viet Nam) and Bryan Casler (Iraq). Each spoke about his experience in the military and evolution to active participation in movements for peace and social justice. Despite a wide array of organizing challenges, particularly cancellations by first Howard Zinn and then Camilo Mejía, the celebration was a great gathering.

About 125 people shared a wonderful vegan dinner prepared by a cooking crew coordinated by Aimee Jurista and including Marie Summerwood, Katie Barrett, Julienne Oldfield, Rose Viviano, Terry Gavagan, Shirley Novak and Joe Marusa. The celebration organizing committee, composed of the last four cooks listed above and Rae Kramer and Andy Mager, worked hard putting together all the pieces. Thanks to Melissa Osgood for coordinating ad solicitation for the program and to all those who bought ads or greetings.

Check out for more photos and to see when the video will air on SPC-TV.

Weekly Peace Outreach

The war has disappeared as an election issue. Join us on the streets to hold it up high.

Tuesdays: 4:45 - 5:30 pm

October 7    James St. and Thompson Rd. (Northside)
October 14  
S. Salina St. and E. Colvin St. (Southside)
October 21  
Rt. 695 exit ramp to W. Genesee St. (Fairmount)
October 28  
East Genesee St. and Erie Blvd. E. (Dewitt)

TIME CHANGE: noon-12:45 pm

November 4   Teall Ave. and Rt. 690 (Eastside)
November 11 Geddes St. and W. Genesee St. (Westside)

Countering the Military in Schools
The Military Alternatives Education Project (MAEP) has begun a large research project assessing JROTC programs in schools in the Syracuse area and ways to challenge their presence. Heading up our project is Danielle Lee, an SU Community Fellow. Danielle will be able to focus many hours of valuable research and public outreach on our much-needed local counter-recruitment efforts.

MAEP folks are also hoping to resume their regular presence at city high schools staffing info tables, encouraging students to protect their privacy by signing opt-out forms to get their names removed from recruiter call lists. Volunteers are desperately needed to fill these lunchtime shifts. Contact Jessica. – Amber Coon

Raffle Tix for Ani DiFranco Concert
If you know Ani DiFranco’s music, you can skip this paragraph. If not, you don’t want to miss this radical, moving, activating performer. Ani, who performed a benefit for SPC in the early ’90s before she became famous, performs music that reaches across genres, though many call her work folk rock or alternative rock. Her lyrics will dazzle you with their rhythm and energy.

SPC is raffling off two pairs of tickets for Ani DiFranco’s November 14 concert at the Landmark Theatre. First prize is a pair of front row seats and second prize is a pair somewhere in the first 30 rows. Raffle tickets are only $5; available at SPC, 2013 E. Genesee St.; Syracuse Real Food Coop, 618 Kensington Rd.; Syracuse Cultural Workers, 400 Lodi St. and ArtRage Gallery, 505 Hawley Ave. We’ll draw the winners on Thursday, October 16 at 7:45 at the Warrior Writer’s reading at ArtRage, 505 Hawley Ave., Syracuse.

No to Taxing Our Sovereign Neighbors
In addition to some very successful outreach tables at the Haudenosaunee and Tutelo Homecoming Festivals, SPC’s Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation project (NOON), has been advocating for the sovereign tax status of our Onondaga neighbors. The NYS legislature is once again seeking to tax sales of cigarettes from the Onondaga and other Native American nations. While NOON certainly doesn’t support cigarette smoking, we recognize the sovereign status of these nations and call on our government to live up to the agreements embodied in the Two Row Wampum (1613) and the Treaty of Canandaigua (1794). Contact Andy or see
Lanny showing his theatrical side at SPC’s Birthday Celebration. Photo: Paul Pearce

Activist Appreciation: Lanny Freshman
He was the trenchcoat-wearing Homeland Security infiltrator at SPC’s Birthday Celebration, the guy drawing the map to squeeze in as many craftspeople as possible at Plowshares, the fix-it man at the new Center and more. Lanny Freshman, that’s Dr. Lanny to you, has lent his time and diverse talents to support SPC for several decades. Though you’ll almost never see him at the mic (that would be his wife Rae), Lanny is often in the back, scrubbing the floor, hanging shelves or carrying out some other mundane task without which social movements will never succeed. Thanks Lanny… and yes, the garage sale will end some day.

Needed: Steering Committee Members If you have been involved in any way with SPC and support our Statement of Purpose, please consider joining the Steering Committee.

SPC’s Steering Committee is responsible for the political direction and financial health of the organization. Terms are two years (exceptions can be made) and usually start with the January meeting – although we encourage you to start sooner since several members have recently moved.

There is one Steering Committee meeting a month (on rare occasions two) and Steering Committee members are expected to work in some additional way with SPC (the what and the when are flexible). There are several other agreements Steering Committee members make, having to do with how we work together, SPC’s focus and political “givens”.

We look forward to talking with you. Contact Jessica.

Garage Sale a Success
With a nod to George Carlin we were very successful in moving a whole lot of stuff from place to place while siphoning off some much-needed funds for SPC.
SPC’s Monthly Program


Tues., October 28, 7:00 pm

ArtRage Gallery, 505 Hawley Ave.

Multimedia presentation and discussion on the right to protest and state repression..

Free and open to the public.

Using the strategy of high volume and low cost, we earned about $1200, setting a new record. Wowsa! As with most of the behind-the-scenes work that helps keep SPC going, there are many folks to thank. In no logical order, many thanks to: Ann Tiffany, Lanny Freshman, Margaret Birdlebough, Joan Conley, Renee Noelle-Felice, Jessica Maxwell, Shirley Novak, Sherry Gordon, Barb Schloss, Alice Moberg-Sarver, Paul Collier, Stephanie Cross and Dale Sherman (who must have emptied out their house), and Dora, our wonderful and tireless cashier. So…save your goodies for next year and remember one person’s junk (oops, I mean stuff) is someone else’s treasure.     

– Rae Kramer

Plowshares Craftsfair: Save the Dates
This year’s Plowshares Craftsfair and Winter Peace Festival is set for December 6-7 at Nottingham High School. Plowshares is SPC’s biggest annual fundraiser and the premier multi-cultural craftsfair in the region. The interest from craftspeople was so strong this year that we’ve filled up and have had to turn away many talented applicants.

In addition to the usual great crafts, music, people and politics, this year features the return of Sparky in the kitchen, featuring foods from her new Sparkytown Restaurant. Mark your calendars and tell your friends!

See the next issue of the PNL for full details about CNY’s exciting alternative marketplace.

SPC’s Wish List A few things that SPC could really use:

Following a Saturday evening performance at Hamilton College, Rev. Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir partnered with the Peace Council for an action at Carousel Center at noon on September 14. This theatrical activist group saw “Destiny” as an ideal place to bring their message about the perils of consumerism, sweat shops and the corporate domination of our lives and culture. Some 50 people gathered overlooking the mall to hear the Choir’s inspired calls to “Stop Shopping” and preserve the first amendment. After Rev. Billy preached, we marched down Hiawatha Blvd. and into the Carousel parking lot where we “exorcised the demon” of consumerism. Photo: Carol Baum

•              manual paper cutter (our old one just doesn't do the trick anymore)
              paper folder (for big jobs we currently pay to have paper folded)
             sturdy folding tables (for outreach tabling)
             dry erase boards (great for meetings)
              black (or other dark solid color) tablecloths to cover tables for outreach displays
             used laptop computer (Pentium 4+) or portable dvd player
              case with wheels to bring display materials from place to place
             $$ to purchase one of the items on the list

SPC Study Group Starts New Book
The SPC Study Group has chosen a new book for this fall – Witness in Palestine: A Jewish American Woman in the Occupied Territories by Anna Baltzer. We use a variety of sources including videos, members’ works, and other interests as fuel for discussion and reflection. Coffee and tea are provided and often we share homemade goodies. Meetings are the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month from 7-8:30 pm at the Friends Meeting House (821 Euclid Ave.).

The Study Group welcomes all new members who love to talk or just listen to interesting discussion. Consider bringing a friend and a suggestion for our next book! Contact Aly.

Seeking Raffle Prizes
Donations of services and goods are welcome as Plowshares raffle prizes. Exercise your activism by parting with that “antique” lamp from Aunt Jane or ask your favorite restaurant to donate a gift certificate. Questions? Call Rae, 445-2840.