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
Beverly Springer
Aly Wane

Don't Miss the 38th Plowshares Craftsfair
Join us for our 38th annual celebration of art, craft and winter peace fellowship. With more than 120 crafts and community
Native American craftsperson and flutist Roy Peters demonstrates the use of his handmade instruments. This year’s festival features over 120 craftspeople and food from The Mission Restaurant. Photo: Tammy Crandall
groupbooths, Plowshares is your opportunity to support the non-corporate economy while satisfying the shopping/giving urges of the season. Enjoy tasty food, diverse entertainment, seeing old friends and making new ones. We hope to see you on Saturday, December 6 from 10-5, and Sunday, December 7 from 11-5 at Nottingham High School on E. Genesee St. in Syracuse. Bring a friend who's never been and have the joy of turning someone on to the most interesting craftsfair in Central New York (carpool, or weather permitting come by ski or sled.)

-Rae Kramer

SPC Responds to Economic Crisis
On October 19, about 60 community members came together to discuss the recent economic crisis. A panel of five experts answered questions and provided insights. We discussed the origins of the crisis, how the government was responding (i.e. the bailout) and what we can do in response. Some ideas were to generally develop our local economy, organize for national change, create green jobs, develop a local alternative currency and pool our money together to invest in our communities.

On Monday, November 17 at 7 pm SPC will host a follow-up meeting at Art Rage (505 Hawley Ave.). All are welcome. We will discuss in further detail concrete projects that we can undertake as a community. If you have a project idea, please contact SPC before the meeting.
-Nick Cavanaugh

SPC Meets Ahmadinejad in the Grand Hyatt Ballroom
Iranian President Ahmadinejad was in New York City in September for the opening of the current United Nations sessions. The US Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) arranged a meeting with activists representing peace and justice groups from around the country. In the last few years FOR has led several "citizen diplomacy" delegations to Iran.

The two-hour session, financed by the Iranian UN Mission, was held on September 24 in the Grand Hyatt Hotel ballroom in midtown Manhattan. Earphones provided simultaneous translation.

Ed Kinane, representing SPC, attended - along with about 150 others. Ed and dozens of US activists had submitted written questions beforehand. Ahmadinejad spoke for about an hour, responding to some of the questions, and holding forth on the "roots of war."

His remarks, delivered in Farsi, were diplomatic and at times seemed platitudinous. The event was mutually respectful. Ed's question to the President related to Iran's nuclear and renewable energy policy. It can be read here.
Weekly Peace Outreach

Take a few moments during lunch to keep the pressure on President-elect Obama to end the wars now!

Tuesdays: noon - 12:45 pm

November 18     Rt. 11, Northern Lts. Shopping Center (Mattydale)
November 25   
Adams St. and Rt. 81 (Downtown)
December 2   
Rt. 57 and Vine St. (Liverpool)
December 9   
Seneca Tpk. and S. Salina St. (Valley)
December 16  
Rt. 257 and Rt. 173/ E. Seneca Tpk. (Manlius)
December 23  
James St. and Thompson Rd. (Northside)
December 30   S. Salina St. and E. Colvin St. (Southside)

Debate This
With the economy in crisis, the Iraq and Afghanistan occupations largely disappeared from the media in the run up to the elections.SPC's Iraq Organizing Committee brought the war to the local Congressional debates. Outside both the healthcare and education forums, we held signs that compared Syracuse tax money spent on the war (over $260 million) with the alternatives - salaries for over 3,000 elementary school teachers for a year, healthcare for almost 50,000 people for one year, or over 40,000 university scholarships for one year. The Post-Standard printed an article featuring some of the numbers we cited. We also engaged in street theater outside the debate hosted by 40 Below at Syracuse Stage and passed out leaflets. The Iraq Organizing Committee continues to work to end the US occupation. We welcome new members. Contact Jessica or Carol.

Activist Appreciation: Richard Vallejo
Richard Vallejo drums in the middle of Salina St. as part of SPC’s direct action marking the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War. Richard, along with Herm Bieling (to his left) were among 22 people arrested. Photo: Michael Greenlar
Some people seem to be everywhere. Rich Vallejo is one of those people. From advocating for immigrant rights with the Detainment Task Force to supporting the Partnership for Onondaga Creek, serving on the Peace Council steering committee and working as a core member of the Military Alternatives Education Project, Rich is always working on multiple projects for several different groups. What's even more amazing is that he manages to be reliable, creative and enthusiastic while contributing a wide range of skills. He coordinated the website for the massive September 29, 2007 antiwar demonstration in Syracuse, staffs monthly MAEP tables at local high schools to educate students on military service, is currently working with SPC staff to draft a position on immigration and participates regularly in marches and actions. Thanks, Rich.

SPC Video Ready for Primetime
After a long delay, SPC's video Educate, Agitate, Organize: The Syracuse Peace Council is finally completed. In addition to the main documentary it also features longer excerpts from eight of the many interviews conducted as part of the work. (Full transcripts for all interviews are available at:

Come to the screening at SPC's December Monthly Program on Friday, December 12 at 7 pm at ArtRage Gallery, 505 Hawley Ave.

The video provides an energetic look at SPC's history and current work and features music by Colleen Kattau, Charlie King, Pat Humphries, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Jackson Browne and Jolie Rickman. The DVD is available for only $12 at the SPC office or at Plowshares (by mail add $3 for shipping). Check the website to see when it will air on the Peoples' 60 Minutes.

Blessed are the Peacemakers

manual paper cutter
paper folder (ideally able to fold up to 11" x 17" paper)
colored copy paper
Peace Newsletter mailing party coordinator (6 hours/month)
sturdy card tables
black (or other dark solid color) tablecloths
portable dvd player or used laptop computer (Pentium 4+)
people available to run errands during the day
literature display racks
$$ to purchase one of the items on the list
people to join one of SPC's committees (IT, finance, Iraq, outreach, PNL, etc.)

To donate an item or your time, contact the SPC office.

St. Andrew's Church has long supported a wide variety of community efforts for peace and social justice. From food pantries to plowshares actions, they have put their faith into action. So, it's no surprise that SPC and St. Andrew's have had a mutually supportive relationship. For years, the church graciously hosted SPC's birthday dinner.

Unfortunately, St. Andrew's Church is slated to close soon. SPC was honored to attend a recent celebration of St. Andrew's commitment to peace work. Staffers Andy Mager and Jessica Maxwell brought antiwar signs, literature and a banner to present as part of the event. Many thanks to the St. Andrew's community for inviting us to participate and for its ongoing work for peace.

Fantastic Fundraiser at Syracuse Stage
SPC recently sponsored a performance of the Syracuse Stage production of Tales from the Salt City, a powerfully moving exploration of the Syracuse area's rich diversity. The reception afterwards was lively and well attended, with several cast members joining us. Not only was it a theatrical treat, but SPC also made about $500!

Thanks to organizers Barb Kobritz, Carol Baum, Andy Mager, Linda Perla, and Tracy White (Syracuse Stage). Also, thanks to the businesses and individuals who provided the food for the reception: Fins and Tails, Madelaine Greacen, Sue Lyons, Second Story Books, Sparkytown, Sugar Pearl, Marie Summerwood and the Syracuse Real Food Coop.
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.

Public Power Victory!
On Monday, November 3, the Syracuse Common Council voted unanimously to approve an agreement with SourceOne to immediately begin a feasibility study on municipal power in Syracuse. The study is broken into two phases, with phase one scheduled to be completed in March 2009 and the results presented to the public. SPC has been an active participant in the Public Power Coalition, the grassroots group that has kept this issue moving forward. Coalition meetings are 1st and 3rd Thursdays, 7 pm at 2013 E. Genesee St. (2nd floor). November 20 meeting will be at Taps, 515 Westcott St. Contact Jessica or visit
LaOnf (which means “No Violence” in Arabic) is a network of over 100 Iraqi civil society organizations, representing people from all ethnic and religious groups. It works to promote nonviolence as “the most effectve way to struggle for an independent, democratic, and peaceful Iraq.” To support LaOnf’s Third Annual Week of Nonviolence SPC sent in this photo, to join other photos of support at To learn more about LaOnf, see Photo: Rick McDowell

PNL Transition Time
This issue is the last for Jessica Maxwell as PNL Coordinator (at least for now). SPC staff rotate coordination of the newsletter and Andy Mager will start with the January 2009 issue. The committee is looking for another person or two interested in working on this wonderful publication. Contact Andy.

Acting to Transform Syracuse
SPC sent a small contingent to attend the October 26 public meeting of the Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse (ACTS) which drew some 1200 people. ACTS is an interfaith organization of 24 member organizations which value human worth, dignity and justice (, 475-7277). SPC is beginning to explore a more formal affiliation with ACTS. Contact Andy.