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

Developing a Progressive Platform for the Next Mayor
SPC's April monthly program continued the process of developing a Progressive Platform for the Next Mayor. The Greater Syracuse Progressive Coalition hopes to complete the Platform in June and begin using it as an educational and organizing vehicle to create needed changes here in Syracuse.

Areas addressed by the platform include: building democracy/electoral reform, criminal justice and policing, economic development/jobs, education/youth development, environment/sustainability, housing/community development, racial justice, social/economic justice and transportation/infrastructure.

This exciting initiative also includes town hall forums on specific issues. People active in over 20 community groups have participated.

Check out the latest version at Contact Andy

Phil Prehn of Syracuse United Neighbors makes a point at SPC’s April monthly program on “Crafting a Progressive Platform for the Next Mayor.” Photo: Andy Mager

Say Yes to Yes Men May 16
"With poker-faced impersonation as their weapon, and World Trade Organization officials as their target, The Yes Men pull off one bold prank after another in an effort to raise political consciousness. And when their outrageous stunts are actually swallowed, hook, line and sinker the Yes Men must up the satirical ante and push the art of public spectacle to hilarious new heights!" wants to sell you the DVD, but we want to show it to you.

Spend your movie dollars at ArtRage (505 Hawley Ave.) where the Yes Men is showing on Saturday, May 16 at 7 pm. There will be snacks, beverages, and friends. This is your opportunity to help the SPC steering committee fulfill their pledge to raise $1500 to meet a budget shortfall specific to staff salaries. Come, have fun, and help support SPC's excellent, dedicated staff. $600 has been raised to date - this is your opportunity to help fill the coffers, while having a roaring good time. The suggested donation is $10-50 (no one turned away for inability to pay).

- Carole Resnick


SPC Coordinates New Palestine/Israel Group
In December 2008 Israel invaded the Gaza Strip. Hundreds of civilians were killed and much infrastructure destroyed. To protest the Israeli assault, SPC organized one demonstration and co-organized a second protest with people in the Muslim community. Out of that crisis response, a local group formed calling itself CNY Working for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel.
SPC’s Monthly Program

Beyond Elections:
Lessons from Latin America (film)

Tuesday, May 19 at 7 pm
ArtRage Gallery, 505 Hawley Ave.

From Venezuela's communal councils, to Brazil's participatory budgeting, from constitutional assemblies to grassroots movements, recuperated factories to cooperatives, this documentary is a journey. It takes us across the Americas to answer one of the most important questions of our time: what is democracy? A film by Michael Fox and Sílvia Leindecker.

Program is free and followed by refreshments.Contact Jessica. 472-5478

SPC coordinates the CNY/WJPPI. It includes people active in the local Methodist Task Force for Middle East Peace, the Islamic Society of Central New York, Al Huda Muslim American Society Mosque and Syracuse Jews for Peace.

Our current focus is developing a "points of unity" statement to guide our deliberations and convey our identity to others. Our first public event was "From Siege to Peace: A View from Gaza and Beyond," a film and panel discussion at the Islamic Society.

Our next event was a showing of the hour-long documentary, "Life in Occupied Palestine," produced by Anna Baltzer, author of Witness in Palestine: A Jewish American Woman in the Occupied Territories. About 60 folks attended. An engaged discussion followed eloquent remarks by respondents Carole Resnick and Magda Bayoumi.

This fall we hope to bring Anna Baltzer ( to Syracuse to speak. To learn more about the CNY/WJPPI, contact Andy.

-Ed Kinane

Activist Appreciation - Peter Sinatra
Peter Sinatra is a regular at SPC’s Saturday Peace Outreach outside the Regional Market (see box above right). Photo: Ann Tiffany

Peter Sinatra is a very kind, caring, peaceful person who, when asked if he would be willing to join SPC's Steering Committee this year, decided to take a leap and join in. We are so very grateful that he did! He brings a commitment to nonviolent activism, the ability to see people for who they aspire to be, a gentle intelligence to all he does and a real concern for people who are often disrespected by society. He has a Catholic Worker heart.

Peter is no stranger to peace activism. Two years ago he initiated the Saturday morning peace outreach at the Regional Market (see calendar for details) - largely because he couldn't go to the weekday outreach and thought there might be others like him. He has been a member of a local affinity group, participating in street theater at the State Fair and around Syracuse, and in 2008 was arrested in the "No Business as Usual" civil disobedience action protesting the war in Iraq. As the US occupation of Iraq entered its seventh year this March 19, Peter was an integral part of organizing the "Bite the Bullet" march and demonstration.

Thanks, Peter.

Gearing Up for Summer
SPC's Bikes 4 Peace summer program is preparing for another season. From late May to early September, we spend two afternoons each month in a different city neighborhood working with youth to fix bikes. We provide tools, basic supplies, used spare parts, and some donated bikes, and encourage youth to bring their own bikes to fix, or to "earn" a donated bike by helping us fix it. Each summer we work with 100-150 young people ages 4-20. We seek out parks, parking lots or empty lots in neighborhoods where youth are often hanging out in the streets. Bikes 4 Peace will host a new volunteer training on May 30, from 11 am-noon at 2013 E. Genesee St. If you would like to donate supplies or bikes, please contact Jessica (we are looking primarily for youth bikes that are working or need minor repairs).

SPC Activists to Join Peace Projects in Israel/Palestine
SPC activists will soon be in the Middle East. On May 19 Ed Kinane and Casey Burnett will join a 12-person delegation to Israel and the West Bank. Then, at the end of July, Jessica Maxwell and Ann Tiffany will join a second.

The two delegations will meet with Israeli and Palestinian peace and human rights workers and gain their perspectives on the current political and social situation. Delegates will also document the daily reality of life under occupation for West Bank residents. We'll visit Palestinian families whose lands, homes and livelihoods have been threatened by expanding Israeli settlements and construction of the so-called "security fence." The two-week delegations are organized by Christian Peacemaker Teams ( CPT is a faith-based initiative supported by Mennonites, Brethren, Quakers and several Christian peace groups. Since 1993, CPT has placed violence-reduction teams in conflict settings in the Middle East, Haiti, Latin America, Europe and North America. CPT has maintained a full-time peace presence in the West Bank city of Hebron since June 1995 and in the village of At-Tuwani in the South Hebron Hills since September 2004.

Until departure Ed and Casey are available for media interviews. Call Ed at 478-4571 or Casey at (419) 345-2407. While they are in the Middle East, call their media contact, Andy Mager at SPC. Upon return Ed and Casey look forward to making presentations about their experience to classes, congregations and community groups.

- Ed Kinane

Weekly Peace Outreach

Take your antiwar sentiment into the streets! Contact Andy

Tuesdays: 4:45 - 5:30 pm

May 5   Rt. 57 & Vine St. (Liverpool)
May 12   Seneca Tpk. and S. Salina St. (Valley)
May 19   Rt. 257 (Fayette St.) and Rt. 173/E. Seneca Tpk. (Manlius)
May 26   James St. and Thompson Rd. (Northside)

June 2   E. Genesee St. and Erie Blvd E. (Dewitt)
June 9   West St. and Seymour St. (near Westside)

Every Saturday 9-10 am we're also outside the Farmers' Market.

Fund Appeal
By mid May you should receive SPC's spring fund appeal (if you're not a subscriber, please check it out at We know this is a tough economic time so that some folks will be limited in their ability to give if they can give at all. If you can contribute, know that your donations are greatly appreciated and will be used wisely and prudently. If you're a member of Cooperative Federal, please remember to include SPC as a selection on your "Common Cents" ballot. If you can't give, but have some extra time, we'd love to talk to you about getting involved! Contact Andy.

Public Power Forum a Success
On Tuesday, March 31, the Public Power Coalition (of which SPC is a member) hosted a mayoral candidates forum. All four declared candidates participated, and over 65 community members attended to ask questions and listen. Howie Hawkins and local reporter Walt Sheppard asked questions on behalf of the coalition. With media coverage before and following the event, Public Power gained significant visibility. While none of the candidates took definitive positions, all expressed serious interest in public power. For more information, visit
Bottom: Half a dozen SU students joined the Center’s landscaping committee and other volunteers to dig up grass, plant perennials and mulch to continue the greening and beautification process at the Center. Over the months to come, stop by to admire the fruits of their labor. And while you’re at it, visit SPC on the second floor. Top: Landscaper Scott Luscombe works together with gardener-in-training Eli Mager. Photos: Andy Mager

SPC Interns Finish Up
We were very fortunate this semester to have not one or two, but five student interns working with us. Stella Adegite (Syracuse University) used her talents to investigate potential Birthday Dinner speakers, distribute our broadside Change the Times all over SU (including passing them out in class) and write for the PNL. Caragh "Event Planner" Frye (Le Moyne) was an integral part of Bowlathon planning, made bus packets for the trip to the march on the Pentagon and has started organizing SPC's Speakers Bureau. Kim Hurley (Le Moyne) only "owed" SPC a few hours for a class project, but she came in every Friday to create an up-to-date regional contacts list from a motley set of outdated lists. Michael Otieno Orwa (SU), an activist himself from Kenya, helped SPC's finance committee as a project for his course on finances for non-profits. Takayuki Suzuki (SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry) researched the impact of war and militarism on the environment and is now creating a brochure to highlight some of the key environmental impacts of militarism.

To these motivated and enthusiastic students, we say thank you - and keep working to improve the world.

Landscaping at the Center for Peace and Social Justice
Bottom: Half a dozen SU students joined the Center's landscaping committee and other volunteers to dig up grass, plant perennials and mulch to continue the greening and beautification process at the Center. Over the months to come, stop by to admire the fruits of their labor. And while you're at it, visit SPC on the second floor. Top: Landscaper Scott Luscombe works together with gardener-in-training Eli Mager. Photos: Andy Mager