Peace Council Pages
Educate, Agitate, Organize
SPC IN ACTION
compiled by Carol Baum
Syracuse Peace Council
Calling on Syracuse: Support the Onondaga Nation
In mid May, Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation (NOON) submitted a Resolution of Respect for and Reconciliation with the Onondaga Nation to the Syracuse Common Council. This follows many months of research and behind-the-scenes discussions. The resolution outlines the history of Onondaga stewardship of this region, contact with European colonists, the theft of their land and other depredations they’ve suffered. It commits the City of Syracuse to working with the Onondagas for social “healing,” environmental cleanup and redress of these injustices. At press time it isn’t clear whether the resolution will pass easily or require a concerted public pressure campaign.
NOON is also supporting an Onondaga Nation-organized event on Saturday, June 21, 2009, The Day of Prayer for Sacred Places. It will be held at Willow Bay on Onondaga Lake Park. Please visit www.peacecouncil.net/noon or www.onondaganation.org for further information.
Working for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel
CNY Working for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel continues to lay the groundwork for ongoing work on this issue, which is at the heart of much conflict in the Middle East and beyond. The diverse group, coordinated by SPC, will do educational and advocacy work.
On Friday, June 5 at 2 pm a demonstration at Comfort Tyler Park (corner of E. Colvin St. and Comstock Ave.) will highlight the terrible plight of the children of Gaza. A second showing of Anna Baltzer’s documentary Life in Occupied Palestine has been scheduled for Tuesday, July 7 at 6:30 pm at the Cazenovia Public Library. Contact Andy.
|Chad Bennett works with a neighborhood youth during a Bikes 4 Peace clinic at the Northeast Community Center. Photo: Lisa Maynard|
Bikes 4 Peace Summer Schedule
Our summer bike program will once again travel around to city neighborhoods, working with young people to fix bikes. Starting June 1, we welcome donations of bikes in need of minor repairs (please call ahead). David Gruzca, Jessica Maxwell and Ursula Rozum are coordinating the program this year. We can always use more help – even if you don’t have mechanical skills, we need people to help sign in youth, set up and clean up, flyer neighborhoods and transport materials. Contact Jessica to help.
SPCs Monthly Program
Poetry/Spoken Word for Peace
June 24 at 7 pm
Rain or Shine
Come hear local poets and spoken word artists share their own work and that of others. Come listen for inspiration and/or to join in the readings. Bring your lawn chair if you want to be comfy.
Program is free. Refreshments provided. Contact Andy. 472-5478
Tuesdays, 5-7 pm June 16 & 23: Northeast Community Center (716 Hawley Ave.)
July 7 & 14: Loguen Park (E. Genesee St. and Lexington Ave.)
August 18 & 25: Spanish Action League (700 Oswego St.)
Representatives from local peace and environmental groups met with Congressman Maffei on May 26 to advocate for a truly clean energy future – one that does not include nuclear power. Participating organizations included the Syracuse Peace Council, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Peace Action of CNY, Citizens Awareness Network and the Iroquois Chapter of the Sierra Club. We advocated for conservation and renewables as much more effective and immediate in creating jobs and fighting climate change. We also raised concerns about health risks, waste storage, uranium mining, and nuclear proliferation. While continued dialogue is needed, we achieved an important goal when Rep. Maffei agreed that new nuclear plants should not receive federal subsidies.
Progressive Mayoral Platform
The Greater Syracuse Progressive Coalition continues its work on a Mayoral Platform. The coalition expects to finalize the multi-faceted platform by mid-June for submission to the candidates. We’ll ask for responses shortly after July 4 and schedule candidate forums in conjunction with coalition partners for late summer and early fall. Check out the latest version at www.peacecouncil.net/coalition. Contact Andy.
A War Resister’s Long Road
About 30 people turned out on May 27 to view the opening of From Mills River to Babylon and Back...the Jimmy Massey Story, a documentary produced by Oneonta filmmaker Joe Stillman. The film chronicles the life of Jimmy Massey, a former twelve-year career Marine who refused to continue killing in Iraq and was one of the first soldiers to question the legitimacy of the war. Joe and Jimmy attended the screening, and a thoughtful discussion followed. The Syracuse showing was the first in an 11-city tour around Upstate NY.
Welcome to Sara Watrous
In late April Sara Watrous, a Cortland County native and graduate student at the University of Montreal in Quebec, began a summer internship at SPC. Sara’s quiet, thoughtful manner has already contributed to this Peace Newsletter. In addition to the PNL, Sara will work on SPC’s presence at the Downtown Arts and Craftsfair (July 24-26) and with the Detainment Task Force. With staff vacations, trips to the Middle East, etc. more help is needed at the office over the summer, either as formal interns or in other ways. Contact Carol.
Come Join the Parades
|Jimmy Massey spoke in Syracuse as part of an 11 city tour with CNY Filmmaker Joe Stillman. Video image: Joe Stillmanor|
Juneteenth Parade: Saturday, June 13. The parade starts at Dr. King School (corner of Castle and State). Meet at 9:30 am; parade kicks off at 10 am. This year the American Friends Service Committee and SPC will join together as a contingent. Contact Jessica.
Pride Parade and Tabling: Saturday, June 20. The Rainbow Flag raising is at Syracuse City Hall at 11 am; the parade begins from there immediately afterwards. SPC will table at the festival from noon-6. To help with tabling, contact Carol.
Plowshares Applications Available
Applications for the 2009 Plowshares Crafts Fair and Peace Festival are now available online at www.peacecouncil.net/plowshares or from the SPC office. This year’s event is scheduled for December 5-6. Applications are due by July 6.
Hiroshima Day Organizing Gets Underway
For many years, SPC and other local peace and social justice groups have come together on August 6 to commemorate the horror of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. For over 25 years we have had a solemn procession through downtown Syracuse. Last year we added an interfaith sharing for peace, including launching hand-made lanterns for peace on Onondaga Creek.
Organizing for this year’s commemoration has just begun. To help out, contact Carol.
SPC Birthday Dinner Set for October 3
SPC’s 73rd annual birthday celebration will be held Saturday, October 3 at St. Lucy’s Church on Syracuse’s Westside (432 Gifford St.). This year’s event will once again feature excellent locally-sourced vegetarian cuisine to be followed by a performance of Howard Zinn’s Marx in Soho. We’re excited to welcome Jerry Levy to Syracuse to perform this engaging one-man show. Look for details in the near future. To join the organizing committee, contact Jessica.
Fund Appeal Reminder
Dozens of people have already responded to SPC’s spring fund appeal that was mailed May 11. If you haven’t done so, please give it a read and donate as generously as you can. If more people respond to the appeal we’ll be able to spend more time organizing and less time fundraising over the coming months. The appeal is available at peacecouncil.net/donate.
Yes Men Benefit Successful
The showing of The Yes Men on May 16 met its $1500 fundraising goal and more. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the staff salary fund. We raised $1100 through several large contributions before the event and $600 was generously donated that night – for a total of $1700, a solid $200 beyond our goal. We’re thinking that contributing to a specific, relatively small fundraising goal makes it easier to give generously because the goal is reachable and you know specifically what your money is helping with. Let us know whether you agree. There could be more fun and focused fundraisers on the way! (Note from the staff: thanks to SPC’s Steering Committee for organizing this!)
– Carole Resnick
Rethinking the PNL
A thoughtful group of a dozen folks gathered in late April to discuss how to improve the PNL and make it a more meaningful vehicle to support SPC’s work. The group included members of the PNL Editorial and SPC Steering Committees and PNL distributors.
Follow-up plans include: clarifying SPC’s goals for the PNL, understanding our audience, improving linkages between the PNL and other SPC efforts, working to “multi-mediatize” it and exploring other ideas for improvement. Contact Andy.
|Weekly Peace Outreach|
Escalation in Afghanistan, continued violence in Iraq – don’t be silent.
June 9 West St. & Seymour St. (near Westside)
Every Saturday 9-10 am we’re also at the Farmers’ Market (Park St.).
|Photo: Andy Mager|
Happy 90th Sam Feld
On May 9, friends and family celebrated lifelong activist Sam Feld’s 90th birthday at May Memorial. People lauded his folksy manner, indefatigably radical politics, skiing and badminton prowess and gentle sense of humor.
Forty-three years ago, before a mass movement opposed the Viet Nam War, SPC was in crisis. Sam Feld and Raj Nanavati led an effort to revitalize the organization, preparing it for a major period of growth in the coming years. Sam’s support, in a wide range of ways – Steering Committee chairperson, PNL distributor, speaker, kibbitzer and financial contributor among them – has been important to us ever since. Despite his frequent reminders that quality of life is more important than quantity, we hope that Sam is around to continue causing trouble for many more years to come.
New Feature: SPC Community News
This new feature will note milestones and achievements of SPC supporters. Please send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org or via mail to SPC.
Sister Pat Bergan, a stalwart of St. Andrews Church until it was closed down, was honored with this year’s Dorothy Day Award. SPC Advisory Committee member Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows was featured as a “locavore” on the cover of the Post-Standard’s Green Central New York (check out her blog at cookininthecuse.com). Longtime member Steve Reiter was quoted inside the same issue about the need for more bike lanes. Stella Adegite, a recent SPC intern, received three awards from Syracuse University, including the 2009 Syracuse University Woman of Distinction Award. Congratulations to Steering Committee and Nottingham High School senior Ben Burdick who recently received a National Merit Scholarship.
If you’re doing any spring (or summer) cleaning please put aside some items for SPC’s annual Garage Sale: Saturday, September 12, 9 am to 5 pm; Sunday, September 13, 9 am to 1 pm. Please hang on to your stuff until several days before the sale – we don’t have a place to store items until then. More details to come.