Peace Council Pages

Educate, Agitate, Organize


compiled by Andy Mager

Syracuse Peace Council
2013 East Genesee St., Syracuse, NY 13203
(315) 472-5478
OFFICE HOURS: Mon.-Fri. 10 am - 5 pm
STAFF and INTERN Email Addresses:
Carol Baum
Andy Mager
Jessica Maxwell
Aly Wane

Money for Healthcare   NOT for Warfare
SPC’s state fair tableau, highlighting our misplaced national priorities, depicted an unemployed worker, a student, a homeless man and a hospital patient dwarfed by the military. Photo: Michael Miller
SPC’s dramatic presence outside the NYS Fair’s main entrance was viewed by thousands of fair-goers again this year. On four days, SPC activists staged a tableau under the sign: “Get Our Priorities Straight: Fund Human Needs.” The scene depicted the military surrounded by giant bags of money (including one for Iraq and one for Afghanistan) next to a cast of neglected characters. We distributed over a thousand flyers with information on the bloated US military budget and called on people to support Rep. Frank’s bill to cut the military budget by 25%. The tableau also appeared outside of the OnCenter on September 9, along with a “Human Banner” reading “Healthcare Not Warfare,” when Vice President Joe Biden came to town.

SPC Media
Communication is an ongoing challenge (and opportunity) in this multimedia age. For many reasons SPC remains committed to a printed Peace Newsletter. We also realize that web communications are increasingly important – they can provide more up-to-the-minute information, be more interactive and less constrained by space limitations and are a primary source

Weekly Peace Outreach

Get out to enjoy the fall weather at busy intersections spreading the call for peace. If not us, who?

Tuesdays: 4:45 - 5:30 pm

Oct. 6 S. Salina St. and E. Colvin St. (Southside)
Oct. 13 Rt. 57 &  Vine St. (Liverpool)
Oct. 20 Hancock Air Base Entrance (East Molloy Rd., just west of Thompson Rd., Mattydale)
Oct. 27 Rt. 20 (Albany St) and Lincklaen St. (Cazenovia)
Nov. 3 Seneca Tpk. and S. Salina St. (Valley)
Nov. 10 Hancock Air National Guard Base Entrance (East Molloy Rd., Mattydale)

Also Saturdays at 9 am in front of the Regional Market on Park St. until October 31.

of information, especially for younger people. The challenge is to integrate paper and digital forms of communication so that we can reinforce the strengths of each.

PNL Changes
This month’s Peace Newsletter has only eight pages, half the usual 16- page format. Our Steering Committee has decided to increase our locally-focused work, with an eye toward working with more diverse communities. We’ve stepped up our youth and militarism work and have joined ACTS (the Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse) to connect with other groups committed to local peace and justice issues. This greater local focus means less stafftime available for producing the PNL.

We’ll publish a 16-page issue once each quarter. Additional 16-page issues are possible if an SPC project or ally takes responsibility for a special section. This approach will be reevaluated in a few months. Of course, with an influx of volunteer energy or strong concern from our supporters, we could reevaluate sooner. Contact Carol.

SPC Website  Redesign
For years there has been talk about redesigning SPC’s website, a large undertaking. In July the talk turned serious and we hired WebRoot Solutions (Jessica Azulay and Brian Dominick) and Rich Vallejo. All three are SPC activists as well as skilled web developers, and someone is donating $2 for every $1 we collect for the website.

We’re excited – the look will be modernized and the behind-the-scenes content management system will be much improved. It will be much easier to post to the website, so more people will be able to participate in its upkeep, and the system will allow for greater interactivity.

Once the shell of the website is ready, we’ll need help moving the content from the old to the new. If you’re interested, we’ll teach you how to do it.

To take advantage of our generous donor’s two-for-one offer or to otherwise help out, contact Carol.

SPC’s Monthly Program

Rethink Afghanistan
A film by Robert Greenwald

Wednesday, October 14 at 7 pm
Artrage Gallery (505 Hawley Ave.)

Rethink Afghanistan, Brave New Films’ ground-breaking new documentary, features interviews with experts ranging from former CIA officers, NGO officials, Afghan MPs to Afghan women’s rights activists. The film has been released in parts online (; see it on the “big” screen as we mark the start of the ninth year of the US occupation of Afghanistan. Contact Carol.

Free. Refreshments. Handicapped accessible.


Steering Committee Looking for New Members
If you support SPC’s Statement of Purpose and have somehow been involved with SPC (as an activist, financial supporter, or occasional volunteer), please consider joining SPC’s Steering Committee.  

The Steering Committee is responsible for SPC’s political direction and financial health. It is composed of 10-13 people plus SPC staff. Terms are generally two years, starting with the January meeting. It meets once (occasionally twice) monthly and members are expected to serve on a subcommittee or project committee. Contact Carol.

Changing US Policy on Palestine & Israel
CNY Working for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel had a very successful weekend at the Middle Eastern Festival, getting 150 petition signatures, giving out lots of thoughtful literature and selling books, t-shirts, etc.
CNY Working for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel was one of four SPC tables at the Westcott Street Fair. (L to R: Pat Carmelli, Magda Bayoumi, Christine Mehta (seated). Photo: Bob Skellan
We’re now selling tickets and encouraging people to check out the play “My Name is Rachel Corrie,” being performed by the Simply New Theater on Saturdays, September 5 and 12 at the Civic Center. Tickets are available from SPC for $10-20 (sliding scale). The group is focused on using The Lemon Tree as an educational tool. We hope to start a study group in September. Book discussions will be held at four libraries in October, leading up to a presentation by author Sandy Tolan at 7 pm on Thursday, October 22 at LeMoyne. Contact Andy.

Youth Empowerment Through Truth in Recruiting
After much discussion of SPC program priorities earlier this year, we are increasing our focus on youth empowerment and truth in recruiting. Over the summer we met with some interested high school students and sympathetic teachers from Corcoran and Nottingham high schools to assist with our planning. SPC will continue to staff informational tables at each of the four city high schools on a monthly basis. We hope soon to include at least two rural schools in our tabling schedule and have already connected with students at Colgate University to discuss staffing a table at Hamilton High School.

We are also working to connect more with teachers and faculty at our local schools and to support student-led organizing initiatives. We hope to have students and/or teachers join us whenever we table at a school. An active committee, which seeks additional members, is coordinating this work. Contact Andy or Jessica.

With the mayoral and common council elections approaching, and continued hesitation on the part of several Common Councilors, SPC’s Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation (NOON) has reluctantly put our Resolution of Respect for and Reconciliation with the Onondaga Nation on hold until early next year. In the meantime, we’ll lend a hand to candidates who support the resolution.

Before heading to SPC’s Birthday Dinner on Saturday, October 3, stop by Onondaga Lake Park to check out the Roots of Peacemaking event, co-sponsored by NOON, from 12 noon to 5 pm. Keynote speaker Susan Harjo, President and Executive Director of Morning Star Institute, will be joined by local speakers, music, dancing and artisans. Contact Andy.

Workers Needed – Find Your Place with SPC
•        Peace Newsletter mailing party coordinator (6 hours/month)
         Database Assistant (expertise with MS Access required)
         Peace Outreachers (join others on Tuesday afternoons to protest the Wars)
         Outreach/Tabling Coordinator (10-15 hours/month)
         Volunteer Recruiter for Plowshares Craftsfair (10 hours in November)
         Join the committee for SPC Marketplace at Plowshares (2-4 hours/week thru the fair)
         Help organize the Anti-Drones Demonstration on Sunday, November 15 (flexible)

Learn About, and Protest, Drones with Kathy Kelly
Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence (, will be in Syracuse twice in mid November. Kathy helped organize 70 delegations, from 1996 to 2003, that openly defied economic sanctions by bringing medicines to children and families in Iraq. Last April she was arrested for nonviolent resistance in a  “Ground the Drones” action in Nevada. She recently visited Gaza and Pakistan, writing eyewitness accounts of war’s impact on civilians.

Kathy will speak on the evening of Tuesday, November 10, and on Sunday, November 15 she will join us to protest the drones at our local Air National Guard base on East Molloy Rd. Details TBA – contact SPC or check our website.

Help is welcomed for both events. Contact Carol.

Recycling & Fundraising
Thanks to the hard work of Rae Kramer, Lanny Freshman and elves, SPC’s annual garage sale brought in about $1200.

Activist Appreciation
Gary posed as G. W. Bush at a 2003 protest. Photo: SPC
When Gary Bonaparte first walked into our Burnet Ave. office some seven years ago he was a little put off that we were too busy to sit down and chat over coffee. Fortunately, he stuck around and has become a frequent contributor to SPC’s work. Most recently, Gary drove activists to SPC’s four tableaux at the State Fair. A great storyteller in his historic Mohawk tradition, Gary served on SPC’s Steering Committee for four years. He freely shares his talents – both mechanical and intellectual – with SPC and other local groups working for peace and social justice. Last spring as SPC’s activists racked our brains to come up with a person to interview about the connection between the economic crisis and warmaking, Gary pulled up a chair and joined the conversation. After a few minutes it was clear that he was just the person they were looking for… and he still is.

Plowshares: Save the Dates
Plowshares Craftsfair and Winter Peace Festival
Saturday and Sunday, December 5-6

at Nottingham High School (3100 E. Genesee St., Syracuse)

Enjoy live entertainment and good food while you check out the work of over 120 local craftspeople and community groups. Plowshares is SPC’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

AFSC to Close Its Syracuse Office
One of SPC’s joys about moving to the Center was working in the same building as the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) with whom SPC has a shared history of well over 60 years. It is with great sadness that we report that the AFSC office in Syracuse will close by the end of the year, due to the financial troubles of the national organization.

We celebrate the work of the staff – Twiggy Billue, Chrissie Rizzo and Linda Williams – who have given so much and advocated so strongly. We know you’ll continue your good work, we just wish it were still with AFSC.