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

Activists converge at Hancock Airbase near Syracuse to say “No” to drones and oppose escalation in Afghanistan. Clockwise from top left: Kathy Kelly inspires the crowd; a moving picket conveys our message to passersby; Paul Frazier (below) sums it up: drones are terrorism. Photos: Kimberley McCoy

Saying NO to the Reaper Drones in Syracuse
Reaper drones are remotely controlled, unmanned planes which have been used for border surveillance in the US and to bomb people, vehicles and buildings overseas (see the October 2009 PNL or to learn more). In early November SPC organized two events to focus on the Reaper drones now at Hancock Air National Guard base in nearby Mattydale.

On November 10, Voices for Creative Nonviolence ( co-coordinator Kathy Kelly gave her eyewitness report on the impact of war in both Gaza and Pakistan, including the stories of victims of drone attacks. The program was part of our monthly educational series.

On Sunday, November 15, Central New Yorkers came together with activists from across the state to protest the Reaper in our midst. For some, the day started with a spirited march to the base; others joined us for soup and speakers before converging at the base entrance. Over 250 people picketed there, with signs such as DRONES = TERRORISM and REAPERS ARE COWARDLY. We closed the picket by leaving letters of protest at the guardhouse. See for our letter to the base commander.

This is only the beginning. To get involved, contact Carol.

Giving Thanks to the Onondagas
Join Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation (NOON) and friends from the Onondaga Nation to express our thanks for the Onondagas' leadership on ecological preservation and social healing. We'll gather at 10 am on Thanksgiving, November 26, at Willow Bay on the north shore of Onondaga Lake. In addition NOON has been working to stop hydrofracking (see article) and planning for a second Onondaga Land Rights & Our Common Future educational series for 2010. Contact Andy


Monday, December 14 at 5:30 pm
SPC Office (2013 E. Genesee St.)

Gather with SPC staff, Steering Committee, activists and supporters to celebrate another year of peacemaking. We closed a $12,000 budget shortfall, raised additional resources to update our website, added color to the Peace Newsletter, and hosted a regional demonstration to oppose Reaper drones here in Central New York.

Please join us to celebrate these and other 2009 victories and initiatives. We’ll set aside a few minutes for updates from various projects. Food and drink provided.

RSVP helpful, but not required: 472-5478 or

Don't Miss Plowshares Craftsfair
Join us for our 39th annual celebration of art, craft and winter peace fellowship. With 130 crafts and community group booths, Plowshares is a wonderful 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 5 from 10-5, and Sunday, December 6 from 11-5 at Nottingham High School (3100 E. Genesee St., Syracuse). Bring a friend who's never been and have the joy of turning them on to the most interesting craftsfair in Central New York (carpool - or weather permitting, come by skis or sled.) ­Rae Kramer

SPC’s annual Plowshares Craftsfair and Winter Peace Festival drew record crowds last year. Photo: Andy Mager

Please Respond to Fall Fund Appeal Many thanks to those who have already responded to our fall fund appeal. Twice each year we send an update to SPC supporters asking you to help us meet our ongoing expenses. Please respond as generously as you are able in this difficult economic time. If you didn't receive the Appeal, or misplaced it, check out:

Occupied Palestine Presentation Draws Fire
CNY Working for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel, coordinated by SPC, hosted Jewish-American activist Anna Baltzer on November 3 in Cazenovia to speak about "Life in Occupied Palestine" and in Syracuse on November 4. The Syracuse program, attended by about 100 people, challenged us to respond respectfully but firmly to a couple of hecklers. Otherwise Anna's presentations were very well received. That afternoon Anna conducted a thought-provoking workshop for our organizing group. To learn more about Anna's speaking tour, check To connect locally, contact Andy.

SPC Works With Youth
SPC continues our outreach tabling in the city high schools to inform students about alternatives to military service, the truth about military recruitment and students' right to keep their contact information private by completing an "opt-out" form.

In early October, we had a constructive meeting with Brian Nolan (Director of High Schools), Steve Gramet (Pupil Services Coordinator) and Michele Abdul Sabur (Parent Partnership Network) of the Syracuse School District. We discussed ways SPC can support peace work within the schools. We're pursuing several possibilities and would welcome additional help. We have informational tables scheduled for Henninger High School on Friday, December 4 and Corcoran High School on Wednesday, December 9. Our next meeting will be November 25 at 1 pm. Contact Andy or Jessica.

Activist Appreciation: Jessica Azulay
During Andy's paternity leave in 2003, right before the US invasion of Iraq, Jessica Azulay joined us as a temporary staff person. It was an intense time. Jessica hit the ground running, brimming with energy, creativity and analytical and writing skills. She's an excellent organizer and strategist.

After several months at SPC, she left to co-found the NewStandard, an on-line newspaper. Jessica returned to SPC to help organize the September, 2007 "Soldiers and Civilians Speak Out" regional march and demonstration. In 2009, much to our delight, she joined the Steering Committee. Since then Jessica has continued to provide leadership in key ways. She serves on our Interim Committee helping plan, and often facilitating, Steering Committee meetings. She's helping to redesign our website, works on our core team with ACTS [see article], and helps with fundraising.

Jessica likes to garden, dance salsa and sing with Salsa Son Timba. She is smart and funny. She stays true to her politics. We value her.

Weekly Peace Outreach

Stop the Drones:

Raise your voice against the wars and Reaper drones!

Tuesdays: 4:45 - 5:30 pm

Nov. 24 Teall Ave. & Rt. 690 (Eastside)
Dec 1 Hancock Air National Guard base entrance (East Molloy Rd., just west of Thompson Rd., Mattydale)

After December 1, peace outreach will take a break until the spring

Holiday Wish List
To donate an item or your time, please contact us.
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 material for tablecloths (or other dark solid color)
portable dvd player or laptop computer (Pentium 4+)
people available to run daytime errands
poster frames to beautify the office
10' x 10' pop up tent
Newer computers (Pentium 4+) and LCD flat screen computer monitors
$$ to purchase any of the above items
committee members (fundraising, outreach, youth & militarism, anti-wars)

Strike for Peace: Save the Date
Get your team (family, workplace, school group, union, community group, faith community, etc.) ready for our 2010 SPC Bowlathon on Sunday, February 28 at Flamingo Bowl in Liverpool. This annual event is fun for all ages. Look for team registration forms and flyers at the SPC table during Plowshares or contact Jessica. Time TBA

Over 20 SPC activists represented us at the ACTS(Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse) Public Action Meeting on November 1. See page 6 for a report. Photo: Andy Magerlar

2010 SPC Retreat
Last year, SPC held our first planning retreat in many years. Approximately 25 people gathered for a weekend of evaluation, planning and socializing at a B&B in Cazenovia. Feedback was so positive that we hope to hold a retreat annually to encourage regular, thoughtful planning and provide an opportunity for SPC activists to gather outside of the office. Next year's overnight retreat will be held Saturday-Sunday, January 30-31 at Alverna Heights outside of Fayetteville (near Green Lakes). All active SPC supporters are welcome. Contact Jessica.

Rental Space Available at the Syracuse Center
Starting early in 2010, rental space will be available on the first floor of the Syracuse Center for Peace & Social Justice, 2013 E. Genesee St, near the NE corner of Westcott St. SPC occupies the second floor of the Center which is home to several non-profit organizations. The Center was created to support organizations working for social change in our community.

Rents are more than reasonable: about $1/square foot/month, plus utilities. There is now about 900 square feet of first floor office space available. The space can be reconfigured to suit a group's needs. Contact Ann Tiffany, 478-4571 or