Peace Council Pages

Educate, Agitate, Organize


compiled by Andy Mager

Syracuse Peace Council
2013 E. Genesee St., 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
Aly Wane

Drawing Peace
SPC's Youth and Militarism Committee has continued staffing informational tables in the city high schools this semester, but we've added a couple of new activities: each month we have a "quiz" on a peace-related topic. Students who fill out the quiz are entered in a raffle to win a peace T-shirt or a Peace Calendar. We have also kicked off a Poster/Poem for Peace contest in the city high schools. We're reaching out to students, teachers and clubs for participation. Poster submissions must be on white, 11x17 paper and poems must be less than 50 lines. All entries are due by April 1 and will be displayed for an event at the ArtRage Gallery on Thursday, April 29. Prizes will be awarded to winners in each category, and their submissions will be published in the PNL.

We welcome more adults and youth to work with us. We are particularly looking for young people who want to form a youth action group in their school; people of all ages willing to help us with outreach to teachers, schools and parent organizations to schedule presentations; people to staff informational tables at the high schools monthly.

Becoming Good Neighbors
Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation (NOON) knows that we have much work to do to overcome several centuries of less than neighborly relations with the Onondaga Nation and people. So, it's a good thing that we're busy seeking to make up for lost time.

Much activity continues in the effort to ban hydrofracking, including tables at Carousel Center. Our "Onondaga Land Rights and Our Common Future" series is now in full swing see below and work continues on other projects. Contact Andy or see

Chief Jake Edwards and Faithkeeper Oren Lyons (above) were joined on a panel by Tadodaho Sid Hill, Dr. Stephanie Waterman and Onondaga environmental activist Jeanne Shenandoah for the opening of the Onondaga Land Rights and Our Common Future series, February 8 at Syracuse Stage. Photo: Rami Maalouf

Don't Miss the Onondaga Land Rights
Series Over 350 people - students and community folks, from near and far - filled Syracuse Stage on February 8 for the kickoff event of the "Onondaga Land Rights and Our Common Future" series. See for full reports. Next up is "From the 'Doctrine of Discovery' to International Recognition of Rights" on Monday, March 1, 7 pm at Grewen Auditorium, Le Moyne College. Attorney Tonya Gonella Frichner (Snipe Clan, Onondaga Nation), SU Religion Profesor Phil Arnold and Episcopal activist John Dieffenbacher-Krall discuss the "Doctrine of Discovery" and UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous. Contact Andy or see

New Plowshares Application Schedule
In response to requests by many craftspeople we are moving the application schedule up by two months, as follows: `

- April 1: application available on SPC; applications mailed out as requested

- May 10: applications and images due back at SPC; jurying in June and acceptance/non-acceptance letters sent out in mid July.

Don't delay. We routinely get more applications than space available. Contact Rae or Lanny, 445-2840.

-Rae Kramer
SPC’s Monthly Program

The History, Philosophy, and Practice of Nonviolence
A Personal Perspective by Randy Kehler

Tuesday, March 23 at 7 pm
Artrage Gallery (505 Hawley Ave.)

Randy organized against the the Viet Nam War and was jailed for 22 months for refusing to serve. He was a cofounder of the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign, has been a war tax resister for decades and has been involved in many interesting grassroots struggles in rural Western Massachusetts.

Randy will also speak at OCC, SU, SUNY Cortland, SUNY Oswego and Colgate. See for details. Andy, 472-5478.


Refreshments. Handicapped accessible

ACTing in Coalition
SPC became one of the few non-religious organizations to participate in the Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse (ACTS) last year after deciding to broaden our connections with local communities who share many of our social justice concerns. ACTS' priorities are economic development and jobs; healthcare; (criminal) justice; youth; southside food access; civil rights for immigrants. There are currently 38 member organizations, and the group is guided by a newly elected executive committee and a board consisting of member groups representatives. ACTS executive director/lead organizer, Andres Kwon, is leaving his position and a search for his replacement will begin soon. SPC consistently attends ACTS board meetings, and looks forward to more active participation in a task force.

-Carole Resnick

Meeting Facilitation Workshop
Do you ever feel frustrated by meetings that are ineffective or chronically non-productive? Do you wish you felt more confident about your facilitation skills? In response to many requests, SPC will host a meeting facilitation workshop/potluck dinner on Wednesday, March 10 at SPC, 2013 E. Genesee St. The session is open to all and geared toward new facilitators and those looking to sharpen their skills. A potluck begins at 6 pm and the workshop will run from 7-9 pm. RSVP by March 8 to Rae or Andy.

National March on Washington: US Out of Afghanistan & Iraq Now
Bus Trip - Saturday, March 20, 2010. Join thousands of friends to say NO to war and YES to money for healthcare, jobs and education. We'll leave Syracuse at 2 am from 404 Oak St. and return 24 hours later. The cost is $40-80/seat sliding scale. Partial scholarships are available. If you can't go please consider a donation to defray the cost for others. Seats are limited so don't delay. See or email to reserve a seat and pay online if desired. Contact Rae.

SPC Activists "Retreat"
About 30 SPC activists - members, steering committee folks and staff - spent some or all of the January 30-31 weekend reviewing SPC's work over the past year and looking ahead. The gathering at Alverna Heights near Fayetteville led to renewed commitment to make the work of SPC staff more sustainable, including the desire to add staff time for more effective volunteer coordination.


New Steering Committee member Ursula Rozum listens to longtime SPC activist Sam Feld’s tales at the SPC Retreat, January 30-31 at Alverna Heights: Photo: SPC

Iraqi Refugees in Syracuse
With the number of Iraqi refugees coming to Syracuse steadily rising, SPC volunteers have come face-to- face with the horrific effects of the Iraq war. Serious medical issues, including lost limbs, birth defects, and PTSD, plague these families suffering from the countless challenges of displacement.

SPC volunteers assist by chauffeuring families to doctor appointments, ongoing networking with the Center for New Americans, collecting clothing for the new babies and introducing families to sledding and cross country skiing. Building these new relationships has been a positive experience for volunteers and Iraqi families alike.

-Donna Muhs-McCarten

CNY Working for a Just Peace in Palestine & Israel
In February we sponsored two talks by Richard Becker, Liberation newspaper commentator and author of Palestine, Israel and the U.S. Empire (PSL publications, 2009). Richard is one of several speakers on various aspects of the Israel/Palestine struggle we've featured over the past year.

Our small group-made up of passionate, opinionated, but mutually respectful Jews, Muslims, Christians and seculars - now meets at 10:45 am on the first and third Wednesdays of the month upstairs at the Center. To learn more, check

-Ed Kinane

Activist Appreciation: Howard Zinn
Howard Zinn, historian, teacher and longtime friend to peace movements worldwide died suddenly January 27, 2010. He is best known for The People's History of the United States, a myth shattering account of history from the point of view of people largely ignored in mainstream educational circles. The many written remembrances and obituaries of the past few weeks can give you a chronological listing of his many accomplishments. What we can say in this small space is that his voice was one we depended on for truth telling; one which constantly questioned government motives and actions and most importantly, one which offered us hope by reminding us that "we the people" could take our lead from those courageous people who came before us; the resisters, protesters and workers: those whose lessons Howard spent his life keeping alive.

-Rose Viviano

Haiti Relief
If you are uncertain about where to send money for Haiti relief, our affiliated group CLAC (Caribbean Latin America Coalition) recommends Partners in Health (PIH). PIH, founded by Paul Farmer, has been providing health and health-related services in Haiti for more than 20 years. Please see to donate and/or learn more.

Nancy Gwin Sentenced to Six Months for Protesting the SOA
On January 25 in Columbus, Georgia, Federal Magistrate G. Mallon Faircloth tried and sentenced Syracuse activist Nancy Gwin and two male co-defendants to six months in federal prison. Their crime? Trespassing-also known as "crossing the line"-at Ft. Benning, Georgia on November 22, 2009.

Nancy will self-report to Danbury prison, a women's federal minimum security facility in Connecticut, on March 8. Support Nancy at a sing-along Sunday, March 7, 2-4 pm at St. Lucy's Church.

Nancy is one of over a dozen Central New Yorkers who, since 1996, have served federal sentences for opposing the deadly deeds of the SOA. For more information, see -Ed Kinane

Militarism in our Lives
We invite readers to submit a short (100 word max) description of the ways in which militarism is part of our daily life; e.g. language, clothing, music, activities. We will choose several for inclusion with an article in the April 2010 PNL. Deadline is March 10.