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

Tapping into Youthful Creativity

SPC’s first annual Art for Peace Contest concluded with a celebration at ArtRage Gallery on April 29. Over 30 people, most new to SPC, came out to view the posters and hear the poems. The student writers delighted the crowd by reading their work.

More than 60 students from three Syracuse high schools responded to the theme, “How Can We Build Peace?” The contest was part of SPC’s increased efforts to connect with and inspire young people.

Coordinated by interns Marjory Elwell (SU) and Samantha Salvato (Le Moyne), we learned how much effort it takes to connect with students. SPC hopes to expand the project next year. Contact Jessica.

Bikes 4 Peace 2010 Schedule
Thanks to help from Mello Velo bike shop, Bikes for Peace held its annual new volunteer training on May 19. We’re excited to have several new people joining our core team. Our free summer bike clinics will be held on Monday nights from 5-7 pm. We kick off the season at the Northeast Community Center (716 Hawley Ave.) on June 21 and 28. We’ll be on the Westside at the Spanish Action League/La Liga (700 Oswego St.) on July 12 and 19. We’ll finish up back on the Eastside at Loguen Park (E. Genesee St.and Lexington St.) on August 2 and 9. Contact Jessica.

Summer Youth Outreach
SPC’s youth and militarism committee is wrapping up our high school outreach and working to connect with summer youth programs. We plan to offer facilitated discussions focused on “Truth in Military Recruiting” and “Youth Activism.” We have also begun connecting with the ACTS clergy caucus to provide presentations to church youth groups and congregations.

In addition to outreach, we hope to expand our display materials in preparation for fall tabling. If you have graphic design or artistic skills and would like to help us create a new table top display or other materials, contact Andy or Jessica.

SPC interns Samantha Salvato (left) and Marjory Elwell coordinated the Art for Peace contest. They proudly stand in front of the posters in the ArtRage Gallery front window, where they hung for two weeks. Photo: Andy Mager

Interns, Interns, Interns
During the spring semester, we hosted student interns from Syracuse University, Le Moyne College, Onondaga Community College, SUNY Oswego, SUNY ESF, Bennington College (VT) and Wells College. They assisted with Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation, our Strike for Peace Bowlathon, antiwars organizing (including the bus trip to DC and our April 25 regional anti-Reaper drone demonstration), and youth and militarism work, as well as general office tasks like updating our website, sending out the e-newsletter and mailing the PNL. Thanks and best wishes to Evan Braun, Amber Coon, Marjory Elwell, Kara Kieffer, Kirsti Maurer, Stanley Charles Milewski, Katherine Raymond, Breanna Rolland, Samantha Salvato and Janina Swierk.

We’ve also begun welcoming our first summer interns. Amelia Ramsey-Lefevre and Nissa Thor will soon be joined by Sam Buchbauer, Sarah Finerghty and Lin Lin Wang. Erin O’Neill is continuing her internship with NOON. We’re pleased that several of our spring interns are returning in the fall and plan to stay connected.

Pride and Juneteenth Parades in June
SPC plans to once again march in both the local Pride and Juneteenth parades. The challenge is that both parades are on Saturday, June 19 at the same time (around noon to 1). Want to march in an SPC contingent in either parade? It’s a fun way to show our solidarity. Contact Carol.

People from throughout Upstate New York came to Syracuse April 25 to protest the wars and Reaper drones piloted from Hancock Air Base (Mattydale). Photo: Kristin Mosher

No War, No Occupation, No Empire Committee
After organizing the April 25 protest of the wars and the Reaper drones piloted from nearby Hancock Air Base, SPC's No War, No Occupation, No Empire committee has started making summer plans. One challenge is to integrate our work protesting the hunter/killer Reaper with the big picture of US war-making and empire-building and its impact on people in the US and other countries. We want to be highly visible to remind people that there are wars underway that need to be stopped. To get the word out, we're calling all people with creative ideas to help with street theater, fliers, etc. We continue our twice-monthly demos at Hancock and twice-weekly demos elsewhere. See outreach schedule in the box on this page. Contact Carol.

NOON Benefit Concert Inspirational But Not a Financial Success
Despite a poor turnout, NOON’s May 4 Benefit Concert was a great time with hot music. Thanks to Erin O’Neill and Mary Ronan for coordinating the event. The musicians, Sarah Aument, Sophistafunk and Thousands of One were great (and donated their time). Thanks also to Mark Fitzgerald of Rosewood Sound, who reduced his already cut-rate SPC discount in order to keep us from losing money, and the Palace Theater for its support.

SPC Monthly Program

Poetry for Peace

Wednesday, June 23 
6 pm - potluck picnic

7 pm - poetry

Thornden Park Amphitheatre

Hosted by Georgia Popoff, local poets will share some of their work. Bring some of your own or a favorite by someone else to read.

In case of rain we’ll be under the pavilion next to the playground. Contact Andy. Free.

Organizing Starts for Hiroshima Commemoration
This August will mark 65 years since the US dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In preparation for the solemn, theatrical procession through downtown Syracuse on August 6, SPC and Peace Action will hold paper crane making workshops for youth and share the Sadako story. We also hope to facilitate an interfaith service. To help, contact Carol.

Upcoming Onondaga Land Rights Events
At press time, the “Influence of Haudenosaunee Women” program is underway at Syracuse Stage. Up next is “The Ground Beneath Your Feet is Sacred: Haudenosaunee Cultural Resource Protection,” a look at efforts to protect the cultural rights and burial grounds of the Onondaga and other Haudenosaunee people with Peter Jemison and Jack Rossen on Monday, June 14. The final summer program will feature Onondaga Chief and in-house historian Irving Powless, Jr. and historian Robert W. Venables, author of the two volume set American Indian History: Five Centuries of Conflict & Coexistence. “The Two Row Wampum and the Covenant Chain of Treaties” will be held on Monday, July 12. Both programs begin at 7 pm at Syracuse Stage, 820 E. Genesee St. For details see

Weekly Peace Outreach

Join SPC activists messaging against militarism. Contact Ed or Ann, 478-4571.

Tuesdays: 4:45 - 5:30 pm

June 1 Seneca Tnpk. & S. Salina St. (Valley)
June 8 Hancock Air Base Entrance (E. Molloy Rd., Mattydale) Reaper Drone focus
June 15 Adams St. & Rt. 81 (Downtown) 
June 22 Hancock Air Base Entrance (E. Molloy Rd., Mattydale) Reaper Drone focus
June 29 Teall Ave. & Burnet/Rt. 690 (Eastside)
July 6 Northern Lights Mall (south end at Rt. 11 in Mattydale)

Also every Saturday 9-10 am we’re also at the Farmers’ Market at Park St.

First Syracuse Nakba Commemoration
Nakba in Arabic means “catastrophe.” When capitalized Nakba refers particularly to the events of 1947/48 when over 650,000 Palestinians were driven from their cities, towns and villages in what then became the State of Israel. CNY Working for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine recently organized Syracuse’s first public commemoration of the Nakba.  On May 14 ArtRage showed the 200-minute long documentary, “Al Nakba.”   On May 16, also at ArtRage, over 40 of us heard four local Palestinians share their own and their families’ painful and fateful Nakba experiences. Let’s make the commemoration a “first annual.”Contact Andy.

-Ed Kinane

You Too Can Organize a Special PNL Section
The special section on hydrofracking in this month’s PNL marks our third special section since January. It was coordinated by the hydrofracking subcommittee of Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation.

The PNL offers special sections of 4-7 pages to groups closely allied with SPC, including SPC working groups, other organizations, or SPC activists who want to address a special topic. Contact Carol to find out how you can use the PNL as a resource to help educate the community about your work.

SPC Community News
Congratulations are due to a number of SPC folks…to Ray Trudell for his winning photo of Onondaga Lake, “Hiawatha’s Nights,” in the New York Creative Core contest. Bill Cuddy deservedly received the annual Dorothy Day Award for his decades of work on behalf of imprisoned people in our community and his clear and consistent voice for peace. Elinor Cramer’s first book of poetry She is a Pupa, Soft and White has just been published by Word Press. On a sadder note, longtime SPC supporters and community activists Hal and Jan Garman recently moved to the Washington DC area to be closer to family. Send future items to Andy.
In typical fashion, Dave Grucza is hard at work helping a boy learn to fix his bike at an SPC Bikes 4 Peace Clinic, June 16, 2009. Photo: Oliver Wnuck

Activist Appreciation: David Gruzca
David Gruzca has been a regular contributor and volunteer with the Peace Council for several years. An engineer, he found his niche helping to coordinate SPC’s Bikes 4 Peace program. He hosts our meet-up site, posts event announcements, maintains our inventory, fixed up a trailer to hold our supplies and transports the tools and supplies to every bike clinic during the summer. He’s the kind of volunteer every project is looking for – reliable, generous and fun. In an effort to connect our project to other community bike efforts, David often volunteers at bike events on behalf of Bikes 4 Peace. Last year he tuned up  bikes for Bike Syracuse and helped with Jan Maloff’s bike giveaway at the Skiddy Park neighborhood picnic. Thanks, David.

PNL Distributors and  Subs Needed
We need people for regular PNL distribution routes as well as people to substitute occasionally. Deliveries take an hour or so per month. We need regular distributors for: Syracuse Northside, Syracuse Westside, East Syracuse, North Syracuse/Cicero/Bridgeport, Liverpool/Clay and SUNY ESF. We distribute over 4,000 PNLs each month and this is a great way to get the word out and keep SPC visible in the community. To offer help, contact Susan 378-0353 or Andy 472-5478.

Jordan–Elbridge Kids’ Peace-Making Project
On April 21, SPC’s Kirsti Maurer, Samantha Salvato, and Terry Gavagan led 45 Jordan-Elbridge elementary school students through a morning of peacemaking activities as part of the community’s Kids’ Break program. They learned about children like themselves who have been activists for peace. The children then brainstormed how they could promote peace in their school and their community and made posters to illustrate their ideas. They also played cooperative games and made paper doves to carry their messages of peace. It was a great experience for both the kids and adults. If you’re interested in helping SPC expand peacemaking programs for children, contact Andy.