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

First SummerCrafts a Great Success
SPC had a great weekend of crafts, jazz and festivity at the first-ever SummerCrafts at JazzFest. Braving the winds of OCC, 36 craftspeople joined us to sell handmade clothing, paintings and prints, jewelry, ceramics and self-published books. SPC’s display exposed hundreds of new folks to our politics through the scores of buttons covering our tables. Despite a few first-year bumps, organizers, vendors and visitors agreed SummerCrafts was a success, and with a few adjustments we know next year’s event will be a summer highlight. SPC earned over $3500 for our efforts. Special thanks to JazzFest coordinator Frank Malfitano, SPC intern Amelia Ramsey-Lefevre and SPC activists Lanny Freshman, Rae Kramer, Wendy Yost, Stephanie Leeds and Barb Kobritz

Remember Hiroshima & Nagasaki: Demand a Nuclear-Free World
SPC and Peace Action are organizing commemorations of the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 65 years ago. On Wednesday, August 4 at 7 pm we’re sponsoring an Interfaith Vigil for Peace and a Lantern Floating at the Everson Museum. Then on Friday, August 6, please join us for our annual dramatic procession to remember the dead and demand the abolition of nuclear power and weapons (see article on cover). We’ll gather at 11:30 am near City Hall (215 E. Washington St.); please join us, wearing white or light colored clothing. Contact Carol.

Throughout the summer, we have been offering workshops to youth, focusing on the Sadako story and paper crane making. If you know of groups who would be interested, contact Carol.

We’ll Miss You Frank (and carry on)
Beloved local activist Frank Woolever participating in the annual Hiroshima Day Procession. Frank died suddenly on July 5. Photo: Paul Pearce

SPC activists were stunned to learn on July 5 that Frank Woolever had passed away suddenly, following a stroke. Young at heart and very physically-active at the age of 77, Frank was a stellar activist in diverse movements over many decades. A former priest, Frank’s Catholic faith was a key motivation of his passionate commitment to justice and peace. He was one of those rare activists who both retained a clear radical vision, yet worked effectively with people in the mainstream. Frank was widely respected in the Central New York community and will be deeply missed. SPC is creating a tribute for Frank on our website. See to read the thoughts of others and to add your own tributes and recollections of this dear man. SPC sends our condolences to Meme and their children and pledges to carry on the work that was at the heart of Frank’s life.

SPC Youth Outreach
At the end of the school year, SPC’s Youth and Militarism committee spoke about youth activism and social movements in six high school Participation in Government classes (see article for more of this past year’s activities). We hope to build on that model this summer by offering workshops on youth activism and nonviolent conflict resolution, encouraging young people to think critically and become active in their communities. We will also meet with some progressive local educators to help us evaluate our work in the schools this year and plan for next. Contact Andy or Jessica.

SPC Goes to the State Fair 
We are psyched to bring our anti-war message to the NYS Fair and need your help.

Binghamton’s Local Cost of the War Sign. We’re borrowing Broome County Peace Action’s electronic Cost of the War sign from mid August through September. We want to attach it to a vehicle and drive it in State Fair traffic. So we’re looking for a generator, trucks and a programmer. Can you lend a hand?

Dramatic Tableau. We’re planning a tableau (stationary street theater) on the effects of reaper drones. We’ll be at the Fair a few hours each day for all 12 days, so will need lots of people to participate in the tableau, hold signs and/or drive us there. Also needed are people who can create a replica of a drone. Contact Carol.
The Israeli attack on the humanitarian flotilla to Gaza drew over 40 people to an emergency response demonstration on June 2 at the Federal Building. On July 11, CNY Working for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel organized a benefit dinner for the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, an organization which has supported Palestinian activists and families and provided insightful analysis about the occupation. CNY Working will table at the Middle Eastern Festival, July 16-18 at St. Elias Church on Onondaga Hill. Contact Andy.

SPC Goes to National  Peace Conference
From July 23-25, the United National Antiwar Conference is organizing a Bring the Troops Home Now! Conference in Albany, NY. Friday evening features a panel discussion on “Strategies and Tactics in the Struggle to End the Empire’s Wars and Occupations;” Saturday will include keynote speakers (Noam Chomsky and Donna Dewitt), workshops, panels and discussions; and on Sunday we’ll discuss an action proposal.

At least two carloads of SPC folks are planning to attend – some for the entire weekend, others for Saturday only. Please join us. The registration fee is negotiable and free housing is available. See or contact Carol.

Onondaga Land Rights Series Update
On July 12, Onondaga Chief Irving Powless, Jr. and historian Robert W. Venables spoke about “The Two Row Wampum and the Covenant Chain of Treaties” as the eighth event in the Onondaga Land Rights & Our Common Futures series. In June, Seneca artist and activist Peter Jemison and archaeologist Jack Rossen described the struggles to reclaim cultural artifacts and protect burial grounds. Many in the audience were shocked to learn that New York State is one of only three states which does not protect unmarked graves. For full reports on these and the other past events and the fall schedule, see

Peace Council Calling
SPC’s annual phonathon is set for July 28-29 and August 18. If you haven’t contributed in the past several months, we’ll call with an update about SPC’s activities and seek your financial support and feedback on our work. We’d welcome help making phone calls, providing administrative support and food for the callers. Contact Andy.

NOON Experiences Joy and Sadness
Activity remains high in Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation, with the past month including both significant joy and sadness. In early July, Congressmember Maffei and Senator Gillibrand introduced The Onondaga Lake Restoration Act into the US House and Senate. If passed, this will alter the way lake clean up and restoration proceeds, making the Onondaga Nation a key decision-maker. Onondaga Faithkeeper Oren Lyons described it this way, “we’ve got our paddle in the water now.”

We were greatly saddened to hear of the passing of longtime clan mother Dorothy Webster, a devoted friend of NOON and SPC. Plowshares Craftsfair attenders will remember her beaded jewelry and gentle spirit. Contact Andy.

Activist Appreciation: Stephanie Leeds
Activists rally downtown to call for the NYS Senate to pass a moratorium on the dangerious practice of hydrofracking.

When SummerCrafts dropped into our lap as a possibility in late May, staff scrambled to figure out who might help to make it work. Stephanie Leeds is one of the people we turned to. She and Barb Kobritz put in many hours preparing for SPC’s marketplace at SummerCrafts, as they had done for Plowshares last fall. A former member of SPC’s Steering Committee, Stephanie’s strong sense of responsibility, attention to detail and analytical mind have all added greatly to SPC’s success in recent years. Thank you Stephanie for your many contributions.

Summer Interns
SPC once again has several excellent interns working with us this summer. Lin Lin Wang assisted us in May-June with financial analysis, antiwars organizing and paper crane making. Amelia Ramsey-Lefevre, a PNL committee member, expanded her volunteer work to a half-time internship through August. She was a primary organizer of SPC’s SummerCrafts at Jazzfest, continues to work on the PNL, puts together SPC’s weekly e-newsletter and is coordinating SPC’s outreach to youth programs. Nissa Thor, is working with the Hiroshima and the No Wars committees and made a new rainbow peace banner for the Pride Parade. Sam Buchbauer is working with CNY Working to develop new materials and expand summer outreach. Erin O’Neill continues her internship with NOON, coordinating tabling, working on hydrofracking and more.

Peace…Get there by Bike!
SPC’s Bikes 4 Peace program held it’s first two free clinics for youth on June 21 and 28 at the Northeast Community Center, working with over 30 young people to fix their bikes. We had a record 10 volunteers at our first clinic thanks to an excellent new volunteer training by the owners of Mello Velo bike shop. We recycled three donated bikes that were taken home by the youth who helped to fix them. On July 12 and 19, we’ll be in the parking lot of the Spanish Action League (700 Oswego St.), and on August 9 and 16 we’ll be fixing bikes in Loguen Park (E. Genesee St. and Lexington Ave.). We still welcome new people to get involved – in addition to mechanics, we also need people to sign in youth, to keep track of tools and supplies and to post flyers the week before clinics start.

SPC’s Annual Garage Sale late August
This year’s Garage Sale is at set for Saturday, August 28 (9-5 pm) and Sunday, August 29 (9-1 pm) at 401 Scottholm Blvd., Syracuse. No early birds please!

Drop off donations on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday of that week from 9 am-9 pm. Items should be in good condition (no clothes). Call Rae Kramer (445-2840) to help with set up or staffing the sale.

The Garage Sale is a great way to recycle things you no longer need and find items you can use at a bargain, plus you’re helping SPC!
Weekly Peace Outreach

No one else is going to end these’s up to us. Contact Ed or Ann, 478-4571.

Tuesdays: 4:45 - 5:30 pm

July 20 E. Genesee St. & Erie Blvd. E. (Dewitt)
July 27 Hancock Air Base Entrance (E. Molloy Rd., Mattydale) Reaper Drone focus
Aug. 3 Adams St. & Rt. 81 (Downtown)
Aug. 10 Hancock Air Base Entrance (E. Molloy Rd., Mattydale) Reaper Drone focus
Aug. 17 Westcott & E. Genesee Sts. (Eastside)
Aug. 24 Northern Lights Mall (south end at Rt. 11 in Mattydale)

Also every Saturday 9-10 am on Park St. across from the Regional Market.

Public Power Update
With assistance from the Syracuse University Law Clinic, a new energy supply study by engineer Mike Mathis, and new information from the Alliance for Municipal Power in the North Country, the Public Power Coalition (PPC) is now well-positioned to advocate with the new Mayoral administration. As a first step the PPC has begun meeting with the city’s new director of Planning and Sustainability. Contact

SPC and “Open City”
In the mid-19th Century, Syracuse was central to the US anti-slavery movement. Reverend Jermaine Loguen, a local station master in the Underground Railroad, called Syracuse an “Open City” because abolitionists openly provided sanctuary for freedom-seekers.

A group of artists created a space for three weeks for discussions, workshops and brainstorming on the question, “Is Syracuse an Open City today?” SPC was represented in panel discussions by Aly Wane, speaking on immigration and freedom of movement, and Carol Baum, who addressed freedom of speech as part of an open city.

Adrienne Allen wrote an article about the Open City process, which we have published on our website. Please check it out at