Peace Council Pages

Educate, Agitate, Organize


compiled by Carol Baum

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

The July 29 Immigration Rally at the Federal Building in downtown Syracuse. Photo: Andy Mager

Ann Wright Speaks on Afghanistan
On September 25, SPC will hold its annual birthday dinner featuring retired Colonel Ann Wright. Just a few highlights from Ann’s impressive bio:

           part of the team that reopened the US embassy in Kabul after the US invasion in 2001

          resigned her position with the State Department in protest on the day of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003

           joined the Freedom Flotilla that attempted to bring humanitarian supplies to Gaza in 2010 The dinner will feature Middle Eastern food (vegetarian/vegan). Tickets are sliding scale, $15-74. Reservations for the dinner are strongly encouraged, as we have just 125 places available. Doors open at 6 pm and dinner will be served promptly at 6:30 pm. We will have additional seating available for the program which begins at 7:30 pm. To make reservations, place an ad in the program, or help with food or setup, contact Jessica. Reservations can also be made online at: See page 9 for more information on Ann Wright.

Join SPC at the NYS Fair
SPC will once again have a dramatic presence just outside the NYS Fair. This year’s tableau will graphically show the impacts of drone attacks in Afghanistan – the destruction, death and blowback. We have the costumes, props, a leaflet and even a large model of a drone – all we need now is YOU to take a role. All you need to be able to do is to stand, sit or lie completely still for 20 minutes at a time in costume (the drama of the tableau comes, in part, from its stillness, while being surrounded by the chaos of the Fair).
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

Aug. 31 Main Entrance to NYS Fair
Sept. 7 E. Colvin St. & S. Salina St. (Southside)
Sept. 14 Hancock Air Base Entrance (E. Molloy Rd., Mattydale) Reaper Drone focus
Sept. 21 Adams St. & Rt. 81 (Downtown)
Sept. 28 Hancock Air Base Entrance (E. Molloy Rd., Mattydale) Reaper Drone focus
Oct. 5 Rt. 20 & Lincklaen St. (Cazenovia)

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

We need 5-6 people to play roles, 1-2 leafletters and several drivers. We plan to be there every day for about an hour – after work on weekdays and around 1 pm on weekends (and Labor Day). Contact Carol.

Binghamton’s Sign Moves to Syracuse
SPC and Peace Action of CNY have just borrowed the Broome County Peace Action’s “Local Cost of the War” sign, the sign which had hung outside Binghamton’s City Hall this summer. The 7 ½ foot long LED sign is programmable and we have been experimenting with messages. We are borrowing it for two months, after which it will travel to another city.

We’re very excited about the possibilities. We plan to hang it outside the Syracuse Center for Peace and Social Justice (where both SPC and Peace Action reside), bring it to the State Fair and offer it to other local groups. We’ll need people to help with the hanging and to bring it to other places. Contact Carol.

March on Washington  10-2-10
With all of the media attention on the “tea party” folks, it is time for progressive forces in this country to assert themselves. That opportunity is October 2, with a major march on Washington, DC. Locally, SEIU 1199 is organizing a coalition (of which SPC is part) to help fill buses for the march. Nationally, two of the initiating organizations were SEIU and the NAACP; now there are many endorsing organizations. The themes are:

           Funding for healthcare and schools – not warfare

           Jobs for all and an economy that works for everyone

           Renewable energy and green jobs

           Unity – not division – no more hate! Seats on the buses are free, but reservations are necessary. Contact Carol, send your name and contact information to or call 424-1743 ext.148 (please mention that you’re with SPC). See article for more details.
SPC summer interns (left to right) Nissa Thor, Amelia Ramsey-Lefevre and Sam Buchbauer led the crowd in a reading following the Hiroshima Day Procession. Nissa, Sam and Erin O’Neill (NOON intern, not pictured) will leave us soon; Amelia will continue through the fall. SPC is very grateful that they shared their time, skills and passion with us. We welcome new interns. To work as an intern with SPC, please see or contact the SPC office. Photo: Diane Lansing

Youth Change the World
SPC’s Youth and Militarism committee launched a new program this summer aimed at connecting with youth in summer programs. We facilitated workshops for youth between the ages of 13-19 in conjunction with the Hillside Work-Scholarship Program, Vincent House and the Center for Community Alternatives. Activities focused on nonviolent conflict resolution at the personal and community level and concluded with a discussion on the role of youth in community activism. We look forward to seeing many of the same youth during our regular tabling at city high schools this fall. Thanks to Lizzie Marris, Amelia Ramsey-Lefevre and Nissa Thor, we have a lovely new display entitled “Youth Change the World” to use when tabling. If you are interested in co-staffing a table with one of our experienced organizers or making phone calls to schools to gather contact information and schedule classroom presentations, please contact Andy or Jessica.

Bikes 4 Peace
SPC’s summer bike program has wrapped up another excellent season. We recruited several additional core members to our organizing team and were able to host six free bike fix-it clinics for youth at the Northeast Community Center, Spanish Action League and Loguen Park. We worked with youth to recycle five donated bikes and helped over 60 young people fix their bikes. We’re also excited to participate in the first annual Acts Of Kindness (A-OK) weekend being organized by Women Transcending Boundaries. Bikes for Peace will be working at the St. Lucy’s hub on Saturday September 11, teaching youth to fix bikes. If you are interested in assisting with grant writing or program development during the winter, please contact Jessica.

Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation
NOON’s many projects and committees continued actively through the summer: stopping hydrofracking, pushing for a thorough cleanup of Onondaga Lake, Onondaga Land Rights and Our Common Future series (see below), Correcting Historical Markers, Community Outreach Tables and the Good Friends Garden. We’re very excited about the new Haudenosaunee Curriculum Project which is just being launched in conjunction with Onondaga friends. The project will work to amend New York State K-12 curriculum so that it accurately reflects the historic and contemporary issues of significance to Haudenosaunee and other First Nations peoples in New York State. In the short term, it will collect and post accurate and engaging curricular materials on the NOON website. NOON also bids a fond farewell to intern Erin O’Neill who coordinated NOON’s tabling, worked on hydrofracking and many other issues over the past year. Contact Andy.

Mascots and Stereotypes Debunked
The fall segment of the Onondaga Land Rights & Our Common Future series kicks off on Friday, September 24 with Suzan Harjo (Cheyenne and Muscogee), Michael Taylor (Seneca Nation Wolf Clan) and Doug George-Kanentiio (Akwesasne Mohawk Bear Clan) speaking about Native People in Popular Culture, Stereotypes and Mascots.
The 7 pm program will be held at Empire State College, 6333 Route 298, East Syracuse (off Carrier Circle). The free presentation will be followed by a reception and the opportunity to participate in small discussion groups.  For full reports on these, past events and the fall schedule, see

Educational Programs on Palestine & Israel
CNY Working for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel is planning a series of educational programs for the fall. Join us on Monday, September 20 at 7 pm at ArtRage Gallery (505 Hawley Ave.) to view “American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein.” The video follows up on Dr. Finkelstein’s presentation “Israel and Palestine after the Flotilla” on Thursday, September 16, 5 pm at Le Moyne College (Grewen Auditorium). Finkelstein, an outspoken American academic, is the author of several books, including Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History, and The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering.Contact Andy.

Activist Appreciations: Terry Gavagan
Terry Gavagan, crane maker and teacher extraordinaire, at the Interfaith Sharing August 4. See article for more on the Hiroshima Commemorations. Photo: Diane Lansing.
Thanks to Terry Gavagan, SPC’s Paper Crane program (a lead-up to Hiroshima Day) really took off this summer. Terry’s amazing lesson plan, tireless outreach, and expert scheduling made it all possible. She led a workshop early in the summer to train people in the art of folding cranes, and she was the leader for almost all of the groups we visited. On top of this great work, Terry also contributed to planning the other Hiroshima Day events . Terry, we are grateful for your unfailingly good-humored and devoted work. Thank you!

The People’s 60 Minutes Signs Off
SPC's television show The People's 60 Minutes, created in 1988 by Hank Strunk and Paul Pearce, presented its last program this summer. The show was cable-cast every Sunday night for the past 22 years. Paul Pearce, the do-it-all energy behind the show, decided that the show had run its course and it was time to move on. He was The People’s 60 Minutes, choosing programs, editing, adapting and creating video, and bringing the tapes to the cable company. We deeply appreciate his commitment and the creative and technical skills he brought to the project. Thank you, Paul, for so many years of important, provocative programming.

Preparing to Celebrate 75 Years of Activism
An initial meeting was held to plan various activities to mark SPC’s 75th anniversary in 2011. We’ve got lots of great ideas to celebrate our work, move it into the future and raise funds to expand. The one confirmed event features social critic and activist Noam Chomsky on Wednesday, May 11. Other ideas include additional high profile speakers, musical celebrations/fundraisers, an historical exhibit, a symposium and more. Contact Andy.

SPC activists Ed Kinane, Ursula Rozum and Ann Tiffany were among a group of School of the Americas Watch protesters at Colombia’s Tolemaida military base, one of seven bases the US military is leasing there. Holding a banner stating “Fuera Los Militares Norteamericanos de Colombia / US Military Out of Colombia,” they stood for hours over two days. A high point was the arrival of 60+ Colombian activists from various movement groups, who came in solidarity. A 2009 US-Colombia Defense Cooperation Agreement states that US military personnel are to have impunity in Colombia for any crime they commit. Photo: Tom Bottolene.

SPC Phonathon Raises Needed Funds
SPC’s summer phonathon was a great success with nearly 30 members/activists making over 700 phone calls. At press time, we’ve got commitments of over $5,000 and left messages for scores of other SPC members. We’re hoping to raise $10,000 to get us through the often dry summer season.

If you’ve made a pledge or received a message, please consider donating generously. Look for a full report in the October PNL. Contact Andy.

Summer Outreach Tabling Winds Down
Between Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation, CNY Working for a Just Peace In Palestine and Israel and SPC, we reached out to thousands of people this summer with outreach tables at events. We were at festivals, performances, large events and more intimate venues. This couldn’t have happened without the many people willing to staff the tables. Thanks to all of you! Our next large outreach opportunity will at the Westcott Street Fair on September 19 – please join us. Contact Amelia.

SPC Community News
We welcome longtime activist Nancy Gwin back to the Syracuse Community. She was sentenced to six months in federal prison for her nonviolent protest to close the School of the Americas (now WHINSEC), and on August 3 began the last month of her sentence at a half-way house in Syracuse. SPC Steering Committee member and Saturday Peace Outreacher Peter Sinatra is being honored by Jail Ministry for his years of musical contributions to the services in the jail. In mid August, senior intern Aly Wane performed in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing in Thornden Park. SPC member and SU professor Mara Sapon-Shevin’s book Because We Can Change the World: A Practical Guide To Building Cooperative, Inclusive Classroom Communities has just been reissued by Corwin Press. SPC staff organizer Carol Baum continues to recover from the repercussions of an ankle injured at the US Social Forum in late June.

Send ideas and news to Andy.