Peace Council Pages

Educate, Agitate, Organize


compiled by Carol Baum

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

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

Plowshares Just Around the Corner
SPC’s largest and most colorful annual event, the Plowshares Craftsfair and Peace Festival, will be Saturday, December 4 (10 am - 5 pm) and Sunday, December 5 (11 am - 5 pm) at Nottingham High School, 3100 E. Genesee St. This 40th edition of the region’s premier multicultural craft show will feature over 120 craftspeople, selling a panoply of handmade goods: ceramics, jewelry, clothing, toys, soaps, decorations, art and much more. We’ll also have a full lineup of entertainment, food by The Mission restaurant and the liveliest group of social activists and freethinkers you’ll find in such a snowy climate.

Remember that Plowshares is also SPC’s most important annual fundraiser and a great way to introduce new people to our work and community. Spread the word via fliers and handouts (see, email, Facebook, word of mouth and shouting from the rooftops. Bring your friends and coworkers. We still have room for donated items for the silent auction and raffle (look for raffle tickets in your mailbox). Contact Andy.
Party for Peace!

Thursday, December 9
5:30 - 7 PM

Gather with SPC staff, steering committee, activists and supporters to celebrate another year of peacemaking. We’ll set aside a few minutes to hear highlights of the year from SPC’s various projects. Food provided. Please join us!

Contact Carol.

Power For People Not For Profit
On October 26, SPC joined other members of the Public Power Coalition (PPC), including the Syracuse Greens, Syracuse United Neighbors and the Citizens Awareness Network, to speak out against National Grid’s requested rate hike. We organized local residents to attend both public hearings in Syracuse, made formal statements at the hearing and spoke with local media.

To submit a comment opposing the proposed rate hike, contact the Public Service Commission by November 30 regarding “Case 10-E-0050 – Niagara Mohawk Electric Rates.” You can email; use the “PSC Comment Form” at; mail a letter to Hon. Jaclyn A. Brilling, Secretary, NYS Public Service Commission, 3 Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223-1350; or call 1-800-335-2120.

National Grid’s most recent request is just one more example of why we need to push for a municipal utility in Syracuse. PPC meets the first Thursday of each month at 7:30 pm at the Syracuse Center for Peace and Social Justice. Contact Jessica.

No War, No Occupation, No Empire Committee Heats Up the Cold Fall
Get your mittens and boots ready! This year our Peace Outreach will continue through the winter. The first Tuesday of each month from 4:15-5 pm we’ll be just outside the main gate of Hancock Air Base entrance (E. Molloy Rd. in Mattydale), protesting robotic warfare and the Reaper drone. Not only are drones being repaired there, but last year the Post Standard reported that they are being flown over Afghanistan – by pilots who sit at consoles in the base.

Mohawk leader Tom Porter (left) spoke along with Onondaga clanmother Audrey Shenandoah (right) and ESF professor Jack Manno at the Great Law of Peace program on October 4. Photo: Brian Dawson

We’ll also be at indoor venues. According to many polls, the wars are not in many people’s awareness. We aim to help people remember the US is at war, that the wars costs lives and resources both at home and abroad and that robotic warfare plays an ever-increasing role.

Our next meeting is Monday, November 29 at 7 pm at SPC. Please join us. Contact Carol with questions.

Youth and Militarism Work
SPC continues monthly tabling with Truth in Recruiting materials at each of the four city high schools. We’ve collected 25 Opt Out forms so far, with five weeks to go before the deadline. A recent table at Fowler was met with enthusiasm by some students but discomfort by other students and teachers connected with the JROTC program. This led to a larger discussion with the school administration that we hope may result in a stronger SPC presence at Fowler.

We have several other projects in the high schools in addition to tabling. In response to recent youth suicides around the country, SPC is launching a campaign to raise student awareness about the harm of bullying peers over sexual identity or other perceived differences. We’re also offering “Social Activism as Participation in Government” presentations to high school government classes and developing a program with local spoken word artists Jack Brown (of Sophistafunk) and Joe Driscoll.

We need help staffing the tables, calling schools to get contact information and scheduling classroom presentations. Contact Jessica or Andy.

NOON Stands with Onondaga as Land Rights Action is Dismissed
On September 23, over 50 Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation (NOON) supporters joined with friends at the Onondaga Nation to express our solidarity in the wake of the federal court dismissal of the Onondaga Land Rights Action. We renewed our commitment to get the US to live up to its treaties with the Onondaga.

Meanwhile, the year-long Onondaga Land Rights series winds up with a Closing Cultural Celebration at 7 pm on Monday, December 6 at the Onondaga Nation School, Rt. 11 A, Onondaga Nation. Don’t forget your dancing shoes (or moccasins). NOON’s historical markers committee also has a program coming up on Tuesday, November 30 at 7 pm at ArtRage Gallery, 505 Hawley Ave. See and learn about this effort to correct history. For more see Contact Andy.

PNL #800
Several SPC activists have joined the PNL committee temporarily to help design the PNL’s 800th  issue, which is also the first issue of SPC’s 75th year. If you have a suggestion for an article, please contact Jessica ASAP.

We are also sad to announce that long-time PNL editorial committee member Gabe Angelone needed to leave the committee due to changes in his work schedule. Gabe has contributed enormously to the quality of the newsletter over the past few years. He will continue to edit articles occasionally, but his thoughtful participation at committee meetings will be missed. Thanks, Gabe.

Work for Justice Locally
SPC continues to work with the United as One coalition of community groups in response to the outrageous abuses happening inside our local jail – including the deaths of two inmates due to gross negligence on the part of Justice Center deputies and medical staff. The coalition meets on the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 pm at the Spanish Action League (700 Oswego St.).

We also recently worked with others to organize a demonstration outside City Hall to oppose the installation of security cameras in our community. We believe that, rather than militarizing our communities, we should address the root causes of social problems by creating jobs programs and fully funding schools and youth programs. Contact Jessica.

Late Fall Interns
SPC is excited to have several interns working with us this fall. Adrienna Maxwell, an ESF student, is the author of the “Peace of Mind” feature in this PNL issue. She’s also preparing outreach signs and display materials for Plowshares.

Le Moyne student Morgan Manzano is assisting with tabling and the Onondaga Land Rights series events. Michael Contino and Eric Dwyre, both SU students, are working on hydrofracking – updating our display, developing a slideshow on the crisis in Dimock, PA and assisting with other tasks.

If you are a student, consider an internship with SPC. Contact Carol.

75 Years Young
SPC continues to learn, grow and renew ourselves as we approach our 75th year, making us the oldest, local, independent peace and social justice organization in the US. We plan to unveil a special 75th anniversary t-shirt at Plowshares and hold a series of events throughout next year to both celebrate and expand our work. Noam Chomsky will be here on May 11 and invitations are out to other prominent progressive commentators and artists.

SPC is featured in the Syracuse Cultural Workers 2011 Peace Calendar. Be sure to buy copies from us at Plowshares (or before) for your home, office, friends, and family. Contact Andy.

This year’s Peace Calendar pays tribute to the energy and endurance of grassroots US peace groups, highlighting the 75th Anniversary of the Syracuse Peace Council. Graphic: Karen Kerney/ Syracuse Cultural Workers

Many Central New Yorkers will again travel to Ft. Benning, Georgia the weekend before Thanksgiving (November 19-21) to protest the US Army School of the Americas (now officially the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation). This infamous institute adds to its crimes with graduates involved in the recent coup attempt in Ecuador and the 2009 coup in Honduras. In addition to the mass demonstration, there are workshops, trainings and many other movement-building activities. We will shut it down! Contact Ann Tiffany, 478-4571.

Don’t Forget the Fund Appeal
Please respond as generously as you can to SPC’s fall fund appeal, which subscribers should have received by now. You can also view the appeal at or call Andy at 472-5478. Please consider sharing the appeal with a friend as well. A strong response will help us raise the additional funds needed for our fourth staff organizer, who we expect to hire before the new year. We’ve all seen the countless millions of dollars spent on the recent election, a fraction of which would put SPC on a sound financial footing as we enter our 75th year.

Palestine-Israel Work Continues
On November 5, SPC hosted Palestinian farmer and  activist Daoud Nasser described the inspirational work of Tent of Nations to nonviolently resist the occupation while developing grassroots sustainability to over 50 people at University Methodist Church  and at SU’s Maxwell School. On Tuesday, December 7, Palestinian scholar Bashir Bashir will speak about “Alternatives to Partition” at 7 pm at ArtRage Gallery, 505 Hawley Ave. Contact Andy.

Amelia Ramsey-Lefevre staffing SPC’s table at the Parking Day event. Photo: Carol Baum

Thank You, Amelia
A former high school newspaper editor, Amelia Ramsey-Lefevre joined the PNL editorial committee a year ago, bringing her passion, creativity, lightness of spirit, attention to detail and feminist/ecological/political consciousness. The editorial committee quickly felt we couldn’t live without her, so when she received a paid summer internship with SPC (which was extended to mid-November), we were thrilled. Amelia was a primary organizer of SummerCrafts, facilitated many of the Sadako programs for children, maintains her connection with the PNL editorial committee, is active in youth and militarism work, did the written program for the Birthday Dinner and is generally a bundle of positive energy.
As Amelia’s internship draws to an end, we want to appreciate who she is and what she has done. Thank you.

Activist Appreciation – Lindsay Speer
Lindsay Speer at the September 23 Neighbors of the Onondaga> Nation vigil in response to the Onondaga Land Rights Action dismissal . Photo: Andy Mager
If you regularly read the Peace Newsletter, you’ve probably read several articles by Lindsay Speer, including the Hydrofracking Special Section (June, 2010) which she coordinated and laid out. Lindsay is hard working, thoughtful, thorough and fun loving. Between her varied responsibilities with NOON and overlapping work as an environmental organizer with the Onondaga Nation, she keeps up with an overflowing plate. She seamlessly blends new technology and ancient wisdom as exemplified when she read a quote off the Internet via her iPhone as part of a pagan sharing at the 2009 Hiroshima-Nagasaki Interfaith event. She is also one of our most accomplished phonathon callers.

Learning About Autonomous Education
In late October, about 40 people learned about “Autonomous Education from Chiapas to Mexico City: Urban-Zapatista Links” from Mexican sociologist Patricia Hernández. Her organization formed in 1999 when Zapatista leadership first called for experienced educators to share knowledge with indigenous promoteras and participate in building their educational programs. Thanks to the Mexico Solidarity Network who organized the tour, Stuart Schussler for translating, ArtRage Gallery for the space and to Rebecca Fuentes, Nancy Gwin, Richard Vallejo and Carol Baum for organizing.

We Are Better Together! ACTS Public Meeting
On October 10, the Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse (ACTS) held its annual Public Meeting. Several local political officials were in attendance as well as about 500 concerned community members. SPC, a member organization of ACTS, sent a delegation to the event. Three of ACTS’ task forces (Immigration, Food Access and Justice) garnered commitments from local candidates. Congratulations to ACTS for organizing a powerful community event.

Hiroshima Committee Offers Children’s Workshops
For the past two years, SPC and Peace Action have, as part of our annual Hiroshima Remembrance, sponsored a short program for children. The program uses the story of Sadako Sasaki to help children think about how they can make the world more peaceful and teaches them how to make paper cranes (or peace doves for the really little ones) which they bring home as a reminder to work for world peace.

Winter Peace Outreach

Join SPC’s visible, on-the-streets inspiration
to CNYers to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Contact Ed or Ann, 478-4571.

1st Tuesday of the Month

4:45-5:30 pm

Dec. 7 & Jan. 4

Hancock Air Base Entrance (E. Molloy
Rd., Mattydale) Reaper Drone focus

We would like to take this program to a wider audience. Contact Carol to bring us to your youth group or religious education class. We are happy to provide the lesson plan in advance.

Holiday Wish List
paper folder (ideally up to 11” x 17” paper) ▪ color laser printer ▪ new black or white tablecloths ▪ portable dvd player or laptop computer (Pentium 4+) ▪ people to run daytime errands ▪ poster frames to beautify the office ▪ committee members (Fundraising,  Youth & Militarism, Anti-wars, Bowlathon) ▪ new software (Photoshop, etc.) ▪ peace & justice!

Contact SPC to donate items or time.