Peace Council Pages
Educate, Agitate, Organize
SPC IN ACTION
compiled by Carol Baum
Syracuse Peace Council
|37 people from Upstate NY and beyond were arrested during an April 22 die-in on the entryway into Hancock Air Base. The base has become an important player in the military’s increasing use of robots in warfare. Photo: Ursula Rozum|
Ground the Drones
From April 17-22, Upstate New Yorkers acted to “Ground the Drones–End the Wars” with a week of education and action to protest the Reaper Drones at Syracuse’s Hancock Air National Guard Base.
People from throughout upstate NY and beyond converged on Syracuse. 50 people participated in a peace walk here from Ithaca; five from Rochester. On Thursday, April 21, Syracusans greeted the walkers with a community potluck, followed by talks by Kathy Kelly, and Ann Wright. 150 people attended.
On Friday over 100 people walked from ArtRage Gallery to a rally outside the Base, where a crowd of 250 potested the drones and the wars. A die-in representing those killed by drone attacks followed the rally 37 people were arrested, including nine from Syracuse.
The action was organized by the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones, End the Wars, a group of activists from Buffalo, Rochester, Ithaca, Binghamton, Syracuse, Rome and Albany. To get involved with anti-wars organizing or to support those arrested, contact Carol.
Youth and Militarism
In April, SPC intern Hannah Dean-Wood and SPC activists Chris Jamison and Ron Van Norstrand staffed informational tables at Altmar-Parish-Williamstown and Sandy Creek High Schools. Our Youth and Militarism materials sparked a lot of debate and interest among students and teachers alike. We also made presentations on grassroots activism in three Corcoran Government classes, and as we go to print, we’re preparing for the culminating reception for our 2nd annual Art for Peace contest. In May, we will have informational tables at all four city high schools. Contact Andy or Jessica to help out.
|John has participated in many tableaus. This is from the NYS Fair, 2008. Photo: Carol Baum|
Returning Onondaga Lake Shoreline to the Onondaga Nation
NOON’s Advocacy Committee swung into gear in early April to support an effort to have the county return land on the Onondaga Lake shoreline to the Onondaga Nation. Such a concrete step would acknowledge the right of the Onondagas to the lake and the deep spiritual and historical place the lake plays in their community. On April 13, the Environmental Committee of the Onondaga County Legislature took the first step of passing the proposed resolution, in what is likely to be a lengthy process.
Following up on the successful April 11 statewide Rally/Lobby Day to stop hydrofracking, NOON is helping organize a rally in Albany on Monday, May 2, with a specific call for a permanent ban on hydrofracking. Please join us for the trek to Albany if you can. Contact Andy.
Syracuse United for Economic Justice
A crowd of about 200 people called for economic justice and a renewed commitment to civil rights on April 4, the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The event, planned as part of a national day of action, was also a direct response to the passage of the New York State 2012 budget, which will cut $1.2 billion in education funding, and the proposal to cut 500 education jobs in the Syracuse City School District.
This new economic justice group meets next on May 1 at 3pm at Plymouth Church to plan responses to the erosion of workers’ rights and the corporate takeover of our political system. New activists, organizers and artists are welcome. Contact Ursula.
Hiroshima Day Planning
This year marks 66 years since the US dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. SPC and Peace Action are beginning plans for our yearly commemoration. We invite other groups and individuals to join us. Our first meeting is Wednesday, May 4 at 7 pm at the SPC office. Contact Carol.
Gearing Up for Summer
Bikes for Peace held a general interest meeting and orientation on April 27. If you’re interested, but missed the orientation, please contact Jessica or Ursula. Our mechanics training will happen in mid-May and is free for anyone who signs up to assist with at least two of our summer clinics for youth.
Remembering the Nakba
The Nakba (Catastrophe) is the Palestinian name to describe the dispossession of 750,000 Palestinians in 1948 when the State of Israel was created. Join CNY Working for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel to remember on Sunday, May 15, 4-6 pm at ArtRage Gallery, 505 Hawley Ave.
Hear the stories of local Palestinian-Americans, including Shaw Dallal, whose families experienced this horror. There will be music and refreshments. Contact Andy.
May 11: Noam Chomsky
Tickets are selling briskly for SPC’s second major 75th anniversary event with Noam Chomsky on Wednesday, May 11 at 7 pm at Nottingham High School, 3100 E. Genesee St. If you’re not familiar with Noam, one of the world’s most respected US foreign policy analysts, that’s even more reason to attend this event. Tickets ($5-15, sliding scale) are available at www.peacecouncil.net; SPC’s office (2013 E. Genesee St.); Syracuse Real Food Coop (618 Kensington Rd.); Recess Café (110 Harvard Pl.); Funk ’n Waffles (727 S. Crouse Ave.); Syracuse Cultural Workers (400 Lodi St.); or at the door. Free for high school students. Contact Andy to lend a hand.
Spring Appeal on the Way
SPC’s spring fund appeal went out on April 21. If you didn’t receive it, you can still contribute at www.peacecouncil.net/donate. This is an important source of revenue to support our many activist and educational projects. Without your support we couldn’t have organized the recent drone protests, supported Onondaga Land Rights and related environmental work, spoken to hundreds of high school students about the perils of joining the military and much more. Please donate generously and consider becoming a pledger as part of our 75 Pledgers for 75 Years campaign. Contact Andy.
Self-identified lefties take over the basement of the Center for Peace and Social Justice at 8 pm on the last Friday of the month. Bring your petitions, your leaflets and your ideas for actions. Wear your political buttons. The only agenda is socializing and creating a space to exchange ideas for radical social change. If you’ve got an idea for what you’d like to see at the Leftist Lounge – signmaking, paper mache, presentations–contact Ursula.
Jazz impresario and community organizer Frank Malfitano has again pulled off his magic to set the stage for another Syracuse JazzFest the weekend of June 24-25. For the second year, SPC will organize an accompanying crafts show. We’d love assistance in organizing the fair, recruiting craftspeople, helping with staffing and more. Contact Amelia, email@example.com or 472-5478.
Activist Appreciation: John Fitzsimmons
John Fitzsimmons is the go-to guy for just about anything. Something needs to be picked up—call John. Someone to join the anti-wars committee—he’s the one. Need someone to be in the tableau, make phone calls, find advertisers for the birthday dinner program—John is there. He steps up responsibly, communicating well and following through in a timely way.
John has a deep, longstanding commitment to social justice and peace. He quietly makes sure what needs to be done is done, from the mundane (but necessary) task of picking up goodies for an event to being willing to be arrested for peace in Iraq to being a mainstay of the peace outreaches.
Weekly Peace Outreach
We’re back to our weekly on-the-streets presence to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan! Contact Ed or Ann, 478-4571.
Also Saturdays 8-9 am on Park St. across from the Regional Market.
Thank you, John, for being a part of what makes SPC work and flourish.
Bring the Troops Home Rally April 9
Rochester Against War and SPC worked together to organize a bus to the April 9 anti-war rally in New York City. About 10,000 people marched down Broadway. One highlight was the large turnout from the Muslim community, largely organized by the Muslim Peace Coalition. Two weeks before the rally, 100 Imams from the NYC area had signed a letter asking the Muslim community to come out for April 9.
Justice in the Americas
SPC activists traveled to Washington DC to participate in the Days of Action to Close the School of the Americas and the Latin America Solidarity Conference to End Militarism. Ann Tiffany and Ed Kinane were among 27 activists arrested for staging a “die-in” at the White House on April 10. The action was accompanied by a march of hundreds of human rights activists, including torture survivors, union workers, educators and students from across the Americas. Photos of the march and the nonviolent civil resistance are available at www.SOAW.org. To learn first hand about US policy in Latin America, consider joining CNY activists on a delegation to Colombia in July. Contact Jessica or Ursula for details.