SPC in Action

From the May/June 2016 PNL#850

compiled by Carol Baum

Alliance for a Green Economy Needs Your Help

Alliance for a Green Economy works to promote a just transition to a carbon-free, nuclear-free, energy-efficient future, revitalize the economy, and safeguard human health and the environment. The Syracuse Peace Council is a member organization.
Our most pressing issue in the upcoming months is ensuring that the NYS Clean Energy Standard promotes renewable energy equitably and with accountability. We need your help!

  • Watch a video of our community workshop to learn about NY’s proposed Clean Energy Standard (CES) and how you can craft comments for the Public Service Commission hearings May 24 in Oswego and May 25 in Liverpool to ensure the CES moves us past dirty fuels (coal, gas and nuclear) into renewable energy. Check www.agreenewyork.org for a link to the video and information about the hearings.
  • Like Alliance for a Green Economy on Facebook. Sign up for email updates about NY Energy issues at www.agreenewyork.org. Thank you!


Protesting Trump

On Saturday, April 16, over 300 people, including Muslim, Black, Latina/o/x, and LGBTQ CNYers and those who stand in solidarity with them, protested Trump’s visit and the violence he incites and emboldens. We held an alternative rally with our own message: we want a CNY based in solidarity with immigrants and refugees, Muslims and Latina/o/xs, safe for women, LGBTQ, dissenters, and people of all races. To organize the protest, SPC worked in coalition with the Palestine Solidarity Collective, SEIU 1199, the Workers’ Center of CNY, Vets for Peace, Black Lives Matter Syracuse Chapter, and unaffiliated members of the local community. The rally had speakers from many organizations and perspectives, with music by the Malvinas.


Bikes 4 Peace is Back!
Syracuse’s only cooperative bicycle repair program is back for another season! SPC’s Bikes 4 Peace is a community bicycle recycling and repair program that engages youth in cooperative bicycle repair. We aim to promote cycling and empower youth and adult cyclists.
Bikes 4 Peace will hold our 2016 Pre-Season Orientation on Thursday June 2 at 6pm at Mello Vello, 556 Westcott Street. We welcome anyone interested in helping to organize youth bicycle repair clinics, as well as those who’d like to support the program in other ways (graphic design, fundraising, promotion). We also seek people with an interest in developing our summer program into a year-round community Bicycle Repair Kitchen. Learn more and fill out a new volunteer application at peacecouncil.net/bikes4peace or contact Ursula.


Spring Fund Appeal
Have you received your spring fund appeal letter? As you can see reading “SPC in Action,” we’ve got a lot of exciting projects going on this spring, and we need your support to keep them going! The Peace Council’s budget relies on your contributions, and we’re asking you to be as generous as possible. Please give what you can, pass the fund appeal on to a friend, and contact the Peace Council to find out how you can pitch in. Contact Ursula.


End Police Militarization
On April 27, the Peace Council joined with dozens of community groups from across the state to denounce the militarization of police and the New York Tactical Officers Association Conference, a SWAT training and weapons expo that the Syracuse Police participated in. The statewide organizing was anchored by the national organization War Resisters League. You can see media coverage of the action at peacecouncil.net.


Erica Brock from War Resisters League speaking in front of Syracuse’s Public Safety Building to denounce the militarization of police and the New York Tactical Officers Association Conference. SPC was one of many groups participating. Photo: Carol Baum.



Street Heat

At least monthly since 2010 we have been demonstrating outside Hancock Air Base to call for an end to the illegal and immoral killing of human beings by the weaponized Reaper drone. Weekly on Tuesdays and Saturdays we’ve been hitting the streets to call for an end to the militarism dominating US foreign policy. We want Hancock base personnel to rethink their role in that killing machine, and we wish to remind the public of all the killing in our name. Please join us as often as you can.

Tuesdays: 4:15-5pm
May 24 – E. Genesee St. and Erie Blvd.
May 31 – E. Genesee St. and Erie Blvd.
June 7 – Hancock Air Base entrance
(E. Molloy Rd., btw. Thompson & Townline Rds.)
June 14 – Seneca Trnpk. and S. Salina St.
June 21 – Hancock Air Base entrance
June 28 – Seneca Trnpk. and S. Salina St.

Saturdays: 9-9:45am
Regional Market main entrance (Park St.)


Hancock Anti-Drone Activists Protest in Nevada
Carol Baum, Peg Gefell and Joan Pleune headed off to Creech Air Force Base at the end of March to represent the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars in a four-day mass mobilization to end drone warfare. Creech AFB, located 30 miles outside of Las Vegas, is the largest drone control and training center in the US.
More than 100 activists from 20 states participated. There were daily vigils, along with workshops, action planning and solidarity building. The “Inside Drone Warfare” Symposium featured drone whistleblowers (To view it, go to upstatedroneaction.org/wp/inside-drone-warfare-symposium). The week concluded with a civil resistance action at the base, with 25 people arrested.

Rochester anti-drone activist Peg Gefell protesting during the shift change at Creech Air force Base in Nevada. Photo: Carol Baum.


Onondaga Lake Activism

Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation is supporting an on-line petition by the American Indian Law Alliance, “Remove the Toxic Black Goo: Onondaga Lake needs a Better Future!” Please sign it at change.org/p/andrew-cuomo-remove-the-toxic-black-goo-onondaga-lake-needs-a-better-future. It includes an excellent description of Onondaga Lake’s current situation with respect to the Honeywell “clean-up.”
In addition, Onondaga County legislators considered a resolution that would effectively break a promise made to the Onondaga Nation to give them back a small portion of Onondaga Lake’s shoreline – a section known as Murphy’s Island. A May 3rd meeting at the Onondaga County Legislature was attended by 25 people, who strongly supported cleaning up the currently polluted Murphy’s Island and giving it back to the Onondaga.


Study Group
The Poverty and Segregation in Syracuse Study Group wrapped up on May 3. For the last few months they discussed both the history and current state of racism and housing patterns in Syracuse, having read the books Salt City and Its Black Community and Human Rights in Syracuse. They also heard from speakers involved in CNY Fair Housing, Greater Syracuse HOPE and Consensus CNY. We hope to continue to strengthen the connections between SPC’s mission and the work on racism and segregation in CNY.


Nuclear Free World
It’s been a busy spring for the Nuclear Free World Committee, and the summer will be just as active.
In March, we hosted filmmaker Bud Ryan and his film The Forgotten Bomb. This powerful film challenges us to remember the lessons of the bombing of Hiroshima and to work for a society free from weapons of mass destruction. A copy of The Forgotten Bomb is available from the Peace Council for screenings in classrooms and community meetings. Contact Diane, drswords@syr.edu.
On April 14 and 15, we hosted two lectures by historian Vincent Intondi, author of African Americans Against the Bomb. Intondi asks that we all urge President Obama to visit Hiroshima during the upcoming G7 meeting in Japan. To learn more and sign a letter we are sending to President Obama, go to peacecouncil.net/Hiroshima.
On June 7 at 6pm, we will present the 2016 Youth Peace Award at ArtRage Gallery, 505 Hawley Ave. The Youth Peace Award, originally hosted by Peace Action CNY, recognizes work for social change by teen activists in the Syracuse area. This year’s award is generously support by John Mannion and the Community Foundation.

Our biggest event of the summer will be the August dramatic procession to remember the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Contact the SPC office to get involved with planning for this moving annual event.

Justice for Palestine

On April 13, the Justice for Palestine Committee hosted Life in Occupied Palestine: Artistic Reflections, featuring Sarah Schieffelin of The Building Theatre and Ahmed Hmeedat, artistic coordinator for the Nakba Museum Project. Sarah presented Walls – Transition Position, a physical theater work based on the observations of a young woman during her visit to the West Bank in June, 2013. Ahmed discussed the experience of growing up in the Deheishe Refugee Camp and shared slides of Palestinian public art. The Justice for Palestine committee encourages everyone to support the Palestinian-led movement for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions for human rights.


Activist Appreciation: Becca Shaw Glaser
A few months ago Becca Shaw Glaser brought her extensive experience and skill as a writer and editor to the PNL committee. Becca is a poet, writer, and anarcho-transfeminist activist. The PNL committee is grateful for all her contributions during a time of transition.
Becca went above and beyond while organizing the protest of Trump’s rally, helping to bring together a broad coalition of organizations and volunteers. Becca has participated in many of the social movements of our time, including the 1999 World Trade Organization protests in Seattle, the LGBTQ movement, the anti-Iraq War movement, Occupy Wall Street and THE General Body at Syracuse University.
Becca is a brave voice against complacency and timidity. We are saddened that she is leaving Syracuse, but grateful that she choose to share her talents with us. We wish her the best of luck wherever she chooses to take her passion and abilities.


SPC Needs YOU this Summer!
SPC strives to be a truly participatory grassroots organization. What we accomplish is the result of a collective effort by dedicated volunteers and SPC members. There are countless ways to volunteer with SPC.

In the Streets
The summer creates great opportunities for SPC activists and committees to engage with our community about peace and justice issues. We’ll be hosting outreach tables at the Downtown Arts and Crafts Fair, the City Market, the Middle Eastern Festival and outside the Downtown Farmer’s Market. To join the Outreach Team and/or to suggest an outreach venue, contact Ursula.
In the Office

In addition to political organizing, we are especially in need of people to help work on our website and social media, the Peace Newsletter calendar and distribution, and ongoing data entry. We promise a friendly environment and an opportunity to put our shared political values into action. 

Summer Internships
SPC is seeking applicants for summer internships. Areas of internship work include grassroots fundraising, summer outreach, event organizing, and collaborating with SPC committees. Interns are supervised by the staff person relating to that area of work. Please spread the word to friends and family! Details can be found at www.peacecouncil.net/intern.


War is a Lie Author in Syracuse
Author, activist and journalist David Swanson came to Syracuse April 25 to celebrate the publication of the second edition of his book, War Is a Lie. Drawing on evidence from numerous past wars, the book refutes every major argument used to justify wars, even those that have been defended as “just.”
David directs WorldBeyondWar.org, which is planning a conference to be held September 23-25 in Washington D.C. called “No War 2016.” We will be organizing to bring people down to it. Contact Carol.


Thank you, interns!
Interns make the world go round at the SPC office, and this spring semester was no exception.
Yifei Dong joined us from Syracuse University. Originally from China, Yifei came to SPC to meet community activists working on issues he is studying as an International Relations student. He has been open to doing anything, and does it enthusiastically and with good humor. Imani Brannick, also from SU, compiled events for the weekly e-newsletter, and also helped with PNL distribution, postering for events and outreach tabling.
As soon as she started her SPC internship, Ally Klindeinst also filled out a membership coupon. A SUNY Oswego graduate, Ally is a big picture thinker and has been instrumental in improving SPC’s social media presence. Ally also helped organize the Strike for Peace Bowlathon. Ally plans to continue interning into the summer.
Thank you interns! We are grateful for your reliable and enthusiastic work with SPC!


SPC Sign Ons and Petitions
SPC often gets asked to sign on to letters and support petitions in addition to the petitions already mentioned. Recently we signed on to letters to:
the Justice Department urging a halt to pursuing deportation proceedings against children who do not have counsel and to guarantee that every child facing deportation is provided a lawyer.
Gov. Cuomo and legislative leaders to stop the nuclear raid on clean energy programs in the NYS budget.
A new petition we’re supporting is to close the US Air Force base in Ramstein, Germany, home to the US military’s drone-signal relay center. Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern will present the petition when he speaks during a Stop Ramstein Campaign protest there on June 11. The petition campaign will be launched in mid-May. Watch the SPC Announcements listserv or our website.