Peace Council Pages
Educate, Agitate, Organize
SPC IN ACTION
compiled by Jessica Maxwell
Anti-Occupation Efforts Escalate this Fall!
United for Peace and Justice, a national coalition now comprised of over 1300 member organizations (including the Syracuse Peace Council) is organizing a massive mobilization September 24-26 against the US occupation of Iraq. UFPJ has organized numerous national days of action and mass protests, but this will be the first to include mass direct action. SPC will coordinate busses to attend the march, rally and festival on Saturday, September 24. We also will coordinate carpools for those who want to participate in events on Sunday (interfaith service and grassroots trainings) and Monday (lobbying, mass nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience). See www.unitedforpeace.org for more information on events; to reserve a seat on the bus, contact Jessica.
|A lively contingent marched with SPC in this year’s Pride parade.|
March for a Nuclear-Free Future: Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki
This year marks the 60th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In addition to the annual dramatic procession through downtown Syracuse—Tuesday, August 9 (Nagasaki Day)—a walk from Scriba, NY (home of the Nine Mile Point Nuclear Plants) to Syracuse is planned for August 5-8. There will be stops and events in Oswego, Fulton, Baldwinsville and Onondaga Lake Park.
The dramatic procession starts at 11:30 am at city hall and ends at the Federal Building, in the hope that we will deliver the Mayor’s Proclamation to Abolish Nuclear Weapons from our city government to our federal representatives. We hope for 100 participants—don’t miss this poignant and emotional way to commemorate the crimes represented by these bombings.
All are welcome to join for any portion of the walk from Scriba. The walk leaves at 1:30 pm on August 5 and ends at Syracuse City Hall on August 8 (see website if you’re not a subscriber, for a detailed itinerary of the walk and events along the way).
In addition to these public demonstrations, a coalition of groups has undertaken a major effort to encourage faith communities to address this issue in their congregations. The coalition includes SPC, Peace Action of CNY, the Citizens Awareness Network and American Friends Service Committee.
See peacecouncil.net/hiroshima, or contact Andy.
Military Alternatives Education Project
Many thanks to Kevin Caron who has just completed a two-month internship with SPC focused on the Military Alternatives Education Project (MAEP). Kevin worked on outreach to local high school students, created a webpage for MAEP (www.peacecouncil.net/MAEP), designed and posted flyers, coordinated street theatre outside of local high school graduations and much more!
MAEP will continue to focus on education and outreach during the summer and has an ambitious plan to challenge local school opt-out policies related to the No Child Left Behind Act clause that makes students’ contact information available to military recruiters. To get involved email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Jessica.
NOON—Keep on Moving Forward
Despite media efforts to portray the June 28 Appeals Court decision against the Cayuga Nation as the death knell for Native American land claims, Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation (NOON) carries on. We’re working to understand the implications of this outrageous decision and adjust our work accordingly.
The NOON organizing committee is excited to welcome people who have been attending the monthly educational meetings to join in the organizing work. In June, we made presentations at a Rotary Club and for canvassers at the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, and distributed lots of literature at the Unity in the Pines Craftsfair. Our next educational program is Thursday, August 18 at 7 pm at the Westcott Day Hab Center, 522 Westcott St. It will feature videos related to the “Doctrine of Discovery,” a religious and legal concept which legitimizes the enslavement of indigenous people and the appropriation of the lands of non-Christians by Christians. Contact Carol.
Talking to Conservatives (and moderates)
An outreach training in June brought out a lively group interested in learning more about how to talk with people who don’t agree with us politically. The group practiced listening skills, shared ideas and experiences and learned how to address controversial issues more productively. A follow-up session is set for Thursday, July 21 at 7 pm at SPC. Newcomers warmly welcomed. Contact Andy.
|Oren Lyons was a featured speaker at SPC’s 69th birthday celebration which honored our connection with the Onondaga Nation.Photo: elana levy|
Locked out of the Ballgame
Talk about all dressed up and no place to go! SPC folks were excited about participating in the June 21 Syracuse SkyChiefs United Methodist Night—with a table of materials all ready and Bill Griffen set to throw out the first ball—when space for “political” speech again vanished. After partnering with the United Methodist Church to arrange everything, the SkyChiefs got cold feet in the face of right-wing pressure and pulled the plug the morning of the game. After we were unable to reverse their censorious decision, we held a well-attended news conference just before the game started. Despite their assertions that the ballpark isn’t a place for politics, the next night was “Support the Troops Night” featuring a pro-war address by County Executive Nick Pirro.We urge people to contact SkyChiefs General Manager John Simone to express your displeasure—315-474-7833 or jsimone@SkyChiefs.com.
|Bill Griffen (with the glove), his daughter Amy and wife Judy join SPC staffer Carol Baum (holding sign) in expressing their displeasure of the SkyChiefs decision to bow to rightwing censors. Photo: Andy Mager|
We Have a New Bookkeeper!
We are happy to announce the hiring of Bob Kehoe as our new part-time bookkeeper.Bob brings skill, humor, flexibility and initiative to the task. He has thrown himself into learning our particular system, and has already come up with ways to better organize our finances.He carries on in the bookkeeper/activist tradition of Duane Hardy (beloved bookkeeper of many years) and then Karen Hall (who was responsible for our switch to a computerized bookkeeping system). Many thanks to Karen for her just-finished three-year stint as our volunteer bookkeeper. Thanks also to Chris Riley who is always available for questions and continues to help with taxes.
SPC Youth Work
On June 30, SPC participated in a dinner with the Dunbar Association’s “Each One Teach One” program to celebrate the end of the school year and the completion of SPC’s nine-month long program on nonviolence and conflict resolution. Family members and Dunbar staff joined us to honor graduating high school seniors and affirm the SPC/Dunbar connection. The project was challenging at times, but much was learned on all sides. SPC is looking for ways to continue this important work. We’ve now completed three free bike clinics, working with almost 60 youth between the ages of 5-24. Several donated bikes have been repaired and given away as well as 10 new helmets. Upcoming clinics will be the following Wednesdays 5-7:30 pm: July 20 at Lexington Park (between E. Genesee St. and Lexington Ave.), August 3 and 17 at S. Presbyterian Church (corner Colvin St. and S. Salina St.).
|Weekly Peace Outreach|
End the War;
us at busy intersections to say “End the Iraq War” every Tuesday, 4:45-5:30
Join us at busy intersections to say “End the Iraq War” every Tuesday, 4:45-5:30 pm.
July 19 James St. and
Thompson Rd. (Northside)
SPC’s Birthday Celebration
SPC’s 69th Birthday celebration honored our connection with the Onondaga Nation. About 175 people came for dinner, and over 200 attended the program, featuring Audrey Shenandoah and Oren Lyons. We thank our Onondaga neighbors who joined us, and Joe Heath, who participated in the question and answer period. The evening could not have happened without a community of support. Many thanks to the Syracuse Real Food Co-op for donating the food; the cooks who prepared it with such great care; St. Andrew the Apostle Church for being a gracious host; the organizers; and the many people who helped the day of the event. It was a warm community event, raising about $4400.
Raging Grannies Arrive in CNY
Any woman aged 40 and above who likes to sing (not necessarily well) and have and cause fun while spreading the message of peace and justice is a potential Raging Granny. Originally formed in Victoria, BC in 1987, the Grannies have since spread across Canada, the US and even to Greece, Australia and the UK. CNY Grannies meet the third Sunday of every month and occasionally in between for rehearsals. Contact Joan at 478-9580; email@example.com or call SPC.