Peace Council Pages
Educate, Agitate, Organize
SPC IN ACTION
compiled by Andy Mager and Jessica Maxwell
Syracuse Peace Council
|Central New York activists joined with many thousands across the country to demonstrate
against the continuation of the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – March 19, the sixth anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq. Photos: Andy Mager (left) and Karen Kerney (right)
“Change the Times”
SPC’s Antiwars Committee has been busy this past month organizing for local and national demonstrations and publishing Change the Times, a new antiwar broadside on the economy.
On Thursday, March 19 about 60 Central New Yorkers marked the start of year seven of the US occupation of Iraq with a march through downtown. We stopped at sites symbolizing our resource-starved community needs: education, the arts, meal shares and food pantries, public transportation, etc. We ended at the Federal Building where we listened to the story of a local Iraqi refugee and recommitted ourselves to working to end the US occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.
On Saturday, March 21, SPC sent a bus to the March on the Pentagon sponsored by International ANSWER. A small group of folks traveled to the nation’s capital for a dramatic action. Participants marched past the headquarters of war profiteers (like Lockheed Martin) to the Pentagon. Some carried coffins representing the dead from conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. Marchers called for a change in US policy in the Middle East, including an immediate end to each of the three occupations, no military aid for Israel and a drastic cut to the US military budget.
SPC’s new broadside Change the Times is available at the office and on SPC’s website. We’ve printed 5,000 copies for free distribution. If you like this issue, please consider helping us cover the $360 in printing costs. We encourage you to pick up some extra copies to hand out at meetings, events or other venues you frequent. Contact Carol or Jessica to get involved with SPC’s antiwar work.
Weekly Peace Outreach
Ta da! Spring is here – time to recommit
to visible anti-war activism. After a long winter break, Outreach restarts with a fresh look on Tuesdays 4:45-5:30 pm. As we have since 2001, every week we’ll be rotating our presence among various busy intersections in the area.
Beginning April 4, we’ll also be out there every Saturday from 9-10 am at our stationary site on Park St. across the street from the Regional Market. We’d love to have you join us! Contact Andy.
Tuesdays: 4:45 - 5:30 pm
April 7 Teall Ave. & Rt. 690
And, remember, every Saturday we’re also outside the Farmers’ Market
Help Shape the PNL
SPC has regularly published the Peace Newsletter since 1936. Our small, hard-working editorial committee is seeking input from a wider group of SPC activists about how to make the PNL most useful. Please join us on Tuesday, April 28 at 7 pm at 401 Scottholm Blvd. (Rae Kramer’s home) for a discussion. We’ll provide refreshments. If you can’t come, consider sending your input via peacecouncil.net/pnl or by contacting Andy.
|The Two Row Wampum cake shared by members of NOON and folks from the Onondaga Nation during a meal marking the anniversary of filing the Onondaga Land Rights Action. Photo: Phil Arnold|
NOON Meets with Onondaga Nation Leaders
On March 11, the fourth anniversary of the filing of the historic Onondaga Land Rights Action, NOON hosted a meal and discussion with leaders of the Onondaga Nation. The gathering celebrated the important work being carried out by both NOON and the Nation to achieve long-denied justice for the Onondagas and clean up our shared environment. The lovely meal was topped off with a Two-Row Wampum cake. Contact Andy.
The Progressive Coalition
The Greater Syracuse Progressive Coalition (coordinated by SPC) has recently been buoyed by our connection with a new coalition formed to support “Fair Share Tax Reform” in New York State. Once that campaign is over discussions about merging efforts of these two groups are expected.
Coalition members are planning to use the upcoming mayoral election to achieve overdue reform. With a wide open election before us and with some candidates more responsive to the grassroots, the time is ripe to develop and advocate for a truly progressive platform. The Coalition will ask prospective candidates to commit to implementing part or all of that platform. To learn more, join us at SPC’s April 21 monthly program (see page 3 lower right) and check out www.peacecouncil.net/coalition. Contact Andy.
Peace and Music—What a Summer Combo!
Last summer local blues musician Miss E organized a summer music benefit for SPC. This year we’d love to make the event an outdoor festival. But we need some energetic folks to help organize it. Imagine, a summer version of Plowshares at Thornden Park or Onondaga Park or the Inner Harbor or…. You can help make it happen. Contact Andy.
|Wendy Yost and Cathy Repetti enjoy a moment between frames at SPC’s Strike for Peace Bowlathon. Photo: Caragh Frye|
Activist Appreciation - Wendy Yost
Wendy has been an SPC supporter for years, often participating in events and helping with sign making and other tasks. In 2008 she joined the Bowlathon organizing committee. Since then she has continued to get more involved, joining our Steering Committee in 2009, working on the Bowlathon a second time, representing SPC in the Fair Share Tax effort and joining new fundraising efforts. Wendy has a straightforward manner and fun sense of humor appreciated by all who work with her. Thanks, Wendy, for all your hard work!
SPCs Monthly Program
Crafting a Progressive Platform for the Next Mayor
Tuesday, April 21 at 7 pm
ArtRage Gallery, 505 Hawley Ave.
Join SPC activists and members of the Greater Syracuse Progressive Coalition to work on the development of a progressive platform for the upcoming Syracuse mayoral election. Program is free and followed by refreshments.Contact Andy. 472-5478.
A Striking Success!
SPC’s annual Bowlathon was a great success – almost 40 teams with an average of five members turned out to “Strike for Peace” on March 1 at Flamingo Lanes in Liverpool. Teams arrived with outrageous costumes, with themes from Mardi Gras to bailout. We’re still collecting pledges (please don’t delay sending them in), and expect to make about $2800 total. That’s almost double last year’s effort. If you’d like to help organize next year’s Bowlathon, contact Jessica. For a job well done, hearty applause goes to this year’s committee: Joan Conley, Ruth Florey, Caragh Frye, Rae Kramer, Jessica Maxwell and Wendy Yost.
Fall SPC Birthday Celebration
After the success of last fall’s Birthday Celebration (when we could use lots of local food), the Steering Committee agreed to a regular early fall date. Invitations have gone out to some of our fantasy speakers: Jon Stewart, Naomi Klein and Bill Moyers, but we’re working on backup options as well. We’ll let you know as soon as we have a date and program firmed up.
New Fundraising Committee Seeks Folks
Since SPC’s revitalization in late 2001, we’ve had one committee to oversee both finances and fundraising. Now we’re splitting up these functions and starting a new fundraising committee. Several dedicated folks are already signed on, but they’d love more company. Contact Andy.
Public Power Coalition Holds Mayoral Candidate Forum
The Public Power Coalition (PPC) – of which SPC is a member – continues to work with the city on municipal energy. We are currently trying to schedule a meeting with city officials, PPC organizers and Source One, the company hired by the city to carry out a feasibility study. We have also sent letters to all the mayoral candidates inviting them to a public meeting on Tuesday, March 31, 7-9 pm at the Westcott Community Center to discuss their positions on municipal power. Contact Jess.
|Barrie Gewanter (NYCLU), Magda Bayoumi (Islamic Society of CNY), Carol Baum (SPC) and Chrissie Rizzo (AFSC) were key organizers of the February 26 Muslim Solidarity event held at ArtRage Gallery. Photo: Katherine Hughes|
SPC Participates in Fair Share Campaign
SPC staff and activists turned out to support the Fair Share campaign rally on Thursday, March 4. Several hundred community members came together to call on the governor and state legislators to institute a modest income tax raise on NYS residents earning over $250,000 annually. At press time, support for this proposal appeared to be gaining.
SPC also spoke out at a related press conference organized by Citizen Action of NY (CANY). CANY recently released a report showing that people of color are disproportionately hurt by proposed cuts in state funding (for the report, visit www.citizenactionny.org). SPC supported CANY’s call for state legislators to integrate principles of racial justice in their budget planning.
Working for a Just Peace in Palestine-Israel
CNY Working for a Just Peace in Palestine & Israel has continued meeting to develop a set of unity principles and plan for educational and advocacy work on this critical issue. An upcoming dvd showing and discussion are scheduled for Thursday, April 16 at 7 pm at ArtRage Gallery, 505 Hawley Ave. Come check out Life in Occupied Palestine: Eyewitness Stories and Photographs by Anna Baltzer (www.annainthemiddleast.com/). Contact Andy to learn more or get involved.
SPC Needs You
In these difficult economic times please keep SPC in mind. Most of our costs are pretty fixed and we make our limited financial resources go a long way. If the economic crises have hit you, perhaps you’ve got more time to help expand our work.