SPC in Action

From the April 2014 PNL #833

compiled by Jessica Azulay

Cornel West to Speak in Syracuse

We are thrilled to announce that activist/thinker Dr. Cornel West will be speaking in Syracuse on Sunday, April 27 at 2 pm (doors open at 1:30) at Tucker Missionary Baptist Church, 515 Oakwood Ave., Syracuse as part of  the National Spring Days of Actions Against Drones. Admission is free. His talk will focus on “Connecting the Dots: Racism, Poverty and Drones” and is organized by the Peace Council and Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars.

Photo: Max Brown

People’s Orders of Protection Against Drone Terror

After Cornel West’s  talk, please join us at 4:30 pm at the OCM BOCES parking lot (6820 Thompson Rd. - near E. Molloy Rd.) for a permitted march to Hancock Air Base (drones are piloted over Afghanistan, and maintenance technicians, pilots and sensor operators are trained there). The theme of “People’s Orders of Protection” is an allusion to the Orders of Protection served to many people who have participated in nonviolent civil resistance at the Base, as well as the needs of people around the world to be protected from drone attacks. For details, contact Carol or visit SPC’s website.

May Day Inequality for All

On Thursday, May 1 at 7pm the Peace Council is cosponsoring a screening of the new documentary “Inequality For All” at the Palace Theatre alongside our labor and community allies in the We Are NY coalition. “Inequality for All” is the groundbreaking work by Robert Reich, Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton. The film examines the roots of today’s inequality crisis and puts forth persuasive arguments for economic policies that increase wages and improve the economy for the 99%. For more information, contact Jerry at 243-9823.

Jail Oversight Bill Going to Vote!

United as One is excited to announce that a bill will be introduced to the Onondaga County Legislature to create an oversight structure for the Justice Center, the county’s downtown jail. This comes almost five years after the deaths of Chuniece Patterson and Raul Pinet in the facility. The new oversight structure will function similarly to the city’s Citizen Review Board, but its powers will be limited to making recommendations about policy, procedure and training of staff, and not disciplinary recommendations. The bill will be discussed by the Public Safety Committee on Wednesday, April 9 at noon, and it will be up for a vote on Tuesday, May 6 at 1 pm at the County Legislature at 401 Montgomery St., Suite 407. Please come to one or both meetings to support the bill. Contact Amelia.

Activist Strategy Group

To better understand the strategies available when organizing for social change, the Peace Council invites activists and organizers to join us for a strategy reading and discussion group. Our first meeting will at the Peace Council office on Friday, April 11 at 7 pm to begin discussing Bill Moyer’s The Movement Action Plan: A Strategic Framework Describing the Eight Stages of Successful Social Movements. Often referred to as “essential reading” for activists, Moyer analyzes how successful, people-powered movements follow a similar arc of development. Get the readings at peacecouncil.net/readinggroup. Snacks potluck! For more information, contact Ursula.

Frontlines of Fracking

Congratulations to Preble for becoming the first town in Cortland County to pass a ban on hydrofracking. In Cayuga County, residents are pushing the County Legislature to place a moratorium on the use of fracking wastewater as a de-icer on county roads. To learn more and to get involved in Cayuga County efforts to prevent the spread of poisonous fracking waste on our roads, contact Michael Gorr, 685-6545.

Ani DiFrancoTicket Raffle

The Peace Council is raffling off a pair of tickets to Ani DiFranco’s April 29 concert at the Palace Theater. Drop by the office or pick up your raffle ticket at ArtRage Gallery (505 Hawley Ave.), SparkyTown Restaurant (324 Burnet Ave.), or the Syracuse Real Food Co-op (618 Kensington Rd.). Raffle tickets cost $5 each, or $10 for three. The winning ticket will be pulled on April 17. All proceeds benefit the Peace Council. Many thanks to our friends at Righteous Babe Records for donating the tickets!


The Alliance for Communities Transforming Syracuse (ACTS) is a grassroots organizing alliance, working on issues related to public education, food access and justice. ACTS has also convened the Moving People Transportation Coalition to work on issues around the redesign of I-81, currently an elevated highway through downtown Syracuse. ACTS’ Annual Dinner will be held on Tuesday, April 29 at the Drumlins Country Club. Tickets are $60. To join the SPC contingent at the dinner (or to donate towards helping someone attend), contact Carol.

NOON Upcoming Events

The Good Friends Garden, a 7-year collaboration between NOON and the Onondaga Nation, will host an educational event in late May. People interested in working on the garden, as well as those wanting to learn more about traditional techniques, are welcome to attend. In addition to gardening together, the Good Friends Garden holds a Seed and Plant Giveaway for Nation residents; brings in Haudenosaunee elders and teachers to teach about seed saving and traditional gardening; has helped bring honeybees to the Nation; and gives away vegetables to elders and others. Check our website (www.peacecouncil.net/noon) for details or contact Amelia or Carol.
The Syracuse Cultural Workers, along with NOON and other groups, will host a book signing with Robin Kimmerer promoting her new book Braiding Sweetgrass, Wednesday, April 23 at 7 pm at ArtRage Gallery, 505 Hawley Ave. Robin, a SUNY-ESF professor and member of the Potawatomi Nation, brings together her training as a botanist and the indigenous teachings that regard plants and animals as our oldest teachers. Contact Carol or Amelia.

No Solitary! No Mass Incarceration!

United as One is supporting work to oppose excessive use of isolated confinement in state prisons by sending a few people to participate in a lobby day in Albany asking officials to support the HALT Solitary Confinement bill. Because long term isolated confinement is both widespread in NYS and known to be psychologically damaging, the bill would create an alternative unit that would provide greater support to prisoners who might otherwise be subject to extensive solitary sentences. The lobby day will take place on Monday, May 5 and will coincide with a statewide rally against mass incarceration. Details to come. Contact Amelia.

Work for Peace at Your Day Job

Thank you Frank Cetera, Stephanie Cross, Michael Gorr and Howie Hawkins for pledging to Work for Peace at their day jobs! A grassroots organization like the Peace Council can only thrive with a grassroots base of support. If you’re fortunate enough to have gainful employment in today’s difficult economy or another source of consistent income, join our “Work for Peace at Your Day Job” campaign. Pledge an hour’s wage to the Peace Council each month, and for that hour, wherever you are, you’ll be working for an end to oil wars, an end to drone strikes, and for a world where violence and exploitation no longer exist...you’ll be working for peace at your day job! Peace Council pledgers are a lifeline for our organization. Visit peacecouncil.net/dayjob to join the campaign today.

GMO Labeling

Foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been sold in the United States since 1996. Unlike 64 other countries around the world, the United States does not require labeling of foods containing GMO ingredients. Food justice activists around the country, concerned about potential health risks associated with the consumption of GMOs, are demanding that GMO foods be labeled. In New York State, there are bills in the Assembly and Senate that would require all food sold in New York containing GMOs be labeled as such.
In March, GMO Free CNY activists screened the documentary Genetic Roulette about the connections between industrial food companies like Monsanto and the federal government, and the potential risks associated with eating genetically modified foods. The film is available at SPC if you would like to arrange a screening for your group. GMO Free CNY also collected petition signatures in support of the GMO labeling bill at Natur-Tyme, a local business member of the NY GE (genetically engineered) Labeling campaign. Lobbyists for the agribusiness industry representing the likes of Monsanto are prowling the halls of the Albany legislature trying to kill GMO labeling in NY. Please take action in support of GMO labeling by contacting Senators Valesky (315-478-8745) and DeFrancisco (315-428-7632). Ask them to support the NY GE Labeling bill. GMO Free CNY is convened by the Peace Council. To get involved in local efforts, contact Katie 673-3303. Our next meeting is Thursday, April 10 at 5:30 pm at the Peace Council office.

CNY Working for a Just Peace In Palestine and Israel

CNY Working for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel sent a delegation of four of its members to The National Press Club in Washington DC on March 7 for a first ever Summit to Assess the “Special Relationship” Between the US and Israel. Distinguished speakers included retired military, CIA Intelligence personnel, and elected public figures, as well as respected journalists specializing in the region. The event was recorded and televised on CSPAN and is available to view online. On March 31, CNY Working held our annual event to commemorate Land Day. The event remembers March 30, 1976 when Palestinians were killed protesting inside Israel against the seizure of their land. CNYWJPPI is always seeking new members who share its passion for justice.

Activist Appreciation: Brian Tackett

Brian Tackett has been involved with the Peace Council since 2011 when he began helping at outreach tabling and with the Bring the Money Home campaign. Brian lives in the Westcott neighborhood at the Bread and Roses Collective. He’s known to lend a hand at local garden work days with the Alchemical Nursery on the grounds of the Syracuse Real Food Coop and the Rahma Edible Forest Garden. In the fall of 2012, Brian was instrumental in organizing SPC activists and SU students for a “work-in” at the ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corp) space on the SU campus, in which anti-war students temporarily reclaimed the space for educational purposes, not war. He also knelt in an orange jumpsuit for hours outside a CIA recruitment session on campus to protest the spy-agency’s presence on campus. In recent months, we’ve been grateful to have Brian’s help in the office working as a Database Management intern, helping to clean up Peace Newsletter subscriptions and update our office systems. Brian is also on the Peace Council Steering Committee. Brian, we appreciate your wit, attention to detail, creativity and reliability.