SPC in Action

From the January/February 2018 PNL #858

Various authors

SPC Birthday Dinner in March

SPC’s annual birthday dinner will be held in late March (date TBA) and will feature black lesbian feminist activist, author and former Albany city councilor, Barbara Smith.

Barbara got her start as a youth with school desegregation and the civil rights movement. Feeling frustrated with the patriarchal nature of many Black Nationalist groups of the time, she became active within black feminist movements. She helped form the radical Combahee River Collective in Boston, which issued a manifesto in 1977 that became a defining statement for black feminism.

Barbara is serving on the NYS Truth Commission on Poverty as part of the national Poor People's Campaign, which SPC is participating in.

– Jessica Maxwell


The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival

When Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, he was building the Poor People's Campaign—a multiracial endeavor challenging the US’ persistent class divide. His death left the campaign unfinished, and the class divide has worsened.

Today’s Poor People’s Campaign is a national grassroots effort to challenge the evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation and the nation’s distorted morality. Its broad goals are to shift awareness from a narrative that blames the poor for poverty to one that acknowledges the systemic causes—and to build an anti-poverty movement led by poor people. SPC is participating.

To build the Poor People’s Campaign in Central New York, local organizers are planning a Truth Commission on Poverty. This is part of a series of events across the state that aim to shine a light on ongoing injustices in NY communities. To learn more and get involved, visit www.poorpeoplescampaign.org.

–Ursula Rozum


5 Ways to Be Part of SPC

  • Data entry. We have over 1000 petition signatures and want to keep signers updated on what we are doing with the petitions.
  • E-newsletter. Our weekly e-newsletter has been coming out less often because we need more help. We provide the information and you type it up.
  • Try out a committee. Look at the list on page 3, read the committee descriptions and try one. If you’re unsure, contact Carol (carol@peacecouncil.net, 315-472-5478) to meet over coffee or tea to learn more.
  • Make treats for events. It’s so welcoming to have food at our educational events. Can you help out with that?
  • Help with our upcoming Birthday Dinner. We’re really excited about our upcoming dinner with speaker Barbara Smith (see page _) and will need lots of help! Contact Carol to learn more.

Carol Baum


Introducing Beyond War and Militarism

Beyond War and Militarism is a joint committee of the Syracuse Peace Council and the CNY Solidarity Coalition. We are dedicated to non-violence as we seek to eliminate:

  • US wars
  • nuclear weapons and weaponized drones
  • the enormity of the so-called "defense" budget that robs resources from domestic needs
  • the pervasive infiltration of militarism into our culture
  • the unjust, corrupting and dangerous activities of the corporate state, that is the primary beneficiary and supporter of militarism.

The committee meets monthly and also presents a series of educational events at ArtRage Gallery.

Contact Diane at drswords@gmail.com for additional information.

Barry Gordon


Nuclear Free World Actions

Here’s how you can participate:

Help reach our goal of a second 1000 signatures on the Markey-Lieu “No Nuclear First Strike” petition. Last fall we presented 1000 signatures to our Congressional representatives and are well on our way to the second thousand. Please download and circulate: https://tinyurl.com/ya4226tz

Become informed regarding North Korea. On Monday, February 19, at 7 pm at ArtRage Gallery (505 Hawley Ave.), George Kallander, SU professor, director of the East Asia Center and expert on North Korea, will share a historically grounded view of the current situation. We’ll discuss how to get involved with national actions aimed at preventing nuclear war with Korea.

Nominate a young activist. The Youth Award 2018 will go to high school students dedicated to peace, justice and the environment. Nominate a young activist who demonstrates passion in addressing these issues. Find the application at www.peacecouncil.net and watch for the date in late spring to celebrate the recipient(s).

– Diane Swords


CNY Solidarity Coalition

The CNY Solidarity Coalition is a grassroots coalition of organizations and individuals dedicated to truth, justice and democracy. We are committed to protecting all Central New Yorkers who are likely to be targeted in these uncertain times. 

Join us in this work by visiting www.cnysolidarity.org to sign up for weekly action alerts. Attend our monthly meetings and join one of our active committees focusing on federal or state legislation, community outreach and defense, worker and immigrant rights, war and militarism, and climate justice. Priorities for 2018 include working to replace John Katko with a progressive representative, promoting the Community Grid I-81 option, NYS voting rights reform, and working to end poverty in Syracuse. Our next general meeting is Sunday, February 11 from 3-4pm, check the website for location.

–Peter McCarthy


Justice for Palestine Committee

The Justice for Palestine Committee is involved with several campaigns to build support for Palestinian human rights and the movement to end US support for the Israeli occupation of Palestine.  

In December, we joined the Islamic Society for a national day of action to speak out against US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

In the coming months, we are supporting the Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act introduced by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) in Congress. It would prevent US aid to Israel from being used to detain, interrogate, ill-treat and imprison Palestinian children in its separate-and-unequal military courts, and is the first bill of its kind focused specifically on Palestinian human rights. Please help circulate petitions and/or set up presentations for us.

We’re also co-hosting (with Jewish Voice for Peace), a screening of Occupation of the American Mind on February 5 at 7pm at ArtRage (505 Hawley Ave.). The film explores how the Israeli and US governments, and the pro-Israel lobby have joined forces to shape American media coverage of the conflict in Israel's favor.

–Ursula Rozum

Carol Baum: Super Staffer!
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Carol Baum, the super-staffer!
The PNL often recognizes the contributions of individuals when we are saying a bittersweet goodbye, but this time it is for the opposite occasion. We are recognizing Carol for her incredible steadfastness as a staffer for the past 16 years. She especially deserves recognition for being a constant over the past two years of tumultuous staffing, not to mention the political climate!
We appreciate and recognize you, Carol, not just for your skill and experience, hundreds of hours of unpaid time, and thorough thinking (for which you are well-known), but also for your playfulness, your deeply radical politics, your commitment to the movement, and your kind attention to your friends and comrades. It’s been a stressful couple of years. We’ve got your back, just like you’ve had ours. Thank you.
Amelia Lefevre


Farewell to Nina

Farewell and thank you to Nina Wickett, our bookkeeper extraordinaire of the last ten years, as she retires in January! Nina’s dedication to the Peace Council is outstanding; she worked diligently year after year as our finances became more complicated, while hugely discounting her regular fees. We have relied on her attention to detail, her willingness to adapt and her warmth and humor. The staff always looked forward to their “Nina fix” on Fridays when she came in; it is hard to imagine upcoming Fridays without her.

Nina’s contribution to SPC cannot be overstated. Bookkeeping is a role that is often overlooked, but it is the bedrock support for an active organization. Nina is a passionate political activist who cares deeply about changing the world—and does everything she can to “feed people,” both literally and figuratively.

Thank you, Nina, for everything you’ve done. We are happy that you are about to have the adventure of a well-deserved retirement, even while we are sad to lose you as the SPC bookkeeper. We look forward to continuing to see you regularly, albeit in a different role.

–Chris Riley and Carol Baum


Plowshares 2017

As we approach a half century of Plowshares Festivals, the 2017 version was blessed with excellent weather— and a wonderful crowd of shoppers, eager to support approximately 110 artisans of paint, jewelry, glass, fabric, wood and many other media.

Stepping gently into the 21st century, ATM access was offered for the first time and proved to be a service appreciated by the patrons. Also happening for the first time was participation by Nottingham High School students, something we hope to turn into a trend in future years.

The offences of the present administration were everywhere in the air, and seemed to clearly be an invigorating and bonding force for the approximately 3,000 people who shopped, networked, and renewed old friendships, bringing joy to the dark days of December.

–Lanny Freshman


Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation

NOON invites to you join with us:

Witness to Injustice is a 1½ hour teaching tool that uses participatory education to raise awareness of the history of the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in what is now known as the US. Will you host us? Contact Cindy at cindysquillace@gmail.com.

Sign our petition to Commemorate Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Not Columbus Day. We currently have over 700 signatures and need more. Please go to http://www.peacecouncil.net/noon/ipd to download the paper petition or to sign online.

Let your County Legislators know you support the return of land at Onondaga Lake to the Onondaga Nation. They have promised to do this, but need to be held accountable to their promise.

–Lindsay Speer


Some Hancock Drone Charges Dismissed

On January 18 in the De Witt, NY town court Cathy, Jonathan, and Maura, our three pro bono attorneys, argued motions for three different Hancock AFB anti-weaponized drone civil resistance actions:

  • Jan. 28, 2016 “Jerry Berrigan” action—all charges dismissed with finality.
  • April 14, 2017 “Good Friday” action—Judge Gideon is taking “under advisement” whether to dismiss charges on speedy trial grounds.
  • Sept 25, 2017 “Bloody Dollar Sign” action—Judge Jokl has dismissed all charges.

However the prosecution, by filing amended papers, may still re-charge the defendants.

For more about the persistent Hancock anti-weaponized drone campaign

go to www.upstatedroneaction.org.

Ed Kinane, edkinane340@gmail.com


SPC’s Membership Meeting

On January 21, SPC welcomed new and seasoned organizers to our first Membership and Visioning Meeting. We started the event on a high note by celebrating recent successes of SPC and the tireless work of our committees. We then held an exciting World Café dialogue where we discussed SPC’s anti-racist allyship, how to use the 2018 elections as an organizing opportunity, how we can effectively address the excessive US military budget, and lessons from the Poor People’s Campaign. The event was a first step toward pulling our energies together to develop a shared organizing vision for SPC.

– Michaela Czerkies


Street Heat in Winter
Please join us the first Tuesday of the month from 4:15-5pm at Hancock Airbase (E. Molloy Rd.) for our public presence calling for an end to attacks by weaponized drones at Hancock, and to the militarism and racism dominating US foreign and domestic policy. Next dates are February 6 and March 6.