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Downtown After Dark: Wars rage, and cries for peace continue

One Black Voice, a.k.a. guitarist Jacques Thomas, will perform at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, at the 41st annual Plowshares Craftsfair and Peace Festival, at Nottingham High School, 3100 E. Genesee St.

One Black Voice, a.k.a. guitarist Jacques Thomas, will perform at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, at the 41st annual Plowshares Craftsfair and Peace Festival, at Nottingham High School, 3100 E. Genesee St.

— For thousands of years, this special season has promised peace, and for the past four decades the Syracuse Peace Council has risen to the occasion by hosting the annual Plowshares Craftsfair and Peace Festival.

It’s no easy task, logistically or politically.

Over the years, the multi-cultural craftsfair has shifted from venue to venue as it coordinated holiday sales by scores of diverse craftspeople and community organizations.

It has done so since 1970, the height of the Vietnam War. That conflict ground to an ugly end in 1975 after sending more than 58,000 Americans to early graves, but more wars inevitably followed.

Our country has been involved in the Yom Kippur War, the Soviet War in Afghanistan, the Angolan Civil War, the invasion of Grenada, the invasion of Panama, the Gulf War, the Somali Civil War, the Afghani Civil War, the Haitian rebellion, the Iraq War and now the Mexican Drug War.

Not only are lives lost daily, so is money. Big money. The cost of the eight-year-long Iraq War is quickly approaching $900 billion!

When will enough be enough?

The skies rain bombs

While the skies rain bombs, the Syracuse Peace Council pleads with leaders to “beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks,” as Isaiah wrote in The Bible. “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

If you believe those scriptural verses are more than wishful thinking, you can proclaim your pacifism by attending the 41st Plowshares Fest from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at Nottingham High School, 3100 E. Genesee St., on the city’s East Side. The craftsfair continues from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4.

Fest envisions ‘better world’

“Plowshares is more than a craftsfair,” said organizer Andy Molloy, “it’s a community gathering of people who yearn for and work for a better world.”

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