Nov 28, 2012 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
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 United States is still paying the for the eight-year-long Iraq War and economists says the final cost will exceed $1 trillion.
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. 1, 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.
‘Better world’ envisioned
“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.”
Shopping there supports the local economy since none of the money is outsourced. A 2009 Civic Economics study found that purchases at locally-owned stores support local economies at double the rate of big-box store purchases.
Plowshares crafts include jewelry (glass, gemstones, precious metals), ceramics, woodworking, photography and handmade clothing and exotic items such as rainsticks, origami, Native American stone-carving and herbal tinctures.
Live entertainment and tasty food make the festival a family-friendly event. Admission costs $2 to $5 and is free for folks ages 15 and younger or 65 and older.
Entertainment will be as varied as the voices that cry out for peace worldwide. From belly dancers to One Black Voice, from Merry Mischief to Mark Zane, performers will enliven the craftsfair with music and movement.
Other Plowshares performers include Nottingham Steel Drum, My Fusion Flow, Crow ‘n Bow, and the wandering minstrel, Ribbonsteel Rapper. For festival info, dial 472-5478; or visit peacecouncil.net/plowshares/.
Saturday, Dec. 1
10:30 a.m. Eli Thomas
11 a.m. TBA
11:30 a.m. Young & Talented Dance Co.
12:30 p.m. Trio Bohio
1 p.m. Syracuse Community Choir
1:30 p.m. Maya Tribe belly dancers
2 p.m. One Black Voice
3 p.m. Colleen Kattau and Some Guys
Sunday, Dec. 2
11:30 a.m. Savannah Juvanis
Noon Hanita Blair
12:30 p.m. Eli Thomas
1 p.m. Dance Theater of Syracuse
1:30 p.m. Harmonia
2 p.m. Merry Mischief
3 p.m. Mark Zane
4 p.m. C-Jack Productions