Canada

CANADA: Rally to end Islamophobia

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CPTnet

20 March 2017

CANADA: Rally to end Islamophobia

by Rachelle Friesen

I am deeply humbled to stand beside all of you today, as we continue to confront Islamophobia, fascism and white supremacy - in all its manifestations.  Yet, I also recognize who I am, and the land on which we stand.

I am white. I am a settler. And I was born in a country that exists because of the genocide of Indigenous people and the dispossession of Indigenous land. I recognize that, today, we gather on that stolen land. Land that has never been willingly given up nor ever been relinquished, despite what white historians may tell us.

And as we gather here today, it is important to remember this land’s history, and the country that was built on it, it is important to remember its history especially when there are so many who work to rewrite it. It is important to remember this country’s history so we can one day stop repeating it.

This country was never built on values of freedom for all. Rather, it was built on the genocide of Indigenous inhabitants and the oppression of racialized people. It was built on sexual violence against women and built on the exploitation of the worker. This is this country’s history but it is also acutely felt and experienced in its present. 

Rally to end Islamophobia 

Photo Credit: Murray Lumley.

Prayers for Peacemakers 15 March 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers 15 March 2017

Last week the world commemorated the International Women's Day. Also we would like to acknowledge the power and leading role of women in struggle for justice and peace all around the world.

Let us pray for all women members of the CPT projects, for all the women in the Administrative team and all our women partners around the world. Each and every one of them does amazing things in order to build a better world. Let us pray for all girls around the world. Let us pray for a better future for them.

Girls plain in the river. Colombia

Let us pray for men as well, because they need to overcome sexism and work as allies of women in their struggles. Let us pray and work together for a better world where all women, men and every individual have the same opportunities, same access to justice, education and social securities, and freedom to live in peace and for peace. 

Prayers for Peacemakers 1 March 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers 1 March 2017

Created, Guided, and Delivered for Liberation: A Prayer for Times Like These. 

by Chris Knestrick 

Creator God, 

 You created us for right and just relationships.

 You have called your people back to your embrace

                  To that garden of equality and mutuality

                   To healthy relationships based on respect and love

                   To be laborers that harvest life. 

Creator God, You created us.  

Children painting 

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY AND MENNONITE CHURCH CANADA PLAN PILGRIMAGE FOR INDIGENOUS RIGHTS IN ONTARIO THIS SPRING.

CPTnet

27 February 2017 

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY AND MENNONITE CHURCH CANADA PLAN PILGRIMAGE FOR INDIGENOUS RIGHTS IN ONTARIO THIS SPRING. 

CPT-Indigenous Peoples Solidarity team is partnering with Mennonite Church Canada for a 600 km walk this spring (April 23-May 14) from Kitchener to Ottawa, ON to engage churches in a series of conversations about the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), exploring why it matters, the hope it offers, and how we can collectively live into it.

The Pilgrimage for Indigenous Rights is being planned in response to Article 48 of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, which summons churches and faith groups to public dialogue and action in support of UNDRIP. The walk will be held in advance of the second reading of MP Romeo Saganash’s Bill C-262 – a private member’s bill which would provide a legislative framework for implementation of the Declaration. Similar to many Indigenous walks, the pilgrimage will conclude in Ottawa (Algonquin territory) to demonstrate support of the Declaration and call upon the Federal Government to implement the Declaration in a meaningful way.  

“This is a tangible opportunity for the church to witness its support for the rights of Indigenous peoples,” stated MC Canada Indigenous-Settler Relations Director Steve Heinrichs. “Personally, I’m excited to engage in meaningful conversations with a wide diversity of communities as to why adoption of the Declaration is good news, not just for Indigenous nations, but for all Canadians.”

March Honour Walk 

March 2015 - Settlers from Winnipeg walked 550 km from Stoney Knoll, SK to Edmonton, AB to honour residential school survivors (photo courtesy of Brad Leitsch). 

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY / PALESTINE: It’s Harvest Time! Deer harvest in Short Hills and the olive harvest in Palestine.

CPTnet 

12 January 2017 

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY / PALESTINE: It’s Harvest Time! Deer harvest in Short Hills and the olive harvest in Palestine.

by Rachelle Friesen

Every October after the first fall rain, Palestinian families gather together and go to their land to harvest olives. The ancient trees have become a meeting place for families to take a break from their busy lives, and pick the olives that will be used for food and oil. Often, the young men climb the trees and shake the olives down onto the tarps below, while the grandmothers sit on the ground sorting the olives from the branches and leaves. The other family members take part in picking olives from the lower branches, while the air is filled with laughter and parents’ scolding as mischievous children get into olive tossing fights. The olive harvest is not only about sustainable food production but an integral part of the Palestinian cultural identity.

Man and Olive Tree

Photo credit: CPT Palestine 

Prayers for Peacemakers. 11 January 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers. 11 January 2017

Snow. For a lot of people snow is a synonym of a warm home. For others snow is a beautiful landscape in which they can get lost. Other people, those who have not seen or felt the snow, dream about snowflakes on their hands. However, not everyone shares the same perception of snow.

Let us pray for all refugees and people without home in Europe, Middle East, North America and the rest of the world who are suffering because of harsh winter conditions. Let us seek ways in which we can help them. Let us pray for political leaders to accept and understand that it is necessary to implement changes in order to stop the global warming. Let us pray for all those who have a cold heart so that the warmth of friends, family and community allows their hope to return.

Syrian woman walks wit her sons under the snow

Photo credit: Aljazeera.

Prayers for Peacemakers. 29 December 2016


Prayers for Peacemakers. 29 December 2016

2016 has been a difficult year. Stories about the plight of refugees in the Mediterranean sea, the peace process in Colombia, killings of social leaders and farmers, protests to defend water resources, political surprises that seek to eliminate rights of millions of people, intensifying abuses in Hebron, new disappearances in the borderlands between Mexico and the USA, ongoing wars around the world, increasing islamophobia, escalating abuse of migrants, violence against women and natural disasters that have left thousands of people homeless… The list seems endless.

However, even in all this darkness, we can always find a ray of light. It reminds us that we must not lose faith. The light, which the oppression tries hard to extinguish, lives and grows with the commitment and dedication of us all.

In this last week of 2016, let us pray for an amplification of the light in the coming year. The light that lives and shines both inside each one of us and in the world around us. Let's pray for this light to grow stronger and multiply.

Let us pray for CPT members in Colombia, Palestine, Iraqi Kurdistan, Turtle Island, Greece, our partners and all the people struggling for peace around the world. Let's pray together for those who work to transform all forms of violence and oppression.

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

Baby watching TV

Photo credit: Caldwell Manners (El Garzal, Sur de Bolivar)

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: All the way to the top--CPT Steering Committee endorses UNDRIP (United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples)


We have described to you a mountain. We have shown you a path to the top. We call on you to do the climbing-Judge Murray Sinclair (Commissioner for Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission)

One spring day, CPT Iraqi Kurdistan team climbed a Kurdish mountain. Our partners planned the day and, at the beginning of the path, villagers came out to wave at us as we began the trek. Our vegetarian teammate graciously carried the pot of meat for the barbeque. We thought it made sense to hike partway and then lighten our load by burning the wood to cook the chicken, which we would eat with all the other food we hauled.  Although we thought we knew how to do this, it became apparent that despite our good intentions, we had no idea how the day would go. When we wanted to stop, our Kurdish partners told us to keep going— all the way to the top! 

The trail was a goat track with stones and holes in the way. We had to clamber over large rocks in the pathway. It would have been easy to turn an ankle or to fall off the side. Yet our partners told us that our goal was the top ridge, when finally we could rest, put down the burdens of the meat pot, firewood and a huge stack of bread and have a feast together. 

Now CPT is again climbing a mountain—the one described by Judge Murray Sinclair at the end of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in Canada through which the world was exposed to the reality and horrors of 150 years of residential schools in Canada. The commission spent six years traveling to different parts of Canada to hear the testimony of approximately six thousand Indigenous people. They heard of children as young as three years taken away from their families and placed in residential schools to assimilate them into European settler society—a policy Justice Sinclair would declare “cultural genocide.” As a response, the commissioners of the TRC laid out ninety-four calls to action that communities and institutions on Indigenous lands can take to work for reconciliation. 

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Full-time Indigenous Peoples Solidarity field team member sought

 

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is accepting expressions of interest for the position of: Full-time Field Team Member.  All members of CPT’s Peacemaker Corps and qualified people from outside the corps are eligible to apply.

Team: Indigenous Peoples Solidarity (IPS)

Reports to Project Support Coordinator

Status: Full-time, stipended, three year term

Stipend: $1000US/month (independent living – no “team house”)

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada) – Turtle Island

Start Date: December 1, 2017

CANADA: The testimony I could not give--CPTer David Milne’s statement against Canadian weapons trafficking


[Note: On 19 September, CPTer David Milne had charges dismissed related to his protest of the 25 May CANSEC weapons bazaar in Ottawa.  Below is the statement he did not get to make before the court.]

 “Your Worship, I plead not guilty to trespassing and creating a disturbance. I acknowledge that officers of the RCMP and the Ottawa police did warn me on three or more occasions between 10:30 a.m. and noon of May 25 that I should leave the lobby of the building with our banner ‘NO MORE ARMS DEALS’ or face criminal charges. An RCMP officer later warned me that if I continued to shout while in the lobby I would be charged with creating a disturbance. Nonetheless, I assert that my actions and those of my two colleagues were necessary to warn government officials and the Canadian public that continuing the traffic in arms recklessly endangers Canadian citizens and brings harm to foreign citizens. Arms sales do not protect us; they endanger us.

We chose this location, Your Worship, because this is where arms manufacturers and the representatives of foreign governments meet with Canadian government officials to make arms deals. We needed to bring our protest to the centre rather than remain on the periphery.