Undoing Oppressions

COLOMBIA: Leveling the playing field. Women Walking Together in Faith

CPTnet

15 May 2017

COLOMBIA: Leveling the playing field. Women Walking Together in Faith

by Shirley Redekop

Viewpoints 

The saying goes, “There are two gifts we should give our children: one is roots, the other is wings.” My husband and I encouraged our children to fly and prayed we gave them roots.

One day in a sermon my husband said, “I believe in what Christian Peacemaker Teams [CPT] does, but I also fear one of our sons will join them,” referring to its placing of teams in communities confronted with situations of life-threatening conflict.

Well, it turns out it is our daughter Hannah who is now a long-term CPT volunteer in Colombia. She’s been there for four years now, walking with farmers who are at risk of being forcibly displaced from their land, and learning about the challenges women face in that setting.

My roots are in Pennsylvania, growing up on a farm with two older brothers. I was expected to help with outside work as well as in the house. My dad also taught me to shoot a hunting rifle and ride a motorcycle. But I realized my brothers were not expected to help with housework and were given cars for their 16th birthday. I felt they had an unfair advantage.

Now as I’ve mothered the next generation, I pondered what message I passed on to our only daughter. After reading an article Hannah sent me about an experience she had at a women’s regional peacebuilding meeting, I found my answer.  Here’s what she wrote:

 “The most impacting moment for me [at the first meeting of women from northeastern Antioquia] was a fireside conversation around apple sugar-cane tea. The women gathered around holding hands and introduced themselves, then moved into small groups to share their experiences: ‘When did you realize you were a woman?’ ‘What have your struggles been?’ ‘What is the role of women in your society today?’

Hannah, su familia, un compañero de ECAP y una de las mujeres de la región.

Pictured from left to right: Maria Angela Peinado; Hannah, Fred and Shirley Redekop; Maricela Jimenez; and Pierre Shantz. (Photo courtesy of Shirley Redekop)

Prayers for Peacemakers. 1 February 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers. 1 February 2017

In these dark times when hatred and racism are on the rise around the world, we invite you to build bridges to bring us closer to each other and to overthrow the walls that divide us by our faith, our race, our gender, and our migration status.

Let us pray that each of us can overcome the walls that separate us. Let us embrace our sisters and brothers of Muslim, Yezidi and other diverse identities, faiths and origin. Let us welcome all those who have had to leave their homes due to war. Let us pray for the hearts and minds of those who insist on dividing us to open wide.

Muslim and jew families

Photo Credit: Nuccio DiNuzzo/ Chicago Tribune

Prayers for Peacemakers, November 2, 2016

Prayers for Peacemakers, November 2, 2016 

Give thanks for the world-wide solidarity the thousands of Indigenous Water Protectors in the Standing Rock encampments have aroused.  Pray for the healing of those brutalized by law enforcement officers this past weekend.  Pray that volunteers for the CPT – Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Team will become available to travel to Standing Rock, as the oppression of state actors and Dakota Access Pipeline security personnel becomes ever more violent.

*Epixel for Peacemakers  November 2, 2016 
Photo by Unicorn Riot
Hear a just cause, O LORD; attend to my cry; give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit.
From you let my vindication come; let your eyes see the right…
Guard me as the apple of the eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings,
from the wicked who despoil me, my deadly enemies who surround me. Psalms 17:1-2, 8-9
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings. Psalm 17:1-2, 8-9

CPT INTERNATIONAL: CPT Seeks Psychosocial Care Coordinator


 Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is accepting expressions of interest for the full-time position of: Psychosocial Care Coordinator.  

Team: Independent Consultant accountable to CPT’s Administrative Team

Reports to Program Director

Terms: Independent Consultant, full-time, 40 hours/week, three-year appointment

Compensation: up to $24,000 USD annually

Location: flexible; international travel required

Start Date:  January 1, 2017

Application Deadline: November 30, 2016

Please send resumé and statement of motivation to: program@cpt.org. Full job description available upon request.

 

Prayers for Peacemakers September 28, 2016

Prayers for Peacemakers September 28, 2016

Pray for the people of Grassy Narrows.  A recently published report by Japanese scientists noted that almost everyone they tested in the community, young and old were showing some sign of mercury poisoning.  Additionally, Health Canada is withholding the results of blood tests they performed on newborns in Grassy Narrows for mercury poisoning between 1978 and 1992.  Pray that those with the power to address this environmental racism will find it unacceptable. 

*Epixel for Peacemakers  October 2, 2016 

O LORD, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not listen?

Or cry to you "Violence!" and you will not save?

Why do you make me see wrong-doing and look at trouble? Destruction and violence are before me; 

strife and contention arise.

So the law becomes slack and justice never prevails. The wicked surround the righteous--

 therefore judgment comes forth perverted. Hakkakuk 1:2-4

 
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary
 readings.

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Train with CPT--Join CPT’s Peacemaker Corps

CPTnet
9 September 2016
CPT INTERNATIONAL: Train with CPT--Join CPT’s Peacemaker Corps 

CPT trainees and trainers in Europe congratulate
 Efi Latsoudi for winning 2016 Nansen Refugee Award

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is currently accepting applications for its Peacemaker Corps.  Join us in building partnerships to transform violence and oppression!  

Applicants must be 21 years of age or older and have participated in, or plan to participate in, a short-term CPT Delegation or internship.  Qualified applicants may be invited to participate in CPT’s intensive, month-long training from 5 January – 5 February 2017 in Colombia, South America where membership in the Peacemaker Corps is discerned.  Trained Peacemaker Corps members are eligible to apply for open positions on CPT teams.  The primary language for the Colombia training will be Spanish with English interpretation.  

CPT builds partnerships to transform violence and oppression in situations of lethal conflict around the world.  We are committed to work and relationships that: 1) honor and reflect the presence of faith and spirituality, 2) strengthen grassroots initiatives, 3) transform structures of domination and oppression, and 4) embody creative nonviolence and liberating love. 

CPT understands violence to be rooted in systemic structures of oppression.  We are committed to undoing oppressions within our own lives and in the policies and practices of our organization.  

CPT is a Christian-identified organization with multi-faith/spiritually diverse membership.  We seek individuals who are capable, responsible and rooted in faith/spirituality to work for peace as members of violence-reduction teams trained in the disciplines of nonviolence.  We are committed to building a Peacemaker Corps that reflects the rich diversity of the human family in ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender identity, language, national origin, race and sexual orientation. 

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 7 October 2016; direct any questions and send complete application to personnel@cpt.org.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ SOLIDARITY: Sixty years can be four generations of living with toxic chemicals

 

Judy Da Silva presents Glen Murray and David Zimmer with a pipe 

Chrissy Swain was eleven-years-old the first time she participated in an action to bring awareness to Grassy Narrows First Nation. By then the accumulation of ten tons of mercury (waste from Dryden, ON pulp and paper mill) had been contaminating the English-Wabigoon River for three decades. When she walked onto the stage at the Canada Day concert all those years ago, the Ontario government had already been ignoring for one decade a report* advocating for remediation of the river. This report was shelved and filed away for another twenty years—bringing us to 2016.

In June 2016, Grassy Narrows again presented a scientific report describing a technique to remediate the river system, one that would reduce the mercury in the abundant fish and bring health back to the water, the people and their economy. Finally, the politicians seem to have woken up from a willful ignorance that the toxins have not naturally gone away.

CPT INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ SOLIDARITY: Dear Settlers

 

Rezhiar Fakhir

It has not been very long since I visited the land of the Indigenous peoples. I acknowledge that it took me a very long time to write this. That was for two reasons. First, I come from a place where we have suffered from different conflicts, not just over decades but over centuries. I thought it would not be a good idea for me to write a judgment of Canadian society when we are deeply impacted by war in our own region. Second, North American history is very complicated for me even though some have told me it is very simple: the settlers came and destroyed the life of the Indigenous peoples – the story is as simple as that. Even after my first visit to Grassy Narrows, an indigenous reserve, I was not courageous enough to write this reflection. But I made a pledge to my indigenous friends that I would write about their struggle even though I am not Canadian.

My journey in Canada began when I arrived in Nelson in British Colombia to finish my course at Selkirk College in mid April. From the moment of my arrival I felt the generosity of the people of Nelson. They were very kind and welcoming. Nelson portrayed a perfect Canada in my mind. However, I began to hear from my very good friends, classmates and instructors about some problems and difficulties that Canadians faced. I met many people in Nelson who told me stories about the Indigenous peoples’ struggle. They gave me an overview of the history and the challenges of indigenous peoples in North America. One late afternoon, I even saw one of my classmates arguing with the police from Nelson about the history of colonization. Or my instructor who expressed concern about the extinction of some indigenous communities in Nelson.

CPT MEDITERRANEAN BLOG: Deep and violent connections


It’s a profound day today.

The celebration of Juneteenth (when Africans enslaved in the United States learned of their freedom, declared by the Emancipation Proclamation almost two years earlier). 

The one-year anniversary of the massacre of the church at Mother Emanuel AME folks in Charleston, SC.

The one-week anniversary of the Pulse Orlando club shooting. 

It’s also Father’s Day, so blessings to the Dads out there…especially those redefining traditional masculinity and providing open-minded and gentle ways of nurturing children (or ideas!) into wholeness. 

Tomorrow continues the meaningful days (of course every day we’re alive it’s meaningful!) It’s solstice, and the middle of Ramadan. It only comes around in the summer every 33 years.  Given global weirding, this is a hot one! 

It’s also World Refugee Day. Being here, working with refugees…this day now means more to me than ever before.  I knew theoretically the difficulty of being a refugee: the bureaucracy of paperwork and sometimes arbitrariness of official decisions, long lines, inadequate resources, the fast friendships, the cramped camps, the waiting, oh the waiting. 

Our Christian Peacemaker Team is accompanying refugees in Mytilene, Lesbos, Greece. As Executive Director I have a chance to do a two-week team visit. I sat across the table from a man from Afghanistan yesterday. Neither he nor I are from Greece or speak Greek. I don’t speak Dari yet, and he just began the English classes offered to refugees. We don’t know each other’s names and yet we are deeply and violently connected. My village paid for his village to be bombed (through the US-led war in Afghanistan).

We kind of smile at each other to acknowledge a greeting, but neither of us are happy about the situation so we exchange a glance of agreement that there is no use pretending we are. I can hope that through our work he and I can feel that there is another way to connect as well, through nonviolent interaction. But if it ends there it is not enough, in a way. I want to exchange the real smile that comes after a day of joint action to bring change to global functioning. Tomorrow is World Refugee Day and we will do a public witness action that reminds the public that refugees are not invisible, and mourns the loss of over 1,600 people that have died in crossing by boat from Turkey to Greece. We will thank the Lesbians for being so welcoming to those who made it, and together with them brainstorm ways to insure safe passage for all and challenge EU and US and local policies that lead to so many people being frighteningly expelled from their homes. 

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Remembering the Nakba--an act of nonviolent revolution

Every 15 May, Palestinians remember the Nakba (Great Catastrophe).  The Nakba refers to the expulsion and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians during the late 1940s as Jewish Zionists were establishing the Israeli state.  The facts of the Nakba are as shocking as they are unknown to the West.  And those of us in the West are responsible for this ignorance. 

Following WW II and the Holocaust, the United Nations, influenced heavily by Zionist lobbying and the need to secure a home for the thousands of Jews displaced by the Holocaust, split the British Mandate of Palestine.  The partition is a historic example of European colonial privilege trumping the interests and rights of local communities.  At the time of the partition, European Jews owned only 7% of the land and were only 33% of the population.  Yet the United Nations allocated 55% of the land for the establishment of a Jewish state and 42% for the re-establishment of an Arab Palestinian state.  Jerusalem, comprising the remaining 3%, was to be an international city.  Palestinians had no voice and no representation in the partition.

Palestinian refugees carry their belongs after Zionist forces push them off their lands.