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October 29th, 2014

Prayers for Peacemakers, October 29, 2014

Prayers for Peacemakers, October 29, 2014

Pray for the families in Umm Al Kheir, Palestine and El Guayabo, Colombia who were made homeless this week.  The Israeli military demolished six homes in the village of Umm al-Kheir, leaving thirty-one people, including twelve children, homeless on 27 October.  On 29 October, riot police illegally evicted community members of El Guayabo, despite the fact that representatives of the Colombian government have said they have the right to remain on their land.

                                                                              Epixel* for Sunday November 2, 2014

Um Al Kheyr demolitions (1)10698481_748008208585648_3198763651215104780_n (1)
Umm al-KheirRiot police land in El Guayabo
 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth." 
                                                                           Matt. 5:4-5
  
 *epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing
with a text from the upcoming Sunday's  
Revised  Common Lectionary
 readings.
 

October 28th

COLOMBIA URGENT ACTION: El Guayabo facing eviction tomorrow. Ask Mayor of Puerto Wilches to revoke illegal eviction order.

 

 
 Rodrigo López is escorted by ESMAD during the last eviction.

The community of El Guayabo in the municipality of Puerto Wilches has received information from a reliable source that the police colonel signed an illegal eviction order to be executed tomorrow, Wednesday 29 October 2014.  The proper authorities have not notified or made the community aware of the details of the eviction order and have not guaranteed the community the presence of the public defender as is mandated in cases such as these.  On Sunday 26 October, Mr. Rodrigo López and Mr. Jose Adelmo Caldas (identified by community members as an a ex-paramilitary) arrived with sixteen police officers in the community of El Guayabo, threatening eviction, although they brought with them no court order.

On 15 August, lawyers for the Colombian National Institution for Rural Development (INCODER) made it clear to the Mayor of Puerto Wilches that any eviction against the community is completely illegal as the land is currently under dispute in the federal court system.

Community members are understandably scared and angry.  Tomorrow will be the fifth eviction attempt in a series of irregular, illegal, and sometimes violent efforts to displace Guayabo farmers on claims of ownership by Rodrigo Lopez Henao.  The last eviction occurred on 26 June 2014, and involved Colombian riot police using tear gas and pepper spray and causing multiple injuries to community members.  In addition to eviction attempts, intimidation tactics have included unofficial visits by armed off-duty police and threats to community leaders.

Mayor German Duran is the highest local authority and has the power to intervene in this case.

Sign the Petition

October 27th

IRAQI KURDISTAN: What Does CPT Stand for?

CPTnet
27 October 2014
IRAQI KURDISTAN: What Does CPT Stand for?

By Latif Hars

[Note: Hars is a partner of the CPT Iraqi Kurdistan team from the Kurdish village of Gullan and was a member of the most recent Iraqi Kurdistan delegation.]

 1519559_754065714676669_1830305114361913162_o (1)
 October 2014 delegation on visit to Kurdish
 villages facing exploitation of land by
multinational oil conglomerates.

CPT is an international organization that works for peace and human rights.  CPT is valuable, especially in our world today, which is so full of conflict.  Some people believe that violence is the only solution to conflict, and beautiful cultures and ecosystems are the victims of these violent solutions.  People, animals, and plants are destroyed for the benefit of a small group of powerful people.  CPT should do more to search for the sources of violence, educate people about these sources, and publish this information for everyone to read.  If people do not develop violent solutions, then we can stop violence.

CPT should also plant in all people’s souls the willingness to apologize, and this will over time become part of our culture.  Planting this willingness is not easy work, but doing so will help us respect ourselves as human beings and have true freedom, where we are not divided by religion, culture, ideology, or racism.  We are all equal in our time on earth and our trip to the sky, and we have freedom in what we do.  

October 24th

MEDITERRANEAN: Waiting for justice

 

 
 

Rabi’e, handcuffed on the wheelchair-stretcher
 next to the ambulance.
  

 Photo: © 2014 Ramyar Hassani, CPT Mediterranean 

Standing in solidarity with refugees is often fulfilling.  Here on the Greek island of Lesbos these people, mostly from Syria and Afghanistan, have escaped the threat of bombs, abduction, and hunger.  Usually, it feels really good accompanying them.  Usually.

But Monday was different.  We observed the trial of the Syrian boy, Rabi’e, who turned eighteen while in prison.  The coast guard arrested him, claiming that he was responsible for smuggling twenty-two people in a boat into Greek waters and for attempting to sink that same boat so that they would be rescued. 

The case was delayed from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., the translator did not show up, and another (poor) translator was appointed.

Because the trial took place in juvenile court, we were not permitted to attend the proceedings.  We waited with others in front of the glass doorsand watched the goings-on inside.  We learned later that the coast guard identified Rabi’e as the one who tore up a piece of paper in the boat with instructions on what to do in Europe and threw it in the water.  Six months after the fact, in the middle of night and at sea, they said could accurately identify him.  They said they retrieved the paper from the water and read it.  But the couldn’t produce this evidence in court, because seawater had damaged it irretrievably.  

October 23rd

PRAYERS FOR PEACEMAKERS, 23 October 2014

PRAYERS FOR PEACEMAKERS, 23 October 2014

Pray for the millions of people displaced by violence in Syria, Iraq, and Kurdistan. In the last two weeks, heavy rains and cold weather have made conditions in refugee and IDP camps much worse. As winter approaches, pray also for local community members working to provide aid to displaced people. As the crisis lengthens, pray also for the safe return of all women, men, and children kidnapped by ISIS.

Epixel* for Sunday, October 26, 2014

"Teacher, which commandment in the  law is the greatest?"He said  to him,  "'You shall love the
 Lord your God with all your heart, and  with all your  soul, and with all your mind.'
This is  the
greatest and first commandment. 
And a second is like it: 'You shall love  your  neighbor as yourself.
'
On these  two commandments hang all the  law  and the prophets." Matt: 22:36-40

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

October 21st

PALESTINE: Palestinians and Internationals harvest olives on Surif village land threatened with confiscation

On 18 October, the Hebron Defense Committee organized a community workday that celebrated the olive harvest and resisted the Israeli confiscation of Palestinian land belonging to the town of Surif in the Hebron District, which lies adjacent to the Separation Barrier/Apartheid Wall.

A month ago, Israeli authorities announced the confiscation of 4000 dunums [988 acres] around Surif.  The 18 October event gathered local and international activists in a show of solidarity with the Palestinian farmers and also provided labor to help the families with the olive picking.  Harvest time is now in full swing, and for Palestinian community members, the olive trees ‘symbolize life and existence’.

October 16th

IRAQI KURDISTAN: $2500 raised for ninety Ezidi families near Dohuk

Dear Friends and Supporters,

With your help, our Kurdish partner organizations Wadi and Alind raised over $2500 to help ninety Ezidi* families living in unfinished houses near Dohuk.  Wadi and Alind used your money to purchase mattresses, blankets, and food for these families.  

Two weeks ago, a delegation representing seven countries traveled with CPT to visit the ninety families.  We talked with them, shared card gamesIMG_2388 and tea, and observed how their situation has improved.  

But these families still need your help.  The rainy season has begun and as it gets colder here, the families need plastic sheeting to cover the unfinished sides of the houses.  They told us that when it rains, the wind blows the cold rain into the houses, covering everything.

Please pass this message on to your friends, and ask them to donate through this link to help the ninety Ezidi families.

DONATE HERE 

October 15th

Prayers for Peacemakers, October 15, 2014

Prayers for Peacemakers, October 15, 2014

Pray for all who stand up for human rights in Colombia.  The leading Colombian newspaper, El Espectador, says that aggressions against human rights defenders are up 170% from last year.

 

                                                               Epixel* for Sunday, October 12, 2014
JUDICIAL 9 OCT 2014 - 10:49 AM

En tercer trimestre

Aumentan en 170% agresiones a defensores de derechos humanos

Mientras que el número de amenazas en el tercer trimestre de 2014 supone un incremento del 234 % con respecto al mismo período de 2013.

For [The Lord] is coming, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with his truth. Psalm 96: 13b
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.
 

October 13th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Israeli military arrests ten-year-old boy, detains two others

On 12 October 2014, Israeli soldiers threatened two Palestinian boys—ages six and thirteen—with arrest, charging them with throwing stones.

The Headmaster of Mutanabi School was able to convince the soldiers not to arrest the six and thirteen year old, telling the soldiers he would contact the DCO (The liaison between the Palestinian police and the Israeli military.

However, Israeli soldiers arrested a third boy, age ten, outside of his home as he was playing on his bike, put him in their military jeep and took him away.  The military later released him to the Palestinian Authority police and returned him to his parents.

An army commander recently threatened to close Mutanabi School if boys threw one more stone.

2014 10 12 Mutanabi 6 year boy detained (1024x738)2014 10 12 Mutanabi 13 year boy detained (1024x683)2014 10 12 Mutanabi 10 year boy arrested (1024x683)[1]
6 year old boy13 year old boy10 year old boy

October 11th

IRAQI KURDISTAN REFLECTION: What we can do

10668821_752189818197592_4715799435651533024_o (1)
CPT Iraqi Kurdistan Delegation visits Ezidi
shrine at Lalish

Although it is very difficult to pin down the exact numbers of the humanitarian crisis in Iraqi Kurdistan, an estimated three million people there have been internally displaced by the Syrian conflict, ISIS (called DAESH/DAASH by the locals) and earlier by the US invasion of Iraq.  We began to get a grasp of its scale as we visited the UNHCR camps and encountered the refugees and IDPs spread around the edges of many cities, listening to their often horrific personal stories.  I remember a girl, Aasema, physically demonstrating what had happened to her family.  I will never forget how she held up her two tiny fingers, her "Aunts," her fearful whisper, "Daesh...” and her re-enacting how they got captured and carried away.  I also won't forget the hospitality offered by Edris, who survived the massacre of his village, and his expressing the most profound gratitude for everyone who had helped him.