CPTnet

CPTnet is the news service of CPT, providing daily news updates, reports, reflections, prayer requests and action alerts.

COLOMBIA: El Guayabo demands that armed men leave their community

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Community members retake possession of
RincĂłn's property

After a week of confrontations between the El Guayabo community members and armed men installed by Rodrigo Lopez Henao Henry RincĂłn’s property, Lopez’s men have left the land.  Riot police illegally evicted RincĂłn from the property in October at the bidding of Lopez.

When CPT arrived at El Guayabo on 31 November, the military was camped at the town’s port.  On 1 December, the military came to investigate the situation on the farm, having heard reports that there were firearms in the vicinity, but they did not act.  Their visit left the community disappointed and wary of the military’s position.  In the evening, Lopez sent in extra men to guard the house, leaving a total of ten guards on the property.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Israeli military’s use of teargas, rubber-coated bullets forces schools to close

Over the course of two days last week, the Israeli military’s response to a few boys throwing stones toward the Qitoun/209 and Salimeh/29 checkpoints was so excessive the principals of the seven schools near those checkpoints canceled school for the hundreds of children that attend those institutions. On 10 December at checkpoint 209, through which 183 children and fifty-two adults passed from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m., the teargas was so potent from two teargas canisters fired by Israeli border police that a twelve-year-old boy who opened a window at the school andinhaled the teargas—fired approximately 250m away—suffered extremely adverse effects.  Teachers called an ambulance and decided to close the school to avoid more harm to children from the gas.  An ambulance came after approximately twenty-five minutes, delayed by the physical obstacles of occupation such as checkpoints and the apartheid laws governing Palestinian vehicular access in H2 Hebron.  A CPTer who was there said, “sitting with and attempting to soothe the boy, who was scared, unable to breathe properly, and unable to open his eyes, broke my heart.”

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Israeli military arbitrarily change rules around Checkpoint 56 closure, detains elderly, sick people

On 10 December, Israeli soldiers prevented teachers from the Qurtuba School, elderly people, a disabled man, and both a doctor and an ill woman trying to reach the hospital from passing through Checkpoint 56 in Hebron.  In some cases, they delayed people trying to pass through for one hour; in others, as much as three.  Checkpoint 56 has been subject to closure and restrictions by Israeli forces since it was burned from the inside nearly three weeks ago.  No one knows who is responsible for the burning of the checkpoint, and Israeli forces have not released footage.  Leading onto the small section of Shuhada Street on which Palestinians are allowed to walk, checkpoint 56 connects Bab iZaweyya, the commercial district in Palestinian Authority-governed H1, with the neighbourhood of Tel Rumeida in Israeli-controlled H2. Checkpoint closure here demands that families living in Tel Rumeida and school children and teachers from the Qurtuba School walk an extra hour or that they walk a difficult route through the homes and gardens of other Palestinians to reach their homes.

Prayers for Peacemakers, December 10, 2014

Prayers for Peacemakers, December 10, 2014

Pray that the citizens of Winnipeg, Mantoba repent of their injustice to the Shoal Lake 40 First Nation.  Winnipeg’s access to clean water comes at the expense of the residents of Shoal Lake, who have been under a boiled water advisory for eighteen years.

Epixel for Sunday, December 14, 2014
61:4 They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall
repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations…
For I the LORD love justice, I hate
 robbery and wrongdoing; I will faithfully give them their recompense…Isaiah 61:4,8
 
 *epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from the upcoming Sunday's  
Revised Common Lectionary  readings.

IRAQI KURDISTAN: Project “Bringing Hope and Fun” begins in Arbat IDP camp

10407601_786159374800636_6630778394365459304_nCPT Iraqi Kurdistan has begun a project, “Bringing Hope and Fun,” to work with children in the Arbat IDP camp, just outside of Sulaimani.  Led by our intern, Alicja Zasadowska, and aided by the local organization STEP, we were able to create an activity for the children of the camp.

We asked them to draw a picture and write a story explaining the best day of their lives.  The twenty-five children we were working with ranged in age from five to fifteen.  For many of them, grief and horror has become a central part of their lives.  People often ask them to reflect on these difficult things as they tell their stories.  However, Alicja wanted them to share about something happy, so that they could practice cultivating good memories even in the midst of their trauma.

Alicja faced some resistance as she spoke with others about her intentions to have the children draw and write about happy moments.  One father told her, 'My children know nothing of joy; this project will not work.'  Some of the staff at the camp warned her that 'these children do not have happy stories to tell.'  Another NGO questioned why we would want to share happy things, when sad stories influence people much more.  However, her focus was not on others but solely on the children.