15 October 2015
CPT trainees demand independent investigation into Afghan
“The U.S. cannot investigate itself.”
“While you’re shopping, bombs are dropping.”
These were some the core messages Christian Peacemaker Teams
(CPT) conveyed through signs and chants on 9 October 2015 when it marched
through the streets of Chicago, demanding an independent investigation into the
hospital bombing in Kunduz, Afghanistan by the United States armed forces. On 3
October, the U.S. military carried out a bombing raid on a Doctors Without
Borders hospital in Kunduz, resulting in twenty-two deaths, including ten
hospital staff and twelve patients. Doctors
Without Borders is requesting an independent investigation into the bombing
from the International Humanitarian Fact-finding Commission (IHFFC).
Members of CPT gathered on Friday outside of the British
Consulate in downtown Chicago dressed in blood-spattered hospital attire and
carrying a black coffin to symbolize the deaths at the hospital in Kunduz. Alicia R from London delivered a letter to
the British Consulate urging the British government to request an investigation
by the IHFFC. Only a member country can
request such an investigation.
As the march started, chants of “while you’re shopping,
bombs are dropping” and “bombing hospitals is a war crime,” echoed through the
streets. At several intersections,
members of the group dramatized the bombing by falling in the middle of the
street as another marcher hit them with a sign shaped as a bomb that had the
letters, “USA,” on it.
The procession stopped at the Canadian Consulate where two
Canadian citizen trainees had a meeting to urge the Canadian government to also
request an investigation by the IHFFC. During the meeting, other members held vigil
outside. They sang and handed out information about the bombing to passers-by.
The march concluded at the US Federal Building where Kody
Hersh from Philadelphia, PA and Douglas Johnson Hatlem from Chicago, IL knelt
in front of the main doors preventing access as they prayed. Federal security
locked the doors and rerouted pedestrian traffic, while CPT members and other
supporters held a prayer vigil in memory of the innocent lives lost in Kunduz,
As of Sunday 11 October, no member country has yet requested
an investigation from the IHFFC and Doctors Without Borders continues to speak
out against the hospital bombing.