Our #CPTJusticeJourney began at the start of Lent, on February 26th. Since then much has changed as communities across the world respond to the spread of the Coronavirus. While Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) have suspended physical accompaniment across programs, we continue to seek out ways to be present, adapting to online strategies of advocacy and accompaniment in response to our partners’ needs.
The Coronavirus pandemic highlights the injustices taking place around the world and as we move into Holy Week and the closing days of Lent, we recognise that the #CPTJusticeJourney is far from over. These challenging times demonstrate how we are all interconnected and that we need to work together for the well-being of our global community. In this email you will find some reminders of the ways in which you can take action for peace. If you are able, please consider donating to CPT so we can continue this work and show-up for our partners.
Thank you for being a part of the #CPTJusticeJourney, for accompanying our partners and taking action for peace. Let us continue to walk together.
Take Action for Peace in Palestine
Sign the petition telling Letitia James, New York State Attorney General to Dismantle the Ghetto: Take the settlers out of Hebron
The Hebron Fund is the largest known funder of the settler movement in Hebron. Hebron Defense Committee, Human Rights Defenders, Christian Peacemaker Teams, International Solidarity Movement, and Good Shepherd Collective ask that New York State Attorney General, Letitia James, open a formal investigation into the Hebron Fund’s charitable status, knowing that US taxpayers are shouldering the burden for the tax-deductible donations given to this organization for the purpose of continued violence against Palestinians.
Hold a screening online of CPT’s “Zionism and Palestine” webinar series
In February CPT held a live webinar discussion entitled “Zionism and Palestine.” In it, Pastor Amy Yoder McGloughlin (Pastor at Frazer Mennonite Church, PA, CPT Palestine delegation leader and Steering Committee member) and Rabbi Linda Holtzman (faculty member of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, founder of the Reconstructionist Hevra Kadisha, PA, and Jewish Voice for Peace Board of Directors) discussed the impacts of Zionism in Palestine through stories from their trips to this occupied territory. On April 3rd, CPT hosted a follow-up webinar with Pastor Amy and Rabbi Linda, where they continued their discussion on Zionism and Palestine followed by a direct Q&A with the audience. Hold an online screening and discussion with your church or community members to raise awareness about this important topic. You can access the recordings of the webinars by using the links below.
Take Action for Peace in Iraqi Kurdistan
Support the “Hear Us Now: Stop the Bombings” campaign and take of photo with a sign calling for an end to Turkish and Iranian cross-border bombings
Civilians of Iraqi Kurdistan are caught in cross-border conflicts as the governments of Turkey and Iran engage in bombing campaigns against armed groups. Villagers have sustained considerable casualties, damages to property, lasting traumatic effects, as well as multiple deaths. The CPT IK team, alongside partner families whose members died in the Turkish and Iranian cross-border military operations, have launched the “Hear Us Now” campaign. The campaign calls for an end to the bombings, compensation for the losses families have sustained and acknowledgment of the injustice and targeted violence that they suffer. Please write a sign calling for an end to Turkish and Iranian cross-border bombings and post it to your social media with the hashtags #KRG #Iraq #HearUsNowStopTheBombing.
Email the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) representative near you to support the “Hear Us Now: Stop The Bombings” campaign
Another way you can support the “Hear Us Now: Stop The Bombing” campaign is by writing to the Kurdish Regional Government office near you, informing them of the Turkish and Iranian cross-border bombings and asking them to take action on this issue.
By clicking on the link below, you will find a draft letter, which you can copy and paste into your email and send to your nearest KRG office. A list of the KRG offices, along with their emails is also available through this link.
Please also be sure to copy the CPT IK team in your email, using the email address – email@example.com.
Take Action for Peace on Turtle Island
Write a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or call as Government Minister asking them to uphold Indigenous rights
Gather together friends and family for a letter writing party to let Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau know that your community stands with the land defenders of the unceded Territory of Wet’suwet’en, and that no pipeline should be built without consent, in accordance to the United Nations Rights of Indigenous Peoples. You can write to:
Office of the Prime Minister,
80 Wellington Street,
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
You can also use the link below to call BC Government Ministers to support the Wet’suwet’en and revoke Coastal GasLink permits.
Boycott Caterpillar and the financial institutions profiting from the pipeline!
The pipeline cannot be built without significant investment from financial institutions. Check where your finances are being done and that you are not investing in the pipeline. Major investors include:
- RBC which is the sole financial advisor to TC Energy (formerly TransCanada)
- HSBC and TD are both financial advisors to KKR which co-owns Coastal GasLink
- JPMorgan Chase, one of Coastal GasLink’s largest funders
In addition, Canada’s government is also using Caterpillar to take the Wet’suwet’en nation’s land, so Coastal GasLink can build its pipeline.
Take Action for Peace in US/Mexico Borderlands
Offer your congregation as sanctuary to people facing or fearing deportation
Religious and faith communities have a long history of providing sanctuary to those in need. Today, hundreds of congregations are standing in solidarity with immigrants and providing spaces of sanctuary for individuals facing deportation or targeted by hate.
Heightened threats against immigrants calls for as many people as possible to create sanctuary spaces. Is your congregation considering creating a sanctuary space for community members facing deportation? Watch this webinar from American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) about how to offer sanctuary using the link below.
Sign the petition to end the cruel MPP (“Migrant Protection Protocols”) policy!
When migrants present themselves at U.S. ports of entry to lawfully seek asylum, border agents routinely turn them back to wait for weeks or months through a policy known as “metering.” Other migrants are processed into the U.S. but promptly returned to Mexico to await their hearing date through a program the administration refers to as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). At least 13,000 people are waiting in Mexico subject to metering and more than 15,000 have been returned to Mexico through MPP, all at risk of robbery, assault, extortion, kidnapping, and homicide. Those awaiting their court dates struggle to develop their asylum case without access to U.S. attorneys or legal services. These policies are routinely forcing migrants who cannot wait safely in Mexico to cross between ports, risking death and criminal prosecution.
Take Action for Peace in Colombia
Be in solidarity with CPT’s partner Organización Femenina Popular/The Popular Women’s Organization (OFP)
The OFP is a partner of CPT and grassroots women’s organization, established more than 4 decades ago in the municipality of Barrancabermeja. The OFP is a defender of women’s rights, taking action through political, legal, organizational and economic means to ensure the inclusion, equality and dignity of women.
On March 24th, Carlota Isabel Salinas Péres, a leader within the OFP and Human Rights Defender was killed after armed men arrived at her home and shot her dead. OFP are demanding justice for her murder.
You can show your support to OFP by writing a letter of solidarity. Please write your letter in Spanish if you are able to, but if not our CPT Colombia team will translate your letter for you. All letters will be collected by CPT Colombia and presented to OFP. Please email your letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
Support Human Rights Defenders and ask the Colombian Government to increase protection measures
In 2019, Colombia accounted for a third of the assassinations of Human Rights Defenders worldwide. In the first 3 months of this year, 24 Human Rights Defenders have been killed. In mid-March, Colombia implemented measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 and there were fears that this would trigger a rise in assassinations. Since March 19th, six Human Rights Defenders have been killed. Amnesty International have issued a statement calling for heightened protection of human rights defenders during this time. By using the link below, you can share this statement widely and use it as a template to email Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez at email@example.com and Attorney General of Colombia Néstor Humberto Martínez Neira Colombia at firstname.lastname@example.org, urging them to carry out an immediate and complete investigation into the recent killings of Human Rights Defenders and maintain its protection schemes for communities at risk, while implementing preventive measures to contain COVID-19
Practice Physical Distancing and Social Solidarity
Be in solidarity with those living under sanction in Iran
U.S. sanctions on Iran are contributing to Iran being an epicenter of the coronavirus. As of Saturday, March 21, 2020, Iran has reported over 20,610 COVID-19 cases and over 1,556 deaths. The country has issued a warning that millions may die.Health, hygiene, and access to medical care are fundamental human rights, regardless of race, religion, and nationality. Sign the letter to the World Health Organization, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, and the U.S. Treasury Department calling on them to issue statements and lift the sanctions. COVID-19 related diplomacy is immediately needed.
Be in solidarity with low-income families
Many companies are laying off workers as the economy slows and things begin to shut down. Low wage workers, many already living just on the edge of eviction and homelessness, now find themselves with even less money coming in and with children, recently forced out of school, to watch and feed. Suggesting people prepare for a long period of containment and cover living expenses without employment, exposes the fact that many people cannot afford this kind of expense. How do we ensure economic safety for low-income workers? And how do we prevent people risking their mental health and worrying about how to pay rent? Elected officials should be implementing policies that ensure comprehensive housing security; cancel rent and stop a moratorium on all evictions, foreclosures, as well as a suspension of mortgage interest accrual. Contact your representative and ask they do whatever they can to implement these types of policies.
Finally, please be kind, gentle and patient with yourself during this time
For many of us, this time of uncertainty and isolation can seriously impact on our mental health. As a community of people dedicated to creating a peaceful society, we know that finding peace within ourselves is also important. By using the link below you can access a number of wellness resources and support groups to help you cope with these extraordinary circumstances.
We are holding our peacemaking family close during this time and we wish you and your loved ones good health, safety and calm.