We started twenty-twenty-two with one of the most significant announcements in our thirty-five years; we changed our name. We are deeply grateful to each of you who reached out and affirmed us in our growth and evolution – your engagement, support, and desire for collective liberation make the CPT community grow.
This last year has proven that the adjustments and new learnings during the pandemic have been viable to continue the work for nonviolent solidarity accompaniment.
The Turtle Island Solidarity Network had an exciting year! The year began with Wet’suwet’en solidarity actions taking place across Toronto. In spring, CPTers went to Wet’suwe’ten, and also CPT began organizing within a coalition at the Novotel Hotel Shelter and with unhoused folks. Summer brought the community of Grassy Narrows to Toronto for River Run. And in the fall, CPT could visit Grassy after two years of being away due to the pandemic.
This winter, CPT continues working in coalition with unhoused folks while the state continues to wage war against them and Indigenous Land Defenders.
Yet the resistance endures as people fight for liberation.
The team put in a lot of effort this year, but deciding if it is a good or bad year is tricky. The team spent hundreds of hours waiting outside of courtrooms and many more in trials of people who were falsely accused of crimes they did not commit. Based in Lesvos, the team contributed from their experience and field knowledge to dozens of assemblies and initiatives resisting the murderous border regime, and in any given opportunity, whether in Greece or elsewhere, advocated against the dystopia of the “prison island.” The team members shared pain, sorrow, and mourning moments when someone close was lost, but when justice triumphed over injustice, they shared moments of joy, and when those deprived of freedom regained freedom, they danced.
Will the next year be a good year? Only time will tell. However, the team is committed to being present on the island to fight against all discrimination and oppression.
The team continued to advocate for the release of imprisoned civil rights activists from Badinan and Sheladze and, throughout the year, celebrated the release of nine of the prisoners.
The Committee to Protect Journalists awarded the team’s partner, independent journalist Niyaz Abdullah, the International Press Freedom Award.
End Cross-Border Bombings Campaign, a coalition of CPT-IK and partner organizations from Iraq, Italy, the UK, the USA, Spain, and Norway, published an in-depth report on the Civilian Casualties of Turkish Cross-Border Military Operations in Northern Iraq from 2015 to 2021. They also accompanied nine survivors of the Turkish and Iranian attacks to meetings in Baghdad with the First Deputy of the Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament and the Minister of Justice, who promised to provide compensation for those affected by the cross-border violence.
The team organized several successful workshops on nonviolence, and two members received training to become facilitators of the Alternatives to Violence Project. The team hosted the first CPT’s post-pandemic international delegation to Iraqi Kurdistan.
2022 was a challenging year for Colombia. The social, political and economic challenges have heightened the pressure on partners. The agriculture in the riverside community of El Guayabo has been deeply affected by flooding, the breaking of the dyke, and an unresponsive municipal government.
In response to the growing threat of violence against human rights defenders, the team accompanied partner organization CAHUCOPANA in their work of establishing humanitarian refuges to protect the lives of people affected by the increase in armed violence.
Partners continue to face similar insecurity issues as they have for years while defending their right to live peacefully on the land they have been caring for and protecting for over 30 years.
This year the team had the privilege to witness the hope, faith and certainty of partners despite the violence and oppression they faced. They dream that, in the end, they will be able to live peacefully in their territories.
It was a year full of laughs and tears, a year for more resistance to find freedom and justice—a year full of children’s smiles, personal growth, and disappointments.
CPT documented the Israeli military’s escalating violence against students and schools in the area. The Israeli military regularly fired tear gas and sound grenades directly at children, school compounds, and civilians. There was also a teachers’ strike against the Palestinian government’s salary cuts, which negatively affected students’ learning.
Masafer Yatta became a focal point of violence by the IOF and settlers, purposefully targeting schools and children to open up forced displacements for the South Hebron Hills.
The hope and resistance of people like Shaker Tamimi inspire the team. Even after having lived through systemic attacks for years, he said, “We will continue to stand up to the soldiers and settlers” to ensure that the children in the area of Jabal Jalis have a playground. Playgrounds keep children safer.
Thank you for your support. Hopefully, next year, more people will join the team in the walk towards freedom.
Pray for justice, and work for change.