Archive - Dec 2010

December 29th

IRAQ UPDATE: 16-30 November 2010


On 25 November, the team attended a meeting of NGOs looking to organize around a recent law passed by the Parliament restricting demonstrations and assemblies.  The group hopes to put a delegation together to meet with Parliament and President Barzani, and encourage them to amend the bill.

December 22nd

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Oppression is bad, now what?

by Tim Nafziger and Mark van Steenwyk

Both of us have spent time analyzing the way we are part of the dominant culture in the United States. We know that we, as heterosexual, white men, benefit from a system that is racist, sexist, and heterosexist and that we are against oppression. However, we want to move beyond analysis and become allies to people who are not part of the dominant culture. We have been studying literature on the topic, including Anne Bishop’s Becoming an Ally, and have noticed some interesting parallels between the practice of becoming an ally and what Jesus is trying to do in the Sermon on the Mount.

Naming the ways we see oppression operating in a group setting is part of becoming an ally.  â€śNaming” is the practice of unveiling a truer narration than the one that identifies only blatant bigotry and chauvinism as the problem. 

Naming means noticing when members of the dominant culture are the only ones speaking in a mixed group and pointing it out. It means confessing those times when we have dismissed people because of our unintentional prejudices. It means our honoring the moments when members of an oppressed group name oppression rather than out responding to this naming with defensiveness.  It means making sure it isn't the women in a group who have to call out a man for making a sexist remark, intentional or not. It means breaking ranks with other members of the dominant culture. It is risky.

Prayers for Peacemakers, Dec. 22, 2010



God’s own son, born of woman, came into this world for our salvation. Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace, goodwill towards all.


Doug Pritchard

Christian Peacemaker Teams

Toronto, Canada 

COLOMBIA: Rejoicing after persecution: resistance in Southern Bolivar

Farmers and small-scale miners in Southern Bolivar province are in a pinch.  Palm oil conglomerates and international mining firms have set their sights on lands where the farmers and miners have lived and worked for decades.  Land titling, along with other basic civil government functions, has never been established here.  Military bases dot the region.  Paramilitary groups carry out selective assassinations—about one every day or two.

December 21st

CPT INTERNATIONAL: What would the world look like if CPT succeeded beyond our wildest dreams? (No prose allowed)

Over the last few months, CPTers have been thinking together about the story of our work as part of Mission and Presentation Re-visioning Process (MAPR).  We'd like to invite you to join us in that pondering this advent season.  We recognize that CPT's way of working has developed and matured over the last twenty-five years and in thinking about revising our mission, we realized that we need to first be able to describe the kind of world that we and are our partners are working to create.  We need a vision statement and we need your help to write one.

IRAQ REFLECTION: Surrendering the pieces

This autumn, as our delegation visited families in villages tucked away in the mountains along the Iranian border, we heard stories of how violence brought about by bombs, land mines, guns, and forced displacement had forever changed their lives.  They long for a day when they can walk outside their house to a plot of farmland instead of a fenced-off field of land mines.  They long for a day when they can leave a camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and go home without fear that any house they build or produce they grow will be bombed.

ABORIGINAL JUSTICE: 25 December 2010—Christmas Day—Christ Candle

25 December 2010—Christmas Day—Christ Candle

God of light, who came into a world of darkness and who has never left it, we invite you to be present in the lighting of this candle.

This candle, the Christ Candle, represents Jesus, the Light of the World. The coming of the Messiah was heralded by prophets and angels. It was read in the stars by the Magi and longed for by the priests of the temple.

(read more, including actions to take and bulletin insert)

CHIAPAS URGENT ACTION: Write Mexican authorities urging them to investigate death threats against human rights defenders


NOTE: A partner organization of CPT’s Chiapas, Mexico project (closed nine years ago) has requested that we share the following communiqué and appeal for action after recent death threats directed against workers in two other partner organizations.

On 24 November 2010, Ms Margarita Guadalupe Martínez Martínez, the wife of human rights defender Mr. Adolfo Guzmán Ordaz, again received death threats from unknown individuals after being intercepted on a public street in the city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas as she walked unaccompanied by her security guard.

December 20th

COLOMBIA: Daabon continues to deceive; damaged land's future uncertain

In a 28 October 2010 press release, Daabon Organics announced that it will end its oil palm operations in Las Pavas.  Over a month later, however, their workers continue plantation activities on the land.

The announcement came four weeks after cosmetics retailer The Body Shop announced it would stop buying palm oil from Daabon. An article in Colombia's El Espectador quoted a Daabon official as saying "activists in front of Body Shop outlets in Chicago" contributed to that earlier decision.

CPT Colombia joins with displaced farmers from Las Pavas in cautious celebration of Daabon's announcement, expressing gratitude to all who helped foster this development and seeking continuing action to disrupt ongoing social and environmental harm resulting from internationally financed oil palm plantations.

December 18th

PALESTINE REFLECTION: Getting a good night’s sleep

"It's been a hard day's night, and I should be sleeping like a log.”

A couple weeks ago, I started downloading some of those old Beatles songs that I didn't yet have in my collection and it occurred to me I did sleep like a log despite the following:

a) An armed Israeli soldier less than thirty metres away was keeping us and of course some neighbouring Jewish settlers “safe”.  His radio crackled constantly; and his guard dogs were barking.
b) The CPT Apartment in the old city Al-Khalil/Hebron is a chicken market with cockerels crowing all night and every night
c) It was my fifteenth different bed in thirty-five nights.