Archive - Jun 2010

June 30th

Prayers for Peacemakers, Jun.30, 2010 / Oraciones por la paz, 30 de junio 2010


Pray for residents of Zharawa displaced persons camp in northeastern Iraq. Conditions are worsening as heat damages the tents and there is no material aid. Pray the government will give them permission and assistance to buy and build houses on the land.

June 29th


"Is running water what makes us happy?"  This question, coming from a member of Christian Peacemaker Teams in At-Tuwani, where there is neither running water nor electricity, has made me think.  What is the ideal human condition anyway?

When we asked Nasser, who lives in the tent town of Susiya, what he'd wish for if he had three wishes, he only had one answer for us: freedom.  Freedom for his country and for his family.  He did not ask for running water or electricity but for freedom from military occupation.

June 28th

IRAQ UPDATE: 17-31 May 2010


The leaders of nine Zharawa villages continued to work on their plan for building a new cooperative village.  One of the challenges they faced was deciding which families would be part of this project, since some villagers who were displaced years ago and more recently displaced villagers all wanted to be in on the new village.  Another challenge was the disparaging comments of a few local officials, who did not take seriously the danger of the current attacks in their village areas.  One said, “This idea was too much like what Saddam did in the past.  Saddam brought people from different villages and made a collective town.”  Another said, “ If we give them money to build a new village, other people in the conflict zone will ask the same thing,” or “ Some people have two places for two wives so they do not qualify as IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons).”

June 26th

COLOMBIA REFLECTION: The Christ who has not risen

“If Pilo’s hopes and dreams died with him, then I guess he will have died for nothing,” I told them.  “If Archbishop Romero’s hopes and dreams have died with him then I guess he too died for nothing.”  Finally, I felt compelled to add, because I believe this to be true: “And if Jesus Christ’s hopes and dreams died with him then he too died for nothing.  I guess it depends on us.”

June 25th

COLOMBIA: CPT delegates accompany Antioquians denouncing extra-judicial killings at military headquarters

Easter Saturday, the CPT delegation joined CAHUCOPANA members in front of the 14th Brigade to do a public action intended to end impunity and give meaning to the lives of the Brigades’ victims through their courageous public denunciation of the extrajudicial killings.  They referred to their public action as a “Gallery of Historical Memory.”  The victims’ names, along with the names of their killers, were read out.  With the reading of each name we shouted out “Presente!  Presente!  Presente!  ¿Hasta Cuando?  Hasta siempre!”  “Present!  Present!  Present!  Until when?  Forever!”

June 23rd

HEBRON: Settlers destroy Palestinian crops and slash water pipes in the village of El-Fas

On 16 June 2010, a Palestinian farmer witnessed two settlers, believed to reside in the settlement of Kiryat Arba, walking through his garden.  Upon inspection, the farmer realized that his crops, planted with the assistance of USAID, had been destroyed and water pipes slashed.  According to the farmer, the damage to the crops totaled an estimated 10,000 NIS (about 2600 USD) The damaged crops are the primary food and economic resource for the extended family of thirty adults and thirty children.

For video showing the destruction and proximity of the farmer’s land to the settlements, click here

Prayers for Peacemakers, Jun.23, 2010 / Oraciones por la paz, 23 de junio 2010


Pray for transformation of hearts and minds following a march and rally of Indigenous Peoples and their allies in Toronto on June 24 in advance of the G8/G20 summit. Pray  that Canada will heed the call to respect Indigenous rights.

June 22nd


To name something is to give it shape and substance.  Language forms our thinking, and therefore our views of reality.  To name is to write history, and the future.  In Colombia, the power of naming, like many other powers once more widely available, has been usurped.  State, para-state, and multinational corporate actors use the power of language to insist upon a version of reality that favors the massive extraction and export of Colombia’s natural resources: oil, precious metals, and export crops like the oil palm.  To construct and reinforce that exploitative reality, these forces must rename the truths of Colombians’ everyday lives.

June 21st

IRAQ: “We just want peace”


An urgent plea echoed among residents of the Makhmur refugee camp in northern Iraq with whom CPT met recently, “We just want peace.”  The United Nations established the camp in 1998 to provide refuge to the family members and relatives of the PKK who lived in the Kurdish villages of southeastern Turkey.  Outside of the building in which CPTers met with the families, there was a statue of a woman carrying a baby.  When CPTers asked about the statue’s meaning, people told us, “They died while fleeing from the Turkish army.  We tried to stay in six places before Makhmur.  It was winter and many people froze, dying on the way.”

June 19th

PALESTINE REFLECTION: The meaning of “Madrase”


Returning to the U.S. from my stint in Palestine this time, I was pulled aside to a small room, where I was initially the only white person.  There was a group of Arab men, a group of people from Southeast Asia, and later on some Eastern European women came in.  After a while a Lt. Spiekerman told me I was going to be asked some questions.  

I was asked where I had been and what I was doing.  “Israel and the Palestinian territories doing volunteer work and Egypt for tourism, blah blah blah.”  Pretty standard questions, which I have become accustomed to because of Israeli security officials, but he asked me six to eight times if I attended any madrassas during my travels.  Follow up questions consisted of, "did you receive any additional training or education, did you learn how to use arms, receive any...uh know what I mean, did you attend any madrassas."