Archive - Oct 2011


October 26th

COLOMBIA REFLECTION: God’s unlikely table

  On the last day of our Christian Peacemaker Teams delegation, we wanted to do a public action in response to the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement recently passed by Congress.  We brainstormed, we strategized, and we agonized over the best time and place and finally, we planned the street theater—a scene of two tables tin front of the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá.  One table was the world of free trade, based on stories we heard during the delegation, stories of violence and displacement fueled by multinational companies robbing the resources of Colombia.  The other table was supposed to be God's table, a table marked by equality, mutuality, and abundance.  With this vision in our minds, we spent hours assembling costumes, writing prayers, and calling Colombian partner organizations.

Prayers for Peacemakers, Oct. 26, 2011


Pray for the people of Jonesborough, Tennessee, being affected by a depleted uranium processing plant, including workers exposed to dangerous conditions. Give thanks for the community leaders voicing their concerns, and for the CPT delegation learning from them.

October 25th

JONESBOROUGH, TN: Depleted Uranium delegation collects samples to be examined for DU contamination, participates in press conference.

Aerojet Ordnance, Inc. in Jonesborough, TN is a Depleted Uranium (DU) processing plant with an unsavory history of handling toxic waste.  The CPT DU delegation in Jonesborough has helped Dr. Michael Ketterer—professor at Northern Arizona State University—collect soil, water, and sediment samples in the area to be examined for DU deposits.  Previous samples taken by Dr. Ketterer confirm DU contamination in areas around the plant and also in the Little Limestone Creek.  CPT delegates accompanied Dr. Ketterer to three different homes in the area on Saturday, 22 October, collecting new samples, serendipitously gaining access to a home that backs up to Aerojet's fence line.

October 22nd

COLOMBIA REFLECTION: They call out; will you listen?

Colombia’s people of the land—peasants, farmers and artisanal miners, the indigenous— are calling out for an end to the exploitation and environmental destruction of their territories and homes.  They call out for a restoration of their livelihoods.  Greed and violence leaves them dead, disappeared, or disenfranchised members of one of the world's largest number of internally displaced people.  These human rights abuses take place in a country that the United States has showered with billions of dollars in military and foreign aid in the past ten years. 

October 21st

AT-TUWANI: CPT-Palestine closes At-Tuwani project

 In 2004, the village of At-Tuwani and its Israeli partner, Ta'ayush, approached CPT's Hebron team and the Italian peace group, Operation Dove, asking if they could provide accompaniment for the children of the village, whom settlers regularly attacked as they walked to and from school.  Although CPT had made regular visits to the South Hebron Hills villages over the years, the team on the ground and the organization as a whole deemed it important to respond to the villagers' request for a permanent presence in At-Tuwani.

Seven years later, CPT-Palestine is closing its At-Tuwani project, because the growth of the South Hebron Hills nonviolent organizing work has made the presence of CPT less critical.  The shepherds of At-Tuwani and surrounding villages now are part of a large nonviolent resistance network encompassing various regions of Palestine.  They belong to the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, and South Hebron Hills leaders regularly plan nonviolent actions to which they invite Israeli and international groups.  They also offer nonviolence trainings to men and women in the region.

October 20th

AT-TUWANI: Israeli military fails to escort children twice in one day

On 16 October, the Israeli military failed, twice, to escort the school children of Tuba and Maghayir al Abeed past Ma'on settlement and Havat Ma'on outpost. Because Israeli settlers have attacked and harassed the Palestinian schoolchildren multiple times in the past, the Israeli military made a commitment to villagers in the South Hebron Hills that soldiers would accompany the children if international groups such as CPT and Operation Dove agreed to stop accompanying them. CPT and Operation Dove now monitor the escort from hilltops at the start and finish of the escort.

October 18th

Prayers for Peacemakers, Oct. 19, 2011


Pray for CPT’s partners in the South Hebron Hills, Palestine, demonstrating the power of nonviolence in response to conflict. Give thanks for the dozens of schoolchildren, elders, farmers, shepherds, teachers, and others who took part in a recent peace march.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Protests and clashes erupt in Hebron 11-12 October.

 At approximately 10:00 a.m. on 11 October 2011, members of CPT’s Hebron team received a call telling them that the Israeli military would not allow teachers to pass through the gate at the side of the checkpoint 56 on Duboyya Street—which it had previously agreed to do—but had to pass through the metal detector.  Soldiers provided no justification for the change in policy.

Some of the children returned from the school seeking information as to why teachers were not in school and clashes at the checkpoint followed, which resulted in seven children being taken to the hospital.

October 15th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Water shortage—a daily Palestinian experience

Abu Jamal is head of a well-known family in Halhul, to the north of Al-Khalil.  It is a beautiful hilltop town, surrounded by fields and lovely gardens.  Like other cities in the Palestinian Authority-administered Area A, its population has grown from some 3,000 in the sixties to 30,000 now.  Because of this growth, the infrastructure also has needed to expand.  For the last few years, the town has needed to open a new school each year.

Living east of the green line border, Abu Jamal and his sons, like many other people, may no longer legally work in Israel.  They invested in greenhouses, cultivated eggplants and tomatoes, and were generally successful at first.  When I asked him how his farming is going, he shrugged his shoulders, and his face showed immediately that things are becoming worse.  â€śWe don’t have the water we need,” he said.  â€śJust three hours of water access per week is not enough.  Buying water in tanks is too expensive.  We can’t do anything.”

October 13th

CHICAGO: Peacemaker Congress video live on-line

You can watch the Peacemaker Congress live on-line here: which includes a broacast schedule.

Watch this morning's bible study by Shanta Premawardhana