ABORIGINAL JUSTICE: CPTers JuliĆ”n GutiĆ©rrez CastaƱo and Peter Haresnape join Six Nations in response to ā€œLies and Violenceā€ rally

 On 27 February 2011, Christian Peacemaker Teams, a member of the Six Nations Solidarity Network participated in the Caledonia rally supporting the people of Six Nations against Gary McHaleā€™s so-called ā€œTruth and Reconciliationā€ Rally.ā€¦

The recent rally appropriated the name ā€œTruth and Reconciliationā€ which in Canada commonly refers to the process of healing from the government and church-run residential schools designed to destroy Indigenous identity and families.  For McHale, the white community's suffering is apparently comparable.  The rally was to feature the placement of a monument on the reclamation site that would feature apologies from the OPP, province, and the Six Nations.

Gary McHale also issued a call for Christian Leaders to be active in their commitment to justice and to support his rally.  In response to McHaleā€™s letter, JuliĆ”n GutiĆ©rrez CastaƱo and Peter Haresnape had the following to say at the counter rally supporting the Six Nations.

(For more information, see

ABORIGINAL JUSTICE: Justified use of force, part II--justified by fear

Helen Proulx and Byron Desbassige were both shot by police.  Byron died from his injuries, Proulx suffered from a shattered pelvis.  None of the police involved suffered from any injuries but the police charged Proulx, who had been trying to commit suicide, with assault.  All of the police officers were considered justified in their actions and not charged by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU).  * (See ABORIGINAL JUSTICE: Justified use of force, part I)

ABORIGINAL JUSTICE REFLECTION: Justified use of force, part I

ā€œAuthority to use force separates law enforcement officials from other members of society...ā€  (ā€œCanadaā€™s National Use-of-Force Framework for Police Officersā€ The Police Chief magazine August 2010)

Kenora resident Helen Proulx was trying to slit her wrists with a small knife when a neighbour called the police on 7 June 2010.  The lone responding officer commanded Proulx to drop her weapon.  She started to walk towards the officer and the officer fired two shots, wounding Proulx in the arm and shattering her pelvis.  The neighbour saw Proulx fall face first onto the sidewalk.  Police charged Proulx with assault.  Two years earlier, on 16 February 2008, Toronto resident Byron Debassige had been singing and asking for change when the police arrived.  He had stolen three lemons and then pulled out his pocketknife when the shop clerk chased him onto the street.  Two constables confronted him on the path at Oriole Park.  When they commanded him to put down his juice bottle, he tucked it under his arm and pulled the knife out of his pocket.  The officers drew their guns and shouted at him to stop and drop his knife, but Debassige kept walking toward them.  They fired four shots, hitting him twice in the torso.  He died from his injuries.  In both cases, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU)* found the shootings, ā€œjustified.ā€

ABORIGINAL JUSTICE: Algonquin men attempt to block clear-cutting of Beaver Pond Forest by chaining themselves to trees.

On 1 February 2011, two Algonquin men, Robert Lovelace and Daniel Bernard, chained themselves to trees in the Beaver Pond Forest near Kanata, Ontario, to block a second day of clear-cut logging from destroying a forest considered sacred by Algonquin First Nations.

TORONTO: Vigiling against Islamophobia

 ā€œWe donā€™t refer to the Ulster Unionists as Protestant terrorists, nor the Irish Republican Army as Catholic Terrorists, but the media is full of reference to ā€œIslamic terrorists. This rhetoric incites prejudice and violence against Muslims and must stop!ā€  With these words, Annie Hyder, Muslim student at Ryerson University addressed an interfaith candlelight vigil in Toronto, provided as an alternative voice to a nearby support rally for the English Defense League (EDL)ā€” a British right-wing group responsible for a wave of violent anti-Islamic/anti-Muslim street protests in the United Kingdom since 2009. (See  The EDL support rally, believed to be the first in Canada, was organized by the Jewish Defence League (JDL), on the evening of 11 January 2011 at the Toronto Zionist Centre.


No! To violence against Muslims

ABORIGINAL JUSTICE URGENT ACTION: Prayers needed Sunday. Contact Canadian legislators by 31 January to help save sacred old-growth forest on Algonquin traditional lands

On Sunday, 30 January 2011, people from all faiths will join Algonquin First Nations and gather at Beaver Pond Forest, twenty minutes from downtown Ottawa, to pray for the land.  If you or your faith group plan to pray Sunday in solidarity with the Algonquins and others gathered, let us know and we will pass your messages on.  If you are able to attend the gathering at Beaver Pond Forest, please do so.  The details are available at this link:

LONDON,ON: CPTers join public witness for the silenced children of Gaza

 Over 150 individuals participated in a silent protest during the presentation of an Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) soldier at the University of Western Ontario campus in London, Ontario on 19 January 2011. Three CPTers were part of a nonviolent direct action, standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people, silenced by the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and the assault on Gaza two years ago.

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Colombia project CPTers complete North American speaking tour


Members of Christian Peacemaker Teams Colombia recently completed a tour from Toronto, Canada through the Eastern United States, the theme of which was Dispatches from Colombia: Stories about Communities in Resistance, United States Foreign Policy, and Militarization."

In September and October, CPTers Alix Lozano, Chris Knestrick, and Eloy Garcia spoke at various public venues, and participated in public actions against The Body Shop, U.S. militarism, and the hiring of the former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe Velez as a Distinguished Scholar at the Jesuit University, Georgetown, in Washington, D.C.


AT-TUWANI/ABORIGINAL JUSTICE REFLECTION: Seeking the peace of Palestine by engaging our own settler reality

A life-changing thought came to mind this past week while I was serving in the village of at-Tuwani.  I was out with Palestinian shepherds, watching the Jewish settlers of Ma'on construct another large chicken barn on stolen Palestinian land.  As I watched, all of a sudden, the armed Jewish settlers and their bulldozers vanished from sight, only to be replaced by other white settlersā€”persons of European origin, carrying Bibles, guns, and Christian civilization.  Then the Palestinian shepherds next to me, a couple of young Muslim teenagers, also disappeared, and in their place stood two men of First Nations origin.  And before I knew it, the desert land beneath my feet began to tremble, and thousands of huge Douglas Firs erupted from the hillsides, while a raging river full of salmon and steelhead burst forth from the rocky valley below.


Nine hundred indigenous and settler dissenters, caged together as world powers met to regulate the global economy, got a new perspective on their shared struggles.