Dear CPT Community,
Our teams in Palestine, Colombia, Iraqi Kurdistan, Lesvos, Turtle Island and at the US/Mexico Borderlands have either closed down temporarily, or have shifted to the digital-only realm. Till it is deemed safe to return to the routine of daily life, teams will be unable to respond to the needs of our partners in the usual way. How will the COVID-19 pandemic affect our partners? Just because the world is entering ‘Social distancing,’ does the violence stop? These are questions that only time can answer. But what we know for sure, is that the spear of oppression will only dig in deeper. For small farmers in Colombia who have always been abandoned by the state, what can they expect?
What this virus has been able to do, is what the work of undoing oppressions attempts to do: pull back the curtain, and reveal to the world the structures of violence, hatred and oppression, directed at the most vulnerable among us. Maybe today, we will see what living in Gaza is like - 14 years of quarantine, a.k.a. “Open Air Prison.” Maybe it’ll take us as long as COVID-19 is around to understand. Or maybe sooner.
What does naming, challenging and transforming the violence and oppression that our partners are subject to look like? In this issue, we invite you into conversations – often had on teams – about the daily work of transforming oppression. We would also love to hear back from you on how you are challenging these structures that dehumanize us all.
The virus’ revelation of the vulnerabilities of the system may be a gift to us - an evolutionary jump so to speak. Maybe we’ll jump to that point in history where together we’ll have to build a system that is fair and just, because the old system worked for only a few.
The World Has Changed:
Wake up & smell
It did not
Through the years
An excerpt from The World Has Changed by Alice Walker.