Archive

December 26th

COLOMBIA: The role of gender in defending human rights

A mural in the OFP’s office. It says, “The capacity to dream has allowed us to raise our voices
to build… autonomy, leadership, peace, empowerment.”

From 7-14 October 2014, as a MCC Seed team we participated in a delegation with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) in Barrancabermeja, Magdalena Medio. During the week we focused on the work of CREDHOS, the Regional Corporation for the Defense of Human Rights. During the delegation we learned about the implementation of the peace accords and the work of different organizations in Magdalena Medio, we visited rural and urban communities, and we talked with CPT about political advocacy and undoing oppressions.

Although we didn’t talk about it in most of the spaces, I felt that the topic of gender was very present during the week. In many of the spaces we listened to men speak about their context and their struggle to defend human rights. In one community that we visited, only male leaders spoke although there were also women present. In another community we met a very strong woman leader, but we also heard from a male leader who was opposed to her leadership. I would come out of these masculine spaces thinking a lot about the role of gender in the work of defending human rights.

December 21st

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' SOLIDARITY: Struggle, promise, despair, repeat--Indigenous rights activism in the age of 'reconciliation'

Last November 2016, CPTers accompanied a women-led, silent, peace procession at Standing Rock (ND).

On 5 December, Cree Member of Parliament (MP) Romeo Saganash “extended his hand…for reconciliation to all Canadians and all Parliamentarians” with a 2nd reading of Bill C-262: the Indigenous Human Rights Act. During the first hour of debate in the House of Commons, the Liberal party affirmed their support for the Bill and the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.[1]

December 20th

URGENT PRAYER REQUEST: CPT partner Mohammad Salah Mahdi Arrested by Kurdish Secret Police

 

Mohammad Salah Mahdi (right) talking about nonviolent protest on Kurdish TV

On 18 December, CPT partner Mohammad Salah Mahdi was swept up in a Kurdish Regional Government crackdown on thousands of peaceful demonstrators who demanded that their leaders step down because of corruption.  Teachers, like Mohammad, and other government employees have not received their full salaries since 2015.   After many hours of not knowing Mohammad’s location, the team found out the prison where the Asaish (Kurdish secret police) were interrogating him.   As of this writing he is still in the Asaish jail, but family members have been able to visit him.  Mohammad has worked with Christian Peacemaker Teams for ten years, and went through CPT training in 2014.

Currently the Asaish are arresting many activists at their homes in Sulaimani. In Koya, the Asaish invaded a school and kicked teachers in front of the students. In Ranya, people are fighting in the street with weapons. Ten people have died there, including a boy, and more than 100 people injured.  The dead and wounded all over Kurdistan cannot be counted, in part, because of a crackdown on the press.  Asaish entered the headquarters of NRT TV, arrested the staff and shut both the station and website down.  The government has also blocked the Internet for many hours.

Please hold all the people of Iraqi Kurdistan, including Mohammad Salah Mahdi and his family, in your prayers, as they face these violations of their freedom and their dignity.  PLEASE CIRCULATE WIDELY.

Prayers for Peacemakers, 20 December 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 20 December 2017

Pray for the Palestinian people who have faced Israeli military suppression and violence during nonviolent protests of the U.S. decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem.

Israeli occupation forces have drastically increased their campaign of collective punishment through mass arrests. They have detained more than 350 Palestinians since U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration regarding Jerusalem on Wednesday, 6 December 2017.  Many of those taken have been violently beaten during their arrests; many are now imprisoned for practicing their rights and speaking out about their suffering. Israeli forces have murdered eleven Palestinians in the last two weeks and injured at least 3,000. These numbers impact not only those who have been arrested, injured, or killed, but also their families and communities. 

We ask you to send your prayers, love, and strength to those who continue to resist Israel’s occupation. Pray that Palestine will one day be free from military occupation and violence underwritten by U.S. tax dollars.  We ask also that you act for a lasting peace by speaking out about the injustice in Palestine to your community, calling your elected officials, and boycotting companies that benefit from the occupation.

December 19th

CPT Position Opening: PSYCHOSOCIAL CARE COORDINATOR

CPT Position Opening:

PSYCHOSOCIAL CARE COORDINATOR

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) seeks a Âľ-time Psychosocial Care Coordinator to resource the well-being of its service workers.  The position entails ensuring independent spiritual and psychosocial support for CPT members whose work involves physical rigor, communication in crisis situations, and exposure to violence and trauma. 

Responsibilities include: 1) providing psychosocial support to individual CPT Corps members and teams; 2) coordinating CPT’s Circle of Care (a network of volunteer counselors, healers, and care providers); 3) enhancing organizational structures that foster a culture of self-care and sustainability in peace work; 4) working with CPT staff to coordinate holistic responses to teams in emergencies.  The position involves some international travel to project sites and organizational meetings.

Candidates should demonstrate passion for the spiritual and psychological health of others, commitment to grow in the journey of undoing oppressions, and ability to work independently and collaboratively as part of a dispersed team across continents.  We prefer someone with experience in the field of psychology or social work and a trauma-informed approach.

COLOMBIA: Sixty farming families violently evicted from their lands in El Guayabo

On Wednesday, 13 December 2017, municipal authorities in Puerto Wilches evicted sixty farming families from the land they farm to ensure the food security of their families and the inhabitants of the township of El Guayabo.   Police violently displaced the community from eleven farms that they have been harvesting for thirty years, causing a humanitarian crisis.

Campesinx farmers observe while Mr. Lopez’s hired men destroy their house

December 15th

LESVOS REFLECTION: Alexander's Great Lie

Occasionally when I fly to Lesbos, I travel through Thessaloniki.  Thessaloniki International Airport is situated outside of town with not much to see other than the somewhat barren landscape. One time, as I wandered around the small terminal in search of an outlet to revitalize my dying phone, I came across what might be called a shrine to Alexander the Great and the text of an oath he made to his armies and commanders after his conquest into Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the rest of the known world of his day.



December 14th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): A week in photos December 5-11, 2017

A week of occupation in photos: December 5 - December 11
View this email in your browser
 

Many Voices, One Cause

Pictured here: Palestinians from numerous political parties gathered in large numbers in al-Khalil to non violently protest the U.S. Administration's contentious recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Similar protests have been organised in many cities across the globe in support of Palestine. 

(12/08/2017)
 

Excessive Use of Force

Pictured here: Over the last several days, the Israeli occupying forces (IOF) have invaded Palestinian controlled H1 in al-Khalil on a daily basis. They forcibly close shops during business hours and violently drive the general public out of the streets. The IOF uses excessive force such as stun grenades, live ammunition, rubber bullets, and blinding tear gas as seen in this photo. The presence of the military in Palestinian Authority-controlled H1 is provocative and creates a hostile environment.

(12/09/2017)

December 13th

Prayers for Peacemakers, 13 December 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 13 December 2017

Pray for Shoal Lake 40 First Nation community, who CPT Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Team partners with in their struggle for clean drinking water and an all-weather access road to the mainland. Pray for the local and provincial authorities to make the right decisions at their annual meeting on December 19.

Hold the Province of Manitoba and City of Winnipeg party to the 1989 Tripartite Agreement with Shoal Lake 40 First Nation in your thoughts and prayers. At a time of fiscal austerity in Manitoba, may the Province and City enter this annual meeting on December 19 with compassionate hearts and receptive minds. Since the 1989 signing of the Tripartite Agreement, Shoal Lake 40 has suffered under restricted development on the reserve and a 20-year boil water advisory in return for clean drinking water in Winnipeg and the promise of alternate economic opportunity.

"Honou  our agreements" rally during the 2016's tripartite meeting
Photo: “Honour our Agreements” rally during the Tripartite Agreement meeting at Winnipeg City Council Building in December 2016.
(from CPT-Indigenous Peoples Solidarity archive)

COLOMBIA URGENT ACTION: Help us stop the imminent eviction of El Guayabo

CPTnet
13 December 2017
COLOMBIA URGENT ACTION: Help us stop the imminent eviction of El Guayabo

Dear CPT friends and community,

Earlier this year a municipal judge ordered the eviction of part of the land that the farmers of El Guayabo have cultivated for decades. The legal process, plagued by flaws and irregularities, including the judge exceeding his powers over the National Land Agency, will deliver a number of hectares to a single person who has never lived or cultivated these lands. This process violates the way land titles are awarded. The eviction, set for Wednesday, December 13 at 8:00 am, will leave 11 families without the source of their daily food violating the right to a decent life, the right to healthy food, the right to work. Likewise, it will put the children's right to education and health in jeopardy, since their families will not have the means to support themselves.

The municipal, departmental and the national governments have turned their backs on the community and have not foreseen emergency measures for this humanitarian crisis.

While the lawyers continue to try to postpone the eviction by legal means, we need to pressure the State to be present and guarantee the fundamental rights of all the people affected.

Dear CPT community, this is an emergency, the community of El Guayabo needs your support. We ask you to make your voice heard, amplifying the community's claim, calling and sending emails to the addresses and numbers that appear below, clearly indicating that the eviction must be postponed until the National Land Agency intervenes in the situation and continues with the legal procedures already in place. Also request that the corresponding humanitarian assistance be guaranteed, the government's indisputable responsibilities.

We also ask you to hold the peasants in your prayers and share this story with your community.

Thank for your support. Blessings,

Colombia Team.

Stiop eviction of El Guayabo