Archive

May 23rd, 2017

GREECE: Arc of voices. The work of resistance of CPT partners on Lesvos.

CPTnet

23 May 2017

GREECE: Arc of voices. The work of resistance of CPT partners on Lesvos.

by Rûnbîr Serkepkanî

Images of boats, of people with arms stretched out for water, of children getting barbecued by the midday sun at the port, hunger strikes and many other unpleasant things—these are the images which I associate with Mytilene, and for a very good reason. Nearly 1,000,000 people have passed through this island in the last three years. As a part of Christian Peacemaker Teams on the island, I have witnessed all of that and more. For me, these tragedies are not merely some news story happening in a far away country, but something deeply personal. When someone gets deported from this island to a future of insecurity, potentially facing incarceration and death, it is personal for me. If I have not actually met that person, I certainly know someone who is a friend of theirs.

We who are bearing witness to what is happening now know who is responsible. It is the vampiric tendencies of capitalism, the weapons industry and the profit-worshiping corporations. It is the sultans, emirs, presidents and lords of war with their armies. Our main partner Lesvos Solidarity was founded by local mothers from Mytilene as Village of all Together several years ago. Lesvos Solidarity has been the main obstacle standing in the way of the total exploitation of refugees and the oppression against them. 

The powers-that-be have built an infrastructure of separation and subjugation. At the same time Lesvos Solidarity has been working in the opposite direction. They occupy an abandoned summer camp and have renovated it step by step, transforming it into a shelter for refugees. Here the local people of Mitylene host the refugees and help them recover from the bombs that fell on them, the boats that capsized under them, the memories of their comrades who became martyrs for the freedom of movement.

 World without Borders

May 19th

Prayers for Peacemakers. 19 May, 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers. 19 May, 2017

This week we would like to share a good news and express our gratitude for the nomination of CPT for the Nobel Peace Prize. The American Friends Service Committee has announced their official nominee for the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize and it is Christian Peacemaker Teams!  

This is a great honor for the organization. At the same time, we acknowledge that we are but partners to those who truly transform the world. We wait for the time when our presence in Colombia, Iraqi Kurdistan, Palestine, Canada, U.S.A. and Greece will not be needed anymore. We would prefer that both Peace and Justice have already prevailed in each corner of this world.

Kak Bapir from the village of Basta tells the story of the struggle against indiscriminate Turkish bombardments

May 17th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) A week in photos May 9 - 15


AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) A week in photos May 9 - 15

 
 

Behind Closed Doors

 
Pictured here: Israeli occupation forces continue to target young Palestinian men this week with accusations of stone throwing.  On Wednesday, the soldiers took an 18-year-old Palestinian man inside the Israeli military gate at Bab al Baladeyeh for questioning. He was released twenty minutes later with a cut on his wrist. When CPT asked the soldiers what had happened, they laughed and refused to comment.  

(May 10, 2017)

May 15th

COLOMBIA: Leveling the playing field. Women Walking Together in Faith

CPTnet

15 May 2017

COLOMBIA: Leveling the playing field. Women Walking Together in Faith

by Shirley Redekop

Viewpoints 

The saying goes, “There are two gifts we should give our children: one is roots, the other is wings.” My husband and I encouraged our children to fly and prayed we gave them roots.

One day in a sermon my husband said, “I believe in what Christian Peacemaker Teams [CPT] does, but I also fear one of our sons will join them,” referring to its placing of teams in communities confronted with situations of life-threatening conflict.

Well, it turns out it is our daughter Hannah who is now a long-term CPT volunteer in Colombia. She’s been there for four years now, walking with farmers who are at risk of being forcibly displaced from their land, and learning about the challenges women face in that setting.

My roots are in Pennsylvania, growing up on a farm with two older brothers. I was expected to help with outside work as well as in the house. My dad also taught me to shoot a hunting rifle and ride a motorcycle. But I realized my brothers were not expected to help with housework and were given cars for their 16th birthday. I felt they had an unfair advantage.

Now as I’ve mothered the next generation, I pondered what message I passed on to our only daughter. After reading an article Hannah sent me about an experience she had at a women’s regional peacebuilding meeting, I found my answer.  Here’s what she wrote:

 “The most impacting moment for me [at the first meeting of women from northeastern Antioquia] was a fireside conversation around apple sugar-cane tea. The women gathered around holding hands and introduced themselves, then moved into small groups to share their experiences: ‘When did you realize you were a woman?’ ‘What have your struggles been?’ ‘What is the role of women in your society today?’

Hannah, su familia, un compañero de ECAP y una de las mujeres de la región.

Pictured from left to right: Maria Angela Peinado; Hannah, Fred and Shirley Redekop; Maricela Jimenez; and Pierre Shantz. (Photo courtesy of Shirley Redekop)

May 12th

CANADA AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: Walking for Indigenous Rights.

CPTnet 

12 May 2017 

CANADA AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: Walking for Indigenous Rights.

by CPT Canada 

The black and white Pilgrimage for Indigenous Rights flag waves beneath the sky-scrapers in down-town Toronto. A group of approximately 30 people have been walking for nearly a week. Battling rain, cold, sun and traffic, and ranging from 11 months to 86 years, the walkers bring on looks and questions from folks passing by. Toronto is not foreign to demonstrations or actions, yet there is something different about this group. Its steady focus and determination draw the attention of a local freelance journalist who spontaneously joins the walk for an hour. “What are you folks walking for he asks?” 

The Pilgrimage for Indigenous Rights, organized by CPT Indigenous Peoples Solidarity and Mennonite Church Canada, is a 600km walk from Kitchener to Ottawa in support of the full adoption and implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).  While the Canadian government signed onto UNDRIP in 2016 there has been few changes in regards to federal policy or material conditions on the ground. 

Bandera del peregrinaje 

May 11th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) A week in photos May 2 - 8

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) A week in photos  May 2 - 8

 

 
 

Child detentions

 
Pictured here: Many young Palestinian men and boys were targeted by Israeli forces this week who accuse them of throwing stones in the clashes last week.  In the above photo, a 14-year-old boy from a village outside of al-Khalil/Hebron was on his way with two of his friends to pray at Ibrahimi mosque when soldiers detained him for over an hour, questioned him, and blindfolded him before taking him into the military base.  Below, a 16-year-old boy from the Old City was taken by Israeli soldiers behind the military gate and detained for 20 minutes.  

(May 1 & 6, 2017)

May 10th

Prayers for Peacemakers. 10 May 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers. 10 May 2017

On the first day of May most countries commemorate the International Worker's Day or the Labor Day. Millions of people take to the streets and march for their rights. They demand better and just conditions to carry out their jobs. 

When we sit at the table, when we get dressed, when we go to bed, when we go to our places of study, work or worship, when we buy food, when we feel sick and need a doctor, even when we make banners for a protest... Many people have worked hard to make these activities possible. And how many of them have been exploited, abused or forced by people or circumstances to do it?

Let us pray for each and every worker on this planet. Let us pray for respectful and just conditions for all to carry out their work activities. Let us pray, and work for change, for a fair wage and for the end of all forms of slavery. Let us pray for all mothers to be able to receive adequate maternity leave. Let us pray for all children so that they can enjoy their childhood instead of exploitative work. Let us pray for both women and men so they can receive equal salary for same work and thus overcome the economic gap.

Psalm 128:2 You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.

Misael Payares, a leader of the farming community of Las Pavas' nonviolent resistance

Misael Payares, a leader of the farming community of Las Pavas' nonviolent resistance. Photo credit: CPT Colombia.

May 5th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) A week in photos April 25 - May 1

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) A week in photos April 25 - May 1

 
 

Sheep Shearing

 
Pictured here: Sheikh Suleiman shears one of his flock early Tuesday morning.  The Bedouin community of Umm al-Khair is a nomadic people from the South Hebron Hills that have been systematically displaced for decades.  Over the past few years, the community has suffered dozens of house demolitions by the Israeli forces.  The community has expressed on their facebook pagethat "the sad thing about this is that the residents are woken every day with the possibility that the civil administration will demolish their homes.  What is even more tragic is that the children of Khirbet Umm al-Khair will be homeless again". 

(April 25, 2017)

April 28th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) A week in photos April 18 - 24

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) A week in photos April 18 - 24

 
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Segregated Traffic

 
Pictured here: Israeli Border Police hold up several vehicles at Bab Al-Baladiyeh to ID check and search the cars and passengers.  Any vehicle is considered suspicious and subject to searches, especially those with Israeli license plates as they are assumed to be stolen. The colour-coded license plates (green for Palestinian's, white for Israeli's) which determine where you can and cannot drive, are just another indicator of apartheid. 

(April 17, 2017)

April 27th

Prayers for Peacemakers. 27 April 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers. 27 April 2017

Today let us lift in our prayers those who "pray with their feet" and advocate for the rights of the Indigenous peoples. On 23 April, a group of mainly Christians has set out on a 600 km (around 375 miles) long pilgrimage through the Canadian province of Ontario. CPT Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Team co-organizes the pilgrimage.        

Let us pray that the eyes, ears and hearts of lawmakers and settlers of Canada and around the world be opened and embrace that to which God calls us: truth, reconciliation and justice.  

Pilgrimage 2

Learn more about the pilgrimage and ways to join and support it.