Christian Peacemaker Teams - Turn your Faith into Action for Peace https://cpt.org/ en “We are unable to go outside freely and without fear”:  Civilian impacts of the new military bases on Zine Asterokan https://cpt.org/cptnet/2020/06/29/we-are-unable-go-outside-freely-and-without-fear-civilian-impacts-new-military <span>“We are unable to go outside freely and without fear”:  Civilian impacts of the new military bases on Zine Asterokan</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/26" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kathy Kern</span></span> <span>Mon, 06/29/2020 - 10:25</span> <div><p>29 June 2020</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="text-align-center"><a href="https://cptik.org/s/We-are-unable-to-go-outside-freely-and-without-fear-English.pdf"><b>PDF</b></a></p> <p><b>Summary</b></p> <p>The construction of new military bases by the Kurdistan Peshmerga Forces near the town of Warte in March 2020 and the following Turkish Air Force cross-border bombardments of the area in April and May are escalating local residents’ fear of further violence and a possible outbreak of war in the region.&nbsp;</p> <p>The construction of the bases has threatened the security of local residents as well as the economic stability of the region.</p> <p><b>Location and Political and Historical Context</b></p> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="696" src="/sites/default/files/Zine%2BAsterokan%2BMap.jpg" width="750" /></p> <h6>A map detailing the location of the new military base in relation to the towns of Warte and Shawre, Erbil and the borders of Turkey and Iran.</h6> <p>Warte is located in the Rawanduz district of Iraqi Kurdistan, approximately 50 km to the west of the Iranian border and 150 km south of the Turkish border. Warte is surrounded by three mountains: Asterokan, Hallamund, and Karokh.&nbsp;</p> <p>Due to the landscapes and weather, Warte is considered to be among top tourist locations of Iraqi Kurdistan. Tourism contributes significantly to the local economy, as does agriculture and animal husbandry. Approximately 500 families live in the Warte area.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Shawre valley, which lies to the south of Warte and falls under the administration of Ranya, is home to approximately 1,200 families. The main sources of its residents’ livelihoods are agriculture, fruit orchards, vineyards and animal husbandry.&nbsp;</p> <p>The military bases have been built on the Zine Asterokan Mountain range, which forms a geographical boundary between Shawre and Warte, as well as a political boundary between the Sulaimani and Erbil governorates. An important road, which connects the two governorates and two regions within Iraqi Kurdistan, passes over the Zine Asterokan Mountain range.&nbsp;</p> <p>In the 1970s, Kurdish armed groups used the mountains surrounding Warte as strongholds in their fight against the Iraqi regime. Following the establishment of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in 1992, the Shawre and Warte regions were battlegrounds of the 1994-1998 civil war between Kurdish factions. After the war, the border between the spheres of influence of the two main Kurdish political parties, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Kurdistan Democratic Party (PDK), was established on Zine Asterokan.&nbsp; The parties left the mountain range without any military bases and established security checkpoints in the valleys on both sides of the range.&nbsp;</p> <p>Since the 1990s, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) guerrilla members have used the Asterokan and surrounding mountains to move between their bases in the nearby Qandil Mountains and other locations.</p> <p><b>Timeline of the Construction of the Military Bases</b></p> <p>On 18 March 2020, under the pretext of enforcing the lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the KRG Ministry of Peshmerga stationed a sizable military force on Zine Asterokan under PDK leadership.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Two days later a Peshmerga force under the control of the PUK established another base on the same mountain two kilometers away.</p> <p>In response to these two new military bases, the PKK stationed their own fighters in an outpost between the two new Peshmerga bases.</p> <p><b>Immediate Impact of Turkish Airstrikes on Civilians</b></p> <h6><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="535" src="/sites/default/files/Warte%2Breport.jpg" width="686" /></h6> <h6>Smoke and dust rising from a Turkish airstrike on Zine Asterokan Mountain.</h6> <p>On 14 April&nbsp; the Turkish Air Force (TAF) started bombing Zine Asterokan Mountain. From April to May they bombed the area a total of six times. The local media reported that the bombings were targeting members of the PKK and that they wounded several members of the Peshmerga that were stationed at their base. The surrounding land used by the local community was severely damaged in the bombings. A shepherd from Shawre Valley told CPT that the warplanes bombed a shelter and the land that their family uses to raise their livestock and thus destroyed the primary source of the family’s yearly income.&nbsp;</p> <p>Residents of the area told CPT that since the airstrikes started, they have observed flights of Turkish warplanes and/or heard drones on a daily basis. Warte, Shawre and the nearby city of Ranya are home to many families who fled their villages from the Turkish and Iranian cross-border attacks in the past. Some of them have lost relatives in those attacks. The Warte and Shawre areas were considered safe for civilians but the bombings and ongoing patrolling of fighter jets and drones have shattered this feeling of security.&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Lasting Impacts</b></p> <p>From the interviews that Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) conducted with residents of both Warte sub-district and Shawre Valley, it has become evident that the presence of the new military bases and the Turkish bombardments have critically disrupted the routine life of the local residents. In addition to destroying their previous feeling of security, the bases have damaged the economic stability of the region.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>A resident of the Warte area told CPT,&nbsp;</p> <blockquote> <p><i>During summer much wild vegetation, like gundelia, arum, mushroom and rhubarb, grows on the mountains around Warte. Collecting these plants and selling them is one of the important income sources of many families in these areas. Our family has seven members and I am the only one who receives a government salary. Due to the fear of being bombed by the Turkish drones and jets flying over the area, we could not collect any of these plants this year. On top of this, the government has not paid our salaries for four months. This has caused a terrible financial crisis for us. But worse than that, is the fact we are unable to go outside freely and without fear, as we are always expecting to be bombed."&nbsp;</i></p> </blockquote> <p>Another important livelihood for the people of Warte and the villages of Shawre Valley is raising animals. Annually, in the middle of spring, villagers take their livestock to the highlands of Zine Asterokan to graze. They stay until the early autumn due to the favorable weather and presence of grass in the area. This year many of the shepherding families have not been able to take their livestock to the highlands, fearing the bombardment by Turkish warplanes and drones. As a consequence, many families have had to sell their animals for much lower prices than the usual market value.</p> <p>Tourism is another major source of income for the residents of Warte. The spectacular natural views have long brought tens of thousands of tourists from other parts of Iraq to visit the resorts of the area.&nbsp;</p> <p>A local resident&nbsp; told CPT,&nbsp;</p> <blockquote> <p><i>We were living solely on the income of our summer resorts, we did not need any other sources of income. But because of the military bases stationed on Zine Asterokan Mountain and the Turkish warplanes flying over the area, even after the lifting of the lockdown imposed because of COVID-19, people have not come here because they do not see the resorts as a safe and secure place for tourism. We are the victims of battles, wars and bombardments. We ask for nothing, just a life away from war and the roaring of fighter jets.</i></p> </blockquote> <p><b>Possibility of Further Military Escalation&nbsp;</b></p> <p>A civil society activist told CPT,&nbsp;</p> <blockquote> <p><i>Contrary to the KRG's claim that this military base has been established temporarily to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the base will most likely remain on the mountain permanently. People in the area are watching trucks carrying industrial materials for permanent constructions going up the mountain.&nbsp;</i></p> </blockquote> <p>Local residents told CPT that several Turkish agents have been seen around Zine Asterokan and the military base of the Ministry of Peshmerga.&nbsp;</p> <p>A resident from Warte, who had gone to Zine Asterokan in April to harvest wild plants, told CPT,&nbsp;</p> <blockquote> <p><i>My sister-in-law and I were on our way back from the mountain when we saw two men in civilian clothes, both wearing hats. One of them was scanning the mountain with binoculars and the other had a two-way radio in his hand. We greeted them, but they were embarrassed and did not respond. They spoke to each other in Turkish, so we did not understand them. Fearing that we would be arrested and be accused of telling other people about seeing them, we returned to Warte by a different route.</i></p> </blockquote> <p>Residents of the area express a growing suspicion and fear&nbsp;that the establishment of the military bases on Zine Asterokan is the beginning of a new Turkish offensive against the PKK. Even though the Turkish military operates more than 30 bases and outposts within the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, this would have been the first Turkish base in this area and the first one so close&nbsp;to the PKK’s headquarters in Qandil.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Response of Local Residents</b></p> <p>According to the local residents, dismantling the bases is the only way for a return to a peaceful life Warte and Shawre. The people of Shawre Valley, the Warte sub-district, and other civil society activists from the region, organized four peaceful protests demanding that all armed groups, including the KRG military, abandon their bases and leave the area.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>On 19 April, representatives of 70 villages, accompanied by civil society activists gathered in front of the military bases and called for peace talks. The commander of the military force met with the protestors in the base. By the end of the meeting the Minister of Peshmerga, who joined the meeting via phone, and the commander were both promising that the military base on Zine Asterokan would be removed soon.&nbsp;<img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="561" src="/sites/default/files/95097175_3002726179810600_2921258702574977024_n%2B(1)_0.jpg" width="750" /></p> <h6>Protesters gather on the road and speak to media, after they are stopped by security forces on 29 April.</h6> <p>However, these promises have not been kept and further attempts at demonstrating against the base were stalled.</p> <p>In the third protest organised on 29 April, the KRG security forces prevented a group of protesters from meeting and marching together to Zine Asterokan. The father of two people killed in a Turkish bombardment stood in front of the security forces and media that were present and, shedding tears, he said, "I lost two children. I don't want the same thing to happen to other families."</p> <p><b>Recommendations</b></p> <p>CPT is concerned with the grave risks and disruptions that the establishment of the KRG Peshmerga military bases created for the local residents of Warte and Shawre, who are already struggling to recover from the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is CPT’s understanding that the bases, and the consequent PKK and Turkish military operations, pose a serious threat to the lives and livelihoods of local residents and exacerbate the possibility of further escalating violence in the region.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>CPT calls on the Kurdistan Regional Government to ensure that local residents’ lives and the economy are protected and prioritized.&nbsp;</p> <p>Together with the local residents, CPT calls for the dismantling of the bases and the withdrawal of all military forces from Zine Asterokan.&nbsp;</p> <p>CPT calls on the Turkish government to cease all military operations near the Warte area and Shawre Valley as they threaten civilian lives and seriously disrupt the livelihoods of 1,700 families.</p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1406" hreflang="en">Iraq</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1408" hreflang="en">Kurdistan</a></div> </div> </div> Mon, 29 Jun 2020 15:25:56 +0000 Kathy Kern 12377 at https://cpt.org CPT’s Peacemaker Corps training POSTPONED indefinitely https://cpt.org/cptnet/2020/06/26/cpts-peacemaker-corps-training-postponed-indefinitely <span>CPT’s Peacemaker Corps training POSTPONED indefinitely</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/26" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kathy Kern</span></span> <span>Fri, 06/26/2020 - 12:31</span> <div><p>26 June 2020</p> <p>Due to the uncertainties associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, Christian Peacemaker Teams has <i>POSTPONED INDEFINITELY</i> the Peacemaker Corps Training originally scheduled to take place from 12 November – 11 December 2020.</p> <p>We will continue to assess conditions worldwide in order to determine when we can hold the training in a way that maximizes <b><i>safety</i></b> for everyone (local hosts, partners, teams, training participants and trainers) and <b><i>inclusion</i></b> of all candidates coming from many places around the globe.&nbsp; We will announce new training dates and application deadlines as soon as we can meet our safety and inclusion criteria.</p> <p>We recognize that cancelling many CPT Delegations during the pandemic creates a challenge for fulfilling this training prerequisite.&nbsp; Improved conditions that allow delegations to resume will be an indicator for scheduling a future Peacemaker Corps Training.</p> <p>In the meantime, there are many ways to stay engaged and support the work of CPT.&nbsp; Visit <a href="https://cptaction.org/">cptaction.org</a> to find informative webinars and important action campaigns.&nbsp; The Palestine program will continue welcoming interns whenever their work on the ground resumes.&nbsp; Please send your <a href="https://drive.google.com/open?id=1eabQUAKIHB7HseH0RYc9-hB4iu24nFEE">internship application</a> to Program Support Coordinator Mona el-Zuhairi at <a href="mailto:monazuhairi@cpt.org">monazuhairi@cpt.org</a>.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>CPT receives <a href="https://cpt.org/participate/join/training">applications</a> for membership in the Peacemaker Corps year round.&nbsp; Visit our website to find out more about becoming a CPTer.</p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1400" hreflang="en">CPT International</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1428" hreflang="en">Training</a></div> </div> </div> Fri, 26 Jun 2020 17:31:18 +0000 Kathy Kern 12376 at https://cpt.org CPT INTERNATIONAL: Enough is enough—CPT’s Administrative Director shares why she is attending protests https://cpt.org/cptnet/2020/06/22/cpt-international-enough-enough-cpts-administrative-director-shares-why-she <span>CPT INTERNATIONAL: Enough is enough—CPT’s Administrative Director shares why she is attending protests</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/26" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kathy Kern</span></span> <span>Mon, 06/22/2020 - 13:03</span> <div><p>22 June 2020</p> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="467" src="/sites/default/files/11011474_1569936129939829_2633328383985425508_n.jpg" width="700" /></p> <h6><em>Muriel Schmid</em></h6> <p>On 25 May 2020, 46-year old George Floyd was killed by a police officer. As one officer kneeled on his neck, two others held him down while one other officer stood by. Sadly, Floyd's death is not an anomaly. Police have been killing black people with impunity since the time of slavery in the United States. In response to Floyd's death people across the world have joined demonstrations calling for an end to police brutality and declaring in a unified voice, "Black Lives Matter." Muriel Schmid, CPT's Administrative Director, has been attending demonstrations in Louisville, Kentucky. Below is an interview with her.</p> <p><b>As the Administrative Director for CPT, you have been attending protests in Louisville, Kentucky. Why have you chosen to go to these protests?</b><br /> I believe this is part of our CPT commitment to peace and justice and dismantling structures of oppression. Several of us, in different locations, have joined the protests alongside local grassroots movements. This is what we do! Around the world, we stand in solidarity with people resisting oppressive structures. From the streets of Colombia, Palestine, Iraqi Kurdistan, and standing in solidarity with Wet'suwet'en, this year, CPTers have shown up in protests to declare "enough is enough”—racism and oppression must end.&nbsp;</p> <p><b>What have you witnessed at the protests?</b><br /> So far, I have seen only peaceful protests, even though I am aware there&nbsp;have been a few violent confrontations&nbsp;between protesters and the police. The protests have a special resonance here in Louisville. On March 13, Breonna Taylor was shot and killed by the police in a no-knock intrusion at her boyfriend's apartment.&nbsp;</p> <p id="1">The city deployed the state police and the National Guard after some looting in the city; it was astounding to see the number of heavily armed law enforcement officers carrying their weapons, poised and ready. Clashes took place with the National Guard present, but when the authorities withdrew the police force and the National Guard left, things became peaceful. The risk for escalation when law enforcement is present is tenfold. It makes me reflect on CPT's commitment and understanding of nonviolence and how we have been applying nonviolent tactics for more than 30 years. I am glad to know that CPTers are attending protests.&nbsp;</p> <p>At times, I observed some tension between POCs and white protesters. It is hard for white people to let go of control and stand in solidarity – to stand in the back, or act when needed – demonstrating active allyship. Or when white people call attention to themselves, rather than handing the mike over, through their social media posts in performative allyship. It is an invaluable opportunity for CPTers to reflect on allyship and what it looks like in real life. It reminds me of our journey from "getting in the way" to "building partnerships to transform violence and oppression." What does partnership look like in this context? An<a href="https://sojo.net/articles/our-white-friends-desiring-be-allies?fbclid=IwAR1asUVAwgStqNuEQJU-sFkFt00aNdGo8awbhCrMmKMrGfYPMOvwiDZZX8Q"> article</a> in <i>Sojourners</i> refers to privilege as debt. How white people decide to make reparation or address their debt is the challenge.&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Why is it essential to have CPT involved in these protests?</b><br /> To bear witness! Several people outside the U.S. have asked me how violent and dangerous were the protests. All they're seeing are violent confrontations. In my experience, it has often been the case that foreign media like to portray the negative sensationalism of the U.S. and, more rarely, its positive side. We need to talk about peaceful protests, partnerships, and allyship; and amplify the voices of the black community the best we can, here and beyond our borders.</p> <p><b>As the Administrative Director of an international peace organization, do you see points of intersection between what is happening in the U.S. and countries where CPT has its programs?&nbsp;</b><br /> Yes. Movements of nonviolent civil resistance have a lot in common with each other globally and even learn from each other. The current organizers here in the U.S. have learned from organizers in Hong Kong and other places. Systemic racism and structures of oppressions look alike, and the degree of militarization in our so-called democracies is very similar from one country to another. We often think of the extremes, like the military occupation of Palestine or the presence of armed groups in Colombia and Iraqi Kurdistan, and we forget that the U.S. is highly militarized. The moment people hit the streets, we see it. If one travels to the border zone with Mexico, the militarization of the U.S. territory is unambiguously visible at all times.</p> <p><b>What is your message for the CPT constituency in the U.S.?</b><br /> I am thinking mostly of white people. How do we continuously pay attention to our privileges, and are we aware of how they interfere in our activism? How do we build white accountability in our circles? What privileges do we have in today's context? We are living in a unique time, and we need to take this opportunity to be engaged in this conversation and challenge ourselves.</p> <p><strong><a href="https://cpt.org/cptnet/2020/06/08/christian-peacemaker-teams-supports-defundthepolice">Read CPT's statement on defunding the police </a></strong></p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1400" hreflang="en">CPT International</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1429" hreflang="en">Undoing Oppressions</a></div> </div> </div> Mon, 22 Jun 2020 18:03:53 +0000 Kathy Kern 12374 at https://cpt.org AEGEAN MIGRANT SOLIDARITY: The fire awaiting us https://cpt.org/cptnet/2020/06/19/aegean-migrant-solidarity-fire-awaiting-us <span>AEGEAN MIGRANT SOLIDARITY: The fire awaiting us</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/26" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kathy Kern</span></span> <span>Fri, 06/19/2020 - 12:21</span> <div><p>19 June 2020</p> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="422" src="/sites/default/files/kurdistan-2788961_960_720-2-1.jpg" width="750" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>by Rûnbîr Serkepkanî</p> <p>I had a video call with a friend of mine a few days ago. He was standing outside the house where he lived. His face was tanned, his smile wide and his words full of humour. When I asked him what had happened with his case, he talked about the colour of the stamp on his<i> Ausweis</i>. * It was still red. He could still not go aboard the big ferry that would take him away from the island.&nbsp;</p> <p>Since I met him, I have travelled three or four times to Sulaimaniya, where he comes from. I have travelled a couple dozen times from the airport that is a few kilometers from where he lives. I have gotten married and become a father.&nbsp; Since I last met him, his asylum application has been rejected at least five times by all the decision-making bodies. He has been interrogated by the police many times. He has been imprisoned for three months, waiting for a deportation that thankfully didn’t happen. His youngest son, once a shy traumatised child who did not speak well, now speaks both the Kurmanci and Sorani dialects of Kurdish, knows a bit of Arabic, can climb trees and catch fish from the sea. Since the last time I met him, his daughter has started speaking Californian English. She has an imaginary friend on her laptop, whom she calls her best friend. His wife has given birth to their youngest daughter, who can now walk around on her own.</p> <p>I remember when I visited him in prison as an interpreter for his lawyer. I was telling him to be patient. He was telling me that he had not done anything, that he was innocent, that he could not stand the dirty toilets. He was telling me that he would rather die than be away from his family. I was going to the prison with the lawyer so many times, and every time there were empty promises that he would be released. One time the judge was sick, another time he was on vacation, and another time he postponed my friend’s case. He had to stay inside for three months in Moria concentration camp’s pre-removal centre. He was afraid that they would deport him without his family.</p> <p>Meanwhile we would tell his wife not to go outside the camp so much, not to go to Mytilini so much, because if the police caught her, then they would deport all of them together. Without saying anything, she went to the prison by herself to meet her husband and luckily they did not catch her.&nbsp;</p> <p>After he was released he was not given any papers that would tell the police he was not a <i>vogelfrei</i>,† whom they could arrest if they had enough spaces in the pre-removal centre and then deport.&nbsp;</p> <p>I really enjoyed the times when I was with them in their little house without talking about borders, without having a lawyer between us who told us the news about the future that the authorities who were dictating for him and his whole family without their involvement or consent. I really enjoyed the times when we would sit together, drink cups of black tea with two tea bags in it, so that it was as black as the tea that one would drink in Sulaimaniya. I really enjoyed teasing the small children, cracking Kurdish jokes and talking about the situation in Kurdistan, or just the weather or the last crazy things that his kids had done or said.&nbsp;</p> <p>I really enjoyed those times when we were sitting without any boundaries between us, without any fence, any prison guards or bars between us. I really enjoyed those times when my Swedish passport and his red-stamped <i>Ausweis</i> did not divide us, the times when we were both from the Zagros Mountains, speaking the same unchained words in our mother tongue.</p> <p>I am hopeful for the time we will meet again in the future. I hope there is a fire waiting for us somewhere, around which we will all convene. I hope that the black kettle is going to boil full of black tea and dried roses over the fire. I hope that we will be sitting there under the stars of the summer night while our kids listen to the stories we tell them, while taking sips from <i>istikan</i> cups. I hope that there won’t be anything between us that will separate us. That we will be free and equal around the same fire, under the same stars.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>*Identification Card<br /> †<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vogelfrei">Outlaw, vagabond or pauper</a></p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1413" hreflang="en">Migration</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1445" hreflang="en">Lesvos</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1402" hreflang="en">Europe</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1408" hreflang="en">Kurdistan</a></div> </div> </div> Fri, 19 Jun 2020 17:21:09 +0000 Kathy Kern 12372 at https://cpt.org Urgent Action: Turkey bombing villages in Kurdistan https://cpt.org/cptnet/2020/06/18/urgent-action-turkey-bombing-villages-kurdistan <span>Urgent Action: Turkey bombing villages in Kurdistan</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/4" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Caldwell</span></span> <span>Thu, 06/18/2020 - 15:45</span> <div><p>On Sunday, June 14, the Turkish military bombed 81 locations in Iraqi Kurdistan, allegedly targeting Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq’s border areas and disputed territories. This region is also home to CPT’s partners, who live and farm in this mountainous region with their families, communities, and migrant farmers.</p> <p>On Monday, the operation codenamed Claw Eagle was condemned by Iraq’s Joint Operations Command as a “violation of Iraqi sovereignty.” According to the statement, 18 Turkish jets entered 193km deep into Iraqi territory and targeted the areas of Sinjar, Makhmour, Gwer, and Erbil.</p> <p>In the evening, people in Sulaimani organized a protest to condemn the attacks in Makhmour and Sinjar.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Mount Sinjar is a war zone right now. Turkish fighter jets are bombing multiple locations. Over 150 Yazidi families had just returned to their homes. When will <a href="https://twitter.com/IraqiGovt?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@IraqiGovt</a> &amp; the international community apply some courage &amp; political will to resolving security challenges in Sinjar?</p> — Nadia Murad (@NadiaMuradBasee) <a href="https://twitter.com/NadiaMuradBasee/status/1272344109248888838?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 15, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Local media reported collaboration between the Turkish military and Iran, who were simultaneously shelling the area around Haji Omaran, a town located along the Iranian border, on Tuesday. On the same day, Turkey deployed special forces accompanied by ground and air support.</p> <p>In the bombing of Zakho on Tuesday, the mayor of Batifa told local news stations that the damage to residents’ homes was so severe that eight families were displaced.</p> <p>On Wednesday, June 17, we received the first reports of civilian casualties from our CPT partners. They said that Turkish airstrikes have killed shepherds in the Bradost Mountain area. This situation is rapidly unfolding.</p> <p>Grave disregard for civilian life cannot take place if people are watching. Help us send the message and hold the Turkish government accountable for this injustice. Spread the word and encourage others to take action.</p> <p><iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/u4OUBBHKG6s?start=30" width="560"></iframe></p> <h2>Three things you can do. Take action now!</h2> <p><strong>Call the Turkish Embassy Call the Turkish Embassy or Consulate nearest you and demand that they stop bombing civilians in Iraqi Kurdistan. </strong></p> <p>Find the contact information for the <a href="http://www.mfa.gov.tr/turkish-representations.en.mfa">Turkish Embassy and Consulate here</a>.</p> <p>Here is a sample of what you could say:</p> <p><em>Civilians are living in the areas you are attacking in Iraqi Kurdistan. You have already killed children and displaced thousands of families in these places. People living in these areas are demanding that you stop destroying their homes. Stop military operations and seek diplomatic peace talks. Over 30 years of bombing Iraqi Kurdistan has not brought peace. A nonviolent diplomatic solution is needed today. </em></p> <p><a href="https://cptaction.org/urgent-action-turkey-bombing-villages-in-kurdistan/"><strong>Sign the letter to support the Hear us now: Stop the bombing! campaign. </strong></a></p> <p><a href="https://cpt.org/donate"><strong>Support CPT's peacemaking efforts. Donate.</strong></a></p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1431" hreflang="en">Urgent Action</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1408" hreflang="en">Kurdistan</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1406" hreflang="en">Iraq</a></div> </div> </div> Thu, 18 Jun 2020 20:45:52 +0000 Caldwell 12371 at https://cpt.org Christian Peacemaker Teams supports #DefundThePolice https://cpt.org/cptnet/2020/06/08/christian-peacemaker-teams-supports-defundthepolice <span>Christian Peacemaker Teams supports #DefundThePolice</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/4" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Caldwell</span></span> <span>Mon, 06/08/2020 - 13:04</span> <div><p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="600" src="/sites/default/files/2020-05/Defund%20-%20M4BL.png" width="600" /></p> <p>We at Christian Peacemaker Teams are enraged by the Minneapolis police officers’ murder of George Floyd, less than a month after the shootings of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. We grieve as we witness the pandemic of police brutality take Black life in a time when Black citizens of the United States are four times more likely to die of COVID-19 than their white neighbors. These two causes of death are connected. Such terror would not be possible without layers of anti-Black racism and white supremacy.</p> <p>The courage of protestors with raised fists inspires us. They challenge a system of violence that has placed little value on the lives of our Black siblings; we must join them to shut it down.</p> <p>The United States increases its military budget every year while cutting funding on public health. Meanwhile, members of Black communities face a militarized police force that institutionally targets, profiles, incarcerates, and kills them.&nbsp; They also face a substandard healthcare system that shortens their lives because implicit bias against them results in inadequate care.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Support the movement to defund the police and shift resources to the building of healthy communities and a vibrant Black future.</strong></p> <p>All of us at Christian Peacemaker Teams are committed to hard conversations, self-reflection, and the often painful but liberating process of understanding our complicity in anti-Black racism. Our work is founded on the belief that oppression leads to violence, and that challenging oppressive systems is necessary to achieving peace.</p> <p>We invite all white people and non-Black people of color, to join us and support the leadership of Black movements for liberation and to take the time to work on dismantling racism within yourselves, your families, and communities. This work is essential for our collective liberation.</p> <p>Join us in supporting the demands of the<a href="https://medium.com/@m4blcomms/defunding-police-what-it-takes-to-end-police-violence-bb164a70e89b"> <strong>Movement for Black Lives</strong></a><strong> </strong>and</p> <p>demand your local officials pledge to do the following:</p> <ol> <li>Vote no on all increases on police budgets.</li> <li>Vote yes on decreasing police spending and budgets.</li> <li>Vote yes on increasing spending on healthcare, education, and community programs that keep us safe.</li> </ol> <h3><strong>Here are some things you can do:</strong></h3> <ol> <li>Sign this petition to<a href="https://blacklivesmatter.com/defundthepolice/"> <strong>Defund the Police</strong></a></li> <li><strong><a href="https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PrAq4iBNb4nVIcTsLcNlW8zjaQXBLkWayL8EaPlh0bc/preview?fbclid=IwAR2lVFxU6kWCZr3HJTi0J6ZwgTsIOWQ0G9gIHHq5cElmPk3R0enMdfmpRuY&amp;pru=AAABcqModYg*6EZGw5wLI1kgufcGPFho6A">Work on yourself</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="https://secure.actblue.com/donate/movement-4-black-lives-1">Donate</a> </strong>to support the Movement for Black Lives</li> </ol> <p>If you go out to protest, stay safe.<a href="https://cptaction.org/protest-and-police-intervention-tips-in-the-us/"> Preparedness is key</a>.</p> <p>And if you need music to support you, listen to the<a href="https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5LPHqAE1tq3wj6vFr1ZMcT?si=oaF1YQgST3-nAYyorBeO3w"> Collective Grief &amp; Healing: Nap Ministry playlist.</a></p> <p>Wear your mask, stay safe, and make your voice heard.</p> <p><strong>You are the power!</strong><br /> The Christian Peacemaker Team Family</p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1400" hreflang="en">CPT International</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1429" hreflang="en">Undoing Oppressions</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1430" hreflang="en">United States</a></div> </div> </div> Mon, 08 Jun 2020 18:04:42 +0000 Caldwell 12367 at https://cpt.org Prayers for Peacemakers 3 June 2020 | US/Mexico Borderlands https://cpt.org/cptnet/2020/06/03/prayers-peacemakers-3-june-2020-usmexico-borderlands <span>Prayers for Peacemakers 3 June 2020 | US/Mexico Borderlands</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/4" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Caldwell</span></span> <span>Wed, 06/03/2020 - 12:21</span> <div><p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="766" src="/sites/default/files/2020-05/CAME%20Mother's%20Day.jpg" width="1280" /></p> <p>Please pray for all the migrant mothers who celebrated Mother’s Day on 10 May at the CAME (Centro de Atención al Migrante Exodus) shelter in Agua Prieta, Sonora and for the children who honored them. Pray that they might have courage and patience in this time of waiting. And let us give thanks for the volunteer mothers and donors who are helping the migrants at CAME.</p> <p>Traditionally, Mother’s Day in Mexico is a big event, and that tradition did not stop for the mothers at the CAME. On Mother’s Day the children held a celebration to show gratitude to the volunteer mothers and donors. Presently, there are about 30 people at the CAME migrant shelter who, so far, are safe from the double threats of coronavirus and Mexican organized crime.</p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1422" hreflang="en">Prayers</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1396" hreflang="en">Borderlands</a></div> </div> </div> Wed, 03 Jun 2020 17:21:58 +0000 Caldwell 12366 at https://cpt.org Out of sight out of mind https://cpt.org/cptnet/2020/05/15/out-sight-out-mind <span>Out of sight out of mind </span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/4" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Caldwell</span></span> <span>Fri, 05/15/2020 - 05:40</span> <div><p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;"><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="714" src="/sites/default/files/2020-05/Manners_200418_03272.jpg" width="1000" /></p> <h6 style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent none repeat scroll 0% 0%; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">People wait in line for the daily ration of water in Shillong, India. Photo: Caldwell Manners</h6> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;"><strong>By Mona El Zuhairi</strong></p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;"><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;;">A virus didn’t differentiate between race, gender, age or class; our systems did.</span></p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;"><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;;">My colleague once told me, “Most white people have reached the point where they are blind to their privilege because they were born into institutional racism.” I would add that it is not only racism but institutionalized intersectional oppression. We live in an interconnected world; race is only one part of it.</span></p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;"><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;;">In the last few weeks, many people have been surprised by two items publicized in the media:</span></p> <ul style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;"> <li style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;; list-style-type:disc"><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;;">Statistics that have shown black people in the U.S. have a higher rate per capita of COVID-19 diagnoses than white people</span></li> <li style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;; list-style-type:disc"><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;;">Two French doctors who suggested testing COVID-19 vaccines in Africa.</span></li> </ul> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;"><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;;">Why are people surprised?&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;"><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;;">If I wanted to use&nbsp;</span><a class="_e75a791d-denali-editor-page-rtfLink" href="https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Piagets-Theory-of-Cognitive-Development_fig1_331461512" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;; color: #4a6ee0;" target="_blank"><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;; color: #4a6ee0;">Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development</span></a><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;;">&nbsp;to assess the attitude of the majority of the adult world, especially in this time of Covid-19, most people would fall in the pre-occupational stage. This developmental stage represents children who are about 2-7 years old. Children in this stage act as though the world revolves around them and, exhibit behaviors in line with the proverb “out of sight, out of mind”.</span></p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;"><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;;">White people believe that race is not part of how the world is divided anymore. They don’t see it anymore in restaurants or cinemas as people used to in the southern United States or South Africa. People of color have the same entrance now to public places, and they don’t see apartheid as clearly as it was historically.</span></p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;"><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;;">But those examples of white supremacy heritage—the division and allotting inferior resources to people who are not white—are still ruling the world. How they manifest themselves has changed, but they are still operating.</span></p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;"><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;;">For example, seventy-nine percent of African Americans had health coverage in 2009 compared to 88% of white Americans. (Russell, 2010)</span></p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;"><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;;">According to the APM Research LAB “The COVID-19 mortality rate for Black Americans is 2.8 times higher than the rate for Asians, three times higher than the rate for Latinos, and 3.6 times higher than the rate for White Americans.”</span></p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;"><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;;">In another example from China, in late January to mid-March in Guangzhou, local shops refused to provide service to black people as the percentage showed that 76% of the imported cases were from Africa. (Sun, 2020)</span></p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;"><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;;">Regarding the white public reactions toward the French doctors&nbsp;</span><a class="_e75a791d-denali-editor-page-rtfLink" href="https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/04/racism-row-french-doctors-suggest-virus-vac" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;; color: #4a6ee0;" target="_blank"><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;; color: #4a6ee0;">suggesting Covid vaccines be tested on Africans</span></a><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;;">: first, the responses were inadequate. I think white people need to start acting proactively instead of reactively toward racism. But the doctors' comments did not come out of the blue; it is a common practice by big pharmaceutical companies to maneuver around the ethics and regulations for financial reasons and not only in the face of COVID-19. In 2005, 40% of medical trials happened in developing countries. Africa attracts pharmaceutical trials for several reasons, including low access to quality healthcare, epidemiological transition, a fast-growing population, a rising middle class, and rapid economic growth. (</span><a class="_e75a791d-denali-editor-page-rtfLink" href="https://www.wemos.nl/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/JH_Wemos_Clinical" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;; color: #4a6ee0;" target="_blank"><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;; color: #4a6ee0;">WEMOS, 2017</span></a><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;;">)</span></p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;"><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;;">The time has come for everyone to rise-up and begin thinking and acting in proactive ways—not only against racism but against all types of oppression that divide the world based on absurd reasons.</span></p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1400" hreflang="en">CPT International</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1429" hreflang="en">Undoing Oppressions</a></div> </div> </div> Fri, 15 May 2020 10:40:16 +0000 Caldwell 12363 at https://cpt.org Prayers for Peacemakers, 13 May 2020 Colombia https://cpt.org/cptnet/2020/05/13/prayers-peacemakers-13-may-2020-colombia <span>Prayers for Peacemakers, 13 May 2020 Colombia</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/4" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Caldwell</span></span> <span>Wed, 05/13/2020 - 00:01</span> <div><p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="506" src="/sites/default/files/2020-05/PFP%20English.jpg" width="900" /></p> <p>Today, while some people wait at home, women caregivers and life-givers throughout our lands, cultivate with love, irrigate with perseverance, and patiently harvest the future of tomorrow.<br /> <br /> They provide food for their children, their nieces and nephews or grandchildren, but also, for ours. Food on the table has all the love of a woman. And isn't this the love of God?<br /> <br /> "Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate." - Proverbs 31-31</p> <p>--------------------</p> <p>This is part of CPT Colombia's new series #OracionesCampesinas or Prayers for Farmers. Do you have a prayer you would like to share with us? <a href="mailto:peacemakers@cpt.org?subject=Prayers for Farmers: Prayers for Peacemakers">Send it here.</a></p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1399" hreflang="en">Colombia</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1422" hreflang="en">Prayers</a></div> </div> </div> Wed, 13 May 2020 05:01:12 +0000 Caldwell 12361 at https://cpt.org TURTLE ISLAND SOLIDARITY NETWORK: From the Frontlines of the Wet’suwet’en Struggle https://cpt.org/cptnet/2020/05/03/frontlines-wetsuweten-struggle <span>TURTLE ISLAND SOLIDARITY NETWORK: From the Frontlines of the Wet’suwet’en Struggle</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/4" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Caldwell</span></span> <span>Sun, 05/03/2020 - 07:59</span> <div><p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="1000" src="/sites/default/files/wetsuweten.jpg" width="1500" /></p> <p><strong>By Natalie Maxson</strong></p> <p>It was dark when we arrived at the Gidimt’en camp outside Houston, B.C., with a trunk full of groceries and winter camping gear for everyone to share. Chuck Wright and I made the twelve-hour road trip on behalf of CPT to the site at the 27-kilometre mark along Morice West Forest Service Road in response to an invitation from Wet’suwet’en leaders for legal observers. It was evening in early February, and the camp was lit with the glow of a bonfire. The sound of people chopping firewood filled the air.&nbsp;</p> <p>“This is bush life,” said one person while we were being oriented to the camp.</p> <p>“Where do you get your drinking water from?” I asked thirstily.</p> <p>“The river gives good water,” said one supporter. I hesitantly dipped my bottle into the Wedzin Kwa (Deep River) -- a point of contention between land defenders and Coastal GasLink (CGL), the company behind the disputed natural-gas pipeline. The water was pristine and refreshing, a far cry from what First Nations under boil-water advisories experience every day.&nbsp;</p> <p>Walking into the woods that first night to reach the outhouse, I stopped in my tracks. I had the distinct feeling I was being watched. I knew the RCMP checkpoint was only one kilometre away. But this visceral feeling of being watched was different and very close. I stopped on the snowy path, my gaze directed toward the trees, and I introduced myself. I declared my intentions for being in the territory: to monitor and document police behaviour, and to do no harm.There is a presence here. This land is sacred. During our week-long stay, moments of prayer and ceremony highlighted our time at Gidimt’en camp.&nbsp;</p> <p>_______________</p> <p><strong>Join Natalie for a live webinar on May, 5, 2020: <a href="https://cptaction.org/stories-from-the-frontlines-of-the-wetsuweten-resistance/">Stories from the frontlines of the Wet’suwet’en Resistance</a></strong></p> <p>On the first day at the camp, I noticed red dresses hung up along the road.&nbsp; The red dresses are reminders of the women and girls who have been killed or gone missing on the nearby “Highway of Tears” and express distress over the risk the CGL worker camp poses to women in this community. The 2019 report of the national inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls states that there is substantial evidence that links resource extraction projects with violence against Indigenous women and girls especially where worker camps or “man camps” are established.&nbsp;</p> <p>Being on this beautiful land and meeting the people on the frontlines has transformed my engagement from one of intellectual knowledge to a deeper spiritual and physical understanding. It’s one thing to read about the region: I was inspired by the landmark Delgamuukw court case, which found that Aboriginal land rights in the area had never been extinguished by Canadian occupation and hereditary chiefs continue to have title over their traditional territory (I first read this in 1998 as a university student). But it’s another to hear first-hand stories from people about what this territory means to them. In conversation with hereditary Chief Namoks during our stay, I learned that the camps set up and occupied along the Morice Forest Service road are historic village sites. He added that the proper archaeological assessments have not been done in the areas where CGL is scheduled to work. That same week he had been in talks with CGL and provincial government representatives and reflected, “We always suspected who was calling the shots, but these meetings were the first time I actually saw industry directing government officials what to do.”</p> <p>I met a nine week old baby with big, bright eyes who smiled when I said, “What do you think of all this? All this is for you and the children to come.” I later witnessed an elder confront the RCMP officers at the checkpoint that restricted people’s access to the territory state: “We’re not doing this for us. We’re defending the land for the children to come. Not just First Nations children, all children.”</p> <p>During our time at the camp, we witnessed the overwhelming presence of heavily armed police, tactical units, helicopters and drones to defend an injunction passed to protect Coastal GasLink’s pipeline project. We witnessed RCMP restrict and detain media reporting on the situation in the territory.&nbsp; Chuck and I were arrested on February 8 along with several others when the RCMP expanded their “exclusion zone” in the area, and were held in police custody for over two days.</p> <p>Canada has not heeded the call from the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to suspend CGL’s work. The province of BC passed legislation to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in November 2019 but the province’s Premier, John Horgan, insists the pipeline will go ahead and that the application of UNDRIP will only be forward looking.&nbsp;</p> <p>It doesn’t matter how many apologies have been issued for residential schools, potlatch bans and other acts of oppression and genocide against Indigenous peoples when the reality on the ground says otherwise. This is why many are declaring, “Reconciliation is dead. Revolution is alive!”</p> <p>This movement to respect Indigenous rights, crystallized at this time by the Wet’suwet’en struggle, is an important opportunity for church and society to show up and demonstrate what justice could look like. Many churches have been committed to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action and hosting the Kairos Blanket Exercises to learn about Canada’s colonial history and their complicity in it. As we witness solidarity actions across Turtle Island (North America) in response to this struggle for Indigenous rights, faith communities have a real opportunity to step up and bravely engage in these issues, as places where people have a foundation of shared values and established relationships.</p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1484" hreflang="en">Turtle Island Solidarity Network</a></div> </div> </div> Sun, 03 May 2020 12:59:24 +0000 Caldwell 12358 at https://cpt.org