Archive - 2008

November 29th

AT-TUWANI UPDATE: September-October 2008

Tuesday 14 October 2008
During afternoon school patrol, the escort did not accompany the schoolchildren along the complete route.  Two adult settlers shouted, chased, and threw stones at the children.  (See 15 October CPTnet release, “AT-TUWANI: Israeli military escort fails again protect Palestinian children from settler attacks,” http://www.cpt.org/cptnet/2008/10/15/tuwani-israeli-military-escort-fails-again-protect-palestinian-children-settler-at.)…


Thursday 30 October 2008
The team visited Umm Al Kher and learned that Bedouin of the village had moved to the area in 1948 when the Israeli authorities expelled them from their land near Beersheva.  An old man in the village spoke to the CPTers about the Israeli soldiers who had demolished their homes, saying, “Where is the democracy?  Do they accept what happens to children here to happen to their children?  What have these children done to Israeli children?”

AT-TUWANI: Villagers successfully plow “lost” land

On 21 and 22 November, the villagers of At-Tuwani successfully plowed fields to which Israeli settlers and soldiers had denied them access for as long as nine years.  The villagers, as they do each planting season, organized themselves and their relatives from the nearby town of Yatta to plow and plant the valley of Khoruba with wheat and barley.  Palestinians undertake these plantings in an organized fashion, with large numbers of people, in order to prevent attacks from Israeli settlers.  Settlers from the nearby illegal outpost of Havat Ma'on hope to expand into these areas, and have already taken a small plot of land at the top of Khoruba valley.

November 28th

CHICAGO/TORONTO: Christian Peacemaker Teams begins three-month project in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is beginning a three-month project based in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) city of Goma.  A team of four CPTers will arrive there in early December 2008. Groupe Martin Luther King, a Goma human rights organization, has invited CPT to join them in their work of promoting nonviolence and conflict resolution, monitoring human rights, and providing a peaceful presence in the conflict zone and the camps for internally displaced persons.

November 26th

AT-TUWANI REFLECTION: Grass, tea, and shepherds—signs of life


K. had kept his flock out an unusually long time this morning.  The sheep and goats were probably happy because an inch of grass had grown in some places due to the recent rain.  Because it was the first rain of the season, however, the grass remained just short enough that the sheep appeared to have a tough time eating it.  Their grazing attempts reminded me of eating a pomegranate.  You exert so much effort to get those little kernels out, and when you eventually get them out and eat them, they don’t even put a dent in your hunger.

Prayers for Peacemakers, Wed., Nov. 26, 2008

PRAYERS FOR PEACEMAKERS, Wed., Nov. 26, 2008

Pray for the Christian Peacemaker Team on its way to Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo at the invitation of local human rights groups. Resource-based conflict in this region has led to the death and displacement of millions.

Doug Pritchard
Christian Peacemaker Teams
Toronto, Canada

November 25th

COLOMBIA: Indigenous peoples join "La Minga" and march on Bogota


Thousands of representatives of Colombia's Indigenous peoples have been marching toward Bogota since 10 October.  The mobilization, called "La Minga" began in the Cauca region of Colombia, home to many of Colombia's Indigenous peoples.  "La Minga" refers to a gathering of all the peoples, and Indigenous leaders only call for it when something important needs addressing.

November 24th

Barriere Lake, QC: Barriere Lake Algonquins face riot squad again


On 19 November 2008, for the second time in as many months, the Barriere Lake Algonquin community blockaded Provincial Highway 117, a busy resource distribution route used by Canadian logging companies and other industries.  The Quebec Provincial police—Suerte Québec (SQ)—again responded with excessive force. 

Starting at 7:00 a.m., approximately 100 Algonquins and twenty settler (non-indigenous) supporters constructed with downed trees a series of four blockades over a fifteen-kilometer stretch of Hwy 117, which includes the entrance to the Barriere Lake Reserve.  Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) maintained a human rights observer presence at the blockades and on the road leading to the reserve from Highway 117.

November 22nd

IRAQ REFLECTION: Twice displaced

in:
It’s called Kani Spi, after the white spring that flows from the cliff below the snow-capped mountains on the Iraq/Iran border.  Mahmoud and his two sons, standing by the gushing spring, pointed to the meadow below and the ruins of a mill where they used to grind their wheat for bread before 1977—the year Saddam Hussein destroyed their village.

November 21st

AT-TUWANI REFLECTION: Breaking bread with friends


“I am sorry Janet, I will not be able to offer you tea and bread,” Khalil told me.  “The settlers killed my donkey and took everything in the bag.”

We were sitting on Khoruba Hill, where we often sit with Khalil, a young Palestinian shepherd.  Most days we accompany him as he makes his way over the hills with his flock and his donkey.  The route from his home to Khoruba passes within sight of the Israeli settler outpost of Havat Ma’on.  Each day he leads his sheep on paths where his father and grandfather walked, on land coveted by the settlers.  As he leads his sheep, he watches for Israeli settlers or soldiers who regularly chase him off the land.

November 20th

COLOMBIA URGENT ACTION: Oppose the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement


The Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is likely to come before Parliament late this fall or early winter.  Canadian citizens should oppose its ratification and any notion of pushing it through without a Parliamentary vote.

The signing of a Free Trade Agreement with Colombia at this time would make Canada and Canadians complicit in the perpetuation and exacerbation of on-going violence and injustice in Colombia.  As Canadians, we must insist that our government promote peace and justice in Colombia—not encourage, reward or lend legitimacy to the policies of the current Colombian administration.  Instead, the Canadian government should firmly pressure and assist it to take the necessary steps towards creating the conditions for justice, peace, and prosperity for all Colombians.