CPT International

Prayers for Peacemakers, February 3 2016

Pray for those offering education and challenge in the face of racism and slander in the media. Particularly uphold the work of Thohahente (Mohawk) and the Coalition against Racism in Mainstream Media in tracking the comments sections of online news sources, which can be offensive, toxic, and spiritually harmful. Pray for their health and wellbeing as they challenge the myths and structural oppressions perpetuated in and through many online media sources.

*Epixel for Transfiguration Sunday, February 7, 2015
Thohahente explains treaties for the billionth time

Thohahente Kim Weaver endures vitriol and ignorance to challenge assimilationist and racist myths, and to educate.

2 Corinthians 4:1 - 
Therefore, since it is by Creator's mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart. 

*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from the upcoming Sunday's  Revised Common Lectionary

1 Corinthians 13 for CPTers

 

CPTnet
2 February 2016
CPT INTERNATIONAL: I Corinthians 13 for CPTers

by Peter Haresnape

1 Corinthians 13 for CPTers

If I speak about courage and justice, and siding with the oppressed, and speaking truth to power no matter the cost, but do not speak about love... I am just a loudmouth orator, a white saviour, a shameless self-promoter.

If I am excellent at nonviolent communication, and I take great pictures, and I know all the latest anti-oppressive lingo, and I can analyse racist systems so as to dismantle them entirely, but have not love, I am nothing.

If I fully embrace the work of prophet and activist and martyr, and get dragged away by the riot police or bombed by the military of my own country, but have not love, that is no use to anyone.

Love is patient. Love survives evil, war, oppression. It remains when the teargas clears and the children go back to school. It is still there when the water is protected. Love is kind, not arrogant, not insisting on its own way, but making space for joy and truth even in the hardest circumstance.

Whether it is love between two people, or love of a person for their community, or love of a community for its land, or love of justice and peace and equity, love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

Clever words will be forgotten. The most interesting facts are subject to revision. The best sermon you've ever heard – you will forget. Right now, everything we do is flawed and inaccurate. But. One day we'll experience Truth with a Capital T. And then all this will be unnecessary.

Before I was mature, I was immature. In becoming mature, I left behind ways of speaking, thinking and reasoning that were immature.

Right now we're hearing murmurs, reading translations, seeing shadows on the wall, but one day we'll see face-to-face.

Right now, half of the time I'm guessing, but one day I will know beyond all doubt – and I will be fully known.

What remains when it is all stripped away is three things:
Faith that the flawed world as we see it is not all that there is;
Hope that the next generation will live in a better world;
and Love to give us the strength and motivation to build it.

The greatest of these is Love.

 Peter Haresnape

Want to feel the love, show the love, be the love for CPTers struggling find the best way to personify love in their own work?http://www.cpt.org/participate/donate

UNITED STATES: Former CPT Iraq, Palestine, Vieques team member goes to jail for drone resistance

 On 12 January, the National Day of Action to Stop Killer Drones, grandmother and drone resister Mary Anne Grady Flores learned that she will go back to jail for six months starting Tuesday, 19 January. Grady Flores served as an intern on the Palestine and Iraq teams and was part of Christian Peacemaker Team’s delegation campaign to stop the U.S. Navy bombing of the Puerto Rican island of Vieques.

Grady Flores had been out on appeal of a lower court convicting her of violating an order of protection. Col. Evans of the Hancock Air National Guard Base 174th Attack Wing (in Syracuse, NY), sought the order to “protect” him from nonviolent anti-drone activists.  The court charged her with violating the order because she took pictures of eight Catholics protesting the US drone assassination program at Hancock on Ash Wednesday, 13 February 2013.  Onondaga County Court Judge Miller upheld the lower court conviction. Of note is that a court acquitted all eight Catholic drone resisters because they went to uphold law, not break it.

The court and the Base have used orders of protection, typically given in domestic violence situations, in an attempt to deter protest and suppress free speech. Judge Miller also upheld a lower court ruling on the Hancock 17, seventeen nonviolent drone resisters who received orders of protection, jail time, and fines.

CPT International: A Call to Tend the Sheep--farewell thoughts from CPT´s Personnel Coordinator


Carrying with me all the privilege that CPT has taught me I cannot leave behind no matter how noble my intentions, I have patiently waited, CPT style, for an invitation to join local initiatives in Paipa, Colombia to transform violence and oppression.

Recently my wife Silvia and I joined a group of people in Paipa interested in creating a cats and dogs´ rescue and adoption center. Paipa is a town of 32000 inhabitants in the heart of the Colombian Andes, where we migrated a couple of years ago escaping the chaos of Bogotá, Colombia´s Capital city.

Adriana in the field and at home in Paipa.

Those of you who follow Colombian current events may recall Paipa as one of the epicenters of a National Campesino strike that shook the nation´s economy in August 2013. Indeed, a huge portion of Paipa´s population grows the food crops that we eat in other parts of the country.

UNITED STATES: CPT Facebook post encouraging U.S. Muslims goes viral, receives pushback on connection of “whiteness” to violence

 


The San Bernardino massacre on 2 December 2015, carried out by Tashfeen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farook, exposed U.S. Muslims to another round of Islamophobic violence and vitriol on social media.  Christian Peacemaker Teams decided to take a proactive stance the next morning by publishing the following paragraphs on Facebook:  

Dear Muslim friends, family and colleagues in the U.S., 
Because of the still unfolding ‪#‎SanBernardino mass shooting, we know this week may be difficult for you. People may make connections between your faith and culture that they did not make when Robert Dear, Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer, Dylan Roof, Adam Lanza or many other white mass shooters gunned down innocent civilians.

We want you to know we will commit ourselves this week to challenging those who make racist, ignorant generalizations about Islam and violence. We commit ourselves to drawing connections between whiteness and violence. Because God has no place in this beautiful creation for the evils of racism.

We invite our Facebook followers to leave encouraging comments for our Muslim brothers and sisters. 

By Saturday morning, the post had reached more than 280,000 people, been liked by 3400 people and shared by 1900 people.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY REFLECTION: Who is your king? Romans 13:1-7 and resisting the TPP

 

Photo courtesy CPT-Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Team. November 2015. CPTers Carrie Peters and Charles Wright were part of a CPT presence that accompanied 
and supported Haudenosaunee hunters who conducted a deer harvest in the land now known as Short Hills provincial park, in the face of protest and harassment. 
The team joined a local coalition to support the hunters and honor the treaties.

In November 2011, President Obama with then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and National Security Advisor Tom Donilon began a publicity campaign describing how the United States would “pivot” towards Asia. With the pivot emerged a secretly negotiated trade pact, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP”). 

Although called a “free trade” agreement, the TPP is not solely about trade. Of the 29 draft chapters, only five deal with garden variety trade issues. The TPP is actually a grave threat to the planet because it undermines climate change measures and authorizes de-regulation of mining, land use, and biotechnology.  Alarmingly, the TPP intellectual property chapter also provides international legal protections for corporate patents on plant and animal life, granting companies ownership and sole access to all of creation. 

While most of the U.S. coverage about the TPP analyzes overall implications for ‘every day working Americans,’ with a dash of environmental vignettes, another significant aspect needs to be addressed and highlighted: TPP’s detrimental impact on First Peoples and indigenous communities located within each nation state, its continuation of the European history of conquest and exploitation. 

CPT INTERNATIONAL POEM: Advent's Eve, 2005

 
On that last day of ordinary time

Norman, Harmeet, Jim and Tom walk across a parking lot

in Baghdad and get into a van.

Years later, Jim can’t remember “those last, unremarkable motions.”

 

            The next morning (the first Sunday of Advent)

            The BBC called me at noon.

            The voice at the other end of the line was chasing rumors:

            We heard that four members of Christian Peacemaker Teams were kidnapped.

            What do you know?

 

                        What if Christians took the same risks for peace...

Prayers for Peacemakers, November 4, 2015

Prayers for Peacemakers, November 4, 2015 

Give thanks for the ten new Peacemakers who have successfully completed the 2015 Christian Peacemaker Teams training.  Pray that the Creator will work within them to give them the strength and courage they will need to do the difficult and rewarding work of peacebuilding with our partners in Colombia, Iraqi Kurdistan, Palestine and Indigenous communities.




CPT trainees demand independent investigation into Afghan hospital bombing

“The U.S. cannot investigate itself.”

“While you’re shopping, bombs are dropping.”

These were some the core messages Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) conveyed through signs and chants on 9 October 2015 when it marched through the streets of Chicago, demanding an independent investigation into the hospital bombing in Kunduz, Afghanistan by the United States armed forces. On 3 October, the U.S. military carried out a bombing raid on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, resulting in twenty-two deaths, including ten hospital staff and twelve patients.  Doctors Without Borders is requesting an independent investigation into the bombing from the International Humanitarian Fact-finding Commission (IHFFC).

Members of CPT gathered on Friday outside of the British Consulate in downtown Chicago dressed in blood-spattered hospital attire and carrying a black coffin to symbolize the deaths at the hospital in Kunduz.   Alicia R from London delivered a letter to the British Consulate urging the British government to request an investigation by the IHFFC.  Only a member country can request such an investigation.

As the march started, chants of “while you’re shopping, bombs are dropping” and “bombing hospitals is a war crime,” echoed through the streets.  At several intersections, members of the group dramatized the bombing by falling in the middle of the street as another marcher hit them with a sign shaped as a bomb that had the letters, “USA,” on it.

The procession stopped at the Canadian Consulate where two Canadian citizen trainees had a meeting to urge the Canadian government to also request an investigation by the IHFFC. During the meeting, other members held vigil outside. They sang and handed out information about the bombing to passers-by.

The march concluded at the US Federal Building where Kody Hersh from Philadelphia, PA and Douglas Johnson Hatlem from Chicago, IL knelt in front of the main doors preventing access as they prayed. Federal security locked the doors and rerouted pedestrian traffic, while CPT members and other supporters held a prayer vigil in memory of the innocent lives lost in Kunduz, Afghanistan. 

As of Sunday 11 October, no member country has yet requested an investigation from the IHFFC and Doctors Without Borders continues to speak out against the hospital bombing.


.http://www.msf.org/article/msf-kunduz-attack-ihffc-awaits-us-afghanistan-consent-proceed-independent-investigation

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Christian Peacemaker Teams, movement building and the Detroit Peacemaker Congress

Sarah Thompson
CPT Executive Director

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) began with these questions: 

What if pacifist Christians trained as hard for peace as militaries (including militant Christians) trained for war?  What if pacifist Christians (such as the Mennonites, Brethren, and Quakers) were willing to sacrifice as much for peace as a soldier is willing to sacrifice for war?  What could happen? 

Christian Peacemaker Teams is part of the answer to that question. Having begun in 1986, in the crucible of Latin American solidarity movements, CPT has continued to thrive within various social movements as a creative, faith-inspired organization committed to undoing oppressions and to strategic peacemaking interventions in situations of violent conflict.  Joining with you all—people who belong to social movements, have risked a lot, sacrificed much, and experimented with healthier ways of sharing this planet—enlivens our work.  It is one reason we hold a Peacemaker Congress every other year—this year it will take place in Detroit—so that our workers in the field can engage with you, our supporters. and new people interested in movement building.