Archive - 2008

febrero 20th

HEBRON UPDATE: 16-31 January 2008

Saturday 19 January
Uhler, Schroeder, and a visiting nonviolence trainer, patrolled along Wadi Al Nasara and spent some time talking with Palestinian children. They observed about thirty teenage Israeli girls gathering in the Wadi. Meanwhile, three Palestinian women and their small children needed to walk down the road, called by the settlers “Worshipper’s Way.” On Shabbat, the Israeli authorities have forbidden Palestinians to use that road, which forces them to walk a somewhat precarious, narrow, dirt path that is parallel to the road.

The girls rushed en masse at the women and CPTers. A general melee ensued with the girls shouting at the group, spitting, pushing, and kicking. By the time Fallon and Wendeln had arrived, a girl had torn off the glasses and hijab (head scarf) of one of the Palestinian women. The assailant broke the glasses and threw them on the ground. Another girl tore off Wendeln’s glasses and threw them on the ground another kicked Fallon, bruising her legs. One girl stole the chip from the CPT visitor’s camera…


Wednesday 23 January

…At dusk, Schroeder, Roe, and Abuata waited for two-and-a-half hours at the Ibrahimi Mosque checkpoint until the military released one Palestinian man. To pass the time away, Abuata suggested Schroeder teach some yoga. As Schroeder taught Abuata and Roe, one soldier did a bit of yoga playfully and said he was now on “the CPT side.” After soldiers released the man, Abuata and Schroeder conversed with the soldiers about the Occupation for about an hour.

PRAYERS FOR PEACEMAKERS, Wed., Feb. 20, 2008

PRAYERS FOR PEACEMAKERS, Wed., Feb. 20, 2008
Pray for the people of Barrancabermeja, Colombia. Twenty have been assassinated already this year, and a new paramilitary group has issued threats against gay men in the city.
--------------------------
Doug Pritchard
Christian Peacemaker Teams
Toronto, Canada

febrero 19th

BEIT UMMAR: Israeli military arrests approximately forty Palestinians and places village under curfew

At 1:00 a.m. on 13 February, the Israeli military placed the village of Beit Ummar under curfew, arresting approximately forty men between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five and stationing soldiers, along with jeeps and two bulldozers, throughout the village.

Soldiers entered homes and closed off four different areas inside the village, restricting the movement of village residents. The military denied an ambulance entry into village.

COLOMBIA UPDATE: January 2008

4 January
While in the Opón, Erin Kindy and Michele Braley heard reports of soldiers walking through farms. Kindy and Braley went to talk to the soldiers stationed on the river. They were members of the Rafael Reyes Battalion from Cimitarra. One soldier was wearing camouflage without an insignia, which violates military policy and suggests that he could be a paramilitary… A few days later, the team faxed a letter to the Battalion expressing concern about soldiers without insignias. The commander of Reyes Battalion called to say that he appreciates CPT's contributions to help improve the conduct of his soldiers and promised to investigate the event. In October of 2005, CPT encountered soldiers from the Reyes Battalion and identified a known paramilitary amongst their ranks.

31 January
Shantz and Erb visited a ranch in the Opón following up on a news story about a worker killed there. A neighbor reported that the surviving worker arrived at his farm at about 2:30 a.m. the night the man was killed. He was terrified after hearing gunshots in the next room. At daylight, they went together to investigate and found the murdered worker lying face down with gun shot wounds to his head. No one knew who killed him.

febrero 18th

TORONTO/COLOMBIA REFLECTION AND PRAYER: The Anti-FARC march

n Monday, 4 February 2008, several hundred people marched in Toronto as part of an international event billed as "A Million Voices Against the FARC." After discussions with the CPT Colombia team, I decided that I could not in conscience participate in this event. Let me be clear – I deplore the violence perpetrated by the FARC—Colombia's largest guerrilla group. However, the event minimized or completely ignored the broader suffering that has occurred over the fifty-year old conflict in Colombia, and offered a simplified analysis reminiscent of "red scare" propaganda against communism that led only to more violence.

KINGSTON, ON: Ardoch Algonquin spokesperson fined and jailed for trying to prevent uranium mining on Algonquin lands

Kingston Regional Police took Bob Lovelace away from the Kingston, ON courthouse in handcuffs on 15 February 2008 to serve a six-month sentence on a contempt of court charge handed down by Justice Douglas Cunningham. Lovelace, age fifty-nine, is an ex-chief and spokesperson for the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation (AAFN). He is also father to seven children and an instructor at Queen’s University and Sir Sandford Fleming Community College.

febrero 15th

HEBRON: Israeli military and police remain passive in the face of settler harassment of Palestinians and internationals

On Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 January 2008, a crowd of Israeli settlers invaded the yard area of a home near the Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba, on the outskirts of Hebron. The settlers threw stones at members of the Abu Siefen family, injuring several people.

IRAQ UPDATE: 21 January – 3 February 2008

in:
21 January-3 February 2008
The team spent much time dealing with problems securing visas and NGO (Non-governmental organization) status in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) area of Iraq. Each time they went to the Asaish (security police) to pick up the promised signed papers, officials gave excuses as to why the papers were not ready. On 23 January an Asaish official told the team that he could not give them visa extensions to stay and work. He said the papers were in the hands of people “higher up,” i.e. “the Americans.” A top Asaish official did authorize residency officials to grant CPTers a one-month visa extension to secure NGO status.

On 29 January, a Residency official gave each team member one-month visa cards. He said, however, that he could not issue entry visa papers for the team’s support person, Doug Pritchard, to come in February. The following day, the same official told the team that someone higher up ordered him to take away their visa cards and tell team members they must buy plane tickets and leave in a week’s time. He said he was very sorry. “We know you are good people. The Kurdish people have nothing against you.” Many Kurdish officials made statements that identified “Americans,” as the source of these orders, yet none would identify the U.S. agency with which the Americans were affiliated. When team members asked an Asaish official who might be able to facilitate CPT’s getting NGO status, he responded, “You can’t get that high.”

febrero 14th

TORONTO: Call for expressions of interest in and nominations for Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) Canada Programme Coordinator


CPT has an immediate opening for a full-time person to provide leadership for our programme work in Canada. The Canada Programme Coordinator also works closely with the Canada Administrative Coordinator in supporting all of CPT's work in Canada.

AT-TUWANI UPDATE: January 2008

Sunday 27 January 2008
In the morning, CPTers Gish and Tarek Abuata accompanied shepherds on Mshaha. Soldiers arrived soon after and told the shepherds they were not allowed to be in that area, because settlers are not safe if Palestinians are anywhere where they can see the outpost.

Abuata and Gish reminded the soldiers that the Israeli High Court has ruled that the army is obliged to uphold the agricultural rights of Palestinians, including their right to graze their flocks. They also reminded the soldiers that the area is Palestinian land and that the shepherds should be allowed to graze on their own land. A soldier quickly responded, "This is Israel." Gish told the soldier that the land is not Israel, that it is Palestinian territory, that even President George Bush recognizes the area is Palestinian territory. Gish then said, “The real reason for not allowing these shepherds to be on their own land is that you are helping the settlers to steal this land. Do you want peace, or do you want to take the land?”

The soldiers ordered everyone to leave, but a shepherd asked to talk to the commander, or someone from the DCO. At 10:50 a.m., a higher-ranking officer came, took one of the shepherds aside, and threatened to kill the sheep if he sees the shepherd in that area again.