Archive

April 28th, 2015

COLOMBIA: Colombians march for justice, peace—and a new deal

 

Over 10 rappers from Medellinhave been assassinated  
for speaking against the system, 
while many are in 
hiding. 
This movement has encouraged youth to pick up 
the 
microphone instead of the gun in a city controlled by
armed groups. A rapper performs at the April 9th March
in Medellin.

On 9 April, 2015 thousands of Colombians participated in marches for peace in major cities across Colombia.  Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), along with our local partners, participated in the ones in Bogotá and Medellin. In addition to these two marches, many of our local partners from Barrancabermeja and Guayabo also participated in the march in Bucaramanga, Santander.

The date was significant. On 9 April, 1948  Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, a populist leader and Liberal Party candidate was assassinated. Gaitán had been the mayor of Bogota and at the time of his assassination seemed poised to win the presidential elections, based on his platform of nonviolent solutions to the conflict in Colombia. His assassination resulted in massive rioting that destroyed much of Bogota, and led to a long period of horrific violence in Colombia known as ‘La Violencia’ (approx. 1948 to 1958).

The march was also an endorsement of President Santos’ decision to seek a negotiated solution to the armed conflict in Colombia by entering into dialogue with the FARC.  Santos had campaigned on this issue last year and defeated his major rival, Óscar Iván Zuluaga, who, in line with former President Uribe, insisted that insurgents should be defeated militarily.

April 23rd

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): A Week in Photos 12-18 April 2015

Below are some of the best photos the Christian Peacemaker Team in Palestine took in the past week.
 


CHILDHOOD UNDER 
OCCUPATION

 

Pictured here: A lively children's party in the middle of Hebron's Old City brings smiles and hope. At the same, we remember that growing up under the constant violence of military occupation can never be considered a normal childhood. 
(18/04/2015)

April 22nd

Prayers for Peacemakers, April 22, 2015

Prayers for Peacemakers, April 22, 2015

Pray for the extended Jabari family, which owns land between the Israeli settlements of Kiryat ‘Arba and Givat Ha’avot, This week, the Israeli military finally followed through on a long-standing Israeli court order to dismantle a settlement outpost on Jabari family land.  When outposts are taken down, settlers often take out their anger on the nearby Palestinian inhabitants in “pricetag” attacks.

A young member of the Jabari family works his family's land

April 21st

NIGERIA: Boko Haram trauma survivors discover ways to heal each other


“When I came home after escaping the attack, our home had been bombed, and everything was destroyed,” one woman said.

“I was away when Boko Haram attacked my village,” a man voiced with regret.  ”I still feel horrible that my wife had to face it and flee alone.”

“Everyone else in my village fled when Boko Haram came. I was the only one who stayed, and miraculously, I was not found and killed,” a third said, expressing his gratitude.

“I ran home when our church was attacked,” another shared. “My husband was at home and was able to go in the car to the next village. When he called me, I told him to go ahead and escape. He answered, ‘I will wait for you to find me. We will stay together, and if we die, we will die together.’”

April 20th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): A week in photos 5-11 April 2015

 

BLOCKADED

 

Pictured here: A group of young Palestinian girls make their way past an Israeli military blockade in front of Al Fayha Elementary School. In the days surrounding Passover, CPT witnessed a surge in the amount of Israeli military and a rise in the restriction of movement for Palestinians.
(9/4/2015)

April 18th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Old City under water, under occupation

After just a few short hours of rain, dozens of Palestinian shopkeepers in Hebron have spent the past week salvaging their stores’ goods and exhausting their modest bank accounts to return places of business into working order. To a simple passer-by, the flooding would have looked like the rare product of circumstances: poor infrastructure and the Old City’s location at a point in Hebron lower than the surrounding hills. But that isn’t the whole story. 

More than 100 roadblocks, checkpoints, and barricaded alleyways restrict and control the movement of Palestinians in Hebron. This military apparatus was specifically engineered to create a matrix of control around the Ibrahimi mosque, linking all of the Jewish settlements from Tel Rumeida to the northwest to the main settlement of Kiryat Arba to the south east— all built and maintained under the political buzzword of “Israeli security”.

But this isn’t simply about security; it’s about creating a completely unsustainable living situation for Palestinians living in the low valleys of the Old City of Hebron.

April 17th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Settlers inflict “Price Tag” harassment on Jaabari family after Israeli military demolishes illegal outpost

 

 
 A boy from the Jaabari family works on his 
family's land

On the morning of 14 April, the Israeli military demolished a settlement outpost built on the land of fifty-seven-year-old Abed Karim Jaabari.   Jaabari, father of a large family, some with severe disabilities, owns family land between the Kiryat Arba and Givat Ha’vot settlements in Hebron.

In 2001, settlers occupied part of his land and constructed what became known as the tent synagogue. The construction was illegal under international law, and because settlers built it without Israeli authorization, illegal under Israeli law too. In addition to the synagogue, settlers built a path across the Jaabari land linking the two settlements.  The Israeli military declared the path a closed military zone, for the use of Israeli military and police alone, but settlers made regular use of it too.

In 2003, the Israeli Civil Administration issued a demolition order for the synagogue, followed by years of procrastination by the relevant authorities.

In 2014, Abed Jaabari negotiated with the Israeli authorities to secure the return of the land. On 18 February 2015, the Israeli court found in favour of the Jaabari family, and ordered the Israeli military to demolish the structure. The court gave the military two months to complete the order.

April 16th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): A week in the life of Maher--a fourteen-year-old Palestinian resident of Hebron

It’s Saturday 4 April and a group of Israeli soldiers storm fourteen-year-old Maher’s house, claiming that Maher has been seen stone-throwing—the Israeli military’s go-to rationale for harassing Palestinian children and their families. * When Mahmoud, Maher’s father, protests, soldiers take both him and Maher into custody.  The police release them later that evening.

At approximately 6:45 on 6 April soldiers once again raid Maher’s home.  They do not take Maher into custody, but later that evening, Maher is outwalking and is once again detained by a group of fully armed soldiers. Although another boy, known to Maher, turns himself in for stone throwing, the soldiers continue to threaten Maher with arrest, saying that they will again take him to the police station. As CPTers attempt to document Maher’s detention, soldiers make a game out of requiring the CPTers to recite their ID and passport numbers. Just as the soldiers are about toMaher into the military base next to the settlement of Beit Romano, Maher’s father arrives, and must plead for his release once again.See this video for CPT’s documentation of the incident.

The following day, Israeli soldiers again raid the home of Maher’s family—this time, however, there are forty-eight of them.  Before the incident, the soldiers parade the streets of Hebron’s Old City in a loop, ID-checking and entering homes along the way, before finally returning to Maher’s home again. See more photos here.

April 15th

Prayers for Peacemakers, April 15 2015 Indigenous Peoples Solidarity

Prayers for Peacemakers, April 15 2015 Indigenous Peoples Solidarity

Pray for the community of Grassy Narrows and Judy Da Silva.  On Friday, April 10, 2015 water protector and Elder, Josephine Mandamin, held a traditional Anishinaabe Water Ceremony on the shores of Wild Lake, near the CN railway mainline between Kenora and Grassy Narrows along with other Grassy Narrows community activists. Despite the fact the group called off a blockade of the railway—which transports toxic tar sands bitumen over local waterways—CN still served Da Silva with an injunction against impeding trains and/or trespassing on CN property, and/or ‘counselling’ others to do the same. The injunction will be before the court on April 16 at 10 a.m. in Kenora.

Anishinaabe water ceremony targeted with injunction

Epixel* for Sunday, April 18, 2015
photo by Alex Hundert

How long, you people, shall my honor suffer shame? How long will you love vain words,
and seek after lies? Psalm 4:2

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

April 14th

NIGERIA: “We Grieve for the Girls and their Families”


Today is the one-year anniversary of the abduction of 360 women and girls from their boarding school in Chibok, Borno State, Nigeria, 14 April 2014, by the militant group called Boko Haram. Of the 360, 172 were from EYN (Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Soon after the kidnapping, fifty of them escaped, of which twenty-nine were from the EYN. Then in late December 2014, Boko Haram raided Chibok again and kidnapped some older women and a young man.

These abductions were not isolated incidents of violence for the mostly Christian town of Chibok. As early as November 2012 and as late as December 2014, Boko Haram fighters carried out periodic attacks there, including burning police headquarters, homes, EYN congregations, and killing church members.

Some of those twenty-nine who had escaped the April 2014 kidnapping, are still living in Chibok, and with the assistance of the Interfaith Adamawa Peace Initiative, were able to prepare for and take their examinations interrupted by the kidnapping. Some have been sponsored to go to the U.S. for schooling. In spite of the outcry of horror from people here and around the world concerning the kidnappings and the “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign, the whereabouts of the majority of those abducted remain unknown.