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December 22nd

IRAQI KURDISTAN: October-November 2015 newsletter

 
OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2015
 

Iraqi Kurdistan

Turkish warplanes intensify bombardments, farmers flee their village homes

 

As Turkey spirals into more intense internal violence, not shying away from bombarding even “its own” Turkish/Kurdish towns with artillery shells, its attacks against Kurds in Iraq also intensify. On the night of 21 November, Turkish warplanes bombed mountain slopes overlooking the Shawre valley. Shawre’s fertile soil sustains more than 30 villages and a larger town, as well as contains many treasures including sites dating to times far preceding Islam. The beautiful village of Gullan, that many CPT members, delegates and supporters know so well, lies in the upper parts of the valley, and dangerously near the bombarded sites. CPT visited the area on 26 November and met with three families who heard and saw the rockets hit meadows just over their village and fled their homes in fear of being hit in another attack. CPTers attempted to document one of the bombed places but were strongly advised by the armed forces not to go there as the warplanes could return at any moment. In the last two decades, Shawre has been considered as an area safe and free of Turkish airstrikes. During an overnight stay in Gullan, CPTers could hear the murmuring sounds of jet fighters flying around and towards the more distant Qandil mountains.

One of the displaced shepherds, who worked also as an assistant at a local school, told CPT: “A few days ago, Turkey shot down a Russian airplane for a supposed violation of their borders. Turkey shows how much they care about borders, by bombing us, more than 100km (60 miles) far away from their territory.”


December 18th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): A week in photos 8-14 December 2015

Big Shoes 

This child often greets CPTers near the Qitoun/209 checkpoint. Though his shoes are a little too big, his smile fits him perfectly. 
(8/12/2015)

December 17th

COLOMBIA: Puerto Berrio--a liturgical action

CPTnet
17 December 2015
COLOMBIA: Puerto Berrio--a liturgical action

Hung around Puerto Berrio’s central plaza were large posters picturing its port, which declared “Puerto Berrio Lives and Dreams,” the theme commemorating the victims of the armed conflict in the region of Puerto Berrio. Survivors of the massacre of the Union Patriotica wore white, and youth from Medellin draped in black performed a drama showing the agony of loss and injustice. Over a hundred participants from the surrounding area gathered to solemnly declare that the lives of the mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, community members, and friends would not slip away unnoticed and invisible.

 

Over the last weekend of November we joined our partners CAHUCOPANA for a two day symbolic event to mourn and demand justice for these victims. This liturgical action by CPTer Jhon Henry Camargo, presented at the event, draws on the parallels of experiences of Jesus and his followers and today's victims of 50 years of armed conflict who challenged the apparatus of violence and death, to continue to live and dream.

 

Please feel free to download or stream this video and screen at your place of gathering. Walk with us year end to support peacemakers in Colombia.

 

For best viewing, watch the video in HD and fullscreen. Non-spanish speakers remember to turn on the subtitles by clicking on "CC"

Puerto Berrio: a liturgical act from CPT/ECAP Colombia on Vimeo.

December 16th

Prayers for Peacemakers, December 16, 2015

Prayers for Peacemakers, December 16, 2015

Pray for the Kurdish villagers in the Qandil Mountains who are facing death and displacement because of bombing by the Turkish military.

*Epixel for Fourth Sunday in Advent, December 20, 2015
He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. Luke 1:51-53
 
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text  from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

December 15th

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.

December 9th

Prayers for Peacemakers, December 9, 2015

Prayers for Peacemakers, December 9, 2015

Give thanks that Canada is finally launching a national inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Pray for the inquiry to be fully equipped, empowered and lead by the families, and that it will bring Canada's legacy of colonial misogyny into the light.

*Epixel for Third Sunday in Advent, December 13, 2015

From a February 2014 March for Murdered and Missing Women and Girls.

 Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflicts you: and I will save her who is lame,
and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land
 where they have been put to shame.

At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you:
for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth,
when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, says the Lord.  Zephaniah 3:19-20 KJV (adapted)


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

December 8th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): A week in photos 1-7 December 2015

 

Taken Away

At the Qitoun checkpoint, CPTers witnessed Israeli Border Police arresting a girl.  CPTers approached the scene too late to ask the girl her name and Israeli Border Police would not give information about the arrest. A subsequent report by a local activist identified her as Diana Ismail Rajabi and said the soldiers accused her of having a knife. As of this publication, she has not been released.
(1/12/2015)

December 5th

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.

December 4th

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. 

December 3rd

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): A Week in Photos, 23-29 November 2015

Escort

As some children throw stones and Israeli forces shoot teargas, children not involved in the clashes may fear being hit by one or the other. CPTers walk with those children so that they feel safer and can make it to school (hopefully) without incident. 
(23/11/2015)