CPTnet

CPTnet is the news service of CPT, providing daily news updates, reports, reflections, prayer requests and action alerts.

 

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: Reflections on the Fast for Indigenous Rights

CPTnet
30 September 2017
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: Reflections on the Fast for Indigenous Rights

by Chuck Wright

I’m not a religious guy, but last week I participated in a day of fasting for Indigenous rights. Although it was only a day, it is in the lead up to 2nd reading of Cree MP Romeo Saganash’s Bill C262 and in solidarity with those who are fasting for a just relationship between Canada and Indigenous peoples. It’s at a time when Canada has a real opportunity to change course through Bill C262 – an Act to ensure the laws of Canada is in harmony with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

I used this time to reflect about the purpose of fasting. Specifically, I think of Steve Fobister Sr. from Grassy Narrows who – in July 2014 – went on a hunger strike to call for justice for mercury survivors. I think of former Chief Theresa Spence who – in December 2012 during the birth of the Idle No More movement - endured a several day hunger fast to demand nation-to-nation meetings about the socio-economic crises affecting Attawapiskat and so many other Indigenous communities across the country.

My friend Steve Heinrichs – Mennonite Church Canada director of settler-Indigenous relations and CPT Steering Committee member – initiated a 46-day rolling Fast for Indigenous Rights and is inviting others to sign up for a day or more in our shared hunger for justice. He states: “The fast is born out of a couple places – a need to show the depth of our seriousness for Bill C262. Government of Canada has offered a lot of good words, but needs more action on the ground. It is also born out of a deep place of spirituality, where I’m asking a force greater than us to help move the hearts and minds of our political leaders alongside the grassroots demanding real change in Canada’s relationship to Indigenous peoples.”

 

Silent action with banners: We support Bill C-262
Constituents of Winnipeg Centre and supporters of Indigenous Rights call on the Liberal government to do less talk and more walk for reconciliation by supporting Bill C262.


AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) A week in photos September 20 - 26

 

"Occupation No More."

 
Pictured here: Dozens of Palestinians living in the neighbourhood of Ghaith close to Mafia Checkpoint gathered together to demonstrate against the actions of Israeli settlers, who placed Israeli flags on top of the Ibrahimi Mosque. Palestinian adults and children sang songs and chanted, "Occupation no more!" The demonstration caught the Israeli Border Police guarding Mafia Checkpoint off guard. Within minutes, the Israeli Border Police near the demonstration called for reinforcements. A large group of Israeli Border Police came to quell the protest, as well as an Israeli settler. The Border Police forced the press and international activists to get behind a police barrier to prevent documentation of the demonstration. The Border Police eventually went inside the neighbourhood, which is surrounded by a lockable gate that was erected in June 2017, and locked all the families inside, making it impossible for Palestinians to leave their neighbourhood. 

(20/09/2017)

Prayers for Peacemakers, 27 September 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 27 September 2017

Prayer for an end of the neighboring countries' hostilities following Kurdistan's referendum on independence and for increased solidarity with the oppressed peoples' struggles around the world.

"Iraqi government is threatening, Turkish government is threatening, Iranian government is threatening and the entire international community is threatening. What is it? I have never had so much problems with my identity, who I am and where I come from. I did not vote for the referendum because I believe that these Kurdish leaders (...) have done nothing regarding human rights, women rights, LGBTQ rights and minority rights. They have not been able to create a democratic system that we all have wanted and lastly I do not believe in nation states." These are the words and a perspective of someone close to CPT on presumably the biggest event of this week: the Kurdistan's referendum on independence from Iraq.

The sharing continues: "Of course that is not the case at the moment, is it? A group of people have decided to hold a referendum after going though hundreds of years of oppression. And guess what: the whole world is threatening and the three neighboring countries such as Iran, Iraq and Turkey have warned that they would invade and put sanctions on the region. I really do not understand why everyone is against it? If really they all believe in human rights and democracy then why do they threaten? Why do they bomb? Why do they kill? Only in the past 6 days both Turkey and Iran have been bombing farmers in the mountains. 7 people dead and 4 wounded. Houses destroyed and farms burnt. And already fights and curfews in some small towns around Kirkuk because of the referendum. Why is that? Why has it become so easy to start wars and to kill people?"

House impacted by Iranian bombing, smoke rising, a man on the phone
On the day of the referendum Iranian military bombarded fiercely Kurdistan's border communities including CPT partners

IRAQI KURDISTAN: Family impacts of the Iranian cross-border bombardments

CPTnet
25 September 2017
IRAQI KURDISTAN: Family impacts of the Iranian cross-border bombardments

by Julie Brown

Khatun Ali lives in Shora, a small village in the Choman district of Iraqi Kurdistan. She is the head of a household in an area that Iranian military regularly targets in a cross-border war between the Iranian state forces and the KDP-I or Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran. Khatun is a widow with three other people living in her home, a daughter-in-law, two small children and herself. One of her sons is a Peshmerga who is often away.

Woman in Kurdistan

Khatun Ali talking to CPTers at her home in Shora. Photo by: Julie Brown


“When my husband was alive, I lived like a princess honestly. I didn’t have a lot of responsibility. Now I have to look after a lot of trees, our herds and the children,” Khatun said as she pointed to the sheep grazing on the hill just behind her home. She told members of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) of how her home and crops were burned three separate times during the time of Saddam Hussein but she and her family managed to rebuild. “We were poor then but we had a good life. Things in the region have improved but here there are no salaries, food, or kerosene and now we are scared.”

Prayers for Peacemakers, 21 September 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 21 September 2017

Sometimes we may think that people disappear only during wars or under oppressive regimes: more than 30,000 people during the dictatorship in Argentina, or 3,500 in Chile, among others. However, forced disappearances are a reality and a political strategy also under the so called "democratic governments." More than 4,000 missing indigenous women in Canada, 10,000 missing refugee children in European union, more than 60,000 disappeared in Colombia from the hands of various armed and state actors often receiving support from the United States of America.

Today we would like to pray for justice and peace for the families and communities of the forcefully disappeared people. We would like to pray that they may find the truth of what happened to their loved ones. We also want to pray for freedom for those still alive and held for their political views, noncompliance or engagement in a struggle for rights and freedom of the oppressed. Today we carry in our thoughts and prayers Santiago Maldonado who the Argentine National Guard abducted in their violent attack on Mapuche indigenous community. We ask for his release.

A man looks for recognizable faces on a banner with photographs and details of dissapeared persons.
A man looks for recognizable faces on a banner with photographs and details of dissapeared persons. Photo: Caldwell Manners