Christian Peacemaker Teams - Turn your Faith into Action for Peace https://www.cpt.org/ en Prayers for Peacemakers, 25 November 2020, Iraqi Kurdistan https://www.cpt.org/cptnet/2020/11/25/prayers-peacemakers-25-november-2020-iraqi-kurdistan <span>Prayers for Peacemakers, 25 November 2020, Iraqi Kurdistan</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/63" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Hannah</span></span> <span>Wed, 11/25/2020 - 00:41</span> <div><p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="600" src="/sites/default/files/Nahla%20valley%202019.jpg" width="800" /></p> <p><i>Please pray today for an end to escalating hostilities between the Iraqi Kurdistan government and guerrilla forces and for the safety of CPT's partners caught in-between. </i>&nbsp;</p> <p>Partners of CPT Iraqi Kurdistan are facing a new threat. After the summer months filled with the worst Turkish bombardments in a decade, CPT's partners worry that a new war may break out around them. &nbsp;</p> <p>In October, the Kurdistan Regional Government began to deploy special military forces and heavy weaponry to areas with Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) presence. The PKK is fighting a guerrilla war against the Turkish state and opposing the presence of Turkish bases and soldiers in Iraqi Kurdistan.&nbsp;</p> <p>CPT's partners, who live in these rural areas and whose villages Turkish drones and warplanes have been bombing, are now surrounded by Kurdistan's special forces on one side and guerrilla fighters on the other. They worry significantly about what the coming weeks will bring.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1422" hreflang="en">Prayers</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1408" hreflang="en">Kurdistan</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1406" hreflang="en">Iraq</a></div> </div> </div> Wed, 25 Nov 2020 06:41:33 +0000 Hannah 12448 at https://www.cpt.org Prayers for Peacemakers 18 November 2020 US/Mexico Borderlands https://www.cpt.org/cptnet/2020/11/17/prayers-peacemakers-18-november-2020-usmexico-borderlands <span>Prayers for Peacemakers 18 November 2020 US/Mexico Borderlands</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/63" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Hannah</span></span> <span>Tue, 11/17/2020 - 01:47</span> <div><p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="576" src="/sites/default/files/Padre%20Ricardo%20with%20CPT%20reservists.jpg" width="725" /></p> <p>Padre Ricardo (last name withheld) serves as the pastor at Sagrada Familia Iglesia Catolica in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico.&nbsp; The church also houses the migrant shelter (CAME).&nbsp; Once, in the spring of 2019, when members of organized crime began to threaten the lives of migrants seeking asylum and the lives of workers and volunteers at the shelter, Padre Ricardo, wearing his priestly vestments, accompanied the asylum seekers to the US port of entry.</p> <p>● Give thanks for the life and faithful witness of Padre Ricardo.</p> <p>● Celebrate his courage and commitment to helping migrants.</p> <p>● Pray for his safety as he continues to officiate at the funerals of young men killed in cartel violence.</p> <p>● Pray for his health as he recovers from Covid and his recent battles with vertigo.</p> <p>● Bless him as he continues to lead his congregation during difficult times.</p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1422" hreflang="en">Prayers</a></div> </div> </div> Tue, 17 Nov 2020 07:47:24 +0000 Hannah 12447 at https://www.cpt.org Al Mawlid Al Nabawi: The Prophet's Birth https://www.cpt.org/cptnet/2020/11/16/al-mawlid-al-nabawi-prophets-birth <span>Al Mawlid Al Nabawi: The Prophet&#039;s Birth</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/63" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Hannah</span></span> <span>Mon, 11/16/2020 - 08:16</span> <div><p>16 November 2020</p> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="534" src="/sites/default/files/mawlid.jpg" width="800" /></p> <p>by Abdallah Maraka</p> <p>Mawlid Nabawi, observed on 29 October this year, is an important day for Muslims all over the world as they celebrate the birth of the Prophet Mohammed.</p> <p>This day is extra special in Hebron because the city is home to Al-Ibrahimi Mosque, which Muslims consider one of the four most important sites in the Islamic religion. People from different Palestinian cities around the West bank, as well as Muslim tourists from around the world, come to Hebron to celebrate this day and to visit Al-Ibrahimi Mosque in the old city. The mosque has been divided into two parts since 1994 after an Israeli settler committed a massacre inside the mosque and Israeli settlers and Jewish visitors have exclusive access to more than half of the site including all of the surrounding gardens. But on this day, the Israeli army allows Palestinians to visit the occupied part of the mosque.</p> <p>Since the outbreak of COVID-19 the number of people visiting the mosque decreased, and the virus was another way for the Israeli military to create more restrictions against Palestinians.</p> <p>I arrived at the mosque checkpoint before the beginning of noon prayer and I was shocked by the huge number of Palestinians waiting outside the checkpoint for the Israeli border police to open it so they can visit the mosque during this special day and practice one of the main basic rights for a human being, the right to worship.</p> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="533" src="/sites/default/files/IMG_9474.JPG" width="800" /></p> <p style="line-height:1.3800000000000001; text-align:justify; margin-bottom:13px"><span style="font-size:11pt; font-variant:normal; white-space:pre-wrap"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="text-decoration:none">Thirty minutes passed and the checkpoint was still closed so people started to sing a special religious song while they were waiting. A few minutes later Israeli soldiers became violent outside the checkpoint, pushing people away without caring about children and the elderly. Then they closed the main checkpoint gate.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p style="line-height:1.3800000000000001; text-align:justify; margin-bottom:13px"><span style="font-size:11pt; font-variant:normal; white-space:pre-wrap"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="text-decoration:none">Later an Israeli officer announced that they will allow 50 people at a time to go inside the mosque to pray and then to leave, justifying his decision with the COVID-19 situation and social distancing protocols. Meanwhile, hundreds of people were waiting together outside for the checkpoint to open, which negates his reasoning for limiting access.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p style="line-height:1.3800000000000001; text-align:justify; margin-bottom:13px"><span style="font-size:11pt; font-variant:normal; white-space:pre-wrap"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="text-decoration:none">Time goes by while my colleague and I decide to reach the mosque area from a different checkpoint located in the southern side of the Old City of Hebron but the same procedures apply to all checkpoints leading to the mosque. During the time we spent trying to reach the mosque area I couldn’t stop thinking about how basic human rights like the right for worship are violated every day.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p style="line-height:1.3800000000000001; text-align:justify; margin-bottom:13px"><span style="font-size:11pt; font-variant:normal; white-space:pre-wrap"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="text-decoration:none">After a long detour, we finally arrived at the mosque and I was shocked by what I saw. I noticed</span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-size:11pt; font-variant:normal; white-space:pre-wrap"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span style="color:#ff0000"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="text-decoration:none"> </span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-size:11pt; font-variant:normal; white-space:pre-wrap"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="text-decoration:none">iron barriers blocking and dividing any possible way to reach the mosque and three Israeli border police detaining a group of Palestinian children inside iron barriers which formed a cage. As a Palestinian who learned about the holocaust, the first thing came to my mind while witnessing this treatment in 2020, is how Nazis caged Jewish people during the Second World War. To put it simply, I saw history repeat itself.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p style="line-height:1.3800000000000001; text-align:justify; margin-bottom:13px"><span style="font-size:11pt; font-variant:normal; white-space:pre-wrap"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="text-decoration:none">Finally the day was over, and despite all the strong feelings that arose one feeling was stronger than the others: “when the sun rises it rises for everyone, nothing lasts forever”.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p style="line-height:1.3800000000000001; text-align:justify; margin-bottom:13px"><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="534" src="/sites/default/files/inabawi.jpg" width="800" /></p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1415" hreflang="en">Palestine</a></div> </div> </div> Mon, 16 Nov 2020 14:16:33 +0000 Hannah 12446 at https://www.cpt.org They are killing us https://www.cpt.org/cptnet/2020/11/13/they-are-killing-us <span>They are killing us</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/63" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Hannah</span></span> <span>Fri, 11/13/2020 - 04:21</span> <div><p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="546" src="/sites/default/files/javier.jpg" width="394" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>by Jhon Henry Camargo Varela</p> <p><meta charset="utf-8" /></p> <h3>We hear the shots</h3> <p>To be Colombian is to grow up in a contradiction. We have a long militaristic history created under the idyllic and almost fanciful idea of ​​defending something that no one understands but that everyone knows as "the homeland." In this story, as in any good narrative, we have friends and enemies of "the homeland." The people who define the enemies are "coincidentally" rich and powerful people with enough money to buy friends who kill the enemy.</p> <p>We live in a paradox where the friends are impoverished people who fight against enemies who also happen to be impoverished people and where those who rule both friends and enemies are the rich and powerful. The only thing they care about is that the blood pouring out of the impoverished does not stain their clothes.</p> <h3>A country that murders</h3> <p>In our long history of internal armed conflict, we have seen how increasingly mediocre governments appeal to militarism and barbarism to solve the armed conflict. So much so that for 60 years, assassination is a job in Colombia, where protection is synonymous with murder, and murder is synonymous with heroism.</p> <p>This militaristic structure considers those who carry weapons heroes, but it is so disconnected from reality that it does not explain to us how someone who kills his brothers and sisters becomes a hero without understanding why he or she did it. It is as arrogant a structure as those who run and promote it, people so arrogant and violent with poor people and so complacent with powerful people.</p> <h3>The good boy</h3> <p>In the House of Nariño*, where the hypocrites sit their asses, you'll find President Ivan Duque Márquez, who today occupies the most important position of power in the country. He arrived at his post by pure luck. It was the answer to what Uribismo needed to cover the dozens of corpses that hang on their backs. Duque, the candidate, was a young person, without personality, easy to handle, incompetent. But yes, he spoke and lied so well that he paid tribute to the political legacy of his mentor, former president Alvaro Uribe.</p> <p>Duque was the puzzle piece for "Uribismo" to reach the heart of the people. And if the honey-covered words of the then-candidate Duque were not enough, there would always be money that could convince those who believed in change but whose pockets were empty.</p> <p>Today that candidate is our president, a president who seems that his only role is to talk nicely, say that everything is fine, or say that nothing is his fault. This president has a cabinet tailored for him. A group of henchmen who rarely say or do anything, but when they do, it is against the poor and the weak and in favour of the rich and the powerful.&nbsp;</p> <h3>You won't be spared from this one!</h3> <p>On September 8, 2020, a 43-year-old Javier Ordoñez was arrested and electrocuted about 17 times with a taser gun while pleading with the policemen to stop beating and tasing him. A friend recorded the entire scene with his cell phone, yelled at the police to stop, and asked them if they couldn't hear Javier begging them to stop.</p> <p>The police did not stop; instead, they took Javier to a nearby station, where they continued to beat him until they murdered him. There are many unresolved questions about Javier's murder, questions that must be answered by the authorities.</p> <p>It is up to the authorities to give justice to the families and guarantee the Colombian people that the police, who are in charge of protecting all of us, will not continue to murder the people they are supposed to protect.</p> <p>The institutional response to Javier's murder was so mediocre and insufficient that it aroused anger in the young people who identified with Javier. Their anger was so intense that they took it to the streets in the form of marches, protests, shouts and destruction with the intent of letting the national government and its institutions know that they cannot go around killing people without consequences.</p> <h3>The dead bodies in the closet</h3> <p>Bogota citizens rose up with such indignation that the police felt "obligated" to respond to the young people's questions of the government structure in charge of protecting them. And until the day of Javier Ordoñez's murder, this police structure hid other bodies in the closet, those who should have been protected, but whom they murdered.</p> <p>In total, there were ten fatal victims of the government's armed response to the protest for victims of police violence. That night the police abused the use of force, carrying out illegal acts to confront the group of protesters, such as: wearing masks, turning their jackets inside out so that protestors would not identify them, using firearms, metal rods, giving firearms to men in civilian clothes, excessively beating large numbers of messengers, students and anyone who crossed their path, whether or not they were part of the protests. That night of outrage allowed us, the Colombian people, to witness that those who protect us are the ones who kill us.</p> <ul> <li>Jaider Alexander Fonseca, 17</li> <li>Julieth Martinez, 18</li> <li>Fredy Mahecha, 20</li> <li>German Smith Puentes, 25</li> <li>Andres Rodríguez , 23</li> <li>Angie Vaquero, 19</li> <li>Julián Gonzales, 27</li> <li>Cristian Andres Hurtado, 31</li> <li>Lorwuan Estiben Mendoza, 28</li> <li>Jaider Fonseca 17&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>These are the people killed by the Colombian National Police, that great institution that now hides ten more dead in its closet.</p> <h3>Uncle Sam washes his hands</h3> <p>In some other country in the world that is not Colombia, murder is a crime and not a profession that pays a competitive salary. The government's response to the murder of Javier Ordoñez and the police brutality against the protesters can be summarized in the following photos:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="285" src="/sites/default/files/twitter.jpg" width="277" /><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="276" src="/sites/default/files/policia.jpg" width="491" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I don't know if the images need explaining. Still, it is worth saying that the image on the left is a tweet from the president of Colombia that reads as: "We must not be violent, and although violence has been used, we must stop being violent." Translation: Only we can be violent.</p> <p>While in the image on the right, where you can see our president wearing the police uniform, does nothing more than illustrate a reality that we all already know. Colombia is becoming a blatant dictatorship where militarism, repression, and excessive violence prevail against the impoverished who demand that their rulers stop appeasing bankers and business people and start washing their blood-stained hands.</p> <p>The national government has used all kinds of excuses to delegitimize the outrage felt by many Colombians at the police's excessive use of force. Their excuses range from the following:</p> <ul> <li>All Protesters were either financed, manipulated, forced, encouraged, infiltrated, or abducted by illegal armed groups such as the FARC and ELN guerrillas. The murders committed by the police and the lack of justice and truth are not good enough reasons to march and protest.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>That it is not okay to use the marches as an excuse for "vandalism," that what the protesters did is not okay,&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p><em>But it is okay to assassinate the protesters?</em></p> <ul> <li>That nobody gave the order. That the police go out murdering people because one day they woke up wanting to kill, and all of a sudden they murdered or raped the first person they bumped into on the street</li> </ul> <p><em>…..Seriously?</em></p> <ul> <li>The institution or the military structure is not designed to assassinate; there are only bad apples that blemish our great military institution's image. How dare it occur to Colombians to demand a structural review of the police, that this is not possible, #WeAreAllPolice.</li> </ul> <p><em>An institution without review policies is ridiculous.</em></p> <ul> <li>There will be prosecutions, and there have already been dismissals, there are investigations, so we should all calm down. Everything is okay. We must trust our dictatorial institutions made up of friends from the backyard of our president.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p><em>They give us so much confidence.</em></p> <ul> <li>The protesters were not killed. We should not use language that does not move us to reconciliation.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p><em>Right, the police didn't kill them. No, the protesters ran towards the bullets so that the bullets would kill them and thus damage the image of our heroes.&nbsp;</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>No more, please, no more! I can't breathe!</h3> <p>We are not legitimizing the use of violence as a form of protest, but neither do we join the oppressive voices that seek, under the excuse of criticizing violence, to silence the tired and indignant voices of the Colombian people.</p> <p>Let it be clear that when a student shouts, they shout because of the lack of investment in public universities and the lack of guarantees for access to education.</p> <p>Let it be clear that when a small farmer shouts, they shout because of the displacement suffered from their territories, territories that today belong to large landowners.</p> <p>Let it be clear that when a woman shouts, she shouts because of the increase in violence against women and femicides that are made invisible by a patriarchal and chauvinist system that refuses to change.</p> <p>Let it be clear that when a labourer shouts, they shout because of the instability of labour rights, the lack of employment, and massive layoffs.</p> <p>Let it be clear that when a teacher shouts, they shout about the lack of infrastructure in schools, the lack of job and health guarantees, and the murder of teachers in different regions of the country.</p> <p>Let it be clear that when a human rights defender shouts, they shout because of the assassinations, the threats, and the lack of guarantees that defenders of life experience today.</p> <p>Let it be clear that when an environment defender shouts, they shout about the economic model that the government wants to impose at the expense of nature, which is the real guarantor of our existence.</p> <p>Let it be clear that when an indigenous person shouts, they shout against a racist system that assassinates them, makes them invisible, and erects altars in honour of the colonizers on their sacred territories.</p> <p>Let it be clear that when the Colombian people march, it is because there are plenty of reasons to march. We,&nbsp;Christian Peacemaker Teams, support social protest, legitimate protest that shouts at the doors of the powerful.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>NO MORE! PLEASE NO MORE! WE CAN'T BREATHE!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>* Presidential Palace</strong></p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1399" hreflang="en">Colombia</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1429" hreflang="en">Undoing Oppressions</a></div> </div> </div> Fri, 13 Nov 2020 10:21:50 +0000 Hannah 12445 at https://www.cpt.org CPT INTERNATIONAL: An evolving experiment toward solidarity https://www.cpt.org/cptnet/2020/11/12/cpt-international-evolving-experiment-toward-solidarity <span>CPT INTERNATIONAL: An evolving experiment toward solidarity</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/4" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Caldwell</span></span> <span>Thu, 11/12/2020 - 05:32</span> <div><figure><img alt="Peiman Talib lays on a bed on the left side of the room while CPTer Mohammad Salah documents the testimony accompanied by her familiy members " data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://cpt.org/sites/default/files/2020-11/201112_cptik.jpg" style="width:100%" /> <figcaption>CPTer Mohammad Salah documents the testimony of Peiman Talib, a survivor of Turkish bombing that hit her shop in Kuna Masi on June 25, 2020.</figcaption> </figure> <p><strong>By Kathy Kern</strong></p> <p>Many of the people who joined the first Christian Peacemaker Team trainings in the 1990s came inspired by Ron Sider’s 1984 vision of brave, committed Anabaptist Christians risking their lives to stand between warring parties. They did not realize that the activists, organizers, and those who had served in Mennonite, Brethren, and Friends organizations in North America and overseas had started CPT believing that Sider’s vision would not work. They knew that the kind of political work they wanted CPT to do—engaging the church in Nonviolent Direct Action—required building relationships with communities.</p> <p>But those of us who joined the first training in 1993 did not.* Some had a commitment to the Ron Sider vision and wanted to be heroes;&nbsp; some did not care very much whether they lived or died because of life circumstances at the moment—and there was some overlap between the two. &nbsp;</p> <p>The first project for newly trained CPTers was the accompaniment of the Parish of Ste. Helene in Jeremíe, Haiti that became the target of Haitian army and paramilitary attacks after the military coup that ousted Jean Bertrand Aristide. We came prepared to use all of the NVDA skills we had learned in training, but the Parish wanted us just to…be present, to walk around the neighborhood in a highly visible manner visiting with our neighbors. In the evening, back in the unfinished priest's residence, we would talk strategies about ways to challenge the systemic violence of the coup regime, but we had no electricity and thus no way to bounce our ideas off our point person in Port Au Prince or the Chicago Office. Days, weeks, months passed, and we watched our neighbors grow hungrier and more desperate. We kept looking for reassurance from our translator that we were making a difference until he told us he was tired of the conversation.&nbsp; Instead of enjoying the time spent with our neighbors and learning to deflect requests for aid graciously, many of us just became frustrated that we couldn't prove we had caused something not to happen.</p> <p>As we carried the CPT template of accompaniment, NVDA, and public witness into subsequent projects in Palestine, Chiapas, Washington, DC, and the Oceti Sakowin encampment in South Dakota, we began to notice something about CPTers who loved hanging out with people in the community, going to their dances, parties and listening to what was happening in their lives. They experienced less burnout, were learning more about what the people living in these locations wanted us to do, and in general, were more effective at the work. We began to understand that we needed to reconsider what we called "work," and what we thought was "just visiting."</p> <p>The CPT accompaniment template was beginning to break down, and once Colombians joined the Colombia team, its demise was all but certain.</p> <p>Nigerian author Teju Cole introduced the term “White Saviour" in 2012. Had we heard the phrase in our first 1993 training, perhaps we would have reflected more on the governing principles of accompaniment that other accompaniment organizations and we were following.&nbsp;&nbsp; We had had antiracism training before we went into the field. Yet, at the same time, we were using as a core feature of our work that the Powers oppressing the people we accompanied considered our lives more valuable than theirs.&nbsp; A person highly placed in the Peace Brigades (PBI) organization once told me that PBI called this advantage "effective racism."&nbsp; Most CPTers preferred the term, "passport privilege," but when you stripped aside the rhetoric, the concept revealed itself as just…racism.</p> <p>As we saw that the Colombia Team functioned more effectively with Colombians on the team and realized that our organizational culture had been traumatizing racialized people within the organization, we knew we had to overhaul how we worked. In 2009, we hired Sylvia Morrison as an Undoing Oppressions Coordinator, who confirmed that our accompaniment model was oppressive and having a negative impact within our teams, delegations, administration, and communications.</p> <p>We began to focus on forming partnerships instead of protecting people, and our Mission, Vision, and Values, drawn up in 2014, reflects that change. We now build “partnerships to transform violence and oppression,” and “strengthen grassroots initiatives.”&nbsp; These partnerships and initiatives now give us our direction. People on the ground tell us what they need, whether it is accompaniment, a social media campaign, political advocacy, or sometimes, accepting their hospitality.</p> <p>You may think that I have judged the early years of CPT harshly. But by the time you read this article, I will have retired from the organization for which I have worked 27 years—in the field, as a writer and editor, and on social media.&nbsp; I have written two histories of its work and origins. And I see that from the beginning, Christian Peacemaker Teams has been an experiment kept going by the love, commitment, hard work, creativity, and passion for transformation of its founders and those who came after.&nbsp; This creativity has taken us to places where no other NGOs have worked and has often inspired others to follow us. It helped us respond to crises that happened to our teams and to our partners. It always keeps a bright, dynamic space open for responses to other invitations, when we have no money, when we have no people, when we have to say, "no." It still, through the grace of God, keeps that space open.</p> <p>______________________</p> <p><br /> * One lingering problem that the organization struggles with is the passing down of institutional memory.&nbsp; Few participants in the first training were aware that CPT was on a track to become an organization of activist delegations, like Witness for Peace.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1400" hreflang="en">CPT International</a></div> </div> </div> Thu, 12 Nov 2020 11:32:22 +0000 Caldwell 12443 at https://www.cpt.org CPT INTERNATIONAL: Virtual Accompaniment https://www.cpt.org/cptnet/2020/11/06/cpt-international-virtual-accompaniment <span>CPT INTERNATIONAL: Virtual Accompaniment</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/4" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Caldwell</span></span> <span>Fri, 11/06/2020 - 13:48</span> <div><figure><img alt="Collage of webinar title page screenshots" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://cpt.org/sites/default/files/2020-11/collage.jpg" style="width:70%" /></figure> <p><strong>By Milena Rincón, Program Director</strong></p> <p>A few months ago, I would never have imagined I would hear two partners sharing their experiences and struggles by only making a click! During the last months, our partners have witnessed how our physical accompaniment and presence, so meaningful and vital for their justice and peace efforts, have been abruptly transformed by a form of accompaniment from a distance. A "click" is now the entrance key to our partners' homes, struggles, and requests for a better life.</p> <p><br /> During the last six months, CPT's accompaniment has been limited to listening to our partners' stories, challenges, and demands.&nbsp; Missing is the warm welcome to their homes and offerings of fresh lemonade, tea, or coffee. Without a doubt, each of our partners and our teams has deeply missed those moments. We all look forward to renewing our visits and enjoying the feeling only old friends can experience when they meet again.</p> <p><br /> Since its creation, CPT has experienced critical and growing moments. This current crisis is again an invitation to think about the most effective forms of accompanying our partners in each one of CPT's locations. The process of thinking about accompaniment has allowed us to see what our strengths as an organization are and what new horizons we can see, in a world that insists on telling us there are no horizons.</p> <p><br /> Two decades ago, as CPT, we experienced a transformation of our protective accompaniment concept. We moved from foreign team members with passport privilege doing "overseas" work towards establishing accompaniment teams formed by nationals and foreign CPTers. CPT acknowledged the positive impact it has had on the accompanied communities and organizations, to see nationals and foreigners working together and supporting their struggles. This strategy was received, at the beginning, with some uncertainty by our partners, but time allowed CPT to enrich its work and our partners to increase their trust in the commitment of CPT's accompaniment.<br /> More than one decade ago, CPT radically changed its accompaniment approach as a result of an in-depth, long, and critical reflection process about its role as an organization. Acknowledging that our work to support different groups and organization initiatives was based on our privilege, CPT decided to become an organization that, together with those accompanied by us, would intentionally create and support strategies to transform the violence and oppression affecting our partners.</p> <p><br /> For 35 years, we have not only been transformed by our partners, we have and continue to be transformed by new generations of CPTers reflecting the rich diversity of the human family in solidarity and accompaniment work.</p> <p><br /> So, what does the current context invite us to do? To continue accompanying in solidarity, to transform through liberating love. CPT has not doubted its mission for a second. Our partners have reaffirmed how important it is to continue creatively accompanying them. We cannot leave them alone. Their lives and the lives of millions continue to be deeply impacted by oppressive and violent structures taking away all opportunities. Our partners continue asking that their lives and human rights be respected and guaranteed.</p> <p><br /> For CPT to accompany our partners has involved increasing intentional communication with them and our supporters, and increasing advocacy work. Our partners’ voices must be heard. This work—making their struggle visible, communicating, and advocating for change as part of our accompaniment—needs You.&nbsp; They and CPT need your support, which can include reading our publications, joining our webinars, participating in the urgent actions and campaigns, reposting our communications, and liking them. What seem like simple actions – just one click! – are the actions that allow CPT and its partners in the United States, Palestine, Iraqi Kurdistan, Greece, Colombia, and Canada to continue working with strength and hope. Our partners are not alone. This solidarity is our core value as accompaniers.</p> <p><br /> During these times of physical distancing, our partners keep showing their powerful and radical resilience and strength and their hope for a different world.&nbsp; They keep inviting us to be part of a radical transformation, either by sharing a drink when we visit them or by joining CPT's webinars. Our partners continue resisting the Turkish army bombing of their homes and lands in northern Iraq; challenging the Israeli military occupation aiming to destroy and disappear them; surviving humiliating and confined living conditions while they search for a better life in Greece and United States; asking their ancestral rights as First Nations to be respected and the treaties being honored by Turtle Island (Canada and U.S.) authorities; defending their lives and their territories in Colombia.</p> <p><br /> Today, to be in solidarity and to accompany our partners is more critical than ever. CPT continues building partnerships and raising our voices together with our partners. We invite you to continue accompanying those communities and supporting our work, with just a click!</p> <p><a href="https://cpt.org/news/newsletter"><strong>Read the full newsletter.</strong></a></p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1400" hreflang="en">CPT International</a></div> </div> </div> Fri, 06 Nov 2020 19:48:53 +0000 Caldwell 12440 at https://www.cpt.org Prayers for Peacemakers 4 November 2020, Aegean Migrant Solidarity https://www.cpt.org/cptnet/2020/11/04/prayers-peacemakers-4-november-2020-aegean-migrant-solidarity <span>Prayers for Peacemakers 4 November 2020, Aegean Migrant Solidarity </span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/4" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Caldwell</span></span> <span>Wed, 11/04/2020 - 07:52</span> <div><figure><img alt="Image split in two. Left, Police in riot gear at Pikpa camp. Text: They came like this. Right, a home with chairs in the lawn at Pikpa camp. Text: For this." data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://cpt.org/sites/default/files/2020-11/pikpa%20camp.jpg" style="width:100%" /></figure> <p>Please hold the residents of Pikpa close to you. Pikpa is an independent camp for the most vulnerable migrants in Lesvos, run by local and international volunteers in the spirit of solidarity and active participation.&nbsp; After years of enduring the threat of closure, which intensified over the last few months, Pipka's residents were brutally evicted. Police arrived in the early hours of October 30th and separated residents from staff and volunteers before putting almost 80 men, women, and children onto buses to transfer them to a camp run by the municipality, Kara Tepe. The government plans to close down Kara Tepe by the end of the year and shift all migrants to the new Moria 2.0, built on a swamp and demined land.</p> <p>The forced closure of Pikpa is the latest in a series of clampdowns on solidarity by the Greek state with the tacit support of the European Union.</p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1486" hreflang="en">Aegean Migrant Solidarity</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1422" hreflang="en">Prayers</a></div> </div> </div> Wed, 04 Nov 2020 13:52:07 +0000 Caldwell 12439 at https://www.cpt.org CPT International: Staying courageous https://www.cpt.org/cptnet/2020/11/02/cpt-international-staying-courageous <span>CPT International: Staying courageous</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/4" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Caldwell</span></span> <span>Mon, 11/02/2020 - 12:50</span> <div><figure><img alt="Illustration of Walter Wallace Jr. Justice for Walter Wallace" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://cpt.org/sites/default/files/2020-11/walter%20wallace%20red.jpg" style="width:60%" /> <figcaption>Justice for Walter Wallace. Twitter: <a href="https://twitter.com/sywtta/status/1321209996387012610">so you want to talk about</a></figcaption> </figure> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>By Melissa Berkey-Gerard, Psychosocial&nbsp;Care Coordinator</strong></p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;"><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;;">A few days ago, I woke with a longing for freedom for all people. It started in my chest, in my heart, and spread to the rest of my body. In a time that can feel hopeless, I let that longing fill me and animate me for the day ahead.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;"><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;;">This week, in my home city of Philadelphia, Walter Wallace, Jr. was killed by police, just a few blocks from where I live. Walter's life was another beloved Black life cut short, and the fight against police brutality seems endless. This murder comes a few days before the US Presidential election. I don't need to remind anyone what the current president has done to amplify white body supremacy. Stress levels are very high now, yet the struggle for justice needs all of us to be well to continue to work for liberation for all people.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;"><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;;">In our work for liberation, it is crucial to be intentional in caring for ourselves and our communities during intense times. Here are a few invitations:&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;"><strong style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;"><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;;">When you wake up in the morning, connect with your body</span></strong><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;;">. Start with a deep breath, and ask what does my body need? If your body wants to rest, please let it. If it wants to dance, let it dance. Your body holds fear and trauma, but it also holds joy and courage, and it can give you hints about what you need.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;"><strong style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;"><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;;">Give attention and space to your heart and your spirit</span></strong><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;;">. Remind yourself of the reason for which you live. What are your longings? What is most dear to you? What centers you? If you are drawn to meditate, pray, journal, or sing, give yourself the time to do it.</span></p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;"><strong style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;"><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;;">Activate your support system</span></strong><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;;">. Now is the time to let your connections with others deepen into a web that holds all of us. Reach out to others who will listen, who will rage with you, who will cry with you. You are not alone.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;"><strong style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;"><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;;">Let history give you courage.</span></strong><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;;">&nbsp;Remember those who have been strong in the face of injustice. People have always courageously stood up to oppressive systems and have been chipping away at injustice for generations. Make a list- who can you call to mind to give you strength now? Keep the list somewhere easily visible to you throughout the day, and let this cloud of witnesses encourage you.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;"><span data-preserver-spaces="true" style="color: rgb(14, 16, 26); background: transparent; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt;;">The struggle for justice is long and hard. Take heart, my friends, and may we all find what we need to keep working for another world where all are free.&nbsp; </span></p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1400" hreflang="en">CPT International</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1429" hreflang="en">Undoing Oppressions</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1430" hreflang="en">United States</a></div> </div> </div> Mon, 02 Nov 2020 18:50:11 +0000 Caldwell 12437 at https://www.cpt.org Prayers for Peacemakers 28 October 2020 Colombia https://www.cpt.org/cptnet/2020/10/27/prayers-peacemakers-28-october-2020-colombia <span>Prayers for Peacemakers 28 October 2020 Colombia</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/63" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Hannah</span></span> <span>Tue, 10/27/2020 - 03:24</span> <div><p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="568" src="/sites/default/files/PFP%20English..jpg" width="800" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We ask for your prayers for Lorena Gonzalez, a young woman from Barrancabermeja, Colombia, and for her family.</p> <p>Lorena, 21, has been missing since August 23, 2020. She has 3 children and a life ahead of her. Let us pray for Lorena's safe return home and for her family, who is suffering without news of her.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1422" hreflang="en">Prayers</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1399" hreflang="en">Colombia</a></div> </div> </div> Tue, 27 Oct 2020 08:24:18 +0000 Hannah 12435 at https://www.cpt.org CPT INTERNATIONAL: Fight, flight, freeze https://www.cpt.org/cptnet/2020/10/19/fight-flight-freeze <span>CPT INTERNATIONAL: Fight, flight, freeze</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/63" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Hannah</span></span> <span>Mon, 10/19/2020 - 05:56</span> <div><p>19 October 2020</p> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="275" src="/sites/default/files/whitewoman.jpeg" width="183" /></p> <p>by Mona al Zuhairi</p> <p>When I think about nonviolence, I don’t usually tie it to sharks. Still, here I was, I watching a documentary about sharks and considering the intricacies of the philosophy and the innate privilege that comes with it.&nbsp;</p> <p>Compared to axe-murders in the movie Jaws, sharks are representative of any unpredictable and life-threatening attack we may face in our lives. Sharks bring out our true colours, and our gut reactions are on display to the imminent danger. When a shark attacks a person in the ocean, what is a normal human reaction to this attack?</p> <p>In psychology, our brains react in three ways: fight, flight, or freeze. Whenever we perceive a threat, our bodies make a heroic and rapid response to this threat. Therefore sometimes a reaction is not meant to be violent, sometimes a person is scared enough that they cannot rationalize their responses, and their body kicks into auto-pilot.</p> <p>This analysis is by no means an invitation to use violent means; it is an invitation to look deeper into why people appear to be acting contrary to their morals of nonviolence. Why do people tend to question oppressed populations’ means for resistance instead of questioning the systemic oppression they suffer?</p> <p>I need you to ask yourself the following questions:</p> <ul> <li>Have you ever been accused of not being able to afford something expensive?</li> <li>Have you ever been followed in a store unnecessarily?</li> <li>Are you scared to be stopped by police because of your colour, nationality, or religion?</li> <li>Have you ever been stopped or detained by the police for no valid reason?&nbsp;</li> <li>Are you scared to get shot just by going to school, shopping or working?&nbsp;</li> <li>Do you have to teach your children how not to get killed by the police</li> </ul> <p>If all the answers are no, congratulations, you are privileged enough that your life has been given more value than others. Others who wake up every day praying not to be killed just because of how they look, where they come from, or what they believe. Others who pray that their kids come home from school alive.</p> <p>Some people live under continuous threat as long as they can remember. Some people haven’t lived a life outside of war, and they don’t know anything else but fear.</p> <p>Living under constant threat causes several physiological and psychological effects. First, your physical health is compromised, where&nbsp;fear weakens our immune system and can cause cardiovascular damage,&nbsp;gastrointestinal problems, among other issues. Second, your memory is affected. &nbsp;Fear can harm the formation of long-term memories and cause damage to certain parts of the brain. This can make it more difficult to regulate fear and can leave a person anxious most of the time. Third, constant threat disrupts brain processing and reactivity.&nbsp;Being scared can reduce your ability to regulate emotions, understand non-verbal cues and other information, harming our decision-making process and leading to inappropriate reactions. Lastly, our mental health suffers.&nbsp;&nbsp;Consequences of long-term fear can include fatigue, clinical depression&nbsp;and PSTD.</p> <p>Unless you are walking in the same shoes as an oppressed person, you are speaking about nonviolence from a place of privilege and from the side of the oppressor.</p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1429" hreflang="en">Undoing Oppressions</a></div> </div> </div> Mon, 19 Oct 2020 10:56:04 +0000 Hannah 12433 at https://www.cpt.org