Nonviolent Change Journal

Publication of the Research/Action Team on Nonviolent Large Systems Change,
an interorganizational project of the Organization Development Institute

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Editor's Comments

What Are You Up To?

Ongoing Activities

Upcoming Events

World Developments

Media Notes

Reports and Announcements

Articles

Letters: Dialoging

 

 

 

Vol. XX, No.3                                                   Spring 2006

 

Nonviolent Change Journal helps to network the peace community: providing dialoguing, exchanges of ideas, articles, reviews, reports and announcements of the activities of peace related groups and meetings, reviews of world developments relating to nonviolent change and resource information concerning the development of human relations on the basis of mutual respect.

 

Ongoing Activities

 

Compiled by Steve Sachs

 

    

 

    Codepink: Women for Peace (codepink@democracyinaction.org) went to Mali and Venezuela for the World Social Forum. "There, we were inspired to see how deeply the world supports peace. Prominent personalities, women's organizations and even Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez signed on to our latest campaign to end the war in Iraq, Women Say No To War http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?key=79124908&url_num=3&url=http://www.womensaynotowar.org/

 

On Tuesday night, February 7, during President Bush's State of the Union address, CODEPINK joined numerous organizations, including United for Peace  (www.unitedforpeace.org) and the American Friends Service Committee (bpingue@afsc,org) in protests around the country and Cindy Sheehan was arrested inside the Capitol for simply wearing an anti-war t-shirt, and the wife of a Republican Congressman was escorted out of the Capitol for wearing a T-shirt saying "support the troops." the Capital Police Chief apologized for both actions, the next day.

 

 CODEPINK and Global Exchange organized an end the war tour of the U.S. in March, with five Iraqi women sharing their first hand experiences of the war. (There were to be seven Iraqi women participating, but the U.S. State Department denied Visas to two who had lost their entire families in the conflagration, on the grounds that they no longer have strong family ties to Iraq and might try to stay in the U.S.).

 

Major demonstrations took place on International Women’s Day on March 8th and the three-year anniversary of the Iraq war on March 20th (For more information on antiwar activity by many groups go to: http://www.unitedforpeace.org). On March 8, the group attempted to present a petition to the U.S. U.N. mission in New York, calling for a U.S. withdrawal and the U.N. to send peacekeeping forces. However, several of the peaceful petitioners were arrested, including Cindy Sheehan. For more information go to: http://www.codepinkalert.org/. On several dates, but particularly on the anniversary of the war, in March, major demonstrations calling for its end took place in cities around the world.

 

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      Representatives of the 34 U.S. members of World Council of Churches, at the largest gathering of Christian churches in nearly a decade, In late February, sharply denounced the U.S.-led war in Iraq, accusing Washington of "raining down terror," and apologizing to other nations for "the violence, degradation and poverty our nation has sown." The statement, also warned that the United States was pushing the world toward environmental catastrophe with a "culture of consumption" and its refusal to back international accords seeking to battle global warming. The World Council of Churches includes more than 350 mainstream Protestant, Anglican and Orthodox churches. The U.S. groups in the WCC include the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Methodist Church, several Orthodox churches and Baptist denominations.

 

     The Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA) Committee on Academic Freedom is concerned with any external efforts to restrict or interfere with the content of academic peace studies programs, including the kinds of questions and methodologies pursued in classrooms and research.  "Our concerns cover a wide range of issues:  actual or potential cuts in program funding; threats to tenure, retention, and promotion; and various kinds of pressures that can lead to faculty self-censorship." The committee is collecting information on such threats and pressures, and requests input from those experiencing them. "By collecting information and disseminating it to our membership, we seek to prevent isolation, share successful strategies, and cultivate institutional and community environments in which our work can flourish". Andrew Moss (Cal Poly Pomona), and Stephen Zunes (University of San Francisco).  Please send information and queries to Andrew Moss, committee chair, at aimoss@csupomona.edu.

 

     The Israeli peace organization Gush Shalom published the following public statement, on March 17. "There is a choice!   There is a solution! We all long for an end to the conflict, for the termination of the bloodshed and a life in peace, in a state of which we can be proud. We will not be able to realize this by means of "Reassembling", "Disengagement", the Apartheid Wall, the unilateral fixing of the "Permanent Borders" (in agreement with the settlers) and all the other patent medicines and Fata Morganas. All these have already been tried and have already failed. There is only one real way:

 

1. The elected Government of Israel will invite the elected Government of Palestine to direct negotiations, on the basis of equality and mutual respect, for the implementation of the "Two States for Two Peoples" solution.

 

2. The opening of the negotiations will constitute the mutual recognition of the right to existence of the two states within the borders that will be determined by the negotiations.

 

3. Neither of the two parties will be asked to give up its religious and spiritual affinity with all the territory between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, irrespective of the division of political sovereignty.

 

4. The permanent borders between the two states will be based on the Green Line. The final route will be fixed by negotiation, with the possibility of agreed exchanges of territory.

 

5. The Jewish quarters of Jerusalem, together with the Western Wall, will belong to Israel. The Arab quarters of Jerusalem, together with the compound of the mosques, will belong to Palestine.

 

6. All the other questions, such as security arrangements, refugees, economic relations and water, will be resolved by mutual agreement.

 

7. The negotiations will be completed in no more than three years.

 

8. An armistice (hudnah) will come into force for the duration of the negotiations. Each of the two governments will be responsible for a complete cessation of violence by its military forces as well as by all armed factions, groups and individuals. There will be no building activity in the existing settlements, nor will new settlements be set up.

 

9. A neutral international committee, with the participation of international personalities acceptable to both sides, will oversee the implementation.

 

We call upon all the voters of the Peace Camp to vote for a party that is close to these principles".

 

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     As Israel continues to build the security fence and allow settlement expansion, Israeli and Palestinian Peace Groups have continued to protest the harsh difficulties created for Palestinians by those developments. For example, members of the Olive Harvest Coalition went to the Palestinian lands at Kaffin, cutoff from the rest of Palestinian territory by the security fence, to do something about the loss of olive trees uprooted by the wall construction and destroyed by Jewish settlers. There, Israeli companies have illegally dumped garbage and waste, and nothing has been done by the government through months of protest. When fires swept through the area, burning remaining trees, the security forces did not permit the fire brigade access to the area.  So the coalition planting thousands of saplings, and have tended them when the Palestinian villagers have been barred from going there to do the work. For more information contact Gush Shalom, pob 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033, Israel, info@gush-shalom.org, www.gush-shalom.org, Peace Now (in Hebrew and English): http://www.peacenow.org.il/site/he/, Rabbis For Human Rights: info@rhr.israel.net, The Other Israel, pob 2542, Holon 58125, Israel, ph/fx: +972-3-5565804, otherisr@actcom.co.il, http://www.geocities.com/toi_billboard. In December, members of American Friends Service Committee joined other internationals and Palestinians and Israelis for an international conference, Celebrating Nonviolent Resistance, in Bethlehem, Palestine, that included peaceful demonstrations promoting a just solution to the Holy Land conflict, and calling for an end of abuses, including building the security wall. For information contact Noab Merrill at Southeastern New England AFSC, nmerrill@afsc.org.

 

     For 8 days in December Eliyahu McLean, Director of Jerusalem Peacemakers, and Director Ibrahim Abuelhawa hosted a delegation of Sikhs who came to pray for peace in the Holy Land. The week encompassed dialogue and prayer amongst the major faith traditions of Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Druze and Bahai. For more information contact Eliyahu McLean, Jerusalem Peacemakers, PO Box 2427, Glastonbury, Somerset BA6 8XX, England, eliyahu@jerusalempeacemakers.org, or Andrea Blanch, 520 Ralph St, Sarasota, FL  34242.

 

     The joint Israeli-Palestinian soccer "peace team," sponsored by the Shimon Peres Centre for Peace, played Spain's leading team in Barcelona, in November. The team was jointly coached by Israeli national team coach Dror Kashtan and Palestinian coach Jamal Hadeideh of Tul Karm. The Peres centre also has soccer and basketball coaching program for Israeli and Palestinian youth, which are among the few joint Israeli and Palestinian sporting activities. In the Umm al-Fahm, the biggest Arab town in Israel, the Umm al-Fahm art gallery, showing Arab and Israeli Art, recently opened as a meeting place between Israelis and Arabs, Jews and Muslims. The owner, Mr. Said, hopes "that in some small way, art can provide a bridge between the two communities." Breaking the Ice, which brings together peoples in conflict for extreme sports adventures, brought together a group of Middle Eastern Muslims and Jewish Israelis ,earlier this year, to learn desert survival and conflict resolution skills at an unnamed location in Jordan, before proceeding with a 5,500 kilometer desert crossing of the Sahara to Tripoli, Libya. In 2004, Breaking the Ice began its operation with eight Israelis and Palestinians in an Antarctica adventure.

 

     "Seriously Joking," a new Palestinian soap opera co-produced by Search for Common Ground (SFCG), unlike other programming on Palestinian TV, focuses on everyday life. It also shatters Palestinians' stereotypes about themselves, in the course of looking at social issues including early marriage and young Palestinians falling in and out of love, high unemployment, the impact of nepotism and corruption and the decision to emigrate in search of a better life. In addition, since August, SFCG has co-produced, with the Ma'an Network a twice-weekly TV magazine series for Palestinian viewers. The segments, which are produced by the network's ten local TV stations, tell stories that convey the positive, human-interest side of Palestinian society, such as a profile the gold market in Tulkarem, tobacco cultivation in Jenin, a look at Bethlehem University, and a portrait of a disabled man in Nablus who lives a wholly self-sufficient life. Commencing at the same time, SFCG has joined, Daoud Kuttab, a leading Palestinian journalist, the Ma'an Network, and Al Quds Educational TV in restarting C-Spanlike coverage of the sessions of the Palestinian Legislative Council, including discussions of alleged corruption, that were stopped by the Palestinian Authority in 1997, with Daoud being detained in prison for 8 days. It is hoped that this coverage will promote transparency and non-violence in the Palestinian political process.

 

     Search for Common Ground continues to be active in many places. The organization's President John Marks, commented in SFCG's winter 2005-2006 newsletter, "Despite the precarious state of the world, there is much to be thankful for. Here at SFCG, we are overwhelmingly optimistic. Our hope for 2006 is that many more people - and nations - will realize that everyone on the planet shares common humanity and that all of us can do much better in resolving problems peacefully".

 

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     Marks believes there is reason for optimism in Burundi. SFCG began work there in 1995, after genocide swept through neighboring Rwanda, with a multi-pronged effort to help defuse violence. The radio program, Studio Ijambo, employing Hutus and Tutsis continues to produce programs (including the organization's first radio soap opera) to counter hate radio and promote reconciliation, with 15 hours a week of original programming on five Burundian radio stations. The Women's Peace Center mobilizes women as peacemakers, working with thousands of women's associations in organizing training, facilitating interethnic dialogue, providing information about women's legal rights, and supporting resettlement of internally displaced people (IDPs). In 2005, Léonie Barakomeza and Yvonne Ryakiye, along with eight other Burundian women, were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for their work building peace in Busoro. They met through the Women's Peace Center, in 1996, and began to work together. Unlike most of their neighbors, they were willing to cross the river. They were accused of being spies and traitors, but they persisted. Other women followed their example, and links grew. The two created a women's association, whose name translates as We Want Peace. They urged people to return home. Despite meager means, the women pooled their resources and built 40 brick houses for both Tutsi and Hutu families. The Women's Peace Center has trained hundreds of Burundian women to be facilitators in reuniting divided communities. In 2004, one facilitator was invited to Rusengo, where many ethnic killings had occurred. The community had reached the point where it wanted the violence to end and asked us to facilitate a reconciliation process. A meeting was convened, and the facilitator formed those present into two lines: on one side were the perpetrators; on the other were the families of dead victims. One by one, those in the first group stepped forward to admit guilt. Then, those in the second group took the hand of the person who had confessed and granted pardon. The session ended with a young man, who had stood with the victims and had just taken the hand of someone who had murdered one of his family, suddenly crossing the space between the lines, joining the perpetrators, and reaching across to take the hand of a woman whose husband he had killed. He was forgiven.

 

     The Victims of Torture Project brings together the expertise of organizations working in peace-building, traumatic medicine, community organizing, and human rights advocacy. It promotes psychological healing, furnishes legal assistance, and aids in reintegration of victims. Domestic Shuttle Diplomacy is carried out by Jan van Eck, a former South African ANC Member of Parliament, to promote dialogue and help solve problems among leaders of conflicting parties, including groups outside official talks. The Working with Killers youth project provides young militia members with alternatives to violence, with activities including sponsoring soccer tournaments, training youth in conflict resolution, and widely distributing comic books that deplore violence.  In addition, SFCG has organized a national dance competition, along with singing and drumming festivals and produces music for peace radio programs, and enlisting reggae star Ziggy Marley to record public service announcements. All of this has helped Burundi move back from the brink of genocide. A top-level mediation process led by Nelson Mandela resulted in a political settlement, national elections, and interethnic power sharing. Unfortunately, one rebel group continues armed conflict; many political leaders refuse to abandon their zero-sum approach; and "Burundi remains fragile. But compared to ten years ago, there has been extraordinary progress, and we are proud to have played a positive role."

 

     SFCG's Burundi program celebrated its tenth birthday, last year, as its daily radio soap opera produced its 1000th episode. Hugely popular and influential, Atunda Ayenda (Lost and Found), airs on all 11 of the country's radio stations, telling stories with themes of conflict resolution and of ex-combatants who come home, look for lost loves, and rebuild their lives. During recent Burundian and Sierra Leonean elections, SFCG formed consortia of journalists to observe report on results as the votes were being counted, reducing the possibility of fraud and violence. During last fall's elections in Liberia, SFCG partnered with UN Radio and a private station to provide the same transparency, while promoting openness through broadcasting political debates in 16 local languages, and giving callers the opportunity to denounce any irregularities on the air, live.

 

     In Angola, as elsewhere, SFCG put special emphasis on working with youth, bringing together young people from the opposing sides in the former civil war, the MPLA and UNITA, to empower them to co-create projects that promote reconciliation. This work is particularly important in dealing with youth violence, which has a highly negative impact on Angola. One of the participants in one the program stated, "I began by disrespecting my teachers and assaulting stores with an armed street gang known as AKM. Then, I wanted to leave that life behind because I was tired and a guy by the name of Paixão told me about the trainings. Today I am completely different as a result of the trainings… They gave me tools with which to resolve conflict without violence". For more information contact Search for Common Ground, 1601 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20009, (202) 265-4300, search@scfg.org, www.sfcg.org, or Search for Common Ground, Rue Belliard 205 bte 13, B-1040 Brussels, Belgium, Tel.: (32-2) 736-7262, brussels@sfcg.be

 

     The Coalition for Work With Psychotrauma and Peace Coalition for Work With Psychotrauma and Peace (CWWPP) in Vukovar, Croatia, marked its 10th anniversary in the region, last June. During those ten years, CWWPP has trained about 500 people and directly treated approximately 1000 people.  "It is difficult to estimate the total number of people we have affected, because each of the people we have trained has gone on to work with other groups. Thus, we estimate that we have assisted between 5000 and 10000 people in the region of eastern Croatia, northern Bosnia Herzegovina and Vojvodina. We have also had a total of about 25 interns from abroad and a large number of groups of foreign students who have visited us for varying periods. Further, we have spoken at quite a number of international conferences and published papers on the problems of post-conflict areas. As a result of all of this experience, we have decided to establish the Institute for Post-Conflict Studies, where we will share our knowledge and conduct research into more effective ways of working in regions such as ours".

 

     "Unfortunately, psychological treatment in eastern Croatia, northern Bosnia and Vojvodina remains at a low standard. Psychotherapy and self-help groups are virtually non-existent. Virtually all treatment uses drugs, causing high – and unmeasured – levels of addiction.  Psychiatrists in the region are seeing up to 75 patients per day. An absurd new law in Croatia says that former soldiers must have registered as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by the end of 2005 if they want to get the status of army war veteran based on this “disease” (which we prefer to call a reaction). This goes against international definitions. Furthermore, in September, a very prominent Croatian psychiatrist noted that aggressors are protected from having PTSD because they created the trauma and they can only feel guilt. This standpoint was accented in a recent television program in which it was asserted that Serbs cannot suffer from PTSD  It is obvious that these standpoints make no sense." Physical medical treatment is also at a low standard, with general practitioners seeing an average of 50-75 patients per day, and regular reports of mis-diagnosis and mis-treatment.  The problem of the time that physicians have for patients is now being compounded by a new rule that compels physicians to write their own bills for each patient contact.

 

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     The human rights situation in Croatia is still poor. Little has been done to solve the problems of the 350,000 Serbs who left Croatia since 1991. According to OSCE reports, 120,000 Serbs have returned, but 40,000 left Croatia again because of the poor conditions they faced upon their return. The majority of the 80,000 returnees still in the country are older people whose income is based on agriculture or who have pensions, and thus who can survive. The high number of people who leave the country after returning is an indication of the lack of success of international and national reintegration policies and politics. There are few systematic efforts toward reintegration such as the Strategy of Complex Rehabilitation set out by CWWPP in the Proposals section of its web site. Almost no effort is being undertaken on reconciliation in the Vukovar area, with no apparent interest from donors to finance these activities and to invest in this region where the war in the Balkans started. This is reflected in the segregation of the educational system, even at the kindergarten level, and is an indication of danger for the future of the region. Moreover, there continues to be wide spread corruption in the region, even among some non-governmental organizations (for more information go to Transparency International at: http://www.transparency.org/cpi/2005/2005.10.18.cpi.en.html.s). The difficulty in finding funding, is particularly a problem for CWWWPP, at the present time, as it must find at least 170,000 Euros to expand its facilities, because of the success of its program.

 

     The Center continues, after five years, to co-lead, with Marimo, a group for the relatives of schizophrenics in Osijek. There are plans to expand cooperation when funding permits. After the successful cooperation in the project of assistance to physical invalids sponsored by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the CWWPP has begun a course for self-help group leaders from Bubamara in Vinkovci. Faced with more people in need than it has the staff and resources to work with, CWWPP is slowly increasing the number of individual clients that it is treating.

 

     CWWPP has joined with other groups, including the Center for Peace Osijek, the Nansen Dialogue Center Osijek and Europe House Vukovar, to seek a change in Croatian law which puts a practical limit on the ability of organizations to receive help from international volunteers. Since January 1, 2004, people have not been permitted to visit the country for more than 90 days, after which they must leave the country for another 90 days before returning.

 

     In September, the CWWPP began to teach a “core group” the basics of communication, psychological trauma, civil society and non-violent conflict transformation. It is expected that the course will last for approximately a year. The participants will then be qualified to work as group leaders in the field. A number of the participants are members of other non-governmental organizations working in the region. In April and May, CWWPP Director Charles David Tauber gave a 30-hour course in Introduction to Counseling at the Evangelical Theological Faculty, Osijek. This is one more step in the cooperation between the ETF, the CWWPP and the Jewish Community of Osijek, which have worked together on a number of events during the past few years. A new part of this coalition is developing a project on the History of Jews in the Vukovar Area. In addition, Dr Tauber gave a number of seminars to students from around the world on the psychology of post-conflict areas, in particular as applied to this region, during the two-week long Summer University held by the Youth Peace Group Danube at Europe House Vukovar. 

 

     In June, the Transitional Learning Center of the University of Toronto held a working conference on the formation of an international institute for grassroots peacebuilding, with Center Director Dr. Charles David Tauber a keynote speaker. The CWWPP is playing a central role in this initiative. In addition, Dr. Tauber gave a seminar on Treatment of Problems of Identity in Former Soldiers during the course in Genocide, War Crimes and Memories, sponsored by the University of Sarajevo at the Inter-University Center Dubrovnik. Just after this seminar, he participated in a Balkan-wide working group on restorative justice sponsored by the Department of Law of the University of Leuven.

 

     Following up on its 8-week program on the problems of post-conflict areas during the summer of 2005, which Participants evaluated as highly successful  (A full report is available at http://www.cwwpp.org/Study.htm), CWWWPP is running a Summer Program in Post-Conflict Studies, June 19 - September 2. It includes a three-week intensive course on post-conflict areas, concentrating on the situation in eastern Croatia, a six week research project and an optional course in Croatian. The three week intensive provides an introduction to the region, the history of the area and the conflict, the politics of the region, the role of religion in the region, human rights in the region, civil society, education, health and traumatization and reconciliation and return. The CWWPP is a Dutch registered organization working on issues of health, civil society, non-violent conflict transformation and (re-) development of society.  The Coalition has been in the region since 1995.  The CWWPP has had interns and volunteers since 1999, who have stayed from a few weeks up to about six months. This program is part of the development of the Vukovar Field Institute for Post-Conflict Studies. More information contact Coalition for Work With Psychotrauma and Peace, Gunduliceva 18, 2000 Vukovar, Croatia, Tel and Fax +385-32-441975, new e-mail address: office@cwwpp.org    or go to their website:  http://www.cwwpp.org

 

 

     Youth Empowerment Partnership Program (YEPP) has been enhancing renewal in Tuzla-Simin Han, Bosnia by motivating and encouraging young people toward self-initiative and new activities to organize their free time and enhance the positive growth of their personalities. Projects in community building and community action include refurbishment of the old District Administration Building and creation of Agora: a central community space. Agora activities are organized democratically, by the local people, and focus on dialogue and exchange, culture, dispersing information, computer and internet access, and training and education. Economic development projects include small business development training setting up a collecting and selling location for agriculture, as well as a pilot vocational orientation program in the local school, featuring visits to a variety of enterprises in Tuzla. In the area of ecology, Yepp runs ecological education programs, and has helped students begin recycling. The Tuzla project is one of several Yepp efforts to reestablish social cohesion among young people. For more information go to www.yepp-community.org

 

      The Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) is strengthening and expanding its work in Sri Lanka. "January was turbulent, with Sri Lanka balanced on the edge of war. During this alarming time, most International NGO's had to close their offices in Trincomalee or significantly restrict the movement of their staff. The Nonviolent Peaceforce Sri Lanka Team (NPSL) continued to work under these circumstances, as the demand for its protection services was greater than ever. In Batticaloa, an explosive destroyed a Norweigan Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission vehicle and damaged several others that were parked inside a high security zone. The attack on the international monitors symbolized what many view as the complete breakdown of whatever remained of the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA)". A renewal of peace negotiations has since raised the hope that the Cease Fire will return in full and a peace settlement can soon be reached. In Columbia, NP has been expanding its Columbian team, launched in November, and is developing local contacts to increase its monitoring. In the Middle East, 35 NP supporters served as election monitors during the January voting in the Palestinian territories. NP has produced a new 12 minute video/DVD, "The Nonviolent Peaceforce," in English, depicting its work and offering insights into its mission, philosophy and long-range vision. For more information contact Nonviolent Peaceforce, Rue Van Elewyck 35, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium, +49-40-655-90-940 or 425 Oak Grove St, Minneapolis, MN 55403. (612)871-0005, info@nonviolentpeaceforce.org,  http://NonviolentPeaceforce.org.

 

     The Genocide Intervention Network (GI-Net) is a nationally recognized non-profit that empowers people with the tools to promote protection for the victims of genocidal crises. GI-Net is currently working with community leaders, students, and teachers to help them learn and teach about ways to get involved in the struggle to ensure protection for the civilians of Darfur, Sudan. For more information, contact Lee A. Smithey. Assistant Professor Department of Sociology & Anthropology, Peace and Conflict Studies, Chair, 500 College Avenue, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA  19081, Telephone: (610)690-2064, http://www.swarthmore.edu/SocSci/SocAnth, http://www.swarthmore.edu/SocSci/peace.

 

     Amnesty International (AI) has been focusing heavily on the issue of torture and improper detention, particularly by the U.S., of late. For details go to www.amnestyusa.org.

 

     Peace Brigades International (PBI) is in its 25th year of pursuing international human rights work, maintaining field offices in Nepal, Indonesia, Guatemala, Mexico, and Colombia. PBI is seeking fieldworkers and office interns, and is inviting participants for an Orientation Weekend in New York City. The two day sessions on the human rights conditions in the five countries where PBI currently operates include first-hand personal accounts of what it’s like to be a field volunteer, group discussions, role-plays, and other interactive exercises. The Weekend covers many key aspects of PBI’s work, including organizational culture, nonviolence strategies and training methodologies used by the PBI field projects. PBI's Emergency Response Network, in February, acted in the face massacre in the San José de Apartadó Peace Community (accompanied by PBI), along with many partners, to generate an impressive response felt by the US State Department and Colombian Government, to have the Columbian government seriously seek the perpetrators and act to prevent reoccurrences of the attack. 32 members of Congress sent a letter to Colombian President Uribe. PBI met with Colombian Vice-President Santos at the Colombian Ambassador's residence in DC during his stateside visit. PBI is featured in a new book entitled Taking a Stand: A Guide to Peace Teams and Accompaniment Projects. The film “In the Company of Fear” about Peace Brigades in Colombia was shown at the United Nations Association Film Festival in Boston. PBI Germany released a new DVD, “En Busca de Dignidad”, about PBI Guatemala. For more information contact PBI/USA, 1326 9th St, NW, Washington, DC 20001, (202)232-0142, info@pbiusa.org, http://www.peacebrigades.org/usa/internship.html.

 

     A group of grassroots delegates from Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Peru, and other Latin American nations journeyed to Washington, DC. to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States to deliver a report that femicide, the murder of women, is spreading in the region. The delegates sketched a pattern of widespread violence against women, rampant failures in the procurement of justice for victims and relatives, the prevalence of impunity, and the absence of standard statistical-gathering and record-keeping methods to document gender violence. For more information go the International Relations Center (IRC) website, http://americas.irc-online.org).

 

     The Association for Realisation of Basic Needs (ARBAN) is a grassroots NGO in Bangladesh working for peace, progress, justice, development, democracy, tolerance, human rights, communal harmony and socio-economic and political empowerment of the people in rural and urban areas. It is also associated with the International Peace Research Association (IPRA). ARBAN was founded in 1984 to arouse and  advance people's awareness for their dignity and development. For information contact Muahmmed Kamal Uddin, Coordinator, ARBAN, arbn@agni.com.

 

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     Citizens for Global Solutions works to transform consciousness and public policy to create collaborative international relations. "To survive in the world we have transformed, we must learn to think in a new way. As never before, the future of each depends on the good of all." For information, contact Citizens for Global solutions,418 7 St., Washington, DC 20003 (202)546-3950, www.globalsolutions.org. The Coalition for a Strong United Nations has a long range peace program based upon human rights principles and the recognition that all living things and resources are interdependent. For details go to www.strongUN.org, or contact CSUNdean@ao.com.

 

     The University of Peace with its main campus in Costa Rica is in the process of setting up a University of Peace International Centre in Toronto, that, beginning in 2007, would accommodate about 35 graduate students, in Masters programs in Peace Education and Environmental Security and Peace, from around the world in Canadian families, rather than in student residences. In addition, a Dual Campus MA Program in Peace Education is offered with study split between the UN-mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica and its International Centre in Canada. For information contact the University of Peace Toronto office manager, Digafie Debalke, (416)598-0582, Ext. 27, DDebalke@upeace.org, or the Main Campus and Headquarters, P.O. Box 138-6100, San José, Costa Rica  (506) 205-9000, info@upeace.org, www.upeace.org. Naropa University (Boulder, CO) has created a Peace Studies program and is hiring one full time faculty for fall 2006.

 

     The Hague Appeal for Peace has developed a partnership with the new Peace Boat US, which is taking over its peace education programs and communications. The Hague Appeal for Peace started out in October 1996 with one idea, to hold a world conference on peace that the UN wouldn't do as the last summit in the last decade of the last century. The May 1999 conference in The Hague was timed as the centennial of the world's first peace congress in 1899, and the agenda was to call peace a human right and to call for the abolition of the institution of war. Since, then the Hague appeal has established the Global Campaign for Peace Education, held conferences, produced three books, and produced an E-mail newsletter. Peace Boat US will continue this work and expand on it, using their ship to hold peace education classes, conferences, and to recruit young and not so young people from the U.S. and elsewhere to participate. They will be monitoring the UN, and will continue to send out a Peace Education newsletter. For more information contact Helene Leneveu, Hague Appeal for Peace, 777 UN Plaza, Third Floor, New York, NY 10017 (212)687-2623, helene@haguepeace.org, www.haguepeace.org.

 

     TRANSCEND Peace University (TPU), in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, has continued to increase the scope and range of its nonviolencetraining programs world-wide, during 2006. More than 90% of TRANSCEND˙s trainings are provided upon request after invitations from governments, national and international organizations and universities. The remainder are organized at TRANSCEND's sites and centers world-wide. One of its major trainings is Reconciliation and Peacebuilding in Divided Communities, a five-day intensive training program and interactive workshop for practitioners, local authorities, community and religious leaders, government, media, businesses, and non-governmental organizations working in diverse communities and communities affected by conflict. The program draws upon concrete experiences in working in diverse communities from North America, Central and South America, Eastern and Western Europe, Africa and Asia. TPU offers both on site and on line courses and trainings. For more information TRANSCEND Peace University Global Center in Cluj, Romania, Tel +40-724-380511, tpu@transcend.org, www.transcend.org/tpu.

 

     World Peace Radio (http://www.worldpeaceradio.com/) features music, interviews and quotes designed to encourage peace in our lifetime.

 

     Global Exchange, in honor of international human rights day, released a report on the Most Wanted Corporate Human Rights Violators of 2005. The list was developed to illustrate that on issues as diverse as assassination, torture, kidnapping, environmental degradation, abusing public funds, violently repressing worker rights, releasing toxins into pristine environments, destroying homes, and causing widespread health problems, not only governments are responsible. Corporations carry out some of the most horrific human rights abuses of modern times. For more go to: http://www.globalexchange.org/getInvolved/corporateHRviolators.html. Infact has changed its name to Corporate Accountability International, challenging abuse, protecting people. Among other projects, the organization continues to work for spread of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, of which the U.S. is not yet a signator. For more information contact Corporate Accountability International, 46 Plympton St., Boston, MA 02118 (617)695-2525, info@stopcorporateabuse.org, www.stopcorporateabuse.org.

 

     Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is very concerned that, "Increasingly, the Bush administration is crafting misguided national environmental and public health policies because it is ignoring, suppressing and manipulating independent scientific research when it does not follow their transparently ideological agenda". For details, contact UCS, 2 Brattle Square, Cambridge, MA 02238, www.ucsusa.org. Resist has taken up a number of environmental issues, including opposing nuclear power relicensing in favor of renewable energy, opposing mountaintop removal coal mining in Tennessee and supporting activists opposing toxic waste dumping. Resist is also concerned that since the beginning of war on terrorism, in 2001, there has been a 350% increase in U.S. military aid and training to the top 10 foreign sources of U.S. oil. Resist continues to provide funding to numerous non profit organizations. Among recent grantees are Manhattan Alliance for Peace and Justice (P.O. Box 1561, Manhattan, KS 66505, www.mapj.org) to fund a campaign for student activism at Kansas State University, strengthening existing progressive organizations, the Bitterroot Human Rights Alliance (P.O. Box 915, Hamilton, MT 59840) to support a campaign against intolerance in the Bitterroot Valley, and the Arab Women's Gathering Organizing Collective (1265 Harrison Ave., Columbus, OH 43201) to help develop a broad based movement for justice rooted in the perspective of Arab and Arab-American women and girls. For more information, contact Resist, 259 Elm St., Somerville, MA 02144

 

     Interfaith Tours to the Holy Land, run by Imagine Adventures, is launching a new program of spiritual explorations this spring, including its first Peacemakers in the Holy Land Tour to Israel, May 1-9. The group of up to 25 will meet with members of the Jerusalem Peacemakers, an interfaith peace and reconciliation association comprised of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian mystics and activists in the holy land. Eliyahu McLean, ordained as a Rodef Shalom, or Pursuer of Peace, by Rabbi Zalman Shechter-Shalomi, will be the main leader. There will also be sessions with Sheikh Abdu'l Aziz Bukhari, leader of the Naqshbandi Sufi Order in Jerusalem and other spiritual leaders in Bethlehem and Nazareth. For more information, contact Steve Scholl, Imagine Adventures, 295 E. Main St., Suite 18 Ashland, OR 97520, (541)301-7469, stevescholl@jeffnet.org, www.imagine-adventures.com.

 

     Bridge the World, Connect for Peace, Act for Justice (BCA) (who partners with the Peace and Justice Studies Association) puts on a number of International Seminars for Faculty and Administrator. Upcoming seminars include: Belfast and Derry, Northern Ireland, Galway, Ireland, June 10-20, combining insight into conflict and efforts at reconciliation with a broader analysis of human rights issues. For information contact BCA, 50 Alpha Dr., Elizabethtown, PA 17022 (866)22-6188, IS@BCAabraod, www.BCAabroad.org.

 

 

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©2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006. All rights reserve. The Nonviolent Change Journal is published by the Research/Action Team on Nonviolent Large Systems Change - an interorganizational and international project of The Organization Development Institute.  Opinions expressed are solely that of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editing staff, Nonviolent Change Journal, Organization Development Institute.