Magazine article Anglican Journal

Doing This Work 'Makes Risks Worth Taking'

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Doing This Work 'Makes Risks Worth Taking'

Article excerpt

THE NEWS OF the four Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) members abducted in Baghdad last November--all of whom, at this writing, are still missing-has brought home to many of us the reality of the world in which we live. For most of us in Canada life seems pretty safe but we have been reminded that for many people in most of the world life is not safe. This reminder is especially strong for me, because I am a member of the CPT reserve corps and Jim Loney, one of the detainees, is a friend.

I had expected to join the team in Hebron, Palestine in December but CPT told me they wanted me to stay in Ottawa to support the growing network of peace workers here. Jim, who was leading a CPT delegation in Iraq, would move to Hebron when that was finished.

Jim is a passionate advocate for justice for the oppressed whether he is speaking for Iraqi detainees, for First Nations people in Canada, or for homeless people in Toronto. He has been active in the Catholic Worker Movement and has worked for low-rental housing and support for the homeless. More recently he was involved in the campaign against security certificates and secret trials in Canada. He joined CPT in 2000 and is now a CPT Canada program coordinator. On previous visits to Iraq he took testimonies from families of people detained by the Americans and reported on abuses. While he has spoken honestly about his fears, others have spoken of his calmness in the face of danger.

Three other dedicated peace workers, Harmeet Sooden, Tom Fox, and Norman Kemper, are being held with Jim. I have not met them, but all of them have expressed the conviction that they are doing something important that makes the risks worth taking. Advocacy for Iraqi detainees can make a difference and can save lives.

My experience has been in Hebron and the South Hebron Hills, where Palestinian children have been attacked on the way to school, Palestinian shepherds have been attacked and rat poison has been put in their fields to kill the sheep. …

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