CPNN (Culture of Peace News Network) bulletin of November 1, 2019

PRIZES FOR PEACE

This year, the Nobel Prize for Peace was awarded to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali. Readers of CPNN may be already familiar with his contribution to ending the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea, a conflict that had been going on for decades despite a peace deal that was signed some 18 years ago. In announcing the award the Norwegian Nobel Committee stated that they hope that the Prize “will strengthen Prime Minister Abiy in his important work for peace and reconciliation.”

October was not only the month for the Nobel Prize for Peace, but also for many other peace and culture of peace prizes.

Desmond Tutu Announced the Winners of the International Children’s Peace Prize for 2019: Greta Thunberg from Sweden and Divina Maloum from Cameroun: “I am in awe of you. Your powerful message is amplified by your youthful energy and unshakable belief that children can, no must, improve their own futures. You are true change-makers who have demonstrated most powerfully that children can move the world.”

This year’s Seán MacBride Peace Prize, given by the International Peace Bureau, was awarded to Bruce Kent, who was one of the founders and main organizers of the European Nuclear Disarmament Campaign in the 1980s and who has continued to provide leadersip for disarmament even now in his 90th year.

The Peace Prize of the US Peace Memorial Foundation was awarded this year to Ajamu Baraka. In addition to being the national organizer and spokesperson for Black Alliance for Peace, Baraka is also an administrative committee member for the United National Antiwar Coalition and an executive board member of the U.S. Peace Council. He was the Green Party’s nominee for Vice President of the United States in 2016.

The Alfred Fried Photography Awards for world-best pictures on the theme of peace went this year, among others, to photographers of climate protests in Europe, reconciliation in South Africa and animal sanctuaries in Asia.

The 2019 Goi Peace Award was presented this year to Nipun Mehta and ServiceSpace, an incubator of projects that works at the intersection of volunteerism, technology and gift-economy. What started as an experiment with four friends in the Silicon Valley has now grown to a global ecosystem of over 600,000 members from 171 countries that has delivered millions of dollars in service for free.

The 2019 Tomorrow’s Peacebuilders Awards went to Youth for Homeland in Yemen, Open Art Space in Syria (women-led peacebuilding) and the Amani Institute in DR Congo (music and the performing arts for community reintegration).

In Australia, the Sydney Peace Prize honored leaders of the Me Too Movement, and the Jerusalem (Al Quds) Peace Prize honored Antony Loewenstein, journalist, author, and film-maker, co-founder of the Independent Australian Jewish Voices and supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

Moroccan researcher Karima El Azhary was awarded the International Sustainable Development Award for her work developing new sustainable construction and insulation materials, based on alimentary and agricultural waste. The aim of her work is improving thermal insulation and energy efficiency of buildings, mainly in underprivileged areas. Sustainable development is one of the key action areas of the culture of peace.

In the Philippines, the Teach Peace Build Peace Movement was recognized by the 2019 TOWNS awards. Its mission is to Make Every Filipino Child and Youth a Peace Hero.

Speaking of peace heroes, peace prizes can have an important positive effect, especially on young people. For example, Greta Thunberg, winner of this year’s International Children’s Peace Prize, was inspired by the 2018 winners of that prize the March for Our Lives in the United States.

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

Desmond Tutu Announces the Winners of the International Children’s Peace Prize 2019

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY

Sign the petition: Down with war, let’s build peace!

HUMAN RIGHTS


PAYNCoP Gabon Partners with the National Youth Council to Stop Violence against Youth

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION

Mexico: Inauguration of the II Global Forum of Culture of Peace, in CUCEA

EDUCATION FOR PEACE

Extinction Rebellion, not political? “We occupied the center of Paris for five days! “

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Moroccan Researcher Karima El Azhary Wins International Sustainable Development Award

TOLERANCE & SOLIDAIRTY


Kashmiri students run out of essentials, money; Khalsa Aid, J&K Students Assn extend help

WOMEN’S EQUALITY

Honouring the Me Too Movement with the 2019 Sydney Peace Prize

CPNN (Culture of Peace News Network) bulletin of October 1, 2019

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE

In our survey this year we found 655 actions for the International Day of Peace that took place throughout the world. It is more or less the same number as last year, although we counted them in a different way this year.

The theme this year, decided by the United Nations, was climate action for peace. In this way the theme of peace was linked to the enormous mobilizations against climate change that took place this month throughout the world.

The greatest number of actions for the International Day of Peace, 280, took place in the United States and Canada, thanks to the remarkable mobilization by Campaign Nonviolence. To quote from their website:, “For three decades, Pace e Bene has been leading nonviolence trainings, publishing books on nonviolence, and taking action for nonviolent change. In the spirit of St. Francis, Gandhi, Dorothy Day and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we have persistently invited people everywhere to walk the path of nonviolence. Now Campaign Nonviolence is taking this work further . . the annual Campaign Nonviolence National Week of Action, where every September we mobilize across the country and around the world for a culture of peace, economic equality, racial justice and environmental healing.”

There was also a very broad mobilization this year in France, thanks to the efforts of Mouvement de la Paix which was responsible for half of the 144 actions in Europe. To quote from their website, as translated by CPNN, “The Mouvement de la Paix acts for the disarmament, in particular nuclear, but also against the production and the transfers of armaments, for the reduction of the military budgets. Made up of close to 150 committees spread all over France and forming links with international peace organizations, the Mouvement de la Paix intends to propose initiatives around the 8 constituent points of the international decade (UN – UNESCO) of the promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence:

  1. Strengthening a culture of peace through education,
  2. Promoting sustainable economic and social development,
  3. Promoting respect for all human rights,
  4. Measures to ensure equality between women and men,
  5. Measures to promote participation in democratic life,
  6. Measures to develop understanding, tolerance and solidarity,
  7. Measures to support participatory communication and the free flow of information and knowledge,
  8. Measures to promote international peace and security.”

In the rest of the world, unlike North America and Europe, people are suffering from wars and armed conflicts, and that is where we find the most remarkable mobilizations for the International Day of Peace.

In Latin America, there were actions in Colombia in order to strengthen the peace agreement that put an end to decades of war and suffering. Especially remarkable was the fashion show in Bogota by former FARC guerillas who have turned from the gun to the sewing machine and who paraded on the catwalk with placards calling for implementation of the peace agreement.In Medellin it was a local bar that took the lead for for workshops and sporting events to support the agreement. In Tumaco it was a theatrical play and in Valleduopar a photo exhibition.

In the Ex-Soviet countries, the majority of the 54 actions took place across the two sides of the armed coflict in the Ukraine. There were poignant cries from both sides by mothers and children calling for an end to the violence and separation. Let us hope that their cries are heard and lead to peace!. In the East at Rovenka, “To the sound of the “Bells of Peace” the children stood in a circle and joined hands. . .  Together, they made a wish that the war would end in the Donbass.” “In Avdeevka, which has repeatedly come under fire, where they still hear gunshots and heal wounds (there are still a lot of houses destroyed and damaged by shelling), there is a special relationship to World Peace Day. It was expressed yesterday by students of school No. 7. . . who made paper doves, wrote what they would do for peace and and also arranged a dance flash mob on the street.” In the West in Kvasilovsky, “All those present had tears in their eyes as they watched the children . . . reach out to us adults: “I want peace! I don’t want to hear the word “war”! “..

In Africa 9 of the 53 actions took place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo which continues to suffer from decades of local wars. In Beni “While peace is celebrated in other countries of the world, here we celebrate assassinations, massacres, looting.” In Kananga “Since we are in the citizen movement fighting for change during or after the atrocities of kamwina nsapu we never stop to launch the message of peace, carry out awareness campaigns, participate in various broadcasts of radio stations to call the people who had the weapons in their hands to lay them down and make peace.” And in Sud Kivu “The International Day of Peace is celebrated while a climate of insecurity is maintained by the presence of armed groups that sow terror and desolation in South Kivu and throughout the eastern part of the DRC.”

As for the Arab states and the Middle East, in the face of a terrible ongoing war in their country, the International Day of Peace was celebrated in three cities of Yemen: Aden, Hadramaout and Taiz. In the latter young art students produced drawings with “writings expressing peace, coexistence, brotherhood, tolerance, expressions calling for dialogue and tolerance among all sects, parties and groups, giving priority to the interest of the nation, renouncing sectarianism and violence, and calling on all to work together for lasting peace . . .to deliver a message that Taiz, despite its siege and war, is still a city that loves life, art and beauty and is still a city of love, coexistence and peace.” Other actions were carried out to celebrate the recent peace accords in Sudan and to consolidate peace in Syria.

In Asia and the Pacific, the Day was not dedicated to the resolution of conlicts and tensions such as those in Afghanistan, Kashmir, Myanmar and Korea, but in China the massacre of Nanjing, which took place durig the Japanese invasion of 1937 continues to be commemorated, this year by a concert of peace songs by the choir “Zi Jincao”.

To conclude, we have emphasized here the aspects of the International Day of Peace that contribute to the consciousness needed for an eventual transition from the culture of war to a culture of peace.

GLOBAL

What has happened this year: International Day of Peace

UNITED STATES AND CANADA

United States and Canada: International Day of Peace

EUROPE


Europe: International Day of Peace

ASIA AND PACIFIC

Asia and Pacific: International Day of Peace

EX-SOVIET COUNTRIES

Ex-Soviet countries: International Day of Peace

ARAB STATES AND MIDDLE EAST

Arab and Middle Eastern States: International Day of Peace

LATIN AMERICA & CARIBBEAN


Latin America: International Day of Peace

AFRICA

Africa: International Day of Peace

CPNN (Culture of Peace News Network) bulletin of September 1, 2019

HOPE FOR PEACE IN THE HOLY LAND

If we look at the news and consider only the short-term, peace seems very distant between Israelis and Palestinians. But if we take a long-term historical view, there is reason to hope.

We begin with the short-term news.

The first two Muslim-American women in Congress, Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib were barred from visiting Israel and the Occupied Territories, presumably because they support the non-violent Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement. Commenting on this, Richard Falk, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian occupied territories, remarks that this was due to the “unhealthy relationship” that has evolved between the US and Israeli Presidents Trump and Netanyahu. For example, Trump had tweeted that Ilhan Omar and Rashid Tlaib, hate Israel and all Jews.

Also in recent news, Democracy Now featured an interview with a Palestinian girl, Janna Jihad, who, at the age of 13 years, continues to expose the Israeli occupation of Gaza. She started telling stories about her home of Nabi Saleh when she was only 7, after her cousin and her uncle were killed in the village. Since then, Janna has shared countless videos about Palestinian resistance with viewers around the world, on Twitter, on YouTube, on Facebook, garnering tens of thousands of followers. Asked by Amy what she thought could be the solution, Janna replied “For me, the one-state solution is the solution that would work. It can be that all of us could live together, same rights, under one government, getting exactly the same rights, me like the same as any other person. And all the refugees could come back to Palestine. All the people could live in peace, just in equality.”

There is more hope if we look at the long-term.

Dr. Bahan Bastani traces the history of cultural interactions between Islam and Judaism, Muslims and Jews. He reminds us that during the Golden Age of Islamic Civilization, 9th-12th centuries, both the Muslim and the Jewish civilizations flourished in the Islamic centers of higher learning in Baghdad and al-Andalusia-Spain, and the Muslim territories was safe heaven for the Jewry of the world. In the fertile multicultural environment of al-Andulus, the Jewish and Muslim scholars made significant strides in astronomy, astrology, optics, geometry, medicine, philosophy, and literary works. Also, when Spain fell under the Spanish Catholic rule in 1492 and the Jews were being persecuted, it was the Ottoman Empire that send ships to rescue the Jews from Spain into the Muslim territories. For the following three centuries, the Jews in the Turkish Muslim Ottoman Empire ascended to high positions as court physicians and as foreign diplomats.

An even longer term view is taken by the Palestinian Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh who traces the history of the Land of Canaan. He begins with the dawn of civilization which took place in this region when people went from hunter-gatherers to agricultural communities. For the first 12,000 years there was very little conflict. “Palestine was multiethnic, multireligious, multicultural and multilingual society.”

If you go back before the present conflict, you would go to the Crusaders, 1190 AD. Like the present conflict, that, too, came from outside.” But, as Qumsiyeh says, “the patient is not hopeless . . . in biology when I look at the forest and I see one species dominate I don’t say this is a healthy forest. I say this is unhealthy, it’s going to decline. The strength comes from diversity, so we say that’s what will happen here and that’s another reason why I’m optimistic – we fight for equality and to maintain the country the way it was supposed to be: multi-ethnic multi-cultural and multi-religious.

Looking at the present times, Rabbi Michael Lerner says it compounds the problem to say simply that “Israel is a racist society and most Israelis are racists.” Instead of dismissing those who disagree, leftist activists need to understand the historical origins of Zionist attitudes, coming not only from the Holocaust, but also the experience of Jews from former Communist countries and those coming from Arab countries who were disrespected by Jews of European origin. He concludes “The outrageous actions of the Jewish majority in becoming oppressors of the Palestinians will remain, for thousands of years into the future, one of the most disgraceful moments in Jewish history. But it won’t be overturned until we can develop a new politics of compassion for both sides, and a renewed belief that people can be reached if we start from a perspective of respect and caring for them, even when we disagree with their current political proclivities.”

As long-time peace activists Len and Libby Traubman have put it: “An enemy is one whose story we have not heard.”

Can Zionism be redeemed?” The question is explored by Tikkun writer Yehezkel Landau. He sees hope in the mutual struggle of Israelis and Palestinians against the degradation of the environment as exemplified in the annual climate march. “When it was first organized five years ago, some 200 people took part. This year over 5,000 people marched, Palestinian and Jewish citizens from all over Israel. They carried banners proclaiming mutual solidarity in the face of environmental threats and the need to work together to ensure a common future. . . We need more signs of hope like these to boost our spirits and motivate action, within our respective communities and across boundaries.”

Meanwhile, the struggle for justice goes on. Omar Barghouti, a founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and a co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, urges support for the BDS in the face of attempts by the US Congress to suppress it. He reminds us that “BDS calls for Palestinian liberation on terms of full equality with Israelis and categorically opposes all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism.” And he concludes that “Our hope remains alive as we witness an inspiring shift in public opinion in favor of Palestinian human rights.”

      

TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY

Manifesto on diversity: the Land of Canaan

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Kazakh capital to host 2019 UNWTO Urban Tourism Global Summit on SDGs

WOMEN’S EQUALITY


Voices of Afghan women ‘must be heard at the table in the peace process and beyond’

EDUCATION FOR PEACE

Colombia: Barranquilla will host the first Ibero-American Education Congress

DISARMAMENT AND SECURITY

The Americas are preparing for the second World March for Peace and Nonviolence

HUMAN RIGHTS

PAYNCoP Gabon and AFRICTIVITIES inform civil society organizations about the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION


Colombia: Rigoberta Menchú asks the Government to strengthen the peace agreement

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION

Building infrastructures for peace

CPNN (Culture of Peace News Network) bulletin of August 1, 2019

CULTURE OF PEACE CONFERENCES

This summer and fall there are international conferences for the culture of peace sponsored by organizations throughout the world.

The United Nations on September 13 will hold a high level forum at its New York headquarters to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace. Organizations are invited to initiate actions to mark the event such as: mention Culture of Peace anniversary on your website front page, conduct a Culture of Peace workshop, initiate an educational Culture of Peace campaign, advocate with your government officials for Departments, Ministries and Infrastructures for Peace, citing the Culture of Peace resolution as the basis for them. The meeting is convened by the president of the United Nations General Assembly, Maria Fernanda Espinosa.

The government of Angola and UNESCO will hold a Pan-African Forum for the Culture of Peace 18-22 Sept, called the Luanda Biennale. The event is expected to take place every two years to develop actors and partners of a Pan-African movement for the prevention of violence and conflict, and the consolidation of peace. It continues a series of inititiatives by UNESCDO for the culture of peace in Africa that has been developing over many years.

Luanda is also the site for an International Symposium on the Culture of Peace, sponsored by the Instituto Superior Politécnico Tocoísta and including participants from Brazil, Portugal and the United States. The specific objective of the Symposium is to consider the creation of a Masters in African and African American Studies in Political Science (Sociology) with Howard University in the US]and Bahia State University in Brazil.

A conference on Youth and Peacebuilding in Africa was held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire on July 16-17, sponsored by two Ivoirian research centers and the the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Africa Program based in Washington, D.C. Among the sessions was one entitled “Building a Culture of Peace: Educating Youth for Peace.”

The 14th World Congress of Mediation and a Culture of Peace: Integrating approaches will be held on Sept 17 in Buenos Aires in conjunction with the organization T20 Argentina which strives to add value to the G20 process with evidence-based public policy proposals on areas of interest for the international agenda. The Congress brings together international professionals to exchange practices that help to address conflict and to construct a culture of sustainable peace in Latin America and the world.

The International Peace Bureau (IPB), based in Berlin, will hold a Youth Network Conference under the theme of Transform! Towards a Culture of Peace on Sept 20-22. The Youth Congress will engage youth from various different backgrounds and with varying perspectives and approaches to peace, justice and sustainability as well as diverse experts and lays from different fields related to the Congress’ issues. The IPB is one of the oldest and most prestigious peace organizations, having received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1910.

Work for peace by Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot teachers was a highlight of the annual meeting of the International Institute for Peace Education. This year’s meeting, which brought together 75 participants from 35 countries during the week of July 23-28. was held in Cyprus to showcase initiatives that have the potential to turn the island into a hub of innovation in the fields of History for Reconciliation and Education for a Culture of Peace. The IIPE is currently coordinated via a secretariat at The University of Toledo in the United States.

World Forum for the Culture of Peace was held in the Hague, Netherlands on June 13, organized by the Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation of Kuwait and the International Peace Institute based in New York. According to the Forum, “the definition of peace has shifted in the United Nations community from the absence of conflict to a more active, “positive peace”… The ‘culture of peace’ recognizes the link between peace, development, and human rights. Defined in 1999, the term seeks to tackle the root causes of conflicts emphasizing the importance of dialogue, negotiation, and cooperation among individuals, groups, and nations.”

The World Peace Award: International Peace Conference was held in Stockholm, June 29-July 3. The focus of the conference was “to explore what universally shared values are and how they can contribute to a world of peace and provide hope for the future of humankind.” The initial session was devoted to “the agenda for how to share a mutual responsibility to create a culture of peace.”Most of the sponsors were Buddhist organizations, including those based in Thailand, Sweden, USA, India-Nepal, UK, Europe and China.

The United Nations High Level Forum is explicit that the culture of peace is based solidly on the 1999 United Nations Declaration and Program of Action for a Culture of Peace. While the other international conferences listed here do not explicitly mention the resolution for the culture of peace, they acknowledge that it is the United Nations that has provided a universal basis for its concept and practice.

      

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION


8th Annual UN High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Environmental damage is a war crime, scientists say

WOMEN’S EQUALITY


Venezuela. The construction of peace must have the quality of feminism

EDUCATION FOR PEACE

Argentina: The T20 Summit and the 14th World Congress of Mediation and a Culture of Peace: Integrating approaches

DISARMAMENT AND SECURITY

Officials Urge Disarmament ‘Stepping Stones’

HUMAN RIGHTS


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UN chief welcomes power-sharing deal between Sudanese military and opposition

TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY

Muslim World League, Patriarchate of Moscow sign cooperation deal

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION

Council of Europe: Culture of peace preventing violence and terrorism

CPNN (Culture of Peace News Network) bulletin of July 1, 2019

MASS PROTESTS AROUND THE WORLD

Around the world people are taking to the streets in nonviolent demonstrations to demand justice and democracy.

In some cases (Hong Kong, Russia and Algeria), the mass demonstrations have already led to some changes, while those in Kazakhstan, the Czech Republic, Sudan and Brazil have not yet achieved the desired results.

Hong KongAlmost two million people took to the streets in Hong Kong to protest a Chinese proposal that would enable the extradition to mainland China of Hong Kong residents and Chinese or foreign nationals traveling through the city. Critics believed it would tighten Beijing’s grip on the autonomous city, which is governed under a “one country, two systems” policy cemented during the British handover of Hong Kong in 1997. Opposition to the extradition bill came from broad sectors of society, including the business community, professionals, teachers, students, pro-democracy figures and religious groups.  As a result of the mass demonstrations, the bill was suspended. However, it has not been completely withdrawn and the Hong Kong leader, appointed by Mainland China, is stil in place despite calls for her resignation.

RussiaProtests broke out in Russia following the arrest of investigative journalist Ivan Golunov on trumped-up drug charges.  Golunov mainly publishes investigative reports exposing corruption, and Meduza, the online platform for which he writes, is one of the most widely read Russian-language media outlets in the world. After various smaller pro-Golunov rallies, thousands had planned to take to the streets on Wednesday June 12 in support of the journalist, even though authorities had not approved the protest. Golunov was released before then, however, following simultaneous publication by three top independent newspapers with the headline “We are Ivan Golunov.” As a result Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev announced that those responsible for the arrest and charges will be fired.

Algeria. In April, following mass demonstrations, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who had been in power for several decades, was forced to resign. Mass protests have continued, however, demanding the resignation and prosecution of other figures from his government. Some arrests of corrupt former officials and businss people have been made but demonstrations continue demanding more prosectuions and a new government without links to the previous government of Bouteflika.

KazakhstanProtesters in Kazahstan continue to take to the streets following a snap election after the unexpected March resignation of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who had led the country since its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. The protesters allege that the election to choose his successor was not free or fair, and, as expected, the hand-picked successor to Nazarbayev was elected.

Czech Republic. Hundreds of thousands of activists flooded the center of Prague on Sunday, June 23, in the culmination of anti-government protests against the government of Prime Minister Andrej Babis. Previously, some 400,000 people signed a petition calling on billionaire Prime Minister Andrej Babis to step down amid allegations of fraud. The rallies were triggered after Babis appointed a close ally as the country’s new justice minister at a time when prosecutors are deciding on a potential indictment against him.

Sudan. After the three-decade autocratic rule of President Omar al-Bashir ended in a military takeover in April, talks faltered in May between protesters and the ruling Transitional Military Council over a timetable for civilian rule. On 3 June, security forces and paramilitaries fired on pro-democracy protesters holding a sit-in outside army headquarters in the capital Khartoum, leaving a number of people dead and many more injured. Demonstrators in Sudan planned to return to the streets on Sunday, June 30, for mass rallies dubbed the “millions march“. [Update: “The revolution will not die.” That was the message from tens of thousands of protesters, as they poured into Sudan’s streets on June 30, demanding civilian rule.]

Brazil. Millions participated in the general strike in Brazil on 14 June, with demonstrations in 380 cities across the country. The strike had been called to reject the proposed counter-reform of the pension system by the Bolsonaro government, but also reflected opposition to education cuts, which had already brought millions onto the streets on 15 and 30 May. The Bolsonaro government was hit by revelations of collusion between the judge and the prosecution in the trial against former president Lula. The judge involved was then awarded the Ministry of Justice by Bolsonaro. There is also strong resistance to the Bolsonaro government’s policies regarding indigenous peoples and the environment and Bolsonaro’s attacks on the gay community.

Although there was police violence against protesters in Sudan and Kazakhstan, the protesters themselves were nonviolent in all the above cases. It is a good sign that people are taking to the streets rather than remaining passive in this moment of history with its many setbacks to democracy and the fact that they are nonviolent is especially important. As reported previously in CPNN, a research project on Nonviolent Resistance and Democratic Consolidation, based on 101 democratic transitions that occurred within the time period of 1945 to 2006 found that nonviolent resistance, including mass protest marches, is more effective than violent resistance in both the short term and the long term.

      

HUMAN RIGHTS

Hong Kong protesters march demanding leader resign

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Agroecology and peasant agriculture to preserve biodiversity

WOMEN’S EQUALITY


Peace through Tourism: Celebrating Her Awards

EDUCATION FOR PEACE

PAYNCoP Gabon organizes a conference on the challenges of building peace in Africa

DISARMAMENT AND SECURITY

Dr. Garbis Der-Yeghiayan Elected Chair of Rotary Middle East Initiative Council

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

 
Luanda Biennale: Pan-African Forum for the Culture of Peace

TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY

EDUCATION: Imagine programme helping to reconcile divided Cyprus

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION

Restorative Justice in Brazil: Culture of Peace instead of Punishment

CPNN (Culture of Peace News Network) Bulletin of May 1, 2019

PRESS FREEDOM UNDER ATTACK

Freedom of the press is under attack around the world, with the biggest deterioration in North and South America. And the most spectacular and dangerous example is the arrest of Julian Assange of Wikileaks and the threat that he he may be extradited and tried by a kangaroo court in the United States.

According to Bruce Shapiro, the executive director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University School of Journalism, the very essence of the press freedoms in the United States is under attack in the U.S. attempt to extradite and try Assange. He calls it an “attempt to criminalize investigative reporting.”

Not only freedom of the press, but also democracy, human rights and peace are under attack.

Daniel Ellsberg, himself the courageous whistle-blower of the Pentagon Papers that revealed the lies of the Vietnam War, puts it this way: “Without whistleblowers we would not have a democracy. And there have to be people to distribute work and publish it. Julian Assange has done that in a way in which other publishers have not been willing to. . . . it is now up to us to make sure that the First Amendment is preserved.”

United Nations experts, including the UN Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial executions, the UN independent expert on the right to privacy, and the UN Special Rapporteur on torture warned that the arrest and threatened extradition of Assange is a violation of his human rights, “including his freedom of expression, his right to a fair trial, and the prohibition of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

An example of how Wikileaks revelations promoted democracy comes from Kenya. Writing in Al Jazeera, Patrick Gathara describes how a report about government corruption was suppressed by that same government, but was obtained and revealed by Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Gathara states that  “For once, Kenyans were afforded an unvarnished and detailed glimpse of the amount of national wealth that was being stolen by the very people tasked with protecting it.”

The list of Wikileaks evelations of government corruption is quite long, and it takes the journalist Alison Weir 8,000 words to describe them in the article we have reprinted in CPNN. Wikileads revealed “the U.S. government’s cover-up of torture, cruelty, the killing of civilians, spying on its own citizens and others. It exposed Democratic Party cheating and manipulation, the fraudulence of ‘Russiagate.’ It unmasked Israeli plans to keep Gaza on the brink of collapse, to use violence against Palestinian nonviolence, to make war upon civilians.” And the list could be even longer, if one includes examples like the corruption in Kenya mentioned above.

Although the United States is exerting pressure behind the scenes, the arrest was due to the actions of the governments of Ecuador and the UK.
For Noam Chomsky, it shows the global reach of the American empire: “why should the United States have the power to control what others are doing elsewhere in the world? I mean, it’s an outlandish situation. It goes on all the time.”

Fortunately, many people are taking positive steps to support Assange. In CPNN, we have carried several articles of support from Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire. On January 7 she nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize. And after his arrest in April, she demanded the right to visit him in prison.

Mairead Maguire reminds us that the actions of Assange are an important contribution to peace: “By Julians courageous actions and others like him, we could see full well the atrocities of war. . . . I live in an era where people like Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and anyone willing to open our eyes to the atrocities of war, is likely to be haunted like an animal by Governments, punished and silenced.  . . .. This man is paying a high price to end war and  for peace and nonviolence and we should all  remember that.”

      

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION


2019 World Press Freedom Index – A cycle of fear

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Photo essay: Climate Change Protests Sweep Europe

WOMEN’S EQUALITY


UNCSW63’s positive outcomes for women’s human rights

EDUCATION FOR PEACE

National Campaign for Peace Education launched in Cameroon

DISARMAMENT AND SECURITY

Statement on Escalating Tensions in Venezuela Issued by the Caribbean Community

HUMAN RIGHTS

South Africa Launches Plan to Combat Xenophobia and Racism

TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY

Haiti – Dominican Republic : “For a culture of peace theme of the week of the diaspora

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION

Benin: The Youth Movement for the Preservation of Peace and Democracy

CPNN (Culture of Peace News Network) bulletin of April 1, 2019

A GLOBAL YOUTH MOVEMENT ?

Millions of students went on strike from school on March 15 to pressure their governments to address seriously the problem of global warming. Photos from that day on CPNN show their demonstrations around the world: in the UK, Australia, Philippines, Sweden, Italy, Uganda, Belgium, USA, Canada, Portugal, Ukraine, Spain, Chile, Nigeria, France and Bangladesh.

Continue reading

CPNN (Culture of Peace News Network) bulletin of March 1, 2019

VENEZUELA: WHAT IS HAPPENING?

The commercial media almost without exception continues to support the United States and dozens of its allies in its attacks on Venezuela. Hardly a culture of peace!

In order to present an alternative to this “war propaganda,” we review here a series of articles that give the other side.

We begin with critiques of the commercial media coverage.

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