Tuesday, April 24, 2012

U.S. Relents and Grants Pakistani Lawyer a Visa in Time for International Drone Summit

Updates listed in Comments below this post...

NOTES for journalists in preparation for the Summit from Reprieve.org.uk here and Calendar/Registration/Maps (Saturday 28 April progam is OPEN to the PUBLIC) Go the ccrjustice.org here
Pakistani man holds child dead from drone. Photo credit: JangDailyNews.com July 2011. WASHINGTON - April 24 - After months of pressure from human rights activists, the U.S. government has granted Pakistani lawyer Shahzad Akbar a visa to attend and speak at an INTERNATIONAL DRONE SUMMIT in Washington DC on April 28, 2012. The Summit is organized by the peace group CODEPINK and the legal advocacy organizations Reprieve and the Center for Constitutional Rights. Akbar, co-founder of the Pakistani human rights organization Foundation for Fundamental Rights, filed the first case in Pakistan on behalf of family members of civilian victims of CIA drone strikes and has been a critical force in litigating and advocating on victims' behalf. He had been invited to speak in the US before and first sought a visa nearly a year ago. His request had been pending since then. CCRJustice.org - The Center for Constitutional Rights (See CCRJustice.org), a major contibutor to this Summit is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change. For more info on this topic plz see the posts below this one at nomorecrusades.blogspot.com

What if these were OUR kids? Well aren't they?

vcnv.org  Two Afghan youth taking refuge together with the Afghan Peace Volunteers

See the article "Afghan Screams Aren't Heard" at Voices for Creative Non-Violence - vcnv.org

Friday, April 20, 2012

Changing what we might...

"Somewhere in us a dignity presides
That is more gracious than the smallness
That fuels us with fear and force..."

John Donahue from his poem "The Inner History of a Day" (see post "Betrothed to the Unknown for Thursday 19 April on One Heart For Peace blog)

Same time -- as we pursue and live in an attitude of more trust of the Divine of our own understanding -- we might do a bit more to limit the sources of fear and tragedy in the world:

Although my husband keeps reminding me that some topics are way beyond my expertise and he's absolutely RIGHT, I want at least make a few suggestions to someone who may happen to come by:

You may be more adept and well-informed than I about current human rights trends and facts? If so, please take a look at a recent article by Chris Hedges called "And then they come for the Muslims" originally posted, as I remember, at Truth Digs. When I have time to check out Hedges research I find he checks out his information.

We are now deep over our heads as Americans in the many wrongs we are allowing our leaders to impose on other nations. Often these are way beyond what an average circle of people seem to know.

Add Hedges current research and corroborated passion for justice, mercy and peace to the work of REPRIEVE - UK; CODE PINK; and the CENTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS -- all three are right now as I post this note interacting with international rights leaders -- with deep integrity, well-prepared information and courage -- around the lawlessness of US drones in Pakistan, Yemen and other places.

These three groups are not only concerned about the rights abuses of the USA -- although they are centering current allegations on the same. They are also worried about the blind or slavish cooperation of other nations and the flimsy protests by so many international groups. The International Red Cross; Amnesty; Human Rights Watch and independent journalists may be among the few groups actively working to end these drone murders.)

Some questions for each of us who become aware and WHO CARE to empower ourselves and each other to BE the CHANGE and to put our little billionth of power and gift into the world:

Are we taking a good look at each our own history and events which prefigure such careless killing of innocents? Are not the many slaughtered civilians due to drones as grave as any one of the massacres which our own schooling has warned us to prevent?

Must history repeat on our watch?

Do we really have the option to be silent? And if not, what can and should we each do personally as well as in community?

How might we now in our own limited yet potentially powerful way make a difference with our own divinely-offered gifts and opportunities?