Monday, October 17, 2005

"Columbia Women Create A Path To Peace" (CODEPINK's Stop The Next War Now)

During a regional security council meeting in late 1996, a nun revealed that 95 percent of the women in one community of Uraba had been raped. This ignited soemthing deep within a few women activists in the city of Medellin. They called for an act of solidarity: a thousand Columbian women from women's groups around the country to go to Uraba and put their arms around those who had suffered the humiliation of war.
Across Columbia, busloads of women departed for Uraba. Many traveled for several days. Some left their communities for the first time. Many did not have permission from their husbands or fathers, but went anyway. And when fifteen hundred Colombian women arrived in Uraba on November 25 -- the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women -- they hugged their sisters. Thus was born La Ruta Pacifica de las Mujeres, or Ruta (Path).

The above is from "Columbian Women Create A Path To Peace" found on page 35 of CODEPINK's Stop The Next War Now. (It's an excerpt from Building from the Inside Out: Peace Initiatives in War-Torn Columbia by the American Friends Service Committee -- a Quaker organization -- and the Fellowship of Reconciliation -- an interfaith group.) Susan e-mailed reminding me it was time for another excerpt ("past time") and that if we wanted to do the whole book, we'd better get on it.

Susan purchased the book this summer and reading this section (which she pointed out was to be next up) she felt it was important because "Nicky K stumbles upon some issue late in the game and then scolds everyone else for not addressing it, usually women. He does that by rewriting history and ommission so I really think this section needs to be excerpted. Recently there have been a number of things written praising him. I saw one at Common Dreams and thought I was going to smash my computer. By ignoring the work of others and writing for the general public, Nicky K is able to take any issue women have given their hearts and energy too and remove them from the narrative. Reading the thing at Common Dreams, it was obvious that someone had fallen for his 'I and I alone care about this!' nonsense."

We'll continue to work our way through the book. Hopefully, more regularly. But for those keeping track, we've now excerpted from Mary Ann Wright's "Essential Dissent," Cindy Sheehan's "From Cindy to George," Nancy Lessin's "Breaking The Code Of Silence," Camilo Mejia's "Regaining My Humanity," Arundhati Roy's "Introduction," Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans preface, and Alice Walker's foreword. Mike (Mikey Likes It!) covered one section of the book and the link for that is: "Mike on Marti Hiken's 'Understanding The U.S. Military' from CODEPINK'S Stop The Next War Now." While filling in for the vacation Rebecca at Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Elaine covered the book with "Eve Ensler excerpt from CODEPINK's Stop the Next War Now." In addition, Dallas has provided a list of all the contributors to CODEPINK's Stop The Next War Now.

We will continue to highlight the book. (Prompt me if I forget.) The e-mail address for this site is