Grace Pilgrimage - Hope for Colombia - Bogota, Nov. 1-9
(Translated by Buddy Bell, a CSN Volunteer Translator. Edited by Teresa Welsh, CSN's Volunteer Editor.)
Rejecting Violence, Creating Models for Peace
"Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come." ~Victor Hugo
We make a pilgrimage toward a future without war. We are peacemakers from many countries; from Colombia and from Brazil, from Europe, from the U.S. and from Israel-Palestine. We didn't come in the name of a religion or an ideology, but in the name of GRACE (in Spanish: la gracia) in the service of reconciliation, creative beginning, and solidarity. We are part of a global movement for a free Earth. We don't carry any flag, we don't belong to any organization, but we grow from solidarity and international cooperation, and from all of those people that today have determination to abandon the system of violence and create models for a culture of peace.
Because of the current global economic system, all of humanity is being uprooted from their communities. Military and ecological destruction on the outside corresponds to with endless human suffering on the inside. Human beings are being uprooted from their families and from the only homes they know of. The natural values of truth, trust, and neighborly support are destroyed. In the entire world a great wound has been opened in human civilization because of the destruction of community. This is the reason we have wars these days like we have here in Colombia. All wars form in response to a feverish hysteria of killing and destruction.
We can no longer overcome the global spread of war with moral appeals or political protests. We need places where the original wound of humanity can be healed as an example, where systems that support life are unrolled in a way that reconnects on a new level to the original values--- the universal spring of human community.
And one place like that is the Tamera Center in Portugal. Here, social, technological, and ecological investigation creates a concrete vision for a future life. To bring these solutions to the world and to connect with other initiatives, the "global campus" was created. It's a type of world university with places on each continent where a peaceful way of living is studied and put into practice. Such a place would be started in Colombia, also. For many years, Tamera has been partnering with the community of San Jose de Apartado to construct the global campus.
San Jose is a rural community of 1500 inhabitants in Uraba province, which is extremely threatened. This is why, with this year's Grace Pilgrimage, we want to show our support for San Jose. This peace community was formed 13 years ago to create a peaceful alternative. Since then it has had a policy of non-cooperation with any armed group. Firearms are not permitted, and the people are connected in an unbreakable pledge for peace. Nevertheless the peace community is exposed to massive persecution. In the last 13 years they have lost almost 200 members, killed by Colombian soldiers, paramilitary soldiers, or guerilla soldiers. The mainstream media accuses them of being terrorists and insists they are guerilla collaborators. Still, the real character of the community is well-known in the international community. In 2007 they received the Aachen Peace Prize [Germany] and were also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize [Norway]. Many pilgrimage participants from other countries have visited San Jose repeatedly. Through many years of cooperation, we know that calumny like what is spouted by the mainstream media is not justified. The Colombian people ought to be proud of this valiant and internationally renowned peace initiative. For the moment the community is an example of hope for threatened and oppressed people both in Colombia and beyond its borders.
The power of community we have seen and experienced in San Jose is not just an answer for situations in oppressed countries. It concerns all of us because we forget how to live in community, solidarity, and hospitality. Besides the violence in global zones of crisis, we frequently encounter hidden human misery in the abundant societies where exploitation and oppression also persist as they do in poor countries. We all have another chance to understand and embrace the power of community and its essence as a force of global sanity.
In all of Latin America these days, the winds of profound change are picking up. Constructing models for peace could convert this energy into a powerful nonviolent revolution for the whole continent; a revolution when there will not be losers anymore.
An invitation: help these models to become more well-known, so that in this way they will obtain the protection they need. Help make the truth about San Jose more well-known in Colombia; help to save lives. November 9 we meet for Global Grace Day. On this day, people from all around the world will come together in solidarity with this movement that is coming to life in South America. We invite you to take part November 9. Thank you to each one who participates.
The sacred matrix, the universal order of love and togetherness with every being, still shines behind all the pain. The aim of our work is to connect all the segments of the sacred matrix and to make a new and humane world possible! God let your blessings rest on our common work!
In the name of our children and all creatures,
GRACE – Movement for a free Earth
For more information, please call 321-317-9473.
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