Wednesday, June 27, 2007

First Nations activists erect 9-meter teepee on lawn of Ontario legislature

27 June 2007

TORONTO: CPT accompanies activists protesting Ontario government granting licenses to corporations destroying Native lands and livelihoods

by David Milne

With speed and precision, activists from the Rainforest Action Network, accompanied by members of Christian Peacemaker Teams and Forest Ethics, erected a nine-metre tall tepee bearing the words "Native Rights Now," on Monday, 25 June 2007, on the lawn in front of the Ontario legislature at Queens Park in Toronto.

Chief Simon Fobister of the Grassy Narrows First Nation north of Kenora, Ontario explained to print and television reporters that Weyerhaeuser and Abitibi, two large logging companies, have clearcut the forest around the community, destroying the Nation's traditional way of life.

Leah Fontaine, a young person from Grassy Narrows, said, "There's eight hundred people on the reserve and only fifty have jobs." She noted that the people on the reserve have not received the economic benefits of logging.

John Cutfeet, a spokesperson from the Kitchenumaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation, north and east of Grassy Narrows, addressed reporters about the threat of mining to his remote community's way of life. He and Chief Fobister asked to meet with Premier McGuinty, whose government has granted licences to the logging and mining companies over the repeated objections of First Nations' councils. Premier McGuinty had no time to meet with them, though he was in Queens Park.

The action lasted until dusk, when the activists took down the tepee and left the site.

For photos of the action go to: <>

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Butte, Montana, City Council calls for withdrawal of US troops from Iraq


More than 300 local resolutions have now been passed across the U.S., calling for withdrawal of troops from Iraq.  Would this be possible in your area?  Notice how this Montana group makes the case for it, below.


Matt Guynn
On Earth Peace


Mary Kay Craig of Butte TAPS (Taking Action for Peaceful Solutions, wrote:

Hi.  I am sending you a news release from the statewide group, Montanans Support our Troops and Withdrawal from Iraq.  Please call me if I can be helpful.  I coordinate the Butte peace group, Taking Action for Peaceful Solutions or TAPS.  Or call Butte County Commissioner Dave Coleman listed below who is spokesperson for the coalition group, Butte Montanans Support our Troops and Withdrawal from Iraq, and who brought this resolution forward. 

Thank you.
Mary Kay Craig,
518 W.  Granite St., Butte - (406) 723-3851



Helena: John Mundinger (406) 449-8996
Butte: Dave Coleman (406) 498-5925
Missoula: Betsy Mulligan-Dague (406) 543 3955

For Immediate Release:

Butte is the First Montana City to Call for Withdrawal from Iraq

Today the Butte-Silver Bow Council of Commissioners voted 8 - 4 to pass a resolution calling for a �rapid and comprehensive withdrawal� from Iraq.  Butte is the first Montana city to call for the withdrawal of troops, and joins hundreds of cities and towns nationwide who have called for an end to the occupation of Iraq.

The resolution also calls on congress to fully fund mental, physical health, education, disability and rehabilitation benefits for veterans, and to pursue security and stability through diplomacy.  The resolution was introduced to the council last April by a group of veterans and concerned citizens called the Butte Montanans Support our Troops and Withdrawal from Iraq Coalition.

�With this vote for withdrawal from Iraq, the Butte-Silver Bow government has made it clear that local cities and towns should have a voice on the war in Iraq,� said council member Dave Coleman, whose son was injured serving in Iraq.  �This is a call for accountability in Washington D.C.� This spring, citizens from Helena, Missoula, and Butte announced a statewide campaign to pass municipal-level measures requesting support for U.S.  troops and withdrawal of U.S.  military forces from Iraq.  The campaign, called Montanans Support for Troops and Military Withdrawal, includes veterans, students, mothers and fathers of soldiers, and hundreds of public and private professionals.

On March 12th, the Helena City Commission voted unanimously to place a referendum calling for withdrawal from Iraq on the ballot for voters to pass or fail in November.  Missoula city council members are now considering similar measures to those in Butte and Helena.  However, Butte is the first Montana city to formally call for increased support for military personnel and an end to war in Iraq.

�Voters across America called for change last November,� asserted John Mundinger, a veteran and spokesman for Helenans for Troops Home.  Senator Tester, Senator Baucus, and Representative Rehberg need to be reminded that communities across Montana will speak up even if they don�t.� Betsy Mulligan-Dague, Executive Director of the Jeanette Rankin Peace Center, added that, �Nearly 300 cities across the country have passed measures calling for withdrawal from Iraq.  Butte has had the courage to become the whistleblower for Montana.  Helena and Missoula are answering the call, and we hope other Montana cities and towns will do the same.� The Butte Resolution was supported by Commissioners Coleman, Lee, Sheehy, Mulcahy, Moodry, O'Leary, Fay and Foley.  It was opposed by Commissioners Shaw, Granger, Fraz and Sorich.

# # # # # COUNCIL RESOLUTION No.  __


WHEREAS, the Butte Silver Bow City-County Council supports the more than one million brave men and women deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, honors the memory of those who have lost their lives in the war, those who have survived with devastating injuries, and supports the families who have lost their loved ones; and

WHEREAS, the war in Iraq, now in its fifth year has caused the deaths of more than 3,236 U.S.  Service People and an estimated 600,000 Iraqis; the psychological wounding and disabling of more than 23,417 American service people and of hundreds of thousands Iraqis and the destruction of the homes, communities, and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis; and

WHEREAS, the funds spent by Butte-Silver Bow tax payers on the war and occupation in Iraq alone equals more than $21,860,048 and which could have provided enough money for 13,089 children to have a years worth of health insurance; provided enough money for 2895 children to utilize Head Start for one year; hire 378 additional school teachers; built 196 housing units; or provided more than 1059 four-year college scholarships at public universities, according to the National Priorities Project; and

WHEREAS, nearly three-hundred similar resolutions have been enacted and registered by local governments throughout the country; and

WHEREAS, it is the duty of the Council of Commissioners of Butte-Silver Bow to act on behalf and in the best interests of the citizens of Butte-Silver Bow; and

WHEREAS, the Council of Commissioners of Butte-Silver Bow is empowered to make such resolutions as may be necessary for the preservation of health, welfare, peace and order.


SECTION 1: Implement a plan for the orderly, rapid, and comprehensive withdrawal of United States military personnel from Iraq; establishing a plan for the ongoing transition of responsibility for internal security activities to the military forces of the Iraqi Government; and

SECTION 2: Support our troops by ensuring that returning veterans receive compensation and care, including full mental and physical health, education, disability, and rehabilitation benefits; and

SECTION 3: Provide the people of Iraq with appropriate non-military aid as shall be necessary for the security of Iraq's citizens and for the rebuilding of Iraq; pursuing security and stability in Iraq through diplomacy; and

SECTION 4: BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be forwarded immediately subsequent to passage to George W.  Bush, President of the United States, Senator Max Baucus, Senator Jon Tester, Congressman Denny Rehbert, and Butte-Silver Bow's elected representatives to the Montana State House and Senate.

Beatification of Franz Jagerstatter, WWII German conscientious objector

Sisters and brothers,

The following comes from the webpage of the Catholic Peace Fellowship.  The story of Franz Jagerstatter encourages us all to ask, If we are opposed to the powers of evil, what does it really look like for us to say no to them?  What does it actually look like for people of faith today to noncooperate with the powers and principalities?

Blessings and joy,
Matt Guynn
On Earth Peace
Downloaded June 7, 2007

We rejoice! The Church has granted official recognition to Franz Jagerstatter, a Catholic conscientious objector from Hitler's army, as a martyr for the faith, thus clearing the way for his beatification and eventual canonization. On June 1, Pope Benedict XVI approved a series of decrees, issued by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, that attributed martyrdom to Jagerstatter, a husband and father of three who was beheaded on August 9, 1943, for refusing any collaboration with the Nazis.

In our March visit to the Vatican, the Catholic Peace Fellowship was informed by Monsignor Robert Sarno of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints that this step was forthcoming. We were asked to wait for the official pronouncement, which came last Friday.

A declaration of martyrdom enables a "Servant of God" to be beatified, or declared "Blessed" by the Church. For those who are not martyrs, proof of a miracle is required. Those with the title Blessed, according to Sarno, are worthy of both imitation and veneration by the faithful. All that remains for Jagerstatter to receive this title is for his home diocese of Linz, Austria, to set a date for the beatification liturgy.

The next step after beatification is canonization - official recognition by the Church that this person is a Saint. Proof of a miracle received through the intercession of the beatified, subsequent to beatification, is needed for canonization. This requirement applies to all, including martyrs (those who have died for the faith) and confessors (those who have been persecuted and have suffered for the faith.)

The Catholic Peace Fellowship has long held up Jagerstatter as an example of a Catholic whose conscience forbade him to participate in war (see " In Light of Eternity: Franz Jagerstatter, Martyr," published by the CPF Staff in 2003). This young man, despite a wild and rebellious youth, in his adulthood became a devout Catholic, a third-order Franciscan, and a church sexton for his local parish.

Jagerstatter read and prayed over the Scripture and the lives of the Saints, and his conscience was shaped and formed by his active participation in the sacramental life of the Church. He understood that he was a part of the Kingdom of God and that, as a Catholic, his allegiance was to his "Eternal Homeland" - not to "the Fatherland."

Although advised by his parish priest and local bishop that his duty was to serve his country and preserve his own life for the sake of his family, Jagerstatter held firm to his belief that to cooperate with the Nazis was to cooperate with evil, and so refused to join the military. Franz Jagerstatter was a conscientious objector, one to whom we look to, and now can pray to, for guidance.

When confronted by skeptics on the issue of Christians and conscientious objection, we at CPF are often asked the following question: "What if all of the American Christians had become conscientious objectors during World War II?" We can now respond with even more confidence: "What if all the German Christians, like Jagerstatter, had become conscientious objectors?" We are a universal Church, not just an American Church. Hitler was only able to oversee the massive slaughter of six million Jews and others because ordinary people, most of whom were Christians, obeyed Hitler rather than God.

The witness of Franz Jagerstatter reminds us of our duty of noncooperation with evil, and the crucial role that conscientious objection plays in the lives of the faithful.

We rejoice that Franz Jagerstatter will soon be called Blessed, and hope that this recognition will encourage Catholics in every country to look more deeply into where their allegiances lie. We recall the words of Father Jochmann, the chaplain to Jagerstatter while he was in prison: "I can say with certainty that this simple man is the only saint I have ever met in my lifetime."

Together, let us pray the Prayer for the Beatification of Franz Jagerstatter:

Lord Jesus Christ, You filled your servant Franz Jagerstatter with a deep love for you, his family and all people. During a time of contempt for God and humankind you bestowed on him unerring discernment and integrity. In faith, he followed his conscience, and said a decisive NO to national socialism and unjust war. Thus he sacrificed his life. We pray that you may glorify your servant Franz, so that many people may be encouraged by him and grow in love for you and all people. May his example shine out in our time, and may you grant all people the strength to stand up for justice, peace and human dignity. For yours is the glory and honour with the Father and the Holy Spirit now and forever. Amen. (Diocese of Linz, Austria).