Monday, 14 January 2008

King’s Legacy is the Message of Nonviolence

Filed under: Human Rights,Peaceworkers in the news,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:28 PDT

Where were you on April 4, 1968, when news of the death of Martin Luther King Jr. reached you? Having dinner, perhaps, as I was, and watching TV, when the screen showed the ominous “Special Report” standby signaling that some event had occurred that might alter our lives.

This one did. Dr. King had been shot in Memphis, Tenn., while leaning on the balcony of his motel and talking to a friend. We learned later that he had been shot by James Earl Ray, a man with a substantial criminal record.

Where were you when you first heard anything about Dr. King? That probably occurred in the mid-1950s. Shortly after Dr. King accepted the call of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala., in September 1954, Rosa Parks decided her tired feet needn’t carry her to the back of the bus. Parks’ arrest for violating the city’s segregation ordinance launched the black community’s quest for recognition of their civil rights.

Dr. King and the Rev. Ralph Abernethy called for a one-day boycott of the bus line, a nonviolent way to protest injustice shown toward blacks over many years, but the boycott lasted 382 days.

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Reseeding a way of life in Iraq’s marshlands

Filed under: Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:24 PDT

A great swath of marshland once carpeted the south of Iraq for thousands of miles. Beginning in 1989, most of this exceptional ecosystem was drained under Saddam Hussein’s regime. Now, while news headlines spell out stories related to other regions of Iraq, two researchers at the University of Victoria and an expert at the Fraser Basin Council are helping to frame a new way of life for the people of the southern Iraqi marshes.

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