Ellen Loudon

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and sew to bed

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Please look at this website andsewtobed
70 years ago on 9th October John Lennon was born in Liverpool. 30 years ago on 9th December he was shot dead in New York City.

The West Everton Community Council (WECC) and One World Week alongside The Craftivist Collective is taking part in the Liverpool Bluecoat Bed-In to celebrate John Lennon’s 70th birthday. The Bluecoat event takes part from October 9 – December 9, 2010: our Bed-In is on December 1, 2010.

During our Bed-In we want to raise awareness of global issues in our own community and amongst the people of Merseyside. We may represent a specific community but we come with our global concerns to a bed in the bluecoat. We want to raise awareness of national and international inequality and demand change – we want to see an end to the social chasm between those who have and those who need. Ours is a peaceful protest that wishes to engage all people in crafty action: Craftivism! We will make lovely stuff and change the world by stealth and beauty.

We think that ‘all you need is love’ but unless you make an effort to share it out equally some people get more love than others. We want to demonstrate something of our love for the community we live in, the city we have been brought up with and the world that embraces us. We believe that that only way we can do this is to demand equality, justice and peace.

We will be engaging in craftivism activities in bed. We will knit, sew and stitch our way to peace. Before the bed-in we will offer craftivist kits to anyone who is prepared to stitch for us – we aim to gather stitchers from across the globe. These mini-protest-stitch-kits will be completed and put together to form a massive protest duvet during the bed-in. This duvet will then be filled with white feathers to symbolise our hope for peace.

WECC is a group of people who work toward justice and equality in an urban community – we are neighbours, activists, artists and friends. In recent times we have organised a fantastic series of events to celebrate our community called Out of The Blue – this is a festival of creativity that takes place in and around Everton Park

Craftivist Collective is a global community of people who marry craft processes to activist aims. Their purpose is to expose the scandal of poverty and human rights injustices through the power of craft and public art. This is always done through provocative, non-violent creative actions craftivism collective).

One World Week – One World Week is a Development Education Charity. Each year, “The Week” is an opportunity for people from diverse backgrounds to come together to learn about global justice, to spread that learning and to use it to take action for justice locally and globally (one world week).

To get involved email Ellen Loudon – ellen@ellenloudon.com

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Written by ellenloudon

October 5, 2010 at 8:50 am

Posted in community action, peace

john pilger

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in a speech to mark his award of Australia’s human rights prize, the Sydney Peace Prize, John Pilger describes the “unique features” of a political silence in Australia. In it he said:

I believe the key to our self respect – and our legacy to the next generation – is the inclusion and reparation of the First Australians. In other words, justice. There is no mystery about what has to be done. The first step is a treaty that guarantees universal land rights and a proper share of the resources of this country.

Only then can we solve, together, issues of health, poverty, housing, education, employment. Only then can we feel a pride that comes not from flags and war. Only then can we become a truly independent nation able to speak out for sanity and justice in the world, and be heard.

If you would like to read the whole of this moving and compelling speech click here.

Written by ellenloudon

November 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm

Posted in peace, social action

they shall beat their swords into ploughshares

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He shall judge between the nations,
and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
they shall beat their swords into ploughshares,
and their spears into pruning-hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.

Isaiah 2.4

Each Wednesday we share morning prayer at St John Chrysostom Church together at 10am. Those who are able to get there take it in turns to share a thought, read from the bible and pray together. The reading for Wednesday’s morning prayer was from Isaiah 2.1-11. I was leading and shared a story that was mentioned in my reflections for daily prayer. It is a story of great hope and contains the vision that Isaiah creates for us i this reading – of people beating their weapons into ploughshares and spears into pruning-hooks. This is the Tree of Life (see picture) project – where the people of Mozambique can swop their weapons for farm machinery and tools. The weapons are then decommissioned and made into amazing pieces of art.

In the words of the curators at the British Museum:

The Tree of Life was made by four Mozambican artists: Cristovao Canhavato (Kester), Hilario Nhatugueja, Fiel dos Santos and Adelino Serafim Maté. It is a product of the Transforming Arms into Tools (TAE) project and is made from decommissioned weapons.

TAE was set up by Bishop Dom Dinis Sengulane in 1995 and is supported by Christian Aid. During Mozambique’s civil war, which lasted from 1976 to 1992, millions of guns and other weapons poured into the country and most of them remain hidden or buried in the bush. The project is an attempt to eliminate the threat presented by the hidden weapons. Mozambicans are encouraged to hand them over in exchange for items like ploughs, bicycles and sewing machines. In one case a whole village gave up its weapons in exchange for a tractor.

Once the weapons are decommissioned, they are cut up and turned into sculptures by the artists in Maputo. This process has produced the Tree of Life and the Throne of Weapons, also created by Kester.

This is a vision worth holding onto as we come to our Remembrance Sunday services tomorrow. In the midst of the horror of war we should also cling on to the hope of transformation.

Written by ellenloudon

November 7, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Posted in peace

A just peace on Israel’s 60th anniversary

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The number of people who have signed the The Declaration has risen and the signatories are an impressive group of people. If you are a church leader do please have a look and see if you might be able to sign it.

Written by ellenloudon

May 6, 2008 at 10:58 am

Posted in peace, social action

A just peace on Israel’s 60th anniversary

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I got this through my Ekklesia mailing today and I would be interested to know what you think? If you are church leader could you sign up for this?

The Declaration
We, the undersigned, church leaders and representatives of our different denominations and organisations, join together on the 60th anniversary of the Israeli state to offer a contribution to that which makes for peace.

We recognise that today, millions of Israelis and Jews around the world will joyfully mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel (Yom Ha’atzmaut). For many, this landmark powerfully symbolises the Jewish people’s ability to defy the power of hatred so destructively embodied in the Nazi Holocaust. Additionally, it is an opportunity to celebrate the wealth of cultural, economic and scientific achievements of Israeli society, in all its vitality and diversity.

We also recognise that this same day, millions of Palestinians living inside Israel, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and the worldwide diaspora, will mourn 60 years since over 700,000 of them were uprooted from their homes and forbidden from returning, while more than 400 villages were destroyed (al-Nakba). For them, this day is not just about the remembrance of a past catastrophic dispossession, dispersal, and loss; it is also a reminder that their struggle for self-determination and restitution is ongoing.

To hold both of these responses together in balanced tension is not easy. But it is vital if a peaceful way forward is to be forged, and is central to the Biblical call to “seek peace and pursue it” (Ps. 34:14). We acknowledge with sorrow that for the last 60 years, while extending empathy and support to the Israeli narrative of independence and struggle, many of us in the church worldwide have denied the same solidarity to the Palestinians, deaf to their cries of pain and distress.
To acknowledge and respect these dual histories is not, by itself, sufficient, but does offer a paradigm for building a peaceful future. Many lives have been lost, and there has been much suffering. The weak are exploited by the strong, while fear and bitterness stunt the imagination and cripple the capacity for forgiveness.

We therefore urge all those working for peace and justice in Israel/Palestine to consider that any lasting solution must be built on the foundation of justice, which is rooted in the very character of God. After all, it is justice that “will produce lasting peace and security” (Isaiah 32:17). Let us commit ourselves in prophetic word and practical deed to a courageous settlement whose details will honour both peoples’ shared love for the land, and protect the individual and collective rights of Jews and Palestinians in the Holy Land.
“Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid” (Micah 4:4)

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Ekklesia write:
“Ask your church or organisations to join Desmond Tutu, Walter Brueggemann, Ekklesia, bishops and many others in signing the joint declaration by Christian Leaders on Israel’s 60th Anniversary, calling for a just peace.”

If you want more information or want to sign up go to Joint declaration by Christian Leaders on Israel’s 60th Anniversary.

Written by ellenloudon

April 28, 2008 at 3:17 pm

Posted in peace, stuff

Gordon Brown will meet the Dalai Lama

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I’m not saying that my signing the petition made all the difference but the fact that so many of us did must surely have had an impact – According to the BBC he is going to meet him in London in May.

It has not been a peaceful week in China particularly in Tibet where we read in the same BBC report that: “More than 100 people have turned themselves in to police following anti-China riots in Tibet’s main city, Lhasa, Chinese state media have said.”

My prayers for peace go out to all of those who have been affected on all sides by this latest protest.

Written by ellenloudon

March 19, 2008 at 3:12 pm

Posted in peace, social action