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Tours

ECHOES of SILENCE

  

 Peace. Justice. Beauty.  

One Planet. One People..

'Workers, not Stars' (Victor Jara)

_______

 

NEW! 'ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE' TOUR; SEPT. S0 - OCT. 15 2012

TORONTO, OTTAWA, NEW HAMPSHIRE

Please see: 

Tours

 

 

Skype Me!  

 

WELCOME TO ECHOES OF SILENCE

 

Echoes of the silences of the disappeared and disregarded, of the great majority whose voices are ignored

Echoes of weeping rain and silent forest, echoes of the Earth itself, crying out mutely in anguish and in hope

Echoes of the creativity within each of us, vital at this critical time: to heal ourselves, one another, 

and the very Earth itself

 

'At the risk of seeming ridiculous' (Che Guevara), we too believe that beauty and love

are the true paths to lasting peace, genuine justice and a healed planet.

We therefore work shoulder-to-shoulder with impoverished people in Nicaragua,

digging ditches and singing songs, building creative alternatives both small and large,

spreading Che's/Gandhi's vision - and filling the night with laughter

____________________________________________

 

THESE ARE OUR CURRENT PROJECTS AND CAMPAIGNS; PLEASE JOIN US

 

1. HEAL THE WATER, HEAL THE CHILDREN:

Install cheap, efficient drainage to eradicate water-borne illness, contamination and drugs overuse

 

2. OF NAGS AND NIPPERS:

Bring rescued street horses and rescued street children together in mutual therapy

 

3.  ADELANTE! MUCHACHAS

Young women finding self-worth and economic independence through beauty training

 

4. TAKE BACK THE DAY: DECLARE GLOBAL INTER-DEPENDENCE!

Challenge destructive consumerism; reclaim our celebrations

_____________

 

For information about getting involved, physically and/or financially,

please write to Echoes coordinator, Paul Baker Hernandez

at echoespaul@tortillaconsal.com or paulbaker2004@yahoo.com

Or SKYPE here:  Skype Me!

Regular phone: Nicaragua (505) 86153180; UK (01225) 866181 

Thank you.

 

To donate in UK: cheques: "The Christine King Memorial Trust" to:

C.M. Jennings, 3, Upper Regents Park, Bradford on Avon BA15 1EB England

USA: http://peaceworks.org (see: linkages, Nicapartners)

 

All donations are tax-deductible thanks to the Trust and PeaceWorks.(Echoes' Fiscal Sponsors)

 

 

__________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

1. HEAL THE WATER, HEAL THE CHILDREN

 

Looking for adventure while healing children and the planet?

Come join us in Nicaragua

 

 

  

  

                                              Gigantona - Giant lady                                                             Brigade July 2009: Will, Judy, Paul

 

PROBLEM: GREY WATER RUN-OFF FROM DIAPER-WASHING SINKS: 

BELOVED OF MALARIA BUGS, DRUG COMPANIES AND OTHER PARASITES.

 

  

                                                     Local grey water 'river' Iona and Paul                     Bugs tanking up

 

SOLUTION:  SIMPLE CHEAP LOCAL TECHNOLOGY: SOAKAWAY DEVELOPED AND TESTED IN NICARAGUA.

JUST US$50/UK£35: ONE ENTIRE FAMILY (6) LIBERATED FROM PARASITES, DRUG COMPANY CHARGES,

CHILDHOOD ILLNESS AND EVEN DEATH. PLUS . . . . .

 

 

                                                    Sophisticated diagram of soakaway                          Filter barrel with trainer and soakaway pipe

 

.... PLUS JOINT NICA-INTERNATIONAL WORK BRIGADES, LEARNING ABOUT REAL LIFE AND CREATIVITY,

BRINGING SOLIDARITY, MATERIAL AID, SHARING SWEAT, MUSIC AND LAUGHTER

 

 

                                                   Will and Paul sweating it out                               Local children slogging away 

 

ALSO SING ALONG WITH LEGENDARY MUSICIANS, DISCOVER SANDINO'S VISIONARY ECO-COMMUNITY.

PRACTISE JUGGLING WITH STREET CHILDREN AS THEY BUILD THEIR HOUSE OF RECYCLED BOTTLES, 

VISIT THE RADIO STATION GARBAGE DUMP CHILDREN,  JOIN THE BIG-HEADED DWARF AND THE GIANT LADY

POKING FUN AT IMPERIALISM; AND MUCH MORE.

 

  

   Don Felipe y sus chacorros (his pups)                            Plastic bottle house: Chartres Cathedral, eat your heart out!

 

JOIN US: NEXT BRIGADE JULY 2013

 

DETAILS: Echoes of Silence Brigades and/or: echoespaul@tortillaconsal.com

 

DONATE NOW: JOIN ECHOES LATTE (EVERY OTHER) DAY CAMPAIGN

 

 TO GIVE HEALTH , STOP THE MOSQUITOES AND DRUG COMPANIES:

US Fiscal sponsor: PeaceWorks. Donate tax free online at: http://peaceworks.ning.com/group/echoesofsilence 

or write: jburchell@peaceworks.org

UK: tax-deductible cheques made to 'The Christine King Memorial Trust', send to C.M. Jennings, 3 Upper Regents Park,

Bradford-on-Avon BA15 1EB ENGLAND

Regular Income is Vital: Please consider a monthly donation. Share a Latte with us every other day. that's US$30/£20 per month! It lasts a lifetime,

not just for a temporary high

 

THANK YOU.

 

 

 

2. OF NAGS AND NIPPERS 

 

A simple, beautiful project to bring mistreated children and brutalized ponies together in mutual healing;

please go to this video:

 

http://youtu.be/3jFIJG7jAVM

 

Nags and Nippers.

 

Horses and humans have a well-documented empathy, ranging from ‘The Horse-Whisperer’  through to equinotherapy as an established form of care for people with many types of difficulties.  Often such therapy tends to be designed, primarily, for benefit of the humans involved. 'Nags and Nippers' however extends compassion not only to the children, so often abused, but also to the horses themselves, whose experience on the streets is scarcely less brutal.  And because we work to rescue ponies at or near the end of their working lives, with volunteers, and with communities of children already in safe havens, costs can be kept low. Thus Nags and Nippers offers an ‘equinotherapy for the dispossessed’, bringing tenderness and beauty to some of the most impoverished sectors of society, both human and animal.

 

The way it works is straightforward.  Echoes of Silence has links with children’s communities and care organisations.  The ponies are boarded on a small eco-farm where they are free to roam, graze and recover some strength.  They have a responsible person making sure they are secure, fed and cared for.  Groups of children come visit the ponies at the farm, working and caring for them under adult supervision. In this way, many children experience tenderness possibly for the first time in their lives, and begin to establish relationships based on trust and gentleness. 

 

As the children become more at home and relaxed, once their relationships are begun and they learn something of the art of animal management, they are also encouraged to engage in some of the other work on the farm with a goal of beginning to learn to produce food, coffee and other crops in a sustainable and just manner.  The eco-farm also lets them experience a different kind of infrastructure, e.g: building with ‘eco-bricks’ - recycled plastic bottles; developing soak-away drainage systems to eradicate grey water with its attendant mosquitoes and water-borne diseases; producing cooking and lighting gas from animal waste, lasagna ‘no dig’ gardening; small-scale electric power from renewable sources; and many other wonderful, intelligent, simple yet supremely effective projects and techniques.  In this context too the children are exposed to a practical philosophy of community and sharing that offers a different perspective – and indeed reality – from the rampant consumerist culture which is tragically destroying the very planet on which we all depend, by which they have been discarded.

 

Beyond this, Echoes of Silence is constantly seeking to link into the wider community, both within Nicaragua and abroad, with the goal of providing free clinics for the horses even during their working lives, for obtaining more dedicated land for fodder, for shelter and for recreation – for both horses and children, and for providing stipends for workers.  Our goal – grandiose but essential for a truly human world – is to work in broad coalition to help eradicate animal and child cruelty in Nicaragua and wherever it occurs, and, through that process, and at the same time, develop a society and societies that are intelligent, sustainable and beautiful, founded on cooperation, trust and solidarity. 

 

We welcome questions, suggestions and contacts of every sort.  In particular we want to form sister-relationships with pony clubs and other horse-related organisations.  Fund-raising would of course be an important component of such relationships – for example, through sponsored horse rides or similarly-supported bringing ponies into children’s hospitals or to disadvantaged children in northern society, but we also seek to encourage people to come to Nicaragua to see for themselves that we are indeed all part of the one world - exquisite, exquisitely fragile and wonderful beyond belief; that our children, so often disadvantaged, are full of spirit and laughter; and that together we can work to heal that shared world and with it all those - animal and human - who suffer so terribly under the current world order.

 

Contact: Echoespaul@tortillaconsal.com or SKYPE as at top of page

 

Donate and/or become a member of Nags and Nippers; give membership to loved ones for Christmas to offer them something truly life-enhancing instead of plastic-wrapped, ‘stuff’ designed to become obsolescent’in a week, leaving them empty. Donors and members receive regular updates, make direct links with rescued ponies and children, participate in special accompaniment brigades to Nicaragua, and have a real say in the project. 

 

Donations are limitless(!). Membership is US$50/UK£35 per year; just write to Echoes of Silence at echoespaul@tortillaconsal.com requesting membership. All monies are tax-deductible thanks to PeaceWorks USA and the Christine King Memorial Trust UK which are Echoes' fiscal sponsors. Their generosity frees Echoes from lengthy, expensive incorporation processes and allows us to develop organically as new situations arise.  

 

USA:  Online: http://PeaceWorks.org (linkages, nicapartners), or Cheques, etc. 'PeaceWorks/Echoes' to 6 Dumont Pl # 2  Morristown, NJ 07960-4179, USA. Phone: (973) 765-9102

 

UK: Cheques, etc. 'The Christine King Memorial Trust' to C.M. Jennings, 3 Upper Regents Park, Bradford on Avon, BA15 1EB, England.

Phone: 01225) 866181

 

Thank you.

 

3. ¡ADELANTE! MUCHACHAS

 

 

Upload files

 

Despite determined attempts to bring more women into public life and many government programs focused particularly on women - Zero Hunger, Zero Usury, amplified health and child care, etc., still too many young women here in Nicaragua find themselves tied to the house and/or subjected to minimal conditions and wages in the sweatshop sector, making pricey jeans for the ever-voracious Northern market.  In this context, !Adelante! Muchachas has two clear objectives. First, to improve the women's self-esteem and confidence through teaching them the basics of beauty care; and second, to help them use those learned skills to develop their own small businesses, offering that care to the wider public and so finding the beginnings of true independence.

 

Olga, Mariela, Ana Maritza (instructor), Diana , Hayda on the day of the students' completion of studies/reception of diplomas

 

Project coordinator/Echoes of Silence co-coordinator, Ana Maritza Castro Morales, who herself ekes out survival for her family of three boys working the line in a jeans factory, says of her students (she gives up her weekend to train them): "They are simply so inspiring; coming from the most marginalized homes they still have a great determination to make something better for themselves and for their families. Their courage gives me such hope. Just look at them!"

 

Echoes of Silence is actively seeking funds to employ Ana Maritza as co-coordinator with Paul Baker Hernandez - to enrich our work through her tremendous skills as an organizer and teacher, to enable her to develop Adelante, Muchachas and Nags and Nippers properly, and to provide her children with the dignified life they deserve. Share a cup of coffee per day with Ana: 20 people at US$15/£12 per month would set her free to liberate others. 

 

USA:  Online: http://PeaceWorks.org (linkages, nicapartners), or Cheques, etc. 'PeaceWorks/Echoes' to 6 Dumont Pl # 2  Morristown, NJ 07960-4179, USA. Phone: (973) 765-9102

 

UK: Cheques, etc. 'The Christine King Memorial Trust' to C.M. Jennings, 3 Upper Regents Park, Bradford on Avon, BA15 1EB, England.

Phone: 01225) 866181

 

Thank you.

 

 

 

4. TAKE BACK THE DAY! DECLARE INTER-DEPENDENCE!

 

PUT PEACE BACK INTO CHRISTMAS, ARMISTICE, MOTHER'S, MEMORIAL, EVERY, DAY

MOVEMENT

(NB. Water not War campaign subsumed here)

 


 

Lasting peace is the dream of all who fall in wars believing their particular conflict will be – finally – 'the war to end war';while Mother's Day was originally established as Mother's Day for peace. Julia Ward Howe, a vigorous anti-slavery and women's rights campaigner, created the special day in 1870 to call on women from both sides of the recent US Civil War to join together to declare and make peace: Arise, then, women of this day! Say firmly: ‘We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.'”

 

The rest is, tragically, history: the whole sorry ragbag procession of 'Special Days' whose primary purpose is to sell us incarnated built-in obsolescence: “Mother's Day: Go shop! Memorial Day: Shop! President's Day: Shop! Dead Turkey Day/Secretary's Day/Christmas/New Year's, etc. ... Shop! Shoppp!! Shopppppp!!!”. Before her death commercial interests had already overwhelmed Ward Howe's Day with maudlin sentimentalism, and currently mothers enjoy only one day out of the 365, before the hypocrisy is replaced with the profoundly anti-woman world order that normally holds sway.

 

So, along with the Fair Trade chocolates and roses**, let's turn savage capitalism's St. Vitus dance of 'Special Days' against itself by putting peace right back into Christmas/Mother's/Armistice/Memorial Day, July 4 and all the rest brainwashing us throughout the year. Using these imposed 'celebrations' as rallying points, let's establish a constant drumbeat of people all over the world refusing to be distracted by the Day of the Month and sticking firmly to a few basic requisites for any lasting peace and true celebration by:-

 

     a) requiring all governments, NGOs, companies, schools, etc., to implement truly proportional female/male/race representation and participation at every level, and to promote Global Inter-Dependence;

 

     b) redressing the environmental catastrophe caused by the economic and political system inflicted on the Earth (by the world's ultimate minority: us white men) by insisting that 1% of all monies, materials, and especially personnel, now dedicated to weapons and war be diverted to provide everyone with fresh water.

 

     c) So establishing - in a balanced, healed, Earth, with its peoples committed to genuine inter-dependence - the only truly fitting and commensurate memorial to all who gave their lives for peace, believing that their particular war was - at last - the 'war to end all wars'.

 

(**  Fair Trade truly honors mothers by helping them free themselves and their families from economic slavery.)

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

WE, THE PEOPLE AND PEOPLES OF THIS ONE PLANET

(draft petition letter to appropriate bodies)

 

Greetings,

 

In 1870, Julia Ward Howe, anguished by the US Civil War and the Franco-Prussian conflict, wrote her famous Peace Proclamation calling on women from all sides to come together for peace. It reads in part:

 

“Arise, then, women of this day! …

Say firmly: ‘We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies.

Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.

Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.

We, the women of one country,

will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.

From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own. It says:

‘Disarm! Disarm!

The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.

Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate

possession.'"

 

Please do not be an 'irrelevant agency'. We believe the time has come to honor Ms Howe, all women and the whole earth through the promotion of an international DECLARATION OF INTER-DEPENDENCE along these lines:

 

We, the Peoples and People of this one exquisite - and exquisitely fragile planet - hold these truths to be self-evident:

 

    That all persons - children, women and men - of every race, calling, creed, color, condition and age are created equal. There are no exceptions.

    That they, collectively and individually, are endowed with certain inalienable rights. Among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

    That the fundamental sources and resources to achieve these rights: Peace without threat, fear, force or weapons, pure air, fresh water, an uncontaminated

earth, nourishing food, good health, creative education, a secure home, equitable justice, local and global responsibility, authentic, proportionate, participative representation and worthwhile work - also belong inalienably to them all, for ever.

    That this inheritance - these resources truly without price - can never be taken over or away by individuals, classes, corporations and/or states for their own exclusive or majority use, exploitation, profit or control.

    Rather, that it is the marvelous gift and responsibility of every human generation to enjoy and utilize these resources with respect and delight, in interdependence with all peoples and with the whole multitude of species, both animal and plant, with which we co-inhabit this tiny, fragile, and exquisitely wonderful planet.

    And, within that gift, to hand them on, enhanced, to the children of our children's children.'

 

To make this Declaration reality we therefore call on you to re-allocate at least 1% of all budgets, public and private, currently dedicated to the military, war, and the arms trade - money, materials and, especially, the creative lives and expertise of their members - to bring fresh water to everyone on Earth. And to redress the female/male/racial imbalance at every level. Not only will these measures help re-green the planet and avert looming wars over water (so much more precious than oil), but also, by beginning the build-down of weapons, they will mark a vital psychological turning point for humanity, especially in the true honoring of women, so-called 'minorities', children, and all who have given their lives for peace. Further, it will improve global health dramatically, saving additional vast quantities of resources and freeing up armies of skilled personnel for urgent medical and other tasks. And, finally, it will at last provide, in the wonder of a healed planet, way beyond the weary flatulence of politicians and priests, blessing weapons and sending yet more to suffering, death and maiming, a truly fitting memorial to all those who gave their lives believing their sacrifice would ‘end all wars’.

 

There are critical moments in every life. We believe this is one such in the life of humanity and of the entire planet. We know that you too hold the good of the Earth and humanity dear. Now is the time to act, and to act boldly.  We therefore urge you - as truly a matter of life and death - to take action, to offer this Declaration of Inter-Dependence and its related actions to our own nation and to the entire international community.

 

Thank you.

Echoes of Silence

One Planet. One People. Peace. Justice. Beauty.

 

[Your name]

 

_________________________________________________________________

 

 

Suggested Press Release for free adaptation and use

 

Echoes of Silence: Peace. Justice. Beauty.

 

Local Contact:

 

International coordinator: Paul Baker Hernandez, Nicaragua (505) 86153180

 

Mother's, Father's, Memorial, Day ... s – Day of the Hypocrite!

 

Echoes of Silence is inviting people all over the world to celebrate all the special Days of the year in accordance with the intentions of Mother's Day founder, Julia Ward Howe of the USA, in honor of women everywhere, to build a peace-filled Earth and to establish a fitting memorial to all who gave their lives believing their sacrifice would end war forever:-

 

“In 1870 Ms. Ward Howe made an impassioned plea to the mothers of both sides of the US Civil War to work together to make a lasting, authentic peace based on the full implementation of women's rights and a healed Earth,” says Paul Baker Hernandez, EoS coordinator. “This is the true spirit of Mother's Day – a far cry from commercialized sentimentality, much more like the Nicaraguan celebration of the Mothers of Heroes and Martyrs. Obviously it's good to honor your mother, but, in the first place, why only one day out of 365? That's not even 1% of the year! Our mothers deserve much, much more. And, secondly, if we really want to offer mother our genuine love and gratitude, the only truly meaningful gift today is a radical commitment to work for a true and lasting peace in a healed planet, where women actually enjoy the same rights as men; only thus will no more of their children be consigned to death, by hunger, family and gender violence, planetary collapse, and/or by war.

 

Clearly, we don't want a posse of mothers gunning for Echoes of Silence!” continued the singer, originally a Trappist monk from Scotland, a specialist in the music of the great Chilean songwriter, singer and martyr, Víctor Jara, now married to a Nicaraguan revolutionary, working together in ecological and health projects in Barrio La Primavera, Managua. “Of course, get mother presents – but get them from Fair Trade sources. Or make them yourself at home. Many of the presents people usually buy are made by little kids and/or abandoned women effectively working as slaves. Just imagine - products of children's slavery: what a great present for mom! By contrast, Fair Trade – paying producers just prices – frees millions of mothers and their children from economic slavery and intra-family violence all over the world!”

 

Paul points out that in 2011 Nicaragua's Mother's Day coincides with US Memorial Day. “Forget the 'heartfelt' vacuities of pastor and politician as they continue to bless weapons and send yet more sons and daughters to war,” he says. “How many of these countless millions died believing the lie that their particular war would finally 'end war' - only for it to happen 'again, and again, and again, and again' , as the Eric Bogle song says? Here again, the only truly fitting memorial to their sacrifice and to that of all their mothers is the Earth itself, healed, balanced, and at peace.”

 

The Echoes of Silence 'Put Peace Back into Mother's (and Memorial) Day' campaign** emphasizes a fun and creative way to observe Memorial and Mother's Day for Peace: upload a video to a special Facebook page, from wherever you are in the world: of yourself, your friends, families, workmates, flash mobs, singing John Lennon's peace anthem,“Imagine”. “We call it 'Sing-along-a-John,” says Paul. “Just imagine the whole world singing peace in honour of mothers and of all their fallen children! Don't worry about the quality – karaoke-style singing along with Lennon is fine; and so we can all let our imginations rip, no? The whole bus singing, you and your partner singing in the shower, the football team celebrating a goal, the whole convent or monastery dancing, the team of some radio station, TV channel or newspaper humming along on a naked bike ride(!). Thousands of possibilities. Let's celebrate these Days for PEACE! FaceBook is a wonderful tool – let's make it work for peace: Take back the Day, today and every day!

 

Upload your video here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Take-Back-the-Day-Put-Peace-Back-into-Mother's-and-Memorial-Day/170595642999040

 

Sign 'Put Peace Back into Mother's (and Memorial) Day' Petition here: http://www.change.org/petitions/put-peace-back-into-mother's-day and/or http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/Put-PEACE-Back-into-Mother's-Day 

 

Paul Baker Hernandez is available for interview and will be on US tour in Septemebr 2011, UK tour in Ocotober 2011: contact him on (505) 86153180

 

** Don't worry about timelines: practically every day is Mother's Day somewhere in the world, and the 'glorious dead' are tragically always with us. Julia Ward Howe sought to unite women from the US civil war in making peace; today we have to work on a global scale, supporting mothers for peace wherever they - and we - are.

_______________________________________________

 

Some Fair Trade gifts in Nicaragua can be found here:

 

CIPRES, Managua, Rotonda Rubén Darío 150 varas abajo. 2270 4726. Río San Juan: 22830355; Somotillo: 23462306; Pueblo Nuevo: 27192445 - http://www.cipres.org

 

Esperanza en Acción, Managua, Batahola N. porton de ENACAL 1 c. al lago 1/2 c. arr. mano izq. casa rosa. http://www.esperanzaenaccion.org : emily@esperanzaenaccion.org2266-7961

 

UCA Soppexcca, Jinotega, La Estrella, 2782 2617, soppexcca@tmx.com.ni

 

In the US, please check out: www.organic-market.info/.../Fair_Trade/Fair_Trade_USA/.../10114.html for Fair Trade outlets near you.

 

1) Sign our'Put Peace Back into Mother's (and Memorial) Day Petition' http://www.change.org/petitions/put-peace-back-into-mother's-day

and/or http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/Put-PEACE-Back-into-Mother's-Day

  

2) Go get the (Fair Trade) chocolates and flowers.  Fair Trade frees countless mothers and children from economic slavery. Make some special cards//presents.  (Most communities have a Fair Trade store. Even some supermarkets sell some goods. Online Fair Trade: http://www.globalexchangestore.org-http://www.equalexchange.co.uk/buyfairtrade/index.asp - http://www.traidcraftshop.co.uk

 

3) 'SingalongaJohn': upload your video of you/your friends/the whole bus/carload, singing 'Imagine' along with John Lennon's to our special FaceBook page. Make it as imaginative as you like - here in Managua we're experimenting with massed naked kazoos. Http://www.facebook.com/pages/Take-Back-the-Day-Put-Peace-Back-into-Mother's-and-Memorial-Day/170595642999040

 

4) Sign on to Echoes of Silence's 'Declaration of Inter-Dependence': 'We the Peoples and People of this One Earth …. ((http.www.echoesofsilence-ecosdelsilencio.pbworks.com)

 

5) Join us digging eco-drains in Nicaragua. Banish grey water puddles from impoverished homes with no waste disposal system; so improving family and especially children's health immeasurably and cutting the inflated profits of transnational drug companies. (a lot more fun than it sounds! Http://www.echoesofsilence-ecosdelsilencio.pbworks.com)

 

6) Support the Put Peace Back movement by sending a donation (USA: via Echoes Fiscal Sponsor, PeaceWorks – www.PeaceWorks.org; UK: cheques to 'Christine Jennings' (memo 'Echoes'), Echoes of Silence, 3. Upper Regents Park, Bradford-on-Avon, BA15 6EB) and choose from a selection of musical delights: Echoes' coordinator, Paul Baker Hernandez, singing his Starbucks hit: “Frappuccino, Crappuccino!” or his ditto “Expletives-deleted Cellphone Song.” Also a unique recording of Victor Jara songs in original Spanish and beautiful English translations(MP3 download or mailed CD copy)

 

7) Send us your suggestions for developing the Take Back the Day! Movement. Write us at echoespaul@tortillaconsal.com .

 

8) Book a presentation for your local community, union, group, church or college during Paul's coming tours (UK October 2011; US March/April 2012. Write us at echoespaul@tortillaconsal.com. More information re content and availability, please see www.echoesofsilence-ecosdelsilencio.pbworks.com

 

 9) Promote Put Peace back into Mother's (and Memorial) Day as widely as you can. Get it adopted by your faith community, general assembly, school, college, union, peace group, perform street theatre, engage local press, radio, TV. etc. For assistance, write us at: echoespaul@tortillaconsal.pbworks.com

 

Make 2012 a true year of celebration, building a peace-filled Earth - Mother's Day, Memorial Day, and every day.  Thank you.

  

______________________________

 

**We are convinced that the rush to war, the repression of women and the destruction of the planet all stem from the same root: the imbalance between female and male energies. (No, women are not intrinsically better than men; but, yes, it is a scandal - a disaster - that our self-styled 'Mother of Parliaments' has just 1/5th women members. To take but one frightful example.)  Unless and until we restore that balance, any dreams of a lasting peace and a healed planet remain just that.

 

 

Please go to:  "Thanks for the Chocolates, Guys; how about a Planet for the Kids?" in the Articles page

 

“Arise, then, women of this day! …  Say firmly:  

‘We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies.

Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.

Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience." 

We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country

To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the bosom of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own. It says:

"Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe out dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.


As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family

can live in peace...
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God -
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women

without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient,
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace. 

 

Julia Ward Howe. Proclamation for first Mother's Day, 1870.

 

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Article for Earth Day .. er, Year:

 

ECHOES of SILENCE

http://echoesofsilence-ecosdelsilencio.pbworks.com

505 86153180



Earth Day. One Planet. One People.

I feel a bit like a certain Rev. Dr. George MacLeod, although I'm not particularly tall, nor weighty of mein, nor holder of the Military Cross for bravery at Passchendaele and Ypres. I don't recall ever having been Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, or rescuing Iona Abbey from ruin. And I'm certainly, so far at least, neither a Lord nor dead. Plus, I'm English! However, when I lived in Edinburgh exile – way back in the 1980s - I remember how Lord George, leaning emphatically on his cane (so far don't have one of those either) - would challenge the entire Church of Scotland General Assembly over nuclear weapons. Year in. Year out. Windmill-tilting at its most extravagant. Hopeless, year in. Hopeless, year out. The received wisdom of the day was that, without nuclear arms, enormous gun-toting 'Soviets' would be gaily trampling down the flowers in Bellahouston Park, snowy boots, Communist Manifesto, vodka, and all.

Abruptly, one magical year (1986, was it?), those of us supporting Lord George on the pavement outside the Assembly felt a sudden frisson. The old soldier had stood to his duty one last time and the gathered Elders had suddenly capitulated: “Have you heard? They're voting through a motion condemning nuclear weapons as anti-Christian!” Water on stone? Georgic frustration? The spirit, holy or otherwise? (then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, also a fervent Christian, was of course equally convinced God was on her side). The one vital thing was that Lord George had persisted, and, billionth snowflake, hundreth monkey, ripest banana or whatever, the critical moment had arrived.

Well, a (very little) bit like MacLeod, I too tend to take off after windmills. This time .... since the turn of millennium, I've been banging on about this idea whose time has clearly come, but to which we remain largely and confusingly indifferent: One Planet. One People. Trouble is, where Lord George was relentless, I'm episodic (actually I prefer 'artiistic': so many songs, so much wine, sooo many ... !!). But it's time to change, time to get serious, time to seize the day. After all, it is obvious, isn't it?: we are all profoundly inter-dependent, in personal relationships, family, local community, nation, and, beyond all else, in our one, exquisite, exquisitely fragile, Earth. Independence is fine, especially from oppressive systems of governance and exploitation, but blinkered indivualism? It's precisely because our individual fingers and thumbs are physically linked in exquisite harmony that our hands are such marvellous tools. Exactly so, we humans are essentially and inseparably individual/communal. Essentiallyand inseparably. It's of our very essence. And it makes us beautiful, and capable of so much beauty.

One Planet. One People.

So what do we have?: a rather splendid Universal Declaration of Human Rights, coupled with some pretty anodyne entities supposedly implementing it, overwhelmed by a dominant system that relentlessly denies those rights to the majority of the world's people and peoples. And, obviously, and correlatively, a planet going down in flames. Politicians live on too short a leash to make great ideals concrete and genuinely universal. Practically all the great movements of history have come from the people, from below not from above. Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, Julia Howe, the Pankhursts ...

And now: One Planet. One People. Could it be us?! The fire this time?

In 1870 Julia Ward Howe made this impassioned plea to women on both sides of the recent US Civil War: to make genuine peace through women's strength and a healed Earth.

Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether our baptism be that of water or of tears! Say firmly: 'We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.'

We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says.'Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice. Blood does not wipe out dishonor nor violence indicate possession'.”

Does anyone else remember Greenham Common? If George MacLeod was trying to climb a gumtree, imagine how the women who staggered up to that air base after their long anti-nuclear march felt. A Welsh group, 'Women for Life on Earth', their 'little march' was instantly consigned to obscurity by the hacks of corporatocracy. But (and is this the key?) the women would have none of it: they decided to stay 'for as long as it takes'. And so they set camps at Greenham's very gates. And sthey changed the world, so became the legendary heart of the UK anti-nuclear movement. And nineteen long years later, the cruise missiles were gone. Nineteen years – 'as long as it takes'. And today, when even nuclear weapons pale beside the actual ongoing destruction of the planet, occuring right now as we breathe, as I write, where are our Greenhams? How long will the healing take?

Ward Howe's prescription pre-echoed even the valiant Greenham women by a century:

As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congres“s of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.”

What more to say? Desperate times, desperate remedies.

Well, without yet resorting to Lysistrata (sex strike, anyone?) - how about getting this implemented as a half-decent windmill to chase down?:

A Peoples Declaration of Inter-Dependence

We, the Peoples and People of this one exquisite - and exquisitely fragile planet - hold these truths to be self-evident:

  • That all persons - children, women and men - of every race, calling, creed, colour, condition and age are created equal. There are no exceptions.

  • That they, collectively and individually, are endowed with certain inalienable rights. Among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

  • That the fundamental sources and resources to achieve these rights: Peace without threat, fear, force or weapons, pure air, fresh water, an uncontaminated

earth, nourishing food, good health, creative education, a secure home, equitable justice, local and global responsibility, authentic, proportionate, participative representation and worthwhile work - also belong inalienably to them all, for ever.

  • That this inheritance - these resources truly without price - can never be taken over or away by individuals, classes, corporations and/or states for their own exclusive or majority use, exploitation, profit or control.

  • Rather, that it is the marvellous gift and responsibility of every human generation to enjoy and utilize these resources with respect and delight, in interdependence with all peoples and with the whole multitude of species, both animal and plant, with which we co-inhabit this tiny, fragile, planet.

  • And, within that gift, to hand them on, enhanced, to the children of our children's children.'

 

So, yet another worthy document, to gather yet more cyber-dust in some remote cyber-archive on some distant cyber-planet.

But, if we add (and act on) this ... ?

To make this Declaration reality we therefore require our employees, the governments of the world, to re-allocate at least 1% of all budgets currently dedicated to the military, war, and the arms trade - money, materials and especially, the creative lives and expertise of their members - to bring fresh water to everyone on Earth. And to redress the female/male/racial imbalance at every level.

Not only will these measures help re-green the planet and avert looming wars over water, so much more precious than oil, but also, by beginning the deliberate build-down of weapons, they will mark a vital psychological turning point for humanity, especially in the true honouring of women, other so-called 'minorities', children, and all who have given their lives for peace.

Further, it will improve global health dramatically, saving additional vast quantities of resources and freeing up armies of skilled personnel for urgent medical and other tasks.

Finally, it will at last provide, in the wonder of a healed, balanced, and cooperative planet, a truly fitting memorial to all those who gave their lives believing their sacrifice would at last ‘end all wars’.”

 

But we have to act. It is up to us. '”If not now, then when? If not us, then who?” The hoary old truism is just that, true: How do we, charming though we may be yet so insidously corroded by Me First consumerism, even begin to take action as seriously as the women of Greenham or Lord George MacLeod?

One Planet. One People. Today is Earth Day. There are critical moments in every life. This is one such moment for the entire planet, for all humanity. In their spirit, we must act now, act boldly. Today. To have a habitable planet for our children, we must commit ourselves as they did, to 'as long as it takes'. Today. It truly is a matter of life and death. I'm lucky – with all its imperfections, Nicaragua today is some way to becoming an enormous peace camp. So many of the measures MacLeod and the Greenham women were calling for are beginning to be implemented here: peace, cooperation, solidarity, free education, free universal health care, women's rights, children's rights, the healing of impoverishment, of community, of the very planet. All within the context of a Latin America suddenly on fire, throwing off the increasingly catastrophic US/European Way of Death in order to build a truly human and humane world, based on cooperation and environmental intelligence rather than the self-consuming criminal cancer of dog-eat-dog capitalism. (For more information here, please see: ALBA, the Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Our America:http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1271045/Bolivarian-Alliance-for-the-Peoples-of-Our-America-ALBA ; and CELAC, Community of Latin American and Caribbean States:http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28035 )

For once, this windmill is genuinely to hand. Expecting to go out a whimper, I find myself suddenly riding this glorious bang. How lucky can you get? (if that luck holds, I'll be giving Lord George an enthusiastic High 5! some distant eternity) But for those who can't get over here, share in that luck, the excitement, how can to bring this optimism and creativity to our jaded North? We desperately need ideas, please think, think, think. Share, share, share!

To begin, maybe: shouldn't we think more seriously about Julia Howe's:

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.”

 

Then, how about?:

 

  1. Get your school, college, faith community, union, local council, business, etc. to formally adopt Julia Howe's vision as expressed in the Declaration of INTER-Dependence; and to commit to some or all of the following

  2. Call on all MPs, MEPs, Members of Congress, etc. to offer this Declaration and its related actions to our own nations, the European Community and other such unions, to the world's militaries, and to the entire international community, to be formally adopted.

  3. Call on them and on the UN to declare an annual Global INTER-Dependence Day

  4. Spread the Declaration relentlessly - through the web, through independent media, through articles, radio, TV, and wherever else possible. [I'm always ready to come discuss all this, sing a few ditties, down a few goblets].

  5. Set up Inter-Dependence circles and camps to campaign for its promulgation, acceptance and implementation [Could this become an Occupy theme?]

  6. Challenge the news media everywhere to cover these great Latin American initiatives, which, again imperfectly and embryonically, are actually offering a functioning alternative humane system to the whole world.

7. George MacLeod focussed on one burning issue. How about if we each pick one action idea and work 'as long as it takes' for it?

Windmills again? No, Earth itself is our most compelling advocate: already Nicaragua is enduring vast thunderstorms, a month before their normal time; globally, there's much more to come. The writing is firmly on the wall, but we are people of hope, not fear. We only have one life, why piddle it away on childish consumerism there's Ward Howe's glorious vision and ALBA's alternative reality to implement, to celebrate? Aren't these the wonderful continuation and celebration not only of the Women's/MacLeod's work, but also that of the millions of persons like ourselves all round the world, moling away, unseen and unremarked, day in, day out, for love, for justice, for peace, for beauty?

One Planet. One People! We are the future. Where else will we find one?

Paul Baker Hernández, Managua. Earth Day, April 22nd, 2012

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Paul Baker Hernåndez is someone who 'loves snow, solitude, and silence'. So he lives in a marginalised neighborhood of Managua, Nicaragua – one of the hottest, most crowded and noisiest cities on Earth. To take a break from puzzling out how this came to be, he also helps dig eco-water ditches, makes up rude songs about cellphones, Starbucks and other dictators, and takes regular tours to the USA and the UK to raise awareness of and funds for Echoes of Silence's pro bono work.

Echoes of Silence: echoes of the 'disappeared' and marginalized; of the forests' and rivers' silent scream; of the wonderful creativity within us all, so often repressed by consumerism but bursting forth in these last times. More information and projects, please see: http://echoesofsilence-ecosdelsilencio.pbworks.com

Contact: echoespaul@tortillaconsal.com or paulbaker2004@yahoo.com

Skype: paulanthonybakerhernandez - phone Nicaragua (505) 86153180

For tax-exempt donations : USA: please make checks to: 'PEACEWORKS/ECHOES' and mail to: PeaceWorks 6 Dumont Place 2nd Floor, Morristown, NJ 07960-4179 - Online please go to :http://www.PeaceWorks.org

(EoS Fiscal Sponsor, PeaceWorks NJ, has also worked with Nicaraguan cooperatives since the 1980s)

UK: Please make cheques to: 'The Christine King Cooperative', memo: 'Echoes of Silence' , and send to Christine Jennings, 3 Upper Regents Park, Bradford on Avon, England BA12 1EB

Thank You.

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