By Adil James, MMNS
Taylor–May 2–The famous filmmaker and Michigan native Michael Moore attended and was the featured guest of a reception and dinner this past Saturday night at the Democratic Club of Taylor.
The Michigan Peace Team sponsored the event, designed largely as a fundraiser–the Michigan Peace Team focuses on nonviolent intervention in Palestine, although they have carried out programs on the US-Mexican border, in Haiti, . The MPTâ€™s work largely consists of attending nonviolent demonstrations with Palestinians, intervening between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians when the soldiers are too rough–trying to avoid clashes that lead to violence. The work is dangerous, and one Palestinian involved with MPT was killed only a few days ago. MPT has training programs to educate people in non-violent resistance. Many of the active members became interested and active in peace activities in Israel immediately after the murder of Rachel Corrie, who was engaged in similar work.
The MPTâ€™s website explains that its vision is â€œPursuing peace through active nonviolence in places of conflict.â€ MPT maintains teams who operate around the world, with a support staff and an emergency number maintained here in safety that they can contact when confronted. The teams sometimes witness traumatic events, and in fact frequently seek out such events with the intention of minimizing intergroup conflict. As for Israel & Palestine, their website explains that â€œOver 70 trained MPT members have spent between three weeks and two and a half months working to reduce violence and encourage nonviolent activism in the region.â€
Catholic nuns, a priest, a Buddhist, and at least one Muslim are involved in the work of the MPT, indicating some of their work is motivated by belief–although the organization certainly does not attempt to proselytize. A group of 10 form the nucleus of MPT, with hundreds of other affiliates and trainees. Please support them if you are interested.
The MPTâ€™s office is at 1516 Jerome St., Lansing, MI 48912. http://michiganpeaceteam.org. 517-484-3178.