REPORTS FROM  CHENALO, CHIAPAS about the december 22 murders of 45 mayans

Heart of the Message - A Journal of Trans-Ethnic Spirituality - click to return to main page



Reports from Chiapas (1) 
Reports from Chiapas (2) 
Cyber Sit-In Planned (3) 
Letters to the Editor 
by Hazrat Inayat Khan and a message about the new Sufi Federation 
Rev. Hamid Touchon - P.O.Box 4897 - Pagosa Springs, CO 81157-4897 -

Heart of the Message, copyright 97 is produced for the Church of All and of all churches at Pagosa Springs by Post-Dogmatist Publications, Rev. Hamid Cecil Touchon; Editor-in-Chief. All materials in the Heart of the Message are copyrighted   


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    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." (Gandhi) 
    Subject:                FWD: Call for (working) used Video cameras for CHIAPAS MEDIA PROJECT 
             Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 01:05:48 -0800 
            From: George Lessard <> 
     Organization:  Media Activist - Freelance Communication Arts, Training, Management & Mentoring 

    ---------- Forwarded message ---------- 
    Date: Thu, 22 Jan 1998 11:33:10 -0800 
    From: Sid Shniad 
    To: Forum on Labor in the Global Economy (LABOR-L@YORKU.CA) 
    Subject: Video cameras for Human Rights work 

    Global Exchange supports this call from the CHIAPAS MEDIA PROJECT for 
    donations of VHS camcorders to support human rights work in indigenous 
    The presence of cameras with trained users is a proven deterrent to 
    human rights abuses. 
    In February, the CHIAPAS MEDIA PROJECT will deliver up to 40 used VHS 
    camcorders to indigenous villages throughout Chiapas. In March, a 
    delegation of Chicago-based youth trained in video skills will  join 
    youth in Mexico City and Oaxaca to give a 10-day training in video 
    editing in the community of Morelia. Tom Hansen will lead the delegation 
    to donate the video cameras and teach villagers to use them. 

    To donate your used VHS camcorder: include working batteries, battery 
    charger and, if possible, a camera case. Please send your camcorder to 
    Tom Hansen, 4834 N. Springfield, Chicago, IL, 60625. 

    For more information about the youth delegation, please contact Tom 
    Hansen at 773-583-7728; e-mail 

    Global Exchange 2017 Mission St., Rm. 303 San Francisco, CA 94110 Phone: 
    415.255.7296 Fax: 415.255.7498 

    ----- reply sent to above ---- 

    Date sent:        Mon, 26 Jan 1998 00:54:28 +0530 

    Tom Hansen 

    Have you contact the Lawyers Committe for Human Rights in NY? 
    They have been doing this for some time (so they say... I have high 
    hopes but have offered myself as a volunteer teacher / trainer many times and have heard nothing back from them)... but the singer Peter Gabrial is supporting them and they seem to have some U$ 

    Their URL is 

    and email address for them is 

    ( lchr =Lawyers Committee for Human Rights ) 

    Snail mail: 

    330 Seventh Avenue 
     New York, NY 10001 

    I include this and other information below from their site incase you do 
    not have web access. 
    "One of the key goals of the Witness program is to empower human rights 
    activists working locally within their own communities. Witness gives the tools of technology directly to nongovernmental organizations to document human 
    rights abuses as they occur in cities, towns and villages worldwide. " from 
    their web site.. 

    Please let me know if anything happens with them... 

    I do not speak Spanish (but my knowledge of French lets me understand 
    much) If I can help with the training, let me know... 
    I'll post copies of your request where I can 
    Good luck 

    P.S.  I've just set up my Homepages .... see below in my .sig file 

    About Witness 

         "Truth knows 
         no borders. 
         wants to 
         be free. 
         Technology is 
         the key." 

         --Peter Gabriel 

         The Witness program, conceived in 1992 in partnership with the 
    Lawyers      Committee for Human Rights, Peter Gabriel and the Reebok 
    Foundation, gives     human rights advocates the tools to document human rights abuses. 
    Witness provides video cameras and training to human rights groups around the world. Through Witness, many groups are discovering an important new     dimension to their human rights advocacy. For example, Witness videos  document police brutality in Nigeria; exhumations of mass graves in Bosnia, Guatemala and Haiti; graphic evidence of "ethnic cleansing" of Rwandese      refugees by Hutu militants; and the abuse of street children in Honduras      and Guatemala. Dozens of new videotapes reach the Witness office each     month. With these tapes, Witness opens the world's eyes to human rights     violations and helps bring justice.  

    "Armed with cameras, 
    front-line activists 
    are letting the truth 
    do the talking." 

    -- Peter Gabriel 

    Witness honored by VH1. Click here for Event Highlights. 

    Click on any of the following questions for more information: 

         What have people said about Witness?  
         What do local human rights groups do?  
         Why do they need equipment?  
         What do activists do with their cameras?  
         How is Witness footage being used?  
         What is the Witness Archive?  
         What can you do to support Witness?  
         Who created the Witness Website?  

    What have people said about Witness? 

    Peter Gabriel 

         "Witness works. A camera in the rights hands at the right time at 
    the right      place can be more powerful than tanks and guns. Let truth do the 

         Information is power and with the right technology, truth can 
    travel across     any border. By capturing the human rights stories of today, the Witness     program challenges governments and can help prevent future abuses from     occurring. " 

    Sigourney Weaver 

         "One of the things that has always struck me about working with the 
    Lawyers     Committee is the terrible isolation of these brave men and women 
         With Witness, communication between us will not be stopped. Our 
    connection     to each other will be even stronger."  

    Michael Stipe 

         " Witness can link one village to another and villages to 
    international forums. Witness will help pressure governments to right wrongs and honor their promise that every human being is free and equal in dignity and rights. " 

    The Boston Globe 

         "It is a wise project that deserves universal support."  

    Paul Fireman 
    Chairman and CEO of Reebok International Ltd  

         "In the world of business, we're about competition. In the world of 
    human rights, we need to be about cooperation. In that world, while few 
    of us are guilty, all of us are responsible. We at Reebok have donated our 
    marketing and business skills, from the Reebok Foundation, the start-up 
    dollars for Witness."  

    Michael Posner 
    Executive Director of the Lawyers Committee  

         "The worst cases of political torture occur within the first 48 
    hours of an arrest. We have already seen instances where sending out faxes has generated a prompt international response that helped stop abuse in 
    the critical first hours."  

    What do local human rights groups do? 

         They monitor and expose government abuses.  
         They teach fellow citizens about their basic rights.  
         They defend victims of human rights abuse.  
         They fight for rights in every possible venue, in the courts, the 
    media and 
         in the international arena. 

    Why do they need equipment? 

    Every day, people the world over suffer grave abuses of their human 
    rights.Governments engage in torture, political killings, arbitrary detentions 
    and deny other basic freedoms. Yet these basic rights are guaranteed by the 
    Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the United Nations in 1948. 

    Human rights activists are on the front-lines of the fight to protect 
    these rights. But they often fight alone, isolated and under constant threat. 
    With Witness equipment, these groups can record the facts, expose the truth 
    and get their message out to the international community. 

    What do activists do with their cameras? 

       1.Document human rights violations as they occur.  

              In Nigeria, the Civil Liberties Organization taped a peaceful 
    protest against military rule that turned violent when state security 
    forces attacked unarmed demonstrators. 

       2.Submit evidence to courts of law.  

              In Honduras, Casa Alianza taped children behind bars in a 
    cramped jail  for adults. When a young boy was murdered in that jail, the 
    group spearheaded the investigation using video tape as evidence. 

       3.Disseminate information.  

              Physicians for Human Rights filmed the exhumations of mass 
    graves  throughout the former Yugoslavia. This footage was broadcast 
    on international news programs to expose the atrocities committed 
    in the war.  

       4.Tape eyewitness testimony.  

              The Egytpian Organization for Human Rights captured the 
    physical and psychic wounds of torture victims receiving treatment at a 

    How is Witness footage being used?  

         In the U.S. and international media:  

              Witness footage has appeared on major national and 
    international networks.  

         By international tribunals:  

              A Witness camera recorded the exhumation of genocide victims 
    in Rwanda. These tapes were then submitted to the International 
    War Crimes Tribunal. 

         In the courtroom:  

              Taped evidence of police brutality in Egypt was submitted to 
    the Chief  Prosecutor in cases involving violence against voters. 

    What is the Witness Archive? 

    Witness is building a multi-media archive that uses advanced technology 
    to gather and catalog human rights footage. The archive is a unique 
    resource - a repository of crucial video evidence. Public awareness of human rights violations is the first step in building a broad constituency to 
    challenge these abuses.  

    The Witness Website 

    The Witness website aims to bring together a virtual community of people 
    concerned about Human Rights. The site will keep the community 
    up-to-date on Human Rights issues, what they can do to assist, and the impact Witness itself is having world-wide. 

    Thanks go out to: 

         The Lawyers Committee for Human Rights in partnership with Peter 
    Gabriel     and the Reebok Foundation  
         Michael Stipe  
         Cybershop, Original site host  
         GroundZero, original graphics design 

    ------- Forwarded Message Follows ------- 
    Date:          Sun, 25 Jan 1998 11:30:54 -0500 
    From:          Martin Sieg <siegm@GUSUN.GEORGETOWN.EDU> 
    Organization:  CCT @ Georgetown University 
    Subject:       Video cameras for Human Rights work (fwd) 

    I am forwarding this not only because I think it is a good cause, with 
    good reasoning, but also because it is an interesting illustration of 
    the perceived power of the media. People naturally behave differently 
    when they know they are being watched. But Orwell's prophecies of (to 
    him) future society being constantly under the eyes of 'Big Brother' are 
    being contradicted by this more democratic movement of everyone having 
    the ability to watch each other and show the world what they see. 


    -> from the digital space of George Lessard,  Media Activist 
    --> Freelance Communication Arts, Training, Management & Mentoring. 

    This site has my Bio 

    Not a pretty website, but it has my Bio, Resume, Credits, Exhibitions & 

    ---> 7305 Ch du Huard, Lac Pilon, Mont Rolland, Quebec, Canada, J0R 1G0 
    ----> Voice / Fax (514) 229-3666 

    E-mail when at home: 
    or when on the road, 

    CAUTION: Contents may not have been spellchecked, copyedited or proofed. 

    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." (Gandhi) 
    "The fool wonders, the wise man asks."  (Benjamin Disraeli) 

    Original material (c) copyright 1998 G.A.Lessard & may be quoted,  
    resent, reproduced, stored or forwarded provided this copyright notice  
    is attached.  Forwarded or mined material is property original copyright 
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