Dec 26, 2009

accompaniers do a public witness in London

CPT accompanies a small community in Colombia called Las Pavas. (I recently posted a video a CPTer took of a resident of Las Pavas singing about their displacement) These 123 families have been illegally forced out of their homes and away from their lands by Daabon Organics, a palm oil company that, what do you know, is a major supplier of palm oil for the Body Shop. CPT is pressuring the Body Shop to pressure Daabon to give these folks their land back, since obviously this does not meet the Body Shop's goals or image. The above video is of an action they did at Body Shops in London during a CPT training. It's interesting that they label this a "public witness" (as opposed to the witnessing they are doing IN Las Pavas - not sure what they would call that). The Body Shop is saying that they are working on getting a third party assessment of what is happening in Las Pavas. Apparently they don't consider the documentation that CPT has given them to be "third party", which is frustrating. It raises the question, how can accompaniers both work with communities, but be seen as enough of an outsider for their witnessing to have greater weight?

Interestingly, rather than asking folks to write letters to the Body Shop CPT is asking folks to do actions similar to this one at your local Body Shop store. They have posted fliers you can use and more background info on Las Pavas here. Maybe even just doing three actions like this is more effective than the 100 emails they might generate?

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