South Austin Coalition staff member and West Side activist Elce Redmond is off on another peace mission. Last September, AWN profiled Redmond’s trip to Baghdad, Iraq, with the Christian Peacemakers Team (CPT) a human rights organization. When he returned from this dangerous tour, he later learned that one of his travel partners, Tom Fox, was captured and later killed.
Elce Redmond has been working with community groups in Chicago for more than 20 years. He has conducted leadership development, political development and political education projects in Bosnia-Herzegovina; Belfast, Ireland; Buenos Aires, Argentina; East Timor; and Yamoussoukro, Cote D’Ivoire.
Redmond puts great emphasis on the importance of people getting factual information on what is going on in places like Iraq. The Wheels of Justice organization mission and platform is: “We call for adherence to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We oppose all violence against any civilians; every human being has a right to live. Through education, outreach, nonviolent actions and personal witness, we stand in opposition to the violence and injustice of war, terror and occupation. We recognize that to find peace, the root injustices must be both seen and directly dealt with. We seek and practice nonviolent alternatives to the current violence and advocate solutions to the roots of war in Iraq and Palestine/Israel and our own communities.”
Redmond said he enjoys the relationship he has with CPT, and this tour is a prelude to his Nov. 19-Dec. 2 trip to the West Bank town of Hebron. Redmond departed Chicago on Sept. 18 for a bus tour to Michigan and Ohio. The “Wheels of Justice” bus tour, which ends Oct. 3., will promote the impending West Bank trip. In Hebron, he will meet with human rights groups, local unions, and non-governmental organizations. The delegation is sponsored by CPT.
“The purpose of the Wheels of Justice Tour,” Redmond said, “is to mobilize and educate the everyday citizen about the crisis and the political quagmire that has gripped the Arab world-particularly, the war in Iraq and the occupation of the Palestinian homeland. My role on the tour will be to discuss the visit and an analysis of the current war in Iraq. I will analyze the sectarian violence between the Sunni and Shia by giving a historical outline of their differences. Iraq is also mired with a host of armed militias; we will talk about the militia groups and why they are there. It is about the vital resources. There needs to be a withdrawal of our troops, and people do not understand how the multinational companies are bleeding the country.”
To learn more about Wheels of Justice, go to www.justicewheels.org.