Peace Brigades International - Canada Nonviolence in Action -- Making Space for Peace.  Peace Brigades International (PBI) is a unique grassroots organization exploring and implementing nonviolent approaches to peacekeeping in areas of violent conflict and repression, offering unarmed protective accompaniment to individuals, organizations and communities threatened with violence and
human rights abuses. PBI is supported by country groups around the world.  Founded in Canada in 1981, Peace Brigades sent its first peace team to Guatemala in 1983.  Peace Brigades International is currently working in Colombia, Mexico and Indonesia/East Timor. PBI is also involve in joint projects in the Balkans and in Chiapas, Mexico.  We are convinced that enduring peace and lasting solutions to conflicts cannot be achieved by violent means. We are committed to giving the highest consideration to human life and its defence. We are building on a rich and extensive heritage of nonviolent action.  How Does It Work?  On invitation, PBI sends teams of volunteers into areas of political repression and conflict. The concrete tasks of a PBI team going into a conflict area depend on the situation and are developed according to the specific needs of the project to be undertaken. PBI's work includes:
Accompanying those whose lives are threatened.  Providing international, non-partisan observers in situations of conflict and crisis.  Reporting on our work to the international community.  Fostering reconciliation and dialogue among conflicting parties.
Learning from the people we work with.  Offering education and training in nonviolence.  "...I am more aware than ever of the great role you have played and the work you do in my country where everyday horror is larger than fiction, just as I am convinced that I owe my life and that of my family to you..."  Osiris Bayter, ex-President of the Regional Committee for the Defence of
Human Rights - CREDHOS, Barrancabermeja, Colombia. Letter written in temporary exile in 1998. "With international eyes upon us, we know that we are safer. Even when you aren't here in our village any more, we can communicate with Peace Brigades
International and know that you are there when needed."  Villager from Panamaquip, Guatemala.  "It was always said that PBI comes here to assist us under the condition that we ourselves aren't violent. That means that it helped us to act more calmly in all the actions. It allowed us to be aware of nonviolence."  Evelyn St. Onge, Coalition for Nitassinan.  Peace Brigades International - Canada 427 Bloor St. West, Suite 201, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 1X7; Phone: (416) 324-9737 Fax: (416) 324-9757
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1998.  Permission to reprint is granted provided acknowledgment is made to:
The Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace
Last update:  20 Oct 2000