April 6, 2002
The Light Series #21: Rays of Hope and Courage Amidst Continuing Insanity
I'm exceptionally sending you a compilation this weekend because I also want to bring to your attention the fact that the times for the Meditation Focus, this Sunday April 7, 2002, will be changed from winter to summer times (and vice versa in the Southern hemisphere). For instance, instead of beginning at 11 am in New York it will be at noon. Instead of beginning at 5 pm in continental Europe, it will be at 6 pm. To view the new Time Chart go at http://www.aei.ca/~cep/focusgroup.htm
May Peace prevail in the Middle East and all over the world!
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
and Focus Group Facilitator
P.S. Many of you will be interested to know that THE LARGEST ON-SITE MEDITATION EVER RECORDED ON THIS PLANET took place last March 15 in Sri Lanka where an estimated 650,000 people (mostly women from the SARVODAYA organisation in Sri Lanka http://www.sarvodaya.org) participated at a single location to a peace meditation in this war-torn country to bring years of bloodshed to an end (an estimated 68,000 perished in the last 20 years). The report on this extraordinary event was written by "Dr Vinya Ariyaratne, Sarvodaya Exec Director" <firstname.lastname@example.org> and sent to me by "Gaynor Coleman" <email@example.com>. Here is a bried excerpt: "About 15 minutes into the meditation, I noticed the quality of the field of consciousness shift. I cant explain it, but suddenly the song of the birds and the wind gently swaying the branches of the trees was all that I could hear. A half million people, absolutely still and absolutely silent. In America, when we ask for a "moment of silence", the "moment" feels fidgety. Someone coughs, a foot scraps, you see movement out of the corner of your eye. That's 30 seconds and a few hundred people. In Anuradhapura, for about 15 minutes, there was a stillness that I experience only in my deeper meditations. The birds, the wind rustling through the trees, Ari's voice punctuating the silence every few minutes, asking us to relax and go even deeper. Hearing Ari's voice faintly echoing off of the huge stupa, 1/2 kilometer away. We were "in the zone". To know that more than a half million others shared this moment was stunning. The real story of the peace meditation is told in the faces and the stories of the hundreds of thousands of us who gathered." CLIP
More details and video pictures at
1. Three Feedbacks
2. What's happenning in Palestine?
3. Human shielding by 25 foreign peace activists
4. New U.S. Rep. Kucinich speech on Disarmament
5. Some MDC Mugabe Opponents Buried Alive In 'Bush Pits' For Weeks
Bush Abruptly Drops Demand for Israel Pullout (5 Apr 2002)
Israel needed time to digest what Bush expects of it... Powell will arrive in Israel only Friday!
Israel Ignores Bush Appeal But Lets Envoy Meet Arafat (5 Apr 2002)
RAYS OF KOREAN SUNSHINE? - NORTH-SOUTH TALKS CONTINUE IN PYONGYANG
MILITARY SPENDING CLOCK - HOW MUCH IS WASTED?!
OPEN LETTER TO AMERICAN JEWS
From: "Judith Paul" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Miscellaneous Subjects #138: The Insanity of War --- Webposted at http://www.cybernaute.com/earthconcert2000/Archives2002/MiscelSubjects138.htm
Date: Wed, 03 Apr 2002
This is by far and large the most inclusive, accurate and informative edition I've read to date. They are all excellent, but this one, in these most scary times, really hits home. I've been sending these to my friends and families, and have had several discussions on the Bush/Cheney connection to the WTC - this will help them see further how deep our 'leaders' are in the whole planning strategy.
Again, thank you for keeping us aware of world events, and how we can be the light for others. As is said, "Stay focused ~ and committed to the light."
Keep up the good work!!
Judith E. Paul
Date: Mon, 01 Apr 2002
From: Deborah Moldow <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Meditation Focus #61: Peace on Earth --- http://www.aei.ca/~cep/MeditationFocus61.htm
Thank you for the beautiful thoughts and picture, and especially for reminding us that peace is closer than we think - something it is easy to forget as the heartbreaking violence in the Holy Land marches on.
I just want to send you a gentle reminder that when the prayer "May Peace Prevail on Earth" is included in any prayers or meditation, it sets up a powerful energetic link with people around the world who are also including this prayer in their own. The vibration also activates the network of more than 200,000 Peace Poles around the world bearing this message in many languages.
There are volunteer Peace Representatives spreading this message in countries around the world. On March 15 and March 21, simultaneous Peace Pole dedications were held in India and Pakistan, with prayers for peace in both countries focused on one another, as well as peace on Earth. There was an intensive peace workshop in Israel last week, coordinated by Peace Rep Hagit Ra'anan, who has planted Peace Poles in both Israel and Palestine. When peace was finally declared in Sierra Leone in January, it was celebrated with a Peace Pole dedication as a tangible symbol of joy.
We join you in your Meditation Focus, and every day at 12 noon in any time zone.
Infinite gratitude to you for your great mission of peace.
May Peace Prevail on Earth!
From: "Susan Moore" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: What's happenning in Palestine?
Date: Thu, 4 Apr 2002
Please read this web site and help to circulate this news, as our media is NOT reporting the truth about what is happenning. In particular there is a long story near the bottom of a page with a picture of a beautiful young woman who is an American trapped currently in the city of Ramallah. Ramallah is under seige with hundreds of people being murdered. Reading these first-hand stories written by non-professional writers who are fortunate enough to have computers and a phone line that still works is heart-wrenching, but if you refuse to read them, you are turning your back on what is happenning there.
I visited what is called "Palestinian Occupied Territory" by the Israelites and media in 1996. Like everywhere, cities are filled with simple people who want to live their lives safely and sanely. Throughout Jerusalem at that time, Christians, Muslems, Jews, and others with no particular religious identity unanimously wanted to live peaceful lives. The common people do not want animosity. The hate and violence are perpetuated by a few leaders.
It is time for the people of the Earth to make a stand for Peace.
If you feel helpless to help, please just forward this email to a few people you know, and then one or two more to media - TV reporters, newspapers, magazines.... anywhere you can find an email address to people in the media, and one or two to people who hold government positions.
Remember these words of the Declaration of Independence of the united States of America, written by Thomas Jefferson:
"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.-- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. ...."
It is time for the people of the earth to demand the removal of any government or power center which does not support these values.
From my Heart
From: Huwaida Arraf <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 6 Apr 2002
Subject: Human shielding by 25 foreign peace activists
12:30pm - A group of 25 foreign peace activists are making their way to Manger Square in Bethlehem carrying signs highlighting sections of the Fourth Geneva Conventions and the Universal Declaration of Human Right that are being blatantly violated by the Israeli government and military. These include the right to for the wounded to receive medical attention and for pregnant women to be tended to.
For over a week the Israeli army has been preventing the ambulances of the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society from operating, by stopping ambulances and detaining, harrassing, beating and arresting medical workers. In many areas of besieged Palestine there are wounded and dead Palestinians that medical workers have been denied access to. Reports from Nablus are that many people have been buried alive under the rubble of their homes that have been destroyed by Israeli tank and helicopter fire. The internationals are hoping that they will be able to gain access to Manger Square and the Church of the Nativity to evacuate the dead and the wounded. They are walking in front of an ambulance to provide an unarmed human shield to ambulances that have been shot at.
For more information please call Georgie at +972-2-277-7558 or +972-55-840-767
For updates, please continue to refer to http://www.jerusalem.indymedia.org
At the time of this writing, we are having technical difficulties. We are dealing with a barrage of hacking attempts and sporadic connections. Please bear with us and keep up the pressure on your respective governments to speak up and act against the injustice that is being perpetrated here. We need help.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN LET ME INTRODUCE YOU TO THE FIRST PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED EARTH... FOR NOW THE NOTION THAT OUR PLANET WOULD BECOME ONE COUNTRY IS BUT A DREAM -- BUT IF I WAS TO BE ABLE ONE DAY TO VOTE FOR SOMEONE TO BE THE LEADER OF OUR WORLD, IT WOULD CERTAINLY BE DENNIS KUCINICH.
THAT DREAM IS NOT AN IMPOSSIBLE ONE! BUT IT WILL COME TRUE ONLY IF WE ALL WORK FOR IT TO HAPPEN...
Date: Thu, 4 Apr 2002
Subject: New U.S. Rep. Kucinich speech on Disarmament
PEACE AND NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT: A CALL TO ACTION
by U.S. Rep Dennis Kucinich
". . . Come my friends, 'tis not too late to seek a newer world,"
- Alfred Lord Tennyson
If you believe that humanity has a higher destiny, if you believe we can evolve, and become better than we are; if you believe we can overcome the scourge of war and someday fulfill the dream of harmony and peace earth, let us begin the conversation today. Let us exchange our ideas. Let us plan together, act together and create peace together. This is a call for common sense, for peaceful, non-violent citizen action to protect our precious world from widening war and from stumbling into a nuclear catastrophe.
The climate for conflict has intensified, with the struggle between Pakistan and India, the China-Taiwan tug of war, and the increased bloodshed between Israel and the Palestinians. United States' troop deployments in the Philippines, Yemen, Georgia, Columbia and Indonesia create new possibilities for expanded war. An invasion of Iraq is planned. The recent disclosure that Russia, China, Iraq, Iran, Syria, North Korea, and Libya are considered by the United States as possible targets for nuclear attack catalyzes potential conflicts everywhere.
These crucial political decisions promoting increased military actions, plus a new nuclear first-use policy, are occurring without the consent of the American people, without public debate, without public hearings, without public votes. The President is taking Congress's approval of responding to the Sept. 11 terrorists as a license to flirt with nuclear war.
"Politics ought to stay out of fighting a war," the President has been quoted as saying on March 13th 2002. Yet Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution explicitly requires that Congress take responsibility when it comes to declaring war. This President is very popular, according to the polls. But polls are not a substitute for democratic process. Attributing a negative connotation here to politics or dismissing constitutionally mandated congressional oversight belies reality: Spending $400 billion a year for defense is a political decision. Committing troops abroad is a political decision. War is a political decision. When men and women die on the battlefield that is the result of a political decision. The use of nuclear weapons, which can end the lives of millions, is a profound political decision. In a monarchy there need be no political decisions. In a democracy, all decisions are political, in that the derive from the consent of the governed.
In a democracy, budgetary, military and national objectives must be subordinate to the political process. Before we celebrate an imperial presidency, let it be said that the lack of free and open political process, the lack of free and open political debate, and the lack of free and open political dissent can be fatal in a democracy.
We have reached a moment in our country's history where it is urgent that people everywhere speak out as president of his or her own life, to protect the peace of the nation and world within and without. We should speak out and caution leaders who generate fear through talk of the endless war or the final conflict. We should appeal to our leaders to consider that their own bellicose thoughts, words and deeds are reshaping consciousness and can have an adverse effect on our nation. Because when one person thinks: fight! he or she finds a fight. One faction thinks: war! and starts a war. One nation thinks: nuclear! and approaches the abyss. And what of one nation which thinks peace, and seeks peace?
Neither individuals nor nations exist in a vacuum, which is why we have a serious responsibility for each other in this world. It is also urgent that we find those places of war in our own lives, and begin healing the world through healing ourselves. Each of us is a citizen of a common planet, bound to a common destiny. So connected are we, that each of us has the power to be the eyes of the world, the voice of the world, the conscience of the world, or the end of the world. And as each one of us chooses, so becomes the world.
Each of us is architect of this world. Our thoughts, the concepts. Our words, the designs. Our deeds, the bricks and mortar of our daily lives. Which is why we should always take care to regard the power of our thoughts and words, and the commands they send into action through time and space.
Some of our leaders have been thinking and talking about nuclear war. In the past week there has been much news about a planning document which describes how and when America might wage nuclear war. The Nuclear Posture Review recently released to the media by the government:
1. Assumes that the United States has the right to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike. 2. Equates nuclear weapons with conventional weapons. 3. Attempts to minimize the consequences of the use of nuclear weapons. 4. Promotes nuclear response to a chemical or biological attack.
Some dismiss this review as routine government planning. But it becomes ominous when taken in the context of a war on terrorism which keeps expanding its boundaries, rhetorically and literally. The President equates the "war on terrorism" with World War II. He expresses a desire to have the nuclear option "on the table." He unilaterally withdraws from the ABM treaty. He seeks $8.9 billion to fund deployment of a missile shield. He institutes, without congressional knowledge, a shadow government in a bunker outside our nation's Capitol. He tries to pass off as arms reduction, the storage of, instead of the elimination of, nuclear weapons.
Two generations ago we lived with nuclear nightmares. We feared and hated the Russians who feared and hated us. We feared and hated the "godless, atheistic" communists. In our schools, we dutifully put our head between our legs and practiced duck-and-cover drills. In our nightmares, we saw the long, slow arc of a Soviet missile flash into our very neighborhood. We got down on our knees and prayed for peace. We surveyed, wide eyed, pictures of the destruction of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. We supported the elimination of all nuclear weapons. We knew that if you "nuked" others you "nuked" yourself.
The splitting of the atom for destructive purposes admits a split consciousness, the compartmentalized thinking of Us vs. Them, the dichotomized thinking, which spawns polarity and leads to war. The proposed use of nuclear weapons, pollutes the psyche with the arrogance of infinite power. It creates delusions of domination of matter and space. It is dehumanizing through its calculations of mass casualties. We must overcome doomthinkers and sayers who invite a world descending, disintegrating into a nuclear disaster. With a world at risk, we must find the bombs in our own lives and disarm them. We must listen to that quiet inner voice which counsels that the survival of all is achieved through the unity of all.
We must overcome our fear of each other, by seeking out the humanity within each of us. The human heart contains every possibility of race, creed, language, religion, and politics. We are one in our commonalities. Must we always fear our differences? We can overcome our fears by not feeding our fears with more war and nuclear confrontations. We must ask our leaders to unify us in courage.
We need to create a new, clear vision of a world as one. A new, clear vision of people working out their differences peacefully. A new, clear vision with the teaching of nonviolence, nonviolent intervention, and mediation. A new, clear vision where people can live in harmony within their families, their communities and within themselves. A new clear vision of peaceful coexistence in a world of tolerance.
At this moment peril we must move away from fear's paralysis. This is a call to action: to replace expanded war with expanded peace. This is a call for action to place the very survival of this planet on the agenda of all people, everywhere. As citizens of a common planet, we have an obligation to ourselves and our posterity. We must demand that our nation and all nations put down the nuclear sword. We must demand that our nation and all nations:
Abide by the principles of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Stop the development of new nuclear weapons. Take all nuclear weapons systems off alert. Persist towards total, worldwide elimination of all nuclear weapons.
Our nation must: Revive the Anti Ballistic Missile treaty. Sign and enforce the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Abandon plans to build a so-called missile shield. Prohibit the introduction of weapons into outer space.
We are in a climate where people expect debate within our two party system to produce policy alternatives. However both major political parties have fallen short. People who ask "Where is the Democratic Party?" and expect to hear debate may be disappointed. When peace is not on the agenda of our political parties or our governments then it must be the work and the duty of each citizen of the world. This is the time to organize for peace. This is the time for new thinking. This is the time to conceive of peace as not simply being the absence of violence, but the active presence of the capacity for a higher evolution of human awareness. This is the time to conceive of peace as respect, trust, and integrity. This is the time to tap the infinite capabilities of humanity to transform consciousness which compels violence at a personal, group, national or international levels. This is the time to develop a new compassion for others and ourselves.
When terrorists threaten our security, we must enforce the law and bring terrorists to justice within our system of constitutional justice, without undermining the very civil liberties which permits our democracy to breathe. Our own instinct for life, which inspires our breath and informs our pulse, excites our capacity to reason. Which is why we must pay attention when we sense a threat to survival.
That is why we must speak out now to protect this nation, all nations, and the entire planet and: Challenge those who believe that war is inevitable. Challenge those who believe in a nuclear right. Challenge those who would build new nuclear weapons. Challenge those who seek nuclear re-armament. Challenge those who seek nuclear escalation. Challenge those who would make of any nation a nuclear target. Challenge those who would threaten to use nuclear weapons against civilian populations. Challenge those who would break nuclear treaties. Challenge those who think and think about nuclear weapons, to think about peace.
It is practical to work for peace. I speak of peace and diplomacy not just for the sake of peace itself. But, for practical reasons, we must work for peace as a means of achieving permanent security. It is similarly practical to work for total nuclear disarmament, particularly when nuclear arms do not even come close to addressing the real security problems which confront our nation, witness the events of September 11, 2001.
We can make war archaic. Skeptics may dismiss the possibility that a nation which spends $400 billion a year for military purposes can somehow convert swords into plowshares. Yet the very founding and the history of this country demonstrates the creative possibilities of America. We are a nation which is known for realizing impossible dreams. Ours is a nation which in its second century abolished slavery, which many at the time considered impossible. Ours is a nation where women won the right to vote, which many at the time considered impossible. Ours is a nation which institutionalized the civil rights movement, which many at the time considered impossible. If we have the courage to claim peace, with the passion, the emotion and the integrity with which we have claimed independence, freedom and, equality we can become that nation which makes non-violence an organizing principle in our society, and in doing so change the world.
That is the purpose of HR 2459. It is a bill to create a Department of Peace. It envisions new structures to help create peace in our homes, in our families, in our schools, in our neighborhoods, in our cities, and in our nation. It aspires to create conditions for peace within and to create conditions for peace worldwide. It considers the conditions which cause people to become the terrorists of the future, issues of poverty, scarcity and exploitation. It is practical to make outer space safe from weapons, so that humanity can continue to pursue a destiny among the stars. HR 3616 seeks to ban weapons in space, to keep the stars a place of dreams, of new possibilities, of transcendence.
We can achieve this practical vision of peace, if we are ready to work for it. People worldwide need to meet with likeminded people, to talk about peace and nuclear disarmament, now. People worldwide need to gather in peace, now. People worldwide need to march and to pray for peace, now. People worldwide need to be connecting with each other on the web, for peace, now. We are in a new era of electronic democracy, where the world wide web, numerous web sites and bulletin boards enable new organizations, exercising freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of association, to spring into being instantly. Thespiritoffreedom.com is such a web site. It is dedicated to becoming an electronic forum for peace, for sustainability, for renewal and for revitalization. It is a forum which strives for the restoration of a sense of community through the empowerment of self, through commitment of self to the lives of others, to the life of the community, to the life of the nation, to the life of the world.
Where war making is profoundly uncreative in its destruction, peacemaking can be deeply creative. We need to communicate with each other the ways in which we work in our communities to make this a more peaceful world. I welcome your ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org or at http://www.thespiritoffreedom.com. We can share our thoughts and discuss ways in which we have brought or will bring them into action.
Now is the time to think, to take action and use our talents and abilities to create peace: in our families. in our block clubs. in our neighborhoods. in our places of worship. in our schools and universities. in our labor halls. in our parent-teacher organizations.
Now is the time to think, speak, write, organize and take action to create peace as a social imperative, as an economic imperative, and as a political imperative. Now is the time to think, speak, write, organize, march, rally, hold vigils and take other nonviolent action to create peace in our cities, in our nation and in the world. And as the hymn says, "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me."
This is the work of the human family, of people all over the world demanding that governments and non-governmental actors alike put down their nuclear weapons. This is the work of the human family, responding in this moment of crisis to protect our nation, this planet and all life within it. We can achieve both nuclear disarmament and peace. As we understand that all people of the world are interconnected, we can achieve both nuclear disarmament and peace. We can accomplish this through upholding an holistic vision where the claims of all living beings to the right of survival are recognized. We can achieve both nuclear disarmament and peace through being a living testament to a Human Rights Covenant where each person on this planet is entitled to a life where he or she may consciously evolve in mind, body and spirit.
Nuclear disarmament and peace are the signposts toward the uplit path of an even brighter human condition wherein we can through our conscious efforts evolve and reestablish the context of our existence from peril to peace, from revolution to evolution. Think peace. Speak peace. Act peace. Peace.
Email responses to email@example.com or Dkucinich@aol.com
NOTE FROM JEAN: Following this, here is the question Joan had for us...
"Are we just to stand by and let nuclear arms rule?"
THIS TERRIBLE SITUATION MAY NOT SEEM TO BELONG TO A LIGHT SERIES COMPILATION BUT SINCE WE HAD A MEDITATION FOCUS ON THE ELECTIONS IN ZIMBABWE, I BELIEVE WE SHOULD ALL BE KEPT AWARE OF THE ATROCITIES COMMITTED AFTERWARDS - AND THUS SHOULD KEEP THESE OPPRESSED PEOPLE IN OUR PRAYERS AND MEDITATIONS AND HELP MAKE THE REST OF THE WORLD AWARE OF WHAT IS GOING ON THERE...
Date: Sun, 31 Mar 2002
From: BILL DERAU <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Mugabe Opponents Buried Alive
Terrorism flourishes in Zimbabwe, no one seems to give a hoot. Surely these folks deserve assistance from surrounding countries.
Some MDC Mugabe Opponents Buried Alive In 'Bush Pits' For Weeks
By Tim Reid
The Times - London 3-31-2
President Mugabe, emboldened by his election victory and angered by suspension from the Commonwealth, has unleashed his own form of ethnic cleansing across swaths of rural Zimbabwe. Thirty thousand people have been forced to flee their homes and entire "blacklisted" villages have been cut off from the food supply. Thousands of incidents of rape, torture, murder, kidnap and arson have been reported to human rights groups and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. The wave of terror far exceeds the brutality witnessed before this month's vote, and before Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth for a year. In Mberengwa East district alone, in the Midlands province, 5,000 MDC supporters have fled in the face of reprisals. The internal refugee crisis has escalated so dramatically that earlier this week the Amani Trust, the Zimbabwean human rights group, applied to the United Nations and the Red Cross for tented villages to be set up in the capital, Harare, where the majority of people have fled, but was turned down.
Some MDC supporters have been buried alive for weeks in "bush pits", with the so-called "war veterans" and youth militia demanding information from them on the Opposition. Before the election Zenny Dube, 27, an MDC polling agent in Nkayi, Matabeleland North, was buried alongside two colleagues in a bush pit, covered in logs and branches, then weighed down with soil. He was kept there for three weeks. "They gave us water every three days," he said yesterday. "They wanted to know everything about the MDC, who were members, where they lived. They said they wanted us to die because we were selling Zimbabwe out to the white man."
One of the three, Thembeni Ndebele, is almost certainly dead. Suffering from malaria, he was removed from the pit after two weeks and has not been seen since. Mr Dube, a structural engineer, was dumped in the bush and left for dead.
President Mugabe's campaign against white farmers has intensified. More than 20 farmers in the Esigodini district, an irrigated dairy area south of Bulawayo, fled their properties yesterday, having been given until today to leave. Black workers on one of the farms were then beaten unconscious. In Matabeleland North, Farmers on 60 properties have been handed the same ultimatum, with some deciding to quit but most standing firm.
The Amani Trust estimates that up to 30,000 people have been forced from their villages since Mr Mugabe was declared the victor in the presidential election on March 14. The President's "war veterans" and youth militia - the feared teenage "Green Bombers" paid to spread terror - have been on the rampage across most of rural Mashonaland and Midlands province, where Mr Mugabe enjoys his strongest support, singling out whole villages suspected of being sympathetic to the MDC.
In the Midlands area of Gokwe, women and teenage girls have been raped by regular soldiers and Zanu PF militia, the trust says. Young girls have been forced to perform humiliating sexual acts in public. "Whole villages are being declared MDC and anyone living there is being targeted," Shari Eppel, an Amani Trust veteran, said. She issues a report today detailing a litany of rape, murder, beatings and torture carried out since the election.
"Food is being blatantly used as a political weapon," she said. "Even if you have money you cannot buy maize if you are declared an MDC supporter. There are entire villages in Mberengwa East where 'war veterans' are diverting maize supplies to the homes of local chiefs who support Zanu PF. You can only buy maize through the chief and whole villages have been blacklisted." She said that she received a report yesterday of two children in Tsholotsho, north of Bulawayo, starving to death. Lorryloads of maize have been driven from the area's Mataga depot to the chiefs' homesteads. MDC supporters are barred from buying it, while it is being sold to Zanu PF supporters for Z$1,300 (£10) for 110lb.
The full scale of the torture and murder of MDC polling agents is also just beginning to emerge. In Gokwe, James Nevana, 32, an MDC polling agent, was abducted the day that voting ended and taken to a youth militia camp. He had bicycle spokes poked through his genitals and was forced to drink poison.
The MDC estimates that ten agents have been murdered since the polls closed. Ms Eppel said: "Mugabe's terror machine has been dramatically stepped up since the election, and especially since the Commonwealth decision. He is sending out the message that he is going to do what he wants, whatever the outside world thinks. People here are very depressed, and there is enormous insecurity."
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