[act-ma] [UJP Activist] Liberia, Women and Peace

United for Justice with Peace info at justicewithpeace.org
Sun Mar 25 11:31:24 PDT 2012

UJP Activist: Liberia, Women and Peace


Thursday, March 29, 6:30 pm

Cambridge Public Library, main branch

449 Broadway • Harvard Square T

Liberian journalist Janet Johnson will present the documentary  Pray the Devil
Back to Hell, about women's nonviolent struggle to end the Liberian civil war,
and will speak after the film. The event is sponsored by the Cambridge Peace
Commission, Massachusetts Peace Action, Congo Action Now, and the Women's
International League for Peace and Freedom - Boston Branch.

The documentary gives a summary of women's use of nonviolent actions in 2003 to
end Liberia’s 14 year civil war. The war started when Charles Taylor and his
National Patriotic Front of Liberia, NPFL, invaded Liberia on Christmas Eve
1989. By March 1990, one of Taylor’s rebel generals, Prince Johnson, broke
away to form the independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia, INPFL, the
faction that eventually caught and killed President Samuel Doe on September 9,

For 14 years women, men, children and the elderly were harassed, raped, killed
even massacred or burnt alive in churches and in their own homes. Thousands more
were fed to alligators and crocodiles. Babies were snatched from their mothers
and cut into pieces or fed to reptiles. The lucky ones had their limbs cut off
in stages – long sleeves, short sleeves or sleeveless arms. Hundreds of
pregnant women died as rebels cut open their stomach after placing bets over the
sex of the unborn child. Others complained of having been gang raped until they
gave birth to their child. Hundreds of thousands of survivors may have survived
the war with their limbs intact but remain psychologically traumatized for life.

The role of the United States still remains unclear to many. There are rumors
that the U.S. freed Taylor from jail with the aim of sending him to Liberia to
depose Dictator and President Samuel Doe who had fallen out with United States.
The United States has denied the allegation but gives no reason why Taylor was
not rearrested after his whereabouts was disclosed.


		Janet Johnson

It has been widely speculated that the United States was responsible for
Taylor’s war machinery and his unleashing of terror against Liberia and its
people. While the Pentagon remains tight lipped about its relationship with
Charles Taylor, Taylor has confessed that United States did aid his escape from
its maximum security prison near Boston (Plymouth County Correctional Facility)
in 1985. After his breakout in Plymouth, Taylor told the court, he recruited 168
men and women for the National Patriotic Front for Liberia and trained them at a
former US military base in Libya.

The horrors of the war may seem a thing of the past but Liberia as a nation is
still grappling with its effects. Liberians also remain grateful to the U.S. for
finally being responsible for Taylor’s trial in The Hague for his involvement
in the 11 year war in neighboring Sierra Leone.

Janet Johnson, a Liberian journalist who is featured in the film, will give a
talk after the film. The president of the Female Journalists Association of
Liberia at the time, Johnson was one of the strategic leaders in the Peace
Movement. Janet is now a Master's student at the University of Lowell and an
intern with Massachusetts Peace Action.

The President of the Women’s Movement of Liberia at the time, Leymah Gbowee,
who is extensively interviewed in the film, and the current President of
Liberia, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 for their part
ending Liberia's civil war.

Congo Action Now will give an update on the Congo Conflict Minerals bill which
is currently pending in the Massachusetts Legislature. The Congo conflict has
several similarities with that in Liberia: both are driven by the scramble for
mineral resources, and both conflicts have been especially destructive of
women's lives. 


United for Justice with Peace [2] is a coalition of peace and justice
organizations and community peace groups in the Greater Boston region. The UJP
Coalition, formed after September 11th, seeks global peace through social and
economic justice.


Help us continue to do this critical work!   Make a donation to UJP today. [4]


info at justicewithpeace.org [5]


            		www.justicewithpeace.org [6]

Upcoming Events: 


		Liberia, Women and Peace [7]

		Thu Mar 29


		Cambridge Public Library



		Palestine Land Day: No war on Iran, Boycott Israel  [8]

		Fri Mar 30


		Copley Square, march to Park St



		The 1% - What’s NATO Got to Do with It?  [9]

		Wed Apr 4


		Cambridge Friends Meeting Center



		To Stand Against War: Conversations with Hamid Dabashi [10]

		Fri Apr 6


		Boston University - CAS Room 522



		Hayden and Chomsky: Revisiting Port Huron [11]

		Wed Apr 11


		MIT Campus - Gilliland Auditorium - Room 66-110



		Teach-in: No War on Iran [12]

		Sat Apr 28


		Suffolk University Law School



		Counter-Summit for Peace & Economic Justice [13]

		Fri May 18


		People's Church

		Chicago, IL


More Peace and Justice Events [14].    How to Submit Events [15] 


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[7] http://justicewithpeace.org/node/3516
[8] http://justicewithpeace.org/node/3598
[9] http://justicewithpeace.org/node/3492
[10] http://justicewithpeace.org/node/3561
[11] http://justicewithpeace.org/node/3581
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