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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Wednesday, July 05, 2006
    Competent to heal our own wounds

    In a week of remembering the Toxteth riots and last year's London bombings, a helpful piece of writing by Leeds man Paul Chatterton, reflecting on the question How to live when the war comes home, the London bombers being young men from his area (though, as he rightly says, they could have come from anywhere).

    Earlier in his article he details the pervasiveness of violence in our society - from our bombing of Iraq to deaths in police custody in the UK, the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes and the absence of under 16-year olds in city centres due to curfew orders. Even shopping is violent, he reminds us: 'Almost every act of consumption has in some way become an act of violence against someone or something - through environmental destruction, use of scarce resources, worker exploitation and transport pollution'. Acknowledging our part in society's violence is the first step towards eradicating it.

    The point he makes in the last line of this extract is a rare and refreshingly positive observation: ordinary people have the means to build peaceful community. Chatterton's piece is one among a number of excellent articles in the current online sample issue of the journal City, which is prohibitively expensive to buy, but I've been downloading gratefully today.