Students in the global studies course Religion, Peace and Protest in Southeast Asia attended an international ecumenical conference in Manila, the Philippines, recently, titled "Terrorism in a Globalized World: The Philippines in the Expanding Front of the War on Terror." Among the speakers addressing those gathered was Philippine Vice President Satur Ocampo.

Led by Assistant Professor of Global Studies Kathryn Poethig, conference attendees included Jeffrey Campbell Graduate Fellow in History Mary Jane Smith, Nicole Armbruster '05, of Bedford, NY; Maria Bayona '04, New York; Erin Cianchette '03, Falmouth, ME; Kelly O'Ryan '05, Clarkston, MI; and Sarah Post '04, Hingham, MA. The conference was organized by the National Council of Churches of the Philippines and co-sponsored by the World Council of Church and Christian Conference of Asia. Presenters came from India, Pakistan, Malaysia, the United States, Canada, Germany and South Korea, as well as from Muslim non-governmental agencies.

In addition, Poethig, Post and O'Ryan attended a pre-conference international women's solidarity mission to Central Luzon to listen to women's experiences of militarized violence related to the renewed U.S. intervention in the Philippines. It included a Muslim Bangladeshi lawyer working to combat violence against women; an Indonesian woman pastor who participates in a national gender violence commission; an Indian woman who is in charge of gender issues at the World Council of Churches in Geneva; a Filipino woman working for migrant women in Hong Kong; and others, representing various religious organizations. The three women from St. Lawrence were the only participants who were U.S. citizens.

The group also visited a variety of sites related to former U.S. military bases in the Philippines.

Posted: October 1, 2002

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