Notes from the desk of peace activist Polly Mann (b. Nov. 19, 1919)

How to Take Care of Captives
I think that we in the peace movement are so accustomed to looking at the need for action that we tend to let slide the various bits of upbeat news in the world of international politics. The Star Tribune of Aug. 25, however, published almost a half-page article entitled, “Kurds try friendly approach to punishing ISIS (Syrians).”
The article begins with a description of Syrian prisoners in a Kurdish prison making paper flowers. The reason for such kind of action for these three-year-imprisoned men is the hope of reconciliation and reform. A Kurdish judge explains, “If I sentence a man to death, I am spreading hate. If you take revenge, people will be radicalized. But with reconciliation we are sure we can finish this problem.”
The Kurdish guards have had the responsibility to accommodate, feed and guard the Syrian captives now held in prisons or internment camps. The prisoners number 1,000 Syrian fighters and 900 of their wives and children from 40 countries.
The Kurds are looking for international help, but so far, no nation or international organization has been willing to help.

Unfair Remuneration
The Star Tribune recently ran an article entitled, “Worker pay stagnates as it soars for CEOs.” It would be great if on its publication that situation could be rectified, but no way is that going to happen! The organization responsible for the report, the nonprofit Economic Policy Institute, found that in the last 80 years, CEO salaries increased 940.3 percent while workers’ pay increased 11.9 percent. The report found that CEO pay at the largest public companies from 1978 to 2018 has grown more than 1,000 percent. Interesting information, no?

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