(Nicole Steakin – Graffiti)
On 9/11 the nation, and eventually the world, watched in horror as innocent people were incinerated, jumped from the sides of the tallest buildings to escape the flames, and cried out for help. The violence against them was indiscriminate and inexcusable.
In the days after 9/11 we heard so much talk of vengeance as justice and Americaness that the label anti-American or un-American sometimes permanently attached to those who took a critical eye to globalization, the meaning of violence, and the definitions of justice most widely embraced. 7 years later, we have neither justice nor vengeance on those actually responsible for the attacks, but we have changed the per/re/ception of N. America in the world to our own detriment. And we have permanently severed certain, once inalienable rights, from N. Americans, immigrants, and the imprisoned in ways so far reaching that we may never know all that we allowed to be taken from us.
We must mourn the lives that were lost today and the lives that have been lost since. In our celebration of the heroes who showed the true meaning of N. Americanness by rushing into those burning towers to help those trapped inside, volunteering in women’s hospitals in Afghanistan, and re/building schools to replace the ones bombed in Iraq & Afghanistan, we should take a moment to think about their example and imagine a world where violence is not how “networks”, “cells”, nor world governments solve conflicts.
Restorative Justice – is a valued-based approach to responding to wrongdoing and conflict, with a balanced focus on the person harmed, the person causing the harm, and the affected community. Restorative justice focuses on transforming wrongdoing by healing the harm, particularly to relationships, that is created by harmful behaviour. The primary stakeholders in restorative justice processes are the person(s) who caused the harm (offender), the person(s) harmed (victim), and the affected community. By collectively identifying and addressing harms, needs, and obligations resulting from wrongdoing, we are able to create healing and put things right again. (Tom Cavanagh)
Justice Vs. Vengeance (you will need access to Science Direct to read)