a wandering woman writes

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Jo Berry: Building Bridges

Last Saturday El País published an inspiring interview with Jo Berry and Pat McGee, two of the participants in a recent conference sponsored by a Basque organization dedicated to promoting nonviolence and dialog as a solution to conflict.

Jo Berry is the daughter of Sir Anthony Berry, a member of the British parliament killed by an IRA bomb at the Conservative Party conference in Brighton in 1984.

Pat McGee set that bomb.

They now call each other friend, and speak together about the journey they've both been on since meeting each other, at Jo's suggestion, in 2000.

You can read an inspiring English language interview with both of them at a wonderful site, The Forgiveness Project. I promise their story will get you thinking - about division, and "forgiveness". And dignity.

After her father's death, Jo Berry went to Northern Ireland to hear the "other side's" stories. She found the "other side" far more interested in her story than people back in England. She listened and she talked, and eventually she worked her way into a meeting with the man who had killed her father, through mutual contacts.

A few excerpts from Jo Berry's telling of her story:

Perhaps more than anything I’ve realised that no matter which side of the conflict you’re on, had we all lived each others lives, we could all have done what the other did.

My commitment is to see the humanity in everyone.

The website of the organization Jo Berry founded, Building Bridges for Peace, links to all kinds of good things, including Action Transport Theatre, British theatre group currently (I think) presenting an original work based in the story of Jo Berry and Pat McGee.



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