|Six experienced ban mines campaigners
conducted a cross country grassroots education journey that started Thursday,
23 October at Sproul Plaza, University of California in Berkeley, California
- the birthplace of the freedom of speech movement and other grassroots
For the following five weeks preceding the signing of the landmine ban treaty in Ottawa, Canada from 3-4 December, the "Ban Bus" crossed the United States stopping to participate in events ranging from talks at local high schools, colleges and universities to public rallies, as well as protests at landmine producer companies such as Accudyne in Janesville and Alliant Techsystems in Minneapolis.
The Ban Bus included six campaigners, from the United States and abroad including people with experience working in such mine-affected countries as Afghanistan, Angola and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Ban Bus includes a traveling exhibition of photographs, posters, videos and a slide show.
The Ban Bus is publicizing the 1997 Call for Posters, an international poster contest open to children and young people which aims to encourage people of all ages to depict visually their vision for a world free of landmines.
Why we needed the ICBL Bus Tour
|It is in response to President Clinton's decision not to support the Treaty to Ban Landmines, that The International Campaign to Ban Landmines has organized the Bus Tour to educate the American public to support the Treaty to Ban landmines. The International Campaign to Ban Landmines criticized President Clinton for withholding from the press that he was exempting from a future U.S. ban on antipersonnel (AP) landmines over one million existing U.S. AP mines. The President stated on September 17 that he would ban all antipersonnel landmines by 2003, except in Korea where use would continue until 2006. Administration officials later said the ban would not apply to U.S. Gator, Volcano and MOPMS antipersonnel mines, which they deceivingly called "explosive devices." President Clinton made the comment while announcing that the U.S. would not join the more than 100 nations who are expected to sign a total ban treaty in Ottawa in December. President Clinton also incorrectly stated that the ban treaty would prohibit U.S. antitank mines when in fact the treaty allows use of all anti-tank mines.|
* Mette Sophie Eliasson, NORWAY. Eliasson has
worked in Kabul, Afghanistan organizing mine
awareness education for children.
* Petter Quande, NORWAY. Quande has worked in
mine-contaminated Angola on demining efforts.
* Dalma Foldes, HUNGARY. Foldes has created
exhibits a key meetings leading to the Ottawa ban
signing to educate policy-makers, diplomats and
members of the public on the impact of landmines.
* Mary Wareham, USA. Wareham is Coordinator of
the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines, a nationwide
coalition of over 235 non-governmental
organizations and one of 60 country campaigns
making up the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.
WHEN: Monday 1 Dec. 12.30pm - Ban Bus arrives
at Conference Center, Rideau St.
Entrance. Monday 1 Dec. 12.45pm - Ban Bus Press Conference, Press Theater - 1st
floor, Conference Center. SPEAKERS: Ban Bus Participants (Rodsted, Hands,
Eliseussen) and Jody Williams, Coordinator, International Campaign to Ban Landmines.
The Ban Bus which began its journey in Berkeley, California on 23rd October
arrives in Ottawa, Canada this Monday. The Ban Bus is an initiative sponsored by the US Campaign to Ban Landmines featuring speakers and exhibition materials from the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. The Ban Bus has given over 100 presentations to audiences in over 25 U.S. states.
Those who have been on the bus since 23rd October include: JOHN RODSTED
(Australia), official photographer of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, MICHAEL HANDS (United Kingdom), Mine Awareness & Demining Expert
with fifteen years training as a combat engineer in the British Army, METTE
ELISEUSSEN (Norway), Mine Awareness Instructor for children living in mine-contaminated Kabul, Afghanistan and GEORGE WILSON (USA), Physician's
Assistant and Ban Bus driver. The Ban Bus has been joined at times by campaigners from different parts of the world, including DALMA FOELDES (Sweden) exhibitions organizer of the ICBL and PETTER QUANDE (Norway) who traveled from California to Washington DC.
Representatives of the US Campaign to Ban Landmines have traveled with the Ban Bus on its journey, bringing the public up to date with recent legislative and policy initiatives. They include: Mary Wareham, Jill Greenberg, Paul Piatti and Loung Ung, all employed by the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation (VVAF), coordinator of the US and International Campaigns to Ban Landmines.
Principle financial sponsors of the Ban Bus include: Handicap International, Norwegian People's Aid, Open Society Institute, Save the Children USA, Women's Division of the United Methodist Church, VVAF and UNICEF.
BAN BUS MOBILE PHONE: +1-202-288-6504
ban em * clear em * help survivors*
sign the treaty NOW!
people made the treaty happen,
sign and spread the people's treaty!!
ottawa office: tel 1 613 996 3079 or 1 613 996 3235
fax 1 613 996 3049
til 7 dec 1997
Av Eduardo Mondlane, 1170
tel 258 1 430 430/1
fax 258 1 422 595
Ban Bus Bound for Ottawa Departs from Berkeley, California
Jesse Jackson, america's ambassador to africa, speaks up for a ban as the ban bus starts on the road to ottawa....
(Berkeley, CA: 23 October 1997) Today the ban
bus to Ottawa departed from Sproul Plaza on the University of California
at Berkeley. In front of a crowd of over 1000 supporters, landmines campaigners
shared the stage with Reverend Jesse Jackson who was speaking out against
California's controversial Proposition 209 which eliminates the state's
affirmative action laws. Rev. Jackson voiced his support for a total ban
antipersonnel landmines in front of the crowd and assembled media. He accepted an "absolute ban" t-shirt from US Campaign Coordinator Mary Wareham of the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation (VVAF). Ms. Volcano Mine, Dalma Foldes, distributed Ban bus brochures to students in her landmine costume while deminer Michael Hands of Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) demonstrated his trade on the lawn aside the plaza. John Rodsted photographed the scene and Mette Eliseussen of Save the Children USA discussed her work with children in mine contaminated Kabul, Afghanistan. Afterwards, campaigners spoke to university students about the landmine
issue for two hours and will have an informal dinner with them tonight.
At the rally ban supporters held placards and
signs which read:
"Ban Landmines, Not Affirmative Action"
"Landmines Don't Discriminate, Proposition 209 Does"
"Landmines - Equal Opportunity Destroyer"
"Rev. Jackson, Take A Stand for Africa's Landmine Victims - Tell
President Clinton to Sign the Ottawa Treaty"
"Rev. Jackson, as America's Ambassador to Africa, We Urge You to Support
a Total Ban on Landmines"
"THANK YOU CALIFORNIA for Supporting Landmine
Ban Legislation (HR 2459):
Beccera, Bilbray, Brown, Capps, Dellums, Dixon, Dooley, Eshoo, Farr,
Filner, Harman, Lantos, Lofgren, Martinez, Matsui, Miller, Pelosi,
Roybal-Allard, Sanchez, Stark, Sherman, Torres, Tauscher, Woolsey,
"CALIFORNIA, WHERE ARE YOU? Ban Landmines Now!
Millender-McDonald, Riggs, Fazio, Bono, Kim, Lewis, Rogan, Rohrbacher,
Tomorrow (Friday 24th - UN Day) the Ban bus will
be in Davis, CA at
events organized by Mary Ellen Dolcini, United Nations Association
Northern California Chapter, tel. 916-753-3451. Then on Saturday in
Chico, CA at events organized by Sandi Williams, Soroptimist
International of Chico, CA, tel. 916-343-4632. Then on to Nevada and 20
other states before arriving in Ottawa, Canada on 1 December 1997.
Ban bus drivers Petter Quande and George Wilson
collected over $300.00
throughout the day through donations and t-shirt sales. We are grateful
to our financial supporters which include: NPA, VVAF, SCF USA, Women's
Division of the United Methodist Church, Save the Children Sweden, Forum
Syd, Handicap International and the Landmines Project of the Open Society
Institute. We are still, however, short of funds and any donations are
warmly welcome - please contact Mary Wareham or Jill Greenberg of the US
Campaign to Ban Landmines at 202-483-9222. Send messages of SUPPORT to
the Ban bus by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling our mobile tel.
Thank you to our helpers in Berkeley: Paul Piatti
of VVAF, Tripp Mikich,
Eric Moon of AFSC, Alan Senauke of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Laura
Keresty of the Presidio Project, Jerry Saunders of Berkely's Peace &
Conflict Studies, Heidi Kuhn of "From Mines to Vines", Wendy Wank,
Joelle, Barbara McDonald, Erica Harold and Peace Action California and
the many other supporters! Apologies if we have forgotten anyone!
Ban Bus Celebrates United Nations Day in Davis, California
(Davis, CA: 24 October 1997) After an initial panic on over-packing of the Ban Bus, ban campaigners squeezed everything in and set off for Davis, CA today - a town of 55,000 about one hour's drive east of Berkeley. Approximately 25,000 students attend the University of California in Davis where the Ban Bus stopped at noon today to participate in an outdoors landmine event on the main square organized by the campus' National Organization for Women (NOW) chapter.
On 22 October, Davis members of the US Campaign to Ban Landmines published a full page open letter to President Clinton in the local paper, The Davis Enterprise, urging him to demonstrate moral leadership by supporting the Ottawa Treaty. It was signed by over 650 local individuals and organizations and will be sent to the President along with additional names received. "We were amazed at how easy and fast we managed to get folks to sign on to this letter and donate funds to place it in the paper," said Will Lotter, of the Davis Religious Community for Sanctuary. Campaigners also successfully lobbied to get the Davis City Council to sponsor a landmine resolution proclaiming the day: "Ban Landmines Day".
Tonight, the Ban Bus will participate in an event at the Davis Unitarian Church organized by local groups including the Davis United Nations Association. The keynote speaker is Vince Rios, a decorated U.S. Marine sergeant who lost both legs and one arm to a landmine while serving in Vietnam twenty years ago.
The Ban Bus participants would like to thank the Davis ban supporters for their kind hospitality including Mary Ellen Dolcini of the UNA/Davis and Northern California, Jane and Will Lotter, Richard and Judy Houck, Andrew Anker and Nancy Leroy and Merline Williams.
The Ban Bus stops in Chico, CA tomorrow (Saturday 25th). Contact: Sandi Williams, Soroptimist International, tel. 916-343-4632.
# # #
Messages of support for the Ban Bus have been received from children around the world, from the CyberSchoolBus to the Ban Bus - a selection of their emails follow:
Here are a selection of messages supporting the
Ban Bus, ICBL a USCBL. These were sent in to the Schools Demining Schools
project run by the United Nations CyberSchoolBus.
>From the CyberSchoolBus crew, good luck to all
of you and see you in New
Abouali Farmanfarmaian, Coordinator
Dear Bus Crew,
I hope we are not too late to hop on the bus.
Please carry our support on this issue. We will be hoping and/or
praying that President Clinton will "get on board" by the time you reach
Ottawa in December. We look forward to seeing you when you pass through
Connecticut. Tell Mary Wareham that we were thrilled to meet her last Saturday
AntiLandmine Campaign at Yale University. Be sure to let Jody Williams how proud we are of her.
Joan Cole, Advisor
Schweitzer Student Network
East Lyme Middle School
East Lyme, CT 06357
To the ICBL,
Congratulations on winning the Nobel Peace Prize. I agree with the treaty to ban land mines. Any weapon of war that risks killing innocent civilians with out warning should be severely restricted. Thank you for helping keep the world safe.
313 Pinnacle Drive
Cedar Hill, Texas 75104
To the Ban Bus crew,
Congratulations to the ICBL on winning the Nobel Peace Prize. We hope your journey raises awareness sufficiently to stir the US government and Bill Clinton to positive action, just as Russia and Japan have recently done.
Kew High School
I am very impressed with the unbelievable effort
in the war against land mines. Because of such organizations such as the
ICBL, the world is becoming a better place for all of us, especially the
future, us the children. So I congratulate the ICBL, and wish them my support.
Yours in support
On behalf of the Warwick High school Students
in Warwick, Queensland, AUSTRALIA, we would like to wish the Banbus the
greatest success in bringing the message of world wide mine banning to
the people of the U.S.A.
Our congratulations go to the ICBL in winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997.
Anna Nolan, Susan Watts and Bob Fraser.
Warwick State High School
phone: +61 76 618332
CONGRATULATIONS to the ICBL on winning the nobel peace prize. Landmines should be banned! Any endeavour to achieve this is to be congratulated. What a great idea to get support for a total ban treaty by the ban bus trip.
Possum Magic Book Rap Co-ordinator
Hillvigu State School
Dear Ban Bus,
Congratulations to your efforts to ban land mines. I thank you very much. I am a United States citizen living in North Cyprus. My spouse took a job teaching here, and I also do some part-time teaching.I have been here 2 1/2 years, and have been much concerned with the increasing military tensions concerning Cyprus. I had never heard of land mines here until last month, when a land mine killed a man who followed his dog into the buffer zone area in S. Nicosia. I have a 7 year old girl who loves to run and play, as all children should have the right to do. It is so sad to think of the children who have been maimed by the terrible land mines, or worse yet killed. Please keep up your good work. I read about your project on the Global School Bus email. Let me know if I can help in some way via email.
Kathleen W. Pagan
I think you are doing a great job. Not many can say they won a Nobel Peace Prize. I wish that we had signed on to the band. Thank-you for you work and effort.
We are students from Argentina. A teacher told
us about this project about the Landmines.He also told us about the reject
of USA. What we want to say is that we are with you and we wish the Ban
Bus project will be succesful.
San Luis Gonzaga School.
Soroptimists sponsor Ban Bus Visit to Chico, California
(Chico, CA: 25 October 1997) In a last minute deviation from their itinerary, the Ban Bus visited Chico, CA on Saturday where a number of events received some great local television and print coverage. The Ban Bus set up a demining and mine awareness display at Citrus Elementary School where the community of Chico came together to celebrate their activities in a day called: Making A Difference.
The connection to the landmines campaign was explained
by Sandi Williams, President-elect of Soroptimist International of Chico
(California). "Last year, we began a local campaign to build awareness
of the landmine situation by launching a project called 'Steps Without
Fear'. We asked school children to trace their footsteps and write
messages of hope to the children of Angola, and we asked the adults of
our community to contribute a dollar. We told them that 'a step and
a dollar' could help
bring 'Steps Without Fear'."
In two short weeks, over 1200 footsteps were made and $1041.00 raised for 'Steps Without Fear'. These were presented to Soroptimist International president, Patricia Daniels, on Human Rights Day 1996 and resulted in the Soroptimist International of the Americas federation adding a line item to their accounting system to allow the organization to continue taking in funds to help eradicate landmines. During the 2 year period, from July 1995 through June 1997, Soroptimist International donated $500,000 to the Mines Advisory Group in Cumbria, England to be used to assist with eradication. That was MAG's largest donation from a non-governmental organization.
The Ban Bus participants would like to thank the Chico ban supporters for their kind hospitality including Bob Mulholland, Pat Leahy, Sandi Willliams, and Carol and Jim Braziel.
The Ban Bus stops next in Salt Lake City, UT on Monday 27th. Contact: Deborah Sawyer, tel. 801-364-2971
The Ban Bus has never seen as busy a day as today
October 28 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The day began early as campaigners
broke down into pairs and traveled to seven schools, Horizonte School,
St. Joseph's High School, Weber State College, Rowland Hall St. Marks,
Judge Memorial High School, Highland High School, Jewish Community Center
Elementary School. Events continued with presentations to Women's Concerned/Utahns
United as well as several Rotary Clubs in Salt Lake City and Ogden. T-shirt
sales and donations from these events provided the Ban Bus with over $500.
Mary Wareham of the US Campaign and Petter Quande of NPA were guests on the Doug Wright Radio Show on KSL. Other media included a meeting with The Salt Lake Tribune and several local television stations appearing at the Horizonte School event. John Rodsted and Jill Greenberg met with the Mormon Church 's Bill Evans, who was interested in learning more about the ban. In the evening, the campaigners met with the United Nations Association of Utah and gave an extensive presentation to a room of over 60 Utah ban supporters.
Special thanks go to Deb Sawyer, who organized an extremely busy and successful day here in Utah. Also, thanks to Boyer and Pat Jarvis, Bob and Dixie Huefner, and Andy Schoenberg for accommodation and thanks to Dee and John Rowland and Oren Nelson.
The ban bus leaves early tomorrow headed for Grand Junction, Colorado. Mary Wareham has headed back to Washington DC and Jill Greenberg will be on the ban bus until November 11.
After fine tuning some technical communications
problems in Salt Lake City, Utah, the ban bus headed towards the Rocky
Mountains today, October 29.
Campaigners took to the roads of Utah and Colorado, spreading the message of the need for a ban and a US presence in Ottawa this December by talking to people in parking lots, restaurants, and spectacles of natural beauty. The bus covered over 300 miles today, stopping only for fuel and to pass the word on about the need for a ban. The most prevalent comment we found in talking to people was surprise that the US was not on board this treaty and not ready to ban this weapon domestically.
The evening found campaigners in Grand Junction, Colorado where we spoke with an intimate group of 20 people at the First Congregational Church, giving an inspiring presentation about the horrors of this indiscriminate weapon. John Rodsted began with graphic photos of mine affected countries and mine survivors. Michael Hands provided a technical presentation on the problem of mines and how to spot the danger of a mined area. Mette Sofie Eliseussen spoke about teaching landmine awareness to children in
Afghanistan. Jill Greenberg rounded out the program with the US policy discussion, noting that the Colorado delegation in Congress is only half on board. much work needs to be done in this state! Petter Quande and Dalma Foldes set up an incredible exhibition of black and white photos, landmine awareness posters and sold t-shirts and Cambodian vests.
Members of the Catholic Church greeted us here, with the incredible idea of using the Afghan postcard exhibition, Afghan Children's Impression of Life In A Minefield (provided by Mette and Save the Children,USA), for a traveling exhibit across all of America's Catholic Churches. Other Grand Junctioners suggested to use the children's drawings as part of a program within Sunday Schools to raise awareness of the landmine problem.
Special thanks to the First Congregational Church members and Reverend Rick Riddoch who kindly provided us with a forum to speak, a nice dinner, and comfortable beds to sleep in!
The ban bus heads to the mile high city tomorrow for a day and a half. For more information, contact Andy Hanscom, 303-541-9164.
The ban bus hit the road today,October 30
after a short visit to the repair shop for a tire change. The Bus decided
to take the scenic route, traveling along narrow mountain passes for a
view of the snow covered Rocky Mountains. Our trip was abruptly haulted
when we came upon a jacknifed truck hanging onto the edge of a mountain,
completely blocking the road.
We managed to turn around and quickly get back on track to arrive in Denver, Colorado for a presentation at Regis University. Several students and many from the community turned out for the slide show and presentations given by the campaigners. Many expressed interest in starting a Colorado Coalition to Ban Landmines.
Special thanks to Andy Hanscom, Peace Action; Byron Plumley and Sen Nguyen, AFSC; Mary Cook and Kathleen Schaffer of Regis university; Dan Mondragon, Denver Catholic Diocese; Nancy Milligan and UNA-USA Colorado; Jose Marichal, Bob Kinsey and Tom Hobin.
Tomorrow we continue our stay in Colorado, traveling to Boulder for a rally outside of the Boulder Town Hall and a presentation at University of Colorado, Boulder. For more information, contact Andy Hanscom, Colorado Peace Action 303-541-9164.
BAN BUS HITS OMAHA , THANKS HAGEL AND KERREY
(Omaha, NE: 2 November 1997) The ban bus arrived in Omaha, Nebraska today and held a discussion at Creighton University hosted by Jesuit Father Don Doll. Doll, an award-winning photographer joined in the presentation by showing some of his own slides from his trip earlier this year to Angola.
Media response was excellent with reporters from
KPTM-Fox, KETV-ABC, KMTU-CBS, and The Omaha World Herald all asking campaigners
taking photos and videos and doing interviews. Congressional leaders on the ban including Senator J. Robert Kerrey and Senator Charles Hagel were congratulated. Nebraska Representatives Bill Barrett, Jon Christensen and Doug Bereuter have not yet cosponsored the Evans/Quinn Landmines Elimination Act and were urged to do so.
After the presentation, United Support for Amputees
(USA) hosted a pot luck supper at the University. Special thanks to Father
Don Doll, Creighton University, Bill and Barb
Brown, Maxine Green and the Brown family.
Tomorrow the bus heads for the Twin Cities, Minneapolis-St.Paul. For more information, please contact Rev. Jim Ketcham, 612-644-9073 or Perri Graham, 612-872-7332.
BAN BUS TAKES OVER MINNEAPOLIS-ST.PAUL
(Minneapolis, MN, 5 November) The ban bus arrived in Minneapolis late Monday night to begin a day and a half of events in the Twin Cities. The day started with a presentation at the Blake School to a small group of teenage students. The rest of the ban campaigners spoke at Hamline University to a group of 100 students. Hamline's Amnesty International Chapter set up a table and were helpful in promoting the arrival of the ban bus. Michael Hands did a demining demonstration outside the hall, with many students in attendance as well as the Minneapolis-Star Tribune. The ban bussers also spoke to groups at Ramsey Junior High School (over 200 students), St. Bernard's Grade School, and St. Joan of Arc Church. The students at St. Bernard's are involved in a group that has chosen landmines and the ban for a special project to be involved in for a year. Jill Greenberg and Michael Hands did a radio interview in the morning with a Duluth Radio Station, KUMD.
Media here in Minneapolis included the Star-Tribune, as well as, KSTP-the ABC affiliate and WCCO-the CBS affiliate. An excellent, but very tiring day for the ban bus! The ban campaigners thanked Senator Paul D. Wellstone for cosponsoring S. 896 and Representatives James L. Oberstar, Bill Luther, Martin Olav Sabo, Bruce F. Vento and David Ming for their support for HR 2459. Minnesota representatives who have not yet supported the Landmine Elimination Act include: Senator Rod Grams and Representatives Collin C. Peterson, Jim Ramstad and Gil Gutknech.
This morning, campaigners joined the weekly Wednesday 7am vigil at Alliant Tech Systems in Hopkins, MN. Over 50 people showed up this morning to welcome the ban bus. Ban campaigners spoke briefly, but we were interested to hear the songs they sing (provided graciously by the McDonald sisters) and the chants they use at this weekly vigil. Local Wisconsin campaigner ,Mike Miles, drove down from Luck, Wisconsin and pulled out his guitar and sang songs as well. The local paper, the Hopkins Sun-Sailor, also was present at the vigil, asking questions about the ban bus. After the vigil, we went out to breakfast with this dedicated group who weekly participate, rain, shine or snow.
Special thanks go out to Susan Walker, who organized all events, although she is in Yemen helping the International Campaign, Jean Jachman, Duane Cady, Rev. Jim Ketcham, Perri Graham, and all those who showed up at 7am in the freezing cold weather to greet us at the Alliant vigil.
The ban bus heads to and through Iowa tomorrow, with stops scheduled in Ames and Iowa City. For more information contact, Wayne Osburn in Ames (515-294-6306) and Katy Hansen in Iowa City (319-337-7290).
(Iowa City, IA, November 6, 1997) The ban bus
traveled through Iowa over 2 days, with stops in Ames, Iowa City, and Davenport.
In Ames, ban campaigners spoke to students at Iowa State University while
Michael Hands did a demining demonstration outside the Student Union. In
the evening, ban campaigners traveled to Iowa City, where they spoke to
the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council. The presentation was taped to
use on local NPR affiliate, WUSI. The local newspaper of Iowa City, the
Iowan, covered all events in Iowa City.
In the morning, half the Ban Bus (George, Mette
and John) headed for Davenport, while the rest of the gang stayed in Iowa
City to attend a press conference at the local UNA offices and a rally
outside the Old Capitol at the University of Iowa. The radio interview
done by Mary Gray Davidson for the Common Ground show, broadcast across
America on NPR , went extremely well. Other media that covered the day's
events include The Catholic Messenger, The Gazette, Des Moines Register,
and The Press
Citizen. All media were in attendance as Michael Hands demined University of Iowa, while over 100 students watched.
Jill, Michael, Petter and Dalma joined the group in Davenport, where Mette and John spoke to university students from St. Ambrose University, Blackhawk College, and Augustana College.
The media blitz continued- an interview with WVIK, public radio in the Quad Cities (Jill and Michael) , talk radio DJ Jim Fisher on KUUL (Jill and Petter), as well as KWQC, the NBC affiliate, WQAD, the ABC affiliate, WHBF, the CBS affiliate and print media that included Catholic Messenger, Quad Cities Times, and The Distpatch.
Ban bussers congratulated Congressman Lane Evans
(D-IL) for being a leader on this issue in the House and for being a tireless
and effective leader in Washington for working towards a ban domestically.
* Senators Tom Harkin and Chuck Grassley were thanked for cosponsoring
S. 896 (Landmine Elimination Act) along with Representative James A. Leach.
Representatives Tom Latham, Greg Ganske, Leonard L. Boswell, Jim Nussle
were asked to support HR 2459.
In the evening, the group were guests at an excellent dinner hosted by Pat and Peg McCauley, with several local supporters in attendance. The ban bus finished off a hectic trek through Iowa with a presentation at St. Paul's Lutheran Church.
Special thanks to those in Iowa City and Ames:
Katy Hansen and Dorothy Paul, UNA-Iowa City/Johnson County; Wayne Osborn,
Iowa State University; Dr. John and Emily Sutphin ; Osha and Mary Gray-Davidson;
Jim and Mary McCue; Tom Baldridge, and Professor Rex Honey, University
In Davenport, our hats go off to Martha Yerington and the Diocese of Davenport; St. Paul Lutheran Church; Pat and Peg McCauley; Sister Mary Lou Sucham, Fr. Bud Grant, and Thomas and Sandra Brus.
The ban bus heads off to Rockford, Illinois; Janesville and Madison, Wisconsin; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. For more information, please contact Bonnie Block 608-256-5088.
BAN BUS TRAVELS THROUGH AMERICA'S DAIRY STATE
(Milwaukee, WI, 9 November) The ban bus began
its travels through Wisconsin first by stopping in Rockford, Illinois to
have lunch with Rockford Peace and Justice and assemble a group to caravan
to Accudyne Corp., a company involved in the manufacture of components
for antipersonnel landmines located in Janesville, Wisconsin. Accudyne
has refused to join 17 other US companies in renouncing its involvement
the mine production business.
At Accudyne over 70 people from all over Wisconsin
showed up to tell Accudyne to get out of the landmine business. Bruce Barrett
of Physicians for Social Responsibility kicked the protest off by pouring
25,000 bb bullets into a pan to signify the thousands who are maimed or
killed by landmines each year. Media from all over Wisconsin, including
the NBC, ABC, and CBS affiliates from the Janesville/Madison area, Wisconsin
State Journal and, The Capital Times. Jill Greenberg of the US Campaign
encouraged locals to begin a weekly organized protest at Accudyne, similar to the weekly Alliant vigil.
The ban bus then headed to Madison, Wisconsin and was greeted by supporters at the Wisconsin State Capitol, who then assembled a candlelight vigil outside the US Courthouse in downtown Madison. After the vigil, ban bussers had dinner with supporters at the Arts House Café and surprise guest Susan Walker of Handicap International who drove 5 hours to catch up with the ban bus for a day of activities.
The next day, Sunday, ban bussers gave presentations
to two local churches and capped off their Madison stay with a noontime
rally in the center of Madison, with many supporters present. All ban bussers
said a few words, as well as Susan Walker, who gave an energizing speech
that pumped up our friends in Madison. The ban bus then headed to Waukesha,
Wisconsin to the headquarters of Amron Corporation, another landmine producer.
Local campaigners and ban bussers joined together to leave a
pledge not to produce landmines at the door of Amron. The local CBS affiliate was there to let everyone in Southeast Wisconsin know that they have a landmine producer in their area. The evening gave ban campaigners time to relax as they joined with local Milwaukee supporters for a pot luck supper.
Monday the 10th was a exciting day in Milwaukee
for the ban bus. City Alderman Don Richards and Mayor John Norquist declared
November 10th Ban Landmines Day and presented campaigners with a certificate.
They also presented ban bussers with a special resolution to urge President
Clinton to sign a ban. All local media from Milwaukee were present. Throughout
Wisconsin, the ban bus congratulated Senators Herb Kohl and Russell D.
Feingold, and Representatives Jay W. Johnson, David R. Obey, Thomas M.
Barrett, Gerald D. Kleczka, Ron Kind, Scott L. Klug for their cosponsorship of the Landmine Elimination Act. Representatives F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr., Thomas E. Petri and Mark W. Neuman were urged to support the ban.
Special thanks to Mike Miles, Bruce Barrett, Bonnie and Bob Block, Nan and David Cheney, Daniel and Georgia Gomez-Ibanez, the University of Wisconsin Greens and Reverend Sue Larsen in Madison and Tom Seery, Jim and Kathie Vint, Alderman Don Richards, Mayor John Norquist, and Peace Action Milwaukee. The ban bus heads to the Windy City, Chicago, for November 10 and 11. For more information, please contact Carl Nyberg, 312-939-3312.
By GENE STOWE
Landmine opponents from four nations urged a Notre Dame audience Wednesday to lobby for U.S. support of a move to ban "mass murder in slow motion." The Ban Bus, a cross-country campaign for the cause already highlighted by Princess Diana and this year's Nobel Peace Prize, stopped in South Bend on its way to Ottawa, where a ban treaty will be signed next month. "We have gotten very, very good reaction," said Mette Eliseussen of Norway, who has been on the bus since it left Berkeley in late October.
"They're very surprised to hear the U.S.A. is not going to sign." More than 100 nations will sign the agreement to ban the weapons. President Clinton has not agreed to sign, although bills for the ban are winning strong support in Congress. John Rodsted of Australia, a freelance photographer who became involved in the movement after seeing the destruction of landmines in Cambodia, Laos and Burma, said activists finally convinced his country to sign. "Out of all the things the human race is capable of doing to each other, the one that stands out is landmines," Rodsted said. "Ninety percent of
the injuries are post-war and civilian.
"There's no such thing as a mine accident. They're deliberate acts. Mines have been called mass murder in slow motion." Rodsted showed slides and pictures of landmine victims in Bosnia, including two sisters who were injured on their way to work and a boy who had been gathering firewood near his home-a year after the war had ended.
"What manufacturer, politician or general decides a 13-year-old boy is the enemy?" he said. "The mines are a continuing thorn in the side of peace. We are sick to death of it."
About 50 people attended the talk by Ban Bus riders, sponsored by the Center for Social Concerns and the Kroc Institute for Peace Studies at Notre Dame.
Jackie Curran of South Bend, whose daughter Patty Curran, a Maryknoll lay associate, is director of Wat Than Skill Training for Landmine Disabled in Cambodia, arranged the visit. At a display in the Hesburgh Center for International Studies, Eliseussen
showed postcards to President Clinton drawn by children in Afghanistan, where some 10 million mines are buried. "I've been working in Afghanistan for two years with Save the Children," she said. "Our program in Kabul, Afghanistan, is to teach kids about the
dangers of land mines."
During street fighting in Kabul in 1994, 50 people a day were killed or injured by mines. Now, 40 to 60 a month are injured in the city: Sixty percent of them are children.
"Lots of children get blown up while they're climbing the trees," she says. "There is no such place as a safe place in Kabul.
"This is these children's only chance to tell the world what's going on."Michael Hands of Britain, a former soldier who has worked as a de-miner to clear territory of landmines, said they kill or wound some 26,000 people a year.
"I'm not a pacifist," Hands said. "As a soldier-a former soldier-I cannot warrant the use of these weapons." Many generals, and all Vietnam veterans in the Senate, support the ban. Municipal governments in Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Flagstaff, Tucson and New Haven, Conn., have voted to urge the banning of land mines, along with the state legislatures of California, Maine and Massachusetts.
Paul Biatti, [its actually Piatti] who works in Los Angeles for the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, said his 8-year-old daughter inspired him to join the movement.
"Her children's children's children can be killed or maimed by a mine that was laid before I was born," Biatti explained. "That's my motivation."
A cross-country bus tour of campaigners
from the U.S. Campaign to Ban
Landmines will stop in Boston's Copley Square Plaza on November 25 to
send a strong message to President Clinton to sign the international
treaty banning antipersonnel landmines next month in Ottawa. The
United States and Cuba are the only countries in the Western
Hemisphere that will not be signing the comprehensive treaty that
calls for a total ban on production, sale, transfer, use, and
stockpiling of antipersonnel landmines. The Canadian government
expects over 120 nations in Ottawa to sign the treaty, including all
NATO (except for Turkey) countries. The Ban Bus has been traveling
throughout the United States since the beginning of October when it
left from Berkeley, CA. At 4pm Mayor Tom Menino will greet the
campaigners as bells from the Old South Church ring in honor of
All events in Boston are organized by Boston-based
Human Rights (a founding member of the steering committee of the
International Campaign to Ban Landmines. PHR will be present in Oslo,
Norway next month to accept the Nobel Peace Prize with other members
of the ICBL) and Massachusetts Peace Action along with the cooperation
of the Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children.
INTERACTIVE EXHIBITS: COPLEY SQUARE PLAZA 2-4pm
DEMINING EXHIBITION: Michael Hands, a professional
deminer and mines
awareness instructor working with Norwegian People's Aid in Bosnia and
Chechnya, will demonstrate the complex process of removing landmines.
SIMULATED MINEFIELD: PHR's Tamara Morgan,
a nurse who has treated
landmine victims in Africa, will challenge Bostonians to walk across a
simulated "minefield" to gain awareness of the challenge faced by
thousands of people living in mine-affected countries such as Bosnia,
Angola, Mozambique and Cambodia
GIANT SHOE PYRAMID A shoe pile, representing
the 500 victims who
either their life or limbs in a week, has been a symbol used
internationally by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.
Similar tributes have been built in the United States in front of the
Washington monument and in Paris near the Eiffel Tower. There are over
500 landmine victims every week. Every 22 minutes a person somewhere
in the world steps on a mine.
Youth from Boston's City Year will join
the campaigners from the Ban
Bus and local organizations to participate in the activities in the
Copley Square Park.
PHOTO EXHIBIT: ARLINGTON STREET CHURCH: 2-4pm
A photo exhibit of mine victims from Cambodia
and Bosnia, by
campaigner and photographer John Rodsted of Australia, will be on
display at the Arlington Street Church from 2-4pm.
RALLY TO BAN LANDMINES: COPLEY SQUARE PARK:
A rally will take place from 4-5:30pm in
the Copley Square Plaza park.
Church bells in the Old South Church will ring at 4:00pm in honor of
landmine victims and Boston's Mayor Thomas Menino will greet the Ban
Bus campaigners. A representative from Governor Paul Cellucci's
office will read a proclamation declaring November 25 "Ban Landmines
Day" in the state of Massachusetts. Speakers scheduled to speak at the
rally include: a representative from the office of Massachusetts
Senator John Kerry; the Consul General of the Canadian Consulate of
Boston, Mary Clancy; Patricia Deyton, CEO of the American Red Cross in
Boston; Alan Gorrell, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Medical
Society;. and representatives from Boston organizations that have
worked on the campaign to ban landmines, including: Physicians for
Human Rights, Massachusetts Peace Action, the Women's Commission for
Refugee Women and Children, International Physicians for the
Prevention of Nuclear War, and Oxfam America.
CANDLELIGHT MARCH: BOYLSTON STREET 5:30 PM
A silent candlelight procession, led by
campaigners from the Ban Bus,
for the 26,000 victims per year of landmines will march along Boylston
Street from Copley Square Plaza to the Arlington Street Church from
EVENING SPEAKERS' FORUM
An evening speakers forum from 6-8pm at
the Arlington Street Church
will be hosted by distinguished actress/director Liv Ullmann.
Loung Ung, a campaigner on the Ban
Bus and a survivor of the
Cambodian genocide, will discuss her experiences in Cambodia with the
Khmer Rouge and landmines. Representative Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), of
Worcester who nominated the International Campaign to Ban Landmines
for the Nobel Peace Prize and Leonard Rubenstein, executive director
of Physicians for Human Rights, will speak about the U.S. position on
landmines and the treaty, and Dr. Anne Goldfeld, a physician at
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and a board member of the Women's
Commission for Refugee Women and Children, will speak about her
experiences with landmines in Angola and Cambodia.
All events are open to the press and to
Interviews can be arranged before the event by contacting
Barbara Ayotte at Physicians for Human Rights at 695-0041.
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is an
organization of health
professionals, scientists, and concerned citizens that utilizes the
knowledge and skills of the medical and forensic sciences to
investigate and prevent violations of international human rights and
humanitarian law. PHR is a founding member of the steering committee
of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and the U.S. Campaign
to Ban Landmines. The Boston-based organization will be present in
Oslo, Norway next month to accept its share of the 1997 Nobel Peace
Prize awarded to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and its
coordinator, Jody Williams. PHR has investigated the deadly legacy of
landmines in Cambodia, Somalia, Mozambique, and Bosnia-Herzegovina,
written many books and articles on the subject, and participated in
the international ban treaty negotiations.