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News Archive 1999

Plans for peace walk to Kosovo move ahead

Gent (Belgium), June 5 1999 - As the world holds its breath for a possible political solution for the end of the war in Yugoslavia, For Mother Earth campaigners remain sceptic and continue preparations for a peace walk to Belgrado and Pristina as a non-violent peace keeping force.

For Mother Earth established a first contact with non-violent activists in the Romanian student town of Timisoara who would welcome a base-camp for non-violent trainings and the last practical preparations for the start of the peace walk. Timisoara is 160 km on road from Belgrade and the most convenient border is Moravita (60 km) at 3 days walking. The local group however has little financial resources and will have to seek support from foreign NGO's and the City Council of Timisoara which will probably be favorable according to them.

For Mother Earth is urgently looking for people in Yugoslavia, as well as Serbs and Kosovars who fled their war-torn country, who aim to reconcile the different communities. Local people will also be needed for guidance in understanding the effects of war, local customs and practical things such as translation and routes. NGO's who want to take responsability for non-violent and first-aid trainings, food and kitchen, support vehicles, water engineering and a medical team are also asked to contact For Mother Earth as soon as possible. For Mother Earth already agreed to provide one van as a support vehicle.

As NATO forces are using depleted uranium For Mother Earth also seeks geiger counters and possibly a large number of dust masks both for walkers and affected local communities.

In addition, For Mother Earth is looking for national and international 'VIPs' (very important persons) who want to join the start, part or the complete non-violent peace walk from Timisoara to Pristina. 'VIPs' are from great importance because of the publicity and 'protection' they'll give to the walk and and the participants. We're thinking of famous human rights activists, religious 'leaders', musicians, writers etc.

For Mother Earth also plans to have an autonomous solar communication unit on the walk and seeks support for satellite phone as local communication lines were destroyed in large part by NATO bombings. For Mother Earth is considering welcoming participation of accredited international news-agency reporters who agree with the non-violent guidelines and don't take a stand for one of the aggressing parties.

Any donations or commitments for financial support are urgently needed at this point in the planning. Only enough funding can make this non-violent initiative safe and practically possible.

Finally, For Mother Earth is looking for NGO's who'd like to participate in organizing this walk. An organising council, based on democratical principles, should be set up as soon as possible. An e-mail server will be set up next week.

-> Next meeting: Tuesday June 8, 12 noon to 5 p.m. in 'Vredeshuis', Sint-Margrietstraat, 9000 Gent, Belgium

For Mother Earth contacts:

North-America: Mark Stansbery, 1101 Bryden Road, Columbus, Ohio 43205, USA
Phone +1-614-252-9255 Fax +1-614-268 2637

Europe: Pol D'Huyvetter, Lange Steenstraat 16/d, 9000 Gent, Belgium
Phone +32-9-233 84 39 or +32-495-28 02 59 Fax +32-9-233 73 02

Source: Mother Earth

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