Landmines Awareness Day

U.S. Campaign To Ban Landmines Bus arrives in Boston’s Copley Square as churchbells ring

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 th 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 landmine victims.

All events in Boston are organized by Boston-based Physicians for 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: 4:00-5:30 pm
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 5:30-6:00pm.

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 the public.
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.

Article published by Carl Stieren, Landmine Abolition: “History being made as 155 countries expected in Ottawa”

Article published by Daily Bruin::
“International campaign to ban land mines begins”

Article published by ACAS:
“Action Alert: Ban Landmines”