The Ban Bus is a grass roots advocacy project that toured Ireland in the last days of April and 2 weeks of May 2008 to raise public awareness about the global catastrophe of cluster bombs. In the last two weeks of May, Ireland hosted the international conference to negotiate a treaty to ban these weapons. The Ban Bus supported by Handicap International presented an in depth insight into what these weapons are and why they must be banned. The full picture from the field reality to the diplomatic efforts to address this issue were covered.
More than 100 countries came to Dublin to negotiate a treaty, and 107 of them adopted it! To secure a strong treaty it was critical that the chairman stood firm. To achieve this CMC, other players and Ban Bus built attention and awareness of the Cluster Munition treaty in general and the particular role Ireland was playing. This formed a firm base for politicians to act upon. The Irish people became proud of their country and its role in creating a strong treaty. Hard work by hundreds of campaigners secured worldwide media attention before, during and after the conference, also essential in securing a strong treaty as well as promote universalisation.
Ban Bus participants
Photographer John Rodsted has documented the humanitarian impacts of landmines, cluster munitions and other unexploded ordnance in some of the most war torn regions on earth. In 2006, he spent weeks in southern Lebanon documenting the civilian impact of impacts of cluster munition strikes by Israel. Rodsted’s work has been widely exhibited in prestigious venues including the Royal Geographical Society (London), Smithsonian Institute (Washington, DC), Sydney Opera House, and the United Nations (Bangkok, Geneva, Nairobi, New York). As the official photographer of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), Rodsted documented the Ottawa Process leading to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty and subsequent Nobel Peace Prize. Born 1961 in Melbourne, Australian.
Mette Sofie Eliseussen is a Norwegian campaigning for her government to establish a treaty in 2008 to ban cluster munitions. She has extensive experience working in development and conflict situations including Afghanistan where Eliseussen established Save the Children USA’s Kabul office in 1995. She was responsible for the safety and security of the development agency’s 60 staff when the city became the scene of major fighting between the Northern Alliance and Taliban forces. During this difficult time, she designed and implemented several landmine awareness projects for Kabul’s youth including the establishment of 18 mine-free playgrounds throughout the city. Eliseussen also helped establish the Afghan Campaign to Ban Landmines to ensure that Afghan civil society had a strong voice in the global movement to establish the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. As part of this campaign, she collected and delivered thousands of postcards from Afghan children calling for a total ban on landmines. Eliseussen has worked for social service groups in her native Norway providing therapy, trainings and leading wilderness awareness programs. She is also a skilled journalist with experience working for Norwegian media and publishing houses. Born 1965 in Oslo, Norway. Languages: Farsi, German, Spanish, Norwegian.
Kevin Bryant, an experienced deminer and landmine survivor.
Raechel Reeseaechel Rees is a writer and aspiring filmmaker from New Zealand. She was responsible for filming activities at the Wellington conference in February, and again in Dublin in May 2008. The footage she shot was edited into broadcast quality videos for You Tube, Reuters and organisation websites.
Her initial awareness of cluster bombs and the arms trade was confined to personal research, the books and films she was moved by, and the company she kept. The inner stirring this created drove her toward study in Anthropology and Film and proactive involvement with organisations and issues that matter to her.
She is currently in San Francisco at the University of California working on two film projects as well as participating in activities related to the International and Global Perspectives College in Santa Cruz.
Ban Bus program
- Tuesday, 29 April
Time: 20:00 at Wynns Hotel Lower Abby St
By: International Anti War Movement
- Wednesday, 30 April
By: Irish Lebanese Cultural Foundation
Contact: Guy Jones. irishlebanese at hotmail.com
- Wednesday, 7 May
Time: 14:00–16:00 Information stand at Limerick University
Time: 15:00–17:00 at Limerick University
Time: 18:00 Shannon Airport
By: Edward Horgan
Contact: Ed 0851026631
- Thursday 8 May
Time: 15:00–19:00 Information stand and filming in Galway City Center
Time: 6.30pm Galway City Museum
By: Galway One World Centre, Amnesty Galway Group and The Galway Alliance against War
Contact: Sarah Clancy. clancy_sarah at hotmail.com
- Monday 12 May
Time: 9:15-11:00 Gaelscoil secondary
Time: 14:30 Milford secondary schools
Time: 8.00pm Conwal Parish Hall, Letterkenny
By: Amnesty Letterkenny Group
Contact: Mary Ryan. mmryanb at hotmail.com
- Tuesday 13 May
Time: 1.00pm Stormont &
Time: 17:00–19:00 Infomration stand and filming at Queens University
Time: 6.00pm Queens University
By: Amnesty International UK
Contact: Fionna Smyth. fionna.smyth at amnesty.org.uk
- Wednesday 14 May
Time: 13:30–14:30 Seminar in st Columbs, Park House
Time: 17:00 Vigil at Raytheon
Time: 19:00 Potluck buffet meal with open invitation to everyone
By: Children in Crossfire
Contact: Helen Henderson cialis on line
- Thursday 15 May
Time: 09:30–10:30 St Brigids School
Time: 11:45–13:00 Oakgrove Integrated School
Time: 19:30–21:30 Derry Anti War Coalition meeting
Time: 21:30 Local pub
By: Children in Crossfire
Contact: Helen Henderson
- Friday 16 May
Time: 09:30–10:30 St Brigids School
- Saturday 17 May
Place: Co. Mayo
Time: 12:00 The Famine walk, Louisburg town
Time: 14:00–17:30 Walk start
Time: 19:00–21:00 Dinner with key speakers
Time: 21:00–– Gaelic dancing
Contact: Joe Murray. afri at iol.ie
- Sunday 18 May
Time: 15:00–16:00 Arrival to the CMC campaigning meeting at Wynns Hotel Lower Abby St
- Monday 19–28 May
Place: Croke Park & surroundings, Dublin
What: Video documenting the process by Raechel with Ban Bus film equipment
- Monday 19 May
Place: Croke Park, Dublin
Time: 08:00 Demonstration at the treaty negotioations starts
- Tuesday 21 May
Place: Dublin Gallery of Photography
Time: 19:00–20:00 Photo documenting the screening of “Unacceptable harm” and the exhibition “What remains”
- Thursday 22 May
Time: 06:30–18:00 Photo documenting and support at “Lie down” action downtown Dublin
- Saturday 24 May
Time: 15:00–19:00 Rally at Corner Pub and outside football match Ireland – Serbia
Time: 15:00 Checking embassy locations for protests in Dublin
- Sunday 25 May
Place: Dublin center
Time: 12:00–18:00 Photo documenting protest march and festival.
- Monday 26 May
Place: Croke Park
Time: 13:00–14:00 Photo documenting Ban Advocates press briefing.
- Tuesday 27 May
Time: 12:00–13:00 Protest outside US embassy
Time: 19:30 Photo documenting Public Talk with Nobel Peace Laureates Jody Williams, Mairead Corrigan Maguire and Betty Williams at Royal Dublin Hotel
- Wednesday 28th of May
Time: 12:00–13:00 Protest at Belgium Embassy
Time: 13:00–14:00 Protest at Canadian embassy
Time: 19:30 Photo documenting screening of “Deadly playground” at Temple Bar
- Thursday 28th of May
Place: Croke Park
Time: 10:00–10:00 Photo documenting closing ceremony on Dublin Diplomatic Conference
Time: 12:30–14:00 Photo documenting People´s treaty launch
Media generated on the Ireland Ban Bus tour
The following overview of media is an incomplete list:
1- South East Radio in Wexford. 30 April 2008
2- Tipp FM in Tipperary. 30 April 2008
3- KCLR in Carlow Kilkenny (interview and ran a community diary all week long). 29 April 2008
4- Article in Kilkenny Voice Newspaper. 30 April 2008
5- Galway bay fm. 9 May 2008
6- The Star national newspaper. Page 16. 9 May 2008
7- Derry Journal, “Touring bus joins Derry anti-munitions protest”. 16 May 2008 (Source: Journal Friday DER Edition)
8. Blog: Say it with a photograph / video
9. SBS, Australia. The Cluster Busters. 18 June 2008.
A firm Irish Chairman that will secure a strong treaty, who will also secure full access to civil society during the conference to ensure a full and transparent process, as well full access for media during the conference.
Create a base of volunteers that can capture national Irish and international media’s attention prior, during and after the conference. This base of volunteers will be essential to have a strong Irish presence and network. Thus providing ownership of the process for the Irish people and their politicians.
Create media attention across Ireland, particularly in key political places.
• Run a Ban Bus with a purpose and a story in itself, who will roll into different locations, conducting presentations at key institutions such as political entities, universities, commercial companies, etc.
• Provide a photo opportunity by using the HI “Cluster Bomb Carpet”
• Visibility. Posters, exhibitions, campaign stunts, survivors and other experts, press releases, etc.
• Provide strong and to the point interviews with national and international media prior to the conference
• Make and keep an updated Ban Bus Blog
• Involve musicians.
• Involve Irish actors
• Involve Irish Artists
• Involve Irish Dancers
• Involve Irish comedians
• Involve Irish PM, Irish Foreign Minister and/or ambassador
• Involve Irish survivor from Iraq
• Involve street artists
• Create national media contacts
Create international media attention prior, during and after the conference.
• Run a Ban Bus with a purpose and a story in itself.
• Embed international media on the Ban Bus.
• Visit, educate and run creative workshops for Embassies
• Press releases
• Various creative campaign stunts prior and during the conference (See goal 4)
• Create international media contacts
Educate the Irish population about Cluster Munitions, the treaty process and Ireland’s role.
• Prepare and run a presentation that includes following key topics: History and use of cluster bombs, the legacy (survivors, economic, demining), the treaty process,
• Create media attention (See goal 1 and 2)
• Interview local Irish people about their attitude, if and how they want to be involved
• Ban Bus Blog that presents a written diary of the tour, as well as images of events, media pick ups, interviews with local people and their attitude, if and how they want to be involved as pod casts and YouTube.
• Organize and run art auction
• Involve artists to express Clusters and peace work (see also goal 4)
• Involve commercial companies to express Clusters and peace work. (see goal 4)
Create campaign volunteers that can assist in creating campaign stunts and other tasks such as filming, secretarial tasks, coordination, etc.
• Prepare and run an inspiring presentation that includes following key topics: History and use of cluster bombs, the legacy (survivors, economic, demining), the treaty process, and campaigning activities.
• Consolidate local interest into strong teams of volunteers
• Run creative workshops that will help volunteers come up with ideas for potential campaigning stunts, practice and testing stunts as well as promote team building and strong connection with the CMC Ireland
• Target different groups that are likely to be available. Street artists, Students, unemployed, companies
Create a blue print for the campaign approach leading up to the signing ceremony in Oslo in December.
Research Associate, Development Education and Research Network (DERN)
Ireland fuel calculator
Ireland public trasportation
Ireland Cluster munitions treaty negotiations