USA

The Objective of the ICBL Bus Tour 1997
Six experienced ban mines campaigners conducted a cross country grassroots education journey that started Thursday, 23 October 1997 at Sproul Plaza, University of California in Berkeley, California – the birthplace of the freedom of speech movement and other grassroots movements.

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.

Profiles of Participants

* Mette Sofie Eliseussen, NORWAY. Eliseussen has
worked in Kabul, Afghanistan organizing mine
awareness education for children.

* 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.

* Michael Hands, England. Hand’s background from the Brittish Army and later work as a deminer with Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) brought him to the campaign to ban landmines. He is currently working with NPA.

* John Rodsted, AUSTRALIA. Rodsted has
photographed the landmine crisis and deminers,
landmine survivors, and campaigners in countries
including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia and
Mozambique.

* Petter Quande, NORWAY. Quande has worked in
mine-contaminated Angola on demining efforts.

* 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.

To publicize the United States’ rejection of the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty and to increase grassroots support for the mine ban in the United States, an international group of campaigners and mine action experts traveled from San Francisco to Ottawa between 23 October and 1 December 1997. With coordination provided by the United States Campaign to Ban Landmines, the group made over 100 presentations in more than 75 cities. This is a collection of daily updates, press clippings, photos and flyers from this unique event.

It would not have been possible to carry out the activities of the Ban Bus without
the generous support of the following organizations.

Forum Syd
Handicap International
Landmines Project, Open Society Institute
Norwegian People’s Aid
Save the Children Sweden
Save the Children USA
United States Committee for UNICEF
Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation
Women’s Division of the United Methodist Church

We would also like to thank the many people across America who made a contribution by buying a t-shirt, donating money, offering the campaigners a place to sleep and something to eat, and volunteering their time to organize events.

The ban bus would not have been possible without the campaigners: Mary Wareham, Jill Greenberg, Loung Ung, Paul Piatti, Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation; Dalma Foldes, Forum Syd; Mette Sofie Eliseussen, Sarah Warren, Zebiullah Asmaie, Save the Children USA; Michael Hands, Petter Quande, Norwegian People’s Aid; Marta Munguambe, Alberto Manhique; Mozambique Campaign to Ban Landmines; John Rodsted; and George Wilson.

Media generated on the Ban Bus US tour

This is only the written media, in addition we achieved heaps of radio and television across the States.
You can view the US media clip here.



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Ban cluster bombs!