13 November 2008

The Ban Bus in Italy, 31 October 2008

The Ban Bus team stopped in Padua on 31 October. In the morning, they held a workshop for students at the Temple of Peace, one of the symbols of the city: the church was strongly bombed during World War II and more than 6500 civilians and soldiers are buried at the place. The workshop was attended by Tibisay Ambrosini (Italian Campaign To Ban Landmines) and Francesco Bicciato (town councilor for International Relations and Peace Politics).After hearing about the effects of cluster bombs and the importance of everyone's effort to build peace, the young people formed two groups: one group produced two big banners saying "Peace" and "No cluster bombs" and created a poster with their own thoughts about peace; in the meanwhile high school students had a picture taken inside a "Drop smiles, not cluster bombs" frame and then went around the city with John Rodsted and collected signatures for the People's Treaty; others joined the Ban Bus for a trip through the streets addressing passers-by. The young people enjoyed engaging with the Ban Bus and felt that they were part of a bigger movement.In the afternoon, the Ban Bus photo exhibition that was set up outside of the church during the morning was moved to "Liston", the street between the University and the City Hall of Padua. There the Ban Bus team and the local campaigners collected signatures and explained the Oslo Process and the new Convention. Finally, the group headed for a nightclub where G.A.V.C.I., the local association that organized the Ban Bus events in Padua along with the Italian Campaign To Ban Landmines, prepared "Peaceween", a peaceful version of Halloween: a booth, a video on the consequences of the use of cluster bombs in Lebanon, and some short speeches were the right ingredients to address the young people that gathered.Tibisay Ambrosini, ItCBL: giovani@campagnamine.itDiego Iacono, G.A.V.C.I.: gavci@libero.it