09 December 2008

For those outside the City Hall

While the general debate and signing of the Convention on Cluster Munitions took place inside the City Hall of Oslo on 3 December, many CMC campaigners resisted snow and rain to promote the Convention in the City of Tents outside.The City of Tents was set up for citizens of Oslo and participants of the conference. One big tent and several small ones were scattered over the Frittjof Nansens Plass in front of the City Hall. Live feeds from the general debate, live music, photo exhibitions, banners and clearance demonstrations ensured that the Convention was seen and heard by the public in Oslo today.Just outside the main tent, campaigners promoted the Wish You Were Here postcard action. People could post their Wish You Were Here post card in gigantic mail boxes to 5 countries not present in Oslo today. Cards were addressed to Israel, USA, Russia, Finland and India. The postcards will be handed over to their embassies later this week to encourage these states to sign the Convention in the future as well.The day ended on the main stage, where many local bands contributed to the Concert against Cluster Munitions. Delegates, passers-by and campaigners gathered to celebrate the 92 signatures of the first day of the signing ceremony. Although the square got colder and darker by the minute, the music and excitement of the crowd ensured a warm atmosphere all evening.