Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Landmines Gone in Five Years

This picture shows white sticks where mines have been removed - Mozambique

I have been wondering about badges and this blog, I didn't want to crowd it with campaigns. So I'm going to be specific and focus on problems that require immediacy, reaction, in order to bring peace. After the Second World War it took only five years to remove all the landmines, millions and millions of them. Of course we do still get the odd few turning up, like the one I bumped into on the beach near the Seven Sisters (where Kevin Costner washed up as Robin Hood). That one was a giant floating one that had freed itself from the clutches of the ocean. Like any toxic/nuclear waste, these things have a life span that extend beyond our own generation and they are there to reduce the lifespan of anything that happens to tread upon them.
Their presence causes Internationally Displaced People or IDP's as they have been lumped together and termed, people that can't go home because the detritus of war is in their front gardens and their living rooms. Often stalwart individuals and families do go home, because they've got to eat, and farm and their kids have to herd goats, and a lot of them step on mines, even the ones that know about mines, that know they are in a mine field, because they weigh starvation and thirst alongside the offchance of losing a limb or their life, and choose to grow food for their families as they have no where else to go and have lost everything they had. The reason the vast number of landmines exists is because even though their removal in trained hands is a safe and simple process, apparently a garedener can do it, a lot of bureaucracy has got in the way, managers managing managers so to speak, when the actual important work finding and removing the mines has got lost.

This same bureacracy is accountable for the lengthy time it takes to process IDP's or internationally displaced people, or people who have lost everything they had because someone else decided to fight a war around them or the sky fell on their heads. For example the US has pledged to take 12000 people from Iraq into it's country. It will take 8months to register and process these people, that's 53 people a day.

I recently went to a festival that had thirteen thousand people attending it. In one week before hand, we put in all the amenities those people would need to live in a field. In three days we registered all those people and tagged them. Then we had a great festival. A week later it was a field again. It was a short term thing. The reality in the world is that issues are reoccuring; war, natural disasters etc but landmines aren't. Once landmines have gone, that's it problem solved. No more amputees, no more dead children, and innocent passersby. If they did it after the Second World War in five years, what's stopping our generation from solving the problem in the same amount of time, or less. We are. We are the problem. An idea is the problem. A 'lack of determination' as Guy Willoughby put it in his article Landmines and Sex. I do not suffer from a lack of determination. So I'm blogging a personal goal. Five years they did it. I can post a badge on here, so can you. We can put an end to landmines, to their production, to the use of Cluster Munitions. Just put the badge on your blog, copy it from here. If this is pasted on blogs all over the internet, and if some or all of us tackle the issue of the bureaucracy, maybe throw some volunteer will power at it. In five years mines and their terrible legacy could be history. The people we have to win over are the manufacturers, I guess we could have a safe disposal of mines in their front gardens, or just ring their factories with mines, or something, until they remember which tribe they're in - the human tribe. The one we all share the one we all belong to.
Maybe some of the profits from weapons manufacture could be used to clear up the mess left behind. Perhaps a law could be passed 'You made the mess - you clear it up'. You know the one we all learnt as children. The one that kids can teach us. I wonder if weapons manufacturers or nuclear energy folks would continue production then. We all share a big front yard, we're all of us in it, we all get our water from one tap, our light and warmth from one light - you figure it out. Oh yeah the other thing we learn as kids 'You have to share'. Or maybe some of us never quite got the message.

Put this badge on your blog permanently until it is free and show your support for the people of Myanmar.
To stop the military junta’s cruelty in Burma take away their financial support by boycotting the companies still doing business with the Burmese government. Companies like Total SA, Chevron, Daewoo and any travel companies operating tours there. The government spends half it’s budget on the military and it gets it’s money from these companies. Stop buying from these companies, they are immoral in their conduct and have a duty to the human rights in the countries they deal with which they do not uphold. Check out:-http://www.burmacampaign.org.uk/dirty_list/dirty_list_details.html for a full list of the companies involved.

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tags - landmines, weapons manufacture, mine clearance, HALO, explosives, Anti-mines, http://poitiveimpactliving.blogspot.com Copyright2007 louisembrookes@hotmail.com

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