Log-book: February 2003

  Rana's wedding  GMO = danger 
  What is Christmas for the illegal refugees?
  Support to the Roms  Partenia: a window to the planet 
  French Bibliography  Archives of Partenia 




The Bible

Special Edition

Rana's wedding

mariage de Rana I was invited by the 'Palestinian 18 Solidarity' association to animate a debate in 'les 3 Luxembourg' Theatre. I cannot refuse to help the Palestinian cause. So, after the demonstration against war on Iraq, I went to the theatre to see the movie " Rana's Wedding " before the debate. 

I like this movie that I was watching for the first time with the other spectators, mostly students at the Sorbonne. Rana decides to get married, to stay in Jerusalem and not to leave for Egypt with her father at 4pm. Then a wild race starts. A race against time and numerous obstacles. Everytime an obstacle is surmounted, another presents itself and time flies inexorably. But at the last moment, the wedding will be held ! A note of hope showing that in the end the Palestinians will overcome. They will surmount all obstacles and one day, they will be able to rejoyce and celebrate.

When it was time for the debate, it was a joy for me to see that Youssef was to animate the debate with me. We were in the same delegation in Palestine. Youssef is a passionate and wonderful man. I had greatly appreciated two of his comments. One concerning the check points : " the purpose of these check points is not to prevent people from passing because everybody finally succeeds to pass through them.

What the soldiers want is to break human and social ties of the Palestinians. They break the usual ties to isolate them even more". 

briser les relations

The other concerned the settlers: " they know this will never be their homeland. Whatever they do and whatever they say, they are on a land that is not their own. And that is why they live within themselves a perpetual sense of insecurity". All in all, it was a great evening.






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GMO = danger
It was 6:30am, place de la Nation in Paris. A group of around fifty people were assembled: movie producers, actors, scientists, elected representatives…in the silence of the capital still a sleep. We climbed aboard vehicles for an unknown destination with only one objective: it is to do something for José Bové and militant farmers condemned to heavy penalties in prison.

Like almost three quarters of the Europeans, we do not want Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), nor in the fields transformed in laboratories, nor in our plates. 


We believe it is dangerous for health and the environment and we are asking for a real democratic debate on the subject.

Close to 10am, a long convoy of cars is driving across Châlons-en-Champagne to go to fields spreading out as far as the eye can see with dots of snow. We stop at the Cetion Institute where tests are being made on transgenic colza.
José Bové We symbolically uproot some plants to plant ones that are " natural ", making the same gesture that José Bové and his friends had done.  
Will it be our lot also ? We leave these desolated lands without having seen the police.



What is Christmas for the illegal refugees?

On the Saturday afternoon before Christmas, as crowds gathered in the Department Stores of Galeries Lafayette in Paris, the illegal refugees wanted to show that they exist. I walked among them on the boulevard, at the sound of the tomtoms, with spread out banners. The crowd was not looking at the window shops anymore but at this strange procession of Africans that was going by. As in front of the walls of Jericho, we went many times around the block, under the eyes of the police.

At a given time, the demonstrators stopped in front of Saint Louis d'Antin Church. Many went up the stairs to speak. Immediately the large doors of the Church were closed to prevent an apprehended invasion. But it was not the case. All that was intended was to occupy space in the street.

sans-papiers On top of the stairs, a militant was holding a poster on which it was written: " Jesus welcomed strangers , the Church evicts them ". 

Let us explain that the day before, on the request of the parish priests, the police force had expelled foreigners form two churches.

Next to the stairs a group was loudly singing Christmas carols at the microphone to cover up the voice of the illegal refugees. What were these ones saying? : " At Christmas, we will not be as joyful as you because we are far away from our families, our land and our villages. We are deprived of our fundamental rights: work, lodging, liberty to circulate …We fight relentlessly to get our status regularised. How can you celebrate Christmas if there is no place for us? ".




Support to the Roms

The support Committee to the Roms of Achères( in the neighbourhood of Paris) had invited me to meet with authorities of the city to find a solution to this difficult situation. I asked to meets the Roms on location.

With the Mayor, a City councillor, reporters, television crews, we engage on a communal road almost impassable for vehicles. To arrive at the camp of the Roms, we had to walk on soil covered with litter and totally muddy. I discovered with desolation how 200 men, women and children live in trailers in bad condition or in shacks built any old way. I am greeted by these families who have been surviving here for the last year and a half ! Some have no heating. One of the two generators does not work and half of the Roms have no light. I cannot get used to this misery.

Roms I went to see a woman who has a baby of three weeks. This infant has a lot of love and yet this family lacks of everything!  

The closest villages are the richest that can be. How can they tolerate such a scandal at their doorstep ?




globe Partenia: a window on the planet 

On January 13 2003, Partenia (a virtual diocese) has celebrated its 7th anniversary. Internet is a liaison between Partenia and the whole world. The free voice of Partenia "on line" is heard. It creates responses, provokes reactions and starts dialogues.

You are many to visit our site: believers of different religions, agnostics, atheists, libertarians, people searching God... Schools and universities complete the mosaic of Internet surfers … At the end of the year, we were honoured to learn that the prestigious "Harvard Business School" has integrated our site on their curriculum!

The virtual diocese is not just a one way. In the forum, through chat and E-mails many people start a dialogue with us. 

en dialogue 

Surfers from South America, Eastern Europe join our friends from Europe, America, Canada and Australia. Africa is also present. Partenia is not an unknown desert.

With the help of friends and volunteers, it is possible to bring Partenia alive in seven languages. The number of surfers increases constantly. The monthly average has passed from 7000 to 45000. We take this opportunity to thank all our volunteer friends for all their loyalty. May this vast network be a sign of the humanity of tomorrow.