Log-book: April 2003

  Demonstration against the war  Communicating is living 
  A risky cause  A charter for expulsion 
  French Bibliography  Archives of Partenia 




The Bible

Special Edition

Demonstration against war

pour la paix Invited to a forum in Vitoria, in the Basque Country, I followed without hesitation the participants of the forum who went to a demonstration. The square at the town center was crowded, with many of the crowd being from the young generation.  

How wonderful it is to see a city that stands up to refuse to go at war! At the same moment, such demonstrations were being held in all the cities of Spain. And not only in Spain but here and there around the world. Like never before. It is a burst of humanity bearing what it has best. This globalization in favour of peace is a sign of the times that fills me with hope.

The organizers asked me to march in the first rank holding a banner with some of the organizers. We marched during one hour and a half in the streets of Vitoria.  marcher pour la paix

Back to the square, young people made speeches. Hearing them talk with conviction and determination, I was saying to myself: " Truly, the young people and peace go together ".






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Communicating is living
One event after another, I find myself with different audiences. First with the Flemish. I do not remember the theme for the evening or the questions that were debated.
communiquer But it felt good. Nevertheless the necessity of translation remained an obstacle. But that was not what counts.  
Then here I was with Swiss people from Lausanne. I was with Masonic lodges. Apart from the person who had invited me, I knew no one. Again, it felt good, without any resistance.

How can it be that a word can run through a crowd and be accepted? Nothing is won in advance. But when a word comes from the heart and can conquer the hearts of others, then the communication is successful. Then this is what happened. For the great joy of everyone. Communicating is living.



A risky cause

grève de la faim The illegal refugees of Lyon who are on a hunger strike (they were on their 54th day) urged me to visit them.  

Akim greeted me with joy at the Lyon railway station and took me to the premises where ten illegal refugees on hunger strike were lying on mattresses (two women were among them, which is uncommon). Another one was in the hospital. It was natural for me to be with them and I went from one to the other, taking a little time to be with each of them and to listen to each of them. They were happy that I had come specially for them.

Mohammed brought me to the Hôtel-Dieu Hospital so I could meet Rachid. I found him very weak and very much thinner. He was on intravenous injections. Rachid was strong enough to smile. He gave me a hug. I held his hand." I will go to the very end, he told me, but I still hope that our status will be regularized for all of us ". Back at the hunger strike premises, the media were there. I took sides for the illegal refugees and I demanded that their status be regularized.

The risk they took paid off. All had their status regularized. Therefore, they are preparing to celebrate!




A charter for expulsion

expulsion The first in 17 years. 54 Senegalese and Africans from the Ivory Coast, accompanied by 89 French policemen and 4 German civil servants left Roissy airport by Euralair-Horizons, on last March the 3rd.  

The Africans were handcuffed to their seats, often insulted during the trip and receiving anaesthetic injections. Yet the Human Rights European Convention forbids collective expulsions of foreigners. They are forbidden because they evoke acts of deportation.

The " Droits Devant " Association occupies the FRAM travel agency which works often with Euralair-Horizons. On the charter, the logo " FRAM " was there. Everyone could see it on the television. We asked to meet the director.  deportation

We reminded him that FRAM had signed the " Travel Charter " under the aegis of the Ministry of Tourism. It can be read in it that the tour operator pledges to charter only the airline companies respecting the European and international conventions ". Why is the FRAM not obligated to respect or to oblige others to respect the conventions they refer to? The discussion warmed up but a point was made!