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News

Lost in Space

As part of its campaign to stop possible nuclear accidents in space, the Stop Cassini Earth Flyby (which opposes US plans to launch plutonium laden vehicles into space) will organize on September 26-27 a symposium on radiation and health, in New York City. Coordinated by Dr. Helen Caldicott, organizer of the original Physicians for Social Responsibility and advisory board member of the NoFlyby campaign. Action Site to Stop Cassini Earth Flyby, P.O. Box 1999, Wendell Depot, MA 01380 USA. Email: noflyby@nonviolence.org http://www.nonviolence.org/noflyby/action/symp.htm

A Day Without the Pentagon

Write it in your calendar now: October 19! ‘A Day without the Pentagon’, a gathering in Washington DC, will include a massive rally, citizen inspection team that will enter the Pentagon, civil disobedience, disarmament fair, and more! War Resisters League, 339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012 USA. Tel. +1 212 228 0450 (fax 228 6193); email wrl@igc.apc.org; website; www.nonviolence.org/wrl/nopentagon.htm

Peace Camp

On August 11-25 the “Pledge to Prevent Nuclear Crime”, a two week disarmament camp will be held at the Trident nuclear weapons base in Faslane, Scotland. Trident Ploughshares 2000, 42-26 Bethel Street, Norwich, Norfolk NR2 1NR, England. Tel. +44 1603 611-953 (fax 666-879).

New African Women’s Peace Coalition

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia—An African Women’s Peace Committee was established in May by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, to advise both organizations on how to promote women’s participation in peace and development work. The Committee’s 15 members (which include Tanzania’s Gertrude Mongella, the secretary-general of the 1995 UN women’s conference in Beijing; and Ruth Perry, Liberia’s former interim president) are drawn from African governments, women’s organizations and nongovernmental organizations.

Women Ask for Solidarity

Tanzania — SOFIBEF; founded in 1994, is a women’s organization in the Democratic Republic of Congo that works for women’s human rights in Fizi. SOFIBEF is committed to the advancement of peace and promotes the rights of all women in the region to live with dignity and security.

SOFIBEF promotes women’s human rights in the area by lectures, dialogue groups and education campaigns. Its education and training program in democracy and women’s human rights has already reached hundreds of young women in Fizi. SOFIBEF aims to establish a women’s network of local, regional and international organizations on the basis of a mutual respect. To address the new challenges facing Fizi women, SOFIBEF implements programs in five areas (Kazimia, Kikomde, Yungu, Baraka and Fizi). Its training and empowerment activities are designed to develop Fizi women’s leadership skills, in order to develop women’s perspectives on political and social issues.

SOFIBEF seeks support from the international community in the form of funding to help publicize women’s human rights abuses, to conduct conflict resolution trainings and to publish independent women’s magazines. SOFIBEF is also eager to participate in international peace conferences and trainings. Contact: SOFIBEF, Mrs. Salima Rose, Executive Director, PO Box 1345 Kigoma, Tanzania.

May 24 Action in Cyprus

Turkish and Greek Cypriot women took the opportunity of May 24 International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament to issue a joint statement from both sides of the divided island of Cyprus. “We, the women of Cyprus, Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, feel the urge to address our two communities about the present deadlock that we’re in….When we look at our beloved island, Cyprus, we see that…all bi-communal meetings have been stopped, that there are no negotiations for a mutually acceptable solution of the conflict. …When we look at the media, locally, regionally and internationally, we see that there appears to be articles talking about a new war. All this makes us worry for the future of our children because we believe that there is no alternative to peaceful negotiations, peaceful meetings and peaceful contacts for the sake of our children….

“We call on the United Nations and the international community to do everything possible to restore bi-communal contacts and the official negotiation process in order to help the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots to create a mutually acceptable, bi-zonal, bi-communal federal Cyprus. We need a new process of peacebuilding, a new culture of peace on this island. We call on the women of Cyprus, Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, to take the responsibility for this process and to struggle for our own common peaceful future…” the statement read in part. IFOR’s Women Peacemakers Program supported their nonviolent action by sending the declaration to the international press. Contacts: POGO, Patriotic Women’s Union, Women’s Movement for Peace and a Federal Solution, Women’s Research Centre. Fax +90 520 83823.

Women’s World March

Plans are underway for a World March of Women in the Year 2000. Over 375 women’s groups in 66 countries are already participating in the project, and more are sought. This global action will highlight women’s continuing struggle for equality, development and peace. Contact: email: violence.research@hnu.ac.uk