This week marks the 20th Anniversary of the Hague Appeal for Peace.
This week marks the 20th anniversary of the
Hague Appeal for Peace and everything that happened (and didn’t) as part of that event and since, I decided to post some of my pictures from that adventure.
In my post
on being an activist back in March I mentioned attending the Hague Appeal and the peace walk that followed. I was part of a delegation from Philadelphia Yearly Meeting; a group mostly made up of college students and a few older high school students, along with a few adults who handled the logistics and kept us on track more or less.
I have ten boxes of slides, and a few years ago I scanned them as best I could but frankly the scans aren’t great. The slides, which were more than ten years old at the time, had already started to fade and color shift as a result of their age. I did some color correction as I prepped them for this, but I also like the feel of some being somewhat faded and shifted with time. There are shared here full frame, and some are roughly cropped, but none carefully realigned. Since they are now pushing twenty I decided that I wanted to leave them all at or near full size and try to capture a bit of the way I saw the world then, and less of how I would edit it now. I like the rough visual feel they have as part of reflected on partially faded memories.
My guide and canvas bag from Hague Appeal for Peace. Wayne features in lots of these pictures, and still has a spot on my desk.
Kofi Annan gave one of the key note speeches (closing I think).
Aung San Suu Kyi was still under house arrest, back before she left the Rohingya to die, and gave a recorded speech that was smuggled out for us to see.
This was the first time I saw Desmond Tutu speak in person. He was one of the bigger draws for his sessions.
I also learned that Tutu has a great sense of humor, making fun of all the people taking his picture.
HAP happened during the US intervention into the was in the Balkins, and some attendees became concerned that the Russia might join the conflict with Nuclear weapons. So a protest sign was created and a march planned in a bar one night.
Lots of people signed the banner when it was set out near the entrance.
People signed from their own perspectives.
The banner was carried to the Peace Palace, home of the international court of justice.
At the Peace Palace survivors of the Hiroshima bombing were invited to speak to share their stories.
I got to wander by the Peace Palace a couple times to took a feature pictures.
There was a group of monks who walked for peace on a daily basis. They eventually joined the walk to Brussels.
There was a group, from East Timor I think, who came on bikes.
There were lots of presentations by various groups, often with cultural song and dance included.
I don’t take a lot of self-portraits, but I like this one taken near where our group stayed on the coast of the North Sea
We stayed on the coast of the North Sea and had great sun sets. I managed to get this picture there one evening.
Some of the folks from the PYM group sitting around chatting.
The walk to the Hague started the day after the main conference ended. This banner was carried in front for most of the distance.
We walked in all kinds of settings from highways, to bridges, to fields (just missed tulip season so didn’t see many in bloom).
This was actually taken the first evening, I’ve always liked this image of the bike by the lake.
As we progressed we’d stop and hold public presentations and random die ins.
One of the survivors of the blast in Hiroshima came along with his daughter and shared his story of survival during several of the stops.
This young man from India knew more about international politics by 18 than I’m likely to really ever understand. It often was carrying this UN flag.
This little guy also made the walk with us.
Meals were provided a group that provided a small mobile kitchen for such events across western Europe. They would drive ahead of us, setup with a lunch of sandwiches and soup, and then meet us for dinner at the main camp site.
Wayne posed for a couple pictures with our meals. The bread, and much of the rest was donated or bought locally in towns.
This little girl and her parents where along for the journey as well. They would literally clown around with make up, costumes, stiltes, and juggling.
I was never clear on the idea of the juggling and other acts, but it was a nice distraction – which may have been the point.
Group meetings were a regular feature of our walk.
Wayne enjoying some of the treats I picked up along the way.
We camped each night in a town park or similar arrangement. Tents were moved by truck and bus between each stop so we only had to carry day packs.
Several people from PYM started the walk. Some had to leave before the end, so we took this picture before the first of us had to depart.
Much of the walk was low key along small roads through various towns and cities.
Even Wayne needed a break at times. It was a lot of walking.
This is one of two guys I talked to a lot along the way and whose names I cannot remember. I think they were both IT techs or programmers.
This is the second of the two. I’m pretty sure of the general advice I’ve followed in my career was based on things they told me, but the details are largely lost.
In Brussels we were protesting in front of Nato headquarters, and we took some time to practice basic passive resistance strategies for those planning to get arrested.
Practice also involved mock police trying to antagonize people.
A group of Indian farmers joined for the last few days. It had taken a while to get their visa’s cleared. I honestly have no idea what they thought they were joining, but that were good fun to have along.
The final approach to Nato headquarters involved lot of excitement and nervousness.
These three kids were from a community in Columbia, and were the only minors at the final protest. My job would becoming keeping them out of trouble and getting them back to our lodgings safely. The boy in the red shirt elected to ignore me and got arrested.
There was a heavy police presence, and concertina wire strung to keep clear boundaries. But early on things were relaxed. These guys were taking our pictures so I took theirs.
This got decided to get naked for some reason. Didn’t really make sense to me at the time, or now, but he had a nice time (and was charged with public nudity).
This was also the first time I ran into the Raelians. Even a group of anti-nuclear marchers thought them a bit odd, but we welcomed their support (this was before they started to work on human cloning).
In Europe they don’t have to associations we do with water cannon so they had two deployed, and were used to move people that started to cut and cross the wire.
This is just after the best picture I didn’t take. Bill, a Friend from Brooklyn Meeting, he stood between the streams of the cannon shaking his fist as they tried to knock him down. He withstood their pressure but I missed the image.
They tried for a while to dislodge a group that grew the more they tried to move it. They positioned the second truck to create a crossfire, but then changed approaches.
After an initial round of tension, water cannon bursts, and a few arrests, we all settled in for lunch in the shade. We debated politics with these offices and gave them some of our watermelon. Everyone seemed to get along most of the time, the police and protesters all encouraged calm from one another.
When the mounted police started down one side, it didn’t take a great military mind to spot a flanking maneuver, so I started to move myself and my charges away from the action.
I nearly did get swept up but this line, but got through with the help of the event organizer who used his connections to make sure those who didn’t want to get arrested could leave.
That trip was an important few weeks in my life, and I’ve been having a great time going back through the pictures. If you were with me on that trip and wonder if I have other pictures of you kicking around I might so send me a note and I’ll try to see what’s around and sent some your way.