Ninth International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns - Hirschluch, Germany 2002

Words of Welcome

Dear participant of the Peace Tax Conference 2002,

Dear reader of the documentation,

Now, the comprehensive documentation of the “9th International Conference of on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns” is in front of you which took place in Hirschluch near Berlin from 5 - 8 September 2002. 96 participants from 16 countries participated in the conference, plus 12 speakers, interpreters and technicians. 10 participants from another 3 countries and 2 speakers were registered but unable to attend for various reasons. We were especially concerned by the cancellation of Ricardo Esquivia from Colombia. The constant violations of human rights and violent encroachments on peace workers in his country made it impossible for him to come.

Not all registered participants received an entry visa. However, finally at least one person from each country was granted an entry visa by the German embassy. We are glad and our thanks for their support goes to the INKOTA Network, an ecumenical NGO from East Germany involved in third world aid policy. INKOTA took on the work of writing the official invitations for almost all visa applications. This contributed considerably to the granting of visa and that we were able to welcome so many country representatives.

We are also grateful for all financial support. Here we would only name the Bund für Soziale Verteidigung, the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, the Stiftung Mitarbeit and the Roman Catholic fund Kooperation Eine Welt.

Especially we would like to thank all private donors, they paid one fifth of the costs.

The Evangelisches Jugendheim Hirschluch was an idyllic setting near Berlin, perfectly suited for all activities of the conference. The choice of the conference venue, the opening of the conference in Berlin as well as the final sightseeing tour and the lobby discussions with German politicians was able to meet a multitude of expectations.

An international conference of this size can only take place with the support of many volunteers. Concerning the content and the organisational preparation of the conference, the translation of texts, the interpretation or the practical support on site - thank you all for contributing to the success. We also thank all those who participated by being in charge of workshops, reports or helping in any other way. And last but not least we thank all participants without whose understanding and active participation no conference can be successful. Prior to and during the conference we all experienced the scope and depth of our peace tax movement.

The conference team is grateful for the rich experience. Together we experienced an outstanding international conference, which will affect the far future of the German Netzwerk Friedenssteuer.

Now we invite you to an interesting reading experience of the documentation and wish you the best until we meet again at the 10th International Conference in Belgium 2004!

For the whole conference team