Fifth International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns - Hondarribia, Spain 1994

About the Presence of People from the Not Western World

One of the purposes of our meetings is to have the possibility of getting in contact with representatives from different parts of the World and not only from the economic north.

Looking at the conference, it was assured the presence of a Palestinian thanks to the USA's NWTRCC and we had in mind the presence of Arya B. Bhardwaj (Gandhi in Action) from India. We expected that a man or a woman from Paraguay would come too.

This summer we received letters from the Indian Institute for Peace, Disarmament and Environmental Protection (India), Association of United Peace (Liberia), Nigerian Peace Committee (Nigeria), a peace activist from Lahore (Pakistan) and Fellowship of Reconciliation India (India). By the same time Arya wrote us telling that he had to go back to India at the end of August so that he would need help not for the trip back from London but from India.

So we had to take a decision at this point: At first we realized that there were not time enough for hearing so many different representatives from so many countries in our conference time. And at this time we had unresolved the economical problem, so we have to choose among all these possibilities.

Our choice was as follows: we thought that we have never heard about Africa and Nigeria is the most crowded country there. Last year they had elections but the winner wasn't nice for the army and there was a coup d'etat. Since this moment it seems that something is happening there: strikes, demonstrations,... so Nigeria became a target for us. And from Asia we decided that it should be interesting to hear about a different country that has been under military regimes, so we thought on Pakistan.

With the Pakistani people we had a problem: in the fax they sent to us there was not any address and after several attempts we decided that the fax number was not right. At this moment we start having problems with the visa of the Nigerian people and since there all our efforts were for resolving these problems.

The Nigerian Peace Committee representation was formed by six people. We sent to the Spanish embassy all the documents they asked us (our personal responsibility about the respect of the immigration laws by these people and the accommodation contract), but it was not enough. We got in contact with the embassy and they told us that there was a problem: their passports were blank, that these six people were very young and that the embassy was afraid they wouldn't like to go back to Nigeria after the conference. We moved: we talk with some MPs and Senator Mr. Petrizan and the former EP member Mr. Bandres did their best talking personally with high members of the staff of Foreign Affairs Ministry in Madrid. Even we sent a fax to the proper Minister of Foreign Affairs explaining him the meaning and purposes of this Conference. Last Monday we talk once again with the embassy in Lagos and they told us that this day they would have a meeting with representatives of the Nigerian Peace Committee and that they would ask them for putting in the list of visa one senior representative. Today, Thursday, Javier will phone from Pamplona asking for the results about this negotiation.

In democracy is supposed that everyone is innocent and that for be declared guilty is necessary to prove it. It seems that at the Spanish ministry of Foreign Affairs they don't what does this mean.

The addresses of all these groups:

  • Indian Institute for Peace, Disarmament and Environmental Protection
  • 537, Sakkardara road/ Nagpur-440 009/ INDIA
    • phone 91-712-745806/ fax: 91-712-722337
  • Association of United Peace
    • PO Box 10-0361/ 1000-MONROVIA 10/ LIBERIA
  • Nigerian Peace Committee
    • 31 Foresythe Street / LAFIAJI LAGOS / NIGERIA
    • phone 234-1-630518 / fax: 234-1-2646082 (ATTN: F.D.S. BOX 007)
  • Fellowship of Reconciliation India
    • 17, Balfour Road / Kilpauk / Madras-600 010
    • phone 61 16 19

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