||Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe|
Solidarity With Cuba, Chechnya, Belarus, Tibet, Africa
The Youth Ministry Center in Lublin, Poland
On April 2, volunteers from the Center of Youth Ministry in Lublin marked the third anniversary of the death of John Paul II by organizing a “solidarity” happening in the center of the city. Dressed in costume as Cuban Ladies in White (Damas de Blanco), African children, Tibetan monks, Chechen refugees, and Belarusan journalists, they showed support for the brave victims in countries suffering from human rights violations by marching and distributing information in the center of the city.
Lublin, a city southeast of Warsaw (capital of Poland), has a population of more than four hundred thousand people and of eighty thousands students attending two Universities and other schools of higher education. The Center of Youth Ministry was formed at the Holy Ghost Church, which tries to follow the teachings of John Paul II.
On the third anniversary of the Pope’s death, they took to the streets and congregated in the center of the city, on the main square. The costumed volunteers attracted people’s attention about places on earth where human rights are being violated. Many placards had the slogan of John Paul II — “Compassion and Solidarity—The Road to Peace.”
The first demonstration of “African children” was at noon comprised of pupils from the third and fourth grades who are in touch with missionaries working in Tanzania. The next group of 140 people, dressed in orange-red cloth representing recent Buddhist victims in Tibet, kneeled on both sides of the square, lit candles, and walked around in total silence. After that, youngsters dressed as inhabitants of Chechnya walked around amidst explosions and simulated police round-ups that scared the passersby, as they do the local population in Chechnya.
The fourth group included 78 young women dressed as Damas de Blanco (Ladies in White) from Cuba. The Damas de Blanco are the wives, mothers, daughters and sisters of Cuban prisoners of conscience sentenced 5 years ago to draconian terms (up to 26 years) and imprisoned in terrible conditions. Every Sunday, in Havana, they march in spite of repression and harassment. In Lublin, the procession of young volunteers dressed in white, with photos of the prisoners, flowers and signs reminded Poles about what was life under communism.
In the end several hundred people marched through the streets joined by the last group —microphones in hand, mouth taped — representing the Belarusan mass media. They marched together: Solidarity with Tibet, with refugees, with Cuba, with Africa, with Freedom. The day ended at 9:37 p.m. — the time of death of John Paul II three years ago. “The march we joined 30 years ago, 3 years ago, or even yesterday still goes on” concluded Father Mieczys?aw Puzewicz.
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and see also the movie http://pl.youtube.com/watch?v=HgJUKebk8jM
All the photos come from
Tibet monks on the mall
Lublin - Chechen village under
Damas de Blanco
John Paul II Catholic University of
On the way to the University meeting
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