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"Drums for Peace" Call for the Right to a Popular European Initiative
by Martí Olivella <>

We had sunshine in the morning and rain showers until the early morning with the fire of Saint John and the "Drums for peace" in Trei Brazi (Thre Pines), on a hill in the heart of the Carpathian mountains. A group of Rumanian musicians closed the meeting with noisy but harmonious drum playing, using steel drums, water buckets , and plates... and we were all able to join in. A loud voice bellowed out the manifest: "We are tired of murdering heroes and of hearing the same voices. We want different sounds to be heard, proposals for a world that we can all live in".

In the afternoon, we had put all the groups' conclusions together. It was something of a marathon, full of difficulties, but the result was patent on the now transfigured faces: from exhaustion to satisfaction!

The proposals

As a general proposal, Sandro Giuglia suggested launching a campaign to collect signatures all over Europe to demand the right to a Popular Election Initiative and Referendum. This campaign would be promoted by hundreds of study groups that would "rethink" Europe and collect the signatures.

Martí Olivella pointed out the importance of considering the continental meetings as one step in a long-term process designed to create active world citizenship providing alternatives to the present globalization process, and invited all the participants to become involved in developing the next steps to be taken by the Alliance to design a new common strategic horizon and continue the process starting after the 2001 World Assembly.

An unforgettable cathartic experience

This week has been something of a catharsis. Different expectations, the conflictive experience of different views and backgrounds, difficulties to understand each other with the common languages (English and French), which are not many participants' mother tongues. Times of "dead ends" and of crisis. Creativity that breaks down all barriers. And a party. A party that started with warm applause and flowers for the organizing team made up of the Rumanian "Agroecology" organization; emotional Rumanian melodies played to violins, accordions, and "tzambals"; and the all-pervading beat of the "steel drums," "drums," "tamtams," "tambourines," "plates" and clapping. Evidence of the emerging creativity of a diverse Europe with Mediterranean connections that wants to overcome the civilization of the much feared and well-structured "war drums."

The experience we have had of getting to know each other well, over and above stereotypes, will remain in our hearts. May this gift, this unique opportunity, seal our commitment to work together in the future, to build a new European project with room for everyone and to bring pressure to bear on our governments for Europe to cease to be a fortress and a source of conflict with the cultures of other continents.

>From Sinaia, in the heart of the Carpathian mountains, a warm greeting to the participants in other continental meetings. We will continue to be in contact every day, thanks to the electronic threads that help us to weave our webs of solidarity.

Martí Olivella


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