bosnia report
No. 1 October - 1993
 
Workers' aid convoy
by By Geoff Pilling

Workers Aid for Bosnia is an organisation set up at a conference held on 6 June. There are of course many bodies who have sent and are still sending aid to the people of Bosnia.

Workers Aid was different in the sense that while it set out to collect as much aid as possible for the Bosnian people, it wanted to put at the centre of its activities the need to rebuild international working class solidarity, directly with the workers of Bosnia.

In the short period since its foundation the campaign has met with remarkable success. Its main task so far has been to organise an aid convoy that left the Timex watch factory in Dundee on 9 August, bound for Tuzla, the mining centre of Bosnia.

During its stay in Britain, the convoy campaigned throughout the trade union and labour movement to raise the issue of Bosnia and break the shameful silence of the leaders of the official labour movement.

Our campaign has already won an impressive list of sponsors: individuals promi- nent in the working├╝class movement but also national and local trade union and labour organisations.

Everywhere the convoy went it was warmly greeted by thousands of ordinary people who at last realised there was the chance for them to do something positive about the situation in Bosnia.

Local trade unionists and community organisations made sure that the convoy was properly accommodated and fed. But we have also had the warmest reception from the Muslim communities who have given magnificently to our work ├ż in Bradford, Leeds, Birmingham, and elsewhere.

By the time the convoy left Britain on 6 September, it consisted of ten vehicles and some thirty people, including members from Ireland, Namibia, Australia, Canada and Britain.

Its reception was equally powerful upon arrival in Paris, and a member of the convoy team is now working in Hungary with local supporters.

A contingent of Hungarian miners is getting ready to join the convoy for the last leg of its journey to Tuzla.

We do not intend to stop with the convoy. Already the idea of a Europe-wide con- voy for next year is being discussed.

We invite everybody who stands for the defence of Bosnia and its right to decide its own future to help us in our efforts. We can be contacted on 071 582 5462.

Geoff Pilling is editor of Workers' Press.

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