Peace in our town

This year’s Edinburgh Peace Festival, which enlists support from the patron saint of love by beginning on Wednesday 14, is now in its fourth year, and seems likely to equal if not better the attendance of350 it has enjoyed for the past two years. Dr Lynn Jamieson, the Festival’s Press Officer, describes its aims as, ‘keeping the real meaning of peace in the public eye, extending and celebrating East/West relations, thinking about the relationships between rich and poor nations and about the environment, and actually enjoying ourselves in the context of the peace movement.‘

These varied aims are reflected in the programme. There are three important political conferences: ‘Swords And Ploughshares: a conference on alternatives’ (Sat 17); a panel discussion on Namibia (Wed 21) attended by a SWAPO delegate; and a public debate on ‘NATO does it have a future‘ (Sat 24), in which C ND’s Bruce Kent takes on Ken Aldred of Peace Through NATO.

But there is also a wide range of entertainment and creative activity, with an international emphasis,

including folk music by Latin

Kiev lo group Veseli Muziki. America’s BoliVar and the USSR’s Veseli Muziki. Kenny Munro’s mosaic project will also unite various cultures, containing as it does contributions from Edinburgh’s sister cities Munich, Kiev and San Diego, as well as work from local communities.

The spiritual aspects of peace are also pursued in some depth. There are two sessions (Sats l7 and 24) to discuss ‘The Spiritual Dimension of Peace’, which will involve representatives of at least five religions besides Christianity, and there is an interfaith service of dedication on Sun 18.

‘Above all,’ says the Festival’s organiser Ray Newton, ‘we aim to keep ahead of public opinion, as we seem to have done in the past. But things are moving so fast at the moment that our speakers keep saying they’ll have to write their speeches on the journey to Edinburgh!’ (Andrew Burnet) Edinburgh Peace Festival, Assembly Rooms, George Street, Edinburgh, Wed 14—Sat 24. See listings for full details.


You’d be forgiven tor thinking It was something lrom a script by the Python or Comic Strip people, but it happened. . In 1958, Vietnam poet Nguyen Chi Thien was imprisoned in a labour camp lor the absurd crime 01 ‘trying to discredit the regime by writing romantic poetry’. He’s been released a couple oi times tor briel periods, but has spent most oi the past 32 years on ‘re-education’ programmes.

Thien is one at three prisoners adopted by Amnesty lnternational’s Glasgow branches tor a major new campaign to mark the City of Culture year. The plan, which has been sponsored by Amnesty’s British section and Glasgow District Council, is to get them released, and to raise Amensty’s prolile in doing so.

The other two prisoners are Malawi’s Jack Mapanie, whose political poetry so incensed the Malawi Congress Party’s regime that he was imprisoned without trial in 1987, and South Korean visual artist Hong Song Dan, who was imprisoned last year on a charge 01 spying lor North Korea, because of his connection with the Korean Nationalistic Arts Federation, and is thought to have been tortured during interrogation.

Like all Amnesty's Prisoners oi Conscience, the three have been detained for non-violent expression oi their beliels; they were chosen lor the

Glasgow 1990 campaign because they

have done so in a cultural way. ‘ll we’re successful ,’ says Amnesty Glasgow’s Neil Munro, ‘then we’ll urge luture Cities of Culture to hold similar campaigns.’

The campaign’s main thrust is, as always, letter-writing. Ouite simply, Amnesty encourages as many people as possible to write courteoust to heads of state, prison governors and other appropriate Iigures in the countries concerned, and supplies details 01 cases and addresses. One letter will of course have little effect, but thousands or even hundreds can be enormoust iniluential, and many people have been ireed as a result. Alongside the letter-writing, Amnesty is circulating a petition tor the prisoners’ release, which everyone is invited to sign.

The Amnesty 1990 Campaign has already been supported by public iigures like Dave Anderson at Wildcat and City Lights, sculptor George Wyllle, singer Carol Laula, Scottish

National Opera singer BllI McCue and Rangers Football Club. Like a soccer team, Amnesty has a reserve up its sleeve (Moroccan painter and poet All Idrissi Kaitouni), because the goal is to get some releases belore lull time. (Andrew Burnet)

It you want to participate in the campaign, contact Amnesty at Room 5, 235 West George Street, Glasgow, 227 5555; or on 01 27B 6000.


Except where shown. all events take place at the Assembly Booms, George Street, Edinburgh. Where no other number is given, call 556 1003 loriurther Inlorrnatlon. See also panel, plus Music, Theatre and Kids listings.


I Political Parties Question Time City Chambers. High Street, Edinburgh. 7.30pm. Free. All are welcome to attend this session with representatives from the political parties. The theme is ‘Think Globally. Act Locally‘, and Betty Mortimer of Edinburgh United Nations Association is in the chair.

Wednesday 14

I Valentine’s Day Concert Queens Hall, Nicolson Street. £5 (£4). Compered by Danny Kyle, with Tommy Sands and Cajun dancing.

Thursday 15

I Moving to 2000 AD 1—4pm. lnfo: Father Gerry Hand, 447 2807. Free. A conference for sixth-formers, with workshops on peace issues (to be attended by two Ukrainian teenagers) and entertainment from Sensible Footwear.

I 8pl1|10018pm. £3 (£2) Sensible Footwear in a musical comedy performance.


I Jan Night 9pm—midnight. £2.50 (£1.50). With Sue Robertson, Dave Thomson and friends.

Saturday 17

I Peace Fair lOam-6pm. Stalls, displays and workshops. Information and activities, with the emphasis on crafts. Kenny Munro is building an international mosaic, with contributions from community groups around Edinburgh, and from twin cities Munich. San Diego and Kiev. Graffitists are invited to make their mark on peace murals; and Beth Cross will lead a banner-making workshop.

I The Spiritual Dimension 01 the Ecological Crisis 10.15am—6pm. lnfo: Alan Wilkic, 449 3695. Free. The first of two interfaith sessions. involving several religions besides Christianity.

I Conierence On Alternatives

10.30am-5pm. Info: Juliet Webster, 332 2319. £3 (£1). To be opened by Lord Provost Eleanor McLaughlin, with

addresses by Campbell Christie of the STUC. Canon Kenyon Wright of the Scottish Council of Churches and George McRobie of the Intermediate Technology Group.

I Sri Chinmoy Peace Mile Fun Run Assemble north end of Meadows. Noon. Info: Alan Spence, 661 8403.

I Bolivar 8pm. £5 (£4). Genuine chilli pepper vibes from Latin American salsa band. See Folk listings.


I Multilalth Service ol Worship Ior Peace Church of St Andrew And St George, George Street.

1 lam. All welcome.

Wednesday 21

I Focus On Namibia l—llpm. £2 (£1). Revlan White chairs a panel discussion with a SWAPO delegate, followed by a Namibian concert.


I Veseli MuziIti 8pm. £4.50 (£3). Folk band from Kiev, at the start oftheir UK tour.

Saturday 24

I The Spiritual Dimension ol the Ecological Crisis 10.15am—6pm. lnfo: Alan Wilkic, 449 3695. Free. Second of two sessions.

I Nato- Has It A Future? 10.30am-12.30pm. £1 . A public debate, with Ken

Aldred of Peace Through

Nato pro and CND's Bruce Kent against the motion.

I Global Co-operation lora Better World 1 lam— 1 pm. Free. Led by representatives of the Brahma Kurmaris World University.

I Children's Show: Seal Island 1.30—2.30pm. £1.50 (parents free). By Visionshift Puppets.

I Ireland: The Origins oi Conliict and the Future oi Peace 1.30pm—4.30pm. £2. A conference on the Troubles. Speakers are John Alderdice of the NI Alliance Party. Peter Lachlan of the Liberal Unionists, Ciaran McKeown of the

.- f‘m‘ Poet Jack Madame: jailed in

1987. See P'Ml- i

Community of Peace and Father Desmond Wilson. I Tea Dance 3pm.

£1 .50pm. With the Alternative Medicine Swing Band.

I Multi-Cultliral Gala Concert 8pm. £3.50 (£2.50). With work by Alien Arts. Brindra. lan Walker, Chinese Folk Dancing Art Group. Youscf Al Khatib. Kurdish singing, Mamta Ydan. Fjaeri Nillsen. Polish dancers. Robert Fish Ceilidh Band, Catherine Ann McPhee and Hamish Henderson.


I Batik Workshop Salisbury Centre, 2 Salisbury Road, Edinburgh. 667 5438. 10am—5pm. £20.50 (£14.50) including materials. Led by Edward and Fran Marquis Faulkes. With demonstrations and individual tuition in the hot wax and dye textile design technique.


I Massage And Aromatherapy Salisbury Centre, 2 Salisbury Road, Edinburgh. 667 5438. 10.30am—6pm. £17 (£12). Led by Gelda MacGregor. Basic techniques, including stretching, meditation and use ofaromatic oils. Bring loose clothing, a large towel, grapeseed or almond oil and a small dish or saucer.

Tuesday 13

I Imagination and Revolution Hillhcad Library. 348 Byres Road, Glasgow. 7.30pm. £2 (£1). In the third of four ‘Religion of Art‘ talks, Dharamachari Ananda of Glasgow Buddhist Centre discusses Samuel Taylor Coleridge‘s connection with Buddhism. Apparently in Xanadu (or elsewhere) did Kubla Khan (or someone else) decree that ‘if it wasn’t for his conditioning, STC could have been the greatest thinker England has ever produced’. Personally. I blame the Person from Porlock.

I Women Artists Conference Room, Central Library, George W Bridge. Edinburgh. lnfoz5571265. 7.30—8.30pm. Free: 50 tickets available from venue. Eunice Wright speaks.

Thursday 15—Monday 19

I Islam, Past And Present Lecture Theatre. Royal Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street,

78 The List 9— 22 February 1990