Giving out solidarity buttons in Switzerland

Buttons handed out in Berne © Amnesty International

Buttons handed out in Berne © Amnesty International

By Christine Heller, a Sri Lanka Coordinator for Amnesty International in Switzerland.

I’ve just come back from our Sri Lanka action in Berne. The sun was out and there were about 40 activists handing out solidarity buttons reading “unlock the camps” in Tamil, as well as postcards featuring the poem “Broken Pottu” by Mahesh Munasinghe, inspired by the plight of children held in the camps.

Several young activists joined us too. They had just come from handing out around 300 buttons at the University of Berne.

Passers-by stopped on their way to lunch to look at our protest signs displaying our demand to “Unlock the Camps in Sri Lanka”, where some 150,000 internally displaced people are still being held.

We  handed out about 600 buttons. The idea is that every person wearing one of them will talk to at least one other person about the situation of internally displaced people in Sri Lanka. It is our responsibility to not forget both the children and adults left traumatized by war in Sri Lanka. We must continue to put pressure on the Government of Sri Lanka to unlock the camps.

It’s good to know we are part of an international week of action; it makes you realize you’re not alone with your hopes and gives you a lot of positive energy. Our action in Berne has done its bit for the international solidarity work – let’s keep it up!

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