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Demonstracije, Konvoji, Širenje informacija
1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997
European Citizens Assembly Nantes / AEC Nantes
In reaction to the war and the politics of ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Herzegovina, more than 200 local grassroots groups, mostly called “comités Bosnie” or “collectifs Bosnie”, were created throughout France between 1992 and 1995. While they were partially involved in humanitarian activities, most of these initiatives explicitly considered themselves citizens’ initiatives rather than humanitarian organizations. Some of them remained informal, while others became NGOs of their own, or members of bigger networks.
In the Northwestern town of Nantes, one of the most active groups was a group of citizens that gathered in 1992 (under the name “Alarme Citoyens”) and in 1993, became a member of the French branch of the international network Helsinki Citizens Assembly , naming itself “Assemblée européenne des citoyens de Nantes” (AEC Nantes / European Citizens Assembly).
At 18:00 every Friday between December 1992 and July 1997, AEC Nantes organized a picket in the city centre to inform citizens about the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to protest against the politics of ethnic cleansing and partition and the attitude of the UN and the Western governments. The picket was held at one of Nantes’ central places, the “Place du Commerce”, which the group symbolically renamed “Place Sarajevo”.
Altogether, the group organized 237 public gatherings in Nantes between 1992 and 1997; besides the weekly pickets each Friday, this included 30 bigger demonstrations which brought together up to 2.000 persons.
Together with other Bosnia-related groups in and around Nantes, they organized also other activities, for example the gathering of humanitarian and material aid for Sarajevo and other towns in BiH, while also participating in efforts to coordinate the various “collectifs Bosnie” in France on a national level.