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Landmine PSA and Adopt-a-Minefield
Alex Steffen, 7 Mar 05

Landmines are one of those tragic and preventable global problems. As Mine Action puts it:

What would you do if you had to worry about landmines every time you went to the store, took a drive in the countryside or went to see your doctor? That’s the reality for millions of people in about 80 countries. With such large numbers of people affected by landmines in countries that may seem very far away, it’s sometimes easy to forget about the problem.

To help people in the U.S. better remember that reality, Mine Action has launched an amazing PSA campaign, which has raised quite a stir:

[The PSA]opens with a scene of idyllic suburban tranquility. A young family cheers on their daughter who has just scored a goal in her soccer match when she suddenly, violently explodes. Chaos consumes the scene while the mother of the victim shrieks hysterically and her father cradles her lifeless body. A simple graphic reads: "If there were landmines here, would you stand for landmines anywhere? Help the U.N. eradicate landmines everywhere."

It's a powerful PSA, one which ought to be seen by every American, and a completely worldchanging piece of media activism -- promoting the Adopt-a-Minefield program ("Clear a path to a safer world") and educating Americans about an issue which is often invisible to us, though 40-80 million landmines remain strewn across the planet.

Apparently, though, it's a little too powerful, as American TV stations are refusing to broadcast it saying it's too violent (apparently social comment on real-life issues is unacceptible violence, but fictional action film mass murder is just fine).

Meanwhile, though 141 governments have, the U.S. still has not signed the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. Every hour, an innocent person somewhere is killed or crippled by a landmine. One third are children.

(via BB)

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I had an idea for an anti-landmine ad very similar to this. I'm really glad they had the guts to produce this. Sure it's disturbing, but not nearly as disturbing as the fact that millions of landmines are still buried and are killing & wounding dozens of people every day and the US still won't sign a treaty to ban them.

Posted by: Ben Lewis on 8 Mar 05

Awesome PSA - great to see powerful use of the media. One question I've always had though, is where do the mines (or RPG's, or AK-47's, or whatever) come from to begin with? There must be a finite number of manufactories in the world that can produce something like a landmine - is there anyway to eliminate mines at the source? I know this doesn't do anything for the millions already in situ, but at least it would cap the supply...

Posted by: Rod Edwards on 8 Mar 05

Nothing will be achieved in the mainstream until the media is taken back from the 5 multi-billion dollar companies that run over 90% of it in the U.S. (Time Warner, Disney, News Corps, Bertelsmann and Viacomm). You just can't make these behemoths go against their ideological and economic interests, so all you're left with is the internet and FreeWayBlogger to get your message out (and if they could they'd control the Internet too -- not that most people don't only know about their websites...).

They have such a bias that they have stopped serving the public's interest long ago, and totally abdicated their political watchdog role since 2000.

Posted by: Mikhail Capone on 8 Mar 05

Doesn't the US not sign the treaty because of the Korean DMZ?

Posted by: Joseph Willemssen on 8 Mar 05

YUP amoung other things;/

Posted by: wintermane on 8 Mar 05

What M. Capone said.
Plus those same corporate behemoths won't run the ad because it would wake people up, especially the kid demographic, and earn their emotional support - it would generate real passion, create energy outside the control of the behemoth thingie.
Maintaining centralized authoritarian power is more important than saving lives, especially Third World lives.
Good work Alex.

Posted by: AJax Bucky on 8 Mar 05



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