Today I woke up at about 0930 hours from my wonderful resting place (my new home) for the last few days in Cotswold’s area, and after having a shower, and finalising my writing, then I had something to eat. By this time it was about 1500 hours and my brother came home a bit late from the place of antiquity, and he was telling me about bringing forward some of his activities in Swindon from Monday to Friday in order to be able help me get to my next destination – Bilderberg Festival in Watford – a bit quicker than if I walked for about 15km. So, he did very kindly give me a lift to Swindon train station at about 1600 hours.
I arrived at the station, as you can see from the above photo, and after saying goodbye to my brother I walked inside the station, and I asked for the manager. The people at the gate control told me he is not available, and said “Please contact him before your journey if you want us to help you”, and I told them “I have already started my peace journey and I can’t email or phone him, so may I go upstairs to the platforms and speak to the supervisor or the manager of the trains, and hopefully they can help me get to Oxford or Watford?” They kindly let me go through the barriers, and I managed to go up to the platforms and tried to speak to some of the train supervisors, and they were worrying about that I am not insured, and said I have to go and get a letter from the manager of the ticket office (Jane), and hopefully then I can travel, but without a letter it would be difficult for them to let me travel.
I had to come back down through the barriers again and go to the ticket office, and by now the time was about 1700 hours and they said to me that Jane had gone home and no one can help, and I have to send in writing a letter regarding my peace pilgrimage to the main head office, then if they consider it is ok for me to travel, then they can help. I thanked them all for their time and effort, and I told them that I have to go now, and not in the future, and I’ll consider the future plan of my peace pilgrimage if I wanted to do so in this way.
So I made my way, walking out of the train station and headed towards Farringdon, and hopefully Oxford next. I walked for about five miles, during the walk I did try to do some hitch hiking about five times with no luck any of the times, and now it was about 2030 hours and it was in a petrol station on my way towards Oxford on the A420 that two wonderful human being, who were like a lovely couple, gave me a lift for about six miles to near a lay-by (slipway) on the way before you enter the little town of Farringdon, and they kindly offered me a little of their sugary drink, which I didn’t like the brand, but here I have to say, I have never said no to wonderful people who are offering me food or drink throughout my peace pilgrimage journey. I thanked them for the great third lift of my whole journey since leaving London more than two weeks before, and I stayed there for another hour or so, and had no luck with getting a fourth lift to Oxford, so I put up my peace camp and slept on the lay-by for the night. It was so noisy, but I went to sleep like there wasn’t any noise at all, until next day.
I woke up today happy and alive in a busy lay-by on the A420, and the weather was sunny spells with patchy clouds, and slowly I was packing my camp, and as soon as I finished, here we go there was a van just coming into the lay-by, and I went to the driver and asked him, “may I ask where are you going to?”, and he asked me back, “may I ask where are you going to?”, and I told him “I am going to Watford, there is a festival called Bilderberg, and I would like to go there, it has already started on Thursday, and today is Saturday, so I just have today and Sunday to go”, and he told me “Watford is a bit away, but I can take you to Oxford”, and I said to him “another 20 miles closer towards my destination is just a great opportunity that the universe has just connected you to me, and I can’t afford to miss this, and you are my fourth hitch on my around-the-UK peace pilgrimage”.
He kindly helped me to load and we headed to Oxford, and as he was driving I introduced myself to him and I told him all about who am I?, and what am I doing?, and I said to him, as I told you earlier, “Bilderberg is my third festival”, and I told him why I am going to this festival. Then he did kindly introduce himself to me as “Noddy”, and he told me he has being doing gardening for the last 15 years and he has used this van for the last nine years, and this old van has done 250,000 miles already. The van was full of gadgets and electronic stuff, and solar on the roof to boil water and many other things, so he had a little mobile home on board of a van which was environmentally friendly as well apart from the fuel for the van. I asked him if he has come up with a solution to make the whole van CO2- free, and he kindly answered “you can use vegetable oil or just drive slower and that is the only solution that I know”, and I mentioned about battery operated cars/van, which are quite expensive, and it was here that he mentioned “I don’t know why people and companies don’t use solar or wind operated devices to pump water up a hill and that water can later drive a water turbine when there is no sun or wind, as that can produce a lot of power for when it’s cloudy or night time”, so I told him “I haven’t done any research in this area but I love your idea and suggestion, and I’ll put it up on my blog for people to comment on”.
I have to say here that Noddy was the coolest, the most wonderful driver and the first I have ever got on board with and not been scared; it has happened to me on many occasions when people have given me a lift, that they have scared me a lot, but I have to say here that Noddy was the greatest one.
As he was driving he had a text from his dad to say to call him back, and he kindly pulled aside somewhere before Oxford and made the phone call, and then he even offered me some nice orange juice at that time as well, and then again we headed towards Oxford. Before we got to Oxford he kept thinking about where he should drop me so someone else can give me a lift to Watford, and then when we got to Oxford he told me “I don’t know why I am so early here for my rock climbing session, it is now just about 1100 hours and the session is not until 3pm”, and then he told me he’d like to take me to the festival, despite not having been in or near London for the last 15 years.
Although I was happy so much from my heart, thinking that “great I can make it on time to see the festival before it finishes”, I had to say the same thing that I always say to people – “please don’t make a trip to anywhere just because of me!” and here we go, he just replied back to me that he would love to take me there so it can be his first festival, and I told him “no problem, I hope that I can introduce you to all of my friends which are there and hope you will enjoy it”. Noddy was a wonderful gardener, and he just had a day off, and he told me that apart from the rock climbing appointment in Oxford at about 1500 hours, he hadn’t got much else to do for the day. So he actually drove me all the way to the festival, and on our way, on the M40 as you come from Oxford and before you approach to M25, there is a place which looks like an artificially created valley and Noddy told me it was here that a bird called the red bird of prey had been introduced back into the wild. I didn’t know about this, and it just came to him as I was saying “look at the scenery outside, isn’t it so beautiful?”
We got to the Grove Hotel but police told us it was closed to the public, but “if you want to go to the other one [he meant the Bilderberg Fringe Festival] it is a bit further down and you should be able to park and go in with no problem”. So Noddy kindly drove into a designated parking place and we headed towards the entrance of the BFF, and at the entrance they were searching everyone and you weren’t allowed to take with you a tent, and I said to Noddy “you can kindly go in and have a look around and hopefully I’ll come up with a solution and I’ll join you soon”, and he did so, but after more than half an hour still there wasn’t any sign of me getting in. I was saying to the organizers and the G4S “my tent is part of my home on my peace pilgrimage”, and they were saying “if we let you, everyone else will complain and it is not fair on others” and I was saying “if anyone complains I’ll hand it over and I promise I’ll not put it up”, and they were saying “No!” By this time I think Noddy had looked all around the festival and he came back to the entrance and he told me he would like to make his way back to Oxford for his appointment, and I told him “sorry that I couldn’t come in with you on time, and I wasn’t able to introduce some of my friends to you, but if you have to go, please go ahead and let me take this opportunity to thank you for all your kindness”, and I gave him a heart to heart hug to transfer some good love, peace and positive energy into each other and to spread that into the universe as well, and then we said goodbye to each other.
The time by now was about 1330 hours, and I stayed at the entrance and I spoke to a lot of people and I asked them “Why I can’t get in?” I saw some of my good friends, including Dan, who kindly stood by my stuff while I went in and spoke to some friends from inside to see what can we do, and also I saw Steve who was part of the organisation of the BFF and I spoke to him and then my matter quickly went all the way up to the main organisers and the police liaison officers. Three of them came to me and they said to me “We can do a deal – if we can take the poles from your tent, then you can go in”, and one of them said “I have told the top man that I guarantee you won’t cause any problem and if you do, I will pull you out myself”, but he said “they” “the top hierarchy” wouldn’t accept that option, the only option they would accept is for me to leave the poles and at the end of the day get them back. I laughed and told them “Do you know that this was what the Saudis did to me, did you show them the trick, or have you learned from them?” And they laughed back at me as well, but they said “We are afraid this is the only option on the table, so think about it”, and I said to them, “I’ll think about it”.
I stayed there for more than two hours and then Steve came to me and said “We can’t do much about it, you have to surrender your poles to me”, and I told him “I can hand the poles over to you and then at the end of the event I can take them back from you” and he said ok, but the head of police liaison and G4S security said “No! it has to be left with us”, and I told Steve “If you make sure they won’t go missing, and if they guarantee that I can get them back for tonight, I don’t mind” and the head of G4S told me himself “You can get them back from myself with guarantee”, and I remember at the end of the show he came to me to say “Here we go, these are your poles, and I haven’t forgotten them for your camp tonight”, and I told him “Thank you, I was about to look for you, and here you are”, and I thanked him again for the safeguard of my tent poles. This was sometime after 2000 hours. I had managed to get into the festival at about 1500 hours, and I enjoyed talking to nice people in there. I saw many old friends from OLSX and Occupy Finsbury Square, and I was so happy to see them all, and to meet new people as well, and I managed to listen to David Icke http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Icke and Alex Jones http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_Jones.
Speeches in the BFF:
I did try to talk about my peace pilgrimage in the Bilderberg Fringe Festival, but I was told it was fully booked with people’s talks and performances. Slowly at the end of the day I made my way towards the exit of the place, and I was told by some people that there had been a lot of people turned away from the festival because of the small venue, and I want to say here that I enjoyed it a lot, and I liked the atmosphere, but I would like to say that we could have more space and those people who were turned away, it was a shame that they couldn’t make it inside the place. I hope that they can see the above links to watch some of the programmes which were scheduled at the BFF.
I think the organisers could have negotiated to take more space and everyone could have enjoyed it more, but never mind, more awareness is coming, and people are more hungry to find out about what is going on inside the real Bilderberg’s closed doors, and I am so happy about this interest, and I was planning to try to go in through those closed doors myself!
I got a lot of water and juice from the organisers of the BFF, and I gave a lot to those people who were going back to the camp, which was about 5-6 miles away from the area, in a scout campsite in a lay-by on the A41 towards Hemel Hempstead, which was called Phasels Wood Activity Centre, in Dacorum Borough Council.
As I was talking to people to see if anyone was going back there to the campsite, I spoke to a nice lady who was called Lora, and she kindly offered me a lift in a taxi to a place which I thought was the campsite, but it was an after-party bar and pub, which was three miles from the campsite. When we went to the pub, and they wanted to have a drink, I told them I had to find the campsite first to put up my peace camp and then I’d come back and speak to them some more. I said to them goodbye, and I came out and asked other people “Where is the campsite?” and then I was told “There is at least another three or four miles more to go”. By this time the taxi was gone and wonderful Lora and another nice human being were already in the pub and had started their drink. There was another pub across the road, and I went there to see if I can link up with some more good people so I can get to the campsite earlier, and there I met some more old friends from different camps at the time of Occupy.
There was some salads and vegetable food outside the pub and people were coming out of this pub and going to the other one. Later on I found out there was a private function going on, and I remember that my board was facing the entrance of the pub and people were looking at it. While I was eating a man came out and I asked him if he was from the pub and if he knew anything about this food. He told me he is a chef and said I can have the salad and the vegetables, then I asked for some bread as well, I asked him if it was ok, and I told him what I was doing and why I was there, and he kindly brought me some bread. Then, as I was eating, I saw a piece of black paper with white hand writing in front of my board, at the place where it says I am doing this peace pilgrimage without using money and passport, and on this paper was written something like, “Get a job so you can have money”. After finishing eating I took a container inside the pub, I wanted to thank the chef and see who has written that and why?, but I couldn’t find the chef. I asked some people if they had written the paper and they said to me they hadn’t, so I came out.
This reminded me of my first peace pilgrimage journey to the Middle East, during which I was encountering some people in the Eastern European places, and some in the Middle East as well, who were telling me “Why don’t you work and get money and do it with money rather than doing it without money?” and my answer to them was “It is not because I can’t get money or I can’t get a job that I do this!” I told them “If I do work back in London in my profession, I can earn as much as you can earn here in one year in just a month” and I explained to them it was to advocate a resource-based economy rather than a monetary-based one, that I do this. It was saddening me to see the same mentality here amongst people who were working in the pub, it was not far from the mentality of those who I have come across before. It doesn’t matter, which part of the planet they were born from.
I couldn’t find the person who has written the paper, to just talk to them, anyway it was a little story I wanted to just share it with you.
By the pub, I managed to find two more nice people, who were taking a taxi back to the campsite, and they told me they can kindly help me to get to the campsite as well. I thanked them and jumped into the taxi to the camp, and at the entrance to the camp they told me “The people in charge of the camp charge £5 per person if you want to stay in the camp, what are you going to do about this?” and I told them “You have very kindly helped me to get here, please leave me here and you can go back to your tent, and I’ll speak to those people myself”.
I remember I was trying to go the way they were going to the camp and a few people were calling me that “You have to come through here and register here before you go in”. When I went there and told them what I was doing they were a bit surprised, and they were saying “So does that mean that you are an illegal immigrant?” I remember there was a police van at the main entrance about 50 yards away from these people, and I told them and pointed to the police van and I said “You can call them and let them know if you think so”. After this they asked me to fill in a form to say who I am and where do I live, and many other questions, and they told me “If you want to comply with our requests then you can put up your tent and sleep here”, and I told them “What I have to say is all on my board, if it is good enough for you I’ll put up my peace camp here, if not I’ll go and put up my peace camp by that police van or anywhere outside your camp area”. They said “It is ok, because you don’t have an address you can write “no fixed abode”, then they told me to read all their terms and conditions and then I can go in. I told them “Have you written anything that is bad for a human being and a peace pilgrim or not?” And they said “No!”, and I told them “So I don’t have to read any of this, and I am ok with it”, so I managed to get in.
As I was going in and trying to find all my friends and also looking for a place to set up my camp, a young boy came to me and he said to me “You have forgotten to put this green wristband on your hand” and I said “No problem, if you feel it is good you can put it on my right hand”, and then we said goodbye to each other, and I carried on talking and looking for my friends and finding a nice place to camp. After seeing some of my good friends again I managed to find a nice place to set up my peace camp for the night, and I said goodnight to the universe and everything around it until the next day.
I woke up after having a second good night’s sleep in my tent and on my new air mattress. The mattress I got from my brother in exchange for recycling all those Daily Mails and many other newspapers which I was carrying as a mat instead of a mattress – and I was so happy to do so! Then, after a nice conversation with my new neighbour in the camp, about why I am here and what I am doing, he kindly offered me a nice cup of tea in his wonderful cup, similar to the one that I had which the Saudis took from me.
It was about this time that another nice and wonderful human being called Alex came and offered me a bar of chocolate, and he was telling me “I wish I could help you more, after what I have seen of what you were doing from yesterday”, and he asked me whether I was cold last night, and if everything was ok with me? I mentioned about having got a new mattress from my brother and said “Now I am just looking for a good sleeping bag, because my -16 degree one has been taken away from me by the Saudis and the one that I have got now is not that great”. He asked if I can show it to him, and I brought it out and showed it to him and as soon as he touched it he told me that, “You are right, it is not a good one, but I have got one which is very good, and I have slept in it outside with no tent last night with no problem, and the only problem is it needs some patching after a dog scratched it and tried to make a hole in it, and if it is ok I can bring it to you”. It was here that I told him the story of when I was in Lubijiana, the capital of Slovenia, and a wonderful person offered me his nice small and compact sleeping bag in exchange for my bulky one in which, when I was camping at the cliff of Dover, I remember shivering. This man in Lubijiana told me that he has one which he got to climb K2/Everest, but the trip was cancelled, and now that I was trying to do my journey he wanted to kindly offer it to me. That one was taken by the Saudis. So, I said to Alex “I’ll be quite happy if you accept my one for me to take your one”, and then we did exchange, and then we said goodbye until the next festival, hopefully one in the Norfolk area, where Alex was coming from before Watford.
Alex kindly offered me a lift, but later on he told me he has offered me the lift without the driver’s permission, and I told him “You don’t have to do so, after I take down my camp I can go to the main gate and try from there if anyone is going back to the festival and if they have enough space then I can go with them, and you don’t have to worry about it”. Later on I went to the main gate of the camp and as I was walking towards the festival, Alex and his friends turned up and they offered me a lift saying they’d have to do some rearrangement in order to make some free space for me, so I told them “Please don’t make any rearrangement, carry on and I am sure I can get to the festival area with no problem – worse case scenario is to walk all the way, which is just something over five miles and it is normal to me”. I thanked them all again and we said goodbye to each other and I carried on walking towards the festival area.
When I left the camp I saw from afar some of the people I knew were packing and still in the camp. This was about 1000 hours and I said to myself “If I walk in the direction of the traffic they might turn up and offer me a lift”, but this didn’t happen. In one of the lay-by parking areas, when I was resting and hoping I might still get a lift to the festival area, a man and a woman in a police patrol car turned up, and the man who was driving asked me “Where are you coming from? And where are you going to?” I told him that I was coming from the camp and going to the festival, and he told me, “We saw you earlier entering the dual carriageway [A41], and it is good for you to walk in the opposite direction to the traffic if you want to live longer!” I told them “I was hoping that if any of my friends come and pass they might help me with a lift to the festival, but now that I am just about three miles away from I’ll cross the dual carriageway, and walk all the way to the festival”, and I did so and walked all the way to the festival.
On my way I came across a taxi and the driver asked me if I am going back to the camp and I said to him “No thank you” and carried on walking. I also came across a press team from the Sovereign Independent UK (http://www.sovereignindependentuk.co.uk/) and Rick Margaret asked me if he could take a photo of my board, and I told him “Of course you can”, then I came across many more police officers who were on the main road towards the festival area, and they asked me to go around the back way if I wanted to speak to someone to get into the Grove Hotel.
I walked all the way back to the Fringe Festival area and I talked to some of the police over there about getting into the Bilderberg event in the Grove Hotel, and they told me “Please go into the protest area, or go outside the main gate, we won’t allow you to get to the hotel and the pathway to the hotel has been banned for the public to walk through”. They said I couldn’t speak to the organisers of the private event inside the hotel, and if I wanted to find out who has imposed the ban on walking in the area, I should get in touch with detective superintendent Dave Rhodes on 101, free from my mobile. While talking with the police officers I kept telling them “I am here on a peace pilgrimage, I am not here to protest”, and I explained that yesterday I had been in the place they were calling the ‘protest area’ and in there I heard lots of not-loving words, and some of the people in there were calling the people inside the hotel not very good things. I said to the police “I would like to find out why they are talking about these people in such a manner, and I’d like to speak to some of the people inside as well, to see for myself, as a true peace pilgrim, so I can make my own mind up”. And also I said that I would prefer for them to refer to one another in a much more respectful way, which another wonderful human being does deserve. All this conversation was recorded by the police cameraman and they kept reminding me “You’ll be arrested, and you know how this can have an impact on your life, if you carry on talking to us right at the main gate here”. They were also telling me “There is no other festival called ‘Bilderberg’, the only festival here is the Bilderberg Fringe Festival, and what is going on in the hotel is just a private party, and you don’t have to know anything about it”.
After more than five minutes of talking to the police, I very peacefully moved to the area they asked me to go to. Then I started to see if I could speak to the person responsible for imposing the curfew on the public pathway towards the Grove Hotel. After many attempts there was still no response from the number, so I started to talk to many people about why I was there, and why I don’t want to go inside the BFF again. My wonderful friend Dan came to me and we chatted for a bit, and later on he brought some food for me as well, and he was very supportive.
After 1400 hours people started to come out, and they were all saying goodbye to each other, and police started to force us all to move another 200 yards away from the gate and the Fringe Festival, and we all peacefully made our way there. After staying in this area for another hour or so, I started to speak to a nice person, who later on gave me a lift to near the entrance to the M1 / A41 outside Watford, southbound towards London. Before he went, he asked me, “What are you going to achieve by doing this, and for how long do you want to do it?” I said to him a short answer, by quoting a famous peace pilgrim Mahatma Gandhi, who has famously said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world”. He looked quite happy at that, and told me that I have reassured him that what he is doing is the right thing, and then we said goodbye to each other.
I tried to do some hitch hiking just before approaching the main roundabout of the M1, but here I wasn’t having any luck, no one was trying to stop and give me a lift to London, so I moved up to the main traffic lights, still with no luck, so I decided to go and find the main A-road to walk to London. As I was trying to get off the roundabout, here we go, a blue van just stopped, and at first I was a bit hesitant to go and talk to the driver, but then I looked and saw there weren’t any cars behind it, so I ran to talk to the driver, and I realised she was a wonderful woman human being and she asked me “Aren’t you going to London?” and I said yes, so she just told me “Jump in”, and I did. I asked her “How come you are coming from here to go to London?” and she told me that she just missed a turn. I told her “Perhaps the universe has wanted us to connect, perhaps for you to have company and hear about my peace journey, and for me to get back to London without walking for another two days, and so I will be able to connect with more people and spread the word of love and peace everywhere”.
Anyway, after introducing myself to her and telling her about my third festival of peace, she kindly introduced herself to me as Karin and she told me that her son has gone to the BFF as well, and I said probably he might have seen me there if he was there on Saturday 8th or Sunday 9th June.
She kindly asked me where is my final destination in London and I said to her “Whitechapel will be my place of rest, at my friend’s place”, and then we talked for a bit more and she said to me “Would you like a cup of tea or coffee?” and I said to her “Yes, please” and here we go, within 5-10 minutes I was in a wonderful family house, and she kindly introduced me to her husband Simon and two more wonderful woman human beings Franken and Tracy, and then five beautiful and handsome children – in total Karin and Simon had seven kids, and it was an absolute pleasure to meet all those children and I felt they are all my brothers and sisters if not my children as well. I told the children it doesn’t have to be blood brothers and sisters, we are all connected through the planet Earth and the universe, and then we had a nice cup of tea and a very special meal of pasta which was kindly prepared for me by Karin.
At the table when we were eating I thanked them all for their support for love and peace, and for humanity as a whole on the planet, then wonderful Franken told me “I can take you all the way to Whitechapel” and I said to her “Please don’t put yourself in any trouble just because of me, I can go back there by myself” but they very kindly (Franken and her friend Tracy) offered me a lift after Franken had dropped off her daughter in north London.
Before we left Karin was showing me around the house, which had art and statues and a wonderful pool, and a canal or pond-like water place at the back of the house, then I said goodbye to all the children and Karin, Simon and their wonderful dog, and we headed out towards our next destination in north and central London.
Tracy kindly drove me all the way to my friend’s place in Whitechapel, and on our way we found out Tracy was born in Royal Whitechapel hospital and she was a true Eastender and cockney speaker. It was pleasure to meet her, but she was a bit upset about all the modification and materials around the wonderful old hospital which she remembered from the past.
I have to take this opportunity and say a special thanks to the universe for making me known to Karin (who gave me my sixth lift), and to her for letting me know all these beautiful people amongst her family and friends, including Tracy and also wonderful Franken (and daughter) (who gave me my seventh lift, kindly bringing me back to central London, whereh I started my round-the-UK peace pilgrimage almost 20 days before).
After a great indoor sleep after coming back from my third festival, and after a wonderful shower and breakfast, I walked to a local library to write some of my blog and plan my next few days in London, where I’ll meet up with wonderful people and advocate my love and peace here in London, before heading out to Birmingham to visit wonderful family and friends over there. If I have sometime in hand, I’d also love to visit a Peace Festival in Leamington Spa (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Leamington_Spa)
The Leamington Peace Festival is organised for 15th and 16th of June, it is free to all, so I won’t have to wait at the gate for two days before I get in – unless I have to do my peace talk at the main gate! Of the festival (www.peacefestival.org.uk) it is written by Spark Magazine’s Festival Guide that the festival’s specialities are “peace talk, the latest activism news, practical empowerment workshops, conscious music, organic food, co-ops, den-making in the kids’ area, fair-trade and sustainable ethos”.
I am looking forward to see if I can make it, and then hope to report some good news back from it on my blog.
I had a great day here back in the capital, and look forward to seeing more wonderful people in the City of London (another world in itself), and to spreading some of my love and peace around the CoL again.
After having another great night in my friend’s place, I woke up a bit early to just go out and have some fresh air in a park, but I couldn’t find one that was not blotted or affected by the amount of traffic in the area. I went back to the library to do some updates, then I had to leave early to make an appointment on time by the Swiss Clock in Leicester Square (http://www.londontown.com/LondonInformation/Sights_and_Attractions/Leicester_Square/6dab/). I was expecting this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SHZJ73WLGw) on the building, which is what I saw the last time I have been there, but instead I saw this http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-15930226.
I didn’t know what to say to my wonderful people (my brother from West and sister from North), which I had to meet, as I was already late by 19 minutes when I looked at the clock, and they had moved on by then. I have to say that I was told I have to be there by “1100 hours sharp”, (it has been long since time in tune with me, and I am not in tune with time). It was around this time I realised I had forgotten my Whitechapel friend’s wonderful white umbrella (my peace symbol on my journey around the UK) in the library, so I had to call him and say what had happened and ask him if he could kindly check it for me, and he told me he is busy and he wouldn’t be able to check, so I had to get on the library’s website myself and find the phone number, and call them to keep it for me before it got lost or taken away by someone else (my last black umbrella was taken away from me by the Saudis).
Anyway, I knew I might not have time to pick it up because of the amount of running around that I might have for today, and it did turn out just like that, and the next day when I went back to the place I left the umbrella, and checked with the reception of the library, I was told “Nothing has been brought back to us”, so I have lost my wonderful friend’s umbrella at the end of this episode of my peace pilgrimage. Apart from that the whole journey over all – three weeks from London around the country and back to London – went very well.
So, back to the Swiss clock area in Leicester Square, and my wonderful family, by now because I was late about 20 minutes I had to call and find out where can I find them, and I was told to get to Beak Street in Soho (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soho), and I did. When I got near there I saw John, and we were quite happy to see each other and he told me where to go, he was in rush to get to somewhere else but he reminded me of an event on 14th of June, then we said goodbye to each other – although later on, a few more times, we bumped into each other again, due to a special circumstances, which perhaps we both didn’t anticipate.
When I got to Beak Street and saw the amount of police in many different uniforms, shapes and forms, straightaway my heart was squashed, and I knew that today peace here was under threat, and I must try to make and spread peace and love as much as I could. After all, I couldn’t try to avoid seeing my brother and sister, who were there trying to do some livestreaming, and they might be able to help people in need of help. I forgot about my umbrella which I had left in the library. I couldn’t avoid here like how I could avoid going to Syria on my first peace mission, due to degradation of human life, so I said to myself “In the birthplace of many peaceful people, here in this place the world is looking at us, and if we are so much under threat, then I have to do my absolute best peace and non-violence presence as I can”. So I started to look for my brother and sister from one corner to another until finally I found them, and gave my love and peace for their courage to stand there in support of many other wonderful human beings, who they under attack in a building not far from us, about 100 yards away.
I stood there with them until about 1500 and saw so many of my old friends from old times. As people were finally released from the building, I started welcoming many of these wonderful friends and human beings who were frightened and shaken by the amount of pressure they had been through. By the time they were getting back to us and joining us they needed a welcome and some water which I wanted to be helping with, after all many of them I had met already from the time of Occupy.
After this period passed we were told that many people were gathering on the next street in Golden Square (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Square), so we went, and there was a lot of heavily armed police again there, who were clashing with people who were unhappy about the current situation and what will happen at the G8 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G8) gathering in Northern Ireland.
The whole story started this morning about 1000 hours, when police wanted to raid a building – “the Convergence Centre for StopG8” – an old police station, which had been squatted and was a place for people gathering and sharing thoughts about how they can prevent the G8 deciding a lot of things on behalf of people who are not happy to be represented by them.
It was in this square, while my brother and sister had gone to get some food and drink, that I witnessed a lot of excessive and unfair use of force against peaceful people by the police. I went to some of those police men and women, and told them “This is not just and fair”, and I asked them to be patient, and told them “Please do not use any force, which you may regret after this event – after all, these people are all your brothers, sisters”.
After this event they were back with some food and drink and I got a wonderful and delicious jacket potato with beans with a nice cup of tea, and also some cake and plenty of ginger biscuits, which we shared with some of our friends who were in the square at the time, including Cat Wizard, who has kindly read us a wonderful poem from the time of Occupy. So that was our wonderful late lunch and afternoon tea, after traumatic events had unfolded in an intense way from 1100 hours all the way to 1700 hours, with empty-handed people versus heavily armed police going forwards and backwards in the square and around the vicinity of the City of Westminster – which is the borough of power here in the heart of one of the most dynamic and vibrant and metropolitan cities of the world; and this power has caused a lot of misery all around the world.
I have to mention here that we had a person injured in the square which we were sad about, and also we saw a police van which wouldn’t start and we saw a group of police pushing the van all around the square just to try and bumpstart it, which made some people to laugh even while we were sad about the previous incident, and the police pushing the van was livestreamed.
Finally people started to go to Piccadilly Circus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piccadilly_Circus), a place which I’d been told earlier would have a carnival atmosphere this night, and then we did walk down there as well. Over there we really enjoyed seeing some more of our old friends from the time of Occupy, there was a platform for people who wanted to talk about whatever they wanted to talk about, and some people decided to use the platform and share their opinions on what had just went on during the day. Also different people were using the opportunity to talk to people and some comedians stood up, and the carnival atmosphere went on for about a good two hours.
After here we walked down towards Charing Cross police station (http://content.met.police.uk/PoliceStation/charingcross) in support of those people who were arrested during the day. We walked there through Leicester Square (known for the famous Swiss clock and the premiers of some films – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odeon_Leicester_Square), and then we walked further, to Trafalgar Square (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trafalgar_Square), where I saw some people from Turkey who were chanting and demanding “people’s power” and the resignation of the Turkish prime minster. I noticed there wasn’t a single police officer present there, and I asked my brother if he can do some livestreaming of their event as well, which he kindly did, and there I saw a few old friends as well and waved my hands at them and said hello to them across the crowd. It was here that I saw John again and he kindly took us personally to Charing Cross police station. When we got there a lot of people were banging on pans and pots, and the carnival atmosphere was still there. Of course, I have to mention here that all this time heavily armed police were following these people in the name of so-called ‘public protection’!?
(See http://www.cityoflondon.police.uk/CityPolice/Departments/CT/ppu/, and this http://www.justice.gov.uk/offenders/public-protection-manual, and also many other laws of which I am not aware of them all.)
Everywhere that we have gone and most of the day’s events were livestreamed and can be seen on bambuser – http://bambuser.com/ – or Occupy News Network (ONN) – http://www.ustream.tv/channel/occupynewsnetwork – and many other social networks, so you can see and understand what I am talking about when I say “excessive use of force”, and that this is not the way forward. What I have seen today was reminding me of my peace pilgrimage from London to the Middle East, and the main borders in between south east of Turkey and the northern Iraqi region and Egypt, Palestine, Jordan and Israel, which weren’t guarded as heavily as what I have seen today in the capital of England.
I stayed for a little longer outside Charing Cross police station, after most of the crowds headed down towards Parliament Square (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliament_Square), and it was here that while I was waiting for my brother and sister (who had gone to a place round the corner to charge their equipment), my right eye got an elbow punch by accident from an old occupier who was accusing another one of spying. I was telling him “This isn’t the right place to discuss things like this, and we should all be nice human beings towards each other”, then I realised the police were coming to get him, and then I got this unexpected surprise of a punch.
I’d like to tell everyone, that as a peace pilgrim and an advocate of love and peace, I can assure you that this sort of heavily-handled event is designed to provoke the nature of human beings as a whole, and no matter how peaceful you want to be, the authorities will try to provoke you so you will react. It is here that the matter of losers and winners comes into play, and I have to say – we need the inner change first, before we can change anything or anyone else. What I have seen in this eventful day, and what I have gone through, from my personal experience, shows me we need more patience in order to see the change we want to see in the world. We can’t afforded to be provoked so easily, and we have to unite to stand the chance of moving forwards and making the world a better place for humanity as a whole.
It was around 2130 hours when we said goodbye to our West Country brother in Charing Cross Station (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charing_Cross_railway_station), and then my sister and I walked through Strand, Fleet Street, and then Ludgate Hill, passing many famous places such as Covent Garden (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covent_Garden) and Bush House (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bush_House) while we were talking a bit about what went on today, and about the past and what might come in the future. We walked past The Royal Courts of Justice (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Courts_of_Justice), which is where the City of London took OLSX to court and got permission to evict us. Then we walked right through our home where we all got to know each other, the place of the old Occupy camp (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupy_London), the Occupy village, where as a sign of respect she went back to the exact place of her old home tent, and also we looked at our brother’s tree, which was grown wonderfully. I couldn’t say anything about my place of stay, because the whole camp was like my home and I could stay anywhere that I wanted, but the place of every home (tent) was reminding me of who was in that tent and for how long. We walked all around St. Paul’s Cathedral (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Paul’s_Cathedral), and passed many other well known places in the City of London too.
Anyway, back to the reality, after finding out that my sister had got a place to stay for the night, I said goodbye to her and made my way out of the City of London to stay for the night with my friend, and on my way there I saw another occupier (Crazy Red Fox), who was kindly offering to get me some water, and I thanked him and said I was ok, and we said goodnight to each other.
After a tiring and hectic day got back to my friend’s place and told him some of the day’s events and then we said good night to each other straightaway I went to sleep.