I announced last Wednesday at the Peace and Justice for Syria group meeting that I had an intention to do a peace walk. Also on Saturday 18.01.14, during the peace vigil ahead of the Syrian peace talks in Montreux and Geneva (so-called “Geneva II”) in Switzerland, I mentioned that I will wait at the south side of Tower Bridge, close to the entrance of the Mayor of London’s office between 11am and noon, and then I/we will walk from there to London Eye ,close to Westminster Bridge.
On the day, I got to the place just after 11am, and as soon as I got there a security person turned up and asked me what am I protesting for and why am I there? I said to him “I am here to start a peace walk from here to London Eye, to coincide with the Syrian peace talks in Switzerland, to just support peace, and I would like to see it as soon as possible in the region, and the reason I am here is because I couldn’t make it to there, so this is to show my solidarity for peace with the people who are in the conflict area, and I’ll wait here till midday to see if any of our group or anyone from the public shows up, then we will start the walk”. He told me as long as you are not protesting it is fine and it is no problem, and he went, then I waited there and for the duration of the hour that I was there, a few different security people turned up again, and even some police officers and they all asked me if I am ok, and I told them “all I am doing is advocating peace and I am very well indeed, and thank you for asking”, and then they were going.
I received a message from my peace brother Dan to say he’ll join me en route, and just after midday, as I was about to start my walk, he turned up and after saying hello and having a hug he suggested we take some photos with the mayor’s office in the background, and soon we were told that we can’t take photos with the banners and flags in front of the mayor’s office so we said ok, and Dan suggested again we should take some photos at least with the Tower Bridge as our background and I said ok. I have to say here that he is quite meticulous in his photo taking, and later on it became more apparent that it might take quite a long time before a photo of you might be taken, especially if you are holding anything that must be read easily by people who will see the photos – he has to zoom for a while before he can get the final shot, which you can see in some good photos below which shows our starting point. Anyway, finally we started walking, and it wasn’t very long, just about a few hundred metres further, there was again another statue of a warrier, and Dan wanted to take some more photos with the big peace flag and many different writings, and I don’t want to go into the details of how long did it take for us to move on from there, but it became apparent to me that Dan will take enough photos which by the end of our peace walk then we can write a book with having enough photos and if I go into the details of every stop, so I was telling to myself it is just for this small peace walk, that we need these much details, and I don’t know how many years it was going to take me and Dan to get to the Middle East if we were going to do the peace walk together with this pace! I told Dan on our way that the way I operate is that I tell myself that I do things as there is no rush at all, and as though we have got all the time in the world, and I think he did pick up on this quote very well, and he was doing exactly as I mentioned to him earlier so I said to myself ok, no rush, we will get to the end of the peace walk before it gets dark, and sometimes I had to say “My wonderful brother Dan, I think we should move on before it gets dark, and if we go with this pace we have a long way to go”, and then we’d start our walk again.
Some photos from the start of the peace walk, and a bit further by an statue.
Then soon after we saw a wonderful old ship like Catty Sark and again we waited there for some time, and Dan kindly took some photos as well, and then further down by an old ruined building of an old palace then an old prison museum , so as we go a long I mentioned to Dan that we have plenty of sushi to give away and we just gave some to a person who was handing out Big Issues to people near to the prison museum, and further down was Shakespeare’s Globe where we took some more photos, and on our way we were trying to give out some 30 leaflets about what we were doing, which Dan had kindly printed out and we were trying to give them out to people who we thought wouldn’t put them in a bin immediately.
Then we carried on walking again until near to Waterloo Bridge and Royal Festival Hall, then we sat down there and displayed what we had with us in terms of written materials, and we tried to talk to people who were passing by and some different people from very different backgrounds were quite interested to talk to us and take photos with us, and it was near here that another wonderful person from the group came and joined us. We were taking some photos of a couple of ladies statues from Pride of London, and we were talking to an art person and he was quite happy to get in touch with us and help to advocate peace with his artistic way.
Then we got a phone call from a musician who we’d seen busking along the way and we’d left a leaflet with him while he was singing, and he very kindly called us and came and joined us and we got into a wonderful conversation with him about why we are doing this peace walk as well.
He was telling us that when he saw the leaflet he thought it was going to be a flood of people on our route and he wanted to come and join us, but now all I can see is just 3 of you! “How are we going to change people’s minds?”, he wanted to know, and also he said “I wanted to see what can we do about the situation in today’s Syria?”, he also told us after seeing a program on Channel 4 called Dispatches about day to day life in Syria back in summer he wanted to get an update from us about what was going on since then and right now. We did tried our best to explain who we are and why we are doing the peace walk, also I shared the famous African proverb with him which it says “If you think you’re too small to make a difference, you haven’t spent a night with a mosquito!” Then he calmed down a bit and started to think that everything we do has a consequence – even if it might not be so obvious to ourselves, it will still have a great effect on our surroundings, and we should think very carefully before we do something without thinking of its consequences. Also we said that what we are seeing in the mainstream media is just a little highlight of the real destruction and the consequences of a manmade conflict, but we could solve it if we all wanted this to happened, but many of the involved powers in the conflict don’t want to see a resolution, they look at it as a source of income even with human suffering, and all we can do is say we don’t support the conflict, and to ask for an immediate end to the conflict, to all involved parties.
Then we took some photos and had another conversation with some more security people on our way, especially between London Eye and Westminster Bridge where we were told that we can’t walk on the pavement while we are holding our flags and placards in the air, as the pavement is private property, and we have to go around to get to the bridge, and finally after some discussion we managed to get through with some compromise from both sides and finally just before we got on the Westminster Bridge the Big Ben struck 4pm. It was here that we said goodbye to our wonderful musician and busker, then Dan, myself and another peace advocator from the group headed towards the Foreign Office after crossing the bridge and into the Whitehall.
In front of the Foreign Office we took some photos and talked to some more people, and over all I say we interacted with about a good 20 people on our peace walk, and we hope the outcome of the Geneva 2 will be a very positive and soon peace will be installed back in today’s Syria, Middle East, Africa, Asia, South America, and many other regions on our wonderful planet will be in ever lasting peace.
A few photos of us in the white hall in front of the Foreign Office
Then we said goodbye to our third peace brother, then Dan kindly invited me for a wonderful cappuccino and a slice of carrot cake (after a frustrating time for him with the security people between London Eye and Westminster Bridge, and as he put it all these laws are going to restrict us so much that one day we might not be able to even walk freely) in a local Wetherspoons not far from Trafalgar Square, then we headed towards Charing Cross and it was here that we said goodbye to one another and I headed towards Holborn to meet up with another friend.
After getting to my place of meeting, there wasn’t any sign of my friend, but I saw another friend and we stayed and chatted there for some time and then after walking back towards the City of London we said goodnight to one another and I headed back to my resting place.
Coincident with our peace walk for Syria, I just wanted to mention here that at the same time as the peace talks in Switzerland there was something else which is called World Economic Forum in a place called Davos, and in there about 2000 so-called influential people of the planet are present to talk about something which is going to affect us all, but it seems not a lot of people are knowing about it, and like Builderberg conference it is almost unknown to many. Despite what is discussed in there will affect all of us, we do not have any say and things are decided for us, and it is really sad to see in 21st Century, and with the advanced technological age, a couple of thousand people will decide for the world of billion people, and as long as they are safe and they can accumulate more and more wealth, the rest of us will be irrelevant. It was something that I have to mention and say that this was a forum on an economy which for sure they know it is not functioning for the rest of us, and we the whole citizens of the planet have to put up with it, and despite that we could have an alternative economic system which is going to be much more fairer and will bring people of the Earth out of today’s misery… but not only they don’t talk about alternatives, also it has been ignored because there is no profit in this type of economy – a resource based economy – so they carry on with their devastating plans with the broken monetary based economy.
Some photos of Davos in Switzerland!?
Myself and a friend visited Occupy Barnet building to see a few short films including one about rents in 1960s, second was about coal miners from 1984-85, third was about poll tax in 1989-93 and finally the forth was about cuts from 2010 to present day. In all of them one message was resonating and it was unity to overcome all these problems, and in order to do this we have to communicate and understand each other well, without it we can’t move forward and build a better world.
All those four short films were made by Jubilee Debt Campaign and after each two films, two different groups were trying to discuss the points raised in the films in more detail, which was a good idea, but after seeing all four of them, I felt the concept of communication with each other wasn’t quite right and I had to mention this to the group at the end of the discussion, as well as introducing myself, because there hadn’t been a brief introduction of ourselves to the group at the beginning, so at the end of the discussion I was telling them a bit about why I was there and how I hoped that we could all help each other for a better world.
The place was mixture of all different kinds of people from across the planet and it was a great sign of unity to overcome our differences, and I am looking forward to see more gatherings like this in the near future.
I attended another meeting of the Peace and Justice for Syria group at LARC (London Action Resource Centre), and three more peace advocators were there and we started the meeting by interviewing one of the group who is from a city in today’s Syria who wanted to give a personal account of the situation there, and you can see it here ( https://www.dropbox.com/l/T45rZzUCjQqGylnKTb9wlf ), so hopefully soon more people will understand what is going on there and how it is not right to humanity and must be stopped as soon as possible.
Then I briefly talked about the peace vigil and the peace walk in the city, we also reflected back on our peace pilgrimage for Syria on 10th December last year, then we talked about future activities and at the end we got the consensus to have another candle lit vigil for Syria in Trafalgar Square followed by the group meeting, and for full details you can always visit http://syriapeaceandjustice.wordpress.com/ for more information for the coming Wednesday 12th of February, and for further future events.
Today I visited a garden centre in Camden, hoping to meet some Rainbow brothers and sisters and finding out about the new moon circle the next day, but after waiting for more than an hour in the centre no one from the family turned up, so I left the centre hoping that next day I’ll see some more of them in a council circle.
Next day someone else wanted to join me in the evening, so I didn’t make my way to the place until evening and by that time the person who wanted to come with me decided to cancel the visit, so I went to the centre again myself alone, and by this time in the evening the Rainbow family council circle had long finished, so I couldn’t see most of the people who I thought I might be able to see, but I managed to see a couple of them, one in the Camden centre the second one in another new local occupied building, and I managed to find out about what was discussed in the council circle, also the next month new moon meeting place, which I was told the Rainbow family has reached consensus that will be held on 1st March in another occupied building in north London.
I spent some of my time in the 1st month of 2014 to find out how we can help one another with food and drink across London, and preventing these resources from being wasted here in the capital, and I am hoping with some help we can produce some video of those who are already helping people to get these free resources (food and drinks).
Also by publicising these videos hopefully it’ll prevent the system from closing down some of those mobile vans and cars, which are distributing these free resources across London, which I have heard that already from south London the current system is preventing this help to take place.
Also I have to say here again that I am fully behind a fairer system, as I always mention we have to find a solution to this broken system of capitalism, which is in crisis, and I think the only way is to manage all our planet’s resources and produce according to the needs of its inhabitants and not according to the greed of the few. You might have heard about the Oxfam report that just 85 people on the planet have the equivalent (if not more) wealth to 3.5 billion of the planet’s inhabitants; is this really a fair system? Clearly not and we must act very soon before it gets really too late.
So supporting many like-minded people out there is really very important. Really, if most of us can concentrate on those main issues which are in the public domain – like those who support a frack free planet and Barton Moss camp in north west (http://occupylondon.org.uk/barton-moss-protection-camp/) – and also help those who support free food and drink to everyone in need rather than going to waste, and many more things from our list of changes that we want to see in the world… then this is a great way forward to connect with all those people, and to share our strong belief in the changes we want to see for a free and fair planet.
with much love, and peace