Wow, it’s been 9 days. They flew by. Sorry folks. We were visiting parents, stroking horses and organising protests.
The last few weeks I have been reading a lot about the recent Israel/Palestine conflict. At first, I shook my head a bit, thought it sucked, ‘liked’ a few good news articles on the matter, shared some even better ones. I watched the news a couple of times. I knew it was bad, but I was just waiting for someone to sort it out. I thought the government will just get on top of it. Or the UN would. I just figured it’d take care of itself. I don’t normally have to get involved in these matters. But 3 weeks on, I’m still hearing about and watching innocent children and babies being slaughtered. I don’t care who’s fault it is. It doesn’t even matter. If you want to argue and fight and blow each other up, that’s grand. Go for it. But don’t murder children who have no way of escaping. It’s wrong and we should be doing something about it.
I had to do something. I looked up online. What can I do?! I can sign stuff. I can email people. I can join people waving flags and shout ‘Free Palestine’, but none of this seems to be working. Why isn’t it working? Why isn’t anybody listening? Then I watched Jon Snow’s heartfelt report on his sightings in Gaza. I lay in bed and I cried. This is not ok. This cannot be allowed to continue. I started thinking to myself ‘Why aren’t more people doing something?’ We all have a voice. A lot of us have children of our own. We can SEE the horror of the situation… We should all be screaming at our government to offer Gaza a proper international response. Remember that plane that got shot down over Ukraine a couple of weeks ago? 298 people died and the U.S and Europe have put sanctions on Russia. Over 1,000 civilians including children and babies have been the victim to war crimes and our governments are abstaining from involvement?! Where are the sanctions for Israel? Why aren’t we all shouting?!?!
After some deliberation the thought came to me that people don’t care and aren’t really that engaged in the situation because they’re desensitised to it. You watch the news, shake your head, make a cup of tea and then watch the sport. We’ve seen images like this before. It’s other people, in another place that we can’t even imagine. They speak a different language. Have a different religion. They’re ‘used’ to conflict. It sucks, but that’s just their life. We’re lucky we don’t live there. Do we stop to look into the eyes of the person we see screaming on the news? Do we stop to wonder what that little boy who is lying dead on the ground used to like playing? Do we stop to think how that other child is feeling now both of her parents are dead? Is that normal or OK for a 5 year old to see? I just don’t think it is. No matter where in the world you are. So how can we hit this home? How can we kick the governments scrawny little arse into action? I mean first of all it would be helpful if our Prime Minister owned a pair of balls, but you know, we have to make the best of what we’ve got.
I decided to organise a protest.
A non political. Non biased. Non religious. Pro Israel. Pro Palestine. Pro life protest. I am protesting for the people who are dying on both sides of the conflict. I am protesting that the British government stand up and take some responsibility. I am asking them to stop using the tax payers money to fund Israel’s weaponry. I am asking them to have some humanity. I am asking them to help. It is our duty as humans. If this were our children, if it were our country being shelled, wouldn’t you hope that the international community would come and help you? But how do you deal with the desensitisation? How do you make the reality of the situation hit home? I decided that I would ‘dress up’, for want of a better description, as a victim of the conflict. I am everything that this country can connect with. Connect with me covered in (fake) blood. And whilst you’re at it, look at my children too. Here we are. Bandaged up. Dirtied up. Covered in (fake) blood. This is what we look like. This is what a child you can identify might look like. This is their reality. It’s horrific. And we need to stop it. Now.
After inviting over 600 people on Facebook to my event, only 19 people have said they will come. This has been such a journey of discovery as I hadn’t realised to what extent people really don’t take any responsibility for anything. If it’s not as simple as clicking a button, most people aren’t interested. We are living in such an egotistical age where people want instant gratification and anything that requires hard work is written off as unachievable or somebody else’s job. I honestly thought after reading news feed after news feed of disgust at the situation in Gaza that more people would want to get up and take a stand. People have lost faith in protesting. They don’t believe it works. Well you know what? That’s just what they’ll have you believe so you sit at home and keep quiet. If you make enough noise, it’s impossible to be ignored. And yes, there was the big Iraq protest that was ignored. The government didn’t listen you’re right. So what happened? All those protestors backed down. They quit. They gave up. What would have happened if all those people had kept at it? If they’d laid down on the ground and refused to move until it stopped? We’ll never know, because we gave up and now hold that as the big example of the effectiveness of a protest.
This is exactly the same as everything else I’ve been writing about whilst chasing your dreams. Anything and everything is possible. It’s just people can’t be bothered to put the hard work in. Well you know what? Quit complaining about it and hope that you never require the action of another human around the world to stand up for you.
Let’s not give up on this. I’m going to protest and march and shout and scream and demand until it happens. Sure, I’m one person. So was Martin Luther King. So was Ghandi. So was Nelson Mandela. Can you imagine if Martin Luther King sat down and said ‘Yeah, guess we’ll just have to put up with being second rate citizens..’ He didn’t. He kept at it. The current situation is a bloodbath of innocent people. They’re trapped with nowhere to go and they’re scared. If you have a family then imagine yourself in their situation. Does your kid deserve that? Nah. Neither do theirs.
If you’re interested in joining us this Saturday the 2nd August in London, we are meeting at 1pm outside Houses of Parliament for a 1 hour silent, protest. It’s 100% peaceful and family friendly. I am asking all participants to ‘bloody’ themselves up and stand up for the innocent lives being lost on both sides. I want to create an image that reconnects people to the reality of the conflict and pushes the government to take responsibility. They are our representatives. It is their job.
Details of the event can be found here Flash mob style Palestinian Protest and will be updated with meeting points and further information.
If you can’t join in the protest, because you have pre arranged commitments, I get it. But do something else. Voicing your disgust on social media isn’t action.
More music coming soon yeah? X