Angels for Aleppo.

I was wondering how to spread my “Hands Up for Syria” campaign. I was considering a trip to speakers corner in London with a placard this Sunday, but speakers corner, along with a throng of interested and peaceful tourists usually has its small and regular number of angry people simply looking for an argument. I didn’t really want to go, again!

I felt I had to do something though so when a friend posted an announcement for a ‘March for Aleppo’ on facebook which was happening in five hours time I got dressed, had breakfast, and caught a bus, train and tube and arrived half an hour before it started.

On the train up I was reading Rob Lilwall’s “Cycling home from Siberia”. Chapter 28, page 139 starts with a quote by Martin Luther King Jr:

“If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight”.

So when we witness so many horrors in the world today, how are we to act? Are we to act? Is it our responsibility to act, or are other people’s problems their problems, not ours, not ours to interfere with?

Put simply, (if I am correct) there are two sides to the Syria conflict, The Syrian Government with its Allies against a cacophony of Opposition Elements. In fact there are three sides, the Civilians caught in between.

How can we help the Civilians caught in between? Is Martin Luther King Jr right? Is it shameful not to act? On the other hand, if we feel helpless, and have no answers, maybe it is more productive to actually do nothing rather than contribute to making more of a mess than it is at the moment.

The “Hand Up For Syria” campaign is so simple, hardly an act at all, but it is an action, and could help in the overall groundswell of wishes to see peace in Syria. How many of us feel helpless? How many of us sit in our armchairs watching the horrors unfold daily on our television sets?

Whilst watching, if the television presenter asked a question to you as part of the audience, “Would you put your hand up if you would like to see lasting peace in Syria right now?”….would you do it? Do you think it would make any difference to the state of peace in Syria, do you think it would make you feel any different for having made that small act?

There were over a thousand people on the “March for Aleppo”. The majority of placards held high were demonising President Assad, and Russia, and Iran. There were also placards saying “No More Bombs”, “Aid drops not Bombs”, “Stop the Child Killing”, “Peace Now”, and my little sign, “Hands Up if you would like to see lasting Peace in Syria right now”. A few people put their hands up, people smiled at me, people took photos. I had acted. I had tried to spread something I thought might have an effect.

As we walked down Oxford street, then Regent street, past thousands of people all squeezed onto the wide pavements each side, I was chilled to hear the slogan shouted out over and over again:

“WHILE YOU’RE SHOPPING-BOMBS ARE DROPPING”.
“WHILE YOU’RE SHOPPING-BOMBS ARE DROPPING”.
“WHILE YOU’RE SHOPPING-BOMBS ARE DROPPING”.

It was true. But I didn’t see it as a judgement from the marchers, an accusation, a, you’re alright but we’re not. It was, and is, a simple fact, (according to countless news reports, because like many of us, we are not there).

On Christmas day I thought it could be good to spend an hour dedicated to Syria. It’s on my previous blog post. If anyone wishes to join in it’s at Noon Damascus time, that’s 10 am UK time. I’m going to go for a walk for the hour.

About three weeks ago, a group of people from Berlin decided they could not longer sit in front of their laptops watching the horrors in Syria. They came up with a quick idea, and on 26th December an unknown number of them, hundreds maybe, thousands possibly, will set out on a march to Aleppo. Three thousand kilometres, three, four or five months of walking.

They couldn’t stand it any longer. They decided to act. They leave in 8 days time. This is a huge undertaking, a huge act and a number of things could go wrong. But in my opinion they have acted in good faith. They wish for the horrors to stop in Syria, and Worldwide. You can follow their goals, organizing and progress via http://www.civilmarch.org

On my one hour walk, the day before they set off I am going to send them my wishes for as much goodness as possible to follow these people, a kind of blessing for their pilgrimage. They’ll need it, because with such a huge act for peace, negativity will almost undoubtedly try and creep in to try and ruin it.

If you feel totally helpless, totally powerless to effect positive change in our World, would you consider right now putting your hand up if you wish to live in a much much better world right now? It’s a really really small act, but it’s an act. And you might help it happen.

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About theprofessionallitterpicker

Cleanin' up the World!
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One Response to Angels for Aleppo.

  1. mary-ann says:

    Sending on to my Radcliffe gels…..Australia, Zimbabwe, spain , France, Canada USA and if course here in UK. Bless you Simon…dont stop! Xxxx Ma

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