Monday, 4 October 2010

Who will help us if we do not help others

At Thessaloniki we have time to stop and think. The drive has been long and we camp up at a prearranged site. Unfortunately the mayor- a right winger - hears of our intentions and tries to stop us staying. I am pleased to say that our arrival was pre-arranged by a higher power, and although there was a bit of hanging around whilst the stand-off ensued, we were finally given leave to camp on the soft green grass around a modern sports pavilion complete with showers and what was probably one of our last sit-on loos. We set about doing our washing and relaxing for a while. I have chance to do some yoga and there is talk of a daily class. However, no two days are the same, and as we have to split into more and more groups due to the growing size of the convoy, old friends are rarely seen, whilst new ones filter into our circle and we learn so much more about other lives and living.

Are we a band of assorted souls in search of a community? I ponder this thought. For sure we are searching for humanity, for sure we bring with us a sense of humanity. We are like minded, questioning, curious and exploratory. Every one of us has taken the voyage away from the mainstream of media pap and in our own way sought out the truth of what is happening around us. Although we have common purpose to relieve the oppression of Gaza, we also share similar views on economics, politics and institutional reform. In short we have all thought it through and come to the same conclusion: our world is run by the elite few, mostly bankers, and their money buys the politics. It is my greatest sadness that we are so few.

It is not about religion, the Gazan people are being squeezed because of land. The Palestianians in the West Bank suffer similarly; the Uighurs of north west China and the Tibetans are being systematically cleansed - not particularly by death (although that is too often the case) but by economic deprivation and ethnic dilution. It could be our turn next and who will help us if we do not help others?

Thessaloniki cost me my underwear. Whilst I was our at a press conference in town, the changing rooms at the stadium were locked. Unfortunately my washing was left drying inside, never to be seen again.

On Sunday 26th September we make an early start and get everyone back on the road to Alexandroupolis via Kabala. The convoy is now 50 vehicles and over 100 people, as two more vans joined us last night from Italy. The lovely young people of Italy are a joy. Only from Italy do we have real representation of the planet's youth. All of them bar one are in their 20's Trying to keep the whole convoy together is madness even at a steady 50 mph. Every 5 minute stop takes more than an hour and the round up of our motley crew is like herding demented cats.

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