Saturday, September 22, 2007

peace is like a cake...

It’s Saturday and it was great to sleep in and not feel guilty about it …Yesterday was world peace day and so I went to a place called the India habitat centre where they were showing some really good films on the subject of peace. All were very moving the first “peace one day” was about a young English guy called Jeremy who had an idea at the Womad music festival.: what if there was one day when the world stopped fighting? A worldwide ceasefire - a non-violence day? A Peace Day?

In 1998, Jeremy began meeting with students, peace negotiators, NGOs, government representatives, heads of state, United Nations' officials,as well as many more eminent people He learned that a UN resolution would be the best way to establish such a day. He filmed all of his travels and meetings and compiled them to create the amazing documentary film Peace One Day. After years of persistence and hard work, Jeremy's dream came true. On 7 September 2001, a United Nations General Assembly Resolution (A/Res/55/282), put forward by the UK and Costa Rican governments, was unanimously adopted by UN member states formally establishing an annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence on the UN International Day of Peace - Peace Day - fixed in the global calendar on 21 September. Good on you son …….

The following film was called Redifining peace:women lead the way tells the story of women from varying backgrounds they are peasants, lawyers, refugees and doctors; they have ethnic, religious and generational differences, but they share in common a determination to work for peace and justice. Before leaving I approached the organiser in order to ask her whether she had any contacts with environmental grassroots organisations working in India. She was very helpful and told me to return on Monday when there would an open day on the environment and many activists present… result!

To mark peace day children’s little sayings were displayed on a board here are a couple of their thoughts “Peace is like a cake everyone deserves it “ “we should not just rest in peace but live in peace as well” It made me think of a saying a friend of mine had found scratched into a table which read “bombing for peace is like f*****g for virginity”.

In the evening I was wined and dined by …….a bit of narcissist . “ I feel bad I have spend the entire night talking about me… what do you think about me “ recognize the type ?. He is a big importer of the finer things in life like wine and champagne. Funnily enough the other night I met a lovely man who was the first person to import Mango juice to the UK and in doing so had made silly amounts of money had left his family back in Blightey and had moved to Delhi in order fully enjoy the fruits of his labour. It’s quite bizarre to be mixing by night with such a wealthy crowd and being taken to these really glitzy places ….not really my style at all but I suppose it is different and interesting and you never know who you could meet ……could be handy for the campaign!

On Thursday we had a small ramshackle meeting in tiny hotel room. The campaign s main coordinator and two of his helpers made the two hour trip from their home in a suburb of Delhi in order to see me and discuss strategies for DEC. 8th. Travelling in this city is a bloody nightmare I frequently spend a couple of hours in a rickshaw in order to get around. There is an excellent metro system but it s reach is rather restricted at the moment, by the commonwealth games in 2010 the network should be completeted.

We took the decision that we would march on the American embassy in Delhi but it has a 500 metres exclusion zone, paranoid or what!. Well we have “friends in high paces’ and will try and get permission but should we fail we will just try and get as close as possible to it. Apparently the mere fact that we will be in such close proximity will have a huge media impact. Someone came up with the idea of begging in front of the embassy or polishing shoes in order to amass funds in order to send Bush to a mental hospital …..quite an amusing idea apparently the press will love it.

We decided on putting our energies into having demonstrations in four major cities Delhi, Bhopal, Allahabad and Lucknow. These cities are press hubs and focussing on them will apparently have a ripple effect all around India. Our next meeting will be on Thursday and I am hiring a small conference room at the YMCA for this purpose. We also elected a Delhi coordinator the lovely Navim he is a former journalist and now a social activist.

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At 8:57 PM, Blogger Calvin Jones said...

Just to say 'honey' your posts are deffinetly the best thing on this blog so keep them coming :-)

And well done with the whole India thing...still not exactly sure how all that started but it sounds like fun!


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