A Walk for Peace
Earthian, formerly of the Occupy LSX camp, Finsbury Square and Occupy Nomads, is now on a solo peace mission to the Middle East. This is his story.
I am in Sulaymaniyah in North Iraq.
I am scouting for a good place to open a camp here in the centre of the city so that l can talk to people about why I am on this journey. I have asked the Governor of Sulaymaniyeh to help me find a park suitable for my peace camp.
Now I will catch up on the journey so far.
I started in London and at first I was hoping to go straight to Palestine, but there was a war in Syria, so I wanted to go through Iraq and Jordan, and then to Palestine.
But now everyone in the Kurdish region of Iraq is telling me ‘please do not do this because you’ll be kidnapped in Baghdad by some people who are hungry for money from British Government’, so now I have to think twice if I have to do this and what to do next.
My journey around the world by the means of zero CO2 means not flying, not driving, walking lots, taking public transport and hitch-hiking.
I have walked some miles in London, then a good friend from Occupy bought me a train ticket to get to outer London, and then some miles to walk until I got a train towards Tunbridge Wells, then some miles walk towards another station to get another train towards Dover.
I have been hitch-hiking, from Dover to near Paris with a kind 7-seater Italian-Iranian driver, and then I walk for some miles then hitch-hiking again, to Paris.
Then I have used public transport by asking a very kind train supervisor going from Paris to Milano ‘Can I go without paying anything?’. I have managed to convince him of what I am doing and he told me ‘What is it? Is it a kind of joke to do this without money and passport?’, but he did tell me ‘You can come with my train’.
I have walked through all the following borders for many miles: Italy-Slovenia , Slovenia-Hungary , Bulgaria-Turkey.
From Budapest, capital of Hungary to Bucharest, capital of Romania, I took a train and this was the only time in the journey when I paid for transport. Someone gave me 100 euro without me asking for it. I didn’t want to carry money and I wanted to get out of Hungary desperately because the authorities have made me be so upset with that beautiful country, because they have arrested me and forced me to have ID to continue. The best way to get out of Hungary was to pay for a train ticket and not to have or carry money any more and also get relief from getting out of Hungary.
Apart from this I have always spoken to the drivers of the trains, buses or coaches I want to go on and I explain what I am doing and if they are happy, so I could go with them.
In Turkey people were very kind and supportive of what I was doing, and I walked only about 10 miles.
I was taken by a car from Turkish-Iraqi border then hitch-hiking and many more miles walk in Kurdistan borders towards Zakho, Dahok, Hawler, and finally to Sulaymaniyah in North Iraq. Here in Iraq people are very kind as well and I walked only 5 miles.
Most of my walking was in England, France, and a lot in Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. Out of about 5000km, I walked about 500km.
No Money? No ID?
All the way with no passport, no ID until the Hungarian Government told me you will not be able to go anywhere until you carry your ID and they forced me to get my passport through the British Embassy so I can have an ID with me at all time. They were telling me ‘Where is your ID?’ and ‘If in an emergency situation anything happened to you, who do we have to contact?’ Whether this was an excuse or they just wanted me to get my British passport for what reason I don’t know?
I would like to make my Earthian ID. I can make an ID to say exactly who am I and in the emergency situation, who to contact. I’ll try to make one and show this ID to any other countries which I’ll go through from now on.
At the Turkish Border they asked me to get a visa and I said ‘I am not carrying any money so what can we do?’ They told me we need a letter from Occupy London or the Zeitgeist movement if they know about what you are doing, this Peace Walk to the Middle East. I thought I can’t reach Occupy people so quick, so I went back to Bulgaria and spoke to the drivers of lorries and explained to them what I am doing. I said ‘Usually I have asked only for food, shelter and transport but now I am in an emergency situation for visa, I need money and I don’t carry any’, so after going to 20 lorries out of 200 lorries I got 20 euro donation towards my Peace Walk Travel Visa and I carried on with my Peace Walk into Turkey, and then on to Iraq.
My main purpose on this journey is to achieve peace in the Middle East. The war in Syria, Gaza, and all the wars around the world must be stopped as soon as possible.
I would also like to see the following and I will raise these issues on my journey:
1. Abolition of the death penalty.
2. Abolition of nuclear weapons.
3. Prohibition of incitement to hatred (religious, national, ethnic, racial and sexual).
4. Abolition of border controls.
5. Free health, education, housing and food for all humankind.
6. Distribution of wealth and resources amongst all Earthian Citizens.
7. Dissolution of armies and authorities ruling over people.
8. Promotion of bartering and free exchange.
9. Promotion of low-carbon machinery and devices (solar and wind power etc…).
10. Ban of pollutant machinery and devices.
11. Freedom of speech, expression and a humane way of life.
12. Control of drugs and alcohol except by qualified professional prescription.
13. An end to gambling, prostitution and human trafficking.
I want to end suffering and environment destruction, and move to resource-based economy. I hope I can see these things achieved by the end of my journey around the world.
If you agree with me please send me a message of support and solidarity and hopefully, when I reach your area, we can meet.
The full story of this peace mission can be found on Earthian’s own blog, where you can leave comments and messages of support for him and follow his journey as it unfolds.