In total there were seven of us who gathered for a one hour peace vigil in our regular spot outside the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. We assembled from 12:30pm to find the area heaving with people, not to mention major construction work for a Russian cultural event due to take place the following day.
It seems there were a lot of small demos planned for that same day. Several people stopped to ask us if we were part of the planned march against corruption to the Ecuadorian Embassy, supported by a diverse mix of different campaigners. We directed them to the south side of the Square, where the other demo were gathering…
After a short while it was decided to put aside the differences between our respective causes and for two peace brothers to take a walk around the square with our signs, stopping off at the march against corruption gathering to talk to them about our planned peace walk for that day.
While this demo were preparing to head to the Embassy in west London, the two of us made our way back to our own peace vigil. On the way we met some other people planning to head east, like ourselves, to the Occupy General Assembly. We told them about our planned peace walk from Trafalgar Square to St Paul’s Cathedral, and they told us they would catch up with us there.
By 1:30pm all participants for our peace walk for Syria had arrived and so we set off, weaving through the crowds, as we made our way east towards St Paul’s. On our way we passed street performers dressed as pirates and Jedi knights, and further on we encountered and spoke to a small protest against shark culling by the Western Australian government which was taking place outside Australia House, and seemed to include supporters of the environmental direct action group the Sea Shepherd.
We arrived at St Paul’s in good time, and arranged our banner along some railings. It wasn’t long before we fell into conversation with a lady from Occupy Faith who told us about the forthcoming film about their own recent “pilgrimage” they undertook (after the eviction of the Occupy LSX camp) from St Paul’s to Canterbury, walking the old route that Chaucer and countless pilgrims have taken since the 13th century, visiting different faith communities along the way and discussing contemporary issues of economic, social, and environmental justice.
We got the chance to hear her address the Occupy GA, as did our peace brother Earthian (see here: https://bambuser.com/v/4404406), who talked about his personal peace pilgrimage and the situation in Syria. A more detailed report of the Occupy GA can be read on their website here: http://occupylondon.org.uk/occupy-revival-2-years-after-olsx-eviction/ During the course of the G.A. we were also joined by a fellow peace sister, and after the speakers had said their pieces we each broke up into smaller groups, with several members of SPJ joining in the discussions in the World Affairs group, and during “shout-outs” at the end several members of our group spoke to the gathered crowd.
On this day not only did we bring our message of peace for Syria to the streets of London, but we also had the opportunity to engage with a variety of other people committed in their own way to struggles for peace and justice in the wider world.
Updated: 15th March 2014