Towns I passed through:
Leicester, Oadby, Market Harborough, Northampton, Bedford, Luton, St Albans, Hemel Hempstead, Watford, London, (various parts)
especial thanks to Paul, John & Ann, Trevor, Aideen, Ben, Lindy & Marlene, Anne & Mike, Rebekah, David & Monica, Mike, Tessa & Sue for the various beds & meals & attention to sore feet.
Approximately 111 miles travelled, about 15 by bicycle, (edge of Northampton to Bedford, pushing last couple of miles as the back tyre gave up). The above all by leg power. Luton to Sta Albans didn’t get walked ‘cos that was the day the body said ‘no’. (Otherwise total would have been 126+)
People I spoke to: selected:
The lady who thought I was a Morris Dancer: the man in Market Harborough who’d seen me leave Leicester the day before: the people gathered for ‘Unite’ on Sunday evening in MH: Those who gathered in Northampton for an ‘extra’ meeting, (thanks for the donation to Sabeel & Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions): Ann’s next door neighbour – now there’s a story; hope all goes well, Becky: People in Pubs where I got a drink.
A pleasant lady gave me directions in Stanmore but was horrified when I gave her my leaflet, ‘Walking for Peace with Justice in Palestine’. Her reaction?
“I’m Jewish, I’m totally pro-Israel, I hate the Palestinians, I’ve seen what they do, my daughter lives there” (verbatim), whilst rushing away as if I had a communicable disease.
after delivering the parcel at No. 10 & walking back to Sue’s flat carrying my rucksac which had a banner on the back ‘Palestine – Truth – Justice with 4 P’s, a man came trotting up, (I think he was walking his dog) and asked “are you pro-Palestine?” As always I reply that I am pro-people. His response was along the lines, “so you’re anti-Israel”. I began to reply that I was pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli; but wasn’t allowed to finish. He trotted off with the parting ” so you’re pro-terrorist then”.
A few people had questions, which they put reasonably and wanted to hear the replies. Overwhelmingly people were sympathetic to the Palestinians but often ill-informed and uncertain what, if anything, to do. If we can tap into that sympathy political progress is possible.
more thoughts later – when brain ceases to feel like jelly.