Monday, 10 March 2014

Around the world, one border at a time without money or a passport



As promised, here is part two of the story of Earthian a man on a mission for world peace as published by the New Internationalist most recently. I am sure that many will agree with me, that Earthian is truly a remarkable human being, to give up so much for what he believes is nothing more than breathtaking and inspiring, it certainly is to me as I’m planning my own mission currently but more about that all in good time comrades. Anyhow, all I’m trying to do is drum up support and make people aware of what Earthian is doing, and lets make no mistake about it, my friend is putting his own life on the line for what he believes and do you know the words of one voice singing in the darkness comes to mind. Take care Earthian!     

A British-Iranian man named Earthian is soon to set off on his second around-the-world peace odyssey, relying entirely on the kindness of strangers.

On 21 March (Kurdish New Year) the self-described peace pilgrim will set off from his London home without a passport or money, using bike, bus, car, train and foot to travel the globe – first stop Saudi Arabia. This is where he had to abandon his first trip back in 2012.

In a month he had managed to cover some 3000 miles from Britain to Iraq but was unable to continue heading south. He headed back up towards Turkey, through Cyprus and on to Egypt where he was first denied entry into Gaza and then Israel. He then travelled across Jordan towards the Saudi border where he was robbed of his few possessions.

Six months after New Internationalist had told the first part of his story, Earthian found himself stuck in no-man’s land between Jordan and Saudi Arabia. He was given an ultimatum by the Saudi authorities: to return to Britain or to stay in the country indefinitely. He decided on the former option, but it hasn’t dented his determination to navigate the world’s borders. This time he will travel west, following the setting sun through Iceland, Greenland and Canada – aiming for Saudi Arabia from the other direction.

Earthian arrived in Britain in 1997 seeking asylum as a Kurdish pacifist, having fled Iran to avoid army conscription during the Iran-Iraq war.
 
He worked as an IT engineer in England before the 2008 global economic crisis changed everything for him. ‘The crash was so major, it made me realise how pointless it was to be a “good citizen” ’,’ he recalls. Turning his back on the injustice of the capitalist system, he began working out how he could return to the Middle East.

‘We have conflicts all over the planet and feel powerless. We are not,’ he says by way of explanation for his solo peace mission. ‘I advocate for world peace, resource-based economies, no borders, no Weapons of Mass Destruction (WDM) and the abolition of the death penalty.’

Rejecting borders is grounded in Earthian’s Kurdish roots. His family was divided between Iran and Iraq: ‘This barrier was created artificially by the British. It needs to go. All borders create tensions. Everyone should be able to travel freely.’

He remembers when he was challenged at the Slovenian border and said ‘I’m a citizen of planet earth.’ On that occasion, the guards just let him pass – but in other countries, a lack of documentation meant nights in jail.

During the summer of 2013, Earthian toured the British festivals, sharing his experiences. ‘Getting into Glastonbury was the hardest; its security fence is like a country border,’ he mused.

Earthian doesn’t travel with money because, ‘It opens the gate and I do not want that.’ He explains that when he tires, he simply sits down with his book and people come to him – probably drawn by his bright yellow jacket marked with the words ‘peace pilgrim.’ ‘I don’t approach people. This way, I know that people’s interest and help genuinely comes from their heart.’

Recently Earthian hand-delivered peace letters focused on Syria to embassies in London. Unlike other calls for peace, the letter urges countries to accept a fair share of people displaced by the country’s three-year civil war, and advocates a truly inclusive, Syrian-led peace process.

Explaining why he chooses to deliver the letters personally to embassy staff, he says, ‘We have lost a great deal of communication: it is all done through a keyboard. Challenging this is one of the reasons of my journey.’

If he could, Earthian would probably converse and share ideas with every human, not just their representative embassies.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

One man world peace mission without money or passport


Earthian at Occupy 2012


The Following post is taken from the New Internationalist and it is about a wonderful man who I am proud to say and call my friend. I first met Earthian during and on active maneuvers with Occupy London, we spent some very interesting times together during that historic first, then after taken and conveyed that message from Occupy by setting up camps in the heart of East London, meeting I must add with a fantastic response from thousands of residents in both Tower Hamlets and Hackney somehow we lost touch and then by good fortune our paths crossed once more at Crisis at Christmas where we meet and enjoyed Christmas Dinner together. There is a second part to this story of one man's bravery and his mission for world peace which I intend to publish tomorrow with more information about what Earthian is about to do next.

On 23 October 2012, a British-Iranian known as ‘Earthian’ sent a cryptic message to his friends: ‘I have set up camp beside the cliffs of Dover. I have given up my British passport. I am on my way to the centre of the earth in Iraq.’

Prior to this, Earthian had spent several months camping in London’s parks. Sometimes he pulled a handcart equipped with tent and solar panel; sometimes he cycled, towing a heavy trailer. Exercise books filled with dense handwritten notes contained his observations, plans and dreams.

Earthian was plotting and testing himself for his mission, a ‘zero-money, zero-carbon walk for peace’, based on the premise that national borders cause unnecessary division and suffering, a resource-based economy should replace our sick monetary version, and that responsibility for the environment is everyone’s business. ‘My main purpose on this journey is to achieve peace in the Middle East,’ he explained from Dover.
It seemed unlikely he would make it as far as France, and yet, little more than a month later, Earthian is in Sulaymaniyeh in Northern Iraq.

Though he describes his journey as a ‘peace walk’, Earthian is pragmatic; he hitch-hikes and uses public transport when possible. He walked approximately 500 kilometres of the 5,000 kilometres from London to Iraq; finding free rides became easier the further east he travelled.
On one occasion an un-requested gift of €100 ($130) enabled him to take a train out of Hungary after he was arrested for carrying no identification (the British Embassy had to provide proof of citizenship to secure his release). At the Turkish border he was stymied by the need for a visa, but swiftly raised €20 ($26) in donations from truck drivers. Few can resist Earthian’s earnest conviction.

Forty years ago, a boy named Kauomarth Valadbagi, from a moderately leftwing family, was growing up in an Iranian village. He studied hard and wanted to go to university, but being a political undesirable – as a young man he actively supported Komalah, a regional Kurdish party – the opportunity was denied him. During the Iran-Iraq war he was called up for military service. Kauomarth was a pacifist and didn’t want to die, so he disappeared, made a new identity for himself, moved around Iran doing casual work and kept his head down. The dream of going to university never went away and, combined with a desire to live freely, compelled Kauomarth to escape across the border into Iraq and then to Turkey. For two years he travelled through Europe, surviving on little, working in the black economy. In 1997 he arrived in Britain, adopted a new name and was granted asylum based on the likelihood of persecution in Iran due to his political beliefs.

He became a British citizen, went to university and worked first as an  engineer, then in IT. He got married and got a mortgage. Then, the global economic crisis hit. ‘I tried to somehow convince myself to carry on, but I couldn’t... I lost my relationship and my house... I decided I’ll never again be part of a system which uses people like modern slaves until we have no energy and become only tools in the system.’
Soul-searching led to the realization that, torn between his Iranian upbringing and British citizenship, neither of which had worked out well, it was time to opt in to something new. Choosing his fourth name, Earthian, he rejected national borders and divisions. The Occupy movement in London gave Earthian a home, like-minded peers and a launch pad for his peace mission; a mission to end suffering and environmental destruction, to change the world one person at a time through discussion and example.

Earthian is currently waiting for a response from the governor of Sulaymaniyeh, having requested permission to set up a prominent camp from which to talk to people about his journey for one month. He intends to visit Gaza, though locals have begged him not to go via Baghdad, as the risk of kidnap is high. He has been interviewed by Gali Kurdistan Television, and a teenager from Faloja named Ali is spreading word about the baffling peace campaigner he found inhabiting a tent beneath the Khasrow Khal bridge.
Kauomarth’s father died some years ago but his mother is alive and lives just four hours from Sulaymaniyeh, in Western Iran. Earthian cannot enter Iran but is hoping someone will bring his mum to visit him and that, courtesy of the governor of Sulaymaniyeh, they can be reunited in an Occupy peace camp in one of the city’s parks.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Awareness and true Advertising


It has always been a problem getting our message across to others, that capitalism is not working, or better put that another way, has never worked in our interests ever, let me clarify that and make it less confused and more clearly comprehensible; it does not work in the interests of the majority in the world no matter what your background is or has been, and in a passing thought. I must say to point a finger at others because they perceive themselves to be other than working class is a massive mistake that holds progress back and of course, is prejudicial and wrong. This is very interesting and from the Daily Telegraph:

 “People could be teachers, or civil servants – not rapacious capitalists, but ordinary, quiet, middle-class people – and still live in detached houses, and buy new cars, and go on holiday to the south of France. And they had decent pensions to look forward to afterwards. That was what being middle class was all about. You passed your exams. You got a job. You stayed out of trouble. In return, you felt safe. And now, it looks like all of that is slipping away. And who knows, soon it might be gone for good”.      

The banner above carries that simple message; “that capitalism is not working”.

When we're trying to get a point across to someone else, we often think long and hard about what we want to say. That is the wrong way to go about it in my opinion. Instead of focusing on what we want to say to get the point across, we should focus on what we want the other person to hear and understand from our viewpoint, but be careful always remember not to be dogmatic and opinionated about it, far to many of the left are dictatorial and rigid in their arguments. I know this may have been one of my many faults over the years, and you end up driving good people away. To change the world for the better you must allow the audience you are addressing to be in the driving seat to some extent, it is more important to listen to what they have to say.   

Advertising is a massive industry worth billions in the UK, £17.8bn in 2013 (up 3.8%) and £18.8bn in 2014 (up 5.3%). As we know advertising is the communication relayed from companies to persuade an audience to purchase their products. That communication is usually through various forms of paid media - TV and radio commercials, print ads, billboards and more recently, product placement on the internet in particular. Advertisements are placed where advertisers believe they will reach the largest, most relevant audience. Commercial businesses use advertising to drive the consumption of their product, while non-profit organizations may place ads to raise awareness or encourage a change in behavior or perception, but they struggle in some respects to raise the money for prime advertising locations dominated by consumer products that in all reality is either not good for us or we could really manage without them, and products such as McDonalds come to mind, no disrespect to their low paid workforce.

We are unwittingly brainwashed by the advertising and television media in countless ways. We may have learned about the influences of advertising and television somewhere along the way, but it’s still difficult not to succumb to it if you are not vigilant. Advertisers and television producers spend their days coming up with millions of ways to manipulate our behavior to buy their products.

What is brainwashing exactly? Wikipedia offers a concise definition.
Mind control (also known as brainwashing, coercive persuasion, mind abuse, thought control, or thought reform) refers to a process in which a group or individual "systematically uses unethically manipulative methods to persuade others to conform to the wishes of the manipulator(s), often to the detriment of the person being manipulated".

Basically, it's a form of extreme manipulation. We often associate the practice with cults and don't consider its presence in everyday life, yet the techniques used in brainwashing are frequently leveraged by advertisers, newspapers, news networks, politicians, and others everyday.

Brainwashing, whether mild or extreme, is possible in a large part due to isolation. If you only hear the brainwashed message on a regular basis, and rarely (or never) expose yourself to alternatives, you're going to be far more likely to accept what you hear without thinking. If you want to avoid the brainwashing techniques, your best bet is to surround yourself with a spectrum of information rather than simply settling for the message that makes you feel comfortable. After all, that's often what the message is aiming to do.

This is not strange, but its true, that many organisations on the left try to brainwash their members rather than encourage freethinkers, that’s as wikipedia eloquently puts it: “Freethought or free thought is a philosophical viewpoint which holds that positions regarding truth should be formed on the basis of logic, reason, and empiricism, rather than authority, tradition, or other dogmas - I’m a freethinker what about you? And I think that the image and banner above is nothing more than awareness and true advertising - for the common good and not profit.

Our greatest barriers to progress are man-made



Right now as I write and you read, an estimated 5.6 million people are starving to death, whilst a billion are suffering from malnutrition. Now really think about that...Empathize if you can, with how that must feel.This is single-handedly the one stark piece of evidence that blatantly screams out that this system doesn't work.

Because people are actually starving to death...utterly bonkers! No one should have to suffer so unnecessarily. And why are they? Because of money.

The solution to these problems isn't hard. If someone is starving, give them food. Give everyone free access to food, as all should have. It's a basic human right. It's so simple and obvious that we will one day look back on this period of time with the same eyes we glance back at the holocaust with.

But what about infertile land and feeding such a quickly growing population? These are genuine complex, head-scratching political issues aren't they? No they are not.

Aside from such benefits as faster growth, a healthier, more nutritious crop, much stronger resistance to disease and no need for soil, AEROPONICS allows us to grow food, in air, ANYWHERE. Now, that's revolutionary. We've grown potatoes in space, but we can't feed the starving tummies on our planet.

Here's an idea...build an Aeroponic Sky Farm in every village, town or city all over the world growing peppers, squashes, chillies, hemp, tomatoes etc, and have them run and supervised using automated technology. People will then be free to come and pick, and eat, whatever they desire maybe even having cooking classes/kitchens in the farm in which to pop down and make a little something. This isn't impossible. It's not even hard for us any more. It's a basic, simple shot of Logic and Love. When people have become so conditioned by an insane culture, that starvation has become something 'normal', whilst at the same time we are pursuing the very thing that is creating the problem, then the game of digits, cards and paper has gone too far...way too far.

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