gaza in candles

So as I settle back into my comfortable life in Canada,  I am resigned, at least for the moment, to that frustrated, incapacitated feeling of sitting in my living room, hearing about airstrikes by Israel against Gaza, shattered windows in houses of innocents, and threats of war.  At least when we were in Cairo, even though we weren’t allowed to enter Gaza, we felt like we were doing something.  Here at home, with a prorogued, inaccessible government and mainstream media that is choking on its own vomit, I turn to music and poetry and memories to help make sense of things.

As I look back on the events of last week, it is clear to me that the power of our actions arose from the collective power of the individuals taking part in the march.  All 1342 of them, from 42 countries.  Each person I met contributed some unique talent or skill to our collective unity which allowed us to pull off actions that, frankly, we weren’t sure would work.  T’was a scary moment when I followed the lead of Lisa, a very brave woman, and walked into Cairo traffic with that flag.  Yes, in theory there are 500 people watching you, ready to act.  In theory.  And also in practice as it turns out in Cairo.

I met some amazing activists in Cairo, and many were women.  It is clear to me that we are beginning to organize and take our rightful place as lovers of peace, community, connectivity and the earth.  And we will continue to come together in strength and in love.  Sisters, all.

And we know our brothers have our backs.  Literally, too.  During the protest at the Israeli Embassy, as I was being pushed by the reluctant riot police, I suddenly felt a strong, calm presence behind me.  As I turned my head to hear Ehab say these words “I have your back, Wendy”, nothing was more true.  And as I was violently pulled out of the Cairo streets, linked arm in arm with my dear friend David, a lifetime peace activist, and my new friend Bob, a Catholic priest who has committed his life to peace , as they dragged me across the pavement and threw me on top of other beaten and injured activists, I thought to myself, “there is nowhere else I would rather be right now”.

So while the bombs keep dropping and the guns keep firing… as children continue to live with fear and suffering and I feel castrated, I can remember the power of our collective action and believe that the truth will always be seen.  George Galloway and Viva Palestina breached the wall. 

We can too.

Wendy Goldsmith

Wendy Goldsmith

Wendy Goldsmith has been a social worker in London for the past 20 years, working with children, families, newcomers, survivors of abuse and women’s groups. She is committed to promoting peace...