While walking through Green Park today on our way to take photos of Buckingham Palace, I heard a terrible commotion in the distance. It sounded like someone giving a heated speech to a noisy and responsive crowd–like you see in old history films. A detour down Piccadilly towards Piccadilly Arcade led us to the source of the disruption. A very large crowd was marching, followed by many police (on foot, in several police vans, and on motorcycles), with a loudspeaker in the middle. A man’s voice could be heard shouting and sometimes chanting things like “Gaza is a killing field”–and the crowd would repeat most of what he said. Their bright orange signs read “ONLY KINLAFAH WILL LIBERATE PALESTINE”, “STOP ISRAELI TERRORISM”, and MUSLIM ARMIES MUST DEFEND GAZA”. Although I was at first intrigued by the crowd and the police that allowed them their peaceful demonstration, my heart quickly began breaking at the sight. As usual, I have no interest in a debate; I just feel great concern for the human lives for which these voices rang out and I am at the same time conflicted over the issue of violence to bring about peace. Isn’t that like spanking your children because they hit someone? I don’t mean to suggest that Gaza should not be allowed to defend itself, it just seems that these two peoples will not be satisfied with peace. It appears that peace is not what either truly desires…
I didn’t wake up this morning hoping for something so big to blog about, nor do I consider myself to be knowledgeable enough to speak about this issue itself. However, my brain translated this incident into a representative event. Drew and I are living in a very big, very diverse, city. We are closer to world events than we have ever been. Our children may someday appreciate that we were witnesses to events like these and may learn an appreciation for our place in the global society from our example–that is, once we gain our own footing. And I also ache for the children on the shoulders of the parents in that crowd, learning very deep anger, to support violence, and prejudice at such a young age. I also must be thankful that we live in a place where we may all peacefully express our views on the Queen’s doorstep.
Before the deep thinking began, we slept late and headed to our neighborhood Pizza Express for lunch. I was anxious to get photos of a quintessentially British site before you all got bored and Buckingham Palace seemed like the very best stop.
After the camera ran out of juice and we explored the grounds, we headed toward the London Eye, Big Ben, and the houses of Parliament. We’ll have to make that trip again with two batteries fully charged and more light left in the day.
After dinner we finally unpacked and started laundry. Yes, my London housewife life is now back in full swing.
Yesterday was very pleasant, though bitter cold outside. We slept late, got haircuts at ESHK, ate lunch, began planning for the website upgrades, walked to Islington, ate dinner at Yo! Sushi, and saw “The Spirit” at the Vue Cinema. If you like films made in the style of graphic novels (that’s sort of like a more grown-up version of a comic book, mom), you might really like this movie.
I am very excited about our new website. And there is no better way to demonstrate excitement than by hanging brightly colored Post-Its.