European social justice activists have come up with a “perfect” way to stop a 5-year-long international conflict: a months-long march from Germany to the war-ridden Syrian town of Aleppo to protest and demand a ceasefire. What could go wrong?
Several hundred activists started the march in Berlin today in what they believe is a protest walk to Aleppo. Organizers expect to cover 20 kilometers (12 miles) a day and walk through Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece, and Turkey.
The activists hope to reach Turkey’s border with Syria within 3 months and, hopefully, Aleppo – the town which has been the epicenter of the conflict in Syria and undergone repeated bombardments.
About a month ago, activist and journalist Anna Alboth posted a video claiming she, together with other activists, will go to Aleppo to bring hope to the people. Alboth said she wanted to “transform these tears and this anger” caused by the misery of the people “into some action.”
According to the official site, while the activists want to stop the slaughter in Syria, they have no actual solutions that could lead to the end of the conflict. “It is not about us knowing the solutions. It is about involving people to create these solutions,” the site claims.
The activists also wrote a manifesto, which states: “this war can be stopped. This war can be ended with a few strokes of a pen.” Meanwhile, however, the peaceniks think it’s worth going to Syria even if somebody attacks them.
“This is our action. We are going to Aleppo. What will happen then? Will they send bombs on our 5000-people crowd? Will they dare to do that?! You think we are crazy? We think that it’s crazy to sit and wait until everybody dies. Let’s not wait. Let’s just go there and put an end to this madness,” the manifesto continues.
The pictures posted from the first day of the march shows several hundred activists, some carrying white flags, some walking with young children, participating in the walk. They will sleep tonight in a gym in Mahlow, a German town.
— CivilMarchForAleppo (@AleppoMarch) December 26, 2016
It remains unclear how convincing the combatants in the conflict will find the arguments of European peace activists.