The world is indeed now a very different place to the world I once knew when I last left these shores and I truly have no real idea where this journey will take me. Once I have finished my talk at the Boom Festival I intend to make the gaza shield initiative a priority, if entry into Gaza can be achieved. I have a few speaking dates in Europe that have been booked by others well before the crisis in Gaza began but I think there is still a lot to unfold that may not, or in some instances may, have been foreseen. The roads one travels can at times be complicated but as alway, one thing can be certain, the path will unfold as it should.
I will attempt to add to this blog as often as I am able so that those who are interested may follow along and join me on my journey and also keep track of my whereabouts.
Much love to you all. I wish you health and safety, in times such as these, rare jewels indeed.
Entry #2: Saturday August 2nd, 5.22pm - Australia
I am presently sitting at Sydney awaiting to embark on the 25 hour journey to Lisbon via Bangkok and Dubai. Upon arriving at Lisbon airport I will be met by Louis, the camera man who accompanied me to Peru last September. From there we will both travel to the Boom Festival by means of the shutlle bus provided for Boom organizers. Even after the 90 minute flight to Sydney, the journey already feels tedious to me, like I have been sentenced to 7 weeks of airports, unfamiliar surroundings and a loss of control of my own life. I have not been able to tear my mind away from the plight of my friends in Gaza. The next 24 hours will indeed be crucial for all those souls still trapped in the Gaza Strip, and sitting here, I feel guilty for down time spent at airports and in travel, most especially at such an important time. Now the Gaza Power station has been bombed and diesel supplies are dwindling there is a very real possibility fo Gaza losing all connetion to the outside world within the next 36-48 hours. I am very concerned at what may become of my friends once Gaza goes "dark" and the world has no eyes on the ground to see what is occurring. I very much hope my friends are still able to message me once I arrive in Lisbon. I still very much intend to make gaza the main focus of my talks at each speaking date I am booked for throughout Europe and am still unsure of how my presentation will be recieved at Boom.
Though many of the people I see around me appear oblivious to the fact, the world has now entered a much darker chapter of it's history. Due to the Israeli attack on the besieged refugees in the Gaza Strip, the future we are entering into is a much more stark and savage one. Even here at Sydney airport, everything feels different to me.
Entry #3 - Sunday August 3rd, 4pm - Portugal:
Arrived at Lisbon Airport after a gruelling series of back to back flights. Upon arrival I waited in line for 2 hours to get my passport stamped, then waited in another line for a hour to fill out a form regarding my lost luggage. Welcome to Portugal... Louis is here waiting, we will both catch the Boom bus down to the festival this afternoon where Charles Shaw will be waiting for me. Amanda Sage should also be there already. It will be nice to catch up with her and her parnter Chris.
Entry #4 - Monday August 4th, 2.45pm - Portugal:
Settling in at Boom. It really is quite a huge setup they have here. There are several stages spread out over a large area of perhaps 20 acres, or maybe more, with talks and worksops covering a wide range of topics. I doubt I will see the whole festival. The opening ceremony for the festival is at 9pm tonight. This years Boom festival has competely sold and the attendance numbers are expected to top 37,000. Apparently there is a line of cars waiting to come in to the festival that will take 2 days to process. I had thought to leave directly after my presentation and either visit a friend in spain or catch up with Rick Simpson in Croatia however I have discovered that I am not speaking until the 5th day so I will have to stay here at the festival.
I managed to catch up with Amanda this morning. In typical Amanda Sage fashion she is live painting a large murel on the outside of the visionary artist gallery. The gallery itself is structured to resemble a large wooden dragon.
Entry #5 - Tuesday August 5th, 8.30am - Portugal:
My luggage arrived this morning. It was nice to change the clothes I had been traveling and living in since last saturday. Im feeling a lot more like my self today. The artist Android Jones came and introduced himself last night. I have been using a lot of his artwork in recent episodes of Surviving the Matrix, and so it was nice to connect with him in person.
Last night at the very moment that I opened my laptop, my skype began to ring, a call from my friend Omar in Gaza. He told me things are very bad on the ground where he is but he thinks it will be better soon and that the occupying Israeli forces will soon be leaving so they can rebuild. I didnt have the heart to tell him that I believed differently. He said most of his district has been destroyed due to airstrikes and heavy shelling and there is a very strong smell of death in the air. He informed me that he is now staying in his friends house due to his own home being hit by Israeli rockets. He laughed and joked about having to scrounge through the ruins to find enough diesel to power the generator to call me and what his plans were for after the fighting, how he wants to leave Gaza as soon as he can. He told me he has been making a lot of contacts in Australia in the hope of finding enough people to vouch for him so he can move here one day. It was good to hear his voice. Everytime I hear him speak he strength of will and positive attitude in the face of all he is forced to deal with everyday never ceases to amaze and inspire me.
I intend to wander around the Boom site a bit today and check the place out a bit. It feels strange, almost surreal being here in an atmosphere of festivity and oneness, knowing what is happening to Omar and my other friends in Gaza at this very moment as I stroll through the festival. I will post some pictures of the festival site later today or tomorrow.
Entry #6 - Tuesday, August 5th, 6.30pm - Portugal:
The festival site at Boom really is huge, now that I've walked around I've discovered it's a lot bigger than I first thought. The site must be at least 100 acres in size. The camp site is expansive. With people pitching tents on any spare patch of ground they can find all the way to the crest of the surrounding hills, it is as if a virtual town has been created on what is essentially unoccupied land.
The various event stages are also quite impressive with lots of adobe sculpting and artistic wooden structures such as the dragon created for the artists gallery and an impressive sound stage complete with towering spires.
Southern Portugal is just as hot and dry as I remember. Im glad there is a lake here at the site. I also ran into Miska and Jimmy today, two friends of mine from Tierra Vida in Peru.
Entry #7 - Wednesday, August 6th, 9.45am - Portugal:
Another sleeepless night at Boom. With the camp site virtually sandwiched between two soundstages with PA systems blasting trance music through mega PA systems at 120 beats per minute 24 hours per day, sleep is a rare commodity indeed. One of the PA systems here is quite literally the biggest rig I have ever seen - and I'm an audio engineer. As both stages are playing different music, the ambient effect is not dissimilar to the sound of a washing machine that constantly changes pitch. I'm certain there are many interesting people here and I can understand the attraction these type of festivals hold for people, but for me, it feels like a prison sentence. Im not big on dancing but even when I am, electronic production-line trance at 120 beats per minute is about as appealing to me as watching paint dry while having a powertool running in the room. The entire Boom area is saturated in the noise of trance music. My talk is not until 6pm Saturday, 4 whole days away, and at this stage, I can find nothing of interest to do here at all.
Entry #8 - Thursday, August 7th, 11.40am - Portugal:
Still at Boom, kicking back with friends Amanda Sage and others. News of ceasefire in Gaza has reached me and so I am hoping to be able organize a mission to Gaza when I leave Boom. I have not yet been able to contact any friends on the ground in Gaza to confirm whether Israel is actually holding to the cease fire but I remain hopeful. The reality is that with the amount of devastation that has been wrought in Gaza, survival of the remaining inhabitants will depend on help getting to Gaza very quickly. Though it will be good to deliver a talk to the mixed audience at Boom, I still find it frustrating being out of action until August 11th. The plan at this stage upon leaving Boom on August 11th, is to visit a friend in Spain for a couple of days to "regroup" and plan the next stage of the Gaza shield mission.
Entry #9 - Thursday, August 7th, 11.55am - Portugal:
I just made contact with my friend Omar in Gaza, he has informed me that the ceasefire has held strong for 2 days but that is not a permanent halt and that the airstikes and shelling are soon to resume. He laughed and joked with me and told me not to worry about him, and that everything will be fine. He told me they will not stop until reasonable terms are offered for a truce. The terms they are offering are bold. They want an airport and a shipping port and for Rafah border to be open - much like every other people on earth have. There is little doubt that Israel will never allow such "privleges" to be granted to the Palestinians imprisoned in the Gaza Strip, but with the scope of Israeli war crimes in Gaza now becoming a talking point across the globe, it is my great hope that the tide may yet turn and that ultimately it will be global public pressure that will decide the future of Palestine, and not Israel.
I never ceased to be amazed at the strength of heart and will, and of the sheer resilience f the Palestinian people. There is absolutely nothing that will ever make these people back down or bow to Israel.
Entry #10 - Thursday, August 7th, 9.15pm - Portugal:
Today was incredibly hot, I went for
a swim in the lake and had a bit more of a wander around the festival site. I also managed to listen to a few of the other speakers today and was pleasantly surprised at the non fluffiness and overall intention of Boom. The speakers were all very much focused on the need to turn and openly face the problems of our world collectively, the need for opening dialogue aimed towards solutions and with just enough fluffiness to reach the new agers. On a whole, all the speakers were very on point. I had actually been looking forward to Boom and catching up with old frinds for months and under different circumstances, were not the situation in Gaza weighing so heavily on my heart and remaining so much in the forefront of my thoughts, I would probably have enjoyed the event very much.
Entry #11 - Sunday, August 10th, 12.30pm - Portugal:
Yesterday I delivered my talk at Boom and it was very well received. Having gotten a feel for the atmosphere at Boom and the opportunity the venue was providing for me, and though a little vague, I placed the situation in Gaza in the context I felt it deserved and said what needed to be said in the firmest but kindest manner I could, and I believe I reached a lot of people. Since speaking I have had many people approach me and hug and thank me. Many have said it was the best talk they had heard at the festival because left them feeling empowered. I feel very honored by the response it received. I even received some very positive wishes form some of the many Israelis in the audience.
On the whole Boom has been a very healing expierence for me and I can see why spirit pulled me out of where I was and ordained that I be here.
One of the truly impressive aspects of Boom is the elaborate and artistic nature of all of the Boom structures, the dance halls, marquees and speaking halls. There is a very real attempt here to put the art back into peoples lives and some very real discussions on how to build a better future. I have have encountered no ego with people at all. Everyone to whom I have spoken has been very real and very aware the need for us to deal with the shadow. I have met no "fluffy" people, and that is a huge change for a festival such as this. It has been inspiring to see that there is a real effort for change here... not just a fluffy psychedelic gig but a festival with a difference. I am feeling very recharged and empowered now. In fact it has been so healing and the people I have met have all been so real and genuine that I think everyone should come to Boom at least once in their life. Admittedly I have been hanging with the production crew, builders and artists, and not with the general Boomers some of whom... many of whom, are simply here to party, but with 41,000 people in attendance there are also a great many who are here to learn and of course the party crew must be expected.
Some new missions have come into my life. I have joined a crew of 8 people who intend to build a bush hospital for a very neglected community in Nepal this december and was approached by a group of artists, collaborators with my dear friend Amanda Sage, who had been thinking about the situation in Gaza. The meeting has led to the organization of a team of artists for a mission to create an art project in Gaza. The idea is build a sculpture from the rubble to honor those who lost their lives. There will need to be a huge humanitarian mission undertaken first of course, but once some sort of stability has been restored I intend to enter Gaza with a team of internationally acclaimed visionary artists and gather Palestinian and Israeli children together in a project to build something beautiful from the artifacts of death and war. Something that will reflect the spirit of the Palestinian people and will also stand as a dedication of peace between two worlds. I am still hoping Israel will bow to pressure and eventually cease its assault on Gaza, I think just as in case of Syria, public outcry and social media have prevented a huge catastrophe, though it is certainly not over yet and extremely important that people keep up the pressure.
On the whole, Boom has been a hugely healing experience for me and I intend to start pushing the envelope to the next level from here on in.
Entry #12 - Monday August 11th, 8.15pm - Madrid, Spain:
currently sitting at Atocha Renfe Station in Madrid awaiting a train to Malaga where I am to be picked up by a friend Louise. I am very much looking forward to seeing her and taking a couple of days off. I left the Boom Festival at 10am this morning. With 5 hours bus travel from the Boom festival to Madrid, 2 hours lost on metropolitan train services and a 45 minute wait in a cue for a ticket to Malaga, it has been a exhausting day, and I have still to complete a three hour train trip to Malaga followed by a 90 minute drive to Andalusia, which should see me arriving at Louise's house around 12.30 - 1am, taking the total travel time today to 15 hours. The Boom festival was nice and Im honored to have made many new friends during my time there, but after a week of searing heat and mostly sleepless nights while laying on the ground in a tent - then followed by a gruelling day of buses, trains and heavy bags, I am definitely looking forward to a hot shower and a comfortable bed. I intend to stay in Spain until August 14th and from there I will visit Rick Simpson in Zagreb before heading to London on August 18th.
Entry #13 - Tuesday, August 12th, 3.30pm - Andalusia, Spain:
I am sitting at the house of my friend Louise in the hills just south west of Malaga Spain about 45 minutes drive from the straights of Gibraltar. I am sleeping in a beautiful Yurt all of my own. After the Boom festival and many miles of travel it is the perfect sanctuary.
Unfortunately the idiosynchrocies of European travel have made a visit to Croatia to see Rick impossible for the time being so I have rescheduled the Zagreb trip until September. I will visit him in between the talks in Berlin and Copenhagen.
I will remain here in Andalusia Spain until thursday afternoon when I will fly to London to catch up with my old friend Ken O'Keefe. I have a lot to do while in the UK. There are a number of speaking dates, and several appearances at various rallies and a few interviews to get done. There are also many people I would like to catch up with, friends from my previous travels to London in 2012 and my old friend Simon, an artist whom I drove across Ausralia with, in the activation of the Rainbow Serpent in 2011. I am very much looking forward to seeing them all.
Entry #14 - Thursday August 14th, 9.30am - Andalusia, Spain:
Today is my final day in Andalusia. It has been a very enjoyable time and a much welcome respite from travel. Yesterday my friend Louise took me to visit John Lash who lives nearby. It was good to connect with him. I felt very comfortable in his company. It is difficult to know who to trust in these times and it is nice to be able to put a real face and real energy to the man and comforting to know he is on the level. I fly out of Spain around 4pm this afternoon, on the way to the airport we intend to swing by the Straights of Gibraltar and the Pillars of Hercules. I have always wanted to visit the point where Europe meets Africa and today is the day for that to happen. The rock of Gibraltar can actually be seen from the place where I am currently staying.
I have a number of speaking dates to complete in the UK as well as a visit to Croatia between talks in Berlin and Copenhagen in September so my time in Spain has been a great interlude. There is also a cease fire in Gaza at present and so I intend to contact my friends in Gaza and West Bank and look into gaining entry as soon as an aid mission can be organised. Even though there is a ceasefire, there has still been no permanent truce called and there is a chance this is simply a ruse, in the hope of dispelling the global protests. It is important that people continue the pressure until charges are brought against the Israeli Government for the many war crimes it has carried out in this recent masssacre of the civilians in Gaza. It is also important that charges of complicity in war crimes are also brought against every government who has supported Israel throughout this genocide.
Entry #15 - Thursday August 14th, 5.15pm - Malaga, Spain:
I am sitting aboard an aircraft at Malaga airport in southern Spain. Our flight has been delayed for 40 minutes due to bad weather over the English channel. It was truly wonderful to have a couple of days kicking back in Andalusia at the house of my friend Louise. Today, when leaving her house, we swung by the rock of Gibraltar. It really is an awfully big rock, vastly different to something like Uluru, but just as impressive. The rock itself is made mostly of limestone and has vast cave systems running through it, some naturally occurring, but most man-made. The sheer limestone face is literally dotted with cave entrances. In December it is my intention to join a humanitarian mission that is planned for Nepal and I plan on travelling via Spain at which time I will, if possible, spend a day exploring the rock of Gibraltar and the Pillars of Hercules in more suitable weather and when the visibility is more clear. Unfortunately there is a large industrial area with many smokestacks in Gibraltar and in the hotter months the area is clouded by a haze that impedes visibility significantly. Such was the case today.
It has only been 12 days since I left home and, perhaps it has been the heat or spending the first week at Boom in a tent, but somehow it feels like I have been away a lot longer. Im looking forward to seeing Ken and his wife Fadwa today. I have some gifts for them both and also for their children. During my last visit, Ken's son Lathey, who was 3 at the time, was completely infatuated with my hat. This visit I intend to give it to him.
Entry #16 - Friday August 15th, 8.30am - London, England:
I am now at my friend Ken O'Keefes house, having arrived in the UK around 7pm last night. I now have a few days reprieve before commencing any speaking dates, and so I will use the time to both prepare for the upcoming taks, and also to catch up with a few old friends. London is cold and damp, no real surprise there, however it is a an unusual feeling and a total contrast to the heat I experience in Portugal and southern Spain. There has been a lot of work done to Ken and Fad's house since I was here last. It is still only a small house, however it has been completely renovated and a small unit has been built on the side.
Entry #17 - Tuesday August 19th, 10.30am - London, England:
I am current still at Ken O'Keefe's house in London. I have a had a quiet few days here and it has been good to catch up with Ken. Tomorrow I leave for a talk in Bristol to return to London on the following day. This situation in Gaza is still very unstable and Israels refusal to allow aid wokers to enter has been frustrating my efforts to organize the Gaza shield mission. It has been interesting to see the response from people in the UK to this latest Israeli attack on Gaza. Public outcry has caused the British government to suspend arms sales to Israel, its a token effort made well after the event, but still an indication of the government bowing to public pressure. I believe, as with Syria, it has been public alone, that has averted what may have otherwise turned into a full blown genocide of catastrophic proportions.
London is, as usual, a cold, bleak and somewhat oppressive environment. I always find it a difficult and frustrating place to be - most especially now, after the warmth of Portugal and Spain. The sun does appear here occasionally but it never lasts too long. I will be back here for around 10 days after the talk in Bristol and Im hoping to spend some time in other areas away from the city. It just depends on who I can catch up with. I have also been offered a talk in Latvia in early September, though Im not sure if I will be able to fit it into the schedule.
Entry #18 - Tuesday August 19th, 1.30pm - London, England:
There has been much time for reflection and soul searching during this trip. The utter frustration and disempowerment I have felt with every attempt I have made to find a way into Gaza has being thwarted has been weighing heavily on me, as has the logistics of properly launching the Full Circle Project. The objectives and methodologies I had planned for the Full Circle Project have been subject to constant change and revision over the last year as the situation in Peru has become more and more convoluted. The Camisea Gas Project in Peru, a project worth tens of billions of dollars to investors and one which the Peruvian government has spent close to $75million promoting - even to the extent of giving the go-ahead to wipe out many uncontacted tribes, despite outrage and condemnation from both the UN and the broader international community - has changed the playing field considerably in regard to acquiring large secttions of Amazon jungle to place in a trust. As has the recent Israeli incursion into Gaza seen considerable changes made to the global stage and both situations have clearly demonstrated the lengths governments are prepared to go to, in forcing their will upon others.
The sheer level of corruption and brutality we have seen in the world of late has been very sobering indeed. The realty however, is that each of these events is in fact a symptom of the fundamental disempowerment and disunity of the people of Earth and so it is in addressing this disunity, first and foremost, I believe, that the real key to a positive and abundant future lies. Indeed, addressing this fundamental issue is truly the only place a solution may be found.
Changing the perspective of mankind, and thus the direction of civilization on this planet is a huge and daunting undertaking, that fact cannot be denied, and yet it is the only hope we have for a real future. Therefore the focus of the Full Circle Project must be on empowering communities across the globe and addressing the corruption of our Governments and political systems. The first and most important matter to be tackled before any real change will be possible, is to encourage people to remove the barriers they have with others and to view mankind from a more holistic perspective. I will be spending much of my spare time in considering future options to further this cause during these peregrinations.
Entry #19 - Wednesday August 20th, 9.30am - London, England:
Today I head across to speak in Bristol. I have not visited Bristol before and so it will be a new adventure for me with many new friends to meet. I am making the journey by train which is a mode of transportation I am
very unfamiliar with and as often as not find myself lost on. I used trains when I was in London in 2012 and ended up lost for hours. I used them again last week in Madrid and wound up lost on subways there as well. It will be interesting to see how I fare today. Trains are not something that are often used where I come from. There are rail lines and suburban train systems in the larger cities, but these are not places I frequent.
Entry #20 - Saturday August 23rd, 7.00pm - Sussex, England:
I am currently in the house of my old friend Simon Buck in the town of Bury Saint Edmonds in Sussex, about 2 hours drive north of London. It's a beautiful old house. There is an open fire burning on the hearth and I'm feeling very cosy.
On the way here we stopped at a very old town called Lavenham for a beer in a 600 year old pub. It was a beautiful and homely old place built in Tutor style adorned with very old timberwork inside. I am looking forward to spending a few days exploring the old English country side.
The talk in Bristol went quite well. Due to short notice and limited advertising there was not a large crowd but it was nice to meet people and the talk seemed to be well received. Bristol is a nice area and there is a strong alternate influence there. A lot of the town is covered with impressive graffiti art and there is also a strong support in the area for the people of Palestine. Unfortunately, due to timing and circumstance, I was not able to make the Gaza rally in London today and so I plan to go next weekend. I am doing a low key talk/meet and greet in London next friday night and it should be a lot easier to get to the rally the following day from there. I am still hoping to be given a chance to speak to te crowd. The support I have seen in the UK for the people of Gaza has been very inspiring. Even though Israel is still pushing forward with it's brutal assault against the Palestinian people I feel that just as in the case of Syria, the powers that believe they be are destined to fail and I truly believe that this latest incursion has caused the Israeli government to reveal it's racist and totalitarian policies to the world and will ultimately result in the implosion of the state of Israel. The only thing that can possibly arrest the imminent demise of the state and it;s alienation by the rest of the world, will be the people of Israel, should they realise the danger they are in and take strong and disicive action to have the rogue government of Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed and prosecuted for terrorism, ethnic cleansing and genocide.
I am very much looking forward to the talk in Glastonbury, not only because I have never visited the area, but also because there are people who are attending I very much wish to meet such as Torban the organizer and Rami the man who set up the Gaza Shield website for me and who is flying in from Saudi Arabia to hear Ken and myself speak. It will be an honor to meet them both.
Entry #21 - Monday August 25rd, 10.00am - Sussex, England:
I am still relaxing at my friend Simons house until tomorrow. It has bee a nice reprieve from the closeness of London. Yesterday we visited a property owned by a local artist named Ben. The entire property was adorned with chainsaw art with a feast for the eyes no matter where you wandered. It was a great day.
Tomorrow I head back to Ken O'Keefe's house by train from Cambridge. There has been a low key informal event organised in London for Friday evening and from there I intend to go to the Gaza rally outside the Israel embassy the following day. That will be my final day in London. Next Sunday I will leave for a speaking date in Glastonbury. From there I wil go directly to Cornwall to speak on Sept 4th and from there I will head to Lewes to hook back up with Charles Shaw. There is a talk arranged at Zu Studios in Lewes on Sept 6th where I will be speaking with Charles and Ken. Sept 8th will see Charles and I flying out to Amsterdam and then on to Berlin a few days later.
Entry #22 - Tuesday August 26th, 1.14pm - Cambridge, England:
I am currently sitting on board a train travelling from Cambridge to London. Simon has a great house with many charming features in the typically grand old english style. Unfortunately he acquired possession of it due to the recent loss of his mother and is currently in the process of selling it. But that aside, he is someone I count as a true friend and it was great to catch up with him and it was truly a great pleasure to spend a few days kicking back in the old English country side.
This afternoon I will be back at Ken O'Keefe's house an the closeness of London, and from then on things get busy. I have a video interview tomorrow and another the following day. The day after that I have an informal speaking date in London and the Gaza Rally the next morning. The following day Ken and I will head to Glastonbury for the Shape Freedom Conference. My return to London on Sept 8th will see me travelling directly to Heathrow to depart for Amsterdam.
Entry #23 - Wednesday August 27th, 10.00am - London, England:
I am back at Ken O'Keefe's house in London. Last night I received the news of a ceasefire and what appears to be a permanent truce between Israel and Gaza. The blockade is to be ended and the borders opened. I looked at the news reports and saw live footage of thousands of Palestinians dancing in the streets, and received a call from my friend Omar on the ground in Gaza confirming what I was seeing. I quite literally almost cried with joy. I fee like a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders. The people of Palestine have suffered greatly through this latest incursion but the result of their steadfast action and refusal to back down has been huge, not only in terms of freedom for Palestine, but also because the state of Israel has, by its own hand, very much exposed its supremacist ideologies and terrorist activities to the world. The ultra right wing Netanyahu regime has demonstrated just how sadistic and inhumane it is and how little regard his administration has for life. Whatever Israels ultimate reaction to this situation will be, this has been a turning point. The world is watching now and mankind has a real opportunity to move things forward in a positive direction from here.
Today I have a video interview at midday and some preparation to do for the talk at Glastonbury on Sunday. I also need to get focused on the plan to enter Gaza which I plan to do as soon as I have completed all the speaking dates that are booked. Im am now looking at entering the strip in about 5 weeks near the beginning of October. My friends on the ground have told me it will take around one month to "formalize" the truce and get the borders open anyway, so that fits in with my plans very well. A new chapter, and the quest to bring aid and hopefully trade to Gaza, and also to locate my friends and find Noor Samouni, is about to begin.
Entry #24 - Friday August 29th, 5.15pm - London, England:
I am sitting at my friend Anna's small unit in East London, on my way to speak at an event she has very kindly arranged for me at her art studios this evening. This will not be a presentation as such, with a slide show, but more of a "meet and greet" type affair and an open discussion. It is a free event and it will be a pleasant change to do a talk like this and meet the local people on the ground. I will stay in East London tonight and possibly meet up with Ken O'Keefe in central London tomorrow to record another freestyle video session with him, much like we did in Gaza in 2012, before heading to Glastonbury tomorrow afternoon. Whether the freestyle session happens or not, the plan is still to head to Glastonbury. That will be the last I see of London on this trip, unless one is to count travelling from Lewes to Heathrow to leave on the 8th of september.
It has been an interesting time here, albeit a cold and damp time, but what can I say, its London. I am very much looking forward to my trip back to Gaza in October and I am hoping public pressure and a strong continuation of international scrutiny will ensure Israel has to keep to the agreement and not launch any further assaults on the Gaza Strip - though I'm certain the Israel governmen will attempt to reinvent the "war" at some later date simply because peace with the Palestinian people has never been a goal in this conflict. The goal from the very beginning has been to ethnically cleanse the land of all Palestinias and Israel will never be completely happy until that goal is achieved and all of Palestine has been conquered and all of it's peoples killed or driven out to other lands.
I am looking forward to discussing things with people this evening.
Entry #25 - Saturday August 30th, 8.30pm - London, England:
The talk at Stoke Newington Art Studios went well last night. Only about half the crowd knew of the information I was presenting and so it was a great opportunity to spread some information to some new ears. The venue was very relaxed and cosy. Great people and a nice atmosphere, with the walls adorned with art and paintings by Anna Laurini and others. A few of us stayed back after the talk for some songs and I even blew some of the cobwebs off my fingers and played a little guitar. I look forward to returning sometime in the future.
Tomorrow Ken and I both talk at the Shape Freedom Conference in Glastonbury with some other speakers. I'm looking forward to visiting the area. The following day I head down to St. Ives in Cornwall and the warmer areas of England. Ive been told Cornwall is nice, most especially St. Ives. I have about 3 days there and it will be nice to check the place out.
Entry #26 - Monday September 2nd, 2pm - Cornwall, England:
I am sitting in the studio of a friends house near Saint Ives in Cornwall. It has provided me with some quiet time for reflection and I have just received a call from my friend Nedal in Gaza. He has informed me the situation, though still very chaotic, is quiet now and there has been aid coming in. We spoke about what will need to be done if I am to enter the Gaza Strip in October.
The talk at Glastonbury on August 31st was very enjoyable. There was a great line up of speakers and I enjoyed everyones presentations. It was nice to do a gig with Ken O'Keefe and also with Ian Crane. I have been friends with both of them for a while, though perhaps moreso with Ken, simply due to staying at his house on the occasion, but that was the first time I had ever spoken with either of them at the same event together and I enjoyed both of their talks very much.
My presentation was somewhat confrontational for a couple of the other speakers and some hot debates ensued afterwards into the early hours of the morning. In the end, I feel some good progress was made towards people putting down their differences and working together for a common goal, ie. respect and freedom for all. I think people are beginning to realize that no one person has the whole solution and fighting amongst ourselves simply distracts from the actual problem. What is needed is all the ideas put on the table, the ego put aside and an attitude of respectful dialogue and debate begun. In the end, all those present seemed to warm to the idea and so hopefully some real progress will be made from this point forward.
Due to recent events, any entry into the Gaza Strip is being very carefully monitored. I have been informed by my friend Nedal that, in such delicate time, the Government is very rightly concerned about foreign journalists entering the strip on "good will missions" - mainly due to having been betrayed by western media many times in the past. I have spoken to him of my reasons and my desire to make a film about Noor Samouni, and fortunately, my having already spent time in there previously and having also met with Rafah border security back in 2012, my application will very likely meet with approval.
On a side note. I have received a lot of hate mail from Israeli's of late due to my support for my friends in Palestine and also for my outspoken statements regarding the slaughter of civilians and children and the many war crimes committed by Israel during their recent attack on theGaza Strip. This operation was a blatant and completely unwarranted aggression on a besieged population which constituted a brutal attack on every aspect of Palestinian life in every way that could be concieved. It attacked its culture, its heritage it's ancient monuments, its buildings and mosks, its hospitals, schools, water supply, powerplant and most of all its people... and almost to rub it in the face of the world Israel dubbed this invasion, this slaughter of civilians, one of the most brutal acts of genocide in its history, as Operation "Protective Edge", claiming self defence as the reason - while the entire world watched on in horror and amazement at over a month of sheer mindless brutality as it unfolded before their eyes. This mindless slaughter and war crime continued for 51, days resulting in the deaths of thousands of Palestinians, and the injuring of many thousands more, resulting in over 150,000 made homeless, even while being imprisoned in the refugee camp that is the Gaza Strip, until, due to global pressure, they were forced to back down. ... And I actually recieve hate mail for not supporting Israel in this... "self defence"...
There are no words... I will need to be on guard during my time in the Gaza Strip and most especially in travelling across the Sinai, to and from Cairo to Rafah.
Entry #27 - Thursday September 4th, 4.35pm - Cornwall, England:
I will be leaving soon for my talk at the Guild Hall in St. Ives, Cornwall. It should be an interesting event as I intend to cover a lot of topics with this talk. Though I'm certain there will be some present who have come with very regid belief systems who may find my views, at the onset to be somewhat confrontational, I am however, very confident that when the entire picture is presented to them, they will see that all is connected and that come to realise an obvious path to freedom that has been provided for mankind due to recent events. Many pieces of the puzzle have come to light in these last 12 months and I believe recent events, and the shift in view point that has occurred with so many as a result, has provided us with a usable remedy if people are open minded enough to examine all the pieces of the puzzle objectively. It will be interesting to gauge the audience response to the talk.
Entry #28 - Friday September 5th, 4.45pm - Somewhere near Devon, England:
I am currently sitting on board a train bound from Camborne, Cornwall to Paddngton London at which point I will be taking a tube train to Victoria Station and then heading on to Lewes to stay at Zu Studio's for the night where I will be speaking with Charles Shaw and Ken O'Keefe tomorrow afternoon.
The talk in St Ives was well received last night. The people were in fact very open to the information and I did not recieve the hostile response I was half expecting. I believe consciousnsess is shifting and people are becoming far more open to examining information that had once been viewed as confronting, than they have been in the past and that is truly a good thing. People are beginning to realize that all aspects of our problems need to be examined and that there a grains of truth in almost everything if people put down their pre conceived ideas, and pre programmed judgements and simply view things holistically and with an open mind. Though there is a massive amount of disiformation in the world today and though many so caalled "movements" have created that may not have the most honorable of intentions, not all is controlled. There are many who are genuinely attempting to create something positive from what information they have, many of them have a piece of the puzzle and we very much need to create some constructive dialogue if we ever want any real change. We need to shift things from the ground up, starting now and that is never going to happen if we dont first begin to act in respect for each other and from a center of love, rather tan fear.
All in all, I have enjoyed my tim in Cornwall. Its a nice place and almost warm for England but of course, dont call a cornish man english. There was a time, in the not too distant past that Cornwall, was actually its own country ... It seems the crown gets its foot in the door, everywhere it can... However the Cornish people would very much like to free themselves from British rule and establish their own autonomy, much the way Scotland is attemptg to do. And there is a growing groundswell of people working to make that happen. ... Personally, I find anyone or anythng that works towards exposing a chink in the army of the elite to be a very poitive thing.
Entry #28 - Sunday September 7th, 11.30pm - Lewes, England:
I'm sitting in Zu Studios Lewes spending my final evening with Ken O'Keefe having now packed my bags preparation to fly out to Amsterdam tomorrow with Charles Shaw. Yesterday Charles, Ken O'Keefe and myself spoke here at Zu. The talks were again well received and a pleasent and informative evening was had by all. Zu also provided a very delicious vegetarian banquet for the speakers and guests. This evening I also went over to Brighton for an interview on the Type-1 Radio Lounge show.
It has been a relaxing and envigorating time here at Zu with many laughs and much stimulating conversation all which have served as a great preparation for the gruelling schedule that is laid out for the next 20 days which will see me visiting 4 more countries in Europe before emarking on the 25 hour journey home for a speaking engagement in sydney, then to prepare for my journey to Gaza to find Noor Samouni and bring her story to the world. My aim is to enter Gaza as early in October as I am able. When I arrive in Amsterdam I intend to organise a group conversation with the Gaza shield mission to discuss the situation with everyone who volunteered.
Entry #29 - Tuesday September 9th, 10.30am - Amsterdam, Nederlands:
I arrived in Amsterdam with Charles Shaw around 9.30pm last night. England had been cold and bleak for my entire visit though of course on the day I left, the sky was clear (apart from the daily chemtrail activity) and the sun was shining. It was in fact the nicest day I have yet experienced in England. That is the last I will see of the UK on this journey, though I hope to return next year to again visit Ken and Fadwa and the many other friends I have there. For all of its "Englishness" I kind of like the UK but of course, anywhere you visit is as nice as the people you know there and what makes England nice, is the many friends I have there. However now I am in Amsterdam and a new chapter on the journey. I will remain here for 2 more days and then travel by train to Berlin on the 11th for the EntheonScience conference on the 13th. After that I will flying to Zagreb Croatia to visit my friends Rick Simpson and Jindrich Bayer. I look forward to seeing them both again.
Entry #30 - Friday September 12th, 10.30am - Berlin, Germany:
I am currently sitting in a flat in East Berlin having arrived here yesterday by train from Amsterdam. It was nice to relax and have a few days off. I can see how easy it woud be for people to lose themselves in the lifestyle of Amsterdam. It truly is a city like no other.
Berlin is a very different place, even the architecture is unlike any other place I have been. There is something very remarkable about the German people. The programming and need for the powers that believe they be to instill a feeling of collective guilt upon the people of Germany is also very apparent. The holocaust museum that has been built in the center of town is actually bigger than the Reichstag that still stands next to it, and there is another holocaust rememberance center on the other side near to where the wall used to be. It has been cold and bleak since my arrival, much like most of Europe has been since I left Spain.
I have also received news from Gaza that Hamas is no longer allowing invitation or sponsorship for entry into Gaza Strip by individuals. After all of the preparations I have made thus far, the news comes as a huge setback to my plans to spend October in Gaza making a documentary. I am told that due to the recent betrayal of the Palestinian people by a Jordanian reporter, who filmed strategic positions and then transferred the information to the attacking Israeli forces, entry to Gaza Strip has now been severely restricted. Only persons affiliated with an international aid agency or formal media companies are now allowed to enter. I have also had the situation confirmed by my friend Noor Harazeen, an independent reporter on the ground in Gaza. I am now attempting to contact someone from PressTV, a man whom interviewed Ken O'Keefe and myself when we were in Gaza Strip back in 2012. There is a possibility he may be willing to sponsor my entry.
And so a new chapter in the saga to enter the Gaza Strip begins. As much as my efforts to enter have been frustrated, I feel this to be only a temporary setback and that all has not yet come to nought. There may still be a means of entry, though I imagine my friends in Gaza are most likely feeling as disappointed and frustrated by this course of events as I am.
The situation in Gaza has eased somewhat in the past few weeks since the truce was announced, though of course the ceasefire has already been broken by Israel, as is usually the case, when they opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats last week. My great hope at this stage is that public attention remains on Gaza. I still have many friends in there and the situation is still, as always, very tense and I cannot help but have concerns for their safety and fears for what their future holds.
Entry #31 - Tuesday September 16th, 2pm - Rijeka, Croatia:
I am now and my friend Sasa's house in Rijeka. I arived in Zagreb Croatia on Sunday the 14th and spent most of Sunday and Monday with Rick Simpson but have now come to Rijeka for some much needed warmth and relaxation. Unfortunately I also seem to have contracted some sort of mild stomach bug and am not feeling quite up to par. The coastal air is a welcome changed from Berlin and Zagreb. I will also be meeting up with an old friend Jindrich for lunch and then spending the next 3 days here enjoying the sunny Adriatic coast before flying out to Denmark early next Friday.
Entry #32 - Saturday September 19th, 1.25pm - Copenhagen, Denmark:
I am sitting at the venue for the Open Mind Conference enjoying a cup of tea, having left Rijeka at 5am this morning to drive to Zagreb airport in order to catch the flight out to Denmark. It was nice to spend time in Croatia and catch up with a few old friends, though the situation there has changed somewhat since my previous visit.
I am to speak here in Copenhagen
tomorrow which will see the final presentation I am to give on this European tour. I also plan to attend the conference the following day until lunch time, at which point I will need to leave for the airport to fly out at 4pm that day, thus beginning the 25 hour journey home. The journey entails one 6 and a half hour flight to Dubai, a short stopover, followed by a 16 flight to Brisbane via Singapore. Gruelling...
It will be nice to get home, however there will be no relaxing to begin with. Three days after my return I travel to Sydney for a presentation. There is also concern for a young friend of mine who has been locked up by the police and away from his young wife and two small children for the last 23 days. The police are holding him in a psychiatric ward and allowing him no visitors. I am in great concern for his wellfare and will attempt action to remedy the situation as quickly as possible upon my return.
Entry #33 - Sunday September 21st, 7.30am - Copenhagen, Denmark:
The presentation at the Open Mind Conference yesterday went very well and actually received a standing ovation which was very heartwarming for me. Everyone I have so far met in Denmark has been wonderful. I wish I could spend more time here and see the sights but unfortunately I say goodbye to Europe and fly and begin the long journey back to Australia. I will head in to the conference again this morning, however I will be taking my bags with me and heading directly to the airport around lunch time.
Entry #34 - Monday September 22nd, 11.35pm - Dubai:
I am currently sitting in the Dubai International Hotel coffee shop awaiting my connection flight to Brisbane. Boarding will begin in about 2 hours and 30 minutes from now, to then begin the 16 hour flight home. This trip has brought an entirely new perspective to me and many issues. I have a lot of reflection and soul searching to do when I get back to my own home.
I have a very busy week ahead of me when I arrive home with a great deal to get done. I also intend to go back on air at the end of next week on October 3rd. Im not sure how long I will keep up public speaking. It's not something I had ever planned to do and I somehow feel I am more effective staying home. That said, I do wish to first officially launch the Full Circle Project next year and begin doing workshops. Once it is up and running perhaps I can take a back seat for a while as I grow very weary at times.
Entry #35 - Monday September 22nd, 2.35pm - Singapore:
We are currently refueling in Singapore before emabarking on the final leg of the journey to Brisbane. Unlike on previous journeys, the Australian government, in all it's infinite wisdom has now ordained that we all must leave the aircraft to undergo a further security screening before being allowed on to reboard the aircraft to continue our Journey to Brisbnae. Perhaps Australias utterly moronic Prime Minister is truly dim-witted enough to somehow believe we may have beeen interepted by an alien craft who was able to bestow bombs on us all in mid air on the way to Singapore. Or perhaps he just likes promoting fear, binterfering with people and causing his employers uneccessary inconvenience. Though it has become painfully obvious that he is desperate to turn Australia into a military power, a brutal police state and a war mongerers wet dream thereby following the US model. Whatever the reason, well, I knew Australia was becoming grossly more stupid as the days progress but the imbecilic actions the sociopathic Tony Abbott truly defy all analysis. Something else that is also painfully obvious is that Australia would be far, far better off and indeed the entire human genepool would have been vastly improved had he been drowned at birth.
Singapore airport is truly dreadful, once you have been screened, if you wish to use the bathroom, you must leave the secure area and be subjected to re screening. When you arrive in the secure area there is a sign informing you that there is free internet in the area, however you need a passcode from the information desk which means you must leave the secure area to get it and must be subjected to re screening. If you wish to get a drink or something to eat during the hour long wait to reboard the aircraft, you must also leave the secure area and be subjected to re screening. The blatant fear based mind control and paranoia and the utter idiocy of the current human condition
at times, truly does make me wonder whether I am simply wasting my time in any attempt I make to improve this world...
Entry #36 - Wednesday September 24th, 3.55am - Australia:
I have, after many hours of flying, arrived home. I now have work to do, investigating the plight of my friend Grant, and preparing for a talk in Sydney the day after tomomorrow. Plus I have a lot to consider from this trip. But for now, it's time for a cup of tea and some much needed sleep.