Wednesday, 22 June 2016
Blob Thing Becomes An Activist And Says #RefugeesWelcome
On Monday Blob Thing and his person went walking again. When they set out they didn't know where they would be walking. They had three plans sorted. They could walk from Chester-le-Street along the Weardale way to Sunderland. They could walk from West Boldon along the River Don and then turn right and walk to the sea. Or they could start Blob's person's walk from the Wear to the Tees. They just didn't know.
They chatted about this on the Metro and decided that the last option was best for the day. Blob's person's knee was not feeling good at all - every step had been painful when walking to the Metro - and that walk would never be too far from a bus stop. So they got off the Metro at St. Peter's station. That had been the end point of a walk Blob's person had done a while before, from the Tyne to the Wear. They had been looking at pictures that morning and Blob said he wished he had been taken on that walk instead of being forgotten at home. Blob's person was very apologetic about it.
Blob and his person set off. They knew that they wouldn't reach anywhere near Hartlepool that day but they could make a good beginning. A hundred metres into their walk they reached the Monkwearmouth Bridge which crosses the Wear in Sunderland. And there their plans for the day changed.
They met some people crossing the bridge from the other direction. They were carrying a banner. A very good banner indeed. A banner saying something that Blob and his person could both see merit in. These were obviously good people, walking for a good cause.
Blob was planning on being at a rally supporting refugees that evening at an event where the nasty Mr. Farage was speaking. He had just that day defended his own political party releasing a big poster that perfectly mirrored Nazi propaganda. Just as the Nazi's were demonising Jews, Mr. Farage's poster was demonising refugees.
Now he and his person saw these people and asked if they could tag along and be part of the walk. Happily, they could. All the way from Sunderland to North Shields - the very walk Blob had missed out on but in reverse order. He was so excited. Not only was he going to walk the route (which he'll tell you about another time) but he was going to do it for a good cause.
He and his person talked with a lot of good people on the walk. Some were there simply to support. Some worked with refugees to help them here. Some worked to take aid to refugees who otherwise would starve to death in camps abroad. Some helped to run charities and projects that would aid refugee socially and practically in the local area. Blob learned that one man there had been arrested six times for peaceful protests for good things like not having big weapons of mass destruction. Blob thought that all these people were excellent.
Blob enjoys a rest during the walk.
And he learned that some of those walking were refugees from different countries. Some of them didn't even know if they would be allowed to remain in this country or if they would be sent away. He knew that these people had fled from horrific circumstances. Some had been through all kinds of hell in their own countries and in their journey to some kind of safety here.
Some of them were Muslims. And some were Christians. Blob Thing spotted long ago that people like Mr. Farage don't mention that there are Christian refugees. He is part of the problem that includes people even worse than him demonising all people who follow Islam. Blob doesn't think people like that are nice. But the refugees he was walking with all seemed friendly and he was glad to be among them.
He was absolutely amazed by the Muslims who were walking. It was a long walk for everyone but the Muslims, as part of their faith, were celebrating Ramadan. During Ramadan, among such things as increased giving to charity, Muslims fast from dawn until dusk. The walk was taking place on the Summer Solstice and that meant for eighteen hours that day they were not permitted to eat or drink anything. And yet they were walking too. Blob thought this was wonderful.
At the end of the walk, everyone was greeted in a church in North Shields and they were all treated to a massive spread of food. The Muslims were able to take away lots of food too so that they could feast on it when the sun went down. Blob was very pleased that everyone's needs had been considered so carefully.
Blob and his person ate very well after the walk.
Blob had enjoyed a fantastic day with the group from Sunderland Refugee Week. He's got lots to tell you about later - including posing with a human dragon, riding on a boat and becoming a lifeguard. But today this is more important. Much more important.
Today Blob just wants to say that he things refugees are welcome and that he is proud to be living in a city of sanctuary and to have been walking with people from another city of sanctuary. Blob Thing is proud of each and every person who he met on the walk. He's proud of the walkers. And he's proud of the people who helped the walkers by providing food. There are a lot of good people in this world.
The day was not over. Blob Thing was tired. But he still wanted to get to the rally and support good people there, standing up for something worthwhile. He will tell you about that tomorrow.
The whole of this week is refugee week. Across the country good things are happening. If you want to get involved with any of it, the main website is http://refugeeweek.org.uk/ Some of the local events are listed on the site and there are contact details for local people who would know more.
He started this blog just to share a photo a day and say where he had been.
But today he has a message. Tomorrow he will have a message too.
Today Blob says, refugees are welcome here.