We are nominated for the Nobel Peace Price
We are absolutely touched with the Nobel Peace Prize nomination, which is for everyone, who was part of the Civil March for Aleppo! That which means around 3,500 marchers from 62 countries, but also all the online supporters, all the amazing people in Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece, Bulgaria and Lebanon, who gave us place to sleep, in schools, churches, mosques,community buildings and helped us in organising events, people with disabilities and from different religions.
Our march was not organised by full-time professional activists with a lot of resources, but of ordinary people who donated their time, energy and money to the cause.
The Civil March for Aleppo (CMFA) was a one-time action, that lasted about 9-months and proved the power of grassroots civic activism and the value of having an action with a low threshold of participation: people were invited to walk in the march or participate in one of the numerous local events just for a few hours or a day, which made it possible for anyone to take part and show solidarity.
Despite what some media outlets or some politicians try to say: the war in Syria is not over. Despite the fact that few development organisations and few governments offered help and funds for reconstruction of infrastructure, the war is not over. Thousands of people cannot come back to their homes and remain displaced within Syria and outside its borders. On a continuing basis, everyday, TODAY people hide from shelling and bombardment, get injured, starve and die.
Even if one day the shelling stops, as long as civilians are not safe, the war is still ongoing – that includes protection for those who disagree with whoever is in power. It is so important to talk about people, their safety and freedom, because under the veil of silence there is still room for prosecution.
We want to highlight the immediate consequence of this war: the millions of people who are on the run and the rejection of asylum seekers by EU member states. While the EU might have limited powers to end the conflict alone none can question its capacity to host refugees and people in need of international protection. CMFA proved that many EU citizens, beyond participants in the march, care about refugees. We have witnessed many villages that we crossed who welcomed refugees and asylum seekers and a numerous of people opening their doors. We would like to see this welcoming behavior getting translated in our current refugee policy and call out all EU decision makers to create a humane migration policy, that reflects on solidarity and humanity, values that many EU citizens stand for.
To all of you, civilians around the world, who are doing or trying to do something for other civilians: this is a recognition that goes to you all. In our eyes, you are all nominated!
Picture credit: Janusz Ratecki