14. Conscience (Guest) 

Todays guest post comes from an honourable woman who has spent a lifetime struggling to stand up and be counted as a conscientious objector to war and the suffering that it inflicts upon the world. Wishing to remain anonymous, and written in the third person, she aptly summarises the sadly cyclical nature of humanity. Pictured above are some friends that she made during a lifetime filled with third world travel. 

She strode purposefully along the London street, arm in arm with her best friend as usual. Her friend shouted, “Sing Mandela!” The guy with the megaphone turned round and gave them a thumbs up. As they got to the line “Mandela says freedom now” she was already singing at the top of her voice. 

It was a colourful noisy crowd that day marching through the centre of town yet again, hoping against all hope that one day apartheid would be a thing of the past, consigned to the History books forever.

All those cold wet winter evenings when she stood in Trafalgar Square outside South Africa House, holding the banners and singing, part of the picket that had vowed to keep running until Nelson Mandela was released from prison. And it did; and he was released from prison and the hope was kept alive.

Years passed and she travelled to many poor countries and stayed in a refugee camp where she heard first-hand accounts of the cruelty, pain and devastating misery of war. She joined a Peace March through many countries of Central America, walked side by side and arm in arm with those crushed by war, those clamouring for the violence to stop. 

In 2003 she strode purposefully along the street again, this time in opposition to the invasion of Iraq and this time bringing her kids and her mother with her, along with their hastily made banner! Of course Tony Blair didn’t listen to the people then, just as David Cameron isn’t listening now.

But she’s still hoping against all hope that one day, the war machine, the arms trade, the hate and the killing will stop and she’s not giving up hope because she believes that Peace is possible.


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