This year we celebrated the 85th anniversary of the Kinder Scout Mass Trespass. In 1932, tired of the denial of access to the uplands of the area now known as the Peak District, upwards of 400 activists from Manchester and Sheffield walked from Hayfield to Kinder Scout – in effect a mass illegal trespass of the countryside. The ringleaders were arrested and imprisoned. But their efforts weren’t in vain – and are said to have been one of the major catalysts in securing free countryside access for the general public and to the creation of the national parks.
Some of us were fortunate to attend an anniversary walk, organised by Manchester Greenpeace Network, that traced the same route as those brave and determined people.
It served as a double reminder that, firstly, our own freedom to roam was only quite recently won and, secondly, for many people around the world this still isn’t the situation.
One of the main reasons we decided to organise the small park BIG RUN was to draw attention to the truly shocking restrictions placed on Palestinians’ rights to free movement.
Arbitrary imprisonment, enclosure, the illegal separation wall, checkpoints, roadblocks, border closure, blockade, Israeli only roads, travel and visa restrictions are examples of the many frustrations to free movement Palestinians experience.
Over the years these restrictions on free movement have increased causing considerable suffering and hardship. They have led to severe limitations of the everyday life activities we take for granted such as travel, trade, access to work, social interaction, education and healthcare – and even to dignity.
Accounts of women being forced to give birth at checkpoints are truly shocking: “Between the years 2000 and 2006, more than 68 Palestinian women gave birth at Israeli checkpoints, according to statistics from the Palestinian health ministry. Of these, 35 women miscarried, and five died in childbirth.” [Source: Wikipedia]
The right to freedom of movement is enshrined in Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The small park BIG RUN seeks to draw attention to this inequality, this outrage. But furthermore we seek to celebrate the rights we do have. Every time you run it is an expression and celebration of that joyous and universal freedom to move.
Join us at the small park BIG RUN on 11 and 10 June 2017 where you can celebrate with us!