spBR 2023: Singing and deepening the roots of resistance

There is so much to say about the small park BIG RUN of 2023 – the BIG SING, the Palestinian Voices tent, the poignant reading of ‘trees behind the fence‘, the words for seeds poem (see below) and the solidarity events in Gaza and in Lajee Centre.

Trees, the deep sumud (resilience) of trees as a metaphor for Palestinian resilience, were a clear theme through this year’s event. Not just the poems but also the planting of the tree donated by our local supporters Nick and Jane and then the inspiring words from Mahmoud:

Not only this but regular participant Katelyn McKeown said this very perceptive piece:

There is an overriding message to small Park BIG RUN which cannot be ignored; the format of the run replicates, in some small part, the claustrophobic environment Palestinians are subjected to under militant apartheid occupation. It is a celebration of the freedom of movement that we all enjoy and probably take for granted in this country. It is an act of solidarity and defiance.

Quoted from https://www.steelcitystriders.co.uk/2023/small-park-big-run-2023-report-by-katelyn-mckeown/

See you next year!

Hopes for seeds in Palestine
May your seeds flourish,
find rain, oxygen, sunshine,
safety, room to breathe,
from their tiny beginnings grow strength, hope!

May vine and branch bear fruits of your labour 
despite oppressions that you face!

May harvests of flowers spread resilience,
and your soil teem with life, health, happiness! 

May clear water flow throughout your land,
showers of justice and peace pour over you,
a spirit generous as water, cascading 
nourishment for your soul!

May your trees spread roots wide as a forest, 
nurture next generations with shade for their shoulders and water to drink,
better times for your children, smiles, sunshine and rain – 
freedom for Palestinians in your lands, peace in your lives.